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Thailand Trip Details

Introduction

Thailand, The Land of Smiles, is one of the few places that never seems to disappoint, keeps travelers begging for more, and offers surprises at every corner. From idyllic beaches to serene temples, and iconic street food stalls to vibrant flea markets - Thailand has everything that one can ask for.

Travel to three popular destinations of Thailand: Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Krabi. Discover the capital city of Bangkok - visiting the Grand Palace and touring the alleyways that weave through the city. Explore the mountainous region of Chiang Mai - swimming in a waterfall and visiting an elephant sanctuary. Chill on the white sand beaches on Krabi, and kayak around limestone karsts of the Andaman Sea.

Read more about Thailand Culture

Duration: 10 days / 9 nights

Start: Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK), Bangkok
To ensure shuttle service: plan to arrive Day 1 by 3:00 PM 

Finish: Krabi Airport (KBV)    
To ensure shuttle service: plan to depart Day 10 after 2:00 PM

Airfare booking details will be sent after registration – please wait to book your flight until you receive further instructions

What's Included

-10 days / 9 nights in double accommodations
-9 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 7 dinners
-Overnight train ticket to Chiang Mai
-Domestic flight to Krabi
-Transport and entrance fees to Ayutthaya Historical Park
-Transport and entrance fees to Doi Suthep Temple
-Transport and entrance fees to Bua Tong Sticky Waterfalls
-Full day experience at an elephant sanctuary
-Transport to & from Krabi beach destination
-Rock Climbing Experience (included for April through October trips)
-Island tour with snorkeling
-Insider local knowledge of the finest Thai cuisine
-Pickup at BKK airport
-Drop-off at KBV airport
-An Under30Experiences leader and one local guide
-The chance to meet awesome people!

Attendees are responsible for their own airfare to Bangkok and from Krabi

Highlights

-Royal Grand Palace (Bangkok): the official residence of the Kings of Siam since 1782
-Ayutthaya Historical Park: a UNESCO World Heritage site, Ayutthaya was the second capital of the Siamese Kingdom which was founded in 1350
-Elephant sanctuary: spend a day learning about Asian elephants and the conservation efforts taken to protect these giant mammals
-Island hopping through the Andaman Sea: tour the magnificent karsts with our private boat and swim in hidden lagoons
-Thai cuisine: indulge in the curries and spices of Thailand at local food stalls

Is this Trip for You?

Thai culture is deeply influenced by religion with around 95% of the country being Theravada Buddhist. The most important values Thai people hold to are respect, self-control, and a non-confrontational attitude.

We expect our travelers to adhere to and respect Thai culture.  Remember, we are Thailand’s guests, and learning about new cultures is one of the greatest gifts of travel.

Thailand has a tropical, humid climate. Please advise that daytime temperatures can be hot (upper 80’s to lower 90’s fahrenheit). This trip involves of lot of movement throughout the day and you will sweat.

-Age requirement:  21+
-Group Size:  12-14 travelers
-Physical Rating: Moderate. Rock climbing on Railay beach (included on April through October trips) is physical but the routes are designed for beginners. There are short treks when visiting waterfalls and at the elephant sanctuary. Kayaking is optional and is conducted on open water. Tab Kak Hang Nak Nature Trail (offered on November through March trips) is a high physical hiking activity.

Community

Travel connects us. Community keeps us connected.

Whether you have joined us on a trip or are looking for a group of like-minded people, we welcome you to the Under30Experiences Travel Community.

Itinerary Disclaimer

Travel can be unpredictable. Our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience.

While it is our intention to adhere to the itinerary, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into it and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Meals

Sample Breakfast Menu: 

  • Mixture of western and Thai buffet, eggs and fruit are almost always an option.
  • ‍On Day 4, breakfast will be a choice of noodle soup or chicken and rice.  These are two common breakfast dishes in Thailand.

Dinners are mostly family style where multiple dishes are ordered and everyone shares.

Sample Dinner Menu: 

  • Mixture of curries, spiced sausages, chilli dips and salads
  • Seafood BBQ
  • A variety of traditional Thai dishes (Thai food is delicious yet spicy, and we will be tasting a variety of local dishes on this program)

Food vendors will range from modern restaurants to local style food stalls.

Packed lunch on activity days (Day 5 and Day 8) and lunch served at the elephant sanctuary.

We do our best to accommodate vegan and vegetarian requests or any allergies.

Transport

Private minivan service from Bangkok airport to accommodation in Bangkok

Public transit system including subway, skytrain and boats in Bangkok

Private minivan service from Bangkok to Ayutthaya Historical Park

Public train service from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai

Private and public songthaews (truck with covered benches in the bed) in Chiang Mai  

Private boats while visiting and touring the islands in Phang Nga Bay

Accommodation

Shared boutique hotel rooms for duration of trip

Single travelers are paired with someone of the same gender

Laundry available at hotel (ask front desk for details)

*Private room options available upon request subject to hotel availability (for an extra charge)
*Accommodations can vary but will be the same quality.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is mandatory in order to participate on any of our trips.

