Our journey starts in Bangkok, the city of canals, temples and amazing food! Traveling on bikes with a local guide, we tour the famous golden Buddha, ancient temples, bustling markets and the incredible Grand Palace. We spend our final afternoon in Bangkok teaching English at a local school. Bold Earth's Thailand teen trip artfully combines culture, adventure and service.
CHIANG MAI: CULTURE - SERVICE & ADVENTURE
Traveling north to the city of Chiang Mai, we embark on 5 days of adventure and culture. We begin with a Thai cooking class, learning to prepare delicious Pad Thai. Our next adventure is a trek into the hills of Northern Thailand, where indigenous peoples have lived for centuries. Hiking from village to village, we have the chance to stay in 3 communities and learn about three distinct cultures. Here we will also give back by volunteering at an orphanage. Far off the beaten path, this is a once-in-a-lifetime Thailand teen trip experience!
SOUTH THAILAND: BEACHES, ROCK CLIMBING & SNORKELING
We fly (flight included) south to the white sand beaches, crystal clear waters and abundant sunshine of the Andaman Sea. From our base in Krabi, flanked by towering cliffs and clear tropical waters, we sea kayak, snorkel, explore ocean caves and rock climb at the magnificent Railay Beach. After enjoying 3 days together in paradise, we head back to Bangkok and say farewell to this amazing country.
- Bangkok: Temples & Markets
- Two Overnight Sleeper Trains
- Hill Tribe Trek
- Chiang Mai: Cooking Class & Night Market
- One Domestic Flight Included
- Krabi: Sea Kayak & Snorkel 4 Days
- Railay Beach: Rock Climb
Buying Guide: The packing list above is mandatory for your trip; however, the linked items are just shopping recommendations. Backpacks, sleeping bags, and sleeping pads may also be purchased from an outdoor store that has tested gear for varied environments. More generic gear such as mess kits, duffel bags, etc. can be bought relatively inexpensive at Target, Walmart, etc. Feel free to find the gear that suits you and your budget best. The Bold Earth office welcomes and expects questions about packing and equipment!
Travel and Packing Tips: Don't worry about how your backpack is arranged right now. Once you arrive, your Trip Leaders will show you the most efficient way to pack your bag for a multi-day trip. If you have the space for it, a great idea for your airport and travel days is to pack your empty backpacking backpack into your duffel bag. This will reduce your checked bags from two to one.
Spending Money: Bring approximately $75 per week. For most campers this is more than enough. This is for personal expenses and gifts. Unless there is an emergency, Bold Earth will not advance money.
Identification: ID is required when checking in for flights. Bring along a picture ID, library card, school ID or state ID card. Your trip leader will be happy to hold any ID or important documents.
Helmets: Helmets are provided and required for rafting and ice climbing.
Laundry: We visit laundromats weekly. You will wash your own clothes, we provide the suds, coins and know-how. Many participants have identical jeans, socks, hiking boots, etc. A good practice is to put your name on items which are not unique to you.
Trip Journal: Bring along a notebook to record the challenges and successes of your adventure. Forest Service (“USFS”) and National Park Service (“NPS”): Bold Earth is required to notify all participants that, to the extent a court determines USFS and NPS restrictions on waivers of liability apply to Bold Earth as a matter of law, Bold Earth’s liability for negligence may not be waived while you are traveling on those affected lands.
Reading List: The people, places and activities you will encounter on your trip are diverse and incredible. These are a few books offering background information. We suggest you consider reading these books before, during or after your adventure. Also, you might like to read Outside Magazine, Backpacker Magazine, Climbing Magazine, Rock & Ice or Trilogy Magazine, available everywhere. For additional adventurous reading, check out Extreme Classics: The 100 Greatest Adventure Books of All Time
Do you Speak Thai?? Bold Earth does! AWESOME Culture, Outdoor Adventure and Service in Thailand! YES!
The world’s friendliest people, most 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 a sophisticated tourist infrastructure. Bold Earth families expect Thailand’s Best to be safe, authentic, meaningful and impactful. Campers travel 24/7 with a local Thai trip leader plus two Bold Earth leaders. Bold Earth customers expect us to exceed their expectations – PERIOD.
Bold Earth is the expert in teen travel. We have carefully scouted our Thailand’s Best to ensure safety, fun and culture! Bold Earth has created the perfect combination of Adventure + Culture + Service.
