In less time than it would take you to re-watch all the seasons of Friends, you could hit the hotspots of the Thai Islands with some actual friends you’ll make along the way. Yeah, let that sink it. Then, let your toes sink into the white sands, your mouth sink into epic street food, and the island sun sink into your skin…but don’t forget the sunscreen. This trip is sightseeing, meets cultural immersion, meets spicy noodles, meets turquoise waters, meets friendly elephants, meets the best 11 days of your life. This is Thailand.
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What are the top highlights?
- Get your fill of Thai street food as you wander through famous night markets
- Dance the nights away on the beaches of Phuket
- Lounge in the sun on white sand beaches and snorkel in crystal-clear waters
- Cruise through the 42 islands of Phang Nga Bay
- Enter the Grand Palace and behold the intricate gold buildings, temples, and statues adorned in vibrant tile work
- Do some shopping via boat at Bangkok’s floating markets
Your trip includes
- Round-trip flights & airport transfers
- Multilingual Tour Director & local guides
- Private motorcoach
- Internal flights
- 12 nights in hand-picked accommodations
- Welcome Mixer with appetizers & drinks
- Daily breakfast & three-course Farewell Dinner
- Entrance to Elephant Nature Park, Wat Suan Dok temple, and other 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.
Day 1: Fly to Bangkok
Board your overnight flight, bound for Thailand! It’s a long haul, but will be well worth it. For now, sit back, relax, and practice some yoga. Try corpse pose, which, is essentially sleeping. You’ll be arriving at night the next day, so be ready to hit the hay and rest up for the coming adventures.
Day 2: Arrive in Bangkok
Welcome to the other City of Angels—Bangkok! Home to ancient temples, nonstop nightlife, and stunning architecture, Thailand’s capital city has it all, including a dinosaur theme park in the middle of the city. While you’re coming in at night, you’ll have plenty of time throughout your trip to treat yourself to a Thai massage, and as much street food and Thai iced tea as humanly possible.
- Meet an EF representative at the airport.
- Transfer to your accommodations and check in.
- Receive the latest schedule from your Tour Director.
- Rest up for the adventures to come.
Day 3: Tour Bangkok
Bangkok is one of the world’s top travel destinations, and you’ll soon understand why. Explore the city with your Tour Director the way it was meant to be seen: by river. This city isn’t called the “Venice of the East” for nothing. Today, you’ll visit some of the most important Buddhist temples in Thailand, including the Grand Palace. Pro tip: if you were thinking of going commando to beat the heat, don’t. In Bangkok, it’s illegal to leave the house without underwear. The more you know!
- Get to know Bangkok on a guided sightseeing tour of the city.
- Coast down the Chao Phraya River on a boat tour and see why gelato has nothing to do with Bangkok being referred to as the “Venice of the East.”
- Visit the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, located on the grounds of the Grand Palace, and say hey to a very famous green figurine that many believe protects the Kingdom of Thailand.
- Soak in some ancient history at the Temple of Dawn, a colorful sanctuary on the banks of the Chao Phraya that’s been around since the 17th century.
In the evening, it's time for our Welcome Mixer. Enjoy appetizers and drinks with your new friends and travelers. Afterwards, you’re free to take the party elsewhere!
Day 4: Explore the Damnoen Saduak Floating Markets
Travel outside of Bangkok to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Markets. It’s like a mall, but everything is floating and must be accessed by longboats. And you can find locally-crafted goods and fresh fruit. And the food vendors put your local food court to shame. Okay, so it’s not like a mall at all. It’s better.
- Head to the world-famous Damnoen Saduak Floating Markets, located in a bustling village outside of the city.
- Explore the maze of narrow canals by boat, and test your negotiation skills with the vendors.
- Browse the small wooden boats that sell fresh produce, colorful flowers, and local food. It’s all about the noodles, people.
- Shop around, and pick up some souvenirs for your friends and family back home. And yourself. Because #TreatYourself.
Day 5: Fly to Chiang Mai + Visi Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Temple
You’re headed to Chiang Mai for three days of…everything. First up: Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. This temple is the most holy and opulent Buddhist site in Thailand (you know, in case the fact that it’s entirely covered in gold gets lost on you) and is one of the top experiences in Thailand.
- Hop on a flight to Chiang Mai, the largest city in Northern Thailand.
- Snake up the 306 steps to get to the famous Buddhist temple, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep.
- Say “holy poop” (you are at a religious site after all) as you take in the vistas of Chiang Mai and the emerald green forests below.
- Enjoy a traditional kantoke dinner with your group tonight.
