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Thailand in a Nutshell - 13 days

Travel the length and breadth of one of the world’s most popular destinations. Discover the rich tapestry of life that makes Thailand so unique and so fascinating. Soak up the energy and contrasts of the bustling capital, Bangkok. Travel north to Chiang Mai to experience the history and traditions of a region dubbed the land of a million rice fields. Savor the pristine beaches and stunning marine life of Thailand’s southern islands; Koh Samui and Koh Tao.  Enchanting temples, vibrant markets, delicious cuisine, exotic culture and paradise landscapes, ‘the land of smiles’ has it all.

Day 1:    Bangkok
 
 

Welcome to Thailand.

Meet our guide and driver for your transfer upon arrival to your hotel.

Your budget accommodation is located in non touristy Thewet (in spitting distance of Thewet pier, perfect for catching the river express boat!), but not far from Banglumpoo (Khao San Road! Grand Palace!!) either. 

Day 2:    Bangkok – walking tour
 
 

Visitors often see Bangkok as an enormous modern metropolis, full of expressways, massive department stores and skyscrapers, but there is an other (more hidden) side which clearly shows the origins of a people who still believe in traditions from years gone by.

This morning you will be picked up by your guide at 07.00 AM to go on a special walking tour to explore hidden Bangkok.

From the Giant Swing via the prison park we wander through small alleys, encounter wooden houses, guardian spirit signs, fresh markets and more.

At the city pillar and amulet market you will learn more about ancient superstitions…

The tour ends with a local lunch at one of the riverside restaurants.

Rest of the day is free to explore more of Bangkok by yourself.

Day 3:    Bangkok – Chiang Mai
 
 

Free morning until check out, but you can store your luggage at the reception.

In the late afternoon go to Hualamphong Railway Station and board the sleeper train to Chiang Mai.

Day 4:    Chiang Mai
 
 

Upon arrival continue on own to your hotel opposite the railway station.

The remainder of the day is free to relax.

Chiang Mai, Thailand's second-largest city and the gateway to the country's north, was founded in 1296.

You can still see the moat that encircled the original city, and there are 300 wats, including Wat Chiang Man (home of the 1800-year-old 10-cm-high Crystal Buddha), Wat Phra Singh (built in the classic northern-Thai style) and Wat Chedi Luang (partially ruined by earthquake, cannon fire and recent restoration efforts).

15km west of the city, Wat Doi Suthep, 1,156m above sea level on Suthep Mountain, overlooks the city from its forested backdrop. It is one of Chiang Mai’s most important landmarks. It dates from 1383 and has holy Buddha relics in its golden pagoda. To reach it one can chose the hard way and climb a steep Naga staircase comprising of around 300 steps or the less energetic may ascend by funicular cars. From here one can have fine views of the city.

The Old Chiang Mai Cultural Centre was set up over 25 years ago to preserve and promote the history and culture of the ancient northern kingdom of Lan Na, its royal tradition of dances and music, its unique food and the folk art of the people of the valleys and of the hilltribes.

Compared to Bangkok, Chiang Mai's evenings are cool and conducive to browsing around the central Night Bazaar. To get value for money, bargain patiently, but keep things in perspective.

Day 5:    Chiang Mai - Lost cities of Lanna
 
 

Your guide will meet you at your hotel at 08.00. We drive to the ruins Wiang Kum Kam, just outside Chiang Mai. Here you get on a horse cart and visit the most interesting structures of this ‘underground’ city. Wiang Kum Kam was founded in 1248 by King Mengrai, the ruler of Chiang Rai. The location chosen, next to the Ping River was not a good one. The city was prone to flooding and was abandoned about 300 years ago. In the mid eighties the ruins of the city were rediscovered and The Fine Arts Department has started cleaning and restoring the ruins. From Wiang Kum Kam we drive to Lamphun by avoiding the busy roads and take a beautiful and very scenic route along the Ping River, the river that wreaked havoc on Wiang Kum Kam.

In Lamphun we drive along the old city walls, visit Wat Haripunchai, and have lunch at one of our favorite ‘khao soi’ restaurants, a short walk from the temple. We continue to Wiang Takan, another lost city of Lanna.  At Wiang Takan we are usually the only visitors at this wonderful place. We follow the old moat of the city.

Drive back to Chiang Mai. If time allows we can stop at Ban Tawai on the way back.

Day 6:    Chiang Mai – Bangkok – Surat Thani
 
 

Free morning until check out.

In the early afternoon go to Chiang Mai Airport on own and board the flight to Bangkok.

