Delve Deep: Southern Thailand (Sep – Oct ’24)

10 Days

10 days Bangkok to Phuket with Topdeck.

Overview

TRIP VIBE = iconic sights and in-depth adventures with a local Trip Leader. Looking for a trip that’s not same same, but different? You’ve found it. This is your insider guide to the Land of Smiles. Expect: buzzy Bangkok and paradisal Phuket. Out-of-this-world beaches, fairytale lakes and tangled rainforests. Finger-lickingly good street food. And more tradition, temples and tropical vibes than you can shake a satay skewer at. Let’s GO!

Trip Highlights:

  • Overnight train to Surat Thani
  • Overnight experience in an ecolodge
  • Kayaking on Cheow Lan Lake
  • Visit Nam Talu Cave
  • Overnight experience in a floating raft house
  • Phuket street food tour
  • Hike Phuket’s secret viewpoints

Map

Itinerary

Ready to discover the unknown? Embrace the new and exotic? Delve deep into a richer-than-rich culture? You’re in EXACTLY the right place. First: say sawasdee (sah-wah-dee) to your fellow explorers. Then, we’ll kick things off with our first group dinner. Early disclosure: chawp pet noi (chop–pet-noy) is a phrase some of you will need to remember – meaning you like things ‘a little bit spicy’. Best used when ordering food.
MEALS: Dinner

Take a deep breath. It’s time to try and pronounce Bangkok’s real name: Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit. Piece of cake. Today, Krung Thep is yours for exploring. Practise your foot jabs and switch kicks in a Muay Thai boxing class. Explore the city on two wheels with an optional bike tour. Hop on the bus and see the sights from the top deck. Or just get lost in the city’s maze of luxe temples and serene golden Buddhas. Later: wave goodbye to Bangkok – we’re travelling like a local this evening and jumping aboard the sleeper train. Shotgun top bunk!
INCLUDED TODAY: Overnight train to Surat Thani.
MEALS: Breakfast.
OPTIONAL EXTRAS:
Muay Thai boxing class in Bangkok: from 68 USD.
Half-day bike tour of Bangkok: from 53 USD.
Full-day canal boat and bike tour of Bangkok: from 112 USD.
Hop-on/hop-off bus tour of Bangkok: from 129 USD.

Say lah gorn to the locals and hop off the train: this morning we’re heading to Khao Sok National Park, where jungle really IS massive. After we’ve checked into our rustic ecolodge and soaked up some serious tropical vibes, the afternoon’s yours to delve deeper. Want recs? We got you. Level up those chef skills with a local Thai cooking class (then eat it after). Get your hike on around the stunner of a park to spot the resident wildlife – it’s like being dropped straight into The Jungle Book. Flex those muscles and canoe your way along the river. Or jump on a rubber tube and bob down the tranquil waters. Tonight: listen out for the buzzing of the cicadas and the distant hoo-hoos of the gibbons. This is what you came for.
INCLUDED TODAY: Overnight experience in an ecolodge.
OPTIONAL EXTRAS:
Hike through Khao Sok National Park with local guide: from 56 USD.
Thai cooking class (including a meal): from 53 USD.
River canoeing half-day tour: from 47 USD.
River tubing half-day tour: from 37 USD.

Tums filled with another tropical fruit-laden breakfast, today we’ve got the super-stunning Cheow Lan Lake in our sights. Not to boast, but this lake is big (like, REALLY big), with magical limestone cliffs and beaut islands galore. Time to activate explorer mode and get out there! Dive into the crystal-clear water and make BFFs (or not) with the local fish. Jump in a kayak and weave around the ultra-dramatic rock formations. And channel your inner Indiana Jones to discover Nam Talu Cave and the glittering hidden waterfalls. Lunch and dinner are on us today, so expect more drool-worthy, rainbow-coloured dishes of dreams. And tonight? We’re hunkering down in a traditional raft house bobbing along the twinkling lake. FYI this is a Wi-Fi-free zone – it’s time to switch off and immerse yourself completely.
INCLUDED TODAY: Kayaking on Cheow Lan Lake | Visit Nam Talu Cave | Overnight experience in a floating raft house.
MEALS: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner.

All aboard! This morning we’re hopping on a local long-tail boat to the mainland before making a beeline for the INCREDible island of Koh Phangan. Think: lush rainforest, gleaming white beaches (sunnies essential) and turquoise water so dreamy even the Little Mermaid would want to stay there. AND you’ve got the afternoon to explore it all. Hell. Yes. Need some recommendations? Your in-the-know Trip Leader’s got them by the bucketload. This evening: track down a piping-hot dish of pad thai, grab a satay skewer and end the day on a high. Cocktails at sunset, anyone?
MEALS: Breakfast.

