This tour combines the best Thailand offers by mixing up island fever and city life. Enjoy Phuket's nightlife buzz and stunning beaches, then move to Koh Samui to discover the most beautiful and secluded islands in the south, including the famous Koh Phi Phi and Koh Phang Nga. Head back to the mainland to immerse yourself in Bangkok's intense urban vibe, then take some day trips out of the city to get lost in a maze of floating market canals and see lions, tigers, and rhinos on safari.

Highlights

  • Discover Phuket's pristine white sandy beaches and its out-of-this-world nightlife
  • Go island hopping and snorkeling between Koh Samui, Koh Phang Nga, and Koh Tao
  • Explore the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in a traditional wooden boat
  • Take a safari just outside of Bangkok and get up close with lions, tigers, and zebras

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Phuket, Phuket Fantasea Show Phuket
Day 2 Full-Day Private Tour of Phuket Phuket
Day 3 Explore the Phi Phi Islands by Speedboat Phuket
Day 4 Visit Phang Nga Bay & James Bond Island by Speedboat Phuket
Day 5 Free Day in Phuket Phuket
Day 6 Phuket to Koh Samui Koh Samui
Day 7 Snorkeling Excursion to Koh Tao & Koh Nang Yuan Koh Samui
Day 8 Day Trip to Koh Phang Nga City  Koh Samui
Day 9 Free Day in Koh Samui Koh Samui
Day 10 Fly to Bangkok Bangkok
Day 11 Floating Market & Grand Palace Tour Bangkok
Day 12 Free Day in Bangkok Bangkok
Day 13 Safari World & Marine Park Tour Bangkok
Day 14 Depart Bangkok  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Phuket, Phuket Fantasea Show

Phuket Fantasea Show
One of Phuket's beautiful beaches

Welcome to Phuket! Situated off the west coast of mainland Thailand in the Andaman Sea, Phuket is known for its blue waters, sandy beaches, and secluded coves. Upon arrival, a private driver will be waiting to transfer you from the airport to your hotel, and you'll have the rest of the day to relax or explore. For the most buzzing beach scene with water sports, restaurants, and bars, check out Patong and its festive main drag, Bangla Road. To the south, the beaches of Karon and Kata are more relaxed. Or, hop on a long-tail boat to the secluded Freedom Beach for a different vibe.

In the evening, get ready for a night out at Phuket FantaSea. In this cultural theme park, you'll feast on a vast buffet of Thai delicacies, experience the island's most entertaining shopping experience at "Festival Village," and see a splashy, Vegas-style show celebrating Thai royal heritage. This theatrical spectacle features a cast of over 140, including 30 elephants, and takes you on an immersive journey through Thailand's history. 

Day 2: Full-Day Private Tour in Phuket

Full-Day Private Tour in Phuket
Phuket's Big Buddha sits against a backdrop of the Andaman Sea

Spend the day touring the highlights of Phuket with a professional guide. As you explore the hilly island, you'll go to famed overlooks such as Karon Viewpoint and Cape Promthep, each offering its perspective on the island's coastline and the Andaman Sea. Visit the ornate and verdant grounds of Wat Chalong, Phuket's most important Buddhist temple, and the 148-foot-tall (45 m) Big Buddha, an unmissable hilltop landmark clad in white marble. Your tour ends in Phuket's lively Old Town, where you'll stroll among colorful Sino-Portuguese shophouses, colonial mansions, and cafés.

Day 3: Explore the Phi Phi Islands by Speedboat

Full-Day Phi Phi Islands Tour by Speedboat
An aerial view of Koh Phi Phi 

Brace yourself for adventure in paradise as you embark on a full-day boat tour to Koh Phi Phi, world-renowned for its clear, jewel-toned waters and jungle-topped limestone cliffs. Meet your crew at the Phuket Pier, and board your speedboat for the hour-long crossing to the island. Visit stunning Maya Bay, made famous by the 2000 movie The Beach, and other picturesque inlets like Loh Samah Bay and Pi Leh Cove on the smaller island of Koh Phi Phi Leh.

