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Travel ADventure video
chick in paradise
Erin Colwell
snorkel with whale sharks
Marisa Gill
floating girls in philippines
Jessica Lis
rice terraces of banue philippines
Letizia Haessig
Sunset surf
Old woman at rice terraces
Emilie Grace
Thailand adventure video
Love Thailand!
chillin in a hammock on the beach
Devin Cox
Chiang Mai Thailand Monks with buddhas
Chad Smith
full moon sunrise
phi phi boat trip
Smileys Bungalows
Chad Smith
Traveling on Cloud 9
Traveling on Cloud 9

This trip provides all the best that the eastern part of the Philippines has to offer: a paradise island you can enjoy to yourselves, one of Southeast Asia’s best surf breaks and a step back into history hiking through the wondrous ancient emerald rice terraces of Banaue. There is a chance to do a little bit of everything on this 20-day adventure as there is ample time to unpack your bags and live on the beach when you spend a week in Siargao at the world famous Cloud 9 surf break. But there are also portions of the trip where days are filled with activity and crazy travel days as you get a taste of what travelling through the tropical island and mountain oasis of the Philippines is like!

Traveling on Cloud 9

Often given a bad reputation for its enormous size and overcrowded population, Manila is actually much more charming than it is given credit for. The city is separated into many distinct districts and when you downsize sprawling Manila into more manageable and smaller cities then individually some of them aren't so bad. We stay at a very cool, backpacker's spot that showcases some of the best live music and dancing venues that Manila has to offer, and seeing the jovial spirit of Filipinos in full force at karaoke and dance bars is a great way to enjoy your time here. Another district houses a massive modern shopping complex that has a very unique vibe to it and is a convenient place for your all-in-one shopping stop. So your expectations may be low for Manila, but enter the city with an open mind and you may very well enjoy your time here!

Traveling on Cloud 9
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Banaue Rice Terraces

It'll feel like you're traveling back in time, and in many ways you are, when you take the winding road through Northern Philippines and into the dazzling world of the ancient emerald rice terraces of Banaue. Miraculously dug by hand and carved into the hills by the indigenous Ifugao people over 2000 years ago, the Banaue rice terraces cover over 10,000 km of hillside. And life has not changed much since the terraces were built as they are still the main source of food for the region. Hiking through the mountains of Banaue will not only give you incredible views of the stunning rice terraces and the surrounding scenery, but it will also give you a peek into a humbling lifestyle of farming and village life. Experiencing the Banaue rice terraces will give you an opportunity to see a sight often dubbed 'the 8th Wonder of the World' and also to walk through a world where simpler times prevail and just having food to eat and a place to sleep is more than enough reason to smile!

Traveling on Cloud 9

With little development and very few tourists, staying on Catanduanes Island presents an awesome opportunity to hang out with the local Filipino people and experience their famous hospitality. The famous Majestics surf break is right outside our front door on Pururan Beach, our perfect spot on Catanduanes. There isn't much to the island besides the wicked beach, the stellar waves and the people on it, but that is just what we like from a destination! We spend most of our days hitting the beach for some R & R (rum and relaxation) and enjoying the happy-go-lucky atmosphere instilled by the local people, who ensure that each day and night is stress-free and full of fun!

Traveling on Cloud 9
Philippines Paradise Island

Panglao Island is the perfect balance of having a long gorgeous beach, fun nightlife, and all sorts of natural wonders nearby to explore. It offers scuba diving and snorkelling trips that will blow you away. The visibility and sheer number of fish makes it feel like a dreamy underwater world. The dive sites are protected as UNESCO world heritage sites, where sightings of sea turtles are common, and it’s possible to see dolphins as well! Connected to Bohol Island by a bridge you will have the chance to explore some incredible spots. Bohol is home to the famous ‘Chocolate Hills,’ which are 1268 round hills popping out of the landscape for as far as you can see. At the ‘Tarsier Visitor’s Center’ you can see the resident furry, monkey-like animal with huge globe eyes that isn’t found anywhere anywhere else in the world. Or you can stop in to see the world’s largest python in captivity – it weighs more than 200 kg! We'll also venture deeper into Bohol Island to spend time at its massive waterfalls and natural swimming pools. Back in Panglao fresh chicken and seafood BBW are the favourite dinner choices, and the scene gets lively at several nightspots along the beach. With your group, there is never a shortage of fun and excitement, and this is another destination you definitely won’t want to leave.

Traveling on Cloud 9

The quiet fishing village of Donsol in a remote part of The Philippines has become one of the most astounding places to visit in the world because of its amazing residents that grace the waters here for part of each year and give you a chance to swim with the them. Whale sharks, the largest fish in the world and one of the most beautiful creatures on the planet, swarm to the tropical waters near Donsol in incredible numbers each year around March. We time our Philippines trip at this time to coincide with the arrival of the whale sharks to Donsol and getting to see and swim with these friendly giants makes the trip to Donsol more than worthwhile!

