One of our most popular holidays that combines Thailand's two major cities with time in beautiful Khao Sok National Park to enjoy elephant experiences, rain forest hikes and time on the stunning lake. From here you're just a couple of hours from your perfect beach, whether it be for example Phuket, Krabi or Khao Lak on the west coast or a short ferry to Koh Samui or Koh Phangan off the east coast.
As ever our itineraries are merely our recommendations and can be adapted to suit you.
Day 1: Depart on your overnight flight to Bangkok
Day 2: On arrival private transfer to your choice of hotel in Bangkok for 3 nights. Rest of the day free
Day 3: Bangkok City Tour visiting Grand Palace and temples. Explore canals by longtailed boat
Day 4: Optional easy cycle tour exploring the city's hidden greenness, markets and communities
Day 5: Morning flight north to Chiang Mai for 3 nights. Rest of day free
Day 6: Morning private city tour
Day 7: Private day tour exploring the surrounding Hill Country
Day 8: Fly to Phuket, transfer to your choice of camp / hotel for 3 nights in Khao Sok National Park
Day 9: Elephant Experience. Join jungle elephant trek or spend time learning to care for your elephant
Day 10: Cruise jungle lake to see dramatic limestone mountains and islands covered in tropical forest
Day 11: Trek jungle with guide. Transfer onto your choice of beach resort for 4 nights or more
Days 12-14: 3 days to relax on beach, enjoy hotel’s facilities and perhaps snorkel or learn to dive
Day 15: Morning free then private transfer to airport in time for the overnight flight home
Day 16: Arrive Home.
Day 1: UK Airport / Bangkok
Depart on a choice of overnight flights to Bangkok.
Day 2: Bangkok
On arrival you will be met and transferred to your choice of hotel. Depending on your arrival time we can arrange a choice of tours to introduce you to this exciting city.
Day 3: Bangkok - Private Guided City Tour (B / L)
Start early with a visit to Wat Arun, the Temple of the Dawn, at its most spectacular in the early morning as sunlight reflects off the river. Then cross the river to tour the temples and palaces on Royal Ratanakosin Island. Here you’ll find the magnificent Grand Palace, Wat Pho - temple of the reclining Buddha, the largest Buddha in Bangkok and centre of the Buddhist religion in Thailand and Wat Phra Kaew, home of the Emerald Buddha, Thailand's holiest religious statue carved from jade.
Continue on to the Siam Discovery Museum, one of our favourites in Bangkok. Enjoy lunch by the river before spending the afternoon exploring Bangkok’s waterways by long tail boat. Return to your hotel in the late afternoon. Evening free to explore the city. If you have been to Bangkok before we can adapt today to visit somewhere new.
Day 4: Bangkok (B) - Optional Cycle Tour
This morning there's the chance to get off the beaten track to see a different side to the capital, as you explore the hidden greenness of Bangkok by bicycle and head out towards the countryside. Only a few generations ago, Bangkok was a group of small towns amongst a network of rivers and canals. Though Bangkok is now a world metropolis, traditional life still exists nearby where the world moves at a more relaxed pace.
The ride begins at the Kamalulislam mosque, the centre of a Muslim community transplanted from Thailand's south more than 100 years ago to defend the Kingdom's capital. From here follow the San Seab canal through the hidden city. Stop at Tarn Dew community and have a taste of their chilli paste and snacks, famous throughout Bangkok. Then cycle along dirt roads out into the countryside stopping at local industries, farms and paddy fields to see a more traditional side to life in and around Bangkok.
Stop for lunch in a local restaurant and then head for the Phurt Udom Pol temple, with its macabre depictions of Buddhist hell, before boarding a wooden boat for a journey along the canal back into the city. Back at the hotel late afternoon.
Day 5: Bangkok (B) / Chiang Mai
Morning airport transfer and short flight north to Chiang Mai. On arrival you’ll be met by your private guide and transferred to the city centre where you check in to your choice of hotel for 3 nights. The rest of the day’s free to explore. Don't miss the superb night market that runs through the centre each evening - a cavalcade of sights, sounds, smells and shopping experiences.
Day 6: Chiang Mai (B) - Morning Private Guided City Tour
This morning head out of the city to Doi Suthep, home to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep - considered the holiest shrine in northern Thailand. Founded under miraculous circumstances in 1386, this spiritual location features a steep flight of 300 stairs flanked by greenery and guarded by a 16th Century Naga serpent carvings. You can either brave the climb or opt for a more gentle funicular train adjacent the stair pathway. The views of the city and countryside from the top are stunning.
Then descend and drive through the city to begin your temple hopping. First up is Wat Chedi Luang, a Lanna-style chedi that was once one of the tallest structures in ancient Chiang Mai. Next, visit Wat Phra Singh, or Temple of the Lion Buddha, where you can view a collection of classic Lanna art and explore an old library. Finally, wander the gardens at Wat Suan Dok, Flower Garden Temple, where you can check out a 500-year-old bronze Buddha statue, one of the largest in Thailand. From here you’re transferred back to the hotel and the rest of the afternoon's free.
