10 of the Best Thailand Backpacking Tours

10 of the Best Thailand Backpacking Tours

Thailand, the gateway to Southeast Asia, has been a haven for backpackers for decades. I think Thailand is the best country for a first time backpacking trip. In fact, it’s the most visited country in the region thanks to its stunning cultural, historical and natural sites, beautiful beaches, exciting cities, national parks, hill tribes and animal conservation centres. No visit to Thailand is complete just sitting on a beach. – I really recommend you visit the cultural sights in North Thailand as well as the beaches and islands in the South of Thailand.  There’s so much to see and do in Thailand that it can be a little overwhelming, especially if your first time backpacking or you are going alone, so a great way to pack in as much as possible in a short time, be safe and have fun and make new friends is by going on one of the awesome Thailand backpacking tours.

10 of the Best Thailand Backpacking Tours

As Thailand is such a dream backpacker destination there are a plethora of different tour companies out there that offer cool Thailand backpacker tours specially designed for fun, young travellers and give backpackers the chance to tour around Thailand with a group of like-minded travellers.

There are so many companies that offer Thailand tours but the ones I mention here are special Thailand backpacker tours run by  my favourite companies and are specifically aimed at backpackers and young travellers. My all time favourite tour companies; G Adventures and Intrepid both run award winning, adventurous, fun, socially responsible and affordable small group backpacking tours of Thailand. Contiki also are really well known for their fun Thailand backpacker tours specially made for 18 – 35’s.

If you are thinking of taking a longer backpacking trip of Thailand, or around all of Southeast Asia, but are feeling a little daunted its a good idea to take a short tour around Thailand first so you can relax into your trip, gain confidence and meet new friends. I’ve organised my favourite tours by length so you just have to decide how much time you have, where you want to go and which Thailand backpacking tour is right for you …

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The Best Thailand Backpacking Tours in 1 week

If you want a quick taster of this magnificent country and are pressed for time, these are the best backpacking tours in Thailand that are about 1 week long.

If you’re just visiting Bangkok or just want to tour the best of the city in a few days and have a soft landing check out Top Deck’s Bangkok stopover tours.  And if you’re in Thailand for the Thai New Year in April then don’t miss the water fight and festivities of Songkran. Free and Easy Travel have a special Songkran tour.

G Adventures – Southern Thailand Sojourn – 8 Days

This 8 day Thailand backpacking tour stars with a day checking out all of the main sights in Bangkok before getting on an overnight train to enjoy the natural beauty of Khao Sok National Park. Go hiking through the magnificent forest and swimming in Lake Cheow Lan, followed by a journey across the peninsula and to the Gulf of Thailand to visit the famous island of Koh Phangan. Spend a day exploring the island, seeing waterfalls and hiking through the jungle, or opt to just lay around on the beach. Then hop on a ferry to the laid-back island of Ko Tao to go snorkelling, diving or hanging out in a hammock. This is the best short Southern Thailand backpacker tour Click here for more details, dates, prices and to book…

If you’re planning on hitting up the famous Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan then take this special Full Moon Party tour.

Contiki – Northern Thai Highlights – 8 Days

This is the best Northern Thailand backpacking tour that shows you all the highlights in just over a week. Roam around the streets of Bangkok, snap photos of the Bridge on the River Kwai, explore the old capital of Siam and cycle past rice paddies. This 8 day backpacking tour of Thailand is one of the best tours for a short stint exploring Northern Thailand. The tour starts in Bangkok, where a local guide will take you around the canals and to the shopping centres. You then visit the sleepy town of Kanchanaburi to see the Bridge on the River Kwai and the magnificent 7-tiered Erawan Waterfall. Contiki will even take you on a boat trip along the famous river! The UNESCO listed Ayutthaya is the next stop. The former capital city is filled with temples and palaces, with a guide taking you around on bicycles before you get on an overnight train to Chiang Mai. Spend 2 days exploring the city in whatever way you chose, followed by a stunning drive through the hills to Pai where you’ll spend the last 2 days of the tour before finishing off back in Chiang Mai. Click here for more details, dates, prices and to book…

Top Deck – Thai Islands Ko-Conut Hopper – 7 Days

This 7 day tour takes you on a boat ride around the west coast of Thailand. Visit Phuket, Krabi and Koh Phi Phi on this Thailand backpacking tour that is packed with fun.  Look at coral reefs while snorkelling in the sea, paddle around mangroves and go hiking through the jungle. You can even just lay around on all of the stunning beaches and work on your tan. Top Deck also offers loads of extra options that appeal to adventurists and beach lovers.  Click here for more details, dates, prices and to book…

Intrepid – Cruising Thailand & Malaysia – Phuket to Penang – 8 Days

Visit islands, waterfalls and seaside villages dotted along the Andaman coast from Phuket to Penang. This 8-day excursion takes place on a cruise ship, starting in Phuket and working its way down the coast to Ao Nang, Koh Rok Noi and Lankawi, before finishing off in Penang. You’ll also stop at the stunning Koh Yao Yai and the magnificent Tarutao National Park. This Thailand backpacking tour also includes a homestay with a local family, Stand Up Paddle boarding right from the ship, a visit to Telaga Tujuh Waterfall and a walking tour of Penang Old Town. Intrepid also offers added extras like rock climbing, Thai massages and a Thai cooking class, all of which will just enhance the entire experience. Click here for more details, dates, prices and to book…


The Best Thailand Backpacking Tours up to 2 weeks

If you have a little bit more time on your hands then it is well worthwhile going on a longer Thailand backpacking tour where you’ll see a bit more and won’t feel so rushed jetting from one place to the next.