Traveling on Cloud 9

Located in the far eastern part of The Philippines, Siargao is an incredible island that truly offers everything we could want from a destination. Its low-key travel community and laid-back population create the perfect vibe to enjoy Siargao's gorgeous scenery, wicked beaches and its stellar surf scene that rivals any in Southeast Asia. There's plenty of reasons why we spend an entire week here on our Philippines trip, but the waves are what make it the hardest to leave. The water is warm, the surf community is friendly and helpful, the views from your board are always ridiculously amazing and the beaches offer a chilled sanctuary to rest between surf sessions. The few beach bars are great places to gather at night with the locals and other travellers and enjoy parties in paradise before you go to bed and wake up to another awesome day in the surf and sun.

Traveling on Cloud 9
Sohoton Lagoon

Travelling by boat to Sohoton Lagoon, which is an island encircling a lagoon, you'll pass by many gorgeous islands and empty beaches including the aptly named Paradise Island, but you'll keep going until you reach a place that is especially amazing: an island of white-sand and palm trees surrounding a calm turquoise-blue lagoon shimmering in the sun. This is Sohoton Lagoon, an island paradise we get to enjoy on our Philippines trip, staying in a single giant house and enjoying incredible barbecue feasts on the beach. When visiting Sohoton Lagoon, you really do get to taste paradise!

Traveling on Cloud 9

Known as The Jewel of the South in the Philippines, Cebu is the country's second largest city and an important transit point for traveling around the southern part of the country. A relaxed and well-stocked city, it is a great place to enjoy the cozy amenities not found in some of the more isolated destinations in the country, such as taking in a new film at the cinema, pumping your guns at the gym, or eating at a nice guilty-pleasure restaurant. This charming port city also boasts some worthwhile historical sites such as the Catholic monuments of Santo Niño de Cebu and Magellan's Cross. Time in Cebu is mainly just time spent passing through, but that's no reason to not enjoy all that the city has to offer!

Experience the Land of Smiles
Experience the Land of Smiles

We have been running this trip since 2003 and have spent a lot of years turning it into the best backpacking trip to Thailand on the planet. Winner of The World’s Most Amazing Tour of 2012  and Asia's Most Amazing Tour in 2013 by Tour Radar, our original 40-day trip to Thailand is the ultimate easy-going travel experience. Beginning and ending in Bangkok with a loop through the islands, beaches and jungles of Southern Thailand this trip is a relaxed tour through Thailand’s most amazing, fun, and lesser-known destinations. We’ll take you from some of the most insane party spots including The Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan to secluded paradises with no other tourists in sight. And always you’ll be enjoying the adventure at the nice, chilled pace that is uniquely ‘Free and Easy’.

Experience the Land of Smiles

The largest city and capital of Thailand, Bangkok is known not only as the gateway to Thailand but to all of Southeast Asia. At around 10 million people, Bangkok is a hive of activity and is full of people from all over the world. Its eclectic mix of residents and travellers creates one of the most international and diverse major cities in the world. Despite its diversity in people, Bangkok is very traditionally Thai - some of the most elaborate and extraordinary Buddhist temples lie within Bangkok and the city is filled with beautiful dedications to the King and the Royal Family, including The Grand Palace. There is an infinity of places to explore in this city and things to do, but most people will spend their time doing what Bangkok has become infamous with travellers for: shopping, eating amazing food and epic partying!

Experience the Land of Smiles
Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan is like an adult playground. It's one of those places that you drop your bag, throw on your swimsuit and spend all day barefoot sipping on beers, soaking in the sun and enjoying a laid-back and relaxing beach life. It's the perfect place to get together with a group of friends and feel like you're never going to grow up. The home of the infamous Full Moon Party and some of Thailand’s craziest beach parties, Koh Phangan will offer you as much party-time as you can handle, however don’t worry about being caught up in the chaos as we stay on an isolated and beautiful beach just a short boat ride away from the main party spot that offers the perfect peaceful refuge. This beach is a gem destination for us and has been a part of every one of our Thailand trips and we see no reason to ever stop going to this magical place!

Experience the Land of Smiles

Surrounded by looming limestone cliffs and accessible only by boat, Railay Beach is one of the most beautiful places in Thailand. With a unique culture revolving around reggae music and rock-climbing, Railay has one of the coolest vibes you'll ever experience and is great for both day-time activities and night-time partying. There are no roads or vehicles and everything is within walking-distance, including seriously stunning beaches, a variety of cliffs to climb and a hidden lagoon! The locals in Railay are famously friendly and generally speak very good English, so it's a perfect place to hang out with them and learn more about Thai people and just meet some seriously cool folks. Railay is also home to some of the best fire-spinners in the world and every night you have a chance to see one of their incredible shows. So whether you feel like learning how to do cool new things or just kicking back and chilling, Railay knows how to make you feel right at home!

Experience the Land of Smiles
Koh Phi Phi

Situated about an hour ferry ride from Thailand's west coast in the Andaman Sea lies the Phi Phi Islands (pronounced 'pee pee'), a stunning tropical refuge for travellers and fisherman alike. Limestone cliffs rise from the glassy green water, framing the islands and creating calm bays and coves where white-sand beaches stretch out into warm, crystal clear water and nestle up against the line of palm trees. Two main islands make up Koh Phi Phi, both of which are considered some of the most beautiful islands in Southeast Asia: Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh.

