Thailand wildlife holiday, elephants & waterfalls

Exploring a few places, rather than multiple destinations, makes this Thailand holiday special, with time for waterfall paddling, trekking and meeting local families.
Bangkok guided tour Chiang Mai dinner with local family waterfalls Elephant Nature Park handicraft villages informal Thai cookery lesson village stay in remote far north primary school visit in Hmong village trekking Khao Yai wildlife spotting
£1840 including UK flights
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15 Days
Tailor made
More info
This private tour costs from £1,240 per person & £930 per child under 12 excl flights.
Incl flights, from £1,840 per person/£1,762 12-15 year olds/£1,380 per child under 12.
As a tour for 2, it costs from £1,375 pp excl flights/£1,975 incl flights
Make enquiry

Description of Thailand wildlife holiday, elephants & waterfalls

On this Thailand wildlife holiday, elephants and waterfalls, just some of the highlights of this fantastic itinerary are exploring a vast nature reserve, getting up close and personal to elephants and swimming in waterfalls. This nature and cultural trip to Thailand is packed full of activities but by exploring a few areas, rather than being constantly on the move like many other adventure holidays, you’ll discover more of the country and get a bit of time to relax too.

This is a private tour and can be taken at your own pace eg. walking.

This tour is a perfect family adventure holiday. It is popular with families with younger children, as well as teenagers.

It can be taken as an adults break, for friends travelling together or a couple, even a honeymoon with a difference.

The two-week tour starts with a whistle-stop visit to Bangkok to tick off the main sights before you venture into the nature and lush landscapes of northern Thailand. First stop, just outside Chiang Mai where you'll explore 10-tier waterfalls as songbirds and butterflies flit around you. You'll spend two days at a unique sanctuary for elephants, a far cry from the usual tourist experience - you'll learn how to care for elephants and even give them a bath!

The next part of your trip is further north. Here, you'll trek up a mountain for spectacular views over Laos (Thailand's neighbour), bathe in hot springs and dine outdoors, under a blanket of sparkling stars. You'll also get to meet locals of all ages as a welcome friend (not a tourist) - you'll visit a school and the villagers would be delighted if you watch or take part in their early-evening football matches.

The last part of your holiday will be at Khao Yai National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a nature reserve, spanning over 2,000 square kilometers and is home to herds of wild elephants, clouded leopards and monkeys, as well a vast array of flora and fauna. You'll see over 2 million bats swarm out into the night, walk through the jungle and drive to the summit in an open-topped jeep.

We have included a summary of the tour (see below), please contact us to be sent the full itinerary via email. We have put a lot of thought into designing this trip, the itinerary can be customised. Beach extensions are also possible.


Day 1:Direct overnight flight Heathrow with Thai Airways or Eva Air (regional departures available). If you are not from the UK, you can arrange your flights separately and be picked up at Bangkok airport.
Day 2:Arrival at Bangkok airport where you will be picked up in a private car or mini-van. Time to settle in and relax at your charming hotel. In the evening, you will drive through lit-up Bangkok before having dinner at a riverside restaurant.
Day 3:Sightseeing in Bangkok with a guide who will take you to the main sites of the Grand Palace, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Pho and Wat Arun. Free time in the late afternoon and then an evening exploring Bangkok at your leisure (your driver will take you and wait for you).
Day 4:Transfer to Northern Thailand (via a short internal flight to Chiang Mai). Private car/minivan transfer to a residential area outside the city. Time to relax and settle in, followed by a walk around the local area and dinner with a local family.
Day 5:Explore 10-tiered waterfalls at your leisure. Climb up as far or as little as you want, swim in various spots and picnic as butterflies flit around you. Evening visit to Chiang Mai.
Day 6 & 7:Meet elephants at the Elephant Nature Park, a unique elephant sanctuary where you will spend two days learning about them from conservation experts and their carers, ‘mahouts’
Day 8:Sightseeing in the city of Chiang Mai around the ancient city and temples, then visit handicraft villages dotted around the city where you can watch the locals work expertly and buy directly from their co-operatives. This evening, you will have an informal Thai cookery lesson and dinner with a local family.
Day 9:Head into greener pastures as you transfer further north (past Chiang Rai). Arrive in remote countryside. You'll meet the villagers, learn how they fish/ farm in traditional way and in the evening, have dinner around a campfire.
Day 10:Swim in waterfalls and hot springs and have a forest walk, or relax or nap by the waterfalls. You'll also visit a primary school in a Hmong village.
Day 11:Trek up a mountain - it's certainly off the beaten track, your guide will show you how to cut your own trails and build a makeshift barbeque to cook your lunch.
Day 12:Transfer to Khao Yai. Time to settle in and enjoy the swimming pool. Evening visit to the local night market.
Day 13:Relax in the tropical gardens or swim in the pool. In the late afternoon, you'll have your first visit to Khao Yai National Park for the unforgettable sight of over 2 million bats swarming into the sky.
Day 14:Wildlife-spotting in Khao Yai National Park requires an early start for a chance to see the animals at their most active. Trek through the forests with your guide, then visit beautiful waterfalls, made famous in the film ‘The Beach’, then spend the afternoon driving around in an open-topped vehicle.
Day 15:End of your trip. Drive to Bangkok airport and international flight, arriving at London Heathrow at approximately 7pm UK time (same day).