You wanted time to delve deeper, so you’ve got it. Today is totally up to you – but we’ve got the inside scoop, obvs. Keen to leave Full Moon vibes to the moon itself and discover some hidden gems instead? Stick around the north coast, where Hat Khuat and Hat Thian beaches are all about the chill scene. Go chasing waterfalls (and beaches and bars). Or crack into a coconut and relax poolside back at the hotel. Tonight, round up your trip mates and prepare for more satay, spicy soup and shrimp salad. Sparkling convo = guaranteed.
MEALS: Breakfast.

Truth bomb: today is a bit of a drive day. We’ll be making tracks for Phuket via land and sea, so stock up on local snacks, soak up the tropical views, and put the lingo skills of your travel buds to the test. When we arrive, it’s time to hit the ground running with an included street food tour. Expect: alllll the tingling senses. We’ll wander through the maze of buzzing, steaming food stalls to sample mouth-watering chicken kebabs and crispy fried crickets (sorry Jiminy...), before a masterclass in making coconut cake. Mmm. Then: did someone say mango sticky rice? Get in our belly. To round things off, head up Khao Rang viewpoint and check out this dazzling city by night. You won’t regret it.
INCLUDED TODAY: Phuket street food tour.
MEALS: Breakfast | Dinner.

Day 8 :
Phuket

Eye-popping architecture. Lip-smacking eats. And a fascinating fusion of cultures and traditions. This immense island sure packs a punch – and today it’s 100% yours to delve deeper. Opt for a day trip speedboating around the Phi Phi Islands for more emerald waters, crazy-gorgeous beaches and mind-blowing scenery. Ready for round two of Muay Thai? There’s a chance to brush up your skills if you’re keen. Or get your sweat on at an optional hot yoga class. Tonight: gather the fam and find a local haunt for some seriously fiery green curry, or panang if you actually *don’t* want to spice up your life.
MEALS: Breakfast.
OPTIONAL EXTRAS:
Full-day boat tour of the Phi Phi Islands (including lunch): from 108 USD.
Muay Thai boxing class in Phuket: from 81 USD.
Hot yoga class in Phuket: from 76 USD.

Day 9 :
Phuket

Bad news = it’s our last day in paradise. Good news = we’ve got some incred optionals lined up, so you’re sure as hell going to make the most of it! Soak up some heritage with a walking tour of the bustling city. This is a world where past collides with present. Spoiler: your jaw’s gonna DROP. Or spend an unforgettable morning at an ethical sanctuary for rescued elephants to see these majestic creatures roam the jungle and wide-open fields. You’ll feed them snacks (don’t be stingy – these guys never forget), and watch them bathe, play and generally live their best elephant lives. It’s all the feels. And later? Strap on those hiking boots one last time – we’re off to discover two of Phuket’s stunning secret viewpoints. Local knowledge = levelled up. Not ready for the fun to end? Opt to show off some skills at an evening cocktail workshop and become THE boujee cocktail connoisseur of the group. Tonight, settle in for our final group dinner. WHAT an adventure it’s been.
INCLUDED TODAY: Hike Phuket’s secret viewpoints.
MEALS: Breakfast | Dinner.
OPTIONAL EXTRAS
Visit an elephant sanctuary (including lunch): from 136 USD.
Essence Sino Heritage half-day walking tour: from 93 USD.
Evening cocktail workshop: from 140 USD.

Day 10 :
Phuket

Ten days of UN-believable local experiences, gobsmacking views and ultimate eats? Completed. But now it’s time to say goodbye. Sob. What’s that? You’re gonna jump on the next flight to Bali and join our Delve Deep trip there? We LOVE your style.
MEALS: Breakfast.

Departures & Prices

•  Travel dates: selected departures in September to October 2024
•  Prices from: R33,139 pps

Includes / Excludes

Inclusions

  • 6 nights in hotel-style accommodation (twin or double)
  • 1 night in an ecolodge
  • 1 night in a floating raft house
  • 1 night on an overnight train
  • MEALS: 8 Breakfasts, 1 lunch, 4 dinners
  • TRANSPORT: Private vehicle, boat transfers and overnight train
  • EXPERIENCES: Listed above in Overview

Exclusions

  • International flights and taxes
  • Visas (if required)
  • Travel Insurance
  • Meals and drinks not specified
  • Anything of a personal nature

Terms & Conditions

  • Prices are per person, capacity controlled, subject to availability and further subject to rate of exchange fluctuations at time of booking.
  • For standard booking terms and conditions go to:
    topdeck.travel/terms-and-conditions
  • Valid for sale until 30 June 2024.
From R33,139
/ Person
  • Currency
  • Pricing

Summary

  • Selected departures: September - October 2024
  • 9 nights
  • Thailand
  • Topdeck (TSTBP3)