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Alternative Thailand

Thailand might be firmly on the backpacker trail, but how about the adventures you haven’t heard of? This is the best of Thailand, with a Flash Pack twist.

What's Included

  • Accommodation in twin rooms
  • Max 14 travellers per group
  • Exclusively for people in their 30s & 40s
  • Arrival transfer included
  • All activities mentioned on the itinerary
  • Experienced Pack Leader with you throughout the trip
  • Minibus, jet skis & private boat
  • Overnight sleeper train
  • Stay in handpicked 3-5 star hotels
  • 8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 5 dinners

Flashpackers must provide evidence that they have purchased travel insurance for the duration of their adventure. Remember, flights aren't included and prices are based on sharing a twin room. If you'd like to upgrade to a single room, you can add this during the booking process or by contacting our Customer Experience team. Please note that single supplements are not available for the overnight train. More details can be found in our FAQs, below.

About your trip

Thailand: Southeast Asia’s most popular travel destination and a hedonistic spot that’s firmly on the backpacker trail; you’d be forgiven for wondering if it’s been ‘done’.

Your answer? It hasn’t, and this adventure is proof. 

Yes, you’ll get the chance to dip your toe into the famed intensity of the Khao San Road and witness the country’s golden temples. But it’s the adventures you haven’t heard of before that really make this one special. Like experiencing the drama of Phuket’s coastline on a jet ski safari, zipping beneath towering limestone cliffs and pulling into small islands before turning back into the sunset. Or taking a long-tail boat to your floating raft house, where you’ll sleep above a glassy lake in reach of waterfalls and mountains where hornbills and monkeys hide. There’ll be moments of bonding as you cook up a storm with your group, learning traditional cooking techniques from a local family, and a chance to lap up the luxury together on Phuket’s stunning beaches.

So you see, Thailand will never be ‘done’. If anything, this is how lifelong love affairs with the country begin.

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Sawadee, Bangkok
  • Touch down in Bangkok, a city where towering skyscrapers cast shadows over ancient temples, and meet your private airport transfer
  • Meet your Pack Leader and group before your first traditional Thai dining experience, opposite the beautiful Wat Arun Temple
  • Finish your night with drinks at one of Bangkok’s best sky bars, soaking up panoramic views of the city
The Old City & an overnight train
  • Board a private long-tail boat from outside your hotel and explore the canals and riverside communities of Old Bangkok
  • Make a traditional Buddhist offering at a small local temple sat off the tourist trail and enjoy a street food lunch
  • Take the overnight sleeper train to Surat Thani; soaking up the views of rural villages, rice paddies and verdant countryside
Green living in Krabi
  • Transfer to your luxe eco retreat near Krabi, with an inviting pool set amongst lush jungle landscapes
  • Spend a day relaxing, booking in for a spa treatment and watching the sun set into the Andaman Sea
  • Sample authentic Thai cuisine at a hidden-away restaurant, from spicy papaya salad to BBQ seafood
Forest kayaking
  • Kayak through a flooded forest to Nong Thale Crystal lake, paddling between huge limestone cliffs
  • Visit Railay Beach and watch the rock climbers scaling the dramatic limestone cliffs; or maybe have a go yourself?
  • Master the art of fragrant Thai cuisine during a cooking class at a small, family-run restaurant
A night atop a glassy lake
  • Travel by private long-tail boat to Khao Sok National Park: a vast unspoiled area of rainforests and limestone islands
  • Settle in to your unique floating raft house looking out over the mirror-still lake and enjoy a delicious Thai lunch
  • Hike to a roaring waterfall, backed by limestone mountains, returning for in time for dinner and an ice-cold beer
Sunrise wildlife & Phuket
  • Wake up to the perfect stillness of dawn and embark on a private wildlife safari
  • After breakfast, take some time to kayak or swim in the lake before catching your long-tail boat for the next part of your adventure
  • Choose a spot for a local lunch before your boat transfer to sparkling Phuket Island
Your coastal jet ski safari
  • Spend a slow morning relaxing at your beach resort or indulging with a treatment at the beautiful Thai spa
  • Get ready for your jet ski safari: riding in pairs and taking it in turns to drive, you’ll explore lesser-known isles like pristine Yao Yai and Koh Li Pe
  • Stop off to snorkel in secret bays filled with tropical fish and backed by dramatic limestone cliffs
Beach club BBQ & sunset cocktails
  • Soak up the luxe serenity of a private beach club and swim in the turquoise sea (it never gets boring, trust us)
  • Late afternoon, head to Phuket’s most inventive trend-setting venue and treat yourself to your favourite cocktail or a traditional Thai massage
  • Watch the sun set over pristine Bangtao Beach before dancing the night away with your Flash Pack group
Farewell, Thailand
  • After breakfast, say goodbye to paradise and your new friends as you make your own way to the airport for your onward flight
  • Arrive home feeling completely zen and reinspired by a destination you ‘thought’ you knew; adventures like this one are how lifelong love affairs with the country begin

Our Favourite Hotels

Here's a taste of the hotels we sometimes use on this adventure. The hotels you'll stay in for your departure will be shared with you one month before you go.

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RIVA SURYA BANGKOK

A modern oasis, Riva Surya offers a reprieve from the frenetic energy of Bangkok. Located by the Chao Phraya River, the Thai-inspired rooms have fantastic views and there’s plenty of space by the pool to kick back with a drink. An ideal introduction to this buzzing city.

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DEWA PHUKET RESORT

Just a few steps from beautiful Nai Yang beach, on the edge of Sirinath National Park, this upscale resort has a laidback tropical feel. Cool off in lagoon-shaped pools, sip cocktails by the beach or sign up for a treatment in the onsite spa, complete with hot tub and steam room.

