Group Travel

10 Days in Thailand: My Group Travel Recap

Diana Luciana
April 30, 2024

Thinking about traveling to Thailand? Join me on my journey through the Land of Smiles in a recap of this exciting 10-day adventure with Under30Experiences!

Day 1 - Welcome to Bangkok!

Bangkok, Thailand
Food in Bangkok, Thailand

The capital of Thailand, and one of the most visited cities in the world, is an eclectic mix of cultures that will surprise you from the start. It’s hot, humid, and pulsating with life. And the perfect start for a 10-day trip around Thailand! After we left the airport, we checked in at our riverfront boutique hotel and took advantage of the afternoon to try some of the local foods. The Trip Leader took us to one of the many outdoor markets where we got to taste different Thai foods and wander around. Closer to the evening, we enjoyed a drink at the hotel rooftop bar with a prime view of the Chao Phraya River and had our first welcome dinner together. 

Day 2 - Exploring Bangkok

Temples in Bangkok
Thai Tea in Bangkok

You can’t go to Bangkok and not see the famous Grand Palace or Wat Pho, the temple where you’ll find the 46-meter-long gold-plated Reclining Buddha statue. You’ll have to dress appropriately, cover your knees and shoulders, and don’t forget to bring some water with you. The Thai heat is no joke! The Grand Palace grounds are swarming with tourists from all over the world; it’s a busy tourist stop meant to be explored at leisure. Since you’ll have to remove your shoes to go inside the temples and to see the Reclining Buddha, I recommend bringing a comfy pair that’s easy to take off and on. After the Grand Palace, we had lunch at one of the local eateries: don’t miss out on the Thai tea, coconut soup, or the classic Pad Thai. The next stop on the itinerary was the famous Buddhist temple, Wat Pho. As it happens, it’s also one of the oldest temples, before Bangkok was established as the capital of Thailand. The Reclining Buddha is an impressive site, at times hard to believe it’s real. After our visit, we headed to the Pak Khlong Talat Flower Market, cruised along the canals on a long-tail boat, and headed back to the hotel for a short spell. We had dinner at one of the local restaurants and explored the famous Khaosan Road.

Day 3 - Ayutthaya and the overnight train to Chiang Mai

Day 3, Thailand U30X
Old temples in Thailand

The last day in Bangkok! We got up early, packed our bags, had a tasty breakfast, and left for Ayutthaya. The Historic City of Ayutthaya, which was founded in the 14th century, is the former capital of the Siamese Kingdom, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The place is huge, so we hopped on our bikes and in between some short rides, got to see different temples and ruins. If you get the chance, I would say take one of the umbrellas to protect yourself from the sun. While I loved strolling around, I did miss the shade. Once the tour was over, we went to a guesthouse to shower and rest for a bit before dinner at the food market and the overnight train to Chiang Mai. It was my first time on board an overnight train, and it was a fun experience, different than what I had expected. I wish I had packed a sweater because it got chilly during the night, but the blanket they provided did its job. 

Day 4 - Welcome to Chiang Mai, the north of Thailand

Chiang Mai, Thailand Temple

Waking up on the train and seeing the mountains in northern Thailand was a refreshing sight. We arrived in Chiang Mai, had breakfast at a local restaurant (the Khao Soi dish is a must-try), and some of us headed for the Muay Thai class, while others headed for a well-deserved Thai massage. We had a short rest at the hotel in the Old Town of Chiang Mai before heading out again... This time we went to the mountaintop temple of Doi Suthep. We got our fortunes read, listened to the monks sing, and soaked in the beautiful views of Chiang from the top. The sunset is not to be missed at the top! Coming down from the mountaintop, we had dinner at the night market and returned to the hotel.

Day 5 - Bua Tong Sticky Waterfalls and Thai Cooking Class

Diana and Thailand Trip Leader, Neeni
Thai cooking class
Lunch after the waterfalls
Diana at the Thai cooking class
Mango sticky rice!