Phi Phi Don is famous for its back-to-back crescent shaped, white-sand beaches that are separated by only 250 feet of land! It is the island where virtually everyone visiting Phi Phi stays. It has evolved into one of the hottest party spots for backpackers in Thailand and you’ll be sure to meet plenty of fun-loving travellers here from all over the world. And just a short boat ride from Phi Phi Don, Phi Phi Leh is a stunning national park and home of Maya Bay, where Leonardo Dicaprio's movie 'The Beach' was filmed. You could make the argument that Phi Phi Leh is the most visually gorgeous island in the world and is the gem of the glorious islands that make up the epic destination of Koh Phi Phi!

Experience the Land of Smiles
Khao Sok National Park

Between Southern Thailand’s two coasts, far from the beaches, deep inside an ancient rainforest lies one of the most beautiful and peaceful places in the country: Khao Sok National Park. Surrounded by soaring cliffs and mountains dense in thick jungle vegetation and with rivers pouring down waterfalls leading to one of the most breathtaking lakes in the world, Khao Sok is like no other place you ever have or will visit. People may travel to Thailand for the beaches, but for the 10 years we've been running our Thailand trips, Khao Sok has often ended up being people's favourite spot on the entire trip!

Experience the Land of Smiles
Koh Samui

Being Thailand's third largest island and arguably its most beautiful, Koh Samui is a paradise that never had a chance at being hidden. Its picture-perfect background of endless tropical white-sand beaches, palm trees and lush green hills have made Koh Samui an international sensation. The island's popularity has brought a great deal of development as Koh Samui possesses upscale restaurants, shopping malls, a cinema, an incredible hospital and plenty of trendy nightclubs. The island's unique mixture of western and Thai culture makes Koh Samui a good place to indulge in any western comforts and enjoy its always-interesting nightlife! Despite the large number of tourists, Koh Samui is astonishingly beautiful and getting to the beach is always a worthwhile thing to do.

Experience the Land of Smiles
Koh Ang Thong Marine Park

A 10 km long archipelago of 42 protected islands, Koh Ang Thong National Marine Park is an island oasis of hidden lagoons, white-sand beaches, dense jungle vegetation and exotic wildlife. Fiercely protected by the Thai government, the nature here is pristine - virtually every picture you take will look like it could be a postcard! 41 of the islands are completely uninhabited, with only 1 possessing a small bar and restaurant and an array of cool cottages that we stay in. The beach on this island has some of the softest white-sand your toes have ever dug into. The water is super clean and at night you are likely to witness one of the world's greatest miracles: phosphorescence! After any day-trippers leave in the early afternoon we usually get to have this island paradise all to ourselves. The most stress you are likely to feel while on Koh Ang Thong is deciding upon which palm trees to hang your hammock from!

Experience the Land of Smiles
Lao Liang

Most tropical islands are gorgeous but Lao Liang would win the beauty pageant if they were all to compete. You can see what we mean when you arrive to Lao Liang by boat and the white-sand beaches stretch out lazily into the calm, clear water and the sun seems to hit the water just right to keep it a stunning turquoise colour. But there's much more than just nice scenery in Lao Liang, as the atmosphere of an uncivilized island is meant to be enjoyed. On the island you get a chance to unplug yourself from the world and spend your day living in the luxury of beachside tents, where not much besides a bed, a fan and electricity is needed. Because when here, you'll be spending all your time enjoying the riches of living a slow and simple life on the gorgeous island of Lao Liang!

Experience the Land of Smiles
Koh Lipe

"Koh Lipe, Koh Lipe, Koh Lipe I love you" goes a Thai song by the country's most famous reggae rock band: Job 2 Do. And it is quick to see why the people of Southern Thailand hold such reverence for this tiny island, which is part of the Tarutao National Marine Park located in the far-southern part of the Andaman Sea. Koh Lipe is almost completely encircled by soft, sandy beaches and its interior is filled with an interesting mountainous woodland making any wander on this gorgeous island an epic experience!

Experience the Land of Smiles
Koh Lanta

With soft and flat white-sand beaches that get plenty of sun and several of them void of many people, Koh Lanta harnesses a nice hippiesque vibe. Although some high-end resorts have moved into the island, the care-free vibe of the local fisherman and the long-time visitors seems to be winning out to preserve the best part of Koh Lanta - it's ability to make you relax. Several gorgeous caves, isolated and peaceful camping areas, amazing diving opportunities as well as the stunning Kantiang Bay showcase a few of the reasons why it's well worth it to make the trip out into the Andaman Sea to experience Koh Lanta.

