ko talu beach
Family Holiday in Thailand
Reefs, Rays and Lagoons

Discover coral gardens and blue lagoons on this family holiday in Thailand with a twist. From birds eye views to birds eye chillies, it will be an exotic adventure for all the family and is a great holiday most of the year, (including the UK summer school holidays).

First stop, a tiny island in the Gulf of Thailand. Ahoy there, sea turtles! You'll stay on this beautiful unspoilt island (a world away from touristy islands) and spend a few days relaxing by the sea and enjoy kayaking and snorkelling in crystal clear waters. Watch out for the giant rays! The island owners were pioneers in marine conservation and you'll learn about their coral reforestation. Then it's onto the mainland where you'll stay on a secluded beach, trek through the rainforest of 15 tiers of waterfalls, and visit beautiful royal palaces and take a chic weekend market for the very best in artisanal souvenirs. Finally a few days in bustling Bangkok, for some sightseeing and learning about Thai culture from a friendly family. You'll end your holiday with a boat trip along the famous Chao Praya river where you may even be able to use your new-found knowledge to spot the iridescent rays which are uniquely found here.

Day 1 (recommended Saturday) meal/s on plane
Fly from London Heathrow on a direct flight to Bangkok with Thai Airways or Eva Air. It is also possible on to fly from regional airports including Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Humberside. If you don't live in the UK, we may be able to arrange flights for you or you can book the tour excluding flights, you will met in Bangkok on 'Day 2'. Tell Tale Tip The small secluded island you head to first is a small privately-owned one not known much by international visitors or tour operators. However, it does get local visitors at the weekend, so we recommend sticking to our days of the week if you can.

Day 2 meal/s on plane
You'll arrive in Bangkok in the afternoon. You'll be met at the airport by one of our drivers (in a private car for a family of 3 or a minibus for families of 4 or more). You'll be taken to a deluxe hotel with a pool just a short drive way, it is larger than a typical Tell Tale hotel but ideal in this case to recover the flight and be ideally placed for an early start.

Day 3 breakfast, lunch, dinner
An early start to start your sea and snorkelling adventures. Our driver will pick you up and take you on the drive south along the eastern seaboard. Then a short speedboat ride and you'll arrive at the idyll of Ko Talu. This island is one of the few in private hands, it is 600 acres, a world away from Thailand's tourist spots. After lunch, you'll have the afternoon to settle into your chalet/s in 'Big Bay' (there is also another bay called Pearl Bay but is aimed at Thai visitors, the chalet/s you are staying in have creature comforts like hot water!). Walk along the sandy white beach to see the baby turtles, or swim in the sea. The crystal clear turquoise waters are shallow so even if you have younger children, it's perfect relaxation for all the family. This afternoon, we've pre-arranged for adults and older children to have a traditional Thai massage to relax before you get into the swing of things.

Day 4 breakfast, lunch, dinner
Join a boat trip around the island to snorkel in the sparkling clear waters, straight into a sea world of colourful fish and gigantic rays. Snorkelling masks and life jackets are available on board. A feast of Thai food for lunch. And the island is not all sun, sea and sand. This afternoon, you'll be taken on a walk through the lush green jungle of the island's interiors and climb for scenic views. Then it's time to go squid fishing! (evening/s you go squid fishing may vary depending on conditions on the ground). A delicious seafood dinner tonight, with the freshest seafood caught in the surrounding waters. Tropical paradise indeed!

Day 5 breakfast, lunch, dinner
You'll do some gardening but no need to have packed gardening gloves! You're taking part in the island's coral reforestation project. A great way for all the family to learn a little about it. Then it's joining the snorkelling, spots vary according to the day. Kick back this afternoon and enjoy the beach, take the sea kayaks out, visit the sea turtles which are raised here until they are big enough to release, or explore to the other side of the island Robinson Crusoe style, to the 'coral graveyard'.

Day 6 breakfast, lunch, dinner
Snorkelling from the boat, from the shore, swimming or exploring the island. Or having a massage!

Day 7 breakfast, lunch, dinner
Snorkelling from the boat, from the shore, swimming or exploring the island. You may get a surprise.

