This adventure mixes a whole lot of bona fide Thai experiences – everything from a longboat tour of Bangkok, a meeting with a hill tribe community, a cooking class in Chiang Mai and a sombre visit to the infamous bridge over the River Kwai – with several days of sand and surf. Hey, even the Buddha reclined and relaxed once in a while, right?
Arrive in Bangkok at any time. Check into our hotel and enjoy the city.
Check the notice boards or ask at reception for the exact time and location of the group meeting, typically 6:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m. After the meeting, you might consider heading out for a meal in a nearby local restaurant to further get to know your tour leader and traveling companions. Please make every effort to arrive on time for this welcome meeting. If you are delayed and will arrive late, please inform us. Your tour leader will then leave you a message at the front desk informing you of where and when to meet up.
We begin the day with a guided visit to Wat Po. Immerse yourself in Thai Buddhist culture and visit the famous giant 46m (151ft) reclining Buddha, covered in gold leaf. Relax with a traditional Thai massage at the country’s leading school of massage at Wat Po.
We then have a Klong Riverboat tour. Travel by longtail boat on the busy Chao Phraya River. Go through the smaller klongs (canals) to see skyscrapers, temples, and shops in the distance, and the densely populated waterfront settlements up close.
The afternoon is free for you to enjoy this bustling metropolis. Stroll through one of Bangkok’s many malls and open-air markets, and pick up something if you’d like. See our optional activities list further below for more options.
We will spend the morning traveling by private vehicle to Nam Tok Erwan where we will visit one of the world’s most beautiful waterfalls. Its seven tiers offer a unique experience at every climb, reaching up to 1,500m (4921 ft). Swim in the turquoise pools, snap photos from the top tier, and opt to hike in the jungle to spot monkeys.
We then travel an hour further to Kanchanaburi. Take in a piece of World War II history on this visit. We’re sure you’ve seen or at least heard of the famous movie “Bridge on the River Kwai.” Well, now you can tour the real thing. It’s massive, majestic, and imposing, and offers fabulous views of the river below.
You will spend tonight in Kanchanaburi.
Approximate travel time: 4.5 hrs by private vehicle
We start off the day by driving to the ruins of Ayutthaya where we will explore this UNESCO World Heritage site. Ayuthaya served as Thailand’s capital from the 14th to 18th centuries, when it ranked as one of the most magnificent cities in the world. Late in the 17th century its population reached one million, and foreign visitors wrote awestruck accounts of its size and splendour.
Afterwards we will experience overnight travel on a sleeper train. Sit back and then lay down to get some well-earned rest en route to Chiang Mai.
Approximate travel time: 2 hrs by private vehicle, 12 hrs by train
We will arrive by train and then check into our hotel. After, enjoy a tour of spectacular Chiang Mai, a delightful city surrounded by rolling hills and filled with impressive architecture. Explore the great cafes, shops and accommodations of the old city; an important Buddhist centre since the 14th century, it is home to more than 300 temples. Many visitors come here to attend meditation retreats, massage classes, or yoga lessons.
Together we will visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a golden Buddhist temple outside of Chiang Mai on the Mt Doi Suthep. Climb 300 steps to reach the temple and be rewarded with an unforgettable view. Admire the many Buddhist relics at this sacred temple and visit the white elephant shrine. Legend has it that the location of the temple was chosen after a white elephant carried a relic to the mountain and trumpeted three times before dying on the spot. Also, with a little luck, you may witness the chanting of the monks.
The only scheduled activity today is a cooking class. In the late morning you will go to a local market with a guide to pick out fresh ingredients and then will cook your own lunch!
For the afternoon we highly recommend the optional half day tuk tuk adventure, which we can pre-book for you for $82. Jump in Thailand’s traditional mode of transport – the tuk tuk – and experience the rural side of Chiang Mai. You’ll explore the Karen Hill Tribe village, remote temples, forest waterfalls, and feast on an authentic Thai meal.
This morning we will fly to Phuket where we will spend four nights in this tropical paradise taking boat rides, exploring its many beaches, and participating in all the water sports it has to offer. Rightfully famous for its delicious fresh seafood, indulge in fresh fish, crab, and squid.
Approximate travel time: 2 hrs by plane, 45 minutes by private vehicle
There are many things to do in Phuket! There are more than 30 beaches in Phuket, some with a party scene, other quiet and serene. You can go snorkeling or diving, either offshore on Phuket or even better, go on a day tour to nearby islands. Even if you don’t snorkel or dive, a day tour of Phi Phi Island or Phang Nga Bay is well worth it. See our optional activities list for more ideas on what to do over the next three days.
Another free day to relax on the beach and explore Phuket. Perhaps you will want to see monkeys at Monkey Hill or spend a day at the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary?
