BANGKOK TO BALI
TTSIC

From AU$ 5645 28 Days
  • Indonesia
  • Max 12 passengers
  • Bangkok Ubud
  • Taxi, Overnight sleeper train, Songthaew, Bus, Private minibus, Train, Ferry
  • Hotel (21 nts), Guesthouse (4 nts), Overnight sleeper train (1 nt), Homestay (1 nt)
28 days From AU$ 5645

Overview

Leave the airports behind, and discover the hidden secrets between Bangkok and Bali as we explore stunning natural areas such as Khao Sok National Park, Ao Thaland near Krabi, and Green Canyon near Pangandaran.  Make friends with the locals as we travel alongside them and learn how to cook an authentic Southern Thai dish with a village homestay.  Travel by train, bus, bicycle, boat, cycle rickshaw, kayak and by foot, giving you the chance to get up close and personal with local traditions, cultures and attractions.  Discover pristine beaches, active volcanoes, verdant rainforests, as well as historic cities and golden temples and saffron-robed monks. Our journey from Thailand to Indonesia via the Malay Peninsula is sure to delight, as we get back to nature, leave the airports and go on a voyage of discovery like never before.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 Bangkok

The adventure of a lifetime begins in Bangkok today, as we meet up in the evening for a welcome meeting.   If you arrive earlier in the day, enjoy some free time to explore Thailand's bustling capital, Bangkok.   Famous for its tuk tuks, khlong boats and street vendors serving up delicious Thai food, Bangkok has so much to offer, why not take a riverboat to Chinatown and explore the crowded streets, uncover the magnificent Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, wander down the tourist mecca of Khao San Road, or indulge in some Thai massage, just make sure you are back in time for the important group meeting this evening.


Day 2 Bangkok to Surat Thani

Our adventure today begins with a river cruise down the Chao Phraya River to explore the famous ‘khlongs’ of Bangkok.   You will be amazed as you explore these canals which seem a world away from the chaotic streets of the capital. We also head to Wat Pho, one of the ‘trinity’ of Bangkok temples, with a 46-metre long gold plated Buddha reclining inside. Even the feet of this statue are incredible, three metres long and intricately decorated with mother of pearl. The temple grounds are equally fascinating, filled with beautifully decorated stupas, halls, and shrines. In the evening we make our way to the Bangkok train station, as we board an overnight train and head south to Surat Thani.   Mingle with the locals, practice your language skills and make the most of this authentic Thai experience as we travel while we sleep.


Day 3 Surat Thani to Khao Sok National Park

After arriving into Surat Thani this morning, we jump in a minivan and head to Khao Sok- home to one of the oldest rainforests in the world. Set amid hectares of thick jungle, waterfalls, limestone cliffs and topped off with an island-studded lake, the national park of Khao Sok is a nature lover's paradise. Enjoy some time at leisure to walk along the dirt trails that snake through the quiet park keeping your eyes open for wildlife as you head for rivers and waterfalls. The park is home to boar, gaur, gibbons, deer, wild elephants, and even the occasional tiger. The flora is also top-notch, with the rare Rafflesia Kerri, one of the world’s largest flowers, only found in Thailand here. There are longer hiking trails also available and in the rainy season there's an option to take to the water in inner tubes and float down the river through the rainforest. Tonight we take advantage of our jungle setting and spend a night in a rustic hut amid ancient gnarled rainforest trees.


Day 4 Khao Sok

Today we enjoy spending the day exploring Khao Sok National Park.  This morning we travel through pristine jungle, rubber and oil plantations before boarding a long tail boat for a ride across stunning Cheow Lan Lake, with one of its island as your destination. With limestone karst hills rising almost 1,000 metres into the air and surrounded by beautiful green waters, the area is incredibly picturesque. We trek to an island cave, where we discover eerie stalactites and bats hanging from the ceiling, with subterranean streams at our feet. We then make our way to a local raft-house for lunch before having free time to relax, swim or kayak around the lake to search for wildlife.  Make sure you have your camera ready as you are sure to be mesmerised by the clear water which teems with aquatic life, and you might spot hornbills, langurs, macaques or gibbons above the water. After a relaxing afternoon by the lake we return to our jungle accommodation for the night.


