Thailand Unique Holiday | Bangkok to Krabi
Journey to Thailand for a unique holiday vacation in The Land of Smiles
12 days / 11 nights
Activity Level Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.
Travel to a land overflowing with the most beautiful tropical beaches, remarkable royal palaces, and fascinating ancient ruins on this memorable adventure in Thailand! Experience the unique cultures, traditions, and history of Thailand. Dazzling with brilliantly ornate temples and royal palaces, this destination is simply sensational. Enjoy the contrasting topography, architecture, and cuisine of this Southeast Asian destination. Explore the ‘City of Angels’, also known as Bangkok, brimming with diversity and eccentric personalities of 200-year-old villages and the brilliant Buddhist temples. Relax on the white sandy beaches on an assortment of islands along the coast of Krabi, known for its impossibly angular limestone karsts that surround the coastlines like a giant fortress.
- Sightsee in Bangkok: visit the Grand Palace Complex which includes the Temple of The Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Keow)
- Visit Sukhothai, which was the capital of the first Kingdom of Siam in the 13th and 14th centuries and has some of the most magnificent monuments, illustrating the history of Thai architecture
- Sea kayak to the mangrove forest, Ao Thalane, and explore the coast between Than Bok Khoranee and Krabi
- Keep an eye out for elephants, gaurs, barking deer, gibbons, and hornbills in Thailand’s oldest reserve, Khao Yai National Park
- Enjoy an exhilarating exploration of Bangkok’s 200-year-old Chinatown as you sample local Chinese-Thai cuisine at a number of tasty eateries from street vendors
- Connect with local elephants at the ChangChill Elephant Sanctuary and meet ChangChill’s six resident elephants while helping to prepare elephant treats
A few more reasons why you've gotta go:
The wildlife: From elephants to monkeys, Thailand is a magnificent mecca for wild animals.
The atmosphere: Friendly locals welcome you as you meander through the streets that smell of delightful spices and are filled with fresh produce. The locals invite visitors to try tasty Thai food and share a first-hand look at everyday life in Thailand.
The temples: With 95 percent of the population practicing Buddhism, Thailand is home to some of the world's most spectacular temples.
Bangkok, Thailand BKK
Bangkok, Thailand BKK
Welcome to Thailand! Upon arrival at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport, your driver and guide will meet and transfer you to your hotel in the heart of the city. Check-in and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Riva Surya Bangkok
Riva Surya is synonymous with a luxurious experience. Set along the famed Chao Phraya River, the Hotel is strengthened by the well-known reputation of Thai hospitality. This idyllic setting and boutique offering is set in the heart of the city and conveniently connected via Chao Phraya Express boats and Skytrain and is the perfect getaway for travelers to Bangkok. All rooms come with airy balconies and sublimely comfortable beds with 400-thread count bed linens.
After an early breakfast, meet your guide to begin your journey by visiting Wat Po, one of Bangkok’s oldest and largest temples, arriving just in time to hear the morning chanting of the monks. Continue to the Grand Palace Complex, which includes the Temple of The Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Keow), unquestionably a “must” for every visitor to Bangkok. For lunch, instead of a standard restaurant, explore the backstreets of Thammasat University! Your guide will take you for a culinary visit among hundreds of Thai students rushing to the numerous small street restaurants. Early afternoon, we depart by long-tail boat and embark on a long tour, a great way to observe local life along the canals. We stop at a kind of local artist community: Khlong Bang Luang. Well-preserved wooden homes more than a century old and historic but non-touristy temples join smaller art studios, vintage antique galleries, a few outstanding hole-in-the-wall noodle shops, a tiny guesthouse, and several family-run cafes, convenience shops, and barbers. The centerpiece of the Khlong Bang Luang community is Baan Silapin (Artists House), which occupies a traditional two-story wooden building set beside the canal and centered around a 300-plus-year-old chedi. Later, return to your hotel and enjoy your evening at leisure.
