Southern Thailand is truly a rising star in Thailand's tourism industry. Many international visitors have already discovered the picturesque tropical islands, and offshore coral reefs however our programs take you beyond the beaches into Khao Lak National Park where spectacular scenery includes splendid forested hills and valleys, sea cliffs, beaches, estuaries and mangroves. Occasionally, wildlife such as barking deer, hornbills, gibbons, monkeys, and small bears can be seen in the park. For snorkeling and diving enthusiasts we recommend Similan and Surin Islands.
Why Book with Tours of Exploration?
- We specialize in customized, personalized tours that can suit your needs, interests, and hobbies. Whether you're travelling for photography, research, for the thrill of adventure, or to pursue another hobby, Tours of Exploration will curate this tour to ensure your dream trip needs are met.
- We choose to work with local partners, not only to guarantee an immersive, culturally and naturally authentic experience; but also to economically support the area's local population.
- Book with confidence as deposits are risk-free and refundable.
2023 Departure Dates and Cost
Southern Overland (5 day)
Departs each Thursday from Bangkok $ 1,295 USD
Single Supplement $ 300 USD
Khao Sok National Park and Elephant Hills Safari (4 day)
Departs each Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from Phuket or Krabi $ 935 USD
Single Supplement $ 300 USD
Add a visit to the islands and reefs of Southern Thailand
Read our blog on diving in Southern Thailand
SOUTHERN OVERLAND (5 day)
DAY 1 Bangkok - Petchburi - Pranburi (L,D)
Depart from Bangkok to Petchburi, which is dominated by a small hill known as Khao Wang (Palace Mountain). Here King Mongkut had a summer palace built in 1860. Named Phra Nakhon Khiri, it is now a Historical Park consisting of palace buildings, temples, halls, even an observatory where the King used to view the stars. To reach the hilltop, you can either walk or take a cable car. Then visit Wat Yai Suwannaram: The main shrine hall contains 300-year-old mural paintings of mythical angels. The multi-purpose hall, once located in Ayutthaya's Grand Palace, is entirely built of teak wood and decorated with fine carving work especially at the door panels. Drive to the fishing village of Had Chao Samran. During the dry season, you can often observe people working on salt fields, a nice and welcome motive for photographers. After lunch at a local restaurant, continue to Pranburi and check in at the DOLPHIN BAY RESORT. Dinner at overnight.
DAY 2 Cha Am - Chumphorn B,L,D)
Breakfast at the hotel. Close by is Khao Sam Roi Yod National Park, which occupies an area of 98 square kilometers with undulating ranges of limestone mountains, mangrove swamps, and beaches. With a large number of ridges, Khao Sam Roi Yod (or the mountain of 300 peaks) stands as a landmark for seaman and also provides a good shelter for ships during a storm. Visit Tham Phraya Nakhon, one of the largest caves in the park. It can be reached by boat or on foot during a one-hour climb from the village of Bang Pu. There are a couple of natural ventilation holes on the roof of the cave thus allowing sunlight to shine inside. The most popular attraction of the cave is a four-gabled pavilion constructed during the reign of King Rama V in the year 1890. With its beauty and distinctive identity the pavilion is now used as the symbol of Prachuap Khiri Khan.
After lunch at a simple restaurant, continue along the coastline south to Chumphorn. Dinner and overnight at NOVOTEL CHUMPHON BEACH RESORT.
DAY 3 Chumphorn - Khanom (B,L,D)
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Chaya and visit Phra Borom That Chaiya, which is believed to have been built more than 1,200 years ago. Along the courtyard of the chedi are several sculptures and Buddha images. Close by is the forest temple of Wat Suan Mokkh, set in a serene ambience conducive for meditation or contemplation of the philosophy of life. The temple itself is nothing but a combination of natural sandy grounds and rocks, dotted with trees. There are no elaborate stupas and chapels like other temples and the place is famous with foreigners who come here for meditation. For the casual visitor, the 'Spiritual Theatre' is an interesting attraction, which features art objects, drawings and poems related to Buddhas' teachings. The building also exhibits a diverse mixture of Thai, Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Tibetan and European-style murals and sculptures. After lunch at a local seafood restaurant in Surat Thani, continue to the monkey training school in Kanchanadit. Students are mostly local pig-tailed monkeys from the forests. Monkey owners must pay a tuition fee, which is inclusive of food and accommodation. Classes of 3-6 months are classified into three levels, beginners, intermediate and advance. Graduate monkeys are trained to pick only ripened coconuts from the trees. Continue to Khanom and check in at RACHAKHIRI RESORT & SPA on Nai Plao Beach. Dinner and overnight.
DAY 4 Khanom - Krabi (B,L,D)
After breakfast at the hotel, we continue to the west-coast to Krabi province. Visit Wat Tham Sua, a temple carved into a cave before checking in at the Maritime Park Resort & Spa. After lunch at a local garden restaurant, we take a local long tail boat to Ko Poda Island and to Pranang Cave with opportunity for swimming and snorkeling. Dinner and overnight at MARITIME PARK RESORT & SPA.
