Stride climate

Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Thailand on a Shoestring tour
Bangkok Chiang Mai Thailand on a Shoestring Trip

Thailand on a Shoestring

G Adventures Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.8 . Excellent
Travel Style: For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic - 2 star
15 days
From: $ 977 $ 65 / day
Checking price



  • Experience the bustling streets of bangkok
  • Explore colourful chiang mai
  • Trek to remote hilltribe villages
  • Float down a river on a bamboo raft
  • Enjoy the island beaches of ko pha-ngan and ko tao
  • Take a longtail boat tour of cheow lan lake
  • Check out the marine life with a snorkelling trip

Short Description

Perfect for those looking to experience northern Thailand’s cultural treasures and the natural beauty of its southern islands. This 15-day trip will help you get off the beaten path with a trek to the region’s hilltribes but remains flexible enough to suit all tastes. From the lush hills of the north, stitched through with the diverse colours of its hilltribes, to the soft sands of the south and the glorious chaos of Bangkok, Thailand will leave you captivated.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
Spend most of the time outdoors. Common trip themes and activities include cycling, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting.
Itinerary Focus Active
You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Lodging Level Basic - 2 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Bangkok
End City Ko Tao



Cities & Attractions

Bangkok Chiang Mai

Age Requirement

Minimum age of 18 years for this trip.

No Single Supplement
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Trip Includes

  • Your G for Good Moment: Kao Thep Pitak Community-Owned Farm & Meal
  • Ban Ta Khun Your Discover Moment: Bangkok Your Discover Moment: Chiang Mai
  • Visit to Chiang Mai night market
  • Hilltribe trek
  • Bamboo rafting
  • Street food crawl
  • Snorkelling trip (Ko Tao)
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

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Day 1 Bangkok

Today is arrival day, so there are no activities planned. Enjoy free time to relax, explore the city, and adjust to the frantic pace and humid heat of Bangkok. After your meeting, head out for an optional dinner to get to know your CEO and fellow group members better. Additional Notes: Please arrive at our start point hotel before 18:00 for an important group meeting where you will meet your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and the other group members. Please look for a sign on the hotel's notice board for the time and location of your group meeting. Included Activities: Meet Your CEO and Group

Day 2 Bangkok/Chiang Mai (1B)

Opt to visit Wat Po and the Grand Palace, or check out the city's klongs by boat. Board an overnight train to Chiang Mai. Additional Notes: Due to disruptions of Thai trains in the north during the monsoon season, trips running July through October may use alternative transport. Transport: Basic overnight train (beds) (12.00 hour(s))

Day 3 Chiang Mai

Enjoy one of two street food crawls with the group and CEO. Opt to visit Doi Suthep temple, comb the night markets for souvenirs, or participate in a Thai cooking class. Additional Notes: Explore rural lanes of Chiang Mai in a tuk-tuk by pre-booking the Full Day Tuk-Tuk Adventure or experience the flavours and scents of traditional northern Thai cuisine by pre-booking the Northern Thai Cooking Class. Included Activities: Street Food Crawl

Day 4 Chiang Mai/Ban Mae Jok (1B, 1L, 1D)

We might have time to visit a local market before stopping for lunch and starting our trek. Tucked away in the hills of northern Thailand is where the most colourful and unchanged traditional communities can be found. Trek through forests and rural terrains to visit some of these diverse hilltribe villages; often, each will have their own unique language, clothing style, and belief system that differs significantly from those of neighbouring tribes. You are well looked after by your local guides, who take the responsibility of preparing all meals and carrying food supplies. Additional Notes: The exact itinerary of the walking on this trip may change from time to time, taking into account the weather and local conditions. Also, please note there may be times when the use of video and/or still cameras may be inappropriate -- your CEO and guides will be able to advise you. Be prepared for the accommodation to be basic; remember, it's all about an authentic and unique experience! Included Activities: Hilltribe Trek Day 1 Transport: Pickup truck (1.00 hour(s))

Day 5 Ban Mae Jok/Pa Khao Lam (1B, 1L, 1D)

You will also have the chance to fish at Mae Tang River using local tools; learn how to construct a bamboo raft. Included Activities: Hilltribe Trek Day 2

Day 6 Pa Khao Lam/Chiang Mai (1B, 1L)

After breakfast, leave the village by bamboo raft, stopping at other villages along the way. Meet the van after lunch and head back to Chiang Mai for some free time to explore. Included Activities: Bamboo Rafting to Lahu Village Lahu Village Visit Bamboo Rafting to Shan Village Transport: Pickup truck (1.50-2.00 hours)

Day 7 Chiang Mai/Bangkok (1B)

Opt to go shopping, enjoy a Thai massage, or explore Chiang Mai's many temples. Board an overnight train to Bangkok. Additional Notes: Due to disruptions of Thai trains in the north during the monsoon season, trips running July through October may use alternative transport. Transport: Basic overnight train (beds) (12.00-13.00 hours)

Day 8 Bangkok

Get out and explore this fantastic city where there is endless sightseeing to be done. Additional Notes: As this longer tour is comprised of two shorter tours, there is the possibility that you will need to change hotels on this day. Check in with your CEO about this while on tour. The two hotels we generally use are within walking distance.

