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Thailand: Phuket & the Andaman Coast With Zan

Learn to cook a Thai feast, create your own batik artwork & meditate with Buddhist monks at an island temple 

What's Included

  • Accommodation in twin rooms
  • Arrival transfer included
  • All activities mentioned on the itinerary
  • Experienced Pack Leader with you throughout the trip
  • Stay in handpicked 3-4 star hotels
  • 9 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 2 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.

 

September 25th – 4th October 2025 

ABOUT ZAN HUDSON @zan__zan

I’m Zan Hudson, a Jamaican-American travel content creator from Miami. I’m passionate about exploring new destinations and immersing myself in local cultures. I love group trips and sharing the joy of authentic experiences. Adventures, foods, and new experiences drive me. I’m excited to join Flash Pack for a Thailand adventure in Phuket and the Andaman Coast, my first time in Asia.

My travel philosophy revolves around the belief that thorough preparation ensures a smooth, enjoyable experience. I also believe in dressing well while traveling. I’ll be packing my personal fan, headphones, earplugs, Imodium, and extra chargers. Join me to see my planning and content creation process, and enjoy energetic, vibrant travel experiences together in Thailand! Take this chance to travel alongside someone who loves connecting with people and inspiring others to explore the world.

About your trip

Spend 10 sun-kissed days exploring Thailand’s idyllic islands and Andaman coastline on this slower-paced immersive adventure.

Starting in Khao Lak, whose turquoise palm-fringed shores remain blissfully undeveloped, you’ll spend lazy days cruising through the mangroves (hello snakes, birds and monkeys), visiting a sea turtle sanctuary and learning how to cook an authentic Thai feast – a skill you’ll be very popular for at home.

Powder-white sands and jagged karst landscapes await as you island-hop across the crystalline Andaman Sea, seeking out the best spots for swimming, snorkeling and picnics. You’ll embrace your inner artist with a batik painting masterclass and find your peace on Phuket as you meditate with Buddhist monks, mingle with rehabilitated elephants and spend balmy barefoot evenings sipping cocktails as the sun sets. 

Who said adventure needs to be hard work?

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Touchdown in Thailand

Sawadee! Welcome to Thailand. Your adventure begins at Phuket Airport, where a private Flash Pack transfer will be waiting to drive you two hours north to the lovely laid-back beach town of Khao Lak. Known for its long runways of powdery white sand lapped by shallow turquoise waves, this stunning stretch of Andaman Coast remains relatively low-key – the perfect place to get a taste of rural local life. Passing through tropical forest, rubber plantations and picturesque villages, you’ll arrive at your palm-fringed beachside hotel. Settle in with a welcome cocktail and three-course Thai dinner as you get to know your fellow Flashpackers. 

Cook up a feast of Thai favourites

Enjoy a relaxed start and dip a toe in the sea before getting ready for your first activity. You’re headed for a local cookery school to discover the secrets of authentic Thai cuisine. Under the guidance of an expert chef, you’ll learn about the fragrant herbs and spices that give the dishes their flavor. You’ll grind together lemongrass, chill, ginger and herbs to create a curry paste from scratch, and you’ll cook up a banquet of traditional dishes, so simple you can try them at home. Think: crisp spring rolls and fresh papaya salad, tangy pad Thai and aromatic green curry, sticky mango rice and bananas in coconut milk, and more. Sit down to enjoy this mouthwatering meal with your group, savoring the fruits of your labor.

Mangrove wildlife & sea turtles

Prepare to explore the unspoiled coastline on a traditional longtail boat. From your hotel, you’ll take a songthaew (local taxi) to the pier of a small fishing village, where you’ll set off on a cruise through the peaceful mangroves – keeping your eyes peeled for exotic wildlife, like birds, monkeys and snakes – and stopping off to relax on the golden sand of beautiful Khao Na Yak cape. The coast here is renowned as a green turtle nesting site and you’ll pay a visit to the Royal Thai Navy Sea Turtle Conservation Centre to learn how the endangered creatures are nurtured and protected. If you’re lucky, you might even get to help gather eggs or release the hatchlings, depending on the time of year. 

Create your own batik painting

It’s time to say goodbye to Khao Lak as you travel onwards to Koh Yao Yai: a sleepy island in Phang Nha Bay, surrounded by sandy shores, secluded coves and uninhabited rocky islets that thrust up from the sea. Locals here make a simple living from fishing, farming and local crafts. Your first stop is a cloth dye and batik painting center where you’ll learn how hot wax is used to create elaborate and colorful designs. Together with your group, you’ll embrace your inner artist as you create your own batik to take home. Masterpiece completed, you’ll explore a nearby rubber plantation to see how the trees are tapped for sap – a process done entirely by hand – with some free time before dinner at your boutique beach resort.

Island hopping in the Andaman Sea

A day of island-hopping awaits through the beautiful karst landscapes and pristine islands of the Koh Hong archipelago. This is your chance to experience real desert island perfection, with water so clear, you only need to look down from your boat to spot fish and coral beneath you. Snorkel the shallow reefs off Pakbia Island, relax on Lao Ladong against a backdrop of huge jungle-covered cliffs and swim in the emerald water of Koh Hong’s hidden lagoon – one of the most Instagrammable spots in Thailand. Feeling energetic? Hike up to the viewpoint for a 360-degree panorama. After an incredible day, you’ll journey back to Koh Yao Yai, as the sun sinks slowly into the Andaman Sea.       