DAY 5 Krabi - Phuket (B,L)
Breakfast at the hotel. Depart to Phang-Nga province and visit Suwan Ku Ha Cave with its numerous Buddha statues. Proceed to the boat landing pier and take a boat trip through one of the most stunning parts of Thailand, Phang Nga Bay. Hundreds of odd-shaped limestone formations rise from the water, often covered with tropical vegetations, some of them are just tiny rocks, while others form larger islands. This is also the area, where the famous James Bond film "The Man with the Golden Gun" was shot. During the boat trip you will also visit the Moslem village of Ko Panyi, build on stilts out in the open sea, where you will be served a delicious seafood lunch. Return to the pier on the mainland and continue by bus to Phuket and transfer to your hotel in Phuket.
KHAO SOK NATIONAL PARK (4 day)
DAY 1 Phuket or Krabi - Khao Sok National Park (L,D)
You will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to Phang Nga province. En route glimpses of tropical rural life here in southern Thailand can be seen along the way. Explore the rivers that cut through the mangrove forest by dinghy with outboard motor (speed cat). There is a maze of channels between the island and along the coast. It really feels like some primeval swamp. For people who want to explore the smaller creeks, see some bird life and get closer to nature, self paddle canoes with life jackets are available for a silent journey into this dense green world. Emerging further along the coast, meet up with our classical Burmese junk where lunch will be served, a variety of Thai dishes. Spend the afternoon on a deserted beach, swim, relax or canoe. The panoramic views of distant mangroves and banyan tree stretch to the horizon. Few people live in the area and little has changed here in hundreds of years. Cruising on the junk gives the feeling of traveling back in time when nature was untouched. Late afternoon, van-transfer over the mountain pass to Khao Sok National Park. Overnight is at Elephant Hills tented camp. Relax and enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding jungle covered mountains. Dinner. Overnight in luxury safari tents with comfortable beds, reading lights, hot water and western style toilets. For a moderate priced program - we offer accommodation at Our Jungle House
DAY 2 Khao Sok National Park (B,L,D)
Wake up to the sounds of nature and birds calling from the bushes close to the tent. When the sun comes up and clears the mist over the mountains and jungle to the south of Elephant Hills the gibbons start to make their morning territorial calls that echo down the valley. Tea and coffee making facilities are available in the tent for early risers; breakfast is at your leisure. Then transfer to the elephant camp. Here you can see, touch and find out about the life of Thai elephants and about the elephant breeding conservation project the company is running. Early hike each morning in the rainforest to enjoy the birds and wildlife. On return a buffet lunch. After lunch, take a jungle river canoe trip down the Sok River. Paddle with life jackets and a guide, drift along the jungle river passing limestone mountains and cliffs covered with exotic tropical vegetation. Some times hornbills can be seen flying high overhead or reptiles basking in the sun on the riverbanks. From the canoe you can experience a world that has changed little in thousands of years, some of the last areas of primary rainforest in the country. In the afternoon, return to Elephant Hills for dinner and overnight in your luxury tents.
DAY 3 Khao Sok National Park (B,L,D)
Morning to explore the ecology of the rainforest, to see a great variety of exotic plants, tropical hardwood trees with huge roots, orchids, palms, ferns, bamboos, mosses the variety is unlimited. Birds such as the hornbill live high up above, gibbon can often be heard calling to their mates, a macaque or leaf monkey may be heard swinging through the branches, every day is different but it is truly wonderful to discover the great variety of life forms that co-exists together. Weather permitting lunch will be served in the rainforest cooked in bamboo, a tradition of jungle explorers for centuries past. The jungle bar will be open for people wanting to exchange stories of their day's experience in the jungle. Dinner and overnight in your luxury tent.
DAY 4 Khao Sok National Park - Choe Larn Lake - Phuket (B,L)
The activity planned for today is to explore a lake in the jungle by local boat. The lake is surrounded by limestone mountains and cliffs covered in tropical rainforest that rise up from the shore of the lake and disappear into the far distance. The scenery has been compared to Guilin in China or Halong Bay in Vietnam. Few people know of the lake and even less have visited it. There are over one hundred islands in the lake and it is over 60 km from north to south. We will see some of the spectacular scenery from the boat, have time for a swim and may be able to trek and explore some caves depending on the weather. A packed lunch will be provided. Late afternoon it is time for your return transfer to your hotel in Phuket, Krabi or Surat Thani.
VISA/ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Please note that there have been changes to entry requirements for Thailand. Canadian and U.S. passengers arriving overland into Thailand are permitted to stay for up to 15 days without a Visa. Passengers arriving by air are permitted to stay for 30 days. For stays longer than this, passengers will be required to obtain a VISA in advance.
Golden Triangle Tour (5 day): A wonderful adventure that visits the highlights of Northern Thailand including temple adorned Chiang Mai, passage along the Mekong River to the golden triangle where Thailand, Laos & Myanmar meet, and the hill tribe cultures in the region. Seat in coach departures each Tuesday and daily departures on a private basis.
River Kwai adventures (3 day): A range of 3 day adventures await in the rainforests in Kanchanaburi province. Hin Tok River Camp at Hellfire Pass is the latest addition of luxury safari tents built along the Kwai River that offer a unique experience close to nature in true comfort. Daily departures.