4.9
| 12 reviews

Kayak and Hike Wild Thailand

9 nights
Easy

Paddle and hike through lush jungle, explore tropical islands and relax on palm-lined beaches along the way

What's Included?

Activities & Certified Guides

All itinerary activities with a local, English-speaking tour leader plus specialist activity guides

All accommodation

Think jungle lodges, floating bungalows and sleeper trains, as well as boutique hotels

Meals

All breakfasts, 8 lunches, 4 dinners

Transfers & Permits

Your airport and local transfers, permits and entry fees are included

Equipment

All your kayaking and cycling equipment, including cycle helmet

Small Like-minded Groups

Solo-friendly by design, join our small n’ sociable groups of up to 12 like-minded, active and outdoorsy people
From

excluding flights

What's it like?

4.9
| 12 reviews
If you are planning a
April 2024
Bethan C.
If you are planning a
April 2024
Bethan C.
If you are planning a
April 2024
Bethan C.
If you are planning a
April 2024
Bethan C.
If you are planning a
April 2024
Bethan C.
If you are planning a
April 2024
Bethan C.
Do not miss this amazing adventure!
April 2024
Carina K.
Do not miss this amazing adventure!
April 2024
Carina K.
Do not miss this amazing adventure!
April 2024
Carina K.
Do not miss this amazing adventure!
April 2024
Carina K.
Too many “wow” moments to mention!
December 2023
Melissa L.
Too many “wow” moments to mention!
December 2023
Melissa L.
Too many “wow” moments to mention!
December 2023
Melissa L.
Too many “wow” moments to mention!
December 2023
Melissa L.
Too many “wow” moments to mention!
December 2023
Melissa L.
This was an excellent trip connecting us wi...
February 2023
Eugene
This was an excellent trip connecting us wi...
February 2023
Eugene
This was an excellent trip connecting us wi...
February 2023
Eugene
If you’re wavering about doing this trip, s...
February 2023
Jan
If you’re wavering about doing this trip, s...
February 2023
Jan
If you’re wavering about doing this trip, s...
February 2023
Jan
If you’re wavering about doing this trip, s...
February 2023
Jan
If you’re wavering about doing this trip, s...
February 2023
Jan
Floating bungalows and kayak, Thailand. Photo: Much Better Adventures/Dani Redd

Kayak the otherworldly Khao Sok Lake and circumnavigate the mangrove-fringed Ao Phang Nga National Park

Hike the jungle trails of Khao Sok National Park and Kao Yao Yai Island, and tackle the 1260 steps up to Tiger Cave Temple

Kick back in longtail boats and hang out on white sandy beaches, peepers open for incredible wildlife

Bed down in a jungle lodge, drift off on a floating bungalow, and rest up in idyllic boutique hotels

Key Information

Day 1

Welcome to Bangkok

Touch down in Bangkok, the city with the world's longest name. It thrums with the pulse of old and new and is home to arguably some of the best street food in South East Asia. Soak up the vibes as you're collected by your host at the airport and transferred to your hotel in bustling Chinatown. Depending on when you arrive, head out to explore – Yaowarat Road, the main artery of Chinatown, is moments from your doorstep. Hit sights like the Grand Palace and its Emerald Buddha, or sample that fabled street food.

Day 2

Cycle Bang Krajao

Cycling Bang Krachao, Thailand. Photo: Much Better Adventures/Dani Redd

Cycling

2-3hrs · 15-20km

Head out of the frenetic streets of Bangkok as you are driven to Bang Krajao, where you'll hop on two wheels to explore winding trails. A lush haven known as the 'Green Lung of Bangkok', where nature thrives and languid canals cool the air; a leisurely cycle ride here is a tonic. Stop to sample food at the local market, and for a delicious lunch, before being driven back to the city to board your sleeper train. Roll out of Bangkok heading south to Surat Thani, where the adventure really begins.