Yet another free day to relax on the beach and explore Phuket. Maybe today you will want a cooking class or go for a hike up to one of Phuket’s many scenic lookouts. Or instead go on a rum distillery tour and see the Phuket Big Buddha.
This morning we will fly to Bangkok. Upon arrival you will have the rest of the day free. This is a good time to finish up any last minute shopping. There will be time for one last optional meal with all of our new found friends.
Approximate travel time: 1.5 hrs by plane, Roughly 2 hrs by private vehicle to and from airports.
This morning, our program ends after breakfast. Feel free to depart at anytime.
Want more adventure? Book two or more GEEO trips in the same year and receive a discount! GEEO will give you 10% off of the lesser value program(s) (up to 3 programs).
If you don’t see a program that interests you that pairs with this trip, but still would like to extend your time abroad, let us know. We will work with you to find a non-teacher trip from our tour operator’s much larger catalog. Even better, if you are an educator, we can still offer you a discounted price on the trip you choose!
It is very important for you to visit our Terms and Conditions page before signing up for this program.
All cancellations must be submitted to GEEO in written form by emailing your request for cancellation to email@example.com. If you do not receive a confirmation that we have received your written cancellation request, please call us at 1-877-600-0105. Verbal cancellation requests will not be honored.
All GEEO/G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of G Adventure’s group leaders, which they refer to as Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues, and introduce you to our local friends. Our itineraries often have plenty of free time to explore on your own.
While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.
Trip includes light walking and hiking that is suitable for most fitness levels.
Half of the people that travel with GEEO are traveling by themselves, so please don’t worry if you have no one who can join you on your trip. Our pricing is based on double occupancy or, in other words, two people to a room. You never have to pay for a single room unless you want one. GEEO can find you a roommate of the same gender. Most of our trips have a “My Own Room” option, also known as a “Single Supplement,” which is an extra fee that will allow you to have a room to yourself. If you want to room alone, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. To see the price for the “My Own Room” option, please click here where you can look up your trip in the extra services spreadsheet.
Please note that if you have booked the “My Own Room” option for this tour, you will receive your own single accommodation for all night stops, with the following exceptions: Night 4 – Sleeper train
Day 1 is an arrival day, and no activities have been planned. Upon arrival to the city on Day 1, or earlier if you have booked pre-accommodation with us, please make your way to the joining hotel. Check-in time will be in the afternoon. Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note at reception from your tour leader. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on Day 1, usually between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., at which you will get a chance to meet your tour leader and other travelers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details!
If you miss the Welcome Meeting, your tour leader will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need and with instructions for the next morning.
You will receive an arrival transfer included as part of your program fee. Upon arrival at the Suvarnabhumi airport, head to the arrival hall and to gate number 4. Look for a driver holding a G Adventures sign with your name. If for any reason you are not met at the airport, please call our local support line. If you are unable to make contact for whatever reason, please make your way to the joining point hotel via taxi.
Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call their local G Adventures office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If your call is specifically concerning Bangkok Airport Transfer complications please call our local G Adventures Transfer provider directly at: +66 86 321 0729 (086 321 0729 from within Thailand) or +66 82 450 2777 (082 450 2777 from within Thailand)
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Bangkok, Thailand
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time)
From outside Thailand: +66 2 508 8630
From within Thailand: 02 508 8630
After hours emergency number:
From outside Thailand: +66 87 049 6074
From within Thailand: 087 049 6074
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24-hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
If you are unable for any reason to contact G Adventures’ local office they have a toll-free line within North America which will connect you directly with their Toronto office: 1 888 800 4100. Outside of North America, call: +1 416 260 0999
Please read this article on GEEO’s blog for our staff’s suggestions on the best gear to pack for your upcoming travels. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them up and down stairs, on and off transportation, and to hotels. As a rule, we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 minutes with your bags, which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 22-30 lb. Most travelers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size. No XXL bags please! A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person plus a daypack per person.
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge or ask your group leader where the nearest laundromat is. If you want to do your own laundry, we suggest you bring your own non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
All GEEO trips require that the participant have a valid passport. Please see our general FAQ for information on obtaining a passport. As with all of our trips, we try to provide the most accurate information we can, but governments sometimes change visa rules. It is your responsibility to double check the information we provide below by searching here.
Please make sure you have at least two blank pages in your passport for the entry and exit stamp.
Americans do not need a visa to visit Thailand. Most other nationalities do not need a visa for Thailand either for stays of 30 days or less but if you do they are available on arrival at Bangkok Airport.
As currency exchange rates in Asia fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com It has been changing frequently in the past year. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops but they may charge a 2-4% transaction fee. Whilst travelers checks have security advantages, they can be difficult to change. Visa and MasterCard are useful for cash advances. ATMs are also widely available that distribute the local currency. Please note that if carrying US Dollars, they should be in good condition (ie- not torn, wrinkled, or marked on in any way) and printed recently (after the year 2001).
