Hills & Sandcastles Trip Notes

GTTD

At Imaginative Traveller we always aim to provide accurate information for our travellers. Unfortunately information such as the price of optional activities is occasionally subject to change, and this means that we are constantly revising our trip notes. In order to ensure that you have the most up to date information for your trip we suggest that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure.

Trip code : GTTD
Trip valid from : 27/01/2014
Trip valid until : 31/12/2015
Trip length : 18
Trip starts in : Bangkok
Trip ends in : Phuket
Maximum group size : maximum 16

highlights

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

A super trip through Thailand. From homestays and temples in the north (Chang Mai, Chang Rai etc etc) to the sweet, sweet island-y beaches of the south (Koh Samui, Ao Nang, Bamboo Island). Rad. This is Thailand with a whiff of Burma. Our trip mantra: Gonna live while I’m alive, I’ll sleep when I’m dead. Thank you Mr Bon Jovi.(Was Thailand in Depth)

itin

Day
1

Bangkok

If you are walking past a street vendor who smells suspiciously like last season's footy socks, don't judge him. He's probably selling durian. For some unknown reason, this stinky little number is known as the king of fruits because of its unique creamy texture. Try some if you dare. Arrive in Bangkok and get to grips with this awesome city. There is a pre departure meeting tonight at approx. 6pm!

Day
2

Sukhothai

When was the last time you rode a bike? Don't worry, you'll pick it up pretty quick. It's just like riding a ......oh forget it. Get comfy in the saddle and pedal your way around temples and the historic area of the city.Travel to Sukhothai - 'The Dawn of Happiness'Ride bicycles around the temples and other archaeological relics in Sukhothai's historic areaVisit a local pottery factory in the area

Day
3-4

Chiang Mai

Sorry about the early start today. We'll make it up to you with a healthy dose of temples, museums and hilltribe villages on arrival.Spend a free day exploring the northern city of Chiang Mai, with over 120 temples in the centre aloneSet off on an excursion to the top of Doi Suthep, with fantastic views over the cityPerhaps get a traditional Thai massage or even partake in a cooking classWhy not visit the Night Bazaar a great chance to practice those bargaining skills

Day
5-8

The Golden Triangle - Chiang Rai - Chiang Mai - overnight train

Head into the hills for a night in a local homestay. Get a taste of Burma in the village of Tachileik and a sneak peak into the opium trade in The Golden Triangle (the meeting of Thailand, Burma and Laos).Day 5Journey through the countryside to Thaton, situated on the banks of the Mae Kok RiverBoard a long-tail boat for a journey down stream, passing several villages along the wayEnjoy the surroundings along the Kok River, then meet your local hosts for this eveningSpend the night with your Northern Thai friends in local accommodationDay 6Travel to the Golden Triangle - the point where the three countries, Laos, Burma (Myanmar) and Thailand meetOptional visit to the small opium museum that provides information on the infamous trade for which this region is knownDay 7For early risers there's time to visit the temples of Chiang Rai, such as Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Jet YotPerhaps browse the markets, where the local hill tribe people sell their waresDay 8Catch a local bus back to Chiang Mai, then overnight sleeper train to Bangkok

Day
9

Bangkok

You’ll be a bit sleepy after a long overnight train ride, but the city tour of Wat Pho, Grand Palace etc will wake you right up.Visit some of Bangkok’s most famous sights, including the Grand Palace and Emerald BuddhaEnjoy the rest of the day to further explore the cityShop for bargains, eat in exotic restaurants and perhaps hit some bars or nightclubs

Day
10

Bangkok - overnight train

Free day to check out Bangkok.Yawn, tonight is an overnight tripContinue your journey south by train

Day
11-12

Koh Samui

Choose from hanging in a hammock, lazing in the sun or snorkelling. Life’s tough.Embark on a two-hour ferry trip to the beautiful island of Koh SamuiTake a trip around the island in a songthaew, visiting the 15-metre tall Big BuddhaEnjoy a dip in the cool tropical waterfalls of Na Muang and drop in to see the Mummified MonkSpend free time on Koh Samui swimming, lazing in the sun, riding elephants, diving or snorkellingPerhaps take an optional day tour to the Ang Thong National Marine Park

