13 Days in Thailand & Cambodia
An awe-inspiring place, Thailand has something for everyone. If you’re an adventure junkie, you’ll probably find yourself SCUBA diving with sharks, or taking Muay-Thai kickboxing classes. If the wilder side of life isn’t your cup of tea, don’t despair – between intricate temples, Thai cooking classes, and the world’s most exotic beaches we’re confident you’ll find more than enough to keep you happy. As one of the most gay-friendly destinations in the world, Thailand is an opportunity to feel completely comfortable being yourself while experiencing a whole new side to life.
Thailand has that exotic, mysterious, exciting appeal to it. Just hearing the name “Bangkok” can send shivers down people’s spines, and the allure of the country’s jungles and mysterious culture is mesmerizing. Thailand is the Mecca of adventure, carefree living, and open-mindedness. There are fewer inhibiting rules or Western nonsense here, and the Buddhist zen-like culture makes the country one of the happiest places on earth.
This 13-day trip doesn't just spend the whole time in Thailand though - you'll be experiencing the famous lost city of Angkor Wat in Cambodia too! There's a reason the Temples of Angkor are one of the 7 wonders of the world. At 402 acres in size, this is the largest religious site in the world, lost in dense Cambodian jungle for hundreds of years and now an unforgettable place for us to explore together. Between the gorgeous beaches of southern Thailand, the buzzing city of Bangkok, and the jaw-dropping Angkor Wat, you're sure to head home full of memories of a fantastic adventure.
Our 13-day trips have been designed to maximize your experience. Instead of rushing around in a panic trying to visit as many places as possible, we’ve specially chosen only the our favorite spots in the region... spots we know you’ll fall in love with. How are we so sure? Well, we’ve spent years in this country tirelessly testing out beaches, bars, and bungalows just to make sure we can bring you the cream of the crop.
Most travelers will arrive in Bangkok on day one and head to our meeting spot for our 4pm start of our adventure on this day. This time in Bangkok is a great introduction to the incredible country of Thailand. During these couple days, we'll really get to know the city by checking out Bangkok's highlights using local tuk-tuks, boats, and trains. On our second day, we'll take a guided day-trip around the city visiting Wat Pho, Wat Arun, and more. At night we'll head down the street to check out Silom's famous night market and very lively gay scene. Bangkok is world famous for many reasons and never disappoints her visitors.
Included: A full day of exploring Bangkok's highlights with our fabulous local guide, Yelli
Optional: Eat your way through the street stalls of Chinatown, float along the famous floating markets, shop til you drop, check out the Jim Thompson House, soak in the unique nightlife, stand on the the glass floor of the highest tower in Thailand...
Day 4 brings us to southern Thailand after a quick 1-hour flight and 15-minute longtail boat ride to the jaw-dropping cliffs and white sand beaches of Railay. An idyllic paradise surrounded by the perfectly blue waters that have made the shores of the Andaman Sea so famous. Railay offers hidden lagoons and caves for hikers, beaches for sun-worshippers, and plenty of opportunity to eat great food and meet people from all around the world. Stay on land watching the monkeys or exploring the local caves, or jump in the water for some snorkeling, swimming, or SCUBA diving fun.
Included: Hikes to the stunning views of the Railay viewpoint, and through the caves of Phranang Beach.
Optional: Snorkel in the perfectly clear water, take a cooking class, pamper yourself in a day spa, kayak along the dramatic coastline, soak up the sun on the white sand beaches...
On day 7 we'll head overland with a 3-hour drive to the well known beachfront destination of Phuket. It’s here you’ll find opportunities for watersports like parasailing or jetskiing, maybe charter a boat with the group to do some island hopping, or get some sun on the local beaches by day while socializing with people from all over the planet by night. Phuket is popular day and night and has tonnes of options for both early-risers and late-nighters. Get your shopping done, check out a cabaret show, relax on the beach, take a cooking class, spend the day at the spa... it's beautiful place to unwind... or windup. It's also here that you'll spend the day up-close with the gentle giants of the jungle, the elephants... feeding and interacting with these beautiful creatures in an ethical way that will leave you in awe.
Included: An ethical elephant interaction experience in the jungles of Phuket province.