When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all travelers must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Trip Leader Expectations

All Under30Experiences trips are accompanied by experienced trip leaders and community managers.

The goal of the trip leaders is to facilitate an awesome experience and help our travelers have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends.

You can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.

Packing List

Please be eco-friendly
  • Bring a sustainable water bottle
  • Use as little plastic as possible by declining straws and plastic bags at restaurants and when shopping
  • Please avoid aerosol bug sprays as they negatively affect the environment
  • Bring "reef safe" sunscreens that do not contain oxybenzone and octinoxate because they kill coral

We recommend using a travel backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage.

Below includes our staff picks of the best items on the market that we travel with!  All products selected are 3 ounces or less to comply with TSA carry-on size and certified organic when possible.‍

Do not forget: water bottle, sunscreen, sandals, quick-dry travel towel, waterproof rain jacket, insect repellent, sunglasses and a hat.

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you U30X will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Passport & Visas

Passports and Visas (Guidelines for US passport holders)

  • Make sure you have an updated passport with youYour passport must be valid for 60 days after your trip. Under30Experiences recommends that your passport be valid for at least 6 months after your trip.  Please consult the US Embassy with any more questions.
  • Make sure there is no damage to your passport. Conditions that may constitute damage requiring you to replace your passport include water damage, a significant tear, unofficial markings on the data page, missing or torn out visa pages, a hole punch, or other injuries.
  • The VISA EXEMPTION RULE allows tourists from 55 countries to enter Thailand without a visa. They are granted to stay a maximum of 30 days if they are entering Thailand via an international airport or entering through a land border checkpoint from neighboring countries.
  • If you have a passport different than USA please check visa requirements to enter Thailand.

Health & Insurance

  • Thailand’s tap water is not potable. Do not drink from the faucets. Please bring a sustainable water bottle to refill at water stations throughout the trip. Join us in our effort to be environmentally friendly and keep Thailand beautiful.
  • Our suggested travel insurance vendor is World Nomads and has a minimum of $200,000 coverage.
  • Please consult with your doctor before traveling in regards to physical activity and vaccinations.
  • No inoculations are required to enter Thailand from the United States but the Center for Disease Control suggests vaccinating for Hepatitis A and Typhoid.
  • Mosquito born viruses exist in most of Southeast Asia. Please cover exposed skin and use mosquito repellent.

Money & Currency

  • Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping.
  • Remember to call your bank and credit card company and let them know you will be traveling overseas.
  • Bring cash with you!  It will be helpful to have at least the equivalent of $300 USD cash on you during the trip for lunches, snacks, optional activities, souvenirs, etc.
  • You will have to exchange your money into Thai Baht (THB), vendors do not accept USD. If you’d like a better exchange rate call your bank and order Baht before your trip.  However, there are exchange booths to every location we visit.
  • For an up-to-date exchange rate, download the app XE.

Safety & Security

  • Always carry a copy of your travel insurance, health insurance and passport with you.
  • Keep your passport and any valuables locked in the safe at the accommodations. A photo of these items on your phone is a good backup.
  • Don’t leave valuables unattended and be aware of purses / backpacks, especially in crowded markets as pick-pocketing / bag snatching does occur.
  • US Citizens please register with the State Department's “SMART Traveler Program” who can contact your family in case of emergency.

Weather

The weather can be described as tropical and humid for the majority of the country during most of the year. Average temperatures are in the mid to upper 80’s fahrenheit.

There are three seasons:
-Hot season:  March through May; hot, dry weather.  Rainfall is scarce. Prepare for high temperatures and make sure to stay hydrated if you're traveling during these months.
-Cold (cooler season): November through February; temperatures keep in the 70’s and low 80’s fahrenheit. Known as the high season with plenty of tourists.
-Rain season: June through October; please expect showers and thunderstorms that pass through on most days.

cultural information

Thai people do not shake hands.  They greet one another with the wai, or pressing one’s palms together about chest level and bowing one’s head slightly.

When eating, using a fork and spoon is more common than chopsticks.  The spoon is held with the dominant hand and the fork is used to push the food onto the spoon.

Touching someone’s head is highly offensive. So is raising or pointing your feet at someone or any religious object.

Smile regularly, just like Thai people. Raising your voice is unacceptable and considered an act of losing control.  Avoid doing or saying anything that may embarrass another person cause them to “lose face”.

Touching or showing affection in public is not common, so please avoid this as well.

Duck down when walking between two people or when walking past a person blocking their vision.  This is polite gesture of respect to acknowledge the interruption.

Key Phrases

Note on politeness: Men always end their sentences with “krap” and women always end their sentences with “ka”. So a man would say “sa-wat-dee krap” as a greeting, and a woman would say “sa-wat-dee ka”.