Day 6: Visit an Elephant Sanctuary + Wat Suan Dok Temple + Optional Home Hosted Dinner
Elephants are the grandpas of the animal kingdom, with their adorableness and little hairs atop their head, and you get to spend the morning with them. Hang with them in their natural habit before heading to the Wat Suan Dok temple and monastery. While you’re there, talk to a Buddhist monk—about your time with the gentle giants, the meaning of life, or anything else. In the evening enjoy dinner on your own or participate in an optional Lanna dinner.
- Learn about and observe the Asian elephants.
- Visit the Wat Suan Dok Temple and learn how the “flower garden temple” got its name.
- Ask the monk anything at an open forum, and gain better insight into the Buddhist way.
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 7: Fly to Phuket + Free Time
You’re headed to Phuket, where, there’s an abundance of white sand beaches palm trees, and The. MOST. INSTAGRAMMABLE. PLACE. EVER. Phang Nga Bay. This bay is home to the James Bond Island, named not because it likes things shaken not than stirred, but because it’s where Man with the Golden Gun was filmed. This teetering limestone island is one very iconic rock in one insanely beautiful place.
- Fly to Thailand’s largest island, Phuket.
- Explore the area, and stick your toes in the sand of any of the 20+ beaches.
- Grab a cocktail, and a seat and just say “this is the life” over and over.
- Hit the beach, town, or pillow and spend the evening however you’d like.
Free Time Suggestions
Bangla Road Nightlife: When the sun goes down, and the roads close to vehicle traffic, Bangla Road is the place to be. Loud music. Cheap beer. Neon lights. It’s like an outdoor club…except the drinks are ridiculously cheap.
Museum Mania: With beaches and endless amounts of nightlife around, visiting a museum might sound like the last thing you’d want to do. But Phuket has a museum for everyone, like the Phuket Seashell Museum and the Phuket Trickeye Museum, an interactive 3D exhibition.
Day 8: Free Day in Phuket + Nga Hong Phang National Park
There’s more to Phuket than incredible beaches and views for days. This place is steeped in ancient history, rich culture, and endless nature. So if you need a break from the beach to shake the sand out of your hair, check out some of the island’s museums and historic spots. Spend the day exploring on your own, or, join an optional excursion to Nga Hong Phang National Park.
- Discover your animal nature at some of the island’s wildlife exhibits, like the Phuket Aquarium or Butterfly Garden during your free time.
- Take the day to beach-hop and attempt to choose your favorite one, which may prove to be an impossible task.
- Explore Old Phuket Town, because you know what they say, age before beauty. Luckily, this place is old and beautiful.
Free Time Suggestions:
Big Buddha: Hike up to The Big Buddha of Phuket, a giant marble statue on the peak of a mountain. Not only is this big guy a cool site to see, its mountain-top location provides incredible views of the island.
Find your Muse(um): Spend some time in the Thalang National Museum, home to a permanent exhibit of what life was life in old Phuket, including ancient artifacts and remains.
Hong by Starlight(extra cost)
Cruise through 42 islands in the Phang Nga Bay in Nga Hong Phang National Park. See limestone cliffs, turquoise water, and a bunch of people taking pictures. And rightfully so. This national park is perfect for boating, exploring, and taking your breath away. Kayak through hidden tidal caves, and see some of Thailand’s hidden wonders. After dark, release decorative flower floats called Kratongs in the lagoon as you watch the water literally light up—it’s luminescent (and science at its best).
Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.
Day 9: Enjoy a Free Day in Phuket
Another day in paradise. Another day to do what you want. What’s that you say? You want to sit on the beach with a drink in hand and laugh at all your friends and family back home who are busy working, or going to school, or getting into an argument over the season finale of some show? Trust your gut. Laugh away. And then, sunscreen up!
- Wake up whenever you want, to do whatever you want, because today is all yours.
- Expand your culinary palette with Tom Yam Goong and Thai spring rolls.
- Treat yo’ self to another massage—or seven—you’ll never get prices like this back home.
Free Time Suggestions:
Triple Threat: Walk to Kho Sam Head, AKA “Hill of the Three Beaches,” for stunning views of three picturesque bays.
Cabaret with the Ladyboys: The Ladyboy Cabaret shows are exactly what they sound like, and they’re something you have to see to appreciate. Think bright lights, great costumes, and nonstop entertainment.
Day 10: Travel to Bangkok + Farewell Dinner
We’re taking you back to the beginning, where this whole adventure began: Bangkok. Sort of poetic, isn’t it?
- Shake off any remaining sand—you’re back in the big city now.
- Arrive in Bangkok, and make the most of your last day in paradise.
- Revisit your favorite sites or to check off your final to-do’s from your Thailand bucket list.
Share some last laughs (and maybe shed a few tears) at an included farewell dinner with the group.
Day 11: 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.