Contrasting Thailand

Thailand is a great place to visit for an adventure. This itinerary will take you from culturally rich Bangkok to the poignant Kanchanaburi area with the River Kwai and all it's history. Move south to the international beach resort of Phuket, where you choose how busy or quiet you want to be. Next is Elephant Hills, for an encounter with these gentle giants before heading to the beautiful paradise of Khao Lak which is all about laid back beach life. This itinerary is suitable for families and couples, bringing together amazing experiences and relaxation in equal measure. Hotels are available for all tastes and budgets so you can stay in a space which suits you best. Maybe you want an iconic hotel in Bangkok such as the statuesque Lebua, or perhaps your preference is more towards small and intimate boutique properties - such as Keemala in Phuket, with just 38 unique villas. This suggested itinerary is available to depart on any day of the week, and duration's in Bangkok, Phuket and Khao Lak can be changed to suit your time frame.

Duration
21 days
Options
Private basis, Self-Guided
Start your journey
Fields in Cambodia

Trip highlights

  • Get close to the magnificent Asian elephant at Elephant Hills
  • Stay in quirky floating accommodation
  • Discover the history of the Kanchanaburi area
  • Sample the street food in Bangkok
  • Lots of time to relax and reflect on two of Thailand's gorgeous beaches

Begin your adventure in Asia's most distinctive city. Bangkok is a haven for those who are fascinated by palaces or golden temples, such as the incredible Grand Palace or the Emerald Buddha Temple. Prepare to be spellbound by the Wat Arun temple, found on the Chao Phraya River with it's 70 metre glass spire. Obviously, Bangkok's nightlife reputation precedes it. Find yourself a bar with a view; a visit to a rooftop bar is a must, and there are many world-class ones here. One of the most famous is Sirocco, located at the top of the statuesque hotel Lebua, as featured on the film Hangover II. The city is also a shoppers paradise - whether you are visiting on a shoestring budget or here to fill your suitcase, you'll have no trouble finding great places to shop. MBK is probably the most well-known - think of a modern day equivalent of Aladdin's Cave, MBK is six floors of tiny stalls selling everything from mobile phones to sunglasses to t-shirts to soap.

Suggested Accommodation

Banyan Tree Bangkok

Banyan Tree Bangkok

Bangkok

H&J Rating
Banyan Tree Bangkok

You will have an early start to this part of your adventure, by being collected from your Bangkok hotel between 6.00am-6.30am for the 80 mile journey to Kanchanaburi.

Your first stop will be a visit to the world famous "Bridge over the River Kwai" part of the Death Railway constructed by Allied POW's. Take a train ride along the scenic and historic railway route. Lunch is provided at a local restaurant - before continuing on to visit the poignant Hellfire Pass Memorial.

A long tail boat will then take you to your luxury accommodation at the River Kwai Float House where you will stay for the next two nights.

On the following day, after breakfast take a long tail boat to visit the nearby Mon Tribal Village. The villagers are rich in culture and uninfluenced by the western world. Take part in some jungle trekking before lunch. The afternoon will include a visit to an organic herb garden and then enjoy some time at the resort where you can soak up the tropical setting.

Enjoy your next morning at leisure. Relax with a good book or for the more restless, take a canoe to explore more of the waterways. After lunch you will leave this jungle oasis and take a visit to the Thailand-Burma Railway Centre. This is an interactive museum and research facility presenting the history of the railway - this is an educational and moving experience. Here is where you may visit the Allied War Cemetery - a memorial to the 6000 allied POW's who perished along the death railway line. They were moved after the war to this resting place.

Your journey will then continue back to Bangkok for one further night at your chosen hotel.

Suggested Accommodation

Unique

River Kwai Float House

Kanchanaburi

H&J Rating

Guide Price

£419 pp

River Kwai Float House

Enjoy spectacular scenery and relax on the stunning palm-fringed beaches of Asia's most popular beach destination, Phuket. It would be easy to spend your time lazing on the beaches, exploring the local shops and restaurants or indulging in a spa treatment or two, but there is so much more to this dream destination. Why not take a speedboat to the spectacular Phang Nga Bay, just northeast of Phuket, where limestone cliffs jut dramatically from the emerald green waters?

When the sun goes down venture out to see the lively and friendly nightlife that this area is well known for.

Your next stop on this adventure is a two night visit to Elephant Hills. Here you have the opportunity to create unforgettable memories while interacting with these beautiful creatures and their Mahouts. Take a journey through the jungle of Khao Sok National Park to the elephant sanctuary where you can help prepare and feed them their daily feeds, watch them play while bathing and cleaning them. Your accommodation is luxurious tents equipped with an en-suite bathroom and is powered by solar and wind energy, ensuring your stay only leaves an impression on you. The next day you will venture deeper into the National Park, to visit Cheow Larn Lake. Relax in your floating tent in one of the world’s only floating camp, a unique way to experience the rainforest which surrounds you. Gaze out at the setting sun over the waters and wonder at the mountains in the distance. We suggest that you bring; light short and long clothing, swimwear, sturdy sandals and closed shoes for treks, flip-flops for the camp, a rain poncho, mosquito spray, a camera, binoculars, a small first aid kit and toiletries. This magnificent experience allows you to be immersed in the rainforest and experience it’s unique animals and flora. Canoe safari through the mangroves and lakes, experience a trek through the jungle or a kayak down the meandering river and enjoy the opportunity to see dusky langurs, wild Asian oxe, white handed gibbons, macaque monkeys and wild boar, as well as the rainforest's many birds.

The deserted beaches, crystal clear waters, and raw jungle forests of Khao Lak are all perfect for finding your own slice of Thai paradise. A perfect place to relax and reflect on the journey you have just taken. Spend seven nights here and relax on the beach or by the pool to complete your holiday.

Alternatively for those who want to explore more, Khao Lak has spectacular natural surroundings, unspoiled beach coastline, and a network of sandy beach trails running from Khao Lak to Bang Sak. See how the locals live with the half day local life experience.

Suggested Accommodation

Unique

The Sarojin

Khao Lak

H&J Rating

Guide Price

£1,899 pp

The Sarojin