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This 21-day epic takes you from the bustling streets of Bangkok to the hectic jungle of Khao Sok and ends in ultra-modern Singapore. Sleep on a raft, kick back at Krabi and eat your way through Penang and Singapore. If this trip was a dish it would taste like Singapore's chilli crab. Hot enough to keep you on your toes with a whopping great serve of salty ocean on the side.
Day 1: Bangkok
Welcome to Bangkok, Thailand. Once you’ve hit Khao San Road, you’re officially on holiday. There’s a welcome meeting at around 6 pm tonight. If you do arrive early, perhaps take a walk around Chinatown and explore the crowded streets, or head to the magnificent Grand Palace. Once you’ve had your important meeting, it’s definitely time for food. Bangkok is known for its street food, so be sure to check out some roadside stalls for a delicious coconut curry, tom yum goong or pad thai. Later on, get wild in Bangkok’s nightlife and head out – some good places are Bed Supper Club or Vertigo. Ask your guide for directions or grab your new travel mates and attempt to navigate the Skytrain.
Day 2: Ayutthaya - Overnight Train
Good morning! Time for an adventure. Take a train from Bangkok to Ayuthaya in the morning. Ayuthaya was the capital in the Kingdom of Siam, but now the ruins of this old city form the Historical Park: an archaeological site that contains palaces, Buddhist temples, monasteries and statues. Take local tuk tuks on a visit to the Ayuthaya temple site, stopping by Wat Wanan Choeng (adorned with a huge 19 metre Buddha image), Wat Yai Chai Mong Koll (with its 62 metre Victory Pagoda), and the famous Wat Maha That (the Buddhist temple with a striking figure head swallowed by tree roots). You’ll have the chance to buy some of Ayuthaya’s famous Boat Noodles’ soup – trust us, they’re delicious. After your day exploring, hop on an overnight train up to Chiang Mai. You’ll have a few day use rooms to share in Ayuthaya to freshen up before your train ride.
Day 3: Chiang Mai
Arrive in Chiang Mai in the morning and transfer to your hostel. Even though check-in is at 2 pm, you’ll still be able to use the facilities, if you’d like. Chiang Mai is the perfect entrance to the Thai highlands, with misty mountains and colourful hillside villages awaiting you to explore. This will be your base for the next few days, as you’ll return here after your hillside trek. Today, spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing and exploring the city, then at night, why not get a group of you together and visit some of the trending bars in the happening Nimman area? You are on holiday, after all.
Day 4: Chiang Mai - Hilltribe Trek
This morning at around 8 am, leave Chiang Mai in a songthaew (approximately 2 hours). Head to Wachirathan Waterfall, then on the way up to the mountain, visit Hmong Hilltribe Market at Baan Khun Klang. Lunch will be provided at a local restaurant. After lunch, start trekking at Doi Pha Tang, trekking for 2-3 hours along a relatively smooth trail, mostly walking downhill through the natural forest. On the trail, you will pass the Mai Phai waterfall which is a great spot to take a break. After a bit more of a hike, arrive at a Karen hilltribe village called Baan Tin Tok, where you’ll be staying for the night. Around 20 Christian families of Karen people live in this village. Enjoy dinner cooked by your host, then take a walk around the village to chat with the locals, perhaps checking out their art of naturally dyed clothes. You’ll stay in a wooden house, surrounded by an organic vegetable farm, with shared facilities. This is special.
Day 5: Hilltribe Trek - Chiang Mai
The best thing about being deep in the jungle in the morning is to enjoy the natural wake-up sounds of wildlife calls to stir your sleep. After a hearty breakfast (you’ll need it!), get back on board for today’s hike. It’s a pretty easy walk through local agricultural practice and farmland for a couple of hours, before arriving at Mae Ya Waterfalls, the biggest waterfall in Doi Inthanont National Park. Lunch will be provided today as well – yeah! Then, you will also have time to visit Wat Phradhatu Sri Chom Tong Voravihara, which is highly respected because of the sacred Buddha relic that is enshrined here. The Wat Phra That Si Chom Thong was constructed halfway through the 15th century located where the Buddha relic was found. The oldest structure is the chedi, which was built around 1450. The chedi is a large golden structure with a square base and a spire on top of that. Afterwards, continue back to Chiang Mai (approximately 2 hours), arriving around 4 pm and checking into your accommodation. The rest of the day is free to relax and explore the city.
