Thailand is a stupendously beautiful country with a LOT to offer: dreamy beaches, paradise islands, adrenaline-pumping activities, unforgettable nights out (ever heard of a Full Moon Party?), and so much more. Whether this is your first solo trip abroad or you’re simply looking for a welcome break from the routine, this is the trip for you.
The trip includes an epic tour that makes sure you get around easily and efficiently and won’t miss any of the best experiences. It also ensures you’ve got plenty of free time in the best destinations and the opportunity to travel by yourself once you’ve found your feet!
As with all StudentUniverse gap year adventures, this itinerary is totally flexible, so if you’d like to add/subtract/change anything at all, just let your consultant know!
The Thai Island Hop, Skip & Jump kicks off with a flight from London to Phuket in the south of Thailand. Although there are direct flights, most routes will usually include a stop somewhere along the way (like Dubai), giving you the chance to build a night in another country into your itinerary if you choose.
Phuket is a classic backpacker destination, and choosing to arrive a few days before the organised tour begins gives you the chance to find your feet and explore at your own pace. During the day you can take day trips to famous sights like James Bond Island or north to Khao Sok to meet elephants, or simply relax on the numerous beaches and enjoy the numerous water activities on offer like jet skiing and paragliding.
Then when night falls, head for the ridiculously buzzing Bangla Road, with its bars, clubs, street shows, and more. Prepare to have a headache come morning!
Next, it’s time to meet up with your group for the Thai Islands Ko-Conut Hopper tour. This 7-day trip takes you on an adventure along Thailand’s stunning west coast. Setting off from Phuket, you’ll visit the impossibly pretty Krabi and Ko Phi Phi to enjoy sunbathing on white sand beaches, swimming in crystal clear water, and taking in the Thai scenery along the way.
Plenty of free time and optional excursions are built into the tour, allowing you to make it as exciting or as relaxing as you like. You can kayak around mangroves in Ao Thalane, take a speedboat to Koh Yao Noi Island, and snorkel off Krabi’s coast, or simply spend the whole time working on your tan.
The tour ends back in Phuket, making it easy to undertake the next leg of the trip.
Now it’s up to you how you make your way north to Bangkok where your trip will finish. The well-established backpacker trail in Thailand makes it easy, while giving you the chance to see more of the country and enjoy travelling independently.
We recommend getting a bus to Chumphon, a popular transit town, where you can spend a few days enjoying the beaches alongside fellow travellers before taking a ferry north to Bangkok.
Visiting Bangkok is a rite of passage for any backpacker. This is a big, busy city, with a crazy amount to see and do. As the last stop on your journey, you’re free to explore it for as long as you want.
You can spend the day ticking off the popular tourist attractions like the incredible Grand Palace with its famous golden temple, the towering Wat Arun Buddhist temple, and Wat Phra Kaew, where you’ll find the city’s largest reclining Buddha and a compound full of ornate spires and temples.
As night falls, head to a street market to get your fill of cheap and delicious street food, before heading to the backpacker hotspot of Khao San Road, a 1km stretch of bars, restaurants, market stalls, massage parlours, street peddlers, and so much more. The infectious, anything-goes atmosphere might make you never want to leave.
The flight from Bangkok to London takes around twelve hours, giving you plenty of time to rest and recuperate before you touch down on familiar shores. As with the flight out, it’s possible you’ll be able to factor in a night somewhere along the way if you need to catch a connecting flight – just ask your agent!