From vivacious, up-all-night Bangkok to the pristine and tranquil island of Koh Phi Phi, you’ll experience the best of both worlds in Thailand. Along the way, stop in backpacker-friendly Chiang Mai for some face time with elephants and a new perspective from Buddhist monks. This trip is one big New Year’s resolution.
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What are the top highlights?
- Spend four nights on the picturesque Thai Islands
- Cruise the islands on a full-day speedboat excursion
- Observe Asian elephants, up close and personal
- Experience the nightlife of in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and the Islands
- Do some shopping via boat Bangkok’s floating markets
- Chat with a monk for greater insight into Buddhism
Your trip includes
- Round-trip flights & airport transfers
- Multilingual Tour Director & local guides
- Private motorcoach
- Internal flights
- 11 nights in hand-picked accommodations
- Welcome Dinner with drinks
- Daily breakfast & three-course Farewell Dinner
- Entrance to an Elephant Nature Park, Wat Suan Dok temple, and many more select attractions
- Traditional Kantoke dinner in Chiang Mai
You’ve selected an UltimatePlus departure. Nice choice! You’ll be staying at 3-4-star hotels throughout your trip. Each property is located in a safe and convenient area to ensure a comfortable stay, in rooms that are only for EF Ultimate Break travelers. Actual accommodations will be made available to you 30 days before your trip. Looking for our standard accommodations? Choose a departure date without the diamond icon, and you’ll stay at a combination of boutique hostels and hotels.
Admit it, booking flights is the worst. Here's why you should let us do it for you:
- Flight costs are included in your monthly payment plan, so you can pay over time
- Airport transfers are included, so we’ll be waiting, sign in hand
- Flights are booked with major airlines
- 24/7 support no matter what time zone you’re in
- One checked bag included on most flights
- Option to make changes to your trip up to 99 days before departure
Booking with a friend? Let us know and we’ll do our best to make sure you’re on the same flight. Still want to book your own flights? That’s cool, simply select ‘No flights included’ instead of your departure city in the ‘Flights from’ dropdown.
- Drive Ratchadamnoen Avenue, modeled after the Champs Elysees in Paris
- Board a longtail boat and find out why Bangkok is known as the “Venice of the East”
- Enter the Grand Palace and behold the intricate gold buildings, temples and statues adorned in vibrant tile work
- Visit Wat Phra Kaew, the most sacred Buddhist temple, which houses the Emerald Buddha
- Visit a coconut farm, where you’ll taste pure coconut sugar learn about their impact on the Thai economy
- Arrive in the markets and test your negotiation skills with the vendors. Pro tip: your initial offer should be half of the list price for any item
- Taste a sweet Thai iced coffee or purchase fresh tropical fruits from vendors aboard boats
- Purchase souvenirs like hand-painted lacquerware and elephant pants
- Celebrate New Year's Eve in Bangkok! Party with fellow travelers and locals as you count down to the best year yet.
- Explore Ayutthaya with your Tour Director and learn the history of the ancient city
- Take time to roam and snap photos of the serene ruins
- Visit Wat Pa Lelai, a sacred temple dating back 800 years, home to a 75-foot tall golden statue of Buddha
- Arrive in Phitsanulok and have a free evening, or participate in the rickshaw ride and night market excursion
- Explore the ruins of Sukhothai by foot, or rent a bike to get around
- Cool down by the lake with a Thai iced tea
- Arrive in Chiang Mai and explore the expansive night markets with your Tour Director
- Try local cuisine, like fried insects or exotic fruits, from street vendors
- Learn about and observe the Asian elephants
- Continue on to the Akha Hill Tribe Villages of Palong and Lahu
- Meet the Hill Tribe people and learn about their rich traditions and simplistic way of life
- Ask the monk anything at an open forum, and gain better insight into the Buddhist way
- Board a mini bus en route to Doi Suthep Temple, high in the mountains of Chiang Mai
- See jungle views as you drive along narrow, twisting roads
- Arrive at the summit and take in the vistas of Chiang Mai and the emerald green forests below
- Climb a set of stairs to reach Doi Suthep, where intricate and breathtaking scenery awaits
- Board your early afternoon flight to Phuket
- Arrive in Phuket in the early evening; the night is yours
- Take a walk along the beach at sunset, indulge in a breadth of dinner options, unwind or kick off the party with a night on the town
- Snorkel as vibrant fish surround you on Phi Phi Don
- Observe hundreds of monkeys lining the beach and climbing the cliffs. Toss bananas to them from your boat before continuing on to Maya Bay
- Arrive at your final stop, Maya Bay on Phi Phi Ley, where Leonardo DiCaprio filmed The Beach
- Swim by towering limestone cliffs, aquamarine water and colorful long-tail boats
- Treat yourself to a Thai massage. Spas abound throughout Thailand, but where better to unwind with a spa day than an island getaway?
- Lounge on the beach, or simply be present in this beautiful destination fit for a postcard
- At night, find a beach bar and watch Islanders test fate as they juggle flaming batons
- Board your two-hour flight back to Bangkok
- Revisit your favorite sites or to check off your final to-do’s from your Bangkok bucket list
- In the evening, join your group for one last meal together at your farewell dinner
Day 1: Overnight Flight
Board your overnight flight, bound for Asia.