It is customary in Asia to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected – though not compulsory – and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your G Adventures tour leader will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $1-$2 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your G Adventures tour leader for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. If at any time you feel that any service provider failed in maintaining or delivering good service, please bring it immediately to the attention of your tour leader so a deduction of tips can take place.
Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures tour leader did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $10-15 USD per person, per week can be used.
We legally cannot give you any medical advice. It is very important to consult your doctor or a travel clinic about which vaccinations you will need for your trip. Please take this seriously!
We often find the best prices for purchasing flights is 60 days before departure, but of course this varies greatly from route to route and year to year. You must wait until this trip is confirmed with the minimum number of required participants before you book your flights. Typically, we reach the minimum number needed at least 90 days before departure. GEEO and G Adventures bear no responsibility for any flights purchased before the trip is confirmed. You can find out whether this trip has been confirmed here.
Your trip begins and ends in Bangkok. Please double check our itinerary for the date by which you must arrive in Bangkok. You can arrive at any time of the day you choose, but we strongly urge you to arrive by 6:00 p.m. on Day 1 for our group meeting. You can depart from Bangkok any time on the final day of the trip.
There are two components to provide external power to your device: adapters and transformers. The adapter is the plug, adapting the prongs on a standard U.S. two to three-pronged power cord to match the prongs required by the local outlets. The transformer changes the local voltage to that required by your device.
Thailand uses a combination of both American and European outlets, known as type A and type C plugs. The voltage is 220-240 Volts. U.S. outlets are 120V. Most new devices (phones and laptops) can handle the different voltage rates, but some devices only work on the U.S. standard of 120V. Check your device to see what voltage range it handles. Most transformer blocks will have an “Input” line that defines its voltage capacity. For example, “Input: 100-240V” means that it will work on voltages from 100V to 240V. If your transformer can’t handle the different voltage, you’ll need to purchase a voltage converter. You can find world regional voltage converters power packs at various vendors.
Before you decide on traveling with GEEO, it is important that you read all of the information about the program you are considering. Remember, our programs are quite adventurous.
Hopefully this is the kind of adventure you are interested in!
While it is our intention to adhere to the routes described on our website, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable, to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The information on our website is a general guide to the tour and region, and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
The weather in December in Thailand is terrific. There is lots of sunshine and little rain, and the temperatures are comfortable without being scalding or freezing. Underwater visibility is great too, which makes diving and snorkeling great options for your winter break.
Please keep in mind this trip offers some free time to pursue activities that interest you. Make sure you look over all of the optional activities and note these additional costs when deciding whether you can afford this program. Breakfasts and a few dinners are included in this trip, giving you the opportunity to eat out according to your own resources. The prices below are in U.S. Dollars (USD) and are rough estimates for budgeting your trip.
See price in top right corner
$80-$500 USD (This depends very much on what you do with your free time in Phuket)
Roughly $1,300-$2,000 USD
If you require assistance in booking your international airfare, we would be happy to help you.
Please note: It is mandatory for all of our travelers to have Emergency Medical insurance that covers both emergency evacuation and repatriation to the sum of $200,000 USD. We also strongly recommend purchasing cancellation insurance as well.
We recommend $60 USD for your G Adventures tour leader. Budget another $20-$50 USD for tipping local guides and drivers.
Make sure you budget for these types of expenses
Variable. Please consult your doctor.
Variable. At your personal discretion.
$100 USD (Suggested donation)
This is only for non-educator guests traveling with an educator on a GEEO trip. Educators and retired educators should not make this donation.
Most optional activities are booked and paid for locally in the local currency. You do not have to decide in advance for which activities you would like to sign up. The prices listed are based on the latest information we have received from our participants and G Adventures. They are not guaranteed to be accurate. Please feel free to use them as a guide for budgeting your trip. The prices below are in Egyptian Pounds (EGP).
Grand Palace: $15 USD
Jim Thompson’s House: $3.50 USD
National Museum: $1.50 USD
Royal Barge Museum: $1.50 USD
Thai massage: $10 USD per hour
Bicycle Tour: $30 USD for half day
Thai Cookery Course: $30 USD for half day
Kan Toke Traditional Dinner: $30 USD
Bamboo Rafting: $15 USD plus transport
Beach Visit: Free. There are many to choose from.
Snorkeling: Range depending how long and where
Phi Phi Islands day trip: Around $90
Scuba Diving: 3 dives for $150 to $200
Chalong Bay Rum Distillery tour: $13
Phuket Big Buddha: Free
Thai Cooking Class: Roughly $60
Phuket Elephant Sanctuary: $55 for half day to $80 for full day
Watch the Monkeys at Monkey Hill: Free
Phang Nga Bay tour: $100