Early this morning, you will be privately transferred to the meeting point (River City Complex) to begin our bike tour in Bangkok’s colorful Chinatown with its maze of alleyways and side streets. After a fascinating hour exploring the temples and markets, we cross over the Chao Phraya River to the Thonburi area in west Bangkok – the less developed part of the city – with fewer high-rise buildings, picturesque canals, traditional fresh markets, and village communities. We then board a longtail boat and our bikes are placed at the back of the boat. You will immediately begin to understand why Bangkok was once known as ‘Venice of the East’ as the boat ride takes you along the canals into unspoiled ‘forgotten’ green areas of rural Bangkok. Return to the Chao Phraya River and disembark from the boat with our bikes; returning to the starting point of our tour. You will be transferred back to your hotel. Enjoy a mouth-watering exploration of Bangkok’s 200-year-old Chinatown with our visit to sample local Chinese-Thai cuisine at a number of tasty eateries from street vendors with tables on the sidewalk to atmospheric family restaurants. We begin our tour with a visit to a local rooftop bar where we sip our drinks and enjoy a magnificent panoramic view of the river. As dusk falls we board a tuk-tuk and head into the labyrinth of Chinatown’s side streets and alleyways where the smell of spices hangs permanently in the air. You’ll get to sample all kinds of eats, such as the local dim sum, dumplings, fresh seafood, fragrant deserts, and more. Later in the night, return to your hotel.
Bangkok / Sukhothai
After an early breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Sukhothai. On arrival, meet your guide and driver and transfer to your hotel for the rest of the day free at leisure. Sukhothai was the capital of the first Kingdom of Siam in the 13th and 14th centuries. It has a number of fine monuments, illustrating the beginnings of Thai architecture. The great civilization, which evolved in the Kingdom of Sukhothai, absorbed numerous influences and ancient local traditions; the rapid assimilation of all these elements forged what is known as the ‘Sukhothai style’.
About Sukhothai Heritage Resort
Embraced with vast organic fields, adjacent to the Sukhothai Airport, this low-rise boutique accommodation is styled with ancient Sukhothai architecture and eclectic interior design inspired liberally by genuine Thai touch. Relaxing ambiance is sought inside the compound where the serene garden and lotus ponds meet with a large swimming pool. This boutique resort is an ideal choice for your sojourns back in time with great accessibility to Sukhothai’s main attraction.
Your cycling tour starts from a small village on Sukhothai’s outskirts known as Ban Kheay. We take a dirt road passing through endless rice paddies with beautiful views of the Kao Laung mountain range in Ramkhamhang National Park. Arriving at the Southern Gate we will explore some of Sukhothai’s famous ancient ruins. Marvel at beautiful Buddhist and Hindu architecture and be exposed to some of the country’s most stunning craftsmanship from a period known as Thailand’s Golden Era. The tour offers the visitor a guided cultural experience, learning about Sukhothai’s history and complex architecture as well as the story of Buddhism in Thailand. After a delicious local lunch, we will continue our journey along small irrigation canals (Klong Mae Lampan) passing through rural villages before arriving back at the hotel.
Sukhothai / Chiang Mai
This morning, meet your guide and depart Sukhothai on the approximately four-hour drive to Chiang Mai, making a full day of it with interesting stops along the way. First stop at Si Satchanalai, located just north of Sukhothai. A 12th-century Khmer outpost, Si Satch became a royal residence of the Sukhothai period and an important pottery-producing center. Next stop in the town of Lampang, which was an important center of the international teak trade and was influenced by the British Raj because of his familiarity with the teak industry in Burma. After a local lunch, visit the most impressive sites yet: Wat Phra That Lampang Luang as well as Wat Phra Kaeo Don Tao which once housed the sacred Emerald Buddha. While in Lampang enjoy a special visit to the Elephant Conservation Center. The center houses the country’s only dedicated hospital and recovery center for elephants, funded by the Foundation “Friends of the Asian Elephant”. Late in the day arrive in Chiang Mai and check-in at your charming, boutique hotel, located in a traditional neighborhood, but just a short ride from the heart of town and Chiang Mai’s famous Night Bazaar. Enjoy the evening at your leisure.
About Rati Lanna Riverside Spa Resort
Rati Lanna Riverside Spa Resort features well-appointed rooms and beautiful views of Chiang Mai’s Mae Ping River. The resort features 3 dining options, a spa, and an infinity pool. The elegant rooms at Rati Lanna Riverside combine wooden furnishings and traditional Thai décor. Each room has a flat-screen TV with a home theater system and DVD player. The bathroom features a flat-screen TV mounted by the bathtub, a separate rain shower stall, and complimentary aromatherapy toiletries. Guests can exercise in the fitness center or enjoy quiet reading in the library lounge. It has an on-site gallery shop and a business center.