Optional: Enjoy endless massages, parasail over the beautiful beaches, check out some of the unique nighttime shows, take a boat trip to "James Bond Island", go golfing, zipline through the jungle...
It's time to jet off to one of the 7 wonders of the world - the famous temples of Angkor! We'll touch down in the Cambodian city of Siem Reap, home to the spectacular ancient temple complex and a unique city full of new sights and smells. We'll spend our time here with a local guide who will join us in exploring the beautiful lost city of Angkor and the unique Cambodian city of Siem Reap. It's an awe-inspiring experience sure to make everyone at home jealous.
Our trip together comes to an end here in Siem Reap on the 13th day and you're welcome to depart any time on this day, but don't worry, Thailand & Cambodia will be waiting for ya to come back! We encourage all travelers use Siem Reap's international airport (REP) to head home or onwards to more adventures.
Included: Two day-visits with a local guide (including entrance fees) to experience the best parts of the ancient temples of Angkor.
Optional: Check out the uniquely famous circus, experience the gay nightlife of Pub Street, take a guided bike tour of the city, explore the city's markets, visit the national museum...
We don't like staying in smelly shacks on our vacations and we're pretty sure you don't either! You work hard to go on vacation and we believe you deserve an enjoyable, comfortable place to wind down at the end of each day. We put a LOT of time into finding the perfect accommodation for your trip. After rigorous wifi signal testing, fluffing pillows, and taking a shower or two, we've narrowed down our favorite properties. Check out our approved accommodation to see where we've stayed in the past and where we'll likely be staying on your trip.
BANGKOK: Amara Hotel
The Amara Hotel will quickly feel like a home away from home, right in the middle of Bangkok. Centrally located in the Silom neighbourhood and minutes from the famous Patpong Night Market and Bangkok's gay area, the Amara is a favorite hotel amongst our guests. Featuring a modern design, a gorgeous rooftop infinity pool, exercise facilities and friendly staff.
RAILAY: Railay Village Resort
Set against the backdrop of Railay's limestone cliffs and swaying palms, is the beautiful Railay Village Resort. Featuring a centralized pool area and beachfront restaurant with delicious cuisine, you may even find the occasional monkey lounging on your room's patio. Each room has a full bathroom with bathtub and shower, complimentary wi-fi, room safe for your belongings, air-conditioning, and flatscreen TV.
PHUKET: The Nap Patrong
Located only a few steps from the beach, the Nap Patrong provides a contemporary facility in the heart of Patong in Phuket. Situated minutes away from the gay area (the Paradise Complex) and Bangla road, you'll find the location of this hotel couldn't be better. Property amenities include a sunny outdoor pool and an exercise facility.
SIEM REAP: Shinta Mani Hotel
The Shinta Mani Hotel is an upscale property in a tranquil leafy setting right in the heart of the French Quarter in Siem Reap. With a pool bar, restaurant, and wellness center with an array of spa treatments, you will have much to enjoy with your stay here. Each room as a balcony view of the tropical gardens and pool area and have air-conditioning, room safe, rainfall showers, and a flatscreen TV.
*Please note that due to availability, these exact hotels may not all be available during all Detours trips.
Don’t worry about getting chilly, Thailand and Cambodia are tropical countries and the areas that we travel in are warm day and night. High temperatures of 35C/97F, and lows of 23C/77F can be expected through most of the year. Even if it rains it’s usually in the afternoon, and these unlikely showers are a refreshing cool-down and make a great excuse to try out your favorite rain dance.
95% of Thailand's and Cambodia's population are Buddhist, which makes for a laid-back, friendly country full of good-karma seekers. Great people that love their food, their king, and of course their international visitors, you’ll be hard-pressed not to make dozens of local friends during your stay. While you’re there, consider learning a few words their language, “Thai”. (Not “Taiwanese”, by the way – that’s from Taiwan) We recommend starting off with “Sawat-dee-khap” (hello), “Khap koon khap” (thank you), and of course “Hat yoo tee-nai khap” (where’s the beach?).
You’ll have a tough time finding a more open-minded and accepting region, and most people don’t have any issue at all with homosexuality. That said, they are a modest people, and public displays of affection (whether gay or straight) are generally frowned upon. In respect for their local culture we usually suggest keeping your excitement and affection for your partner to more private locations.