Upon arrival continue on own to Hualamphong Railway Station where you will board a comfortable night train to the South, usually the 167, 18.30 PM – 06.23 AM.

Day 7:    Surat Thani – Koh Samui
 
 

Upon arrival at Surat Railway Station you continue by bus and ferry to Koh Samui. Once there continue on own to Bophut Beach area.

Koh Samui - "the island of the coconut tree" is Thailand's 3rd largest. A backpacker's secret for years, this sun lover's paradise, with its coconut plantations, rolling hills, curved sandy beaches and offshore islands, has gradually developed into a holiday destination with a distinctly local island flavour.

Samui is a place to relax, meet people, sunbathe and party. Nightlife is good with open-air discos, music bars and good restaurants. The island retains its laid back feel, with friendly and welcoming locals, good food and offbeat local attractions which haven't become over commercialized.

Day 8:    Koh Samui
 
 

Free day to explore more of the island or relax on the beach.

 

Day 9:    Koh Samui
 
 

Bophut is really two places: Bophut beach, which sweeps down several kilometres between Big Buddha and Maenam beaches and perhaps one of the oldest places on the island, the charming Fisherman's Village, which takes up the middle section of the beach. Fisherman's Village consists of old wooden Chinese shop-houses, interspaced with a few modern buildings among the shops are several boutiques, selling high quality clothing and jewellery. There are also some dive shops in the area, offering scuba lessons or day dives.

Free day

Day 10:    Koh Samui – Koh Tao
 
 

Today you take some local transport to the Lomprayah pier and continue by ferry to Koh Tao, the turtle island!

Upon arrival you continue on own to your hotel.

Day 11:    Koh Tao
 
 

Free day to relax on the beach or explore Koh Tao on own.

Once the haunt of sea-turtles, the small island of Koh Tao with its quiet beaches has become a favourite destination both of paradise seekers and divers who come for the best coral diving in the area.

"Discovered" by travellers in the 80's Koh Tao (literally translates as "Turtle Island.") has been gradually gaining popularity. In recent years word of Koh Tao's natural beauty, beaches, coral and marine life has spread with more and more visitors arriving each year. Bigger, faster and safer boats have allowed easier access to the island resulting in new resorts with 24 hour air-conditioning adding to the basic bungalows of the past. Koh Tao though, still remains a beautiful unspoilt place. Since the main attraction is diving - the beaches remain tranquil and uncrowded while facilities, food and accommodation have greatly improved. It's a great place to relax.

Day 12:    Koh Tao – Chumpon – Bangkok
 
 

This morning, you have to transfer on own to pier.

Board the Lomprayah ferry from Koh Tao back to the mainland, Chumporn, it departs at 10.15 a.m.

Upon arrival continue by bus from Chumporn back to Bangkok which will arrive around 20.30 p.m. at Khao San Road, Banglumpoo.  Confirmation of tickets not necessary."

Day 13:    Bangkok
 
 

Free morning until check out, usually before noon.

End of services

Tour includes: 

  • All accommodation as mentioned in the program
  • All land transportation and airport transfers by air-conditioned car with local driver
  • Local driver during land transportation and transfers (local language speaking only)
  • English speaking station guide incl his salary & expenses 
  • All services as mentioned in the program
  • All excursions and activities as mentioned including entrance fees 

 Tour does not include: 

  •  Visa (fees) to enter the country (check if applicable to you) 
  • Flights and taxes
  • Airport departure taxes per person 
  • Travel insurances
  • Personal expenses like drinks, tipping, souvenirs etc. 
  • Optional excursions and activities and their entrance fees
  • Other expenses not mentioned in the program

Thailand in a Nutshell

HOW WE WORK

Welcome to the start of creating your unique, personalised travel experience. Here are the typical steps involved in planning your trip with 12GO:

  • Once you have browsed our website and have some ideas about the kind of trip you want, our specialist travel consultants will help you to create the perfect itinerary to suit your needs. Your personal travel expert will help you with every detail of your trip - always ensuring at each step that your journey will be truly memorable.
  • Contact us by email and tell us which of our tours are of interest. Or let us know your ideas and preferences. Also please let us know when you want to travel, the numbers travelling and any other information you feel we might need in order to design an itinerary that matches your vision. 
  • We will call you by phone within 24 hours of receiving your email. Your personal travel consultant will answer your questions, clarify your ideas, desires and expectations.
  • Using this information your personal travel consultant will suggest a personalised, tailor-made itinerary for you - complete with recommended accommodation and activities, prices and information about the area. Once you have read your itinerary, your consultant will answer your questions and revise it until you are satisfied.
  • Once you confirm the itinerary we will ask you to pay your deposit so we can complete and confirm all bookings.
  • Your personal travel consultant will maintain ongoing contact with you and is here to answer your questions and concerns - he/she will continue to check that all arrangements are in place.
  • About two weeks before your departure you will receive your personal detailed day-to-day itinerary of your upcoming trip, as well as additional information such as cultural etiquette and other recommendations that will help you to maximise your experience.