Day 6: Chiang Mai
Today you're free as a bird in charming Chiang Mai. There’s a heap of optional activities to check out today, and you’re free to choose. Maybe take an optional excursion to the temple at the top of Doi Suthep, which offers fantastic views over the city. Perhaps spoil yourself with a traditional Thai massage or try your hand at a local cooking class. It's totally up to you. What is recommended is, at night, get the gang together and check out Chiang Mai’s famed night markets, where you’ll find everything from souvenirs to sweet treats on offer.
Day 7: Chiang Mai - Overnight sleeper train
With another day to explore Chiang Mai, you’re spoilt for options. Included for today is your chance to learn one of the world legend Martial arts, Muay Thai (Thai Boxing) this morning. Spend 2 hours exercising and learning the basics of Muay Thai with the pros, plus how to adapt yourselves to be the weapons and guard. Later in the evening, board an overnight train for Bangkok (approximately 13 hours). Soft sleeper class trains are used for the overnight journey, and they’ve got all you’ll need! The compartments are multi-share with air-conditioning and bunk beds that come with sheets and a pillow. Baggage travels in the carriage with you, and there's a food and drink service available on board.
Day 8: Bangkok
Your train is scheduled to arrive into Bangkok early this morning. Transfer back to the hotel where the trip started. As there are no more activities planned for today, Enjoy a free day in Bangkok. Check out the areas you missed the first time around, and a chance to eat some more delicious Bangkok street food!The composition of your group might change today. Meet your new leader and group at the meeting at approx. 6 pm tonight.
Day 9: Bangkok – Overnight Train
Good morning! Today, explore some of Bangkok's oldest neighbourhoods on a walking tour with your leader. Begin after breakfast and head to Wat Tri Mit temple – the site of the world’s largest solid gold seated Buddha from the Sukhothai era, measuring nearly 5 metres tall and weighing 5.5 tonnes. Here you will learn about the history behind the Buddha, as well as visit the Chinatown Heritage Museum. Along the way, you’ll be able to stop by some food stalls on Sukorn Alley for some snacks. Onto the Odien Circle intersection and the Chinese Temple, and finishing with a walk through the bustling daytime Sampeng wholesales market. You’ll have an included lunch at the famous Labour Egg Noodle (or similar), so tuck into some Fish Ball Noodles or Tom Yam Pork Noodles – they’re to die for. This afternoon is up to you. Perhaps visit the local Talad Noi Market, Chinese Temple and find hidden street art installations. Pass by Wat Pho and perhaps stop in to see who can spot the most images of Buddha (rumour has it there are up to 1000) Tonight, board your overnight train to Surat Thani (approximately 13 hours).
Day 10: Khao Sok National Park
Arrive in Surat Thani early in the morning, then transfer by private mini van (approx. 2 hours) to Khao Sok National Park. It's an amazing environment, so colourful and vivid it almost looks like it's fake! When you reach Ratchaprabha Lake Pier, hop on to a long tail boat for another hour to reach a raft house on Chiew Larn Lake, where lunch will be served. These dense rainforests are humming with exotic animals and plants, and some walking trails lead to awesome waterfalls alongside the huge Cheow Lan Lake. Cruise along it and see the limestone cliffs set against the jungle backdrop. There’s a chance for your group leader to take a hike to a nearby cave or waterfall, as well as an evening safari on the lake, when the animals are most active. In the evening, enjoy a traditional southern Thai dinner, and stay in a simple raft house, which is literally on the lake. Wait till you see the view when you wake up!