Epic Adventure
60 Days in Thailand, Philippines






Traveling on Cloud 9
Traveling on Cloud 9

This trip provides all the best that the eastern part of the Philippines has to offer: a paradise island you can enjoy to yourselves, one of Southeast Asia’s best surf breaks and a step back into history hiking through the wondrous ancient emerald rice terraces of Banaue. There is a chance to do a little bit of everything on this 20-day adventure as there is ample time to unpack your bags and live on the beach when you spend a week in Siargao at the world famous Cloud 9 surf break. But there are also portions of the trip where days are filled with activity and crazy travel days as you get a taste of what travelling through the tropical island and mountain oasis of the Philippines is like!

Leg 1: Traveling on Cloud 9 (20 days)
Experience the Land of Smiles
Experience the Land of Smiles

We have been running this trip since 2003 and have spent a lot of years turning it into the best backpacking trip to Thailand on the planet. Winner of The World’s Most Amazing Tour of 2012  and Asia's Most Amazing Tour in 2013 by Tour Radar, our original 40-day trip to Thailand is the ultimate easy-going travel experience. Beginning and ending in Bangkok with a loop through the islands, beaches and jungles of Southern Thailand this trip is a relaxed tour through Thailand’s most amazing, fun, and lesser-known destinations. We’ll take you from some of the most insane party spots including The Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan to secluded paradises with no other tourists in sight. And always you’ll be enjoying the adventure at the nice, chilled pace that is uniquely ‘Free and Easy’.

Leg 2: Experience the Land of Smiles (40 days)

Itinerary for this adventure

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Leg 1

Traveling on Cloud 9: 20 days in Philippines

Day 1-2 Manila
Group flights arrives late in the evening, and upon arrival at the guesthouse you will meet your group over drinks. The following day we will do a group tour of the astonishing San Agustin Church (incl). In the evening, we will take a private* A/C bus to Banaue. *all bus & jeepney transfers will be private on this trip. Only ferry rides are public.
Day 2-3 Batad
Arrive off the night bus in Banaue and take jeepney to the rice terraces. Hike to the historic rice terraces of Batad, often dubbed 'the 8th Wonder of the World'. Stay overnight in a small village with one of the best views imaginable. The next day, hike back and take jeepney back to Banaue and board the night bus back to Manila.
Day 4-6 Catanduanes
Arrive from the night bus at the airport and take a flight to Catanduanes Island. From the airport take jeepney to our paradise beach bungalows. Spend the next few days relaxing on the beach, surfing, exploring and interacting with the incredibly friendly locals.
Day 7-10 Panglao
Fly from Catanduanes to Manila and then take a flight to Tagbilaran City. Our van will pick us up to take us to Alonaland Resort in Panglao. We'll spend the next few days hanging around the pool, checking out the restaurants,bars and diveshops on the beach and going to explore the famous Chocolate Hills. * In March we go to Donsol instead of Bohol.
Day 7-10 Donsol*
Take jeepney to the ferry terminal. Take ferry to Tabaco City and take minibus to Donsol. Here you will have a chance to swim with whale sharks, the gentle giants of the sea. On the last day, take minibus to the airport and fly to Cebu. Take minibus to the ferry terminal and board the night ferry bound for Surigao. * We only go to Donsol in March
Day 11-17 Siargao
Change to the ferry bound for Siargao. This island's laid back island combines gorgeous scenery and wicked beaches with a world class surf scene. Just around the corner from our ocean view hotel lies famous surf-breaks like "Cloud 9" and "QuickSilver". On the last day our jeepney transfer will take us to the airport and then we fly to Cebu.
Day 18-20 Cebu
From the airport our minibus will take you to the hotel. Cebu is known as 'The Jewel of the South in the Philippines'. Explore this city and enjoy local street-foods, shopping, and nightlife. On the last day the group will take taxis to fly out of Cebu International Airport.
Leg 2

Experience the Land of Smiles: 40 days in Thailand

Day 1-3 Bangkok
Group flight arrives late in the evening. Meet your group over drinks at the guesthouse. The following day we will enjoy the Wat Pho Temple Tour (incl) and spend time exploring the city. The last day take private A/C minibus* to the train station and board the night train which will take us down south. *all of the transport on this trip will be private except for trains and ferries
Day 4-11 Koh Phangan
After the train arrives in Surat Thani we will take minibus, then ferry, then taxi, then boat taxi to our secluded beach paradise. There's a reason we stay here so long. It's a place to truly feel free. Who can get tired of that? The Full Moon Party will take place during our stay here.
Day 12-13 Koh Samui
Take taxi boat to the pier and take ferry to Koh Samui. Take private transfer to our guesthouse. Spend time exploring the Island
Day 14 Khao Sok Ntnl Park
Take minibus to the pier and take ferry to the mainland. Take bus to Khao Sok National Park. Enjoy your stay in this beautiful jungle paradise.
Day 15-17 Cheow Lan Lake Trip
Take a bus to Ratchaprapha Pier. Continue by long-tail boat out to the floating bungalows deep in the wild of Cheow Lan Lake. Enjoy lake living in this heavenly secluded spot
Day 18-19 Khao Sok
Take long-tail boat back to the pier and continue by bus to Khao Sok National Park. Enjoy your stay in this beautiful jungle paradise. A cool river runs through this small town, the perfect venue for a float on an inner tube with all your friends. Why not fill up a cooler with your favourite beverage? Sip away as you casually weave through the jungle. Thai cooking classes, hiking, and even night safaris are also nearby optional activities.
Day 20-23 Koh Phi Phi
Take bus and ferry to the Phi Phi islands. Here you will find outstanding scuba-diving, viewpoint hike, boat trips, snorkelling, and Maya Bay which was made famous as the set for the Leonardo DiCaprio movie 'The Beach'.
Day 24-29 Railay
Take ferry to Railay beach. Railay is home of two of the most beautiful beaches in the world and is completely surrounded by limestone cliffs, making it only accessible by boat. The same towering limestone cliffs are home to one of the top spots in the world for rock climbing.
Day 30-31 Lao Liang
Take minibus transfer to Trang. Take longtail boat transfer to Lao Liang Island. Now you know what it feels like to have a deserted paradise island just for you and your friends. Sleep in tents 2 meters from the beach. Rockclimb, snorkel, swim, repeat.
Day 32-36 Koh Lipe
Take longtail boat to the Trang pier and take a minibus to Pak Bara pier. Take speedboat to Koh Lipe. On the last day take speedboat back to the pier and take minibus to the train station and board the night train bound for Bangkok.
Day 37-40 Bangkok
Arrive off the night train and take minibus to the guesthouse. Spend time exploring Bangkok. Group departs the last day.