Price information

£1840 including UK flights
Convert currency:
This private tour costs from £1,240 per person & £930 per child under 12 excl flights.
Incl flights, from £1,840 per person/£1,762 12-15 year olds/£1,380 per child under 12.
As a tour for 2, it costs from £1,375 pp excl flights/£1,975 incl flights
Make enquiry

Departure information

This trip is a private tour. It can be taken on dates to suit you, subject to availability. The itinerary can be customised.

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Holiday information

Tailor made tour:
This holiday is designed for people who like to travel on their own, as a couple, as a family or as friends (not in a group with other people they do not know previously). You will not have a 'tour leader' or an 'escort' with you all the time. We run our own operations so do not need to rely on this type of arrangement to make sure your holiday is organised. We work hand-in-hand with our unique network of local people who are backed up by our carefully-picked drivers and local office. This means you will meet a range of trusted local people throughout your holiday and have time on your own, with full confidence that your holiday will run smoothly at all times.


3 Reviews of Thailand wildlife holiday, elephants & waterfalls

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 05 Jan 2020 by

Amazing, holiday of a lifetime Read full review

Reviewed on 01 Dec 2015 by

It was absolutely brilliant. The whole tour ran to plan and was extremely well organised. It was a great combination of active and relaxing and we had a marvellous time. Highly recommended. Read full review

Reviewed on 23 Jul 2013 by

The most memorable parts were... Riding the elephants and seeing Angkor Wat. The lodgings at Ko Samed were also very beautiful...It was a very well run trip. Read full review

Responsible Travel

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.

Planet and people

All our holidays are deliberately designed to be as socially responsible as possible, and we work with local people on a highly individual basis.

On this holiday, you will get an unrivalled insight into Thai culture and you will meet a wide range of ordinary people on an 'equal' basis, not just those involved in the tourist industry to 'serve' you. You will learn about real life in Thailand, both traditional and modern, sustainable ways of living and farming, local festivals etc. We find people who will show these to you and compensate them accordingly, this helps local efforts of keeping traditions alive.

You will spend most of your time areas away from the main commercial tourist areas, therefore providing additional income in local economies that may not normally benefit from revenue from tourism. Whether a housewife takes you to her local market to buy food to prepare dinner, or you pop into the village co-operative to browse their handicrafts, your holiday will help the very places and people you visit.

The accommodation on this itinerary is small and local, within existing buildings or built with comparatively low impact to the environment. When you do stay in a 'conventional’ hotel in Bangkok, it is a Green Hotel, which uses solar energy for heating the hot water and room sensors that automatically turn off lights and appliances.

We encourage visiting less places and spending more time there, this allows richer experiences and also has less impact on the environment than constantly moving from one place to another. Whilst we do use private cars and minivans, where possible our vehicles are fuelled by LPG. We also encourage exploring local areas by foot, bicycle and boat.

It goes without saying that we also provide cultural guidelines and travel, including responsible travel information.

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