Day
13

Khao Sok National Park

Home to monkeys, snakes, tigers and the weird smelly Rafflesia kerrii flower.Take the ferry back to the mainland and then continue to Khao Sok National Park by local songthaewHead down to the river for a canoeing trip in the country's finest and largest rainforestPerhaps spot monkeys playing by the waters edge during the experienceOptional walks along the many interesting trails and beside the many waterways that exist within the park

Day
14-16

Bamboo Island Beach Camp - Ao Nang

Life just gets harder and harder as we camp overnight on Bamboo Island. Console yourself with a swim and a cold Singha.Camp under the stars at Bamboo Island Beach Camp – it’s the best kind of cliche. Choose from a myriad of exciting activities.Day 14Depart by public bus from Khao Sok to Ao NangArrive at the beautiful and secluded beach area of Ao NangDay 15Morning, take the long tail boat to Bamboo Island for beach campingSpend time swimming in the warm waters of a hidden tropical paradiseEnjoy beach overnight campingDay 16Relaxing on the beach soaking up island life, after breakfast return to Ao NangPerhaps visit a rubber plantation and school, take a Thai cooking class or watch some Thai kick-boxing

Day
17-18

Phuket

Fill up your bellies with some tom yum gung from the market and shop for last minute silk scarves and bags.Stroll along the streets of Phuket, indulge in shopping opportunities or wander through a local marketPerhaps consider extending your stay to really make the most of your time in Phuket. Otherwise your free to leave at any time on the final day of your trip!Trip ends after breakfast on Day 18.

itin-variation

While the information presented here details our planned itinerary, including routes taken, activities included, accommodation and meeting times, please accept that unforseen changes may occur. We are constantly on the lookout to improve our program and further enhance your experience. Naturally, we will keep you up to date with any last minute amendments to your tour.

trip-grade

RAW

Our Raw tours are best suited for those with a sense of adventure, are willing to step outside their comfort zone and don’t mind being thrown in at the deep end. For independent travellers who want to travel with others. Just the ticket for those aged between 18-35 or anyone young at heart who has an open mind, an eye on the budget and a nose for adventure. Authentic experiences that expand the mind rather than hold the hand.

Style Facts

  • The freedom to explore without breaking the bank
  • Time to do your own thing – or join in optional group activities
  • YOU choose where YOU want to eat
  • Basic accommodation
  • A variety of public transportation
  • Fully trained and experienced leader

Basic

Our Basic tours offer superb value and are ideal for those who are happy to forgo some creature comforts in favour of an authentic and fun experience. Under the leadership of a fully trained tour leader, you will enjoy all the highlights and freedom of independent travel with the convenience, security and companionship of a small group.

Style Facts

  • Plenty of free time to explore independently
  • Optional activities to suit your budget
  • Freedom to choose your own meals
  • Simple famliy run hotels
  • Mostly public transportation
  • Fully trained and experienced leader.

This trip is operated by our partener Geckos adventures.

included

  • 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/Emerald Buddha and Wat Pho; the Golden Triangle region; and Koh Samui island tour.
  • Bicycle tour around the ancient capital of Sukhothai.
  • Stay in secluded Ao Nang with two days in comfortable, fan-cooled bungalows.
  • Longtail boat ride to Bamboo Island near Koh Phi Phi, with overnight beach camping.
  • Stay in a jungle guesthouse and canoeing trip in Khao Sok National Park.
  • Free time to explore Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.
  • Time to relax in Koh Samui, Krabi area and Phuket.
  • Overnight sleeper trains from Chiang Mai to Bangkok and Bangkok to Surat Thani.
  • Public bus from Bangkok to Sukhothai.

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.

meals

6 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners

single-room-sup

Most of our travellers like the thought of travelling with a few like-minded souls. There are NO compulsory single supplements on most tours as we simply arrange twin shared accommodation for you and another tour member of the same sex. But don't worry if that doesn't appeal. We do understand there are times when you just want a bit of privacy and 'me' time so we are more than happy to arrange a private room upon request when you book.

 

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