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KHAO SOK RAFT HOUSES

A unique, otherworldly experience – your time at the floating raft houses will feel like a dream. Wake up each morning to limestone cliffs reflected in the still water outside your door and take advantage of the free kayaks at your disposal to head off across the lake and explore.

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RIVA SURYA BANGKOK

A modern oasis, Riva Surya offers a reprieve from the frenetic energy of Bangkok. Located by the Chao Phraya River, the Thai-inspired rooms have fantastic views and there’s plenty of space by the pool to kick back with a drink. An ideal introduction to this buzzing city.

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KHAO SOK RAFT HOUSES

A unique, otherworldly experience – your time at the floating raft houses will feel like a dream. Wake up each morning to limestone cliffs reflected in the still water outside your door and take advantage of the free kayaks at your disposal to head off across the lake and explore.

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EXPLORAR, KOH SAMUI

Just steps from Mae Nam beach, this indulgent adults-only resort is a haven of island calm. Take a dip in the infinity pool, unwind in the hummingbird garden or work your way through the Thai menu at the glass-walled sea-view restaurant. Oh, and did we mention the happy hour cocktails?

Important Notes

Which airport do I need to fly in and out of? Plus airport code

For October to April departures:

Fly into Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK). We suggest you fly out of Phuket Airport (HKT), as it is the nearest airport to where we finish the adventure.

For May to September departures:

Fly into Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) and depart from Koh Samui Airport (USM), not Phuket.

What time do I need to arrive (in time for the welcome meeting)?

Please try to arrive before 3 pm on Day 1, although we will arrange an airport transfer for you regardless of when you arrive.

What time should my flight depart on the last day?

Depart at your own leisure any time on Day 9.

Are airport transfers included?

If you arrive on Day 1 of your adventure, or you book pre-tour accommodation with us, your airport arrival transfer will be included. If you book alternative pre-tour accommodation or are arriving by another mode of transport you must arrange your own arrival transfer.

Arrival transfers are private to Flash Pack and will be in groups depending on flight times. Sometimes this means waiting in the airport for a short while until other flights have arrived.

We don’t offer a departure transfer as Flashpackers leave at different times of the day and many stay for extra nights. We will offer you support with finding a local taxi.

Are tips included?

Please note that tips are not included in the cost of this adventure. Suggested amounts per person are:

  • Pack Leader: 11 USD per day
  • Driver: 3.5 USD per day
  • Local tips: your Pack Leader will be able to advise on how much to tip local guides, porters, waiters, etc. Some Pack Leaders will collect a tipping kitty at the welcome meeting to take care of local tips.

However, all tips are at your discretion depending on what you feel comfortable with.

Do I need a visa?

Up-to-date visa and entry information can be found using our official partner, Sherpa, who can help you arrange a visa if needed.

You can also find essential travel advice – including security and local laws, as well as passport and visa information – on the government website of your home country:

Please be aware that passport and visa requirements can change before departure, so it’s important to stay updated with the latest information.

 

What vaccinations and medication will I need?

While we are not medical professionals and cannot offer personalised medical advice, we want to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable adventure. Here are some tips to help you prepare.

1. Consult with a healthcare professional

We recommend scheduling an appointment with your travel nurse or doctor at least eight weeks before your adventure. This will give you ample time to receive any necessary vaccines or medications.

2. Up-to-date medical advice

3. Government travel advice

4. Medication tips

If you take prescription medication, ensure you bring enough to last the entire adventure, plus a few extra days in case of travel delays. Carry a copy of your prescription with you in case you need to visit a clinic while abroad.

We hope this information will help you prepare for a safe and healthy adventure.

How much should I budget per day for extras?

Excluding alcohol, we’d suggest budgeting the equivalent of 30 GBP. That said, if you’re willing to eat like a local it can be a lot less. It is still possible in Thailand to buy a plate of food for 1-2 GBP.

Please note that tips for your Pack Leader and driver are not included in the cost of this adventure.

Will I need any special equipment?

For the waterfall hike, we recommend that you wear good-quality water-shoes or waterproof sandals, preferably with the heels covered. You’ll be sent a detailed packing list upon booking your adventure.

What is the overnight train like? Can I request a private cabin?

Travelling by train is a local rather than a luxury experience, but it’s one of the best ways to experience the real Southeast Asia. Here are some notes to help prepare you for the experience:

  • The cabin we are using is a 2nd class sleeper train with 20 bunk beds (maximum 40 people). If you’re a light sleeper, it’s a good idea to bring ear plugs as the cabins can be noisy at night.
  • Private cabins are not available and there is no single supplement option for this part of the trip. You will be sharing your cabin with local people, however, we will try to put all Flashpackers in the same cabin, along with your guide.
  • The train bathrooms are shared and although showers are available on board, these consist of a toilet with a shower head, so it’s better to wait to freshen up at your hotel upon arrival in Krabi.
  • Please also be aware that Bangkok train station is very large and busy. You will be travelling to the station during peak rush hour, which can feel chaotic. You won’t be able to board the train until an hour before departure. Overnight trains are often subject to delays and may stop unexpectedly to let other trains go past.
Will I get to drive the jet ski?

The jet ski experience will be shared, so two Flashpackers will ride one jet ski taking turns to drive. There will be a full safety briefing and the operator will assess your experience and skills on a jet ski to ensure you enjoy this activity safely and have a great experience.

Will this itinerary change?

Please be aware that the itinerary, activities, and hotels are subject to change. These changes are rare but can happen with little notice due to availability, poor weather, seasonal changes, or other circumstances beyond our control – but we’ll always do our best to ensure it has little impact on your experience. From time to time, we may also make changes to your itinerary to try out new ideas and keep things fresh and exciting which we will always try and communicate to you.

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