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Thailand Family Tour – Jungles and Islands

Explore behind the scenes Bangkok; canoe the River Kwai, discover the jungle flora and fauna of Khao Sok National Park and snorkel on coral reefs in the Andaman Sea

Private family tour of Thailand - October to April

Our escorted, 2-week Thailand family tour, ‘Jungles and Islands’, offers spectacular sights, stunning landscapes, a wide range of activities and plenty of great food and friendly people. This exploration of some of the well-known – as well as some of the lesser-visited – highlights of western and southern Thailand makes an ideal tour for all ages and every member of the family

Beginning in Thailand’s fascinating, bustling capital, Bangkok, our tour includes the famous sights and ‘behind the scenes’ as we explore its glittering temples as well as back streets, canal life and local markets.  From here we head west along the route of Kanchanaburi’s historic ‘Death Railway’ to canoe down the famous River Kwai itself and stay overnight on floating raft houses. A night train takes us south to the lush rain-forest of spectacular Khao Sok National Park where our activities include a jungle nature hike, a boat trip amid the spectacular limestone landscapes of Cheow Lan Lake and an afternoon ‘elephant experience’, bathing, feeding and learning about the gentle giants.

A detour via Trang on the picturesque Andaman Sea Coast and 3-night stay on Krabi Province’s unspoilt Koh Jum Island complete our tour and offer a canopy walkway, canoeing through mangroves and sea caves, island-hopping boat trips and snorkelling on coral reefs, as well as just lazing on pristine beaches.

An alternative version of our Thailand family tour, Reefs and Rainforests, is offered during the May to September period to avoid the western monsoons on the Andaman Sea coast.

Note, this is a private family tour, based on a minimum of 4 persons. Departure dates are therefore fully flexible while any activities mentioned in the itinerary can be tailored to suit your particular family’s preferences and age group.

Also, note that additional nights – either in Bangkok prior to the tour – or at the beach afterwards are also available should you wish.

Thailand

Itinerary

Here's an idea of what you can expect to do and see day-to-day.

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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, 

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Day 2 - Bangkok - city tour with a difference

A highly unique, and great fun, tour of the city using various forms of public transport: river taxi, 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 traditional markets and contemporary street art.

Overnight: Bangkok Transport: Train, Taxi, Boat, Walk,  Meals: B, 

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Day 3 - Amphawa - canals and markets

Off into Bangkok’s leafy and canal-lined suburbs with a stop at the iconic 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 perhaps a firefly viewing boat trip.

Overnight: Amphawa Transport: Minibus, Boat,  Meals: B, 

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Day 4 - On to Kanchanaburi and a ride on the 'Death Railway'

Up early perhaps for the monks’ alms ritual 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 and short jungle hike through the lush surrounding jungle before checking into our floating raft accommodation.

Overnight: Sai Yok floating raft house Transport: Minibus, Train,  Meals: B, L, D, 

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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: Minibus, Boat, Walk,  Meals: B, L, D, 

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Day 6 - Kanchanaburi - Angkor 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 town 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’ and War Museum before catching a night sleeper train to the South.

Overnight: Night sleeper train Transport: Minibus, Train, Walk,  Meals: B, L, 

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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. We’ll check into our treehouse accommodation with afternoon options including a Thai cookery lesson, tubing down the nearby Khao Sok River or just kicking back in your chalet and admiring the fabulous tropical flora and fauna.

Overnight: Khao Sok Treehouse Transport: Minibus,  Meals: B, 

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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 Treehouse Transport: Boat, Walk,  Meals: B, 

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Day 9 - Jungle, nature hike and bathing with elephants

A fascinating morning nature hike through the park’s lush rainforest is followed by an afternoon’s ‘elephant experience’ where you’ll have the opportunity to bathe with, feed and learn about these gentle giants.

Overnight: Khao Sok Treehouse Transport: Walk,  Meals: B, 

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Day 10 - South to Trang on the Andaman Coast

South to Trang Province on the picturesque Andaman Coast and afternoon visit to the lush Thung Khai Botanical Gardens for a stroll on their canopy walkway. Return to Trang Town and time to sample some south Thai specialities with a street food tour of the lively night bazaar.

Overnight: Trang Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, D, 

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Day 11 - Chao Mai - sea caves and mangrove swamps

Head to the coast and Ban Chao Mai National Park where we’ll canoe through mangrove swamps and along underground streams to visit the spectacular and mysterious sacred sea caves. Afternoon transfer to neighbouring Krabi Province to catch the boat to unspoilt Koh Jum.

Overnight: Koh Jum Transport: Minibus, Boat, Walk,  Meals: B, 

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Day 12 - Koh Jum - day at leisure on a tropical island

Leisurely day on this picturesque, jungle-clad, island – make the most of the turquoise waters and quiet beaches or sling a hammock between a couple of palm trees. (Hiking in the interior for the energetic or boat trip to the famous Phi Phi Islands?)

Overnight: Koh Jum Transport: Walk,  Meals: B, 

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Day 13 - Koh Jum - day at leisure or Andaman Sea boat trip

Optional boat excursion through the spectacular Chao Mai National Marine Park with opportunities for swimming and snorkelling on the regions vibrant coral reefs.

Overnight: Koh Jum Transport: Minibus, Plane,  Meals: B, 

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Day 14 - Return flight to Bangkok and end of tour

Morning on the island and transfer at your convenience to nearby Krabi Airport for an onward flight to Bangkok.

Extra nights in Bangkok prior to, or after your tour, or additional nights on the island 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 with the exception of the island stay on days 12 to 14.

Print Itinerary

Details

The nitty-gritty, the things you need to know, the answers to your burning questions.

Mae Klong Railway Market

Just a few of the many highlights

No more “...mum I’m bored...”; kayak down the River Kwai; hike through the lush jungle of Khao Sok, take a boat trip amid the stunning karst scenery of Chew Lan Lake and snorkel on vibrant reefs of the Andaman Sea

  • Discover Bangkok - famous sites, temples and markets, plus hidden parts that few visitors ever see
  • Discover the area's rich flora and fauna with a nature hike through the rainforest
  • Travel by local train and foot along the route of Kanchanaburi's 'Death Railway'
  • Explore the amazing limestone scenery and caves of what is one of the Kingdom's most spectacular national parks
  • A kayaking trip on the picturesque, jungle-lined River Kwai
  • Stay in jungle treehouse, floating raft houses on the River Kwai and a beach resort on a tropical island

Air Departures (UK)

Land Departures

Guaranteed Places Left Special Price Solo Traveller Closed

*Air departures are from the UK. Land departures start from

*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

Thanicha view

  • 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

Our Jungle House Khao Sok view

  • Our choice for South Thailand's Khao Sok National Park
  • Tree houses or garden chalets
  • Friendly servcie and spot on location

Koh Jum Resort view

  • Beautiful setting - Andaman Sea in front, jungle behind
  • Pool, beach bar restaurant and traditional massage
  • Hiking, snorkelling, boat trips, kayaking 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.

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.

More details, including a list of all nationalities eligible for the visa waiver, can be found on our blog A Round-Up of Thai Entry and Visa Requirements for Visitors

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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