"It is hard to specify a highlight on this trip as it was all amazing! The boys loved snorkelling and squid fishing and my youngest learnt to swim! My youngest went squid fishing every day and my oldest son turned into the original Robinson Crusoe spending an hour solving the problem of how to access coconut milk from a coconut the monkey had knocked out of the tree."
–Helen Bastin, Devon
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Day 8 breakfast, lunch
Time to pack up and say goodbye to your new friends on the island.

You're taking a speedboat to the mainland, and heading north. You'll arrive in Hua Hin, the Thai Royal Family's favourite beach town. Arrival at your resort Baan Talay Dao, a little way from the town, set in beautiful green surroundings with a pool and near the beach.

This evening, if it's the weekend, we recommend visiting the nearby Cicada night market, one of our favourites in Thailand, it has chic artisanal handicrafts, art galleries and stalls ranging from shoes to jewellery. It's also a great place to dine under the stars, sampling from Thailand's different regions.

Day 9 breakfast, lunch
Today, you'll visit some of the biggest waterfalls in Thailand. First you'll drive through pineapple plantations then when you arrive at Pa-La-U, you'll trek though the rainforest and up the 15-tiered waterfalls. The day (as the rest of your holiday) will be set to the pace your family wants. Look for sunlight rays hitting the water for beautiful rainbows and have a dip in the refreshing water.

Day 10 breakfast, dinner (packed)
Morning to enjoy the pool or the beach. Then you're off for an afternoon safari in Kui Buri national park, arguably the best place to spot wild elephants in Thailand. You'll also have the chance to Oriental Pied Hornbill as well as other birds and wildlife including deer. This area has had human/elephant conflict and various initiatives (including WWF) in recent years have introduced eco tourism to help both the locals and the elephants.
You'll arrive back in Hua Hin at approx 8pm.

Day 11 breakfast, dinner
Pack up at leisure.

"The waterfall experience with the thousands of fish jumping around us was incredible..
This was a gorgeous hotel..The pool was excellent."

You'll be driven to Bangkok. You'll arrive in residential area in a outside the centre and meet a local family. You'll be staying in the private chalet/s in their garden. This evening, you'll have dinner with the family and learn about Thai culture and gain insider tips to make the most of your time in Bangkok.

Day 12 breakfast, dinner (optional)
A day in Bangkok sightseeing with one of our expert local guides. You'll visit the Grand Palace, set in ceremonial gardens, Wat Po, famous for the giant reclining Buddha and walk through local markets. Make the most of the map and tips in your Tell Tale guest pack and stay out in the evening (one of our drivers will take you back), or head back earlier if you prefer.

Day 13 breakfast, lunch, dinner
A special experience. Your hosts will take you to a a small island set in the giant Chao Praya river for a look around local handicrafts including pottery, this is also one of the best places to watch Thai desserts being made in intricate ways. There are no cars on the island, the locals get around by foot and bicycle. You'll have lunch at a local restaurant on the island.

"This was my boys' favourite accommodation..We were also taken to a local temple and the boys released a fish. We learnt about Buddhist and Thai beliefs and food as well as dress."
Day 14 breakfast, dinner (optional)
This morning your guide is going to take you for a private boat trip along the river to see Wat Arun, with its porcelain-covered tower and the glittering royal barges, and the canals which are a great way of seeing local life. Look out for the giant monitor lizards which like sunning themselves and see if you can spot any iridescent rays in the water.

In the afternoon, your guide will take you where you'd like to go. You can either have your final dinner in Thailand in the city (excluded), or have dinner 'at home' (included).

Day 15 (Saturday if you started on a Saturday) breakfast
Time to pack up. You'll be picked up by one of our drivers in plenty of time to the airport for your flight back.

This 15 day private tour costs from £1,900* per person, discounted to £1,822* for 12-15 year olds and £1,425* for under 12s. The price include direct flights from London Heathrow, accommodation, activities, private transport in chauffeur-driven cars/minivans and most meals. It is also possible to fly from UK regional airports, ask us for details. You can also book this tour excluding flights for £1,300 per person, discounted to £975 for under 12s.

*This price is available much of the year, subject to flight seat availability, including UK school Easter holidays, half terms and summer holidays starting in the first week of July. Early booking (deposit only) is advised. Departing later in July and August holidays costs from £2,060 per adult, £1,982 for 12-15 year olds and £1,545 per child under 12. If you wish to travel at Christmas, please contact us for a quote (we recommend booking 11 or more months in advance). Please allow approximately £60 per person for entrance fees payable on the ground.

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