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9-Day Essential Southern Thailand Tour

Love beaches? Love islands? Love cocktails? Well, you will love this trip of 9-day essential of Southern Thailand Tour! Head from buzzing Bangkok to blissful Ko Samui and stunning Ao Nang, this nine-day southern Thailand adventure will see you snorkeling, swimming, and waterfall-chasing until your heart is content. Get your safari fix in the jungle of Khao Sok National Park, stay in a traditional rafthouse with classic Thai hospitality, and finish up in the aquamarine waters of Railay Beach. Bring your A-game and a sense of adventure (and some SPF50) because this adventure is set to sizzle.


Various activities on sites

  • Sightseeing the city of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket
  • Interacting with the elephant and learn more about its habitats
  • Countryside tour of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket and learn about some hidden parts of the country
  • Spending leisure time to relax and enjoy the sea – the sun – and the sand

Unforgettable moments

  • Admiring local people bartering at the floating market of Damnoen Saduak
  • Seeing the charming of Chiang Mai and its surrounding nature
  • Staying up close and playing with the elephant in Chiang Mai
  • Lying under the sun, enjoying the sea & sand of Phuket beaches

Nature exploration

  • The nature of the countryside in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket
  • The evergreen nature of northern Thailand
  • The refreshing sea of Phuket beaches

Culture experience

  • Learn about the vibrant culture of Bangkok, especially at night
  • The peasant culture of the people living in the countryside of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket


Detailed schedule

Day 1 - Welcome to Bangkok

Upon arrival at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Sonasia’s guide & driver will pick you up and transfer directly to the hotel in the old quarter of Hanoi.
Same same, but different. This Thailish T-shirt philosophy sums up Bangkok, a city where the familiar and the exotic collide like the flavours on a plate of pàt tai.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: Evening Glittering Bangkok with dinner
Begin this Bangkok evening tour just as the sun begins to set, around 18:00. Bangkok, a city known for its bustling streets and vibrant atmosphere, is a place that truly comes to life after dark. The sights, sounds and smells associated with the city’s iconic street life are amplified under the glow of its streetlights. Meanwhile, as the late afternoon light gives way to the glimmer of the early evening, the city’s ancient temples and palaces take on a whole new beauty.
Transportation will be provided to the Rattanakosin area of the old city, meandering along the past the floodlit Grand Palace and Wat Pho.
After a cool, relaxing cocktail at the boutique, riverside Riva Arun hotel, take a short walk to where an exquisite dinner awaits. Indulge in a delicious, Thai-style meal on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, with the majestic Wat Arun acting as the backdrop. Following dinner, take a stroll to the temple grounds of Wat Pho to soak up the beauty of its glittering chedi at night: an incredible photo opportunity.
Please note: The Reclining Buddha is not open at night.
Afterwards, drive to the final stop of the evening, the bustling Khao San Road area. A famous backpackers haunt, this eclectic region comes to life at night with various activities, night markets and entertainment venues to choose from. Enjoy a wander through the streets of Khao San to experience the unmistakable energy of this area.
Time:                  18:00 – 22:00
Departure:          Daily
Blackout dates for dinner on 31 Dec, 14 Feb, and Loy Krathong (Date 18: TBA) due to the hotel arranging only gala dinner.
Overnight in Bangkok.

  • Riva Arun has no elevator, so clients need to walk up the stairs to the rooftop, alternative sky bar can be used in case needed at Sala Rattanakosin.
  • Traffic can be bad during rush hour 17.00-20.00 hrs, so this tour is not recommended for clients staying at hotels in the Sukhumvit area
  • Reclining Buddha is not open at night.
  • The table will be pre-booked outside, but if raining, it will be assigned inside.
  • Children between 2 and 11 years at the time of travel will receive a 15% discount.
  • One glass of cocktail included at Riva Arun.
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Day 2 - Bangkok exploration

An early start will get you to Wat Pho in time to experience the monks early morning chanting ritual (chanting starts at 09.00 Hrs). After this uplifting and often private experience, visit the temple grounds and the famous 45-metre reclining Buddha. Continue to The Grand Palace, Thailand’s most important landmark, where you will be awed by the grandeur and majesty of the building and its throne halls. Then, of course, marvel at the mysterious Emerald Buddha, the most revered Buddha image in Thailand. 
Delicious lunch is served at the delightful Never-Ending Summer, a Thai rustic restaurant, situated by Chao Phraya River. (Note: Lunch at Never Ending Summer is one choice of main dishes with drinking water.)
After lunch, board a long-tail boat sailing up the majestic Chao Phraya river before entering the Khlong that takes us away from the normal tourist trail. Inside the network of Khlongs guest will stop at Wat Khun Chan which is an interesting temple area rarely visited by tourists. Crossing a small footbridge leads into the old alleys where a cold coffee can be enjoyed before entering Wat Paknam or the white stupa with a hidden museum.
Back in the boat and continue on a beautiful part of the Khlong with a mix of old wooden houses and new modern mansions until reaching an orchid and fruit farm where guest will have time to walk around and see the many types of orchids on display.
Overnight in Bangkok.


Grand Palace is one of the most popular destinations and is usually a number one must-see place in Bangkok. Not surprisingly, it receives millions of tourists annually. To get the best of your visit and avoid crowds on spot we will allow your guide flexibility to visit the temple either early morning or late afternoon if possible, in your itinerary. If you by any means decide that there are too many people for your liking, the guide can bring you to an alternative temple in the area such as Wat Saket or Wat Suthat, this decision needs to be made before entering the Grand Palace. 