  • Hello -- Sa-wat-dee
  • Thank you -- khob khun
  • Excuse me / sorry -- Khor toat
  • How much? -- Nee tao rai
  • Bathroom -- Hong nam (or Toilet is commonly used)
  • Would you like to dance with me? -- dten gan mai
  • May I take a picture? -- tai roop dai mai
  • Never mind -- Mai pen rai (handy all purpose phrase to express the Thai go-with-the-flow attitude)
  • Comfortable, relaxed-- Sabai Sabai (commonly used among locals meaning everything is chill)

Optional Activities

Thai Cooking Classes

See pricing listed below as each operator has different rates

Thai cuisine is worldly famous and most travelers coming to Thailand choose to opt for an instructional cooking class.  Learn directly from the host who will teach you about the flavors, ingredients and techniques.  Most importantly, you get to taste the food as you cook before enjoying the full meal at the end of the class.  

MaMaNoi Thai Cookery School:  Set in the heart of a beautiful, serene organic farm and garden, this school provides travelers with a relaxing atmosphere in which to learn. All classes include a guided market tour, during which you will learn about a number of Thai ingredients, many of which you will later use to prepare your delicious meals. Half Day courses = 800 thb ($25 usd) Contact:  https://www.mamanoicookeryschool.com/ / +66 53-281-089

Elephant Parade House

600 thb ($18 usd)  for small size and 1000 thb ($30 usd) for larger size sculpture

Elephant Parade is a social enterprise and runs the world’s largest art exhibition of decorated elephant statues. Created by artists and celebrities, each Elephant Parade statue is a unique art piece. The life-size, baby elephant statues are exhibited in international cities and raise awareness for the need of elephant conservation.  The Elephant Parade House in Chiang Mai offers travelers a chance to paint their own elephant sculpture with the proceeds going to elephant conservation initiatives.  This is a nice, relaxed and informative activity in an air-conditioned room.

Activity times:  Open everyday; suggested to reserve a space beforehand for multiple people

Included:  Presentation about elephant conservation, assistance from local artists and a sculpture to bring home as a souvenir

Contact:  http://www.elephantparade.com/ / +66 53-246-448

Monk Chat

Free, though a donation to the temple is suggested = 100 thb ($3 usd)

Informally talk with a monk to learn about everyday life, Thai culture and tradition and more in-depth aspects of Buddhism.  This is a perfect cultural exchange to not only learn more about the spiritual progression with the Thai Buddhist framework but to also share your culture and language with a Thai monk.

Activity times:  8:00 - 10:00 am and 5:00 - 7:00 pm

Contact:  www.monkchat.net / +66 84-609-1357

Free Bird Stand Up Paddleboarding

Take a beginner lesson to learn the basics, test your balance with a yoga practice or join in on a sunset tour off the beaches of Railay. 

300 thb ($10 usd) hourly rental; 1,700 thb ($55 usd) sunset tour; 600 thb ($20 usd) yoga classes with minumum of 4 participants.

Activity times: Open everyday; must reserve a space 2 days before for the yoga and sunset tour options.

Contact: https://www.gofreebird.com/ / +66 61-953-9913

General Rules

Respect the people around you and the environment in which you’re traveling. This includes, but is not limited to fellow travelers, trip leaders, the local community, nature, wildlife, and yourself.

Do your best to keep yourself and fellow travelers out of harm’s way.

It’s important to obey local laws and customs while on our trips. This includes, but is not limited to wearing appropriate clothing while visiting certain communities, refraining from taking photos of people without asking, avoiding the use of illegal drugs, having weapons, and soliciting prostitution. If you’re not sure about something, take time to educate yourself, or ask.

Travel involves contact with new cultures. When confronted with a different way of living than you’re used to, do your best to understand that neither way is better or worse. They’re simply different ways of life.

Know your limits! This applies to physical ability, emotional space, social situations, and alcohol consumption. If you can’t participate in something, be upfront about it. If you need a break from people, take it. Stop drinking before you get too drunk.

Trip leaders are working in the travelers’ best interest. If they say something or ask you not to do something it’s not because they’re tyrants, but because they want you to have a good time!

Lying or withholding information about any physical or mental condition that might affect your ability to participate in any of the activities may be grounds for removal from your trip with no refund.

Staying longer or arriving early?

Still need to book your flight?

Advice for booking international flights! We recommend that you arrange for a roundtrip ticket to and from Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK). On the final day (DAY 10) of the trip, purchase a separate domestic flight from KBV (Krabi) - BKK (Bangkok). Bangkok Airways and Thai Smile are recommended carriers. This will provide less expensive international flights and will offer more flight time options.

Check out this article on Travel Hacking

Read our Ultimate Guide to Traveling Abroad

For those of you who might have a layover in Taipei, Taiwan - check out this city guide

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