Thailand on a Shoestring
SAVE UP TO 20% on this tour

Thailand on a Shoestring will see you hiking through thick jungle and gleaming rice paddies in the northern mountains and learning first-hand about life in a hill-tribe village. In Chiang Mai shop at the night bazaar shop and add to your culinary skills. You’ll also have ample time to lose yourself in the hedonism of Bangkok, chill out in Khao Sok National Park and laze on the beautiful island beaches of Koh Samui and Koh Tao underneath the sweltering sunshine. After 16 wondrous days, you’ll walk away from Thailand having pretty much done it all!

  • Duration: 16 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Average
  • Accommodation standard:   Not Rated%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Tour code: 126492
  • Starts: Bangkok, Thailand
  • Finishes: Bangkok, Thailand
You will Visit
  • Bangkok



Day 1: Bangkok

Today is arrival day, so there are no activities planned. Enjoy free time to relax, explore the city, and adjust to the frantic pace and humid heat of Bangkok.

After your meeting, head out for an optional dinner to get to know your CEO and fellow group members better.

Additional Notes:
Please arrive at our start point hotel before 18:00 for an important group meeting where you will meet your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and the other group members. Please look for a sign on the hotel's notice board for the time and location of your group meeting.

Included Activities:
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting


Day 2: Bangkok/Chiang Mai (1B)

Opt to visit Wat Po and the Grand Palace, or check out the city's klongs by boat. Board an overnight train to Chiang Mai.

Additional Notes:
Due to disruptions of Thai trains in the north during the monsoon season, trips running July through October may use alternative transport.

Basic overnight train (beds) (12.00 hour(s))


Day 3: Chiang Mai

Enjoy one of two street food crawls with the group and CEO. Opt to visit Doi Suthep temple, comb the night markets for souvenirs, or participate in a Thai cooking class.

Included Activities:
Street Food Crawl


Day 4: Chiang Mai/Ban Mae Jok (1B, 1L, 1D)

We might have time to visit a local market before stopping for lunch and starting our trek.

Tucked away in the hills of northern Thailand is where the most colourful and unchanged traditional communities can be found. Trek through forests and rural terrains to visit some of these diverse hilltribe villages; often, each will have their own unique language, clothing style, and belief system that differs significantly from those of neighbouring tribes. You are well looked after by your local guides, who take the responsibility of preparing all meals and carrying food supplies.

Additional Notes:
The exact itinerary of the walking on this trip may change from time to time, taking into account the weather and local conditions. Also, please note there may be times when the use of video and/or still cameras may be inappropriate -- your CEO and guides will be able to advise you. Be prepared for the accommodation to be basic; remember, it's all about an authentic and unique experience!

Included Activities:
Hilltribe Trek Day 1

Pickup truck (1.00 hour(s))


Day 5: Ban Mae Jok/Pa Khao Lam (1B, 1L, 1D)

You will also have the chance to fish at Mae Tang River using local tools; learn how to construct a bamboo raft.

Included Activities:
Hilltribe Trek Day 2


Day 6: Pa Khao Lam/Chiang Mai (1B, 1L)

After breakfast, leave the village by bamboo raft, stopping at other villages along the way. Meet the van after lunch and head back to Chiang Mai for some free time to explore.

Included Activities:
Bamboo Rafting to Lahu Village
Lahu Village Visit
Bamboo Rafting to Shan Village

Pickup truck (1.50-2.00 hours)


Day 7: Chiang Mai/Bangkok (1B)

Opt to go shopping, enjoy a Thai massage, or explore Chiang Mai's many temples. Board an overnight train to Bangkok.

Additional Notes:
Due to disruptions of Thai trains in the north during the monsoon season, trips running July through October may use alternative transport.

Basic overnight train (beds) (12.00-13.00 hours)


Day 8: Bangkok

Get out and explore this fantastic city where there is endless sightseeing to be done.

Additional Notes:
As this longer tour is comprised of two shorter tours, there is the possibility that you will need to change hotels on this day. Check in with your CEO about this while on tour. The two hotels we generally use are within walking distance.


Day 9: Bangkok/Surat Thani (1B)

Get to know Thailand's capital. Check out Wat Pho and the Grand Palace, get a Thai massage, or explore the klongs on a boat tour before an overnight train. Enjoy a street food crawl with the group and CEO either today or another day on tour.

Included Activities:
Street Food Crawl

Basic overnight train (beds) (12.00-13.00 hours)


Day 10: Surat Thani/Khao Sok

Khao Sok is a diverse area of natural beauty, a perfect place for people who want to hike and get out there in nature or those that just want to chill out in a hammock by the riverside watching monkeys take their afternoon bath.

Additional Notes:
The entrance fee to the national park is not included.

Local bus (3.50 hour(s))


Day 11: Khao Sok/Ko Samui (1B)

Lying off of Thailand's east coast in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Samui offers everything one could possibly want in a beach retreat: white sandy beaches, coconut palms, fresh seafood, and warm clear waters.

Take a public bus and ferry from Surat Thani and arrive at Koh Samui in the afternoon. The island is known for its magnificent beaches and party nightlife. Tour the island and its main sights or simply relax and enjoy the beautiful beaches.

Local bus (3.50 hour(s))
Local bus (1.00 hour(s))
Ferry (2.00 hour(s))


Day 12: Ko Samui (1B)

Water activities abound on this island. Opt to go on an island hopping tour through a national marine park, go swimming, or take a Thai cooking class.


Day 13: Ko Samui/Koh Tao (1B)

During the past 10 years, the reputation of Koh Tao's natural beauty, especially its marine life and coral reefs, has spread the world over and the number of paradise seekers and divers increased rapidly. It's become one of the major dive sites in Thailand, attracting beginners and professionals alike. The island today, though still remaining a unique paradise, caters to all tastes and budgets.

Ferry (2.00 hour(s))


Day 14: Koh Tao (1B, 1L)

Enjoy an included full-day snorkelling trip.

Included Activities:
Koh Tao Snorkelling


Day 15: Koh Tao/Bangkok (1B)

Return to the mainland in the afternoon to board an overnight train back to Bangkok.

Ferry (1.50 hour(s))
Basic overnight train (beds) (9.00-10.00 hours)


Day 16: Bangkok

Arrive in the early morning at the train station and bid farewell to everyone.

Included Activities:
Departure Day (Activities)

    • Visit to Chiang Mai night market
    • Hilltribe trek
    • Indigenous village stay
    • Bamboo rafting
    • Street food crawl
    • Full-day snorkelling trip (Koh Tao)
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    • Simple hotels/bungalows (8 nts), basic hilltribe huts (2 nts, multi-share), sleeper trains (4 nts), hostel (1 nt, multi-share)
    • 11 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 2 dinners
    • Local bus, train, walking, boat
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, trekking staff
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Tour Highlights:
  • Experience the bustling streets of Bangkok
  • Explore colourful Chiang Mai
  • Trek to remote hilltribe villages
  • Float down a river on a bamboo raft
  • Enjoy the island beaches of Koh Phangan and Koh Tao