Break for lunch at a restaurant on the main island of Koh Phi Phi Don before heading to Monkey Beach, a beautiful, jungle-backed stretch of sand where playful long-tailed macaques hang out. Before returning to Phuket, stop at the relaxed islet of Koh Khai, where you'll have a chance to swim and snorkel among colorful fish and coral reefs in shallow, crystalline waters. Your evening plans after this sun-filled day are up to you—whether it's a low-key dinner and early bedtime or a power nap before venturing out to a nightclub.

Day 4: Visit Phang Nga Bay & James Bond Island by Speedboat

Full day James Bond Island by Speed Boat
Zoom around Koh Tapu (James Bond Island)

Today's speedboat tour is fast, exhilarating, and an excellent way to get to all the must-see islands in Phang Nga Bay. A driver will transfer you to Ao Po Pier, where you'll climb aboard. The islands in this bay are made of limestone, and caves are formed over time as they erode. You'll visit the most stunning, Panak Island's Bat Cave, where you'll find bats sleeping above your head once entering. Then make a stop for some canoeing around Hong Island and enter its two extraordinary lagoons before high tide.

After having a traditional Thai lunch at Koh Panyi Sea Gypsy Village, a floating fishing village, head to Koh Khai for a bit of afternoon beach time. Afterward, hold on to your hat as you zoom and weave around Koh Tapu, known as James Bond Island, famous as the filming location for The Man with Golden Gun. Finally, it's time for shopping or a relaxing cocktail at Naka Island before returning to your hotel.

Day 5: Free Day in Phuket

Free Day in Phuket
The night market in Phuket
Today you'll enjoy a full day at leisure. Of course, there's always beach time, but if you're looking for something different, there are plenty of options. The ethically certified Elephant Jungle Sanctuary is a popular outing for animal lovers. You can also have a thrilling adventure with ATV tours, hiking excursions, zip lines, and bungee jumping. Local experts can help you organize activities such as cooking classes, Thai massage, Muay Thai training camps, and day trips to places like the Little Amazon mangrove forest north of Phuket.

Day 6: Phuket to Koh Samui

Koh Samui
A secluded cove on Koh Samui

It's an early start this morning as you head northeast to the island of Koh Samui. A car will be waiting to drive you to Surat Thani Province, which sits on the Gulf of Thailand. From there, you'll take a ferry boat to Koh Samui and transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is free, so you can spend the day exploring the island and relaxing at Chaweng or Lamai Beach. Lie in a hammock with a coconut or a cocktail and watch the day pass or visit Fisherman's Village and Wat Plai Laem Temple.

Plan your trip to Thailand
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

If you feel like heading a bit farther afield, the beaches of Laem Yai and Mae Nam are well worth a visit, as is Bophut Beach, which has some great shops and restaurants. You can also take a car to Namtok Hin Lat Waterfall and Namtok Na Mueang Waterfall or choose from several different temples and villages to explore.

Day 7: Snorkeling Excursion to Koh Tao & Koh Nang Yuan

Full Day Tour to Koh Tao and Koh Nangyuan
The aquatic wilderness of Koh Tao 

Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan are the ultimate snorkeling destinations in the area, and you'll visit both on today's epic tour. A driver will transport you to the departure point, where you'll board a speedboat. The first stop is Koh Tao, which is known to have the most beautiful marine life in the region and is only a 90 minutes speedboat trip from Koh Samui. Once anchored, you'll snorkel at Ao Maung and Mango Bay and view intact coral reefs with a wide variety of sea creatures.

After a traditional Thai lunch on the beach, head to Koh Nang Yuan, where you can explore more diverse species in an aquatic wonderland by snorkel. Climb the island's mountain for stunning views, relax on the beach, or swim in the shallow warm waters.

Day 8: Day Trip to Koh Phang Nga City

Koh Phangan
Take a day trip to the beaches of Koh Phang Nga

Head out early to Koh Phang Nga, an island known for its stunning beaches and vibrant city influenced by Chinese culture. Get picked up and taken to the departure point for a half-hour ride to Thong Sala pier. Learn about the community and the Chinese influence in this area and visit the Chinese Temple. Next, it's off to Malibu Beach, where you can relax before heading to Chalok Lam Bay, an authentic fishing village.

After lunch at Koh Rahnam, spend the rest of the afternoon at Secret Beach, also known as Haad Son, which is one of the most exquisite beaches on the island. Snorkel and relax in paradise before returning to Koh Samui in the late afternoon.