14 days of NON-STOP adventure, culture & pad thai!
Some AWESOME Highlights:
• Incredible Asian Culture
• Eat & Cook Thai Food
• Sea Kayaking & Snorkeling
• Rock Climbing
• 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, Thailand’s Best is truly the best Thailand has to offer!
EVERYTHING upon arrival in Thailand.
Internal flights, trains, all meals, lodging and activities. This trip is fully inclusive. But, bring along about $150 to spend on souvenirs because shopping in Thailand is unlimited, cheap and so much fun.
Bold Earth spends countless hours securing incredible, perfect and amazing accommodations for Thailand’s Best. 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 (UNBELIEVABLE PARADISE)
Hotels in Thailand: Hotels on Thailand’s Best are small bed & breakfast style hotels with western-style bathrooms and air-conditioning. You will be comfortable and cool. We don’t stay at Marriott style hotels, 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 and private cabins on a train! Campers spend 2 (non-consecutive) nights on overnight trains. A very common and efficient way to travel, plus after we go to sleep we wake up in a new place ready to go!
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 2 nights sleeping on a remote AMAZING white sand beach. This EPIC conclusion to the trip allows for beach bonfires, star gazing and fun water sports. 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.
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 and 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. YES, Bold Earth’s job is to make sure you will be comfortable and safe!
Small group size = SUCCESS!
• Maximum of 13 incredible and enthusiastic campers • 2 Bold Earth trip leaders (at least 1 male and 1 female) • 1 Local Thai Leader – SO COOL!
Group size matters! A small group puts YOU right in the center of the action and success. Bold Earth would not be permitted to travel its unique itinerary with a larger group! AMAZING! Knowledgeable and experienced guides make Bold Earth trips safer while giving Bold Earth programs powerful authenticity.
Leadership and taking charge are planned parts of every day. You will get a chance to be a Leader of the Day (LOD), which will give you 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.
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 around the world! The art of Thai food is its 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. YES! Our Bold Earth group enjoys family-style for every meal rather than just 1 or 2 choices, 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. But there is a ton of AMAZING tropical fruits and amazing veggie options. Vegetarians, kosher, allergy and most special diets are usually no problem 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! Thailand is beautiful and by the end you will be wishing to never leave! Campers spend plenty of time in the water and evenings temperatures are perfect.
Thailand is a conservative society. In most of the places we visit it is required that we dress respectfully, not showing too much skin.
Community Service is a Bold Earth core value. Bold Earth carefully chooses hands on community service projects that are active, engaging and . . . LIFE CHANGING! All Bold Earth participants will receive a certificate to document their service hours.
Service Credit: 8 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 teaching them English.
Click to View: ALL Bold Earth community service projects
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.
Three precautions 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 Thailand’s Best 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.
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
Over the last 15 years, Bold Earth has carefully crafted the Thailand’s Best Packing List to include everything a participant needs to be comfortable on the trip. Click to view: Thailand’s Best 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.
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 King Rama IX, who has reigned since 1946. The king is the world’s longest-serving current head of state and the longest-reigning monarch in Thai history. 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 is Bangkok, which is not only Thailand’s 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 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 livelihoods of Thailand’s less fortunate while also providing hope for the future.
Yes! Thailand’s Best and all Bold Earth trips are designed to be combined. If you are interested in combining Thailand’s Best 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!
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 programing 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. To receive a list of references call us in Colorado at 303 526 0806 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please mention the trip you are interested and where you live.
This trip to Thailand was incredible in every way that I can describe! The place was amazing, seeing all of the different parts and diversity of Thailand was something I'll always remember. But there are certain days really stuck with me, like the day at the orphanage, the trek, and camping on the beach. What really made Thailand's Best the best though, were the people. Throughout the trip I had the greatest time with them ever, and by the end of the trip we were like one big family! Bold Earth really made my summer amazing, and I still can't stop talking about it!
Where do I begin? Before meeting my group, I was nervous but for some reason, but from the first dinner on it all was so easy. There was not a day which I did not cry from laughter or pure happiness. I feel like I made friends for life in Thailand! The sites we saw were breath taking and the activities were wild (in a good way). I would be happy doing the same trip, with the same people, in the same places, another 100 times!I hope I made it clear how crazy happy i am to have experienced this trip. Thank you, Bold Earth, for the best summer of my life
THIRD BOLD EARTH SUMMER!