After breakfast, meet your guide and visit the riverfront Worarot Market, with its colorful flowers, pungent spices, and friendly, bustling crowds. Stroll the alley next to the market, filled with textiles, hill tribe clothes, silks, hats, and beads. From the market take a Samlor, or rickshaw ride along Thapae Road down through the city wall, passing residential and important government buildings around the city. Local lunch in one of the old town’s delicious restaurants. This afternoon, visit the Hilltribe Ethnographic Museum for some insight into the minority cultures, which inhabit the hills of northern Thailand. Then continue to what is probably Chiang Mai’s most famous landmark—Wat Prathat Doi Suthep, the temple located on the 1,676- foot-high Doi Suthep. Climb the 300-steps staircase, flanked by Nagas, or take the cable car up. With clear weather, the views are incredible.
This morning, you’ll be driven to the ChangChill Elephant Sanctuary for a unique experience. Thailand is “the land of the elephant” with nearly 5,000 wild and domesticated elephants in the country. Follow your guide into the forest to observe the elephants grazing, socializing, while observing from a safe distance. Learn about ChangChill’s six resident elephants and meet the mahouts. Help prepare elephant treats such as feeding tubes with corn, sugar cane, grass, bananas, and other supplementary foods. The guide will explain details about elephant health, diet, and the benefit of each of the added ingredients. Mahouts will join in this activity when possible, so you can get to know the elephant that you are “cooking” for and the mahout who cares for her. After your own delicious lunch, enjoy the view of the elephants eating the treats that you’ve prepared from the observation deck. We then privately transfer you back to your hotel.
Chiang Mai / Krabi
After breakfast, enjoy your morning free at leisure. Check-out before or at 12:00 pm. Your guide will pick you up and transfer you to Chiang Mai Airport for your flight to Krabi. On arrival, meet your hotel representative and transfer to your accommodation. Check-in at your beach resort and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
About Pakasai Resort
An oasis awaits you at Pakasai Resort, a fresh property filled with lively greenery, authentic oriental architecture, and naturally beautiful thatched roofs surrounded by stunning water and rolling hill vistas. Your room will be decorated with a crisp, clean touch and plenty of windows to let in the sun at daybreak. For your relaxation time, enjoy a freshwater infinity pool on the roof and a spa. This resort also lives not far from Krabi’s most famous beach, Ao Nang.
Transfer from your hotel and arrive at the pier and depart by Sea Kayak to the mangrove forest – AoThalane. About halfway along the coast between Than Bok Khoranee and Krabi town is a bay of mangroves that may be the most beautiful bay in Thailand. Here, bays and canyons are like passageways. Recently, this place has been discovered that it is superb for having a first-time encounter with the ecosystem. In addition, there are very rich faunas and plants that are not found easily. The region contains good examples of traditional local villages. Certainly, a highlight of the trip is narrow channels cut through two towering cliffs. Several species of Kingfishers, little Herons, and Crab Eating Macaques are almost guaranteed to be seen in this area. Ao Thalane has not yet officially designated as a national park but it may soon become one. Lunch will be served in the restaurant at Ao Thalane. In the afternoon, we will carry on Ao Thalane exploration to see more forests, animals, and scenery. If lucky, you may have a chance to see the monkeys or macaques coming very close to you while you are paddling. Please be careful with your camera and belongings, naughty monkeys like to take away the tourists’ things. After that, we get back to the pier, get changed, and transfer back to the hotel.
Krabi / Phanom Benja National Park
This half-day waterfall cycling tour is a great choice if you like outdoor adventure. The tour will give you a very good impression of Krabi’s local life such as culture, rural living, and beautiful scenery with a fantastic waterfall. Pick up from your hotel around Ao-nang. Arrive at Tup Prik village north of Ao-nang. We pedal on bikes along a quiet road with beautiful scenery of mountains, large palm oil plantations, and rubber plantations. The tour includes some up and downhill sections in both the shade and the sun. Reaching the “Dead end”, we arrive at Phanom Benja national park then visit the nice waterfall known as “Huay Tho waterfall”. Enjoy the cold and refreshing waterfall, take some photos and go for a swim. Refill with some local energy snacks, before heading back by cycling along the local main road • Most of the cyclists love the way back very much because it is downhill so you can spend most of the time watching the nice scenery of the roadside. Arrive at the meeting point and refresh with a cold towel, drinks, and fruits before getting back to your hotel.
