Krabi, Thailand
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Thailand's Best

Thailand's Best

18 Days of adventure in Thailand. From the famous white sand of Thai Beaches to the Buddhist Temples and ancient cultures of Thailand's north! See all of Asia's friendliest country.




2019 Dates

June 30 - July 17
July 21 - August 7


18 days



Trip Highlights

  • Temples & Markets of Bangkok
  • Visit with elephants at the elephant sanctuary
  • Erawan National Park: Crystal-Blue Waterfalls
  • Krabi: White Sand Beaches and Islands
  • Discover Ancient City of Ayutthaya
  • Chiang Mai: Trek to Hill Tribe Villages
  • Sea Kayak Coral Bays of the Andaman Sea
  • Snorkeling near Phuket
  • Sleep on a River Kwai Houseboat
  • Hilltribe Village: Homestay & Cultural Exchange
  • Thai cooking class at an organic farm in Chiang Mai
  • Community service at the Gibbon monkey sanctuary




Our journey starts in Bangkok, the city of canals, temples, bustling markets and amazing food! We jump right in and travel via bike to explore the quieter side of this fast-moving city. Lush parks, hidden temples, and amazing street food vendors abound as we explore the country's most vibrant metropolitan area. Moving outside the city, we dive into the crystal-turquoise waterfalls and pools of the incredible Erawan National Park, the ideal retreat from Bangkok's non-stop action! We then visit Erawan National Park, famous for more than 15 candy blue waterfalls. Before leaving Central Thailand, we visit the ruins of Ayutthaya, Thailand's ancient capital.


We fly (airfare included) south to the white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and abundant sunshine of the Andaman Sea. From our bases in Ao Nang and Hong Island, we are surrounded by towering cliffs and clear tropical waters. We sea kayak to mangrove forests, fishing villages and remote islands while staying (our group only!) for two nights on Hong Island. This is a tropical coastal wonderland and the ideal ending to our incredible Thai teen trip! After enjoying 3 days together in paradise, we head back to Bangkok and say farewell to this amazing country.


Traveling north to the city of Chiang Mai via overnight sleeper train, we embark on four days of adventure and culture. We begin with a trek into the hills of Northern Thailand, where indigenous peoples have lived for centuries. Hiking from village to village, we have the chance for homestays in two separate communities and learn about two distinct cultures. Our cultural exchange is complemented by volunteering at a local school. Back in Chiang Mai, we explore the ancient temples and vibrant culture of this lush, mountain-side city. Far off the beaten path, this is a once-in-a-lifetime Thailand teen trip experience!
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Day 1
Welcome to Thailand
Campers are met upon arrival at the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport. Upon meeting their trip leaders, campers will call home to confirm their safe arrival. Once the group has arrived, we travel in the Bold Earth van to our hotel where we will get to know each other and learn what to expect in the days ahead. Our daily routine, trip safety, expected responsibilities, and all trip logistics are explained. We play lots of name games and enjoy our first of many Thai feasts. We watch the sun set over Bangkok as we prepare for the adventure ahead!
Day 2
Explore Bangkok's Temples & Culture
Our first adventure in Thailand is a bike ride around Bangkok. One of the best and most exciting ways to get in touch with the charm of old Bangkok is on two wheels. With the help of a local guide, we will discover several hidden temples, local markets, lush parks, and different types of Thai food. Throughout the day, we'll get a close-up view of Thai village and city life. This is as real as it gets! In the evening, we depart the city and head for the idyllic retreat of Kanchanaburi via private van.
Day 3
Erawan National Park
Paradise! We explore the postcard-perfect waterfalls and crystal-turquoise pools of Erawan National Park today, swimming and hiking through this incredible rainforest wonderland. At night, we sleep on the River Kwai on a floating and awesome two-story house-boat, with plenty of time for swimming, relaxing, socializing and even karaoke!
Day 4
Discover Kanchanaburi
Home to a hum of activity from its ever-increasing community of travelers and backpackers, Kanchanaburi is an idyllically situated riverside gateway to a bounty of parks and waterfalls. It's laid-back vibe and location belie its important history as the starting point of a noteworthy World War II railroad. We explore the city's culture and history before heading to the incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ayutthaya.
Day 5
Ancient City of Ayutthaya
Traveling by bike, we become acquainted with the ancient temples, Buddhist statues and preserved dwellings of the ancient Ayutthaya, a must-see 15th-century city. This is a consummate Southeast Asia experience! In the evening, we board on an overnight sleeper train to Chiang Mai!
Day 6-9
Chiang Mai and Hilltribe Trek
In the morning we arrive in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand's cultural capital, and immediately start exploring. We head off to discover the heart of ancient Thailand deep within the lush, forested mountains of the North. This once-in-a-lifetime adventure allows us to meet local hill tribes and experience an ancient way of life. We travel between tribes during the day and spend evenings with host families whose lives and customs have changed little over the centuries. At night, our accommodations include homestays with local families and in rustic bungalows tucked into the jungle! On our way back to Chiang Mai, we hike past rice fields, fruit plantations and hot springs beckoning to be soaked in. Once in the city, we explore Chiang Mai's storied history before boarding a plane (included in trip cost) and flying south to the beachside paradise of Krabi!
Day 10
Andaman Sea Coastal Paradise
Our final stretch of the trip takes place in the mesmerizing beaches and bathtub-warm waters of the Andaman Sea. The journey begins with a sea kayaking excursion to the community of Bo Toh, replete with ancient cave paintings, mangrove forests and fishing villages. At night, we retreat to our hotel to gear up for another awesome day exploring this coastal wonderland.
Day 11-13
Sea Kayaking, Islands and Lagoons
Over the next two nights, we'll dive deeper into our new home by paddling past more jungle-blanketed coastlines and the vast canyon of Tha Lane Bay. At night, we set up camp along a pristine beach and relax under the stars of the vast Andaman Sea skies. This is truly a beachside paradise! Sea kayaking trips to La Ding Island and the lagoons of Hong Island round out our incredible marine voyage through Thailand's famed beaches and coastal waters. In the evening we camp on Hong Island, home to beautiful white sand beaches. Once all the tourists have left, we have the island ALL TO OURSELVES! On the evening of day #13, we take an overnight train back to Bangkok.
Day 14
Fly Home From Bangkok
On our last day together in Thailand, we pack up our gear and celebrate our successes. We share our memories and challenges and say our goodbyes. We go to the airport confident, sunned, and strong after the most incredible summer of adventure, fun, and friends!