During your trip your personal travel consultant will continue to be available to ensure that your travel experience is running smoothly and to your expectations.

“Unfortunately our dream holiday is over. It was fantastic! We haven’t felt ‘lost’ for a moment and everything was tip top arranged for. Thank you for our ‘trip without worries’. Yes, ahead of our first long-distance trip we’ve been worried; wouldn’t we lose our way, will someone take care of us? Thank you for helping realize this fantastic dream holiday! A very good experience to discover parts of Thailand especially River Kwai and its main attraction. What an incredible experience [Phuket Town Discovery Walk]! I tried the fortune stick throwing thing for the first time. You can see the passion our guide had for what he is doing. Experience the rich and diverse history and culture of Phuket. Along the way we grabbed some snacks, purchased some souvenirs and took plenty of photos. The tour was taken at a comfortable pace with a clear direction. By the end we were amazed at how much we learned about the island of Phuket and the history of Phuket Town. Excellent, helpful people, punctuality pick up time, Great experience of bicycle ride to add on extra dimension at our trip for Thailand countryside. The Bangkok Biking was very interesting and well organized as well as the one in Khao Sok. We enjoyed every single day so much!!! And we like to come back again.”

Yui - 12Gothailand I am Yui Boonruang, responsible for making custom itineraries fitting your requests and budget. One of my favorite destinations in Thailand is Koh Phangan because of the clean white sand and clear ocean water of the beach at Haad Rin. I love Tom Yam Goong, the most famous Thai spicy soup. I recommend ordering this soup at the Tom Yum Kung Restaurant on Khao San Road. It’s on a small soi (side street) and so it is not so busy with the tourist crowd there. I would love to Welcome you to Thailand!

Contact >>

Thailand in a Nutshell - 13 days

Travel the length and breadth of one of the world’s most popular destinations. Discover the rich tapestry of life that makes Thailand so unique and so fascinating. Soak up the energy and contrasts of the bustling capital, Bangkok. Travel north to Chiang Mai to experience the history and traditions of a region dubbed the land of a million rice fields. Savor the pristine beaches and stunning marine life of Thailand’s southern islands; Koh Samui and Koh Tao.  Enchanting temples, vibrant markets, delicious cuisine, exotic culture and paradise landscapes, ‘the land of smiles’ has it all.

Day 1:    Bangkok
 
 

Welcome to Thailand.

Meet our guide and driver for your transfer upon arrival to your hotel.

Your budget accommodation is located in non touristy Thewet (in spitting distance of Thewet pier, perfect for catching the river express boat!), but not far from Banglumpoo (Khao San Road! Grand Palace!!) either. 

Day 2:    Bangkok – walking tour
 
 

Visitors often see Bangkok as an enormous modern metropolis, full of expressways, massive department stores and skyscrapers, but there is an other (more hidden) side which clearly shows the origins of a people who still believe in traditions from years gone by.

This morning you will be picked up by your guide at 07.00 AM to go on a special walking tour to explore hidden Bangkok.

From the Giant Swing via the prison park we wander through small alleys, encounter wooden houses, guardian spirit signs, fresh markets and more.

At the city pillar and amulet market you will learn more about ancient superstitions…

The tour ends with a local lunch at one of the riverside restaurants.

Rest of the day is free to explore more of Bangkok by yourself.

Day 3:    Bangkok – Chiang Mai
 
 

Free morning until check out, but you can store your luggage at the reception.

In the late afternoon go to Hualamphong Railway Station and board the sleeper train to Chiang Mai.

Day 4:    Chiang Mai
 
 

Upon arrival continue on own to your hotel opposite the railway station.

The remainder of the day is free to relax.

Chiang Mai, Thailand's second-largest city and the gateway to the country's north, was founded in 1296.

You can still see the moat that encircled the original city, and there are 300 wats, including Wat Chiang Man (home of the 1800-year-old 10-cm-high Crystal Buddha), Wat Phra Singh (built in the classic northern-Thai style) and Wat Chedi Luang (partially ruined by earthquake, cannon fire and recent restoration efforts).