South-east Asia is home to some of the most amazing food on the planet, and it's cheap too! Detours doesn't believe in limiting your choices by including meals at pre-decided restaurants as part of the trip package. Instead, we encourage you to explore all of the different restaurant options available to you. This way you can eat when you want, where you want, with whomever you want, and spend what you want! Your trip leader definitely has their favorite spots and will be excited to show you all of their favorites in each location, just check with them.
Our advice is simple. Pack your bag, then take half of those things out and leave them back home. It’s common to hear people wishing they’d packed less stuff, but we’ve never heard anyone complain that they didn’t bring enough. Thailand is a very inexpensive country, meaning even if you realize you forget to pack some crucial item you can just pick it up on the trip for half of what it would have cost back home.
ATM withdrawal fees can really add up, and credit cards aren't always accepted at shops and restaurants here, that's why we suggest grabbing some Thai Baht before you arrive to Thailand (around 10,000 THB is a good amount to start with). Bring your regular ATM card and credit card for additional needs too though. 1000 Thai Baht is worth around $30 USD, so don’t go nuts if your dinner bill costs 200 baht. Relax –that’s about 6 bucks. Your 300 baht, hour-long full body oil massage on the beach? Yeah, that cost less than $10.
While tipping isn't a native custom in this destination, those working in the tourism industry all over the world have come to expect gratuities when providing good service. This extends to local guides, restaurant wait staff, bus drivers, and your Detours trip leader. Of course the actual amount is left up to your discretion, if you've been provided excellent service we suggest leaving around 15% for restaurant/wait staff as well as the local equivalent of a few dollars to bus drivers and luggage porters, as well as around $10-15 USD per day for local guides and your Detours trip leader.
We have pretty high standards when it comes to choosing our accommodations, and trust us, we’ve done plenty of room-sniffing, pillow-patting, and bathroom inspections to make sure we stay at quality spots. To be approved as a Detours accommodations provider, a guesthouse must: be locally owned (to support the local community), be in an amazing location (close to the beach and other hot spots), have air conditioning (you can thank us later), AND be gay-owned or gay-friendly. We won't be staying in 5-star Ritz-Carltons but we also won't subject you to anything we wouldn't want to stay in ourselves. Clean, comfortable, well-located spots that'll put a smile on your face, you can count on that!
All Detours trips are led by one of our own Detours trip leaders. They're there with you every day and their job is to help ensure that this is your trip of a lifetime by taking the hassle out of your trip and enabling you to experience everything you came to Thailand & Cambodia for. Consider them like a friendly concierge that's traveling along with you. All of our trip leaders are gay and all are well-traveled and experienced in the destination they're leading in, so they'll be a great part of your experience!
We do absolutely everything possible to avoid needing such a mundane awakening. A world without alarm clocks is one we want to be part of, and your “rise and shine” while in Thailand will come from the sound of crashing waves, an elephant trumpeting, or perhaps even the odd monkey jumping onto the roof of your bungalow.
Our Detours groups are run with a maximum of 16 travelers. Ages of group members vary but around 90% of our travelers are in their 30's, 40's, and 50's. Whatever the age of the guys on our trips everyone's already got something in common, an exciting new experience in a new country! Each group is led by a Detours trip leader who is there to ensure everything goes off without a hitch, allowing you to focus on having the time of your life!
There is WiFi at every hotel we stay at and most restaurants that we eat in. Alternatively, if your mobile phone is "unlocked" you can pick up a local SIM card which is quite affordable.
Thailand & Cambodia use a "type A" and "type B" plug, the same as North America and several other places in the world. The voltage is 220V with 50 Hz frequency. These days, the majority of items that are plugged into an outlet are built to handle varying voltage and frequency levels, but just to be sure, we suggest checking your item for its acceptable range.