To live Free and Easy is to live without busy, rigid schedules. Each destination provides some amazing activities, but we make sure that free time is there so you can take part in all of them or none of them, do as much or as little as you want. 'Take time, breathe it all in, no rush!'

More detailed information about what's included, destination information and activities are listed on this page.

Please note: The above itinerary is subject to change. A confirmed Free & Easy trip itinerary with exact routing will be provided at least 30 days prior to trip departure. 

Epic Experiences you will have on this adventure

Surf a Wave

Nothing compares to the feeling you get the first time you paddle into a wave, stand up as it breaks and ride the face of it – this is the incomparable feeling of surfing. When you get it right, you'll know, because you'll be more excited than the first time you had sex and probably more addicted to it, too! Surfing is arguably the most challenging sport in the world and requires you to learn much more than physical coordination. In order to surf a wave, you'll need patience, discipline, a lack of fear and an insatiable urge to have fun. It's no coincidence that 7 of the countries that we run trips to (Indonesia, the Philippines, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Peru, Panama & South Africa) have wicked surf scenes, because there's nothing quite like it.

Spend a Night in a Floating Bungalow

Drive deep into the jungle in Thailand’s Khao Sok National Park to arrive at the shores of Cheow Lan Lake. Tall limestone rocks jut out around the lake, massive trees poke through the surface and all around you is a lush jungle breathing with life. Your journey doesn’t end there though! Hop onto a long tail boat and enjoy one of the most picturesque boat rides in existence as you go deep into the lake to arrive at your home for the night – cozy and rustic bungalows floating right on the lake! Here you’ll be greeted by an amazing Thai family who will take care of everything during your stay at the lake house. Hike to caves, kayak to coves, swim in the clear freshwater or just lay back and enjoy the serenity of one of the most beautiful places we know of! After the sun falls, treat yourself to an array of adult beverages and dance the night away with your group and the Thai people living there who certainly know how to have a good time! It’ll be hard to be hungover when you wake up to the calls of gibbons monkeys and tropical birds, then poke your head out the door to see the sun rising over the lake. You can go ahead and pinch yourself at this point, because no matter how many times we experience this it’s hard to believe it’s real.

Go Scuba Diving

Diving is like no other experience on Earth. Life under the water is silent and peaceful, everything is flowing and moving in a way that we land creatures are unaccustomed to. Despite all of our high tech equipment, we are extremely out of our element in the water and it is a humbling experience to watch and observe what life is like under the sea. Fish come in all shapes, sizes and colours and move together in a harmonious unison through beautiful coral and twisted sunlight. On our trips, scuba diving is a huge activity as we travel to countries that offer some of the best diving in the world. The Caribbean in Central America possesses the second largest reef in the world, the warm waters of the South Pacific in Southeast Asia are home to the largest diversity of sea-life in the world and the seas of the Mediterranean are full of rich history and beauty. There is a whole universe under the ocean and experiencing what’s it like to be in it is a must at least once in your life!

Swim Through Phosphorescence

Phosphorescence (or bioluminescence) is the emission of light created by a variety of tiny, almost microscopic creatures as a defence mechanism. Perhaps the most fascinating display of this phenomenon takes place in the ocean when thousands of bioluminescent plankton scintillate a beautiful blue-green glow that brightens as the plankton are agitated. They can be stimulated by anything from crashing waves to moving boats or from people playing in the water! This opportunity to feel like you're creating magic occurs at times in almost every country we travel to and sometimes the plankton arrive in a magnificent density, creating some of the most unforgettable nights on our trips – most notably in Lao Liang and Koh Ang Thong in Thailand, but also along the Pacific Coast of Central America. So just because the sun has set doesn’t always mean the fun in the water is over! Always be sure to take a few steps into shore and check if you may have the opportunity to swim through phosphorescence because it's one of the most fun and beautiful experiences you may ever have!