Day 9 Bangkok/Surat Thani (1B)

Get to know Thailand's capital. Check out Wat Pho and the Grand Palace, get a Thai massage, or explore the klongs on a boat tour before an overnight train. Enjoy a street food crawl with the group and CEO either today or another day on tour. Included Activities: Street Food Crawl Transport: Basic overnight train (beds) (12.00-13.00 hours)

Day 10 Surat Thani/Khao Sok (1B, 1L)

Khao Sok is a diverse area of natural beauty, a perfect place for people who want to hike and get out there in nature or those that just want to chill out in a hammock by the riverside watching monkeys take their afternoon bath. As entry to Khao Sok NP is included for the day, you can opt for a trek in the park after checking in this afternoon. The park entrance is a short walk from the hotel, as is the main stretch of restaurants and bars in town. Included Activities: Kao Thep Pitak Community-Owned Farm & Meal Lake Cheow Lan Excursion Transport: Private Vehicle (1.50 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s))

Day 11 Khao Sok/Ko Pha Ngan (1B)

Travel to Ko Pha-Ngan, known for its epic parties. Explore the island and its beaches by day and dive into the nightlife when the sun goes down. Transport: Private Vehicle (2.50 hour(s)) Ferry (2.50 hour(s)) Songthaew (0.25 hour(s))

Day 12 Ko Pha Ngan

Enjoy a free day to explore the island's waterfalls, swim in lagoons, hike, or relax on the beach.

Day 13 Ko Pha Ngan/Ko Tao (1L)

During the past 10 years, the reputation of Ko Tao's natural beauty, especially its marine life and coral reefs, has spread the world over and the number of paradise seekers and divers increased rapidly. It's become one of the major dive sites in Thailand, attracting beginners and professionals alike. The island today, though still remaining a unique paradise, caters to all tastes and budgets. Included Activities: Ko Tao Snorkelling Transport: Ferry (1.50 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (0.50 hour(s))

Day 14 Ko Tao (1B)

Enjoy free time in Ko Tao today, relaxing on the beach or hanging out at one of the many beach bars. Additional Notes: Want to discover the fascinating coral and marine life inhabiting the area? Pre-book the Open Water Half Day Dive Experience extra to take two dives, guided by the experts.

Day 15 Ko Tao (1B)

Depart at any time. If booking a flight out of Ko Samui airport, the earliest departure time should be 11:00 am Want to take the hassle out of getting back to Bangkok? Book the Bangkok Express, a two-day post-tour Extra. Speak to your Global Connection Officer or travel agent to book. Additional Notes: Add the “Bangkok Express: Ko Tao to Bangkok” to your adventure and make your way back to bustling Bangkok with the guidance of a CEO. This nifty post-tour Extra includes a ferry to the mainland where you’ll board an overnight train to Bangkok arriving in the city early the next morning. Speak to your Global Connection Officer or travel agent to book. Included Activities: Departure Day


Checking price
Price From $ 977
Price Per Day: $ 65 per day
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Checking price
Start DateFinish DateBase PriceDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Sep-16-2019Sep-30-2019$ 1,119YesSold Out Reserve
Sep-19-2019Oct-03-2019$ 1,119Yes4 spots left Reserve
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Feb-27-2021Mar-13-2021$ 1,189Yes18 spots left Reserve
Mar-03-2021Mar-17-2021$ 1,149Yes18 spots left Reserve
Mar-06-2021Mar-20-2021$ 1,149Yes18 spots left Reserve
Mar-10-2021Mar-24-2021$ 1,149Yes18 spots left Reserve
Mar-27-2021Apr-10-2021$ 1,149Yes18 spots left Reserve
Mar-31-2021Apr-14-2021$ 1,149Yes18 spots left Reserve
Apr-03-2021Apr-17-2021$ 1,119Yes18 spots left Reserve
Apr-07-2021Apr-21-2021$ 1,119Yes18 spots left Reserve
Apr-10-2021Apr-24-2021$ 1,119Yes18 spots left Reserve
Apr-24-2021May-08-2021$ 1,119Yes18 spots left Reserve
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Average 6
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Terrible 9

Thailand on a Shoestring

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Company Reviews

Amazing Trip!