Day 3

Khao Sok National Park

Hiking

3-4hrs · 5km · 250m up · 250m down

Wildlife Watching

1hr

Rolling into Surat Thani, grab your bag and fill up on breakfast. Hit the road by minibus to the sublime Khao Sok National Park, which conserves the largest area of virgin forest in southern Thailand and is teeming with native species. You’ll catch a scenic boat ride into the heart of Cheow Lan, a vast lake where karst islands jut out of turquoise waters. You’ll trek through the jungle on one of these islands to an amazing viewpoint of the lake. At sunset, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife aboard a longtail boat, before bedding down on the lake in your tranquil floating bungalow.

Day 4

Khao Sok National Park

Sunrise from the floating bungalow, Thailand. Photo: Much Better Adventures/Dani Redd

Canoeing

2hrs · 5km

Wildlife Watching

2hrs · 4km

After waking up on the water, set off deep into Khao Sok National Park to your next destination, your jungle lodge nestled amidst one of the world's oldest rainforests. Jump in a canoe to paddle the Sok River, taking in the jungle-entwined banks, dramatic limestone cliffs and some of the 331 bird species. After sunset, explore the jungle, alive with the chorus of chirruping insects – an expert local guide will lead you on a nocturnal hike to discover wildlife. If you're lucky, you may even catch a sighting of the rare, elusive jungle cat. Later, drift off to the sounds of the forest symphony in your bungalow.

Day 5

Than Bok Khorani National Park

Kayaking

3-4hrs · 6-7km

Driving

2.5hrs

Head south to the small village of Bothor, on the coast of Phong Nha Bay, and into Than Bok Khorani National Park. Hop into a kayak and fully immerse yourself in this enigmatic place. Paddling through dense mangroves, you'll enter caves adorned with stalagmites, stalactites and ancient paintings. Glide across shallow aquamarine lagoons until you reach the ethereal blue pool of Tham Lord. Hit the beach or relax by the hotel pool for some late afternoon downtime, and savour the tranquillity of the location.

Day 6

Krabi

Hiking

3-4hrs · 5km · 600m up · 600m down

It's time to seek inner peace at the Tiger Cave Temple. Limber up and hit the 1260 uneven steps to the top, where you can take in the stunning views over Krabi province, presided over by the ever-watchful golden Buddha statue. Wander past sacred trees and the monks' sanctuary to the Tiger Cave itself. Afterwards, refresh yourself at Huay Toh, a glistening tiered waterfall at the base of Phanom Bencha mountain – the perfect place for a cooling dip. Relax at the hotel before catching a shuttle to lively Ao Nang for cocktails at sunset and a trip to the night market.

Day 7

Koh Yao Yai Island

Koh Yao Yai beach, Thailand. Photo: Much Better Adventures/Dani Redd

Kayaking

3-4hrs · 4-5km

Leaving the mainland, travel to Koh Yao Yai by speedboat. The island sits within Ao Phang Nga National Park which is famous for its limestone cliffs and islets skirted by forest. Jump into a kayak to paddle quietly through unspoiled mangroves, watching fiddler crabs scuttle away from hungry macaques. The mangroves near Ban Ya Mi village cover an area of approximately five square kilometres, and are a critical part of the island ecosystem. After your paddle, enjoy a delicious lunch before relaxing into island life on the white sands and catching the sunset.

Day 8

Koh Yao Yai Island

Hiking

3hrs · 4km · 10m up · 10m down

Lace up your boots for a hike around Koh Yao Yai Island. Encircled by the clear coastal waters of Phang Nga Bay, soak up the charm of this peaceful location, away from the hustle and bustle. Head through lush jungle, on a hike led by a knowledgeable local villager. You’ll pass rubber and coconut plantations, spotting tropical birdlife hiding amid the foliage, and learn about their sustainable rubber tree oil extraction process. Enjoy lunch by a peaceful stream before heading on to the bustling vibes of Old Town Phuket, where you can explore at your own pace.