Refill not Landfill

The Refill, Not Landfill initiative is the perfect complement to our beach cleaning initiatives. Plastic water bottles make up a large percentage of the waste that gathers on beaches around the world. With over 1000 travellers coming on trips with us throughout the year, and drinking/buying water bottles like nobody's business we realized that we are a part of the problem. So we decided to provide several of the guesthouses we stay at with filtered, re-useable water coolers to provide our travelers with all the water they need without creating any additional waste. Our hope is that by taking these steps and continuing to build on this initiative we will set ourselves up to completely eliminate plastic water bottles from our trips altogether. If we are able to do that we could prevent the use of approximately 100,000 plastic water bottles each year alone! So don’t forget to bring your re-usable water bottle on your trip and contribute to the world in an awesome way!

Swimming with Whale Sharks

***ONLY AVAILABLE ON OUR MARCH TRIP DATE!*** There’s nothing like swimming next to the largest fish in the animal kingdom to feel how small we truly are. While the word ‘shark’ might conjure up images of Jaws and blood-soaked waters, Whale Sharks are actually filter feeder sharks and the majority of their diet is made up of plankton -- so a clumsy looking human swimming around won't be very appetizing. But swimming with this beast isn't as easy as jumping into the ocean. Although you don't require scuba gear as whale sharks commonly swim around the surface, they can be elusive and many divers/snorkelers never get the chance to see one up close. Whale Sharks can be found in many places around the world but arguably the best place in the world to swim with them is the Philippines. Donsol possesses one of the largest school of whale sharks in the world and it's no coincidence that we time our March Philippines adventure to coincide with the best time to see these beautiful creatures up close. It's an experience our group leaders never get sick of and our group members never cease to be amazed by. So snap on your facemask, pull on those flippers and dive into the big blue for an awe-inspiring adventure with these gentle giants. (Boat & guide included, snorkel/diving gear not included).

See "The Beach"

A book that has always been popular in the backpacker circuit is the 1996 novel by Alex Garland entitled 'The Beach' about a young traveller who stumbles upon an Eden-like paradise on an island in Southern Thailand. In 2000, Leonardo DiCaprio starred in a film adaptation of the book and travellers around the world were amazed by the beach used in the filming of 'The Beach' and had to know where it was. Koh Phi Phi Leh is a small island in the Andaman Sea made up of huge, looming limestone rocks that give it an ominous and mythical appearance from a distance. And in the centre of all those rocks lies Maya Bay and the beautiful beach used in the filming of 'The Beach'. Now Maya Bay obviously has a lot to live up to, but when you see it on our boat trip to Koh Phi Phi Leh you can understand why it was chosen from the thousands of amazing beaches in Thailand to be used to depict a paradise on Earth.

Tubing in Thailand

Floating down a beautiful river with your FNEZ family is an epic way to explore Khao Sok National Park! Hop on a rubber tube with your pals and a cooler of ice cold beers, and get your zen (or your party) on for the next two hours. You’ll float by gorgeous cliffs, towering jungle trees, and stop occasionally to bust out some crazy rope swing acrobatics. A few friends from Smiley’s Bungalows will accompany you to party and point out the monkeys, birds and snakes chilling in trees and by the waters edge. This is an amazing experience not to be missed! * * * Please note: Certain times of the year this may not be possible dude to weather conditions * * *

Have a Tropical Island All to Yourself

This experience is one we all dream about, but think is only possible for the rich and famous, however, we are able to do this on our Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand trips! And it's true that having an entire island to yourself seems a bit lavish, but it's a luxurious and relaxing experience that also leads to a whole lot of fun! It's like when you were younger and you first got to experience what having a house to yourself was like, but this time there’s no neighbours or even cops. We like to head to the island with our groups for a night or sometimes several stocked with frisbees, food, snorkel gear, coolers of beer, guitars, bottles of rum, fishing gear and our hammocks - everything we could possibly need. And then we just literally do whatever we want!

Rock Climb Up a Natural Cliff Face

Most of us have tried rock climbing, but it's usually been in a sweaty gym with an artificial climbing wall that is trying to mimic the outdoor experience of rock climbing. When you climb a natural cliff face, your body seems to know it and you almost feel like you're tapping into a core part of your humanity that is telling you that somehow, someway you have to scale this cliff - and most people surprise themselves with their ability to do it. One of the best parts of outdoor rock climbing is that it's generally done in some of the most surreal places on this planet so when you get to the top of your climb you're rewarded with a breathtaking view. From Thailand to Turkey to Peru and beyond, get your climb on in some of the most beautiful settings for an incredible experience and tremendous feeling of personal accomplishment.

