Best of Southern Thailand 9 Days

Itinerary summary

Love beaches! Love islands! Love cocktails! Love this trip, the trip starts from buzzing Bangkok to blissful Koh Samui, snorkeling, swimming, and hanging at waterfalls, visiting jungly Khao Sok National Park, finishing up at Ao Nang a paradise dream! Embrace your inner beach bum and come home with sand in all the wrong places. Bring SPF 30, a sense of adventure, and an appetite for the delicious and strange.

Brief itinerary

Day 1 / Bangkok: Bangkok arrival – Tour

Day 2 / Overnight train: Bangkok – Overnight Train to Surat Thani

Day 3 / Koh Samui: Surat Thani – Koh Samui Beach

Day 4 / Koh Samui: Koh Samui Beach

Day 5 / Khao Sok: Koh Samui – Khao Sok National Park

Day 6 / Ao Nang: Kho Sok National Park – Ao Nang Beach

Day 7 / Ao Nang: Ao Nang Beach

Day 8 / Ao Nang: Ao Nang Beach

Day 9 / Departure: Ao Nang Beach – Departure


Detailed itinerary


Day 1: Bangkok Arrival – Tour

Highlights with Photos: Bangkok

Welcome to Bangkok. Upon your arrival at Bangkok airport, you will be met and transferred to your central Bangkok hotel. If time allows, we will take a tour of Bangkok’s major activities as highlighted below.

Accommodation: Overnight in Bangkok

Activities: Chinatown Food Discovery, Tuk Tuk Experience, Temple & River of Kings, Bangkok by Bike

Meals: Breakfast

Day 2: Bangkok – Overnight Train to Surat Thani

Highlights with Photos: Grand PalaceWat Phra Kaew, Wat Pho

Today explore some of Bangkok’s most famous sights, including the Grand Palace and the adjoining Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew). Make an optional visit to the temple complex of Wat Pho, which houses the famous 46-meter-long statue of the Reclining Buddha. Enjoy a free afternoon to discover more of the city in your own time. This evening, head south to Surat Thani on a 13-hour overnight train.

Notes: Sleeper trains are clean and air-conditioned, and beds are padded berths with sheets, pillows, and blankets provided (although some people prefer to bring their sleeping sheets). Please note that you may be sharing compartments with locals of the same or opposite gender. Your baggage will travel in the carriage with you. There’s also food and drink service available on board.

Accommodation: Overnight by sleeper train (1 night)

Activities: Jim Thompson’s House, Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), Thai Massage, Bangkok – Grand Palace

Meals: Breakfast

Day 3: Surat Thani – Koh Samui

Highlights with Photos: Koh Samui

Arrive in Surat Thani this morning, continuing by public bus and ferry to Koh Samui (approximately four hours). The island of Koh Samui has been a tourist hotspot for decades, and with good reason. Swim, snorkel, or relax in the waterfalls at Na Muang. Take a trip with the group around the island, visiting the 15-meter-tall Big Buddha (Wat Phra Yai). In the evening, perhaps feast on a delicious curry with the group and then join in the carnival that is Koh Samui’s famous nightlife.

Accommodation: Overnight in Koh Samui

Activities: Swim, snorkel, relax, Big Buddha (Wat Phra Yai)

Meals: Breakfast

Day 4: Koh Samui

Highlights with Photos: Koh Samui

Spend a free day today swimming, lazing in the sun, or exploring Koh Samui. You may like to take an optional day tour to Ang Thong Marine National Park by either a slow boat or speedboat. The park is an archipelago of over 40 islands in the Gulf of Thailand, featuring pristine beaches, jungle, mangroves, and limestone mountains rising out of the sea. Join the hoards of tourists tanning on the beach at Koh Mae Island and check out the saltwater lagoon of Thale Nai (Emerald Lake). For a quieter experience and some great snorkeling opportunities, head to the nearby islands of Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan.

Accommodation: Overnight in Koh Samui

Activities: Thai Massage, Thai Cooking Class, Day trip to Koh Tao, Ang Thong Marine Park tour

Meals: Breakfast

Day 5: Khao Sok National Park

Highlights with Photos: Khao Sok National Park

Today travel to Khao Sok National Park by songtaew, ferry, and minivan. The journey will take a total of about five hours. The park is the wettest spot in Thailand and encloses some of the oldest jungles in the world. See limestone islands rise out of the water and, if you’re lucky, monkeys playing by the water’s edge. Stroll along trails past waterfalls and spend the night in a guesthouse in the jungle.

Accommodation: Overnight in Khao Sok

Activities: Khao Sok National Park

Meals: Breakfast

Day 6: Khao Sok – Ao Nang Beach

Highlights with Photos: Ao Nang Beach

Depart by public bus from Khao Sok to the beach town of Ao Nang (approximately three hours). On arrival, settle into your hotel and hit the local beach. Swim or snorkel in the clear water, relax on the sand with a book, and sip a cocktail as the sun goes down. You have plenty of free time to do as you.

Accommodation: Overnight in Ao Nang

Activities: Free

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: Ao Nang Beach

Highlights with Photos: Ao Nang Beach

This morning head out on a half-day sea kayaking trip to Ao Thalane. Transfer from your hotel in Ao Nang to Thalane Bay in a van, passing through rural villages on the way. Paddle through mangrove forests, coves, and narrow karst-walled canyons, keeping an eye out for kingfishers, herons, and crab-eating macaque monkeys. Be careful with your belongings, as cheeky monkeys can steal them. After some time on the water, return to the pier and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant with a great view over the area. After lunch, transfer back to your hotel in Ao Nang. Enjoy free time for the rest of the afternoon.

Accommodation: Overnight in Ao Nang

Activities: Sea Kayaking

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8: Ao Nang Beach

Highlights with Photos: Ao Nang Beach

Enjoy a free day to relax on the beach or participate in a variety of optional activities. Perhaps unwind with a massage or cook up something delicious in a Thai cooking class. Take a tour out to some of Krabi’s naturally-formed crystal pools and hot springs, swimming in the clear waters of the Emerald Lagoon while fish nibble at your toes. You might like to take a trip out to the quiet, pristine island of Koh Hong, where you can snorkel in the shallow reefs and kayak past cliffs to a hidden salt-water lagoon.

Accommodation: Overnight in Ao Nang

Activities: Krabi includes Rock Climbing, a Half-day cycling trip with waterfalls, Phi Phi Island Day Tour. Ao Nang includes Hot Springs & Emerald Lagoon tour, Scuba Diving (3 dives), Cooking class, Thai Massage

Meals: Breakfast

Day 9: Ao Nang Beach – Return to Bangkok or Depart for your next destination
Free time until transfer you back to Bangkok or leave for your next destination.

Meals: Breakfast