15km west of the city, Wat Doi Suthep, 1,156m above sea level on Suthep Mountain, overlooks the city from its forested backdrop. It is one of Chiang Mai’s most important landmarks. It dates from 1383 and has holy Buddha relics in its golden pagoda. To reach it one can chose the hard way and climb a steep Naga staircase comprising of around 300 steps or the less energetic may ascend by funicular cars. From here one can have fine views of the city.

The Old Chiang Mai Cultural Centre was set up over 25 years ago to preserve and promote the history and culture of the ancient northern kingdom of Lan Na, its royal tradition of dances and music, its unique food and the folk art of the people of the valleys and of the hilltribes.

Compared to Bangkok, Chiang Mai's evenings are cool and conducive to browsing around the central Night Bazaar. To get value for money, bargain patiently, but keep things in perspective.

Day 5:    Chiang Mai - Lost cities of Lanna
 
 

Your guide will meet you at your hotel at 08.00. We drive to the ruins Wiang Kum Kam, just outside Chiang Mai. Here you get on a horse cart and visit the most interesting structures of this ‘underground’ city. Wiang Kum Kam was founded in 1248 by King Mengrai, the ruler of Chiang Rai. The location chosen, next to the Ping River was not a good one. The city was prone to flooding and was abandoned about 300 years ago. In the mid eighties the ruins of the city were rediscovered and The Fine Arts Department has started cleaning and restoring the ruins. From Wiang Kum Kam we drive to Lamphun by avoiding the busy roads and take a beautiful and very scenic route along the Ping River, the river that wreaked havoc on Wiang Kum Kam.

In Lamphun we drive along the old city walls, visit Wat Haripunchai, and have lunch at one of our favorite ‘khao soi’ restaurants, a short walk from the temple. We continue to Wiang Takan, another lost city of Lanna.  At Wiang Takan we are usually the only visitors at this wonderful place. We follow the old moat of the city.

Drive back to Chiang Mai. If time allows we can stop at Ban Tawai on the way back.

Day 6:    Chiang Mai – Bangkok – Surat Thani
 
 

Free morning until check out.

In the early afternoon go to Chiang Mai Airport on own and board the flight to Bangkok.

Upon arrival continue on own to Hualamphong Railway Station where you will board a comfortable night train to the South, usually the 167, 18.30 PM – 06.23 AM.

Day 7:    Surat Thani – Koh Samui
 
 

Upon arrival at Surat Railway Station you continue by bus and ferry to Koh Samui. Once there continue on own to Bophut Beach area.

Koh Samui - "the island of the coconut tree" is Thailand's 3rd largest. A backpacker's secret for years, this sun lover's paradise, with its coconut plantations, rolling hills, curved sandy beaches and offshore islands, has gradually developed into a holiday destination with a distinctly local island flavour.

Samui is a place to relax, meet people, sunbathe and party. Nightlife is good with open-air discos, music bars and good restaurants. The island retains its laid back feel, with friendly and welcoming locals, good food and offbeat local attractions which haven't become over commercialized.

Day 8:    Koh Samui
 
 

Free day to explore more of the island or relax on the beach.

 

Day 9:    Koh Samui
 
 

Bophut is really two places: Bophut beach, which sweeps down several kilometres between Big Buddha and Maenam beaches and perhaps one of the oldest places on the island, the charming Fisherman's Village, which takes up the middle section of the beach. Fisherman's Village consists of old wooden Chinese shop-houses, interspaced with a few modern buildings among the shops are several boutiques, selling high quality clothing and jewellery. There are also some dive shops in the area, offering scuba lessons or day dives.

Free day

Day 10:    Koh Samui – Koh Tao
 
 

Today you take some local transport to the Lomprayah pier and continue by ferry to Koh Tao, the turtle island!

Upon arrival you continue on own to your hotel.

Day 11:    Koh Tao
 
 

Free day to relax on the beach or explore Koh Tao on own.

Once the haunt of sea-turtles, the small island of Koh Tao with its quiet beaches has become a favourite destination both of paradise seekers and divers who come for the best coral diving in the area.

"Discovered" by travellers in the 80's Koh Tao (literally translates as "Turtle Island.") has been gradually gaining popularity. In recent years word of Koh Tao's natural beauty, beaches, coral and marine life has spread with more and more visitors arriving each year. Bigger, faster and safer boats have allowed easier access to the island resulting in new resorts with 24 hour air-conditioning adding to the basic bungalows of the past. Koh Tao though, still remains a beautiful unspoilt place. Since the main attraction is diving - the beaches remain tranquil and uncrowded while facilities, food and accommodation have greatly improved. It's a great place to relax.

