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Khao Yai National Park and the Wildlife of Southern Thailand

19 days from £3975 per person

With over 100 national parks, huge swathes of Thailand’s territory are protected areas. The country is home to many excellent nature reserves and this journey includes three of the most important – Khao Laem, Khao Yai and Khao Sok. Arriving in Chiang Mai, travel towards the Burmese border, home of the Lisu hill tribe, spending two days in this beautiful, remote area. Returning south, enjoy a memorable three nights aboard a houseboat traveling through Khao Laem National Park, then travel on to Khao Yai National Park which supports tiger, elephant and leopard. End the tour with two nights searching for gibbon in Khao Sok National Park and a well-deserved beach escape at Khao Lak.

Route: Chiang Mai – Lisu Lodge – Khum Lanna – Chiang Mai – Bangkok – Kanchanaburi – Khao Laem National Park – Khao Yai National Park – Khao Sok National Park – Khao Lak

Itinerary Highlights

Located west of Bangkok close to the Burmese border, Khao Laem National Park is defined by its large lake and offers a unique wilderness experience as exploration of the reserve is by boat.

Thailand’s first national park, Khao Yai is considered to be the country’s finest. Mainly rainforest, the reserve is home to elephant, Asiatic black bear, slow loris, gibbon and rare Indochinese tiger.

With its karst scenery and thickly forested interior, beautiful Khao Sok National Park has extraordinary biodiversity supporting elephant, tiger and gibbon as well as hundreds of bird species.