Krabi / Bangkok Departure
After breakfast, it’s already time to depart this piece of paradise! Meet your driver and transfer to the Krabi Airport for your flight to Bangkok (routed through Chiang Mai). In Bangkok, connect with your onward flight home. We hope you enjoyed your trip to the Kingdom of Smiles!
This trip is offered in partnership with Khiri Travel.
**Trip itineraries are subject to change without notice due to road, weather, and other factors outside of our control, for the safety and enjoyment of our guests, as deemed necessary and appropriate by Austin Adventures and Khiri Travel.
Arrival & Departure
An Austin Adventures representative will meet you upon arrival at the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport. Upon clearing customs, transportation to the Riva Surya Bangkok will be provided. On Day 12 you will be transferred from your Krabi hotel to the Krabi Airport. Please note airfare from Krabi back to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport is not included in your tour price. Please communicate to your sales advisor if you wish to explore flight options back to Bangkok.
Walking – 1 to 4 hour guided walking excursions to view forests, markets, temples, ruins, national park trails, wildlife, and city splendors.
Biking – 10 to 15 miles on quiet paved back roads/sidewalks or countryside dirt roads with stops at local sites along the way. Surfaces can be uneven and at times a bit bumpy; your guide will demonstrate the technique on how best to handle this terrain.
Sea Kayaking – Half-day paddling excursion to view the mangrove forest called Ao Thalane. Paddling instruction provided, no experience necessary.
Welcoming and fun-loving, cultured and historic, tropical and exotic, Thailand radiates a golden hue from its dazzling temples and sandy beaches to the ever-shining Thai smile. Explore Bangkok, the “City of Angels” with its multifaceted personality of air-conditioned mega-malls alongside 200-year-old village homes; glittering Buddhist temples side-by-side with neon-lit restaurants; and slow-moving traffic jams bypassed by long-tail boats plying the royal river. Take a look back in time in the city of Sukhothai (Rising of Happiness), a Kingdom that flourished from the mid-13th century to the late 14th century which was often viewed as the golden age of Thai civilization. Discover the laid-back sanctuary of Chiang Mai in the foothills of northern Thailand, a fine specimen of much-celebrated traditional culture. Keep an eye out for elephants, gaur, barking deer, gibbons, and hornbills in Thailand’s oldest reserve, Khao Yai National Park. Relax on the white sandy beaches of several of the 150 islands of Krabi, known for its impossibly angular limestone karsts curving along the coast like a giant fortress. Come experience Thailand with the leaders in adventure travel.
Your guides will take the time to explain the details of each activity, answer any questions and demonstrate the use of all equipment. Each activity has been carefully planned to include options for all levels. Most importantly, your guides will help you select the distance that’s right for you.
The hallmark of an Austin Adventures vacation is our exceptional dining. Meals are included as indicated in the daily itinerary. (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner). Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities are not included in the trip price.
After receiving your reservation and deposit, we’ll send you a pre-trip planner with general information about the area you’ll be visiting, a packing list, exercise guidelines, a guest information questionnaire, and a liability release agreement for you to sign and return within 10 days.
Included in the Trip Price
- All transfers and transport as per program
- All accommodation as per program (based on double/twin sharing room)
- Service of 1 English-speaking Throughout Guide from Day 1 – 12
- All meals as mentioned (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
- All entrance fees on tour
Not Included in the Trip Price
- Air tickets both domestic and international
- Personal expenses
- All drinks
- Visa fees and/or visa authorization
- Other expenses not mentioned on the itinerary
- Early check-in / Late check-out
SOUTHEAST ASIA EXPERT
Curtis brings more than 10 years of professional travel experience to Austin Adventures. During this time he has explored some of the world’s most distinctive and culturally rich destinations. Highlights include riding the rails of India, teaching rural health education in the Peruvian Andes, learning to scuba dive in Australia, gorilla trekking in Uganda, mentoring students in Costa Rica, trekking through Asia’s Golden Triangle, exploring Cuba’s countryside by horseback, and learning to tango in Buenos Aires. Curtis’s professional resume includes years on the ground in Southeast Asia supervising a destination management company as well as roles in product development with several of North America’s largest young adult and adventure travel companies. When he’s not traveling, Curtis can be found at home with his family exploring Vermont’s gorgeous Green Mountains.