Train Tracks through Thailand

2-Week Thailand Train Itinerary - Chaing Mai & Ko Phangan

Prices from £1,155 pp

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View day-by-day

Duration13 days / 12 nights (flexible)

DepartureDeparts every Tuesday & Sunday from Bangkok

ItineraryBangkok - River Kwai - Chiang Mai - Ko Phangan

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This Thailand holiday from Bangkok to Ko Phangan is packed with activity and local means of transport. You’ll be constantly on the move, travelling like the locals. This Thailand itinerary is intense but also very diverse. You’ll travel by train, bus and boat. After a couple of days in Bangkok, take a train ride over the famous ‘Bridge over the River Kwai’. You’ll then take an overnight sleeper train to Chiang Mai, the cultural capital of the north. After you’ve had a chance to explore the city you’ll get up close to the elephants rescued by Elephant Nature Park . You’ll then travel south to Surat Thani, where you’ll hop on a ferry and cross over to a couple of Thailand’s most tropical islands.

What's included

  • Accommodation – price based on 2 people sharing
  • Breakfast
  • Arrival airport transfer in Bangkok
  • Excursions as described below

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Location map

Your day-by-day itinerary

Arrival in Bangkok & free time

On arrival in Thailand, you’ll be collected from the airport and taken to a hotel in central Bangkok where you’ll stay for 2 nights. This hotel is tastefully decorated and has a swimming pool – perfect for those hot days. Suitably refreshed, your adventure can really begin and you can explore your fascinating neighbourhood. Your time here is free to do as you wish, those craving an instant culture fix can head straight to the Royal Palace. This is the number one place of interest for most Bangkok visitors.

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.

Shimmering Bays and Secluded Beaches

You’ll spend the next few days in a secluded bay on the tropical island of Ko Phangan. We’ll arrange for you to be collected from the ferry port and transfer you to your resort with swimming pool on Ko Pha Ngan’s Ao Thong Nai Pan Beach. The famous full moon parties are held on the other side of the island at Had Rin Beach, so they won’t impact you during your stay. Your time here is free to do as you please! If you’re feeling energetic, you can hike up to the island’s highest point – Kao Ra. This breathtaking viewpoint is located at an altitude of 627m. Alternatively you can sit back and relax on the shimmering beach with a local beer or tropical cocktail.

Woman sitting on Ko Phangan sandy 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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