PARENTS, Tracey & Jack: Thailand's Best was Connor’s third Bold Earth summer and he has loved it from the beginning! Thailand was wonderful as always!
WITH A CHERRY ON TOP!
Thailand was the cherry on top of my summer. After visiting China, I knew I was ready for Thailand! I got to meet a whole new group of awesome people and share memories with them that I will never have any one else. I'm actually laughing right now as a reminisce about some funny memories! It's funny because I can call people I only knew for two weeks my brothers and sisters.
Bold Earth has done something for me that nothing else has ever done: It has connected me with some of the single most amazing people around the world and it has expanded and developed my mind to think more universally and open minded. I really can't thank the Bold Earth organization enough for creating such a wonderful experience for hundreds of teens across the world. I can guarantee not one of us will ever forget the amazing times Bold Earth has given all of us. Also a big thank you to Allison and Nung for making my Thailand experience extra special!
In a word, WONDERFUL! Allison, you are great, I would follow you anywhere. Thailand's Best is an amazing adventure!
PARENTS, Cindi & Keith: Danni was so thrilled with her trip to Thailand. I was so thrilled for her wonderful experience. She enjoyed the counselors and their humor. She enjoyed all the places and events she was part of. We would like to send her on another Bold Earth adventure next year.
Negatives are incredibly hard to find about Thailand's Best! I think that we had an amazing group and we were all able to relate to each other one way or another. Overall, this was a great trip and I will definitely recommend it to friends, thank you Bold Earth!
PARENTS: Mikayla had a wonderful time on Thailand's Best. I could have not asked for a better leader or group for her to go with. I was a very nervous Mom when she left, but I am glad I let her go and have this wonderful experience. Just the growing she did in being able to work through an airport alone is amazing. I, and she, would say Bold Earth was great.
I loved my Bold Earth trip leader! Jake Preston took great care of us and made everything really fun. I loved being with Melanie on the trip. She was always there to talk seriously or goof around. I'm so thankful for her presence.
PARENTS, Amy: Sage thoroughly enjoyed his Bold Earth adventure. I think your personalized communications in general are excellent and consistent. I think you are well-organized and professional and your company delivered upon your business promises. Thank you for expanding my sons horizons and providing an opportunity to further develop his love for travel, adventure and diversity
I had a really great trip! The planning was perfect and all of the activities were awesome! Jake was really cool and great at including everyone and making people feel welcome. He was funny and also very interesting to talk to. We discussed books and life and he was a really cool guy! Mel was amazing! We were really similar people (we both played instruments, sang, and dance) so we instantly connected. At one of the hotels we found a guitar and sang together, which was one of my highlights of Thailand's Best! We also sang on the beach and it was so peaceful and perfect! She was super helpful and always in a great mood, which made the trip a lot better!!
PARENTS, Ariel & William: Anna had a wonderful time on her Thailand's Best trip. It was the perfect fit for her, and a great first experience with travel with a group.
PARENTS, Tirzah & David: I am overjoyed at the amount of fun and depth of experience Adlai had on Thailand’s Best!
PARENTS, Susan & Bill: Caroline had another wonderful summer experience with Bold Earth. Terrific kids, trip leaders and adventures. Again, she went a bit beyond her comfort zone and was rewarded with a fun and successful trip. Thank you.
My experiences in Thailand were BEYOND WORDS! I absolutely loved working at the Thai orphanage, exploring night markets, cooking Pad Thai, hiking and playing games. Spending time at the orphanage was life changing and eye-opening; I would do anything to go back to Bold Earth!
PARENTS, Janet & Ric: Kelsey had a fabulous time on her Thailand trip. Bold Earth exceeded our expectations! Allie was awesome and made Kelsey comfortable the entire time. Kelsey's trip home was delayed and she had to return to Bangkok. Allie was so nice and made her feel very welcome and let her join the next group for the day. Really appreciate that! We would be happy to recommend Bold Earth! Thanks again for the great trip!!
THE BEST TRIP I HAVE EVER BEEN ON!
I absolutely loved Thailand’s Best. It was the best trip I've ever been on. It really impacted my life in a very positive way. Thank you Bold Earth!
Travel Made Easy!
- 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.
- 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.
- Combine 2 Trips: Many Bold Earth participants combine Bold Earth trips. Call or e-mail our office for more information.