Day 2: Arrive in Bangkok
Welcome to Bangkok! After landing in the late evening, your Tour Director will be waiting for you in the arrivals area. Head to your hotel and call it a night. It all begins tomorrow.
Day 3: Visit the Grand Palace + Welcome Dinner
Immerse yourself in the capital of Thailand. Bangkok’s mixture of modern day norms are juxtaposed with traditions of the old world. As night falls, the energy of the busy city streets turns into world-renowned nightlife.
In the evening, enjoy a Welcome Dinner of local cuisine and drinks with fellow travelers at an authentic local spot. Afterwards, you’re free to take the party elsewhere!.
Day 4: Explore the Damnoen Saduak + New Year's Eve in Bangkok
Travel about an hour outside of Bangkok by speedboat to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Markets. Here, you’ll find everything from fresh fruits to souvenirs. Tonight, celebrate New Year’s Eve.
Day 5: Travel to Phitsanulok via Ayutthaya
Travel north to Phitsanulok, a small city with a booming night market. En route, stop at Ayutthaya, the former capital of Siam and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Rickshaw Ride and Night Market Tour(extra cost)
Experience the night markets of Phitsanulok from the backseat of a rickshaw, hopping off to enjoy included local fare. This is a classic Thailand experience that you won’t want to miss.
Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.
Day 6: Tour Sukhothai Historical Park + Travel to Chiang Mai
Board your private coach to Sukhothai Historical Park, the ancient capital of Thailand. This UNESCO World Heritage Site spans over three miles and features four beautiful lakes and endless ruins.
Day 7: Elephant Sanctuary + Chiang Mai Hill Tribes
Spend your morning among gentle giants at an Elephant Sanctuary. Hang out in their natural habit before continuing on to visit the Chiang Mai Hill Tribes.
Join the Home-Hosted Dinner excursion or embark on an adventure of your own.
Chiang Mai Home Hosted Dinner(extra cost)
Enjoy an authentic home-cooked meal in a local family’s home during a rare glimpse into Thai culture. Get to know them personally, while experiencing how their daily life feels, smells, and most importantly, tastes.
Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.
Day 8: Monk Chat + Doi Suthep Temple
Immerse yourself in Buddhist culture with a visit to Wat Suan Dok temple and monastery. Reflect in peaceful meditation in the temple, then have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to speak with a Buddhist monk.
Day 9: Fly to Phuket
Phuket is your place to lounge in the sun on a white sand beach and snorkel in crystal-clear water among tropical fish. The island has a split personality between a relaxing tropical paradise and a wild party all in one.
Phuket comes alive at night with an endless string of go-go bars, discos and clubs, as well as live music featuring international DJs. This is the place to dance the night away.
Day 10: Experience the Phi Phi Islands
Enjoy a full day on the pristine Phi Phi Islands. Depart from Phuket and escape to paradise via private speed boat.
After your day on the water, return to Phuket for a relaxing evening, or hit the town to keep the party going.
Day 11-12: Free Days in Phuket
There is plenty to do on the island of Phuket, and the day is yours. Your Tour Director can suggest activities or you can explore on your own.
Free Time Suggestions
Day 13: Fly to Bangkok
It’s time to head back to Bangkok for one last day in the Thai capital before your farewell dinner tonight.
Free Time Suggestions
Day 14: Fly Home
Your next destination awaits—home. Before you head to the airport, enjoy your last few moments together. Take one more group photo. Grab that final drink. (Fine, maybe a couple of drinks.) But this isn’t goodbye. It’s “See you later.” The only question is, where?
EXTEND YOUR TRIP 2 WAYS
1. Double the fun
A lot of our trips line up back to back! Give us a call—we can help you add another and save big while you're at it.
2. Go ahead or stay behind
Extending your trip is easy! During checkout, you'll have the option to fly to (or from) the gateway of your choice for an additional fee. We'll adjust your flights accordingly, but you'll be responsible to take care of your transportation, hotels, and other logistics outside of tour.
Note: Depending on your desired gateways, additional fees may apply.
- Kristina, traveled Dec 2019
Thailand is AMAZING! This trip is for those who want to experience as much of what Thailand has to offer as possible! We got up pretty early almost every day so we could visit all the sites before it got too hot and crowded, which it did fast. I thought waking up that early would be a bother, but with jet lag and the consistency it was fine! I would definite... See more
- Megan, traveled Dec 2019
This was an absolute dream of a trip and the perfect way to start 2020. Days were jam packed full of activities and I felt like I was really able to see all sides of Thailand. I can't wait to go back.
Best trip !Anonymous, traveled Dec 2019
The islands , elephants and monk temple were my favorite part! Had such a great time and met the best people
The best way to start 2019!Emily, traveled Dec 2018
I have nothing but positive things to say about my New Year’s trip to Thailand. I felt so taken care of from the minute I landed in Bangkok until the minute I departed two weeks later. Our guide, Kong, was upbeat and energetic everyday of our trip. He never tired of our countless questions or numerous requests to have phrases written in Thai. Beyond the enjo... See more