National Geographic Journeys

Iconic Thailand

  • Duration 15 Days
  • Group Size Small Group
  • From $3,549 AUD
Call 1300 363 742

Trip Overview

Experience the timeless grandeur of Thailand’s cities, temples, and landscapes on a cross-country adventure. Explore the rich cultural heritage and culinary delights of Chiang Mai, then head south to explore tropical coastlines. Stroll the sun-drenched shores of Ko Samui, and explore limestone cliffs and sacred caves in Krabi. In each destination, marvel at intricate palaces and monasteries, meet locals in village homes and traditional workshops, and delight in the flavors of authentic Thai cuisine.

Trip Highlights

Discuss daily life with a resident monk, Explore the temples and palaces of Ayutthaya, Cruise Bangkok’s delightfully chaotic canals, Kayak and snorkel the crystalline waters of Ko Mat Sum and Ko Tan islands, Explore Krabi River aboard a longtail boat before hopping in a tricycle tuk-tuk

Itinerary - 15 Days

Day 1 Bangkok

Arrive at any time; your arrival transfer is included.

Day 2 Bangkok/Kanchanaburi (1B)

After breakfast, travel to the city of Kanchanaburi, situated at the convergence of the Khwae Noi and Khwae Yai rivers. Board a train for a winding journey into World War II history as you cross the bridge made famous by the 1957 film The Bridge on the River Kwai. At the Thailand-Burma Railway Centre, learn about the Burma Railway, constructed by imperial Japanese forces to connect Bangkok and Burma; then visit the nearby Kanchanaburi War Cemetery to see where the prisoners of war who worked on the railway were laid to rest.

Day 3 Kanchanaburi/Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya (1B, 1D)

This morning, hike into the lush landscapes of Erawan National Park, located high in the mist-shrouded Tenasserim Hills. Take a dip in the turquoise pools of the Erawan Falls—so called because its top tier of cascades resemble the three-headed, mythological elephant known as the Erawan. This afternoon, transfer to the historic city of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya—better known simply as Ayutthaya—a former capital of the medieval kingdom of Ayutthaya, also known as Siam. Sample traditional Thai dishes during dinner on a converted rice barge from the 1930s.

Day 4 Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya/Chiang Mai (1B, 1D)

Set out to explore the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Ayutthaya Historical Park, centered on the old city which served as the Siamese capital from the 14th to 18th centuries, when it was one of the largest and most cosmopolitan regions in the world. Stroll down well-planned city streets to view magnificent palaces and Buddhist monasteries that set the standard for Thai architecture for generations to come. Later, return to Bangkok and transfer to the airport for your flight to Chiang Mai. Visit a traditional village in the countryside and enjoy a khantok-style dinner.

Day 5 Chiang Mai (1B, 1L)

Delve into the bustle of Chiang Mai’s morning markets with a local chef, and learn about colorful fruits and fragrant herbs as you select ingredients for a Thai cooking class. Enjoy your creation for lunch, then set out to visit a historic temple. Sit down with one of the resident monks to discuss daily life and the tenets of Buddhism. Later, clear your mind to the chanting of monks at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, one of the most spectacular gilded temples in Thailand.

Day 6 Chiang Mai (1B)

Spend a full day exploring Chiang Mai’s temples and forested hills on your own, or choose between a variety of optional activities. Traverse the rural lanes of Chiang Mai in a tuk-tuk, or opt to take a cycling tour through verdant rice paddies and the elegant historic district. In the evening, choose to visit Chiang Mai’s vibrant night market.

Day 7 Chiang Mai/Bangkok (1B)

This morning, fly to Bangkok and board a traditional klong boat for a ride along the winding canals that have earned the city the nickname the “Venice of the East.” Glide past colorful temples, modern skyscrapers, and houses perched above the water. Visit Wat Pho, Bangkok’s largest and oldest temple complex, and often considered Thailand’s first public university—its many inscriptions were intended to instruct visitors. Marvel at the magnificent statue of the Reclining Buddha, glittering with gold leaf and mother-of-pearl.

Day 8 Bangkok (1B)

Enjoy the day in bustling Bangkok. Option to visit temples, museums, a spa, or go shopping.

Day 9 Bangkok/Ko Samui (1B)

This morning, transfer to the airport in Bangkok and catch a flight to the tropical island of Ko Samui, bordered by the sapphire waters off Thailand’s southeast coast. Settle into our hotel and enjoy a free afternoon to relax by the pool, stroll along a white-sand beach, or explore the local village.

Day 10 Ko Samui (1B, 1L)

After breakfast, board a traditional longtail boat and travel off the tourist trail to the pristine islands of Ko Mat Sum and Ko Taen. Savor a local lunch on the beach, and then choose to explore by kayak or snorkel. Glide past green-shrouded cliffs and tranquil lagoons, or don a mask and fins to delve into vibrant underwater worlds.

Day 11 Ko Samui/Khao Sok (1B, 1L, 1D)

Catch the ferry back to the mainland and drive to Kao Thep Pitak, a community-owned farm supported by G Adventures. Enjoy a lunch of local specialties and go for a walk in the surrounding fruit orchards. Continue to Khao Sok National Park, where you will settle into a sustainable, community-focused eco-lodge located just outside the park boundary. This evening, venture into the park on a nighttime walk with a community guide, then gather for a campfire dinner surrounded by the music of the jungle.

Day 12 Khao Sok (1B)

Khao Sok National Park is southern Thailand’s largest area of virgin rainforest, a breathtaking wilderness of karst peaks, turquoise lakes, and tropical rainforest stretched along the southwest coast. Explore the park on your own today, choosing between a variety of optional jungle activities. Head out for a hike in search of monkeys and tropical birds inhabiting the dense canopy. Soak in steaming hot springs, glide down the sparkling Sok River aboard a canoe, or set out on a cycling tour of the park’s winding trails.

Day 13 Khao Sok/Krabi (1B)

This morning, drive south to Krabi, situated on Thailand’s tropical southwest coast. Cross the Krabi River by private longtail boat, gliding past mangrove forests and limestone peaks. Venture into the Khao Khanap Nam cave to view prehistoric paintings and fascinating rock formations. Later, head to Ko Klang island and board motorized tricycle tuk-tuks to explore local communities and traditional industries, including a rubber plantation, rice fields, and a batik workshop. Chat with villagers and learn about timeless agricultural and artisanal techniques passed down over generations.

Day 14 Krabi (1B)

Enjoy a full day of free time to relax at the hotel or explore Krabi. Opt to catch a tuk-tuk to Ao Nang beach, overlooked by towering, vine-draped limestone cliffs. Choose to navigate the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea by kayak, or snorkel among colorful tropical fish. Discover the idyllic beaches of the Ko Phi Phi islands by speed boat on an optional day trip.

Day 15 Krabi/Bangkok (1B)

This morning, return to Bangkok where your trip concludes.

Iconic Thailand

From AUD$3,549 Call 1300 363 742Book Online

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