Day 11: Ao Nang
This morning, take a longtail boat back to the pier (approximately 1 hour) and then travel to Ao Nang in Krabi province (approximately 2.5 hours) in a private mini van. Home to sweet white-sand beaches and limestone karsts jutting out of cerulean waters, Krabi is a picture-perfect paradise. The main street of this lively beachside town has heaps of bars and restaurants to enjoy. As the sun begins to set, take a quick 15-minute trip out of Ao Nang to a local Thai family’s home. Sit down to the table and share a dinner, along with laughs, and a heart-warming evening experience.
Day 12: Ao Nang
That's the trouble with paradise – there's too many ways to enjoy it. Today is free for you to explore, so that means time to kayak or climb the karst rock formations that surround this place. Your group leader will recommend a trip to Railay Beach, which is definitely a must when visiting Krabi. This bay is only accessible by a short 15-minute long tail boat trip because of the limestone cliffs that surround the bay. It’s an extraordinary sight to see, and a perfect place for a relax and a swim. Otherwise, you might like to take an optional kayaking activity you can head to Ao Thalane and paddle through mangrove forests, coves and narrow karst-walled canyons, keeping an eye out for kingfishers, herons and crab-eating macaque monkeys.
Day 13: Ao Nang
Today is yours. You're free as a bird. An island-hopping day trip is a great way to get a real sense of just how amazing this part of Thailand is. You can take a longtail boat out to stunning islands like Phi Phi, where the swimming is great and the views are even better. Like exotic, far-out film locations. You'll never tire of looking up at those karsts towering above the turquoise waters. The real adventure-types might opt to go scuba diving. Either way you approach it, paradise is paradise.
Day 14: Penang
Today is a long travel day by private vehicle. Sit back, relax and let Thailand disappear in the rear-view mirror. Next stop – Malaysia! Penang is Malaysia's prized island. You may have heard that people from Penang are serious about their food, and it is delicious, but there is so much more to this place, such as a gorgeous coastline and a colonial heritage which thrives amid the skyscrapers over Georgetown. The Georgetown area is a cool (and World Heritage-listed) blend of religious sites of worship. Now, what time is it? Street food time! Head with your leader on a tour of the best local haunts, and pick up some delicious specialties on offer. Obviously, things change from day to day, but you might snag an ice kacang (a dessert made with crushed ice, syrup and a mixture of jellies, nuts and sweet beans), a hearty nasi kandar (steamed rice accompanied by curries, fried chicken, seafood or vegetables) or the popular char kway teow (stir-fried rice noodles)! Afterwards, perhaps head on for an optional bar crawl with your leader and the gang – they’ll take you to their favourite spots.
Day 15: Penang
Today your group leader will take you on a orientation walk through the Georgetown area to check out the shophouses, Penang Museum, street art and clan jetties. Once you've become old friends with this place, the rest of the day is yours. Check out Kek Lok Sii (the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia), Khoo Kongsi (amazingly ornate and one of the oldest clan houses in Malaysia) or Cheong Fat Tze Museum (fascinating if you have an interest in Feng Shui), then go looking for delicious food. This place is famous for its cuisine, as you would’ve worked out from yesterday’s delicious outing, and it’s all thanks to many cultures that have lived side-by-side here for ages.
Day 16: Kuala Lumpur
You will have a free morning before setting off for Malaysia’s capital today. A short taxi ride will take you to the ferry terminal and then you will take the ferry to Butterworth (20 minutes), and then take the train to Kuala Lumpur (approximately 4 hours). The train will have you arrive into Kuala Lumpur in the evening. If you’re still feeling like exploring, head out to a bar with a view and take in the city’s lights over a cocktail. Be sure to try and find one with a view of the mighty Petronas Towers, which come to life under lights at night.
Day 17: Kuala Lumpur
Today, you’ll take the train just like a local out of the city to the famous Batu Caves. Check out the tall Murugan statue and the colourful steps that lead up to the limestone karsts. Be careful of the mischievous monkeys though! If you’re hungry, your leader can show you a place which makes some of the best roti in Kuala Lumpur right near the caves. Later on, make sure you get a map and venture out on some walking adventures. You can hit Bukit Bintang, the Golden Triangle (for shopping), or Menara Tower (entry fee applies). Kuala Lumpur also has some great nightlife, so hit up your group leader for some more bar or club recommendations.