Why choose Epic Thailand - น่าอัศจรรย์?


Do you Speak Thai? Bold Earth does! Epic Thailand is full of culture, outdoor adventure, and service.

The world’s friendliest people, delicious food, and incredible outdoor adventure – Thailand has it all! Thailand beams with golden temples, white sand beaches, and the ever-present Thai smiles.

Thailand is a top travel destination and has sophisticated tourist infrastructure in place. Bold Earth families expect Epic Thailand to be safe, authentic, meaningful, and impactful. Campers travel 24/7 with a local Thai trip leader plus two Bold Earth Trip Leaders.

Bold Earth is the expert in teen travel. We have carefully scouted our Epic Thailand trip to ensure safety, fun, and culture!

What are the trip highlights?

14 days of non-stop adventure, culture & pad thai!

Some AWESOME Highlights:

• Incredible Asian Culture
• Eat & Cook Thai Food
• Sea Kayaking & Snorkeling
• Sleeping on Hong Island
• Authentic Community Service
• Temples & Markets of Bangkok

From the fabulous city of Bangkok and the remote hill tribes of Chiang Mai to the stunning beaches of South Thailand, Epic Thailand is truly the best Thailand has to offer!

Can I speak to references?

To receive a list of Epic Thailand references call us in Colorado at 303-526-0806 or email Please mention the trip you are interested and where you live.

Since 1976 over 16,000 students from all 50 US states and 55 countries have joined Bold Earth! We encourage you to contact our alumni directly to find out about the quality of our leaders, depth of programming and what a summer with Bold Earth is really like.

We want careful and selective families to choose Bold Earth. Our offerings are only as good as the families who choose Bold Earth Adventures. Our target student is responsible, informed and enthusiastic.

What's Included?

Everything upon arrival in Thailand.

Internal flights, trains, all meals, lodging, and activities are included in the trip tuition. This trip is fully inclusive. We suggest campers bring about $150 to spend on souvenirs because shopping in Thailand is unlimited, cheap, and unbelievably fun.

Where do we stay?

Bold Earth spends countless hours securing incredible, perfect and amazing accommodations for Epic Thailand. Bold Earth does it best. Yes, you will be comfortable!

• 7 Nights in Hotels
• 2 Nights Overnight Train
• 2 Nights in Hill Tribe Villages
• 2 Nights Island Camping (stunning!)

Hotels in Thailand: Hotels on Epic Thailand are small bed & breakfast style hotels with western-style bathrooms and air-conditioning. You will be comfortable and cool. We don’t stay at the Marriott – Bold Earth selects small, family-run hotels in order to benefit the local economy and enjoy a more authentic experience.

