Details may vary depending on departure date. Please choose
This is the standard 2011 itinerary for this tour
The beautiful islands in the Gulf of Thailand are an ideal location for the warm summer months in Thailand. We discover hidden coves on Koh Phangan Island, enjoy fantastic snorkelling among Koh Tao’s coral reefs and relax on the white sands of Koh Samui. We also travel inland to Khao Sok National Park where we can explore the unspoilt rainforest.
Bangkok - Explore the glittering Grand Palace complex and the beautiful temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Po)
Khao SokNP - Elephant rides and jungle treks through lush rainforest
Koh Phangan - Stunning bays, beautiful beaches, waterfalls and forests
Koh Tao - Excellent snorkelling off ‘Turtle Island’
Koh Samui - Coconut plantations and perfect palm fringed beaches
Arriving in Bangkok we transfer to our hotel to freshen up from our overnight flight. This afternoon is free to relax, or perhaps enjoy some time exploring Thailand’s vibrant and busy capital city.
Overnight Standard Hotel
In Bangkok; overnight train to Surat Thani
This morning’s sightseeing takes us on foot to Bangkok’s major sights. We include the Grand Palace – probably the most impressive of all the sights in Bangkok with its collection of palace buildings, golden stupas, Wats (temples) and decorative statues. The most impressive of the Wats is Wat Phra Kaeo (‘The Temple of the Emerald Buddha’). Wat Pho is one of the largest Wats in Bangkok and famous for its 46 metre goldplated reclining Buddha. In the evening we board the overnight train for Surat Thani.
Overnight Basic TrainIncluded meals: Breakfast
Drive to Khao Sok National Park
Arriving in Surat Thani this morning we will transfer to our jungle lodge in Khao Sok National Park. Covering an area of some 65,000sq km the park is one of the oldest and most bio-diverse jungles in Southeast Asia, boasting a lush rainforest that is older than those of either the Amazon or Central Africa. The park is home to a rich diversity of wildlife including elephant, tiger and Malaysian sun bear and with some 180 species of birds it is a haven for keen birdwatchers and novices alike (please note, no animal viewings can be guaranteed). This afternoon we include a walk with our park ranger through the jungle of the national park. This evening there is also an option to go on a night safari (weather dependent). For those wanting a more relaxing afternoon our lodge is set close to the river, with swimming a possibility. The setting is altogether idyllic with the noises of the forest all around and the sight of monkeys descending from the surrounding canopy to drink at the waters edge.
Overnight Standard Jungle Lodge
In Khao Sok
Today we plan a jungle walk through the Khao Sok National Park. Our route includes a set of waterfalls where there are plenty of opportunities for swimming. Later we take to our elephants for completely different view of our surroundings. The rest of the day is left free for further optional activities and relaxation in this wonderful setting.
Overnight Standard Jungle LodgeIncluded meals: Breakfast
Ferry to Koh Phangan
Driving back to Surat Thani this morning we catch a ferry to Koh Phangan and on arrival we are transferred to Hat Salad on the northwestern side of the island. This afternoon is free to acquaint yourselves with this beautiful bay, the perfect spot to base ourselves for the next few days. A quiet location with no loud music permitted with good swimming beaches, it is an ideal location for our tropical sojourn.
Today we explore this beautiful area on a boat around the island, stopping at many of the secluded bays and waterfalls, many of which are only possible to reach by boat. The waterfalls on the island were considered so beautiful that they attracted the attentions of the Thai kings of old and a number of them can be found with the carved insignia of these regal visitors etched into boulders and rocks.
Transferring back to the port this morning we take a fast ferry to Koh Tao. On arrival we transfer to our hotel and the rest of the day is free. Koh Tao actually translates as Turtle Island, so named because of its shape.
Overnight Standard HotelIncluded meals: Breakfast
We include a snorkeling trip around the island, visiting the main areas and giving you the opportunity to experience for yourselves the aquatic wonderland that surrounds this island. As well as the presence of hard and soft corals the island boasts an impressive array of marine life including rays, turtles and a plethora of colourful reef fish. You may be lucky enough to get the opportunity to swim with sharks here too as the reefs attract white and black tip reef sharks, of course we can never guarantee their presence. The deeper waters off the island boast some whale sharks (the largest living fish in the seas). For anyone wishing to keep their feet dry then you may like to try your hand at fishing, with a number of trips available from the island.
Overnight Standard HotelIncluded meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Ferry to Koh Samui
Our final tropical destination is the island of Koh Samui. Transferring again by fast ferry we arrive at our beachside destination later this morning. The largest of the islands in the Samai Archipelago, Koh Samui is the most developed of the three we visit and it is a distinctive mix of quiet palm fringed beaches, backpacker resorts and coconut plantations. Should anyone feel the need for action the local songthaew taxis ply the route to the bars and discos of Chaweng and the town of Na Thon is just a 20 minute walk along the beach. This evening you may wish to partake in an optional Thai cookery course, where an expert cook will teach even the most inexperienced the fundamentals of Thai cookery so that the fabulous cuisine can be recreated on your return home.
Today is again left free for you to enjoy exploring and indulging at your leisure. The island has opportunities to swim, but you may just prefer to wander and discover a little bit more of this island paradise. Alternatively there will be an opportunity to take an optional trip to the Ang Thong National Marine Park, inspiration for the book “The Beach”. Koh Samui is slightly different from many of the other islands in southern Thailand, owing in some part to the influence of the Hainan islanders who first settled the island some 150 years ago. The Chinese influence is still visible in some of the buildings in Na Thon and some descendants of the original settlers still live in the area.
The morning is free to enjoy. In the afternoon we will catch a public ferry back to mainland, which should take approximately 1.5hrs. We continue to the railway station of Punpin to catch an overnight train to Bangkok.
Overnight Basic TrainIncluded meals: Breakfast
Once in Bangkok we are transferred to our hotel. The day is left free for you to explore Bangkok at your own pace and time.
Overnight Standard Hotel
Tour ends in Bangkok
Included meals: Breakfast
Please note that from time to time our itineraries may be amended, either for operational reasons or in response to feedback from customers. Please ensure you have read the latest Tour Notes before booking or travelling on your tour.
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