Day 18: Kuala Lumpur
Today is another free day to explore KL. Get up early and grab your tickets to see two of the world's tallest buildings, the Petronas Towers. Be sure to ask your leader how the system works, as probably the best thing to do is book your tickets the day before to make sure you’ll get up the towers. The evening is best spent at the night market sampling the different cuisines on offer and bargain-hunting among the stalls of the famous Petaling Street.
Day 19: Melaka
An intriguing blend of Malay, Indian, Chinese and Portuguese cultures, Melaka has a wealth of interesting architecture, distinctive food and proud cultural heritage. Take a public bus there (approximately 3 hours in total) and enjoy a free afternoon. Once the most important trading port of Malaysia, Melaka attracted Chinese, Indian, Dutch, Portuguese and British traders, and this diversity is reflected in its overall vibe. Check out Harmony Street where these communities have their places of worship, with a church, mosque, and a couple of different temples all on the one street. Peace out!
Day 20: Singapore
A public bus journey (approximately 5 hours) takes you to Singapore. Your leader will take you on a walk to give you an introduction to this ever-evolving city. There will be time to take in the retail hot spots like Orchard Road and the 'booming cross-cultural culinary scene' before enjoying an evening with your fellow travellers. Hit up one of Singapore’s famous hawker centres (Newton, Lau Pa Sat and Tiong Bahru, to name a few) or take the chance to get up top of the mother of all buildings, Marina Bay Sands. Head to the Sky Bar to enjoy sweeping views of the Singaporean port and skyline and perhaps grab a couple of drinks with the gang. The 360-degree views across the city also gives a great bird’s eye view of Gardens By The Bay. While you’re up in the clouds, you might catch its light show!
Day 21: Singapore
With no activities planned for today, you’re free to leave at any time. However, we recommend spending a couple more days in Singapore to check out all the British, Indian and Malaysian influences. Better yet, why not book yourself in an Urban Adventures tour to explore what Singapore has to offer? Find out more at urbanadventures.com/destination/Singapore-tours. If you would like to spend more time in Singapore, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
- Doi Inthanont - 2 dayHilltribe trek
- Chiang Mai - Muay Thai Class (Thai boxing)
- Bangkok - Chinatown walking tour
- Khao Sok - Cheow Lan Lake boat trip
- Ao Nang - Homestay visit with dinner
- Penang - Hawker food experience
- Penang - leader led orientation walk
- Kuala Lumpur - Batu Cave
- Singapore - Leader Led Orientation Walk
6 Breakfast(s) Included
4 Lunch(es) Included
4 Dinner(s) Included
Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?
Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?
The trip was both both educational and exciting. I very much enjoyed the sights and culture.
The itinerary was just as I expected! The guide was very good as were the accomodations
Intrepid did such a great job. I never had to worry about where I was supposed to be and it felt so good not to worry about a thing but just to enjoy myself. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about culture and history.
Taiwan people very friendly. Accommodation were centrally located and easily accessible. Did extra activities then in brochure which was greatly.
Larus our tour guide did an excellent job and was very attentive to our needs. He is very knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor.
Our guide Tarang chandola was exceptional. Courteous, knowledgeable, organized, polite, professional and went above and beyond taking care of our needs and requests offen anticipating what that might be. He made sure we all had the best possible time and offered suggestions to meet the needs of everyone on the tour. This made the trip even more enjoyable.
Fascinating Vietnam, Cambodia & the Mekong River with Hanoi, Ha Long Bay & Bangkok (Northbound) 2021Operator: GlobusStarts
Ho Chi MinhEnds
Fascinating Vietnam, Cambodia & The Mekong River With Hanoi, Ha Long Bay & Bangkok - Southbound 2020Operator: GlobusStarts
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