Great first time experience in Europe. I got to hike the Alps with a great CEO that was well organised and really friendly. I also met 9 other travellers from across the world and learned a lot while hiking 24 KM Trek's with them. I would recommend this trip to anyone looking to take a break from city life and enjoy the beauty of the Alps.
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Great Experience

The tour was amazing. A lot of great hikes and views travelling from France-Italy-Switzerland. Really enjoyed how organised the trip was and down to earth the people were.
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Great Experience

The tour was amazing. A lot of great hikes and views travelling from France-Italy-Switzerland. Really enjoyed how organised the trip was and down to earth the people were.
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A great way to see Japan

Great group tour experience. I was glad that I packed light! It was a small surprise to take so much public transportation everywhere. But our guide was amazing, and we saw a nice combination of classic sights and local gems.
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Great way to see Costa Rica

Trek Hidden Costa Rica is a great way to explore the country. I feel like I got so much more out of this trip than I would have on a tour that hits all touristy spots. Very active trip, got to see a lot of wildlife, plus beach/mountains/countryside/waterfalls - so many amazing views! Would highly recommend this trip and will very likely be traveling with GAdventures again.
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Trip of a lifetime!

Magnificent mountain peaks, stunning glaciers and picture-perfect lakes. The twelve-person tour was well organized and well paced. Our guide, Romi, was fun and competent. She took good care of us and made sure we had a good time.

Half a dozen local guides joined us along the way, contributing new knowledge and their own perspectives.

Note that there were many more optional activities than were listed on the website, including a day in Bariloche of rafting or horseback riding with gauchos. We also enjoyed a couple of home visits, one featuring a meal prepared in a traditional pot made from a plow disk. And then there was that sweet trip to the dulce de leche tasting shop... So many pleasures, big and small, in an incredibly beautiful land!

My advice: Go a day early so you can take in Buenos Aires’ San Telmo Feria, a ten-block street market that is only held on Sundays.
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Flights & Transport

Only ground transport Local bus, train, walking, boat. As the popularity of train travel in Thailand continues to grow domestically, some of the routes used on this tour do not have sufficient space during local public holidays, including New Year’s, Songkran, etc. During these times of the year, alternative transport may be arranged for one or more of the train journeys on this tour.

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 18

Max 18, avg 12.

Solo Notes

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.


Simple hotels (twin-share) or hostels (multi-share) (9 nts), basic hilltribe huts (2 nts, multi-share), sleeper trains (3 nts).

A variety of styles of hotels/guesthouses are used on this tour. In many instances they might not be like what you are used to back home, as service and efficiency can vary. In some areas we stay in simple local guesthouses in stunning locations – rooms are small and basic, may be multi-share, and there may be shared toilet facilities and showers. Multi-share Accommodation: Multi-share same-sex accommodation is used on this tour, as such, if you are travelling with someone of a different gender you will not be in the same room. For private accommodation please see tours in our Classic Travel Style.


Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, trekking staff.

Age Notes

Min. Age: Minimum age of 18 years for this trip.

Additional Information:

Important Notes

1. EXTRA ACCOMMODATION AT THE BANGKOKIANS If your tour begins or ends at the Bangkokians City Garden Hotel, and you are looking to add nights before or after the tour, the extra accommodation will be located at Hotel De Bangkok. Hotel De Bangkok is an affiliate hotel of the Bangkokians, and the two properties are right next to each other. If you are interested in adding extra nights of accommodation to compliment your tour, please reach out to our GCO Sales team who will happily add this service to your booking. 2. COMBO TRIP Please note that this trip is a combination of multiple G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and/or particular vehicles operating your tour may change between tour segments. You may also expect some group members to join or leave the tour, between tour segments. 3. TREKKING ROUTE Please be advised that a 2-week period of traditional slash and burn farming occurs in this region between March and April (start date varies). During this time your trek may follow an alternate route to avoid uncomfortably smoky areas.


Eating is a big part of traveling. G Adventures understands the importance of breakfast to start your day, we strive to include a basic breakfast wherever possible. Included breakfasts will usually be asian style consisting of noodles or congee (rice porridge) or bread and eggs, however this may vary depending on the city. Should breakfast not be included, your CEO can suggest some local options. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. While trekking in remote regions etc. food is included, plentiful and made of fresh local ingredients. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary. VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Rules & Other Requirements

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Trip ID#:


Meals Included:

10 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 2 dinners

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