Duration: 9 days
Operator: Intrepid Travel
Cost: US$892-$1350 depending on departure date
This Thailand East Coast Beaches tour takes you down the east coast of Thailand from Bangkok to the party island of Ko Phangan, to the sensuous remote beaches of Ko Tao and finally to the dreamy serenity and comfort of fabulous Ko Samui.
You get to spend your first two days in chaotic, bustling Bangkok checking out famous sights like the Grand Palace and Wat Arun, check out the amazing nightlife, do a little shopping and get over your jet lag. You spend one night in a Bangkok hotel before jumping on the south-bound train to Surat Thani for your ferry ride to Ko Phangan island. The train runs overnight and you’ll share a sleeper compartment with some fellow travellers.
The ferry from Surat Thani to Ko Phangan takes about two hours but the scenery and generally mirror-smooth seas make it seem a lot quicker. Once on Ko Phangan you get to chill out for a couple of days, staying two nights in a local guest house and ranging out to visit traditional fishing villages, explore historical local temples and take a refreshing swim on pristine beaches and under a beautiful, picturesque waterfall.
From there it’s a short ferry ride to amazing Ko Tao island where you’ll be dazzled by some of the best white sand beaches in Thailand. You’ll stay two nights in traditional bungalow accommodation and spend your days chilling out under swaying palm trees or snorkelling in the crystal clear waters and stunning coral reefs.
Finally it’s just another short ferry ride across to Ko Samui, one of my favourite places in Southern Thailand, where you’ll spend your last two nights in comfortable resort accommodation. There’s heaps to do on Ko Samui and you’ll get to do most of it including visiting the huge marine national park (where you might get to see sea turtles) and the famous Emerald Lake, paddling around the coastline in sea kayaks or just lazing the days away on golden beaches with a cocktail or a beer.
This tour, which travellers are rating as a 4.72 out of 5 experience, only runs from May to October when the weather is at its best on the east coast Thailand beaches. On the “adventure tour effort” scale it’s a very easy tour with not too much physical activity and pretty comfortable accommodations all the way through. The land-only cost (which means you need to pay for your own airfares to Bangkok and back from Ko Samui) is US$892 which is very cheap – one of Intrepid’s most economical Thailand aventure tours.
The only additional costs are optional entry charges to Wat Pho temple (100B) and the Grand Palace (500B) in Bangkok and activities like sea kayaking or snorkelling. There is a single traveller supplement payable if you are on your own and don’t want to share accommodation. Group size is a maximum of 12 people. Price includes two breakfasts and two lunches, but you’ll need to allow an extra US$200 for other meals along the way.
Find out more about the Thailand East Coast Beaches tour from Intrepid Travel.