Day 9: Free Day in Koh Samui

Koh Samui
A traditional long-tailed boat in Koh Samui

Today, you are free to do whatever you like. If you've had your fill of chilling on the beach, arrange for a day trip to visit Angthong Marine Park, where you'll snorkel among coral reefs and fish. You could also embark on a 4WD jungle safari tour to see lush rainforests and waterfalls such as Na Muang 1 and Na Muang 2.

The Gulf of Thailand is a paradise for divers, and excursions are led by reputable PADI-certified instructors who will take you on a dive trip. Opportunities abound, from flying through the dense jungle by zip line at 50 miles (80 km) per hour to kayaking along the breathtaking Andaman coastline.

Day 10: Fly to Bangkok

Free Day in Bangkok
Stunning night views in Bangkok
Say farewell to the south as your driver takes you to Koh Samui International Airport to catch your flight to Bangkok. Upon arrival, a driver will transfer you to your hotel, and you'll have the rest of the day free to explore the sights and sounds of the capital at your own pace. A classic way to get an authentic look at the city is by tuk-tuk, the motorized rickshaws that are everywhere and easy to hail. You could also opt for a private boat tour to see the Chao Phraya River and Bangkok's many canals from a different vantage point.

Day 11: Floating Market & Grand Palace Tour

Floating Market & Grand Palace Tour
Get crazy with the photos at the colorful Floating Market in Ratchaburi

Enjoy a full-day, guided tour of some of Bangkok's most fascinating cultural attractions. First, you'll head to the canals of Ratchaburi Province, just west of the city, where you'll board a small, traditional boat to explore the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Here, in a colorful network of narrow waterways, local vendors on simple wooden boats or waterside stands sell a wide range of handicrafts, textiles, and souvenirs, plus a kaleidoscopic array of tropical fruit begging to be photographed.

After the floating market, return to the city and spend the afternoon discovering the Grand Palace, Bangkok's most prominent and best-known landmark. Built in the late 1700s as the residence of the kings of Siam, the monumental royal complex is an impressive sight with ornate, colorful rooflines and shiny spires at every turn. As you explore the vast grounds with your guide, you'll enter the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the palace itself, and opulent pavilions. Your guide will transport you back to your hotel in the evening. 

Day 12: Free Day in Bangkok

Free Day in Bangkok
Pose at the Grand Palace

You have a free day today, and you can't leave the city before having a round of shopping. Chatuchak Weekend Market is the city's most famous bazaar for everything from fashion to street eats. Or, hit the trendy Srinakarin Train Night Market, known for its food stalls, bar, and vintage wares. Bangkok also boasts several shiny, air-conditioned mega-malls with dining, entertainment, and eye-popping design. If you only have time to visit one, Icon Siam is a fabulous choice on the Chao Phraya River.

If you'd prefer to tour the city with a guide, local experts can help arrange an add-on activity or two. Cap off the day with dinner or drinks by the river (most of the big waterfront hotels have lovely outdoor options), and watch the twinkling lights of the city dance off the water.

Day 13: Safari World & Marine Park Tour

Safari World & Marine Park Full-Day Tour
Keep your hands in the jeep!

Leave the city for a day trip to Safari World and Marine Park, about 25 miles (40 km) away. While in the park, you'll ride a safari bus through an open, African-style range with animals such as tigers, lions, zebras, rhinos, and more. Keep an eye out for the exciting lion and tiger feeding times, where the big cats climb all over a caged vehicle while park staff inside hand them morsels of meat.

Have lunch at a dining location within the park, and stroll around the Marine Park side of the zoo, which has numerous other animals on display, including crocodiles and giant exotic birds. You can also feed giraffes from a raised pavilion and check out sea lion, dolphin, and orangutan shows throughout the day.

Day 14: Depart Bangkok

Farewell Bangkok!
Farewell Bangkok!
It's time to say sawadee ka (goodbye) to Thailand. When the time comes, your driver will be waiting to take you to the airport for your departing flight. Safe travels!

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Map

Map of Thailand's Islands & the City: Phuket, Koh Samui & Bangkok - 14 Days
Map of Thailand's Islands & the City: Phuket, Koh Samui & Bangkok - 14 Days