Get Any Outfit You Can Imagine Tailor-made

For most travelers, shopping at home is an expensive and (for some) inconvenient chore, as we must troll through stores, malls, websites and our friends' closets in search of clothes that fit us properly and match our style. If only we could just go see some kind of person who makes clothes specifically for our size and preference… like a tailor? Having your clothes tailor-made is something we shrug off as something only for the rich and people interested in suits and dresses, but in many parts of world tailors are still very prevalent and surprisingly affordable - and there is perhaps no place where this is more true than in Southeast Asia. Bangkok in Thailand is famous for its many suit and dress tailors offering great deals on a virtually infinite list of outfits. Likely the only place better than Bangkok is in the beautiful ancient capital of Hoi An in Vietnam, where you can find very cheap and very good tailors that make both western and traditional Vietnamese clothing. And we mean they'll make you anything: suits, dresses, jeans, shoes, jackets and with any material from high quality silk to denim to leather. It’s a dream come true for clothes lovers and an easy and cheap solution for those that detest shopping!

Hike the Rice Terraces of Banaue

There's no denying that the Banaue rice terraces in the Philippines are one of the most amazing sights on the planet. Etched out of the hillside over 2000 years ago, the seemingly endless number of terraces stretch through valleys and around hills and are all connected by thousands of stone staircases that the local farmers hike up and down each day. On our experience of the rice terraces, we ride out of town on the top of local Jeepnies until we reach the first breathtaking view and begin to walk. As you make your way across the terraces, you feel like you're stepping back in time as the rice is still farmed the same way it has been for thousands of years. The lifestyle of the farmers reflects the peacefulness of the setting as after our first day of trekking, we spend a night in a secluded guesthouse with a view so captivating that you'll spend your entire morning just admiring the place you've found yourself in. The second day of hiking requires a climb and the hundreds of steps may feel more like a fitness test than part of a vacation but upon reaching the top, you'll be completely invigorated by an amazing waterfall that'll cap off an incredible experience that showcases some of the great beauty that the Philippines has to offer.

Go Bungee Jumping

Bungee Jumping is one of those activities we all imagine we'll do once in our lives, but it's usually when people are travelling that they do it for the first time. Maybe it's because they don't give themselves the time at home or maybe it's because people feel a little more courageous away from home or maybe it's just a matter of: if not now, then when? Either way, bungee jumping is always a favourite activity on our trips and many people are encouraged to give it a try and why not? It's exciting! You're standing at the edge, staring out into the distance and feeling the fear build up inside you and then you finally leap off the edge and get a huge adrenaline rush as you fly straight down! It's quite a mental trip when you see the earth approaching so fast and your brain is telling you that you're about to die, but then you stop and go flying back up into the air as if you've just been reborn! If you've even got a slight urge to try it out then take the leap, you won't regret it!

Dance Until Sunrise at the Full Moon Party **

Originated on Had Rin beach on the island of Koh Phangan in Southern Thailand, the Full Moon Party is an insanely massive beach party that happens within a day or two of every full moon (every 29 days). The party draws between twenty and thirty thousand people and is guaranteed to be one of the most fun and ridiculously wild parties you're ever to attend. Known by many as the "ultimate party experience", this party is one that begins early and ends late… very late! We arrive to the Full Moon Party by boat, which is an awesome experience because you get a full perspective of the beach party and feel the pounding of the bass like a war drum as you approach the neon lights and fist-pumping party animals. The pinnacle of the Full Moon Party is without a doubt when the sun rises, it always happens way sooner than you expect, but when those first colourful rays begin to reach out from the horizon and light up the sky it is impossible not to be hurting your cheeks with a giant smile as you party and dance with all your friends in powdery white sand as the sun begins to shine on the moment and rejuvenate the party! ** Please note: Not all 20 day 'A Dose of Paradise' trips include full moon party. Contact us for more info.

Wat Pho Temple Tour *

Enjoy the chance to explore Wat Pho alongside a knowledgeable local guide for a peek inside ancient and modern Thai culture. This Buddhist temple complex located in Bangkok is one of city’s oldest temples, having been established before Bangkok itself. It houses over 1000 Buddha images, making it the largest collection of Buddha relics in all of Thailand. This includes the statue that Wat Pho is most famous for: an enormous 49 meter-long golden statue of a Reclining Buddha. The Buddha’s feet alone are 3 meters high. It is probably one of the grandest sites you will behold in all of the city. On an interesting side note, Wat Pho is also known as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage, which is still taught and practiced at the temple. If you have the time, ask your guide to tell you Bangkok’s real name…it’s the longest city name on Earth! *****Please note: Not included on the following trips: A Backpackers Dream, Share the Love and The World's Greatest Waterfight

Catch a Fish and Eat It, Too

We get so many people who come on our trips that say they don't like seafood and won't eat it - usually, they're not from a coastal town. So when we serve up a fresh barracuda or tuna or some other tasty fish that the fisherman caught that morning and we convince them to give it a try, the first thing they say (with a satisfied smile) is that this doesn't taste like the seafood they've tried. There's just no getting around it, fish is meant to be eaten fresh! And the only thing tastier than a fresh fish is one that you caught, too! Catching the fish that you eat used to be a part of life and still is in many parts of the world, however, more and more people are buying from the commercial fishing industry which is unsustainable and is destroying the ocean's eco-system. We offer the option to go fishing on nearly all of our trips with friendly, local fisherman that show you their tricks - it's an experience that not only teaches you the importance of fishing but is also a hell of a good time: on a boat, with friends, with beer, in the sun, drifting down a tropical coastline… 'nuff said!