G Adventures – Thailand on a Shoestring – 15 Days

This is my favourite short Thailand backpacking tour. Get off the beaten path on this fantastic 15 day tour that takes you to the highlights of both Northern and Southern Thailand. The tour starts in Bangkok and takes you north to wander around the streets of Chiang Mai, to the colourful hillside village of Ban Mae Jok and to the Karen village of Pa Khao Lam. You will then head back to Bangkok before taking an overnight train to Khao Sok National Park to go trekking and enjoy the amazing natural beauty at this renowned national park. The last 4 days of the tour are spent relaxing on the beach on Koh Phangan and snorkelling in Koh Tao. It’s a great tour for anyone looking for both culture and beach time. Click here for more details, dates, prices and to book… 

Intrepid – Beautiful Northern Thailand – 15 Days

On this 15 day tour Intrepid will take you to see the Bridge on the River Kwai, the 7-level Erawan Waterfall, and the capital of Siam. You’ll also go trekking through hill tribe villages, stay with a local family, and walk through rice fields and bamboo jungle. It’s a fantastic way to experience the best of Northern Thailand, from its busy city streets to its quiet hill tribe villages. Intrepid even offers a few optional extras to make it that much more memorable, like a Thai cooking class, a visit to the Elephant Nature Park and a boat trip along the Mekong River. Click here for more details, dates, prices and to book…

 If you don’t have so much time see the highlights of Northern Thailand in only days on this the Explore Northern Thailand Intrepid tour.

Free and Easy Traveler – A Taste of Paradise – 10 Days

Travel to stunning white sand beaches, sleep in floating bungalows and be surrounded by magnificent limestone cliffs on this 10 tour that takes you from Bangkok south to Cheow Lan Lake, Koh Phi Phi and Railay. The tour starts with a guided tour of Bangkok before you get on an overnight train to Cheow Lan Lake, which you arrive at by longtail boat. You’ll spend the night floating on the lake before trekking through the magnificent rainforest to see waterfalls, gibbon monkeys and exotic birds. Then you’ll go to Koh Phi Phi’s Maya Bay, which was the set of the movie ‘The Beach’, where you can go scuba diving, trekking or just lazing on the beach. From there, Free and Easy Traveler will take you on a boat to the beautiful Railay beach where you can go rock climbing or continue to work on your tan. Click here for more details, dates, prices and to book… 

Intro Travel – Thai Intro – 9, 12 or 18 Days

This is a great Thailand teaser that is a total of 18 days, but you can stop at 9 days or at 12 days, or enjoy the entire 18 day Thailand backpacking tour. You’ll start in Bangkok where you’ll enjoy the food, culture and liveliness of the city before heading south to Khao Sok National Park, where you’ll be surrounded by stunning natural beauty of pristine lakes and rainforest jungle. From days 6 to 9 Intro Travel will take you to the beautiful island of Koh Phangan where you can take a Muay Thai class, a yoga class or just work on your tan. If you are continuing on, days 10 to 12 will be spent on Koh Phi Phi and its famous Maya Beach. You can either end the tour there or take a flight to Chiang Mai for a 3 day taster of the north, where you’ll stay overnight with a local hill tribe and spend days zip-lining through the rainforest and trekking through the jungle. Click here for more details, dates, prices and to book…

Stray Travel – Tom Yum Flexi Tour – 13 Days

Not only will you get to explore Northern Thailand on this 13 day tour, but also Laos! This fantastic backpacking tour of Thailand starts in Bangkok and takes you to the ancient city of Ayutthaya and the busy city of Chiang Mai. You then get on a private slow boat up the Mekong River to Luang Prabang, stopping in villages along the way and spending nights on the river at homestays. Stray Travel then takes you on a tour of the magnificent UNESCO listed city of Luang Prabang to see its fabulous temples and French colonial buildings. Vang Vieng is the next stop, which is infamous for its tubing trips down the Nam Song River. Laos’ capital city of Vientiane is the last stop in Laos before taking the train back to Bangkok. Click here for more details, dates, prices and to book…

The Best Thailand Backpacking Tours 1 Month or More

If you really want to sink your teeth into backpacking Thailand and have the time to spare, it’s worthwhile to travel around the country for over 1 month. There are a few companies that do this, but this is the one that I most recommend:

Free and Easy Traveler – Experience the Land of Smiles – 40 Days

This Thailand backpacking tour has been running for nearly 15 years and was twice a Tour Radar award-winner. It’s an easy-going tour that starts and ends in Bangkok and takes you south on a loop to the islands and beaches on the east and west coasts of Thailand. The 40 day tour coincides with the infamous Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan, which is the first stop on the tour. You’ll spend 1 week on this magnificent party island; exploring its beaches, doing yoga or working on your tan. This is contrasted by a couple of days on the more built-up Koh Samui followed by 5 days in Khao Sok National Park. Free & Easy Traveler then takes you to the west coast and the famous Maya Beach on Koh Phi Phi and to the world rock climbing haven of Railay. The less travelled Lao Liang Island is the next stop, where you’ll then take a longtail boat to Koh Lipe. Relax on this laid-back hippie island for 4 days before heading back to Bangkok to explore the city a little bit more.  Click here for more details, dates, prices and to book…

Read more: My Ultimate Backpacking Thailand Itinerary and Route

Have you been on an awesome Thailand tour? Which company did you go with? Leave your comments below and your tips can help out other backpackers 🙂


  • Gabrielle says:

    Amazing images, thank you for sharing. Thailand is absolutely on my bucket list as well and I totally get the feeling of the more places you want to go, the more you want to see!

    • Anna says:

      Yes totally agree with you. Thailand is an beautiful and amazing country. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve been but theres always something new to see.

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