If you have adventure in mind, then Thailand is the perfect country for you. Not … Read more
Buddha & Beaches: A Cultural Introduction to Thailand
TEAN presents students with a special opportunity to journey to across Thailand for an amazing alternative semester break experience. With an emphasis on cultural integration, we spend time exploring the vastly different northern and southern regions of Thailand to fully take in all the country has to offer. Traditional Thai culture is alive and well in the old world of northern Thailand. Activities here include spending time with rescued elephants, creating authentic Thai food during a hands-on cooking course, an overnight homestay with local people and standing in awe of glittering 700-year-old temples. After the adventure of northern Thailand, we head to the country’s famous southern islands where sparkling waters and hidden beaches await. Throughout the excursion, our friendly and knowledgeable local guides will help us learn more about the country and culture while having plenty of fun along the way.
Chiang Mai & Thailand’s southern beaches/islands
March / April
Check your program calendar to see if you are eligible.
Approx US$2,750 including round trip airfare from Sydney
Get up close and personal with elephants at an elephant conservation and rehabilitation center where you’ll get the chance to feed and bathe these majestic animals
Take a Thai cooking class learning to cook famous - and delicious - dishes like phad thai, green curry and fresh mango with sticky rice
Spend the night at a rustic homestay as you’re introduced to life in a local Thai village
Stand in awe of the dazzling Wat Doi Suthep with its golden chedi overlooking the city of Chiang Mai before enjoying a traditional Northern Thai khantoke dinner
Explore some of southern Thailand’s best islands and beaches including Railay Bay in Krabi and Phuket - you won’t believe the brilliant turquoise waters
Note: Itinerary is subject to change dependent on when you study abroad.
Travel day from Australia/New Zealand to Bangkok with a transfer to Chiang Mai, the cultural heart of Thailand. You will be met at the airport by our staff and transported to your lodgings. In the evening, learn more about Thai culture over a traditional Thai dinner.
Note: There is a mandatory group flight from Australia for Sydney-based students. Non-Sydney students will be presented with more flight booking information.
After breakfast, we’ll head out of town to the mountains surrounding Chiang Mai to visit Elephant Nature Park where you will feed, bathe and spend the day with these friendly giants. We’ll continue into rural Thailand and meet our friendly homestay hosts before hiking in the lush, tropical jungle.
Please note: TEAN does not to include riding elephants in our program as animal cruelty has been linked to such practices.
After breakfast with our Thai hosts, we’ll take bamboo rafts down the river before heading back to Chiang Mai. In the afternoon, we’ll make our way to Fah Lanna Spa in Chiang Mai’s Old City to experience Thai massages. Part of traditional Thai medicine, this style of massage is thought to have been created over 2,500 years ago by Buddha’s physician himself and is still practiced widely today both as a form of relaxation and physical therapy. Afterward, you’re free to explore the city – grab a cappuccino from one of the stylish cafes, visit some of the glittering temples (they’re everywhere!) or head to a night market for street snack and souvenirs.
Don’t eat too much for breakfast, in the morning we’ll head to practice our cooking skills at the original Chiang Mai Cookery School. Here you’ll learn how to make a number of traditional Thai dishes and, of course, get to taste test them too!
After a bit of afternoon free time, we’ll head up Suthep Mountain west of the city offering excellent views over Chiang Mai and the magnificent Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. This iconic temple is one of the most important of the province and an enduring symbol of Chiang Mai.
Today we’ll make our way down south flying from from Chiang Mai to Krabi, then transferring to the beach town of Ao Nang, Krabi. You’ll have time to relax, explore and soak up the sun for the remainder of the afternoon.
Get ready for some island hopping! We’ll depart Ao Nang by speedboat and make stops at several paradise islands, including the stunning Phi Phi Lei, where the movie “The Beach” was filmed, snorkeling around the island before heading back to Ao Nang for the evening.
Today is yours to relax on the beach, go swimming in the ocean and take in the tropical views.
Today we’ll head to the island of Phuket. We view some of the smaller islands on the way in but always make sure to arrive with plenty of time for some afternoon shopping at the street markets for last-minute souvenirs.
Transfer to the airport and fly to Bangkok. From Bangkok fly to your host city.
- Airfare to and from Bangkok from Sydney
- Internal flights in Thailand
- 3 nights twin-share accommodation in Chiang Mai
- 1 night homestay in traditional Thai village
- 3 nights twin-share accommodation in Krabi
- 1 night twin-share accommodation Patong Beach, Phuket
- 7 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
- All ground transfers, airport transfers and activity transportation
- Elephant Nature Park visit
- Guided hike
- Thai Cooking School
- Traditional Thai massage at Fah Lanna Spa
- Wat Doi Suthep temple tour
- Private speedboat transfers around islands
- Speedboat tour of Phi Phi Lei
- Island and boat snorkeling
- Great local guides plus experienced TEAN staff members accompany the group