Arrive at Phuket International Airport for a pick-up at 3:00pm. Transfer to a local school for children affected by the 2004 tsunami.
Hop aboard a long-tail boat for a scenic ride out to STA’s conservation and community tourism project. Work on mangrove and community garden conservation, assist with the early childhood education program (reading, writing, swimming lessons), and support artisan groups. This year STA Travel's goal is to raise $120,000 to support community tourism training in tsunami-affected Thailand! STA Travel with Planeterra and local partners will be building a community tourism-training centre on Koh Phra Thong which will be accessible to communities throughout southern Thailand, providing a way to increase income and sustainable tourism in the area for the future.
Experience life in a local community which has been rebuilt since the tsunami of 2004. Relax on the beach, play football with children, make soap with a women’s cooperative or spend the afternoon fishing with other villagers followed by a bbq on the beach.
Say goodbye to your host family and transfer to Khao Sok. 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 739km2. Thanks to other protected areas (Klong Saers and Khlong Nakha) next to Khao Sok, the actual protected area measures almost 4000 km2. The dominant forest is lowland rainforest and is about 160 million years old, which makes it older than the Amazon! Optional activities include cooking classes, river tubing, kayaking, night safari and an elephant trek.
Transfer to the Phuket Airport for a flight to Chiang Mai Surrounded by rolling hills, Chiang Mai offers both pretty surroundings and old style architecture. Enclosed by a moat and crumbling walls, the old city features great cafes, shops and accommodations. An important Buddhist centre since the 14th century, Chiang Mai is home to more than 300 temples. Many visitors come here to attend meditation retreats, massage classes or yoga lessons. It is also a centre of handicraft production, with a long history of silverwork, woodcarving, pottery-making and weaving. Not to be missed is the Night Bazaar, a series of covered markets, shops and stalls that offer the best selection of handicrafts in Thailand. Enjoy optional visits to Doi Suthep Temple, night markets, cooking school, zip-lining.
Trek through the rolling hills and mountainsides of northern Thailand - home to a vast diversity of ethnic minorities. From Chiang Mai, we start a 3 day hilltribe trek where we visit various hilltribe minority groups, each with their own language, clothing and religion. We will get the opportunity to ride an elephant (approx 2 hours) and test our rafting skills while bamboo rafting.We walk approximately 4-5 hours each day along sloping hills and valleys. We leave our big packs in storage and take an overnight bag. Each person is required to be able to carry their own pack as our porters will be carrying food and water supplies. Accommodation is group share, where you will be sleeping on the floor of the village huts. Toilet and washing facilities are very basic in most of the villages so be prepared to rough it for a few days. During the trek simple food is provided for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It can be cold during the evenings so make sure you have some lightweight warm clothes with you. It is possible to rent trekking gear in Chiang Mai before the trek in case you have forgotten to pack something vital. We return back to Chiang Mai in the late afternoon of Day 11.
Overnight train to Bangkok.
Trip ends on arrival at Bangkok train station.