Day 5 Khao Sok to Homestay

This morning we jump on a local bus and head for the Krabi province.  Once there we board a private minibus and head to a small village where we enjoy spending the night at a homestay. On arrival into the village we enjoy a walk with your homestay host around the village, try out rubber tapping and enjoy the great food and hospitality of the region. Thailand is one of the world’s three largest producers of rubber, and you can try your hand at ‘tapping’ a rubber tree – skimming the bark off the tree to create a path for the milky white latex to run down. The homestay is a great way to get involved in Thai life, absorb some of the daily rituals of Thai culture, and learn some skills from the locals as you have the opportunity to assist with the preparation of tonight's meal, and learn some of the delicious secrets of southern Thai cooking while you’re at it!!

Notes: Please be aware that this is a Muslim region so conservative dress standards are appreciated.


Day 6 Homestay to Krabi

This morning we bid farewell to our welcoming hosts and make the short journey to the stunning surrounds of Krabi and our base at Ao Nang where we enjoy a day at leisure. Famous for the incredible limestone karst scenery of the headland, sun-seekers will fall in love with Krabi's unspoilt beaches, the spectacular cliffs will tempt avid rock climbers, while scuba fans can embark on a Krabi diving adventure. If you love getting out on the water and exploring islands, then consider taking a trip by boat to explore Phi Phi and Khai Nok, islands surrounded by white sandy beach perfect for swimming and snorkelling. The area around Krabi is also home to some of the most spectacular climbing routes around. Whether you're a novice or a pro, being securely tied high up a limestone cliff-face looking down on jungle and crystalline seas is unforgettable. In the evening, look out for a beautiful sunset and consider dining on seafood in a beachside restaurant, followed by a drink in one of the many clubs and bars along on the beach.


Day 7 Krabi

This morning you’ll enjoy an included half day Sea Kayaking trip to the mangrove forest of Ao Thalane. About half way along the coast between Than Bok Khoranee and Krabi town is a bay of mangroves that might just be the most beautiful bay in Thailand. Surrounded by towering karst formations and many small offshore islands, let the waterways become your pathway as you move slowly through the bays and canyons, discover inlets, caves and hidden lagoons, and check out the local wildlife up-close – the birds overhead and monkeys in the trees. If you do see a monkey, make sure you secure your belongings and any food! This afternoon, enjoy some more free time, you may wish to explore the beautiful underwater world around Ao Nang with some scuba diving, work on your cooking skills with a Thai cooking class and in the evening, you can stroll the beaches, sample local fare at a seafood restaurant, enjoy a relaxing massage on the beach, or simply sit back with a good book and a cool cocktail to watch the sun slip beneath the waves.


Day 8 Krabi to Penang

Today we bid Thailand farewell and head to Malaysia on a private minibus.   After a long day of travelling this evening we arrive at the fascinating island of Penang, which was the first destination of the colonial British in 1786. They invited the Chinese, as well as others from all over Asia, to live on this island in the tropics. Today, this exotic fusion of cultures still exists and the World Heritage site of Georgetown contains a fascinating mix of religious places of worship. On arrival to Penang we enjoy an orientation walk around the blend of colonial buildings, tumble-down shops and hawker-filled alleyways to get our bearings. The food here might just be the best in Malaysia, so tonight why not seek out the endless food stalls of this food paradise.


Day 9 Penang

This morning we enjoy a half day sightseeing walking tour around Penang and Georgetown, soaking up the relaxed pace of life and the mix of cultures on show in this heritage area. We discover the original 19th century shop houses, the street markets, and the strong cultural and religious identity still on display in each neighbourhood – Little India, Chinatown and the Muslim Quarter. You may be surprised by the street art that adorns the walls as well as the clan jetties on the waterfront, formed by 19th century immigrants, banding together based on the area of China that they came from, and they built rival waterfront societies on wooden jetties. Our walking tour also takes us to Thai and Burmese temples, and Kek Lok Si Temple, the largest Buddhist temple in South East Asia. After an enjoyable mornings walk, enjoy the afternoon at leisure, aside from sauntering along the interesting streets (or hoping in a trishaw for a ride that will take you back in time), you might visit Fort Cornwallis, built to defend the city from invasion, or see the clan house of Khoo Kongsi. Check out the ornate carvings on the walls, roof and pillars, and maybe see more Chinese architecture in the memorably blue Courtyard House of Cheong Fatt Tze, a fabulously wealthy merchant. Don’t forget to feast on the island’s culinary delights tonight.