Day 9

Island-hopping by sea kayak

Kayaking

3-4hrs · 10km approx

Your final day features an epic sea kayaking adventure, visiting some of the most spectacular parts of Phang Nga Bay. Head to Ao Por pier to meet your local guide and be briefed on the day's activities, which will be tailored to the tides. Out on the water, you'll use a large longtail boat as a floating base. Circumnavigate tropical islands, discover hidden beaches and take in the gnarled limestone formations. Head ashore to Koh Yao Noi for a spot of lunch before a final paddle and to snorkel in the clear warm sea. Once back on dry land, have one final dinner with your fellow adventurers in the buzzing streets of Phuket Old Town.

Day 10

Phuket

After breakfast, say your final goodbyes. You'll be transferred to the airport in time for your flight home.

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Train Carriage · Mixed dorm

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3

Rafthouse · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4

Rainforest Lodge · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 6 – Day 8

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 9

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 10

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Thai lunch. Photo: Much Better Adventures/Dani Redd

Thai food is one of the world’s most well-loved cuisines, known for balancing sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavours with aromatic herbs and spices like Thai basil and lemongrass. On this trip you’ll have a chance to sample everything from street food to elevated restaurant cuisine. Breakfasts in hotels will cater for all tastes, with Western options such as eggs, toast and cereal alongside Thai options such as noodles, rice porridge and tropical fruit. Lunch and dinner tends to include a curry or soup – such as tom yum – alongside rice, vegetables such as zingy green papaya salad (som tam), and meat dishes such as crispy belly pork. However, on Koh Yao Yai island 90% of the population are Muslim, so pork dishes will rarely be found.

Vegetarians, vegans and those with other dietary requirements or allergies can be catered for – please just request this on your passenger info form.

What is the accommodation like?

Bangkok

Your first night in Thailand will be spent at the Asai Hotel, Chinatown. This stylish, boutique, 3-star hotel is close to the heart of the action and within easy reach of the MRT - Bangkok's subway system. You'll stay in twin-share rooms with en-suite bathrooms.

Overnight Train

A journey aboard a sleeper train is an essential experience of travelling in Thailand! You'll be travelling south from Bangkok to Surat Thani overnight, in a standard two-person shared berth. With one bunk above and one below, you'll be provided with sheets, a blanket and a pillow. Relax, explore or get to know your fellow passengers. There is also a food and drink service available on board.

Floating Bungalow, Khao Sok National Park

Located in a quiet corner of Khao Sok Lake, you'll be gently swayed to sleep in your floating bungalow upon the glassy waters. The Phupa Waree bungalows are mostly off-grid, but with electricity at night. Enjoy the remote jungle surroundings in comfort and take in the superb scenery from your own porch. Your bungalow stay will be on a twin-share basis with an en-suite bathroom.

Jungle Lodge, Khao Sok National Park

Depending on the season, you'll either stay at Anurak Community Lodge or the Cliff & River Jungle Resort.

Surrounded by rainforest, Anurak Community Lodge lodge is set in six hectares of lush tropical gardens right on the boundary of Khao Sok National Park, with bungalow rooms nestled beneath a canopy of trees. You’ll stay in a Deluxe Eco room on a twin share basis, with an en suite bathroom, air-conditioning, ceiling fans, mosquito netting above each bed and a large balcony, affording you a panoramic view of the jungle scenery.

The Cliff & River Jungle Resort is comprised of simple bungalow-style accommodation. The riverside setting is spectacular - think tropical gardens surrounded by rainforest and towering limestone karsts. You'll stay in twin-share rooms with air-conditioning, en suite bathrooms and mosquito netting above each bed.

Krabi

The serene Elements Krabi is a 4-star hotel set within abundant, tropical grounds beside Klong Muang beach. You'll stay in twin-share rooms with en-suite bathrooms, tastefully designed to be in tune with nature. The hotel gardens are inspired by the beautiful Emerald Pond of Krabi, featuring turquoise pools with glittering waterways for you to relax in.

Hotel in Koh Yao Yai, Thailand. Photo: Much Better Adventures/Dani Redd
Koh Yao Yai Island

Relax into island life from your southern Thai-style bungalow at the 4-star Royal Yao Yai Beach Resort overlooking the white sand beach of Loh Pa-Red. You'll be staying in traditional style air-conditioned twin-share rooms with a balcony and en-suite bathroom (complete with rainfall shower). Make footprints in the powdery white sand, take a dip in the beachfront pool or swim in the warm waters of the Andaman Sea.

