Hills & Sandcastles (2014)
A super trip through Thailand. From homestays and temples in the north (Chang Mai, Chang Rai etc etc) to the sweet, sweet island-y beaches of the south (Koh Samui, Ao Nang, Bamboo Island). Rad.
This is Thailand with a whiff of Burma. Our trip mantra: Gonna live while I’m alive, I’ll sleep when I’m dead. Thank you Mr Bon Jovi.
(Was Thailand in Depth)
In 2015 this trip will be 16 days long and will finish in Ao Nang, Krabi. The 2015 itinerary will be available online on the 1st of October 2014.
Day 1 - Bangkok
If you are walking past a street vendor who smells suspiciously like last season's footy socks, don't judge him. He's probably selling durian. For some unknown reason, this stinky little number is known as the king of fruits because of its unique creamy texture. Try some if you dare.
Arrive in Bangkok and get to grips with this awesome city. There is a pre departure meeting tonight at approx. 6pm!
Day 2 - Sukhothai
When was the last time you rode a bike? Don't worry, you'll pick it up pretty quick. It's just like riding a ......oh forget it. Get comfy in the saddle and pedal your way around temples and the historic area of the city.
- Travel to Sukhothai - 'The Dawn of Happiness'
- Ride bicycles around the temples and other archaeological relics in Sukhothai's historic area
- Visit a local pottery factory in the area
Day 3-4 - Chiang Mai
Sorry about the early start today. We'll make it up to you with a healthy dose of temples, museums and hilltribe villages on arrival.
- Spend a free day exploring the northern city of Chiang Mai, with over 120 temples in the centre alone
- Set off on an excursion to the top of Doi Suthep, with fantastic views over the city
- Perhaps get a traditional Thai massage or even partake in a cooking class
- Why not visit the Night Bazaar a great chance to practice those bargaining skills
Day 5-8 - The Golden Triangle - Chiang Rai - Chiang Mai - overnight train
Head into the hills for a night in a local homestay. Get a taste of Burma in the village of Tachileik and a sneak peak into the opium trade in The Golden Triangle (the meeting of Thailand, Burma and Laos).
- Journey through the countryside to Thaton, situated on the banks of the Mae Kok River
- Board a long-tail boat for a journey down stream, passing several villages along the way
- Enjoy the surroundings along the Kok River, then meet your local hosts for this evening
- Spend the night with your Northern Thai friends in local accommodation
- Travel to the Golden Triangle - the point where the three countries, Laos, Burma (Myanmar) and Thailand meet
- Optional visit to the small opium museum that provides information on the infamous trade for which this region is known
Breakfast | Dinner
- For early risers there's time to visit the temples of Chiang Rai, such as Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Jet Yot
- Perhaps browse the markets, where the local hill tribe people sell their wares
- Day 8
- Catch a local bus back to Chiang Mai, then overnight sleeper train to Bangkok
Day 9 - Bangkok
You’ll be a bit sleepy after a long overnight train ride, but the city tour of Wat Pho, Grand Palace etc will wake you right up.
- Visit some of Bangkok’s most famous sights, including the Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha
- Enjoy the rest of the day to further explore the city
- Shop for bargains, eat in exotic restaurants and perhaps hit some bars or nightclubs
Day 10 - Bangkok - overnight train
Free day to check out Bangkok.
Yawn, tonight is an overnight trip
Continue your journey south by trainBreakfast
Day 11-12 - Koh Samui
Choose from hanging in a hammock, lazing in the sun or snorkelling. Life’s tough.
- Embark on a two-hour ferry trip to the beautiful island of Koh Samui
- Take a trip around the island in a songthaew, visiting the 15-metre tall Big Buddha
- Enjoy a dip in the cool tropical waterfalls of Na Muang and drop in to see the Mummified Monk
- Spend free time on Koh Samui swimming, lazing in the sun, diving or snorkelling
- Perhaps take an optional day tour to the Ang Thong National Marine Park
Day 13 - Khao Sok National Park
Home to monkeys, snakes, tigers and the weird smelly Rafflesia kerrii flower.
- Take the ferry back to the mainland and then continue to Khao Sok National Park by local songthaew
- Head down to the river for a canoeing trip in the country's finest and largest rainforest
- Perhaps spot monkeys playing by the waters edge during the experience
- Optional walks along the many interesting trails and beside the many waterways that exist within the park
Day 14-16 - Bamboo Island Beach Camp - Ao Nang
Life just gets harder and harder as we camp overnight on Bamboo Island. Console yourself with a swim and a cold Singha.
Camp under the stars at Bamboo Island Beach Camp – it’s the best kind of cliche. Choose from a myriad of exciting activities.
- Depart by public bus from Khao Sok to Ao Nang
- Arrive at the beautiful and secluded beach area of Ao Nang
- Morning, take the long tail boat to Bamboo Island for beach camping
- Spend time swimming in the warm waters of a hidden tropical paradise
- Enjoy beach overnight camping
- Relaxing on the beach soaking up island life, after breakfast return to Ao Nang
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner
- Perhaps visit a rubber plantation and school, take a Thai cooking class or watch some Thai kick-boxing
Day 17-18 - Phuket
Fill up your bellies with some tom yum gung from the market and shop for last minute silk scarves and bags.
- Stroll along the streets of Phuket, indulge in shopping opportunities or wander through a local market
- Perhaps consider extending your stay to really make the most of your time in Phuket. Otherwise your free to leave at any time on the final day of your trip!
- Trip ends after breakfast on Day 18.
What to Know
An experienced local tour guide, all transportation, accommodation, sightseeing and meals as indicated.
- International flights, arrival and departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, all other meals, all optional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.
Trip Dates and Prices
Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price 16 Nov 2014 - 03 Dec 2014 Available US $1,720 On Sale Sale: US $1,548 Book Now 21 Dec 2014 - 07 Jan 2015 Fully Booked US $1,720 On Sale Sale: US $1,548 Contact us 04 Jan 2015 - 19 Jan 2015 Available US $1,435 On Sale Sale: US $1,291 Book Now 18 Jan 2015 - 02 Feb 2015 Available US $1,435 On Sale Sale: US $1,291 Book Now 15 Feb 2015 - 02 Mar 2015 Available US $1,395 On Sale Sale: US $1,255 Book Now 08 Mar 2015 - 23 Mar 2015 Available US $1,395 Book Now 29 Mar 2015 - 13 Apr 2015 Available US $1,395 Book Now 03 May 2015 - 18 May 2015 Available US $1,395 Book Now 07 Jun 2015 - 22 Jun 2015 Available US $1,395 Book Now 05 Jul 2015 - 20 Jul 2015 Available US $1,395 Book Now 04 Oct 2015 - 19 Oct 2015 Available US $1,395 Book Now 01 Nov 2015 - 16 Nov 2015 Available US $1,395 Book Now 29 Nov 2015 - 14 Dec 2015 Available US $1,395 Book Now 13 Dec 2015 - 28 Dec 2015 Available US $1,395 Book Now
Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments
At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.
Hills & Sandcastles (2014)
Elizabeth - United Kingdom, 21 Jan, 2014
My guides in the north part (Ohm) and the south (Rong) were fantastic. They took really good care of us. I had a fantastic holiday and would definitely consider going on another trip with Geckos Liz
Hills & Sandcastles (2014)
Jack - Australia, 5 May, 2013
The 17 day tour was amazing, and both guides Sar and James did a great job.. I suggest that the company should arrange tickets for the two of them to go see Liverpool vs Manchester United next season.. thanks again I would happily do another geckos tour
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