Day 10 Penang to Kuala Lumpur

This morning we jump on a local bus and head to Kuala Lumpur (KL as it is affectionately known), the cosmopolitan capital of Malaysia. Kuala Lumpar is a great destination for travellers, as it is a rare place where communities of Indian, Chinese and ethnic Malay people mingle peacefully, allowing travellers to get the best of all three worlds.


Day 11 Kuala Lumpur

This morning we head on a half-day tour of Kuala Lumpar and absorb the fascinating multicultural mix that gives Kuala Lumpur such a uniquely cosmopolitan feel. We visit some of the city's most impressive architecture such as the National Monument, the vast National Mosque, featuring a bold and modern design, and the Istana Negara (National Palace). We head to the Royal Selangor Club, which looks like it’s come straight from Tudor England, and scale the 272 steps up to the Batu Caves, where shrines are filled with fascinating statues of the Hindu Gods. In the afternoon we enjoy some free time, to explore more of Kuala Lunpar.  You might stroll Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square), or shop in Suria KLCC (one of Malaysia’s premier shopping destinations) before heading up to the Skybridge & Observation Deck of the iconic Petronas Towers. Those with a head for heights can also climb up the KL Tower at dusk and watch the city lights come to life. Lake Gardens is home to a number of sights, including the National Planetarium and the superb Islamic Arts Museum, home to a standout collection. If culture’s your thing then perhaps enjoy a cultural show, or try your hand at Batik, a technique of dying cloth that’s a real art form. Tonight, be sure to indulge in the myriad tasty food options Kuala Lumpur is famous for.


Day 12 Kuala Lumpar to Melaka

This morning we mingle with the locals as we head to the old port town of Melaka by local bus.  The historic city of Melaka was an important trading port in Malaysia, attracting Chinese, Indian, Dutch, Portuguese and British traders. These visitors sought wealth or an opportunity to control the Straits of Malacca, a vital trading route between the Indian and Pacific oceans, which lead to 400 years of colonial rule. Today, Melaka's wealth of historical sites reminds visitors of times gone by, and its multicultural past is revealed in its distinctive cuisine. Like Georgetown, Melaka was declared a World Heritage Site in 2008.


Day 13 Melaka

Today we jump on a trishaw for a city tour along the narrow winding streets. Admire Chinatown's unique Peranakan architecture, get a taste of old Melaka, and learn about the ancient spice trade. Take in sites such as Harmony Street , which boasts the prayer houses of Malaysia's three main faiths with and stop by a mosque, Chinese Buddhist Temples, and a traditional Muslim house-museum.  Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to continue exploring Melaka.  Discover 17th century Dutch buildings and ships, to museums that showcase the local history of ethnic Chinese-Malays, the travels of diplomat and explorer Zheng He, and even a museum that focuses on concepts of beauty in different cultures, you will soon realise that Melaka has so much to offer. For the more adventurous, you may wish to jump on two wheels for an Eco Bike tour around the city, or see Melaka from a different perspective with a boat tour along the river.


Day 14 Melaka to Singapore

This morning we jump on a local bus and head to Singapore.  On arrival into Singapore, enjoy some free time to explore the city, you will soon discover that Singapore has few areas untouched by modernisation, but wandering the streets of Little India and Chinatown is a great way to see the old parts of the city. To explore further, check out the renowned shopping precinct of Orchard Road, or stop by Raffles to experience the old world charm of a Singapore Sling. This evening enjoy a stroll along Clarke Quay or take a river cruise to learn more about the fascinating history of this city.


