22 October 2016
If you fancy a relaxing holiday in Thailand's beautiful resort island of Phuket then there is no better way to travel there than on this five day tour. Beginning in the pulsating capital city of Bangkok, you travel overland across southern Thailand seeing all the sights and meeting the local people before arriving at the country's largest and most famous tourist island where you can stay on for as long as you like at one of Phuket's plush beach resort hotels.
Your adventure begins when you leave Bangkok and cross the Chao Phraya River to the capital’s sister city of Thonburi on the way passing salt farms being harvested from the nearby gulf. Then travel on to Damnern Saduak, home of the floating market where villagers ply their trade in long-tailed boats. From here, drive to Phetchaburi for lunch then visit Phra Nakhon Kiri Palace on the hill and Marukhathaywan Palace, built of golden teak wood by the sea. After checking in to your hotel at Hua Hin there is an optional visit to Hua Hin Night Market by trishaw.
From Hua Hin you are driven to the fishing village of Pran Buri. You also drive through the Sam Roi Yod (Three Hundred Peaks) National Park, which was the location for the famous war scenes in the film The Killing Fields. Here you can climb the 395 steps to the top of the Mirror Mountain with its small monastery overlooking the little harbour and beach. Stop for lunch at a seaside restaurant and then continue southwards, maybe stopping for fresh pineapples by the roadside before arriving at Chumphon where dinner is waiting at your hotel.
After breakfast you leave for Surat Thani. On the way visit Phra Borommathat Chaiya, the Mahayanan style stupa of Phra Borommathat Chaiya built around 757. From here, you continue to the weaving village of Baan Phumriang, famous for its exquisitely coloured cloth called Phumriang Silk. After lunch continue overland to Southwest National Park at Ao Luk and in the late afternoon you reach the Krabi area where you check in at your hotel for two nights with dinner included.
After your days on the road, today is all about relaxation . . . or more adventures if you are feeling energetic. Soak up the sun at your hotel or join a boat trip to one of the nearby islands which boast beautiful sandy beaches where you can swim and snorkel in the clear waters. There are also kayak trips you can take to explore the nearby mangrove swamps and see lots of exotic wildlife.
After breakfast visit the Shell Cemetery where petrified seashells dating as far back as 75 million years make up huge rock slabs. Then enjoy a cruise across the Phang Nga National Park to spectacular Phang Nga with its awesome limestone karsts above the bay. Here you visit a small island which, since featuring in the film Man with the Golden Gun, has been nicknamed James Bond Island. After lunch overlooking the striking scenery from the terrace of Phang Nga Resort you travel on to Phuket where you can stay on and extend your holiday or travel back to Bangkok or to the airport for your journey home.
Standard fr £822pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated