Thailand Family Holiday | ‘Reefs and Rainforests’
Explore Bangkok' canals and backstreets; kayak the River Kwai; hike through Khao Sok National Park's lush rainforest and finish on an unspoilt island in the Gulf of Thailand
Private family tour of Thailand - May to October
This exciting and varied Thailand family holiday is a ‘summer’ (May to October) version of our popular, off-the-beaten-track, south Thailand family tour Jungles and Islands.
The itinerary takes you from Bangkok, with a behind-the-scenes tour of this hectic yet fascinating city, via the canals and local markets of Amphawa District, to Kanchanaburi and the infamous Death Railway and Bridge on the River Kwai. From here we head south by night sleeper train to explore the spectacular karst scenery and lush rainforest of Khao Sok National Park before making our way back up the Peninsula to Prachuap Khiri Khan Province and unspoilt Thalu Island.
A few of the many highlights include canoeing down the River Kwai and staying overnight on floating raft houses; a boat trip on Cheow Lan Lake, bathing with elephants and an exciting jungle nature hike amid the majestic karst scenery of Khao Sok. We’ll finish with a 3-night stay on the unspoilt island of Koh Thalu where, the choice of activities on offer includes snorkelling on the area’s vibrant coral reefs, kayaking, hiking and sailing or just chilling out in a beach-side hammock in our well-appointed but low-key resort.
A great introduction to south Thailand’s famous, and lesser-known sites plus a wide range of destinations with varied, and flexible activities should guarantee to keep any family member entertained!
This is a private family tour, based on a minimum of 4 persons sharing 2 twin or double rooms, and can be organised on any dates to suit your family while all activities mentioned below can be tailored to suit your specific preferences or family’s age group.
Finally, please note that this Thailand Family Holiday is recommended for the May to October period to complement our aforementioned Jungles and Islands family tour – designed for October to April. Additional nights in Bangkok before your tour or extra nights on the island afterwards are available on request.
Includes: Meals: B x 13, L x 6, D x 7
Here's an idea of what you can expect to do and see day-to-day.
Day 1 - Bangkok - arrival and time to explore the area
Arrival in Bangkok and check in to a downtown heritage hotel in the City’s lively Banglamphu district. Time to relax, explore the area or check out some local markets before a local-style welcome dinner.
Overnight: Bangkok Transport: Walk, Meals: D,
Day 2 - Bangkok - city tour with a difference
City tour with a difference! Bangkok by riverboat, Skytrain, tuk-tuk and canal boat. Flexible stops could include the Grand Palace, fabulous Wat Phra Keow (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) and bustling Chinatown with its maze of narrow alleys, markets, colourful street art and sumptuous street food.
Overnight: Bangkok Transport: Train, Boat, Walk, Tuk Tuk, Meals: B,
Day 3 - Ampawa - canals and markets
Off into Bangkok’s leafy and canal-lined suburbs with a stop at the famous Mae Klong ‘Railway Market’ plus a chance to discover some of the area’s local industries such as sea salt production and parasol fabrication. Check-in to our accommodation in waterside Amphawa with an evening visit to a floating market and a firefly viewing boat trip.
Overnight: Amphawa Transport: Minibus, Boat, Meals: B,
Day 4 - Bangkok to Kanchanaburi - a ride on the 'Death Railway'
Up early perhaps to witness the monks’ morning alms round before a departure for Kanchanaburi Province where we’ll take the local train over the Bridge on the River Kwai and along the infamous, but scenic, ‘Death Railway’. Afternoon visit to Sai Yok Noi Waterfall, a short hike through the lush surrounding jungle and overnight on floating raft houses.
Overnight: Sai Yok floating raft house Transport: Minibus, Train, Meals: B, L, D,
Day 5 - Kanchanaburi - down the River Kwai
Departure for nearby ‘Hellfire Pass’; visit the fascinating museum and hike along the former route of the ‘Death railway’ itself. (So named because of the numbers of local workers and Allied POWs who died during its construction by the Japanese army.) Afternoon expedition down the jungle-lined River Kwai with a choice of kayaks or 2 person canoes for the uninitiated.
Overnight: Sai Yok floating raft house Transport: Boat, Walk, Meals: B, L, D,
Day 6 - Kanchanaburi - Angkor period ruins and a night train south
Complete our Western Thailand loop with a return to Kanchanaburi Town by way of the impressive 12th-century ruins of Muang Singh – a former, fortified, frontier outpost of the Angkor Empire. Time to visit some of the sites of Kanchanaburi Town on foot or bicycle, such as the ‘Bridge on the River Kwai’ before catching a night sleeper train to the South.
Overnight: Night sleeper train Transport: Minibus, Train, Walk, Meals: B, L,
Day 7 - Khao Sok - explore the stunning scenery
Arrival in Surat Thani and on to Khao Sok – acknowledged as one of Thailand’s most spectacular National Parks with its dramatic limestone karst scenery, lakes, waterfalls and lush jungle. Accommodation in treehouses with an afternoon at leisure to kick back on your balcony and soak up the sights and sounds of the jungle, try out an optional Thai cookery lesson or tubing down the Khao Sok River.
