Thailand in a Nutshell

2-Week First Time Thailand Itinerary - Bangkok, Elephant Spotting & Ko Lanta

Prices from £1,628 pp

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Duration13 days / 12 nights (flexible)

DepartureDeparts every Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday from Bangkok

ItineraryBangkok - River Kwai - Chiang Mai - Thai Homestay - Ko Lanta

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If you’ve got a fortnight to spare, this 2-week holiday in Thailand is a great choice. You’ll pack in all of Thailand’s highlights with some unique local adventure thrown in before ending your trip on a quiet white sand beach. After exploring the bright lights of Bangkok, you’ll sleep in a secluded floating hut on the River Kwai before journeying north to Chiang Mai to learn all about the Asian elephant. Next, you’ll head out into the Thai countryside to experience the life of the local people. Finally, you’ll fly south to Ko Lanta, where you can finish your 2 weeks in Thailand mastering the art of Thai cuisine at a charming resort with a pool and a palm-fringed beach overlooking a sparkling blue bay.

What's included

  • Accommodation – price based on 2 people sharing
  • Breakfast
  • Airport airport transfer in Bangkok
  • 3 domestic flights
  • Excursions and meals as described

Our ready-made itineraries 1. Add your favourite itinerary to your travel plan  2. Send it our way 3.Our travel specialists will get planning and send you a quote

Location map

Your day-by-day itinerary

Bright Lights of Bangkok

You’ll arrive in the bustling capital of Bangkok and stay on the riverside of Chao-Phraya, with a rooftop pool, and just a short walk to the famous Khao San Road. The following morning we’ll arrange a thrilling full day excursion that will give you a taste of life in Bangkok. You’ll discover local communities, learn about the history and finish the afternoon with a refreshing drink at a roof-top bar.

Thailand Bangkok skyline night

The River and the Railway

After an early breakfast you’ll start your trip to the River Kwai as part of a small group. First you will visit a market before heading to the Hellfire Pass Museum where you can learn all about the haunting history of this region. In the afternoon a longtail boat will take you upstream to your accommodation for the night, a floating raft house lit by flickering oil lamps.

river kwai view thailand

After a peaceful night’s sleep in your floating hut you’ll you’ll visit the Erawan Waterfalls, a spectacular collection of waterfalls. As you climb why not take a plunge in one of the clear pools to cool off. Next it’s time to board the train for a trip across the Burma ‘Death’ Railway. During the ride you’ll see panoramic views of the River Kwai and visit the Bridge over the River Kwai. You’ll spend the second night of this trip in a small, cosy riverside resort in Kanchanaburi.

Elephant Encounters in Chiang Mai

When you arrive in Chiang Mai, you’ll make your own way to your hotel in the centre of the city. With a laid-back, spiritual atmosphere, Chiang Mai is a walkable city scattered sacred temples and shrines. If you have time, it’s worth stopping at the night market, packed with souvenirs and aromatic street food stalls.

Thailand Chiang Mai elephant feeding


Next you will learn all about these gentle giants at the Elephant Nature Park. You’ll be collected from your hotel in Chiang Mai and transferred to the park an hour away. You will learn all about the issues faced by elephants in Asia and the personal stories of those rescued by the park. You will have the chance to observe these majestic animals and aid in their rehabilitation before returning to Chiang Mai in the early evening for another night in the city.

At Home with the Thai

Sometimes when travelling in Thailand, it can be hard to discover authentic experiences or take a detour off the well-worn tourist route. However, we’ve found an authentic homestay in the Thai countryside. You’ll stay with a local Dutch-Thai family who run their Thailand homestay in a sustainable, eco-friendly way and offer you a unique opportunity to experience real life in rural Thailand. You’ll take a trip to a local village and learn all about the traditional Thai way of life before jumping on a bicycle and cycling through the untouched countryside. Here the landscapes are more rugged, the stars seem to shine brighter, and the people are ready to welcome you.

lady with local kids in thailand

Discover the Flavours of Ko Lanta

As well as vast stretches of white sand and swaying coconut palms, Thailand is also famous for it’s cuisine. From spicy coconut curries and stir-fried noodles to fresh papaya salad and crispy spring rolls, it’s easy to find something truly mouth-watering. During this trip to the tropical island of Ko Lanta you’ll take a cooking class and learn how to make some of these tasty dishes for yourself. You’ll stay in a comfortable wooden bungalow, just a short walk from the island’s natural rainforest and rugged coastline. You’ll have plenty of time to relax on the peach-sand beach and savour the easy going atmosphere.

Ko Lanta Thailand beach

Speak to our Thailand specialist, Miles

“Thailand is my ‘go to’ destination if I’m craving a holiday packed with culture, beaches and ease. My customers like the variety Thailand has to offer - especially families who love making special memories with their children; old and young.”

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