Phuket

The hotel in Phuket may vary depending on availability but all options offer comparable quality and are located in or close to the old town. You'll usually stay at Ratri Boutique Hotel, inspired by Sino-Portuguese architecture and modern geometrical design. The pool and poolside restaurant are great spaces to cool down and relax. You'll be staying in twin-share rooms with en-suite bathrooms.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability). Please note, it is not possible to have a private room on the overnight train.

This trip has been rated as Easy

Whilst no prior experience is needed, a reasonable level of general fitness is required - you'll be cycling, hiking and kayaking at different points across the itinerary between 2 and 4 hours in duration and using different muscle groups. The cycling in Bangkok will be relaxed and makes a good acclimatisation activity. The hiking within the itinerary will be through jungle and tropical foliage, and although not at high altitude or on difficult terrain, the heat, humidity and possible rain will mean you need to be prepared. The 1237 steps up to the Golden Buddha and Tiger Cave Temple are no mean feat. Kayaking on inland waters will be gentle, although on tidal waters amid mangroves or when sea kayaking, the paddling will be a little more challenging.

What will I need to carry?

Your main luggage will be transported for you. You'll need a small day rucksack to carry personal items, snacks and water during each day of activity/exploration.

Thailand's climate is generally hot and humid, with the rain arriving over the middle months of the year. The seasons differ in each region of the country, meaning the weather will vary depending where you are. Khao Sok National Park can experience rain showers all year round. May to August is a great time to visit the rainforest, which green and vibrant and there is a higher chance of spotting wildlife, although there is a higher chance of heavy rain showers and stronger breezes in Phang Nga bay.

Thailand’s south and west regions have three seasons. From November to March, conditions are pleasant with a refreshing breeze reducing humidity making the daytime a little more comfortable and temperatures generally in the region of 26°C / 79°F to 32°C / 90°F, and down to around 23°C / 73°F at night. From March to May, the heat and humidity rises with temperatures generally in the region of 30°C / 86°F to 36°C / 97°F in the daytime, and down to around 25°C / 77°F at night. From late May it’s rainy season, which usually lasts through to October, with peak rainfall usually between mid-September and mid-October. Between June and August the rain falls in a short, heavy downpours, most likely in the afternoons. Temperatures are generally in the region of 35°C / 95°F to 40°C / 104°F in the daytime and down to around 27°C / 81°F at night.

Bangkok’s weather follows the same pattern as described above, with the most pleasant time to visit being between December and February with cooler temperatures. Between March and May it’s at its hottest with daytime temperatures at around 40°C / 104°F.

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Suvarnabhumi Airport (Bangkok International Airport)

Any time on Day 1

Ends

Phuket International Airport

Any time on Day 10

Transfers

Your host will meet you on arrival at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok and transfer you to your hotel in vibrant Chinatown. At the end of the tour, your host will transfer you to Phuket International Airport in time for your onward flight.

Airport transfers are included in the main price no matter what time or day you arrive/depart, provided you have supplied your flight details in advance.

Travel options

There are direct international flights to Bangkok from the UK and major European hubs, although the return flight from Phuket may be indirect. Indirect international flight options from the UK and various hubs in Europe usually transit via Amman, Paris, Amsterdam, Helsinki, Doha, Singapore or Hong Kong. From the US, there are indirect flights from various major hubs which transit via Seoul, Haneda, Narita, Manila, Istanbul, Zurich, Doha or Dubai, dependent on whether you are flying west or east.

For those arriving early or wanting to stay on, extra nights (and transfers) can be arranged with your host at an additional cost. Please see Optional Extras for more information.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

  • All canoeing and kayaking gear for sea and inland waterways
  • Bike and cycle helmet

What do I need to bring?

