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Essential Thailand - 2016


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Day 1 : Bangkok

Touch down in Bangkok and do as the locals do in Thailand’s ace capital. If this involves tasting durian, we say be brave and go for it ¬– it's a treat for the tastebuds, but a shocker on the nose. Meet up with your group (and soon-to-be BFFs) for a pre-departure rundown in the evening.

Day 2 : Sukhothai

It’s time to get ‘temple-ing’ (yup, it’s a thing!), and what better way to take in the ruins of Sukhothai than by bike? Gear up and spend the day peddling between centuries-old Buddha figures and ancient palaces. If crafternoons are your thing, feel free to get pottery-messy with the locals afterwards.

Day 3 : Chiang Mai

Spend the next two days doin’ your thang in Chiang Mai. Set in the foothills of the Himalayas, this cultural city is best seen from atop Doi Suthep mountain. So, get climbing peeps! In your downtime, treat those weary bones to a welcome Thai massage or broaden your noodle knowledge and learn your pad thai from your pad see ew. (Hint: It’s all about the tamarind.) Finish the night on a bartering high at the local bazaar

Day 5 : Doi Mae Salong

Sip tea in the plantation hills of Doi Mae Salong and get the latest (and oldest) trends by viewing villagers’ traditional dress.

Day 6 : Chiang Rai

Ah, the Golden Triangle – that magical point where Laos, Burma (Myanmar) and Thailand meet in a blaze of hill-tribe and opium-trade (past tense) glory. Browse the never-ending markets and visit historic Chiang Rai.

Day 7 : Chiang Mai

Travel to Chiang Mai and catch overnight sleeper train to Bangkok.Don’t forget to call shotgun on a bed in the overnight sleeper train; everyone likes the top bunk.

Day 8 : Bangkok

Back in the city, get ready to take on the best of Bangkok. Tour the Grand Palace and check out the Emerald Buddha, explore Wat Pho and even sneak in a little shopping sesh before dinner. Soak up the party atmosphere of the city’s nightlife (how do you say ‘cheers’ in Thai?) before jumping back on the train heading south.

Day 10 : Koh Samui

Life’s a beach, sometimes – particularly when you’re calling Koh Samui home. When you’re not snoozing in a hammock, jump on a songthaew to check out more of the island and take a dip in the crystal clear pools of Na Muang waterfalls. For the super-adventurous, get your snorkel wet on a tour of Ang Thong National Marine Park.

Day 12 : Khao Sok National Park

Jump on the ferry back to mainland and head straight to Khao Sok National Park. If you’re after a dose of wildlife, then this is the place to get it. Play ‘spot the monkey’ on an optional river-canoe cruise through the crazy dense rainforest. Be warned – never trust the Rafflesia flower. It may look pretty but it sure ain’t smelling pretty. Sneaky, sneaky flower.

Day 13 : Ao Nang

Next up, is Ao Nang. We take a day trip to Phi Phi Island – a ridiculously good-looking slice of paradise even by tropical island standards. Snorkel to your heart’s content and laze laze laze. Then kick back in Ao Nang for more island fun times. We recommend checking out the Thai kickboxing. Ka-pow!

Basic Details

Starts in: Bangkok
Ends in: Ao Nang, Thailand
Group Size: maximum 16


- Bond with your local guide in Thailand
- Chiang Mai's Night Bazaar - Lanna handicrafts and traditional wares of the hilltribes
- Bike ride among the ruins of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Sukhothai - Thailand's first capital
- Get active in Ao Nang, Thailand
- Koh Samui sea bath.
- Relaxing in the tropical paradise of Krabi
- Bangkok's Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha

What's Included

- Gecko’s expert English-speaking local tour guide throughout the tour, and professional local site guides at some sites.- Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant): Bangkok - Grand Palace and Koh Samui island tour.- Bicycle tour around the ancient capital of Sukhothai.- Sea Kayaking around Ao Nang- Stay in a jungle guesthouse in Khao Sok National Park.- Free time to explore Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.- Time to relax in Koh Samui and Krabi area- Overnight sleeper trains from Chiang Mai to Bangkok and Bangkok to Surat Thani.- Public bus from Bangkok to Sukhothai.

Meals Included: 5 breakfasts, 1 lunch,

What's NOT Included

International flights, arrival and departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, all other meals, all optional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.

Accommodation Styles

- Sleeper train
- Guesthouse
- Hotel
- Beach resort

Important Information

Fellow Travellers On this trip you may link up with passengers on other Geckos tours.
Local Tour Guides By employing and training local site guides to lead our group holidays, there is a two-fold benefit. Firstly, we provide employment opportunities for the local community. Just as importantly is the benefit to you, the traveller. Your tour guide’s friendship, humour, passion and intimate knowledge of the region will be key factors in making your holiday a success.
Local Emergency Contacts In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, the Gecko's Thailand office can be reached on Tel: +66 898 103 722
Emergency Funds
Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
Single Supplement A single supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information. Please note that on the following nights the supplement is not available:
Day 7 overnight train
Day 9 overnight train
You may wish to bring an inner sleeping sheet for the train journeys but please note that this is not a necessity. For light sleepers, we recommend that you bring ear-plugs and eye-patches for the overnight train.

About this page

The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. You can check the most up-to-date version of the trip notes online at www.geckosadventures.com. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or your nearest Gecko's office. We are here to help you!

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