Itinerary: Khao Yai National Park and the Wildlife of Southern Thailand

Depart the UK on the non-stop Thai Airways flight to Bangkok. (N)
Arrive into Bangkok and connect onto the Thai Airways flight to Chiang Mai. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel for an overnight stay. Set high valley at the foot of the Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai is Thailand’s second city and home to fine monasteries and temples, atmospheric markets and a rich artistic tradition. (N)
Accommodation in Chiang Mai: Tamarind Village (or similar)
Upgrade option: Four Seasons Chiang Mai
Alternative upgrade option: Dhara Dhevi Resort
This morning drive north to Lisu Lodge where you will stay overnight. Named after the Lisu hill tribe that live nearby, prior to lunch spend time in the village visiting the local temple and herb garden and meeting the resident shaman. Following lunch your Lisu guide will show you more of everyday village life with time spent in the rice paddies to learn about rice cultivation, a tree nursery run by the Himmapaan Foundation and the local vegetable garden. *Please note that your stays at Lisu Lodge and Khum Lanna and the activities on Days 3, 4 and 5 will be on a ‘join in’ basis with other travellers. (B/L/D)
Accommodation: Lisu Lodge
After breakfast leave the lodge for an easy 13kms cycle through magnificent scenery to the village of Muang Guert stopping on the way at a small tea plantation to gain an insight into the tea making process. Continuing on, stop for lunch at Muang Guert then board a raft for an exhilarating 45 minute river adventure arriving close to Khum Lanna where you will stay overnight. This evening take a cookery lesson at Khum Lanna and learn to prepare authentic Thai dishes which will also form part of your evening meal. (B/L/D)
Accommodation: Khum Lanna
Cycle from Khum Lanna and visit the morning market to buy flower garlands and try local coffee stopping on the way back to visit the village temple. During breakfast the chef at Khum Lanna will teach how to cook traditional Thai sticky rice then head to the herb and vegetable garden to gather produce for the next cooking class – the results of which you will have for lunch. In the afternoon leave Khum Lanna and return to Chiang Mai where you will stay overnight. (B/L)
Accommodation in Chiang Mai: Tamarind Village (or similar)
Upgrade option: Four Seasons Chiang Mai
Alternative upgrade option: Dhara Dhevi Resort
This morning transfer to Chiang Mai Airport and fly to Bangkok. On arrival you will be met and taken to your hotel for an overnight stay. Bustling and eccentric, intriguing and unforgettable, Bangkok is the gateway to the country and Thailand's principle city. With a history stretching back a little over two-hundred years, Bangkok has always been a modern forward-thinking place yet much traditional Thai culture remains, as do beautiful monasteries, colourful markets and opulent palaces. (B)
Accommodation in Bangkok: Riva Surya (or similar)
Today leave Bangkok and drive towards Kanchanaburi – the location of the Bridge over the River Kwai. Visit the bridge and learn about the infamous Death Railway then board the Lake Safari Thailand Houseboat for the three night cruise through Khao Laem National Park to Sangklaburi. With just six double rooms and a maximum occupancy of twelve people, this authentic raft house travels through a remote and little-visited corner of western Thailand close to the Burmese border. * Please note that the Lake Safari Thailand cruise is operated on a ‘join in’ basis with other travellers. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Khao Laem National Park: Lake Safari Thailand Houseboat
This morning cruise the Khao Laem reservoir, floating past a traditional Mon fishing village built entirely on rafts and visiting Coconut Island where the local Mon cultivate coconut and cocoa plants. There will also be an opportunity to accompany a local naturalist on a jungle trek through part of the reserve. Home to deer, gaur, wild boar, elephant and tiger Khao Laem National Park is considered one of the most attractive in Thailand. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Khao Laem National Park: Lake Safari Thailand Houseboat
Leaving the houseboat, this morning explore by canoe some nearby bat-inhabited limestone caves then transfer to a larger ‘long-tail’ boat that will take you to a local Karen village. After spending time here, head into the jungle following a well-trodden route then board a bamboo raft for a memorable river journey through the forest back to the houseboat. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Khao Laem National Park: Lake Safari Thailand Houseboat
Today drift towards Sangklaburi, a small town close to the Thai-Burmese border. Home to a variety of ethnic groups, all with unique cultural and linguistic influences, Sangklaburi is a fascinating place in which to spend a few hours. Leaving the houseboat visit Wat Wang Wiwekaram and Chedi Buddhakhaya, two religious landmarks, then continue to Saphan Mon which is the longest wooden bridge in Thailand and was built by the local Mon community. In the afternoon return by road to Bangkok where you will stay overnight. (B)
Accommodation in Bangkok: Riva Surya (or similar)
Early this morning leave Bangkok and drive north to Khao Yai National Park where you will stay for the next two nights. On arrival enter the reserve and follow one of the main walking trails where both Great hornbill and the playful white-handed gibbon are commonly seen. After dinner, return to Khao Yai for a memorable night safari in the national park. With some luck it should be possible to see a number of nocturnal animals include the elusive large Indian civet cat, porcupine, wild dog, elephant and several different species of deer. (B/L)
Accommodation in Khao Yai National Park: Escape Khao Yai
Today hike the Orchid Waterfall Trail, so named because of the many different orchids that grow along the route. Surrounded by bamboo forest, the trail follows the Tha Klong River and it will hopefully be possible to see the endangered Siamese crocodile. Khao Yai is Thailand’s oldest national park, is UNESCO protected and home to elephant, tiger, deer, gaur, leopard and gibbon as well as over 300 resident and migratory birds. (B/L)
Accommodation in Khao Yai National Park: Escape Khao Yai
This morning return by road to Bangkok and fly to Phuket. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel for an overnight stay. A series of white-sand coves located on the western coast of the Thai peninsula a morning’s drive north of Phuket, Khao Lak has some of the country’s finest beaches and coastal hotels. (B)
Accommodation in Khao Lak: Apsara Beach Resort and Spa
After breakfast you will be met and driven to Khao Sok National Park where you will stay for the next two nights. Famous for its limestone karst mountain scenery, Khao Sok is considered to be one of Thailand’s most beautiful wildlife reserves and the thick evergreen forest supports a staggeringly wide range of flora and fauna, reptile and bird life. Later canoe the slow moving Sok River keeping a look out for different species of snake, lizard and bird. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Khao Sok National Park: Khao Sok River Lodge
At Khao Sok there is an impressive variety of wildlife and today explore the reserve with your naturalist. Almost 50 different types of mammal and close to 200 bird species have been recorded in Khao Sok including elephant, tiger and clouded leopard, gibbon, deer and the great hornbill. The park is also known for its extensive flora including orchids, best seen from February to March, and the Rafflesia Kerri Meijer which flowers between December and February and which can only be found in Khao Sok. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Khao Sok National Park: Khao Sok River Lodge
Today take a further morning hike through the national park in the company of a trained naturalist. Later leave Khao Sok and return by road to Khao Lak where you will stay for the next three nights. (B)
Accommodation in Khao Lak: Apsara Beach Resort and Spa
At leisure to relax and enjoy your hotel. (B)
Accommodation in Khao Lak: Apsara Beach Resort and Spa
This morning return to Phuket and fly to Bangkok. Here connect onto the Thai Airways flight non-stop to the UK. (B)
**KEY: N = No meals, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

What To Do Next?

We design unique, tailor-made holiday itineraries to suit you, by combining your ideas with our knowledge and experience. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, or if you require some advice, please call us or complete the enquiry form online for a quotation.

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Private car and driver
  • Sightseeing with local English speaking guides
  • Wildlife viewing with local naturalist
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes
  • Cruise accommodation and sightseeing with other passengers

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature

Guide to Price

The above price is based on two people travelling together and sharing accommodation in low season. The price is only a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and date of travel. If you wish to travel with your family, friends or on your own we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements.

Experts in Tailor-Made Holidays

For over 30 years, Pettitts Travel have led the way in creating authentic, tailor-made holidays. Our knowledgeable team have first-hand knowledge of our destinations and no two itineraries we prepare are the same.

Please call us for more information or complete the online enquiry form to request a quotation.

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