Overnight Trains: Very interesting and comfortable. Campers are shocked to see bunk beds on a train! Campers spend two (non-consecutive) nights on overnight trains. Sleeper trains are a very common and efficient way to travel, allowing us to make the most of our days in a new place.

Hill Tribe: In the north of Thailand, campers spend two nights sleeping in a hill tribe village. Hiking from one village to the next, campers experience the cultural diversity of Thailand and learn about the livelihoods of Thailand’s rural populations. The girls stay in one hut and the boys in another, as we wake up early to the roosters crowing.

Island Camping: In the south of Thailand, campers spend two nights sleeping on a remote and amazing white sand beach. This epic conclusion to the trip allows for beach bonfires, star gazing, and fun water activities. Bold Earth provides tents and campers will share with 2 or 3 other campers of their same gender. First time camping? No problem! Your trip leaders will teach you everything you need to know. Bold Earth provides all the necessary equipment (tents, pads, sleeping bags, etc…).

Thailand’s Best is a carefully crafted trip. Where, how, and why we pick each night’s lodging is why you select and put your trust in Bold Earth. We honor that trust.

Bold Earth students are intrepid travelers who enjoy authentic adventure travel. Thailand’s Best is not rated as one of Bold Earth’s most rugged trips.

What does the group look like?

Bold Earth is proud to run trips with small groups and positive social dynamics. Our groups have a maximum of 13 incredible and enthusiastic campers with two American Trip Leaders (at least 1 male and 1 female), as well as a local Thai guide.

Group size matters! Small groups enhance camper experience and cultivate better relationships. Knowledgeable and experienced guides make Bold Earth trips safer while giving Bold Earth programs powerful authenticity.

Bold Earth encourages all participants to take ownership of their Bold Earth trip. Campers will get a chance to be the Leader of the Day (LOD), which will give campers the opportunity to step into a leadership role. Our goal is for students to return home with a dozen new lifelong friends, feeling more confident, more of a leader, and more self-aware with a better appreciation of the world around them.

What is Thai Food Like?

Bold Earth food is amazing! Yes, campers will eat lots of delicious Thai food. Bold Earth always provides plenty of safe, delicious, and nutritious food. Yes, bottled water is always provided.

Thai food is famous and popular all over the world! The art of Thai food is the balance of three to four fundamental taste senses in each dish for the overall meal: sour, sweet, salty, and bitter.

In Thailand, all eating is family style. As a custom, Thai people order the same number of dishes as people present; however, all dishes are shared and enjoyed together. Our Bold Earth group enjoys family-style for every meal rather than just 1 or 2 choices, as this allows everyone to try lots of different food. In fact, many Thais believe that eating alone is bad luck.

Thai meals typically consist of rice (“khao” in Thai) with many complementary dishes served concurrently and shared by all. Thai food is now generally eaten with a fork and a spoon. The use of fork and spoon were introduced by King Chulalongkorn after his return from a tour of Europe in 1897. Chop-sticks are not as common as some of Thailand’s neighbors.

Rice and noodles form a large part of the Thai diet. However, there are a ton of amazing tropical fruits and amazing veggie options. Vegetarians, kosher, allergies, and most special diets are no problem in Thailand.

What is the weather in Thailand?

Thailand is a tropical country with consistent weather nearly year round. With hot (90°F, 30°C) temperatures the norm, Thailand is warm and spectacular. July is the beginning of the wet season, so we can expect afternoon rain on parts of the trip, but July is still an excellent time to visit Thailand.

Wear loose-fitting and breathable clothing because it will be humid! Despite the heat, Thailand is beautiful and you won’t want to leave. Campers spend plenty of time in the water and in the evenings, temperatures are perfect.

Thailand is a conservative society. In most of the areas we visit it is required that we dress respectfully and not show too much skin.

Tell me about the Community Service!

Service is a Bold Earth core value. Bold Earth carefully chooses hands-on community service projects that are active, engaging, meaningful and life-changing. All Bold Earth participants will receive a certificate to document their service hours.

Service Credit: 4 Hours

Village Community Service Project: North of Chiang Mai lies the lush limestone mountains and our base camp in the Mae Hong Son region. This pristine region is filled with caves that contain rivers, waterfalls, and an abundance of greenery. Our hill tribe trek will take us into the remote countryside where we stay in hill tribe villages. We will bring along paper, pencils, and school books and materials and spend two half-days working with local children and teaching them English.