 

 

Phuket calling

Leaving Koh Yao Yai behind, you’ll take a speedboat across the bay to Phuket, Thailand’s largest island, where you’ll be spending the next four nights. Famed for its world-class beaches, sparkling water, beautiful temples and vibrant nightlife, there’s plenty to explore here – and with 90 kilometers of coastline you don’t have to stray far from the main resorts to find a secluded spot. Settle into your hotel and spend a blissful afternoon swimming in the turquoise sea (it never gets boring, trust us) or check out the hipster cafes, colorful markets and Sino-Portuguese architecture of Phuket Old Town. For dinner tonight, you’ll find plenty of seafood restaurants and street food stalls dotted along the beach.  

 

Meditate in a Buddhist temple

Enjoy a free morning before a spiritual afternoon finding out about the country’s predominant religion: Buddhism. Starting at Wat Mai Luang Pu Supha, a famous meditation center and one of Phuket’s most sacred sites, you’ll learn about the traditional practice with a local guide. Join the monks at Wat Chalong Monastery as they go about their daily rituals, gaining an insight into the life of Thai Buddhists and their deep-rooted beliefs. Finish at a hilltop temple where you can put your new knowledge into practice beside Southeast Asia’s largest Buddha statue. In this serene setting, find a quiet corner to practice your meditation, calming your mind and soothing your soul as the temple bells ring out above.

Cruise the Phi Phi Islands by speedboat

There’s more island-hopping in store today as you explore the Phi Phi Islands by speedboat. The six scenic islands boast breathtakingly beautiful arcs of pure white sand flanked by dramatic green-clad cliffs. You’ll stop off at stunning Ao Maya – arguably one of Thailand’s most beautiful locations, used as the setting for ‘The Beach’ – before continuing around Phi Phi Lay Cove and Monkey Beach (look out for the long-tailed macaques) for more swaying palm trees and picture-perfect bays. The water here is clear, calm and brimming with marine life and there’ll be time to soak up the underwater beauty before a lazy picnic lunch. Only the setting sun will be your cue to turn back towards Phuket. 

Meet Phuket’s gentle giants

For your final full day, we’ve got something special in store. Phuket is home to over 200 Asian elephants, and you’ll be spending a magical morning mingling with these gentle giants at the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary. The rehabilitated pachyderms were formerly used for logging but are now free to roam, forage and bathe in the lagoons of the 30-acre forest, just as they would do in the wild – a privilege to experience. Gain an aerial view from the 600-meter canopy walkway (the longest in Thailand) before meeting them up close as you walk through the forest. Back at your hotel, you’ll gather for a farewell dinner. Raise a toast with your group – now firm friends – as you reflect on the experiences you’ve shared.

 

Farewell, Phuket

All too soon, your trip has come to an end and it’s time to make your way to the airport. If 10 days just isn’t enough, why not extend your trip with another of our Southeast Asian adventures? You could find yourself trekking through the jungles of Borneo, seeing the sunrise over Cambodia’s Angkor Wat or camping on your own private island in the Philippines. All of these options are just a phone call away. 

Our Favorite 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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Khaolak Laguna Resort

Nestled amidst lush tropical foliage on Khao Lak’s pretty beach, the resort fuses modern design with traditional Thai aesthetics, including Buddha statues, local artwork and polished dark-wood floors. Vine-covered pathways lead to the serene spa, beachfront restaurant and freeform pools (complete with whirlpool) overlooking the ocean. 

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Royal Yao Yai Beach Resort

Expect stunning sunsets from this west-facing hotel, just steps from the white sand of Loh Pa-Red beach. The modern rooms are light and airy, with private balconies and teak furnishings, but you’ll probably spend most of your time outside either lounging by the pool or cozied up on a beanbag underneath a palm. 

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Proud Phuket Hotel

A chic Sino-Thai retreat on the quieter northern side of Phuket, next to Sirinat National Park and just a stone’s throw from uncrowded Nai Yang Beach. The hotel boasts lush manicured gardens, turquoise lap pools and a lovely rooftop lounge with vine-draped walls, plus it’s just a 10-minute drive from the airport. 

Important Notes

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

Fly into and out of Phuket Airport (HKT).

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

You’ll need to arrive at Phuket Airport by 1 pm on Day 1, so we can travel to Khao Lak together. If your flight will arrive later than 1pm, please book a pre-night and make your way to the airport on Day 1 to meet your group.

What time should my flight depart on the last day?

Depart at your own leisure any time on Day 10.

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.

Will the 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.

Do I need a visa?

You do not need a visa if you’re visiting as a tourist from the EU, UK, USA, Australia or Canada for up to 30 days. Please check with your local consulate/embassy if the country you are travelling from requires a visa. 

We recommend that you have at least six months validity remaining on your passport and can show a return ticket.

Should I be worried about animal welfare at Phuket Elephant Sanctuary?

Elephant tourism is a concern in many countries, including Thailand.

A recent report by the Animal Welfare Protection charity lists Phuket Elephant Sanctuary as one of the best venues for observing elephants.

  • The organisation assessed elephant welfare in Thailand, India, Laos, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Malaysia as of January 2020.
  • They used nine recognised criteria considered to have a significant direct impact on an elephant’s welfare.
  • Their researchers visited elephant tourism venues offering a range of entertainment activities including rides, shows, elephant washing, feeding, selfies and observation.

Following the research they compiled a list of venues with the best welfare conditions.

Phuket Elephant Sanctuary offers an ethical way to interact with these animals by allowing visitors to observe them, follow them through the forest and feed them, but not ride them.

How much should I budget per day for extras?

Excluding alcohol, we’d suggest budgeting the equivalent of £30 (40 USD). 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.

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