BAGS

  • Soft overnight duffel bag or rucksack
  • Daypack (20 litre minimum)
  • Waterproof liner for daypack

CLOTHES

  • Lightweight waterproof jacket
  • Lightweight waterproof trousers
  • Thin jacket or similar
  • Buff or neckscarf/sarong
  • Lightweight trousers/shorts/skirts (cover knees in temples and villages)
  • T-shirts (cover shoulders in temples and villages)
  • Underwear and socks
  • Swimwear
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunhat
  • Something to sleep in
  • Hiking shoes/boots (worn-in)
  • Sandals

SLEEPING

  • Clean bedding is provided on the overnight train, but if you prefer to bring your own that's fine too
  • Cotton or silk sleeping bag liner (optional)
  • Travel pillow or pillowcase (optional)

OTHER

  • Universal travel plug adapter
  • Power bank or solar charger
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Ear plugs
  • Insect repellent
  • Suncream (reef friendly only)
  • Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
  • Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Alcohol hand-gel
  • Headtorch or torch (with spare batteries)
  • Luggage padlock
  • Reusable water bottle x1 litre
  • Biodegradable wet-wipes
  • Energy bars and snacks - read our article on Best Hiking Snacks
*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Pre-trip accommodation in Bangkok (Single, Twin or Double)

Payable Before Departure

Pre-trip accommodation in Bangkok (Single, Twin or Double)

Post trip accommodation in Phuket (Single, Twin or Double)

Payable Before Departure

Post trip accommodation in Phuket (Single, Twin or Double)

Optional Private Room Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room Upgrade

Bethan C.(April 2024)
If you are planning a
If you are planning a
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If you are planning a
If you are planning a
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If you are planning a

If you are planning a trip to Thailand, look no further. I can’t think of any other way you can experience so much of a country in 10 days: from the lights and clamour of Bangkok, to the tranquil waters of Khao Sok National Park, and the bustling night market of Old Phuket.

A real highlight for me was the floating bungalows and jungle lodge around Khao Sok, where we were lucky enough to see and hear wild gibbons. Their territorial cries are something you’ll never forget. Neither are the sounds of the jungle, loud, but also peaceful and far from the hustle and bustle of people.

That said, this isn’t a relaxing holiday. The days can get intense, especially with 37-degree C heat and high humidity. Most days we were up for breakfast by 7am and out by 8am, ready for a full day of activity which didn’t stop until late afternoon/early evening, and usually involved packing bags and travelling 100 or so miles. This and the intense heat made the activity level on this trip a challenge. Walking 5km uphill in near 40-degree heat is not easy.

Echoing the comments below, the food was fantastic, and our guide made sure all dietary requirements were well catered for. With our guide, Rit, and other local guides to help us, I also felt we saw so much more of Thailand than we could’ve achieved alone, and certainly much more if you stick to the tourist spots.

Things I couldn’t live without on this trip were: mosquito spray/repellent, walking boots, loose fitting tops and shorts which covered shoulders and knees (helpful for sun and mosquito protection as well as temples), waterproof phone case.

I also highly recommend staying an extra night in Bangkok and Old Town Phuket. There's so much to explore!

Amy R.(April 2024)
Trip of a Lifetime

This was my first trip to Asia from the US and I thought it was the trip of a lifetime. Our main guide, Rit, and each of our local guides in each city were enthusiastic, welcoming, knowledgeable, and highly communicative. Every single day we saw and did things that were unique and mind blowing. The trip was rated "easy" but due to the very hot weather some of the activities seemed very strenuous. Luckily, everyone was patient with each other, and on kayaking days our guides would offer to do most of the paddling for us so we could lay back and enjoy the scenery.

I think as long as people go into the trip with realistic expectations about roughing it in remote tropical places they will be very pleased. The hotel accommodations were mostly top notch, however, the overnight train, the floating bungalows, and the jungle bungalows are not what many Westerners are used to. If you can overlook having bugs or salamanders in your room for a few nights and relish in the beauty of where you are, you will enjoy the trip.

The food was outstanding everywhere we went and even on our free nights our guide, Rit, was kind enough to organize dinner for anyone who wanted to join so no one ever had to dine alone. The spreads that showed up at each meal were jaw dropping and delicious.