Click to View: ALL Bold Earth community service projects

Do I need any immunizations?

Bold Earth carefully researches possible health risks as part of our trip planning for the exact destinations we visit in Thailand. Bold Earth visits established tourist locations. For most campers, standard vaccinations are sufficient for travel in Thailand.

There are three precautions to take that are recommended to keep you healthy in Thailand:

1. Eat only hot and well-cooked food usually prepared in front of you.

2. Drink only bottled water or boiling hot tea

3. Apply DEET based insect repellent when necessary.

For more information, please consult your family physician or local travel clinic. The day-to-day Epic Thailand Itinerary on our website can be printed show to your travel clinic or family physician.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a Thailand specific website which we find to be very broad covering all areas, seasons and types of travel.

Do I need a Visa?

Citizens of the United States or the EU will automatically receive a 30-day visa. Campers and families are not required to apply for a visa.

If you are not from the USA or EU, please check the following Thai government website to check visa requirements: visa information.

What should I pack?

Over the last 15 years, Bold Earth has carefully crafted the Epic Thailand packing list to include everything a participant needs to be comfortable on the trip. Check out the Epic Thailand Packing List for a detailed description of exactly what to bring. Anything not included on the list is provided by Bold Earth.

Checking Bags? On Airport Day, campers will check the large duffle bag. We recommend using the small daypack as a carry-on. Most airlines do not charge a checked bag fee for international travel. We recommend asking the airline for their specific policy – campers are responsible for checked bag fees.

Give Bold Earth a call at 303-526-0806 if you have any questions. The Bold Earth Trip Advisor team is always available to help answer packing questions or provide gear recommendations.

Tell me more about Thailand!

Formally known as “Siam,” the Kingdom of Thailand is located in Southeast Asia at the center of the Indochina Peninsula. It is bordered by Burma, Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia.

Thailand is a constitutional monarchy, headed by the recently-crowned King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The previous king, King Rama IX, reigned since 1946. King Rama IX was the world’s longest-serving current head of state and the longest-reigning monarch in Thai history. King Adulyadej was appointed in 2016. The King of Thailand is titled Head of State, Head of the Armed Forces, Adherent of Buddhism, and Upholder of religions.

Highly revered, the king’s picture is everywhere. When you see a movie in Thailand the entire theater stands up and sings the national anthem while looking at the king. Negative comments or jokes about the king are seen as extremely rude and, in many cases, illegal.

Thailand’s landmass is larger than California but smaller than Texas or France. With 64 million people, Thailand is the 20th most-populous country in the world. The capital and largest city in Thailand is Bangkok, which is not only the political, commercial, industrial, and cultural hub but also a world city.

Approximately 75% of Thailand’s population is ethnically Thai, 14% Chinese, and 3% is ethnically Malay. The primary religion is Buddhism, which is practiced by around 95% of the population.

Thailand experienced rapid economic growth between 1985 and 1996 and is considered a newly industrialized country and a major exporter. Tourism is a large segment of the Thai economy.

Campers will find Thailand fascinating. The warmth of its culture, natural beauty, and economic sophistication can at times seem at odds with ubiquitous poverty. Bold Earth’s community service projects provide campers a first-hand look into the diverse livelihoods of Thailand’s people while also providing hope for the future.

Can I combine two Bold Earth trips?

Yes! Epic Thailand and all Bold Earth trips are designed to be combined. If you are interested in combining Epic Thailand with a particular trip, please contact our Colorado office at 303-526-0806 for more information! A Bold Earth Trip Advisor will handle all the arrangements to create an incredible summer for you!

Thailand’s Best

Travel Made Easy!

  1. Fly Together: Our goal is to fly together as a group. All students are met upon arrival and families are called immediately from the airport.
  2. We recommend participants book flights three months before departure. Booking around April 1st allows the Bold Earth team to guarantee low fares and maximum coordinated group flights.
  3. Combine 2 Trips: Many Bold Earth participants combine Bold Earth trips. Call or e-mail our office for more information.

Every trip has a story.

We have 40+ years of amazing travel tales to share, but our favorites are always best told by our adventurers themselves.
View Trip Blog
Erawan National Park, Thailand
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Mikal had a wonderful time on Epic Thailand. I could have not asked for a better leader or group for him to go with. I was a very nervous Mom when he left, but I am glad I let him go and have this wonderful experience. Just the growing he did in being able to work through an airport alone is amazing. I, and he, would say Bold Earth was great.

- Parents: Jane & Michael

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