Day 12:    Koh Tao – Chumpon – Bangkok
 
 

This morning, you have to transfer on own to pier.

Board the Lomprayah ferry from Koh Tao back to the mainland, Chumporn, it departs at 10.15 a.m.

Upon arrival continue by bus from Chumporn back to Bangkok which will arrive around 20.30 p.m. at Khao San Road, Banglumpoo.  Confirmation of tickets not necessary."

Day 13:    Bangkok
 
 

Free morning until check out, usually before noon.

End of services

Tour includes: 

  • All accommodation as mentioned in the program
  • All land transportation and airport transfers by air-conditioned car with local driver
  • Local driver during land transportation and transfers (local language speaking only)
  • English speaking station guide incl his salary & expenses 
  • All services as mentioned in the program
  • All excursions and activities as mentioned including entrance fees 

 Tour does not include: 

  •  Visa (fees) to enter the country (check if applicable to you) 
  • Flights and taxes
  • Airport departure taxes per person 
  • Travel insurances
  • Personal expenses like drinks, tipping, souvenirs etc. 
  • Optional excursions and activities and their entrance fees
  • Other expenses not mentioned in the program

HOW WE WORK

Welcome to the start of creating your unique, personalised travel experience. Here are the typical steps involved in planning your trip with 12GO:

  • Once you have browsed our website and have some ideas about the kind of trip you want, our specialist travel consultants will help you to create the perfect itinerary to suit your needs. Your personal travel expert will help you with every detail of your trip - always ensuring at each step that your journey will be truly memorable.
  • Contact us by email and tell us which of our tours are of interest. Or let us know your ideas and preferences. Also please let us know when you want to travel, the numbers travelling and any other information you feel we might need in order to design an itinerary that matches your vision. 
  • We will call you by phone within 24 hours of receiving your email. Your personal travel consultant will answer your questions, clarify your ideas, desires and expectations.
  • Using this information your personal travel consultant will suggest a personalised, tailor-made itinerary for you - complete with recommended accommodation and activities, prices and information about the area. Once you have read your itinerary, your consultant will answer your questions and revise it until you are satisfied.
  • Once you confirm the itinerary we will ask you to pay your deposit so we can complete and confirm all bookings.
  • Your personal travel consultant will maintain ongoing contact with you and is here to answer your questions and concerns - he/she will continue to check that all arrangements are in place.
  • About two weeks before your departure you will receive your personal detailed day-to-day itinerary of your upcoming trip, as well as additional information such as cultural etiquette and other recommendations that will help you to maximise your experience.

During your trip your personal travel consultant will continue to be available to ensure that your travel experience is running smoothly and to your expectations.

“Unfortunately our dream holiday is over. It was fantastic! We haven’t felt ‘lost’ for a moment and everything was tip top arranged for. Thank you for our ‘trip without worries’. Yes, ahead of our first long-distance trip we’ve been worried; wouldn’t we lose our way, will someone take care of us? Thank you for helping realize this fantastic dream holiday! A very good experience to discover parts of Thailand especially River Kwai and its main attraction. What an incredible experience [Phuket Town Discovery Walk]! I tried the fortune stick throwing thing for the first time. You can see the passion our guide had for what he is doing. Experience the rich and diverse history and culture of Phuket. Along the way we grabbed some snacks, purchased some souvenirs and took plenty of photos. The tour was taken at a comfortable pace with a clear direction. By the end we were amazed at how much we learned about the island of Phuket and the history of Phuket Town. Excellent, helpful people, punctuality pick up time, Great experience of bicycle ride to add on extra dimension at our trip for Thailand countryside. The Bangkok Biking was very interesting and well organized as well as the one in Khao Sok. We enjoyed every single day so much!!! And we like to come back again.”

Yui - 12Gothailand I am Yui Boonruang, responsible for making custom itineraries fitting your requests and budget. One of my favorite destinations in Thailand is Koh Phangan because of the clean white sand and clear ocean water of the beach at Haad Rin. I love Tom Yam Goong, the most famous Thai spicy soup. I recommend ordering this soup at the Tom Yum Kung Restaurant on Khao San Road. It’s on a small soi (side street) and so it is not so busy with the tourist crowd there. I would love to Welcome you to Thailand!

Contact >>
Bangkok Giant Swing

Highlights

Rainy season in the South (Koh Samui & Koh Tao) is roughly from September to mid-December. The hottest months are March to May and during July and August both islands may be crowded due to large number of European tourists (summer holidays).

However keep in mind that weather patterns are changing slowly!

Best time to go:

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
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