Day 7: Chiang Mai - Walking & Waterfalls in Doi Inthanon National Park (B / L)
Today escape the hustle and bustle of Chiang Mai and travel to Doi Inthanon National Park where you spend the day walking through the lush green wilderness around Thailand’s highest mountain as you breathe in the fresh air, an invigorating respite from Chiang Mai’s urban jungle. Climb up Doi Inthanon and enjoy the the surrounding panorama of trees blanketing the rolling mountain range. Visit a hill tribe village and splash in the mountain’s sparkling waterfall before enjoying a local lunch at the misty summit. Back at the hotel late afternoon.
Extra...If you'd rather stay out of town we can arrange a homestay in the local area. The following morning you'd enjoy a rafting trip further down the river towards Chiang Mai.
Day 8: Fly Chiang Mai / Phuket - Khao Sok National Park (B / D)
Early morning transfer to the airport and flight down to Phuket. From here the adventure begins as you are transferred through rural south Thailand to the coast to board a dinghy boat that will take you through the mangrove forest to meet up with the classical Burmese junk that will transport you up the coast. You can explore the mangrove river system by canoe before lunch is served. Spend the afternoon on a beach, swim, relax or paddle a canoe. Late afternoon bid farewell to the boat and transfer to Khao Sok for 3 nights at Elephant Hills or Our Jungle House (different itinerary). Dinner is enjoyed in the camp’s restaurant.
Day 9: Khao Sok NP - Elephant Experience & Canoe Trip (B / L / D)
Today will definitely be a holiday highlight as you experience the Elephant Camp, Elephant Hills' conservation project. Here you can either join an exciting elephant trek through the tropical rainforest or take part in an Elephant Experience; during which you’ll have the opportunity to get close to these magnificent animals, preparing their food and feeding them, before walking them down to the river to scrub them clean to squeals of joy. Prepare to get wet!
Return from the jungle and enjoy a Thai buffet lunch. After lunch take a jungle river canoe trip down the Sok River. Drift along the jungle river passing Limestone Mountains and cliffs covered with exotic tropical vegetation. Return to Elephant Hills for dinner and overnight.
Day 10: Khao Sok NP - Explore the Jungle Lake (B / L / D)
Wake to the sounds of birds and the morning territorial calls of gibbons echoing down the valley. After breakfast take a boat to explore the lake, surrounded by limestone mountains and cliffs covered in tropical rainforest. Few people know of the lake and fewer still have visited it. The spectacular scenery here has been compared to Halong Bay in Vietnam. There are over one hundred islands in the lake, and it's over 60km from north to south. Have lunch on the boat and take a swim if you want. In the late afternoon return to Elephant Hills for dinner.
Day 11: Elephant Hills or Our Jungle House - Forest walk - Beach (B / L)
Today you have an opportunity to explore the ecology of the rainforest. Colourful birds such as the hornbill forage high in the canopy, gibbons can often be heard calling to their mates and you might see a macaque or a leaf monkey swinging through the branches. Weather permitting; lunch will be served in the rainforest cooked in bamboo, a tradition of jungle explorers for centuries past. In the afternoon, you will return to Elephant Hills then be transferred to your choice of beach resort for 4 nights (or more).
Days 12-14: Beach Time (B)
There are so many world class beach destinations in southern Thailand, each one offering something slightly different to the others. The closest to Khao Sok are Phuket and Khao Lak, but you could easily head to the islands of Koh Yao Noi, Koh Phi Phi or Koh Lanta for an idyllic end to your holiday. If you're travelling in the Summer months you'll find the best weather on the east coast islands of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan.
Once you've made your choice, relax and enjoy 4 days of glorious beach time. Extra nights can be added.
Day 15: Fly Beach (B) / UK Airport
Morning free then airport transfer and fly home. Arrive back in UK the following morning.
Each featured itinerary is really a starting point from which to create your ideal holiday.
We can include as much or as little as you like, mix and match hotels, excursions and experiences, add extra nights and change the destinations you'd like to visit.
The common thread is that each is a privately guided holiday, allowing you to travel where and when you want, with your own private transport and dedicated guide.
- Return scheduled international flights (optional if you would like to arrange your own)
- English speaking, local guide & driver
- Choice of hotel accommodation
- Transport in private air-conditioned vehicles
- Domestic flights detailed in itinerary
- Admission fees to all attractions, temples and activities as mentioned in the itinerary
- All meals as detailed (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)
- Entry visas International airport departure taxes if payable locally
- Optional Tours / Excursions
- Any meals not listed in the itinerary
- Personal expenses
- Tips for Guides / Drivers (discretionary)
- Travel insurance
- Any camera or video fees charged at sites
The hotels below are there as examples, designed to act as a starting point from which to create your holiday. There are plenty of alternatives to choose from and when we quote we will include other suggestions so we get to understand your likes and dislikes. Quite often clients mix and match hotel categories throughout their holiday.
Hotels in Bangkok
Golden Palaces and glittering temples make Bangkok an amazing city to stay in.
Hotels in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai offers a sense of adventure with a cultured and creative air
Hotels in Khao Sok National Park
Dramatic, atmospheric and breathtakingly beautiful
Your Choice of Stunning Thai Beach Resorts
Thailand is home to some of the world's most beautiful beaches.