In our 50% US and 50% UK group we had a few solo travelers, a couple, and mother/son duo, which led to a balanced and interesting group. I have hundreds of photos of this trip (and the meals) that I will treasure for years to come.

Carina K.(April 2024)
Do not miss this amazing adventure!
Do not miss this amazing adventure!
Do not miss this amazing adventure!
Do not miss this amazing adventure!
Do not miss this amazing adventure!

Had an absolutely wonderful time on this journey. The itinerary is perfectly mixed with adventure and time for relaxation. Initially concerned about being just four people on this trip, but we quickly formed a close bond. With only the four of us, we felt a sense of exclusivity every day. I is amazing how you can feel so secluded and serene in this popular turist destination. loved avery minute. Our guide, Ritt, was amazing. No other words are needed.

Melissa L.(December 2023)
Too many “wow” moments to mention!
Too many “wow” moments to mention!
Too many “wow” moments to mention!
Too many “wow” moments to mention!
Too many “wow” moments to mention!
Too many “wow” moments to mention!

Brilliant trip with a super group of likeminded people. Loved exploring forests, mangroves, islands and caves before falling asleep to the sounds of the jungle in wonderfully comfortable accommodation. Although the trip is rated “easy”, there was enough physical action to ensure we were nicely tired at the end of each day. Delicious, plentiful and authentic Thai food. Vegetarian/vegan very well catered for; lots of choice with sharing-style dishes. Our wonderful guide Rit went above and beyond to make sure everyone was looked after (thank you!). TIP: Pack a pair of binoculars if you’re into wildlife spotting (get up for a dawn kayak from the floating bungalow), and highly recommend an extra day or two in Phuket to explore the Old Town or chill at the beach.

Stana(December 2023)
This is a fun trip

This is a fun trip with beautiful scenery and amazing food. All the accommodation was varied and excellent. Great mix of activities, we were on the go every day. The kayaking and hiking activities were a bit on the easy side, they were more like tourist excursions rather than actual hiking and kayaking. There was a lot of time spent travelling from place to place. Ko Yao Yai was fabulous, I'd love to have spent more time there. The Krabi hotel location was disappointing as there's nothing to do in the vicinity. This trip gives you a fabulous taste of Thailand!

Claire(November 2023)

Amazing trip, would definitely recommend!

Philippa(November 2023)
Highly recommend this trip! The

Highly recommend this trip! The activities were well rounded and manageable for most individuals and still gave a reasonable time for relaxing! Nai, our guide, was great and really attentive and the food was great throughout! The accommodation was also wonderful throughout! Staying on the floating huts on Khao sok lake was magical and also the kayaking exploring the islands off of Phuket was fantastic despite not the best weather Already looking to book my next adventure

Beth(November 2023)
Great trip with great people!

Great trip with great people! Would recommend it for anyone looking to do what normal tourists don’t get to do

Jenny(November 2023)
Really great trip, happy we

Really great trip, happy we saw so much of the real Thailand, away from lots of tourists. Our guide Nai was great. Khao sok floating hotel was a real highlight! Plenty of delicious food

Victoria(March 2023)

The areas visited were all fantastic. Krabi and the location of the hotel was the one weak link

Eugene(February 2023)
This was an excellent trip connecting us wi...
This was an excellent trip connecting us wi...
This was an excellent trip connecting us wi...

This was an excellent trip connecting us with the beautiful natural environment of Thailand through outdoor adventure. It’s amazing how we managed to experience so many things in ten days - hiking to scenic lookouts, kayaking through mangroves and caves, walking on white sandy beaches, and immersing ourselves into the culture of the local communities. Our guide Rit did an amazing job to make sure we were seamlessly moved along and he always ensured the food arrived piping hot just as we sat down. I can only imagine how much work Rit and the organisers put in to create such an unforgettable and mind blowing experience for all of us. You’ll be missing out if you haven’t already signed up for this trip!

Jan(February 2023)
If you’re wavering about doing this trip, s...