What's included? • All taxes • All group transport between itinerary destinations • 2 regional flights within Thailand & Cambodia (Bangkok to Southern Thailand to Cambodia) • Accommodations for your 13-day Detours experience • All full breakfasts • Full day Bangkok and temples day tour • Full day experience at local Elephant sanctuary • 2 days at Angkor Wat temples including entrance and local guide • Welcome dinner and drinks • Knowledgeable and fun Detours leader •
What isn't included? • Meals and drinks outside of those listed above • Cambodian Visa, $30 USD • Activities outside of the ones listed above • International Airfare • Arrival/Departure airport transfers • Optional Gratuities •
Additional spending budget? Your big-ticket items are included through the trip, but you'll want to budget for additional spending such as additional meals, drinks, shopping, activities, etc. These costs can vary dramatically with differing personal habits but we suggest expecting to spend an additional $700 USD at the lower end for the more budget-conscious and $1200 USD at the higher end for the splurgers. We suggest arriving to Thailand with approximately 10,000 local Thai Baht, and $100 US Dollars (for Cambodia).
Derrick B. - Canada
June 26, 2018
I participated in the tour of Greece June 2 to 13 this year. This was my first tour with Detours and it was all I could have hoped for. The Detours staff went out of their way to help me secure the travel dates I wanted. Once there, the accommodations were beautiful, and the transportation between islands were almost seamless. I was also very fortunate to have been travelling with a terrific group of guys, lead by the amazing Dan, our GAL (Global Adventure Leader -- he said he's the one who came up with the acronym!) who never failed us at any turn. I was impressed at his ability to multi-task, yet make everyone feel like he he was giving them his individual attention. Anything you needed, he was there to help you in whatever way necessary. Add that to his knowledge of Greece, being adored by all of his contacts, and being an all-around great guy, it was a pleasure to have been part of his last tour group in Greece (for now!). I look forward to my next tour with Detours!
Mike S. - USA
April 13, 2022
This was our first trip with Detours Travel — and a 30th anniversary trip to boot — so we had the hopes and expectations of a memorable travel experience. The Detours Team did not disappoint us! Thailand and Cambodia were laid before us in all their splendor with amazing sites to see, lots of laughs with our new travel companions and plenty of flexibility and downtime in the schedule. The flexibility was key as it allowed my husband and I to dive into extra activities and sights as others relaxed by the pool; it was the perfect balance. And all the while our amazing tour leader, Miles, was working in the background — solving cancelled flights, border closures and the ever-evolving COVID travel situation with unfathomable calm. When problems arose, he simply said, “Relax . . . I’ll work it all out” and he did, every time, with a smile on his face. Miles and his team are made for this — the perfect combination of consummate hosts, problem solvers and travel experts. And Miles managed to snag some beers and a bottle of local whiskey for a 30th anniversary toast for us as the sun set off Phra Nang Beach. It’s the little things that make a memorable trip — and our Thailand and Cambodia experience was a ton of little things that made an immensely fun adventure! Can’t wait for our next Detours trip!
Frank M. - USA
April 10, 2022
The nine intrepid travelers who ventured to Thailand and Cambodia in March 2022 were in for a truly unforgettable experience: All the iconic sites were practically devoid of tourists, and the local guides were thrilled to see foreigners returning and eager to give us top-notch service. Yes, the price to be paid was some potentially stressful headaches like cancelled flights, closed borders, shifting requirements for COVID testing/quarantine/visas/etc. But our guide Miles made navigating all these obstacles look easy and stress-free. And the guys this trip attracted were all willing and eager to adapt to the changing itinerary. In the end we saw everything we came for and a lot more. This was our first Detours Travel experience but we are already sizing up which one we'll do next.
Billy H. - USA
April 7, 2022
I have traveled with the Detours to Greece, Spain, and Thailand/Cambodia. All three tours were well organized and a great value. The tour guides were knowledgeable, accommodating, and all around good guys! Traveling during Covid is stressful to say the least. Miles helped all us navigate through paperwork, flight cancelations, trip revisions with a positive attitude and provided one on one consultations throughout the trip. His knowledge and dedication created the trip of a lifetime.
John M. - USA
May 20, 2020
I have traveled twice with Detours, Costa Rica and Thailand. The tour leaders were exceptional on both trips with personalities so perfect for their occupation! Detours strike a good balance between an organized itinerary with flexibility and freedom to explore on your own. If you’re laid back, adventurous, open minded and personable, then Detours are for you. Looking forward to planning trip #3!