Day 15 Singapore to Jakarta

Today we wave goodbye to Malaysia as we board a plane to Indonesia (flight not included).  Today is a day at leisure, however if you arrive early, Jakarta has some interesting museums and monuments.  Enjoy exploring at leisure, however please make sure that you are at the hotel in the evening for the important group meeting, as this is a combination tour you may have a new guide and travel mates for this leg of the journey.  If you enjoy museums you may wish to head to the Wayang (puppetry), Balai Seni Rupa (fine arts) and Maritime museums. The National Museum is also a good introduction for first time visitors and the Purna Bhakti Pertiwi Museum, where the life of Suharto is on display, is a great place to learn about Indonesia’s more recent history.  If you enjoy monuments don't miss Si Jagur, an old Portuguese cannon ornately decorated with sexual imagery, or the Monas (National Monument) dedicated to the spirit of the Indonesian people.


Day 16 Jakarta

This morning we head out on a city walking tour with a local guide, discovering Sunda Kelapa port, where the Dutch first landed, temple-filled Chinatown and the old town of Batavia. We also visit a Chinese mansion (Chandra Naya) and gain an insight into the beautiful Peranakan architecture. Wander around Fatahillah Square, before heading to the religious side of the city at Cathedral Church and Istiqlal Mosque, the largest mosque in South-East Asia. This afternoon you may wish to search for a bargain by exploring the antique market at Jalan Surabaya.


Day 17 Jakarta to Pangandaran

We board a train this morning and head to Pukuwerto City, before jumping on a private minibus to Pangandaran.  Pangandaran is a small fishing village popular with visitors looking for a coastal escape. The Penanjung Nature Reserve on the adjoining peninsula boasts some impressive flora and fauna.


Day 18 Pangandaran

Today we enjoy a tour of the local surrounds, villages, cottage industries and the impressive green canyon. We begin our day at a local market to check out the produce and home industries such as palm sugar and rice cracker production, as well as the famous Javanese 'Wayan Golek' (traditional wooden puppets).We then head to the Green Canyon, where we board a boat and travel upriver through superb jungle scenery, before swimming into the canyon itself. This idyllic spot, which boasts beautiful green water, is a popular hangout for locals, so take the opportunity to interact. Afterwards we head to a nearby beach where we stop for lunch and enjoy the afternoon swimming before heading back to Pangandaran.


Day 19 Pangandaran to Yogyakarta

This morning we head inland by private minibus before catching a train to Yogyakarta.  Make the most of travelling alongside the locals as we travel to Java’s cultural heart and one of South-East Asia's real gems. From batik workshops to the nearby Hindu and Buddhist temples, you will be impressed by the vast array of cultural avenues that 'Yogya' offers.


Day 20 Yogyakarta

This morning we rise early to catch the morning light and avoid the crowds at Candi Borobudur, the largest Buddhist structure on earth. This magnificent UNESCO World Heritage site is set in a tranquil park, and as we approach, we will witness enigmatic temple rising before us as it looms above the tropical foliage.  With a local guide, we follow the route of ancient pilgrims, circling the mandala-shaped structure from the early realms towards Nirvana. It's truly one of South East Asia's treasures. In the afternoon we enjoy time at leisure to rest and relax or to visit one of Yogya's other heritage temples, such as Prambanan Temple, the largest Hindu complex in Java.


Day 21 Yogyakarta

Today we continue exploring Yogyakarta, but today we jump on a bicycle and pedal out of the city through the rice fields and countryside surrounding Yogyakarta. We witness locals making various goods, from bricks to tofu to tempe. Make sure your camera is handy as the landscape will impress with tall palms and lush green grasslands, as well as the odd burst of yellow and pink flowers by the side of the road, todays slow paced cycling tour is a perfect way to take it all in.


Day 22 Yogyakarta to Seloliman Nature Reserve

Today we travel alongside the locals again as we board a train towards Seloliman Nature Reserve. The peaceful Seloliman Nature Reserve is situated on the slopes of the sacred Penanggungan volcano, and we enjoy the chance to meet some of the volunteers working at the Seloliman Environmental Education Centre, which is where we will spend the night   We enjoy eating delicious, locally grown organic produce cooked by their staff, and enjoy the ambience of the forest with the accommodation built in harmony with the surrounding forest. This is the perfect spot to appreciate nature and sit under the stars taking in the ambience of the magical surrounds.