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Day 3 - Bangkok - Surat Thani - Koh Samui

We take the morning flight to Surat Thani, the gateway to plenty of charming islands such as Koh Samui or Koh Phangan.
Upon arrival, our guide and driver will pick you up and transfer directly to the Donsak Pier, where we will take the ferry to Koh Samui, which has been a tourist hotspot for decades, and with good reason. 
You can swim, snorkel, or relax in the waterfalls at Na Muang. After a soft rest, take a trip around the island, visiting the 15-metre-tall Big Buddha (Wat Phra Yai). 
In the evening, perhaps feast on a delicious curry and then join in the party atmosphere that is Koh Samui's famous nightlife.
Overnight in Koh Samui

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Day 4 - Koh Samui - Anthong Marine National Park

Picked up from your hotel and taken to the dock in Koh Samui, where you'll be offered a snack to keep your energy up for the journey to paradise. You will then hop on board your speedboat ready to cruise across the impossibly crystal-clear azure waters of the Gulf of Thailand.
You will soon arrive at the Ang Thong National Marine Park, which is made up of 42 virgin Islands scattered throughout the sea. The verdant jungle-covered isles make a striking contrast from the enchanting azure waters. You will be captivated from first sight! Head on to dry land to explore Koh Mae Koh, a tiny island home to the magnificent Talay Nai, also known as the Emerald Lake.
Next, make your way to the archipelago's most visited isle: Koh Wua Talap, where you will enjoy a delicious buffet lunch surrounded by beautiful tropical landscapes. With renewed energy, you will have the opportunity to discover more of the coastline by kayak or, if you prefer, to climb through the jungle to a viewpoint which offers unforgettable panoramic views over the Ang Thong National Park.
Later, you will have time to relax on the paradise beaches and take in the warmth of the Thai sun, or to snorkel amongst the vibrant marine life found in this area of Southeast Asia. But all good things must eventually end, and after a wonderful day, you will have to head back to the speedboat to make the return journey to your hotel in Koh Samui.

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Day 5 - Koh Samui - Khao Sok National Park

After breakfast, take the ferry back to Surat Thani and drive to Ban Ta Khun, which will take around 2 hours.
Arrive at Ban Ta Khun office where you will meet with your English-speaking local guide and make sure you have everything you need before your trip.  
On our way to the pier, we will stop by at a nearby temple and spend a few minutes learning about rural Thai culture, fruit farming, and take photos from the picturesque suspension bridge over the Phra Saeng river that comes out from the lake.  Once you arrive at the dam, you will be able to get your park entry ticket and buy any snacks or toiletries before boarding your boat.
During the hour-long journey across the lake to your raft house, you will stop by Gui Lin scenic area where karst mountains rise dramatically from the water.  
Upon arrival at your raft house, check in and be treated to a lunch of traditional Thai food, including a curry and a vegetable stir fry.
After the meal, take some time to relax before embarking on an afternoon hike through the jungle and learn about the flora and fauna of the world's longest standing forest.
As the day winds down, jump on a long tail boat to go wildlife spotting with your guide and get a chance to see macaque and langur monkeys, hornbills and eagles, gibbons, and if you are lucky, a wild elephant!
When you get back, enjoy a traditional Thai dinner of curry and fish before retiring to your floating bungalow.
Overnight at Floating Bungalow with Fan.

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Day 6 - Khao Sok National Park

Wake up in the middle of nowhere, sensing the taste of virgin nature & and the sound of birds singing around you.
Enjoy a simple, but tasty breakfast of rice porridge or eggs and toast. 
After breakfast at the hotel, the rest of the morning includes free time for swimming, exploring the jungle in a kayak, or simply relaxing and enjoying the lovely surroundings of your raft house. Homestyle Thai lunch served by the lake.
After lunch, head out to a trailhead, you will explore the jungle once again on a second half-day hike in the world's oldest forest as your guide points out the unique flora and fauna of Khao Sok national park. 
Depending on the season, this could be to a cave, a waterfall, or a viewpoint. 
End the day with dinner at the restaurant and sleep well as the lullaby of forest noises hums in the distance.
Overnight at Floating Bungalow with Fan.

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Day 7 - Khao Sok National Park - Khao Lak / Phuket

The next morning, get up early for a morning mist safari.  As you watch the morning unfold on the lake, your guide will point out wildlife, and the unusual ferns and orchids hanging from the trees. 
Return to the raft house for breakfast, which is usually rice porridge or eggs and toast. 
After you check out of your room, you'll have the rest of the morning to do whatever suits your fancy - relax, swim, and kayak. 
After another delicious Thai lunch, board your long tail boat and make the scenic trip back to the pier where you will be transferred to your hotel in Phuket or Khao Lak.
Free for the rest of the day. Overnight in Phuket or Khao Lak


Khao Sok National Park – Phuket (195 km): 3.30 hr Khao Sok National Park – Khao Lak (140 km): 2.30 hr

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Day 8 - Phuket / Khaolak - Leisure day

You are free today for your own exploration or relax and enjoy the sun, sand, and sea of Thailand.
There are plenty of water activities on offer if you wish to have an active day. Check directly with our guide or the hotel for further information.
Overnight in Phuket or Khao Lak

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Day 9 - Khao Lak / Phuket - Departure

You are free before transferring out to the airport in Phuket to take the departure flight.
If you are from Khao Lak, the pick-up time is about 4 hours before the flight

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