3 Great Tours for First-Time Thailand Visitors

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Has the spicy, sweet aroma of curry take-out from your neighborhood Thai restaurant ever made you wonder about the country that created such a tasty dish? Or, have you wanted to experience the famous Thai beaches for ages, but have been nervous to venture around a country where you don’t speak the language and don’t know where to go? Whether you’re an experienced traveler or leaving the country for the first time, an adventure travel tour can be the perfect way to experience this Southeast Asian country.

So, ok, I know what you are thinking. “A travel tour? Isn’t that what old people do?” The answer is no. The truth is travel tours have come a long way since the days of giant air-conditioned buses and old ladies. Today there are tours designed specifically for the independent, adventure traveler. the-beach-thailandThat’s right—active, interesting and adventurous tours that allow travelers to explore and experience a foreign place. First off, they keep the groups small, usually capping out at 16 people, so you won’t be traveling around with some awkwardly huge group of gawking tourists. Second, these tours don’t just scratch the surface of the places you visit. In fact, by using a combination of local and experienced guides, you’ll often see and experience MORE than you would on your own. Also, because these tours have already been developed to showcase the best of the best, you’ll save yourself from countless hours of potentially pointless research trying to find out where to go and what to eat. Oh, and don’t worry, you definitely won’t be experiencing Thailand from the window of some bus the entire time. Even the shorter Thai adventure tours have travelers moving about on longtail boats, trains, ferries, foot, tuk-tuks and even on elephants. Book one of these three great tours of Thailand, pack your bags and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.

East Coast Island Hopping

Thailand boasts some of the finest islands and beaches in the world, with azure waters, white sands and lush forested interiors that all combine to create this unique paradise. This 9-day relaxed trip to southern Thailand combines island hopping between exotic locations with time to experience a little of the local life.

This tour will start in Bangkok, where you’ll get to see the Grand Palace and see Thailand’s busiest city. You’ll then hop on a ferry to your first island destination at Koh Tao. From there you’ll island hop and snorkel with tropical fish, indulge in the art of Thai cooking and even ride an elephant. Or you may simply decide to relax and pass away the time away under a coconut palm. You’ll be spending 6 nights in beach bungalows, and you’ll travel mostly on foot and by boat, though you’ll also get in a train ride and be carted around in a private vehicle.

From October to April we head to the west coast, and from May to September we visit the islands in the Gulf of Thailand, giving you year-round options to relax and experience these beautiful areas.

Thailand Experience

For those looking for a longer trip, this 22-day tour allows you to really see, taste, feel and experience Thailand. You’ll start this journey in Bangkok, and then move everywhere from the provincial hills in the interior, to the east and west coasts of the Thai peninsula. From the sprawling mountains of the north to the sun-drenched islands of the south, this trip is the perfect introduction to Thailand. Trek through the jungle and stay with the hilltribes, then explore ancient temples in the north. End your tour by camping under the stars and enjoying paradise island life on the southern peninsula.

This tour will also offer travelers the widest variety of modes of transportation and accommodations. You’ll stay everywhere from a hotel to a rice barge to a simple bungalow in a hillside village, all while traveling by rickshaw, boat, elephant and on foot. Be ready for some serious adventure on this daring and comprehensive tour.

A Taste of Thailand

This 8-day tour will allow to get a taste of all Thailand has to offer in just over a week. The tour starts and ends in Bangkok and will take you from an elephant ride in the mountaintops with the Mon tribespeople to swimming in a turquoise pool beneath a seven-tiered waterfall.

This journey will allow you to savor some of the country’s most remote and rural regions. Embark on a journey through stunning limestone landscapes, pass by sobering WWII monuments and head up to the dramatic mountains that border Myanmar. There are plenty of opportunities to learn the languages, customs and cultures of the friendly people and to explore the hidden corners that contribute to the wonder of Thailand. This is the perfect tour for a traveler without weeks of time who is looking to get really off the beaten path. This tour definitely takes you where most tourists miss. Photo: Paulo Brandao)

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