Day 23 Seloliman Nature Reserve to Mt Bromo

Today we head off on a walk around the reserve, with a local guide, learning about the local environment and the Javanese tradition of herbal medicine, as well as the mini hydroelectricity plant that the reserve boasts before enjoying a visit to the local village coffee shop and finishing up with a traditional Jamu demonstration and a tasting of 'Javanese medicine'.   We then make our way to the still active Mt Bromo (2,329 m) the most well known volcano of the Tengger massif.  This region is also the homeland of the Tenggerese and the steep, cultivated hills of the Tengger Valley. Tonight we head to bed early, in preparation for tomorrow's early start.


Day 24 Mt Bromo  to Kalibaru

We begin our day at 3.30 am and climb to a nearby hill for fantastic views over Mt Bromo. The climb is not too difficult, but it can be very cold, so don't forget to bring extra layers of clothing. It's also worth bringing a scarf to cover your nose and mouth, as it can get dusty. Your early rise will be worth it as you are rewarded with fantastic views and if the weather is clear, the sunrise over this eerie sea of volcanoes is an unforgettable experience. After descending back down to our accommodation we jump on a bus and head to Probolingo, where we board a train to Kalibaru.  We stop for lunch en route, arriving into Kalibaru in the afternoon, with time to relax by the pool or perhaps indulge in a local massage.


Day 25 Kalibaru to Balian Beach

We head out early this morning and make our way to nearby coffee, cocoa and rubber plantations. Discover how rubber is processed, how coffee is dried, and, if there's time, how cocoa is fermented.   This is the perfect place to enjoy a nice cup of coffee or tea and snack on fried banana. We then jump on a minibus and head to the far eastern end of Java, Gilimanuk. Keep in mind that there is often a lot of heavy traffic on this stretch of road as it's the main entry point for Bali, so there may be some delays. We then board a ferry across the Java Strait, before boarding another minibus for a journey along the west coast of Bali.  We stop at the Segara Urip Turtle Conservation Centre and spend some time learning about the important work done here before continuing onto Balian Beach, our home for the next two nights and home to some beautiful sunsets. Notes: Due to the program at the Segara Urip Turtle Conservation Centre, it is unlikely that there will be turtles to view during your visit.


Day 26 Balian Beach

Enjoy a day at leisure relaxing in this gorgeous beachside spot. We begin the day with a relaxing yoga class and then explore the local area at your own pace. You may wish to visit the surrounding monkey-filled temples, go swimming, or simply sit back, relax and watch the fishermen go about their work.


Day 27 Balian Beach to Ubud

This morning we make the short trip to Ubud, stopping along the way at Taman Ayun Temple, taking in the impressive Balinese architecture while strolling around the tranquil gardens. We then continue to Ubud, Bali's main arts and cultural centre, recently made famous by the Hollywood movie Eat Pray Love. It's a wonderful place to experience the magic that has made Bali such a popular travel destination.


Day 28 Ubud

This morning we enjoy our last breakfast, before sadly calling this amazing 28 Day journey from Bangkok to Bali completed.  Bidding farewell to your travel friends, you will be left with amazing memories through three unique countries; mingling with locals as you we travelled alongside them on public transport, shared their home, learnt how to cook, hiked, cycled, swam and discovered the beauty and adventure at every turn of the road.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE:

The flight between Singapore and Jakarta is NOT included on this trip. It is recommended to book your flight well in advance to secure availability. Please book your flight to arrive to Jakarta this afternoon so that you can arrive in time to join the group meeting at 6.00pm

 

Notes: The volcanic activity has increased recently at Mt Bromo, and the crater has been closed until further notice. There may be amendments to your sunrise hike of Mt Bromo, depending on safety precautions.

 



Included

  • Hotel (21 nts), Guesthouse (4 nts), Overnight sleeper train (1 nt), Homestay (1 nt)
  • Taxi, Overnight sleeper train, Songthaew, Bus, Private minibus, Train, Ferry

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