Have One Night in Bangkok

There a lot of incredible cities in the world, but there is only one Bangkok. The main jumping point for virtually every person traveling through Southeast Asia, Bangkok is full of people from all over the world and there is something for everyone in this massive, colourful city. And the temples, markets and shopping are sure all nice and dandy, but most "memories" that come from Bangkok are created after you have that first Chang beer or Sangsom bucket set, because after that really anything is possible! We won't get into the details of what all happens in Bangkok because everyone will have their own story to tell after a night of partying in a city filled with all-night clubs, street-side bucket stands and essentially an adult "playground" everywhere you look. It's a common feeling to wake up in Bangkok, have no idea what time it is and try to figure out if what you remember happening the night before was a dream or if it really did all happen!

Practice Yoga on the Beach

Practicing yoga on the beach in warm, tropical weather provides you with the perfect environment to learn how to find a calm within yourself and feel your mind truly relax. Listening to the sounds of the jungle and the crashing of the waves on shore only adds to the bliss of this experience. You can experience practicing yoga in a beautiful and isolated setting under the expert guidance of yoga instructors on several of our our trips. So take an hour or so out of your day to stretch, breathe and enjoy one of the best yoga sessions of your life in paradise!

Bathe Under a Waterfall

When leaving home and hitting the road with your backpack, one thought you may have in mind is that you're not going to have another good shower for awhile. In most parts of the world water pressure is lower, there is often no hot water and you just can't seem to scrub off that distinct backpacker odour. However, there is one place where hundreds of gallons of refreshing fresh water can pour all over you in a surreal bathing experience and that spot is found at the bottom of a waterfall. When hiking around jungles, one of our favourite things to search out is a good tropical waterfall where you can swim, relax, and get right under it and let the huge torrent of water pour all over you and wash you clean! But the best part is often the simple sight of the waterfall itself, because for whatever reason there are few things in the world we find more captivating to watch than water dropping from great heights. Maybe it's because nothing falls with the grace of water, but either way it's an amazing feeling to come upon a gorgeous waterfall in the jungle and head straight into its downpour for the best shower of your life!

Go Snorkelling

Snorkelling is a great alternative for those looking to save a little money on diving costs or those who can’t dive for medical reasons. Floating along the surface of the water at any one of our incredible destinations around the world will give you a peak into a magical underwater world. More confident snorkelers can even dive down to get a closer look at the fauna and flora found in our oceans. From glittering fish, to colourful anemone, and super cool sharks (don’t worry, the non-carnivorous ones), snorkelling is a wonderful experience for the non-diver. So snap on a mask and grab your flippers (and DON’T inhale while diving) and you’ll be all set for a little adventure under the sea.

Go Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) is still a relatively young sport and gaining participants with great momentum. Learn to SUP with easy, progressive and fun SUP lessons in Cape Town on calm water or in the waves at Muizenberg. You will learn how to safely SUP in waves in the shallow beach break in Muizenberg, internationally recognized ideal spot for learning Stand Up Paddle Boarding and Surfing.

Buy Everything in Bangkok

A trip to Thailand is not complete without a day spent shopping in Bangkok. Whether male, female, or a bit of both, there’s something for everybody in this crazy city! From the infamous street markets to the luxurious malls to the seemingly infinite amount of random market stalls, you can literally buy everything in Bangkok! Get right into it and sift through boxes of knock-off designer jeans, check out the funky tee’s created by local artists, find piles and piles of rad shoes. Hit the electronics and find every movie ever made or cheap cellphones, computer software and old video games. Peruse the knick-knacks and score samurai swords, unique art, Buddha carvings, and homemade jewellery. Wanna get fancy? Get anything you want tailor-made, from suits to jackets to shoes or hit up the gold jewellery stores and find that perfect piece! Or head to some of the nicest malls in the world and find every brand-name you want. The favourable exchange rate and generally cheap prices make shopping a fun, interesting and incredibly lucrative experience when in Bangkok! When you’re finally all done, relax with a well-deserved beer or park your keester in the cinema and enjoy the massive screens and comfy chairs for just a few bucks. How can anyone not love a stopover in Bangkok!?

Beach Cleanup

Our Trash Hero beach cleanups are a great way to do good, feel good, and get some beach all at the same time. With thousands of tons of trash swirling around the oceans, the unfortunate reality is that some of it washes up onto the beautiful beaches we fall in love with around the world. So we thought ‘Let’s do something about this!’ Our partnership with Trash Hero began in Koh Lipe, Thailand, where they regularly organized beach cleanup days. Today, Trash Hero has gone viral and can be found operating in Thailand and Indonesia, and is spreading into dozens more countries at a rapid pace. On our end, beach cleanup day quickly became one of the most fun and rewarding days on our Thailand trip. So we decided to spread the love, and have instituted