Overnight: Khao Sok Transport: Minibus, Boat, Walk, Meals: B,
Day 8 - Khao Sok - boat trip on Cheow Lan Lake
A boat trip through the fabulous scenery and limestone, karst landscapes of Cheow Lan Lake in Khao Sok National Park with stops to visit lake-side caves and of course swim and kayak in the crystal waters.
Overnight: Khao Sok Transport: Boat, Walk, Meals: B,
Day 10 - Chumporn - heading north
Heading north up the coast our stops include the historic town of Chaiya – one of the oldest towns in Thailand – Koh Chumporn National Park for spectacular views over the nearby islands and the fishing village of Sairee for well-earned sunset drinks on the picturesque beach. Overnight in Chumporn with a visit to the lively night market to check out some of the local specialities!
Overnight: Chumporn Transport: Minibus, Walk, Meals: B, D,
Day 11 - Koh Thalu - arrival on the island and afternoon at leisure
Short transfer up the coast to Bang Saphan where we’ll take a speedboat to the scenic and unspoilt Koh Thalu Island for 3 nights’ accommodation in a secluded, beach-side resort.
Overnight: Koh Thalu Transport: Minibus, Boat, Meals: B, L, D,
Day 14 - Koh Thalu to Bangkok - morning at leisure and end of tour
Morning at leisure on the island and return drive to Bangkok at your convenience.
Extra nights in Bangkok after your tour are available on request.
Airport transfers are included if you purchase the 'with flights' package. If you purchased your own flights, airport transfers can be arranged.
This tour is fully accompanied except the island stay on days 12, 13 and 14.
Transport: Minibus, Boat, Meals: B,
The nitty-gritty, the things you need to know, the answers to your burning questions.
Just a few of the many highlights
Discover behind the scenes Bangkok; kayak down the River Kwai, hike through the karst scenery and ancient rainforest of Khao Sok National Park and stay on the unspoilt tropical island of Koh Thalu
- Discover Bangkok - famous sites, temples and markets as well as the hidden parts that few visitors ever see
- Stay on the secluded and unspoilt tropical island of Koh Thalu on Thailand's sheltered Gulf coast
- Stay in jungle treehouse, floating raft houses on the River Kwai and a beach resort on a tropical island
- Trek through the tropical rain-forest and check out the lush flora and fauna of Khao Sok National Park
- Train ride across the Bridge on the River Kwai and a kayaking expedition down the jungle-lined river itself
- Sample the superb Thai food in street stalls, markets, jungle picnics and local restaurants where Thais eat!
Air Departures (UK) *From
Guaranteed Places Left Special Price Solo Traveller Closed
*Air departures are from the UK. Land departures start from Bangkok
*Land departure dates correspond to the FIRST day of the itinerary.
We choose our hotels based on a combination of location, comfort and convenience. Here is a *selection of the types of hotel/rooms you can expect to stay at on this tour...
Nanda Heritage Hotel Bangkok view
- Based around a beautifully restored 1920s teak family villa
- The award winning design combines traditional and modern
- Great central location for restaurants, cafes and shopping
- Award-winning 100 year old wooden heritage hotel
- Delightful location overlooking one of the district's canals
- Low-key, friendly, comfortable and beautifully situated
Khaothone River View Resort view
- Low-key, friendly resort on the banks of the River Kwai
- Floating wooden raft-houses
- Located in Sai Yok district close to the national park
Art’s Riverview Lodge Khao Sok view
- Set in lush tropical surroundings on the edge of Khao Sok NP
- Riverview or garden view rooms; cottages or tree houses
- In-house restaurant, bar, massage and natural swimming pool
Koh Thalu Resort Prachuap Khiri Khan view
- The secluded beach-side Koh Thalu Resort
- Sheltered location makes a great monsoon season choice
- Snorkelling, sailing, kayaking, hiking, fishing and more
*This list should be considered a guide only, hotels/rooms may change (without notice) depending on availability.
Visa Info & Notes
Visas; For most nationalities, a free 30-day visa on arrival is issued at airports and all land borders used on our tours. (At certain land entry points you may be required to show; a photocopy of your main passport page, passport-sized photo and proof of a flight exiting the country.)
When entering or exiting Thailand make sure you get a stamp in your passport and keep your departure card. The standard entry and exit point for this tour is Suvarnabhumi International Airport, (Bangkok).
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Thailand. You may be refused entry if your passport is damaged, in poor condition or does not have at least 2 blank pages remaining.
Meals: Breakfasts are generally hotel buffets with lunch and dinners based on local food. Lunches on the road are typically simpler dishes such as variations on noodles or fried rice while your tour leader will generally order more elaborate-style dinners consisting of a selection of local fare.
Thai cuisine, of course, needs no introduction and while local dishes are frequently spicy your tour leader will take into account your particular chilli tolerance levels! Both vegetarians and vegans are very easily catered for. For any other likes and dislikes please remind your tour leader at the start of the tour. A number of meals are not included, which allows you to ‘do your own thing’ or take a break if you’re feeling ‘riced out’.
Accommodation: All choices fall into the comfortable 3* range and are generally en-suite and air-conditioned with pools. We have posted a selection of sample accommodation on the lefthand hotel tab but please note that as we try and avoid the larger hotels, availability, in high season particularly, means we use several options in each destination.
Activities: Note that no activities are compulsory and that any offered can be tailored for various fitness levels or alternatives suggested.
Further info: more details and photos of our Jungles and Islands tour.
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