Leaving behind the hustle and bustle of Chiang Mai, we went to the Bua Tong Sticky Waterfalls. Get your swimsuit ready and bring your spirit of adventure because it’s going to be a fun day! The multi-tiered waterfalls are located in a scenic forest, and you’ll hike (yes, hike) the waterfalls. You can use the rope to climb, take breaks for pictures, and just enjoy the adventure. After all, how many times in your life can you say you climbed waterfalls? Post-hike, we had a picnic-style lunch in the park - papaya salad, grilled meats, and rice - and returned to the hotel in Chiang Mai. Most of our group opted for the Thai cooking class, and it’s a must! We first stopped at the local food market, where we got an intro course in Thai spices, herbs, and whatnot. The school itself is located in such a beautiful and peaceful place. We were shown around the garden, tasted a few of the Thai herbs, and got ready to… cook! We prepared one drink and three dishes, and you can decide which ones. I went for Thai Tea, coconut soup with tofu, Pad Thai with tofu, and sticky rice. All turned out yummy!

Day 6 - Elephant Sanctuary

Elephant Sanctiary
Diana at the Elephant Sanctiary

For many of us, the Elephant Sanctuary was one of the highlights of the trip. It was my first time seeing and touching elephants and being so up close to them. We learned about Asian elephants, and conservation efforts, prepared their food and medicine, washed these gentle giants, walked with them around the sanctuary’s grounds, and just observed them going about their daily activities. We even got to see a baby elephant, baby Chujai, playing with the ball, and hiding behind her mother’s feet. After the elephant sanctuary, we headed back to Chiang Mai. On our list: the Chiang Mai Cabaret Show! A fitting celebration for our last night in town before flying down south.

*We are big on animal welfare and ethical practices! Read more about Under30Experiences Animal Welfare Policy & Elephant Conservation.

Day 7 - Welcome to Krabi

Krabi, Thailand
Sunset SUP'ing in Krabi, Thailand

From the north to the south, almost two hours on the plane, we landed in tropical paradise! The Andaman Coast is what everyone envisions Thailand to be. We arrived in Krabi and took a boat to Railay Beach, a small peninsula between Krabi and Ao Nang. It felt like a secluded but modern place, with lots of mischievous monkeys roaming around. We checked in at the local hotel, had lunch in town, and got ready for a sunset kayaking and paddleboarding session. It was my first time paddleboarding, and minus a few rookie mistakes, it was an amazing experience! Imagine clear seawater, starry sky, soft breeze, and breathtaking landscape. The limestone karsts that jut up out of the sea are out of this world. 

Day 8 - Island hopping

Island hopping in Krabi
Boat in Krabi, Thailand
New friends in Thailand

Our second day in Krabi was something I was looking forward to: island hopping. We cruised around in a private boat, swam in clear blue waters with colorful fish, snorkeled, relaxed at the beach on different islands, walked from one island to another at low tide, and had a lot of fun overall. Lunch was again picnic style, so we took a break on one of the Andaman Islands and enjoyed our salad, rice, and chicken. After the city adventures in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, it felt right to have this downtown time in the south and explore the coastal region. We returned to Railay Beach in the evening, just in time to catch the sunset on the other side of the island. 

Day 9 - Rock climbing 

Beautiful beach in Krabi, Thailand
Rock climbing in Krabi, Thailand

The last full day in Krabi was jam-packed with activities! As it happens, it was also the first time I’d ever tried rock climbing. Krabi is known as one of the world’s premier rock-climbing destinations, and it didn’t disappoint. While it felt daunting at times, it was also exciting to be up there on the rocks and push myself. I tried two different climbing routes, but you can also just do one and then relax on the beach while the rest of the group is conquering the rocks. Once the climbing was over, we headed for the caves. This was another challenging but rewarding adventure in itself. We climbed stairs, squeezed through tiny places, and took in the beach scenery from an iconic Railay viewpoint. At the end of our cave exploration, we abseiled out of the mouth of the cave and headed back to the hotel. We spent our last full day together on the beach, enjoying the sunset.

Day 10 - Flying back home

Monkey in Railay Beach, Thailand

Unfortunately, it’s time to say goodbye. We woke up early to catch our boat and taxi back to the airport in Krabi. While a lot of my friends flew back to their home countries, I returned to Chiang Mai and continued my adventure traveling through Asia.

If you want to make friends and see the world, check out our group trips for ages 21-35 with Under30Experiences!

If this blog inspired you, view our Thailand itinerary.

Diana Luciana
Diana is a travel-obsessed human based out of Copenhagen, Denmark but originally from Romania. She is currently traveling for a year, and so far has been to Thailand, Vietnam and India! She's a lover of good street food and a nice Thai tea.


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