Southern Thailand Sojourn
Day 1 Bangkok
Today is arrival day so there are no activities planned. You are free to relax, explore the city & adjust to the frantic pace and humid heat of Bangkok. Please arrive at our start point hotel before 6pm for an important group meeting where you will meet you Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and the other group members. Please look for a sign on the hotel's notice board for the time and location of your group meeting. At this meeting your CEO will ask to sight your travel insurance. After your meeting, you may choose to head out for an optional dinner to further get to know your CEO and fellow group members. We spend this evening in Bangkok. Our hotel is located in China Town, next to the central train station and MRT (Subway), and is only a short USD2 taxi ride from Khao San road and the central shopping area of Siam Square, MBK, Siam Paragon, etc. All rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. The hotel has a small pool and wifi is available at extra cost.
Day 2 Bangkok (1B)
On Day 2 you have the chance for an optional visit to Wat Po, home of the giant reclining Buddha or your CEO can arrange a long-tail boat to explore the canals of Bangkok. You have free time after until we head off to the railway station in the late afternoon to board our sleeper train to Surat Thani, gate way to the South. Enjoy one of two street food crawls with the group and CEO while in Bangkok. Bring your appetites and your wallets, and the CEO will bring you to the best spots and teach you a bit about the local street food. Tonight's accommodation is an overnight sleeper train. Beds are dormitory style, with bunks on two layers along the side of the train carriage. There are curtains along each bunk for privacy. Your luggage will be accessible during the journey. The train has air-conditioning and clean bedding is provided for each bunk. There are both western style and asian style toilets at the end of each carriage. Food and drinks are served on the train but you can always bring your own food from the shops and restaurants in the train station. Approx travel time: Train Bangkok to Surat Thani: 12-13 hours
Day 3 Khao Sok National Park
Arriving in the early morning, we take a public bus to the Khao Sok National Park and settle into our simple, yet comfortable, fan cooled bungalow style rooms for an afternoon of exploration and discovery. Entrance to the national park is not included. Khao Sok is a diverse area of natural beauty, a perfect place for people who want to hike and get out there in nature or those that just want to chill out in a hammock by the riverside watching monkeys take their afternoon bath. Khao Sok National Park covers an area of 739 sq.km. Thanks to other protected areas (Klong Saers and Khlong Nakha) next to Khao Sok, the actual protected area measures almost 4000 sq.km. The dominant forest is lowland rainforest and is about 160 million years old, which makes it older than the Amazon! Our hotel in Khao Sok is about 100 meters from the entrance to the National Park. All rooms are double or twin share with en suite bathroom. Free wifi is available. Approx travel time: Public bus to Khao Sok: 3 1/2 hours
Day 4-5 Koh Samui (2B)
Lying off of Thailand’s east coast in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Samui offers everything you could possibly want in a beach retreat: white sandy beaches, coconut palms, fresh seafood and warm, clear waters. With an area of 247 square kilometers, Koh Samui is the largest island in an archipelago of around 80 islands. Like Phuket, Koh Samui attracts many visitors but still has plenty of out-of-the-way spots for those wishing to get away from it all. Taking a public bus and ferry from Surat Thani, arrive at Koh Samui during the afternoon. The island is well known for it’s magnificent beaches and party nightlife. Take a tour of the island and it’s main sights or simply relax and enjoy the beautiful beaches. Our hotel in Koh Samui is located in South Samui. All the rooms are comfortable twin or double share rooms with en suite bathrooms. There is a pool at the hotel and free wifi is available. Approx travel time: Public bus Khao Sok National Park to Surat Thani: 3 1/2 hours Public bus Surat Thani to Don Sak pier: 1 hour Ferry to Koh Samui: 2 hours Private transfer to hotel: 30 min Note: During seasonal monsoon rains from Nov-Jan we sometimes have to alter our itinerary as ferries between the islands do not operate during heavy rain and strong waves.
Day 6-8 Koh Tao (3B)
Koh Tao, in English, is known as ‘turtle island’, some say because of its shape, others say because the waters in the area were rich with sea turtles, whereas now they have moved onto other breeding grounds. Initially the island was not inhabited and there was only the occasional fisherman from the neighboring islands looking for shelter in a storm or just taking a break before continuing their journey. In 1980s the first travelers discovered the island paradise and word spread and made it widely known and a popular backpacker destination. As a consequence, bigger, faster and safer boats were used to allow easier access to Koh Tao. During the past 10 years the reputation of Koh Tao's natural beauty, especially its marine life and coral reefs, has spread the world over and the number of paradise seekers and divers increased rapidly. It soon became one of the major dive sites in Thailand, attracting beginners and professionals alike. The island today, though still remaining a unique paradise caters for all tastes and budgets. On the afternoon of Day 8, return to the mainland to board a train back to Bangkok. Our resort is located on the beach with comfortable twin and double rooms with en suite bathrooms. There is a pool close to the beach and there is free wifi available in the lobby. Approx travel time: Day 6 Hotel to the pier: 30 min Ferry from Koh Samu to Koh Tao: 2 hours Pier on Koh Tao to hotel: 20 min Day 8 Hotel to pier: 20 min Ferry Koh Tao to mainland: 1 1/2 hours Transfer to train station: 30 min Train to Bangkok: 9-10 hours
Day 9 Bangkok
Arrive in the early morning at the train station and bid farewell to everyone. If you are departing Bangkok today please do not book any onward travel until after 3pm. We look forward to receiving your evaluation regarding this tour itinerary and your CEO's performance. We value your input into what we could improve to make this trip even better and of course love hearing about what we are already doing well! You will be sent a post tour email on your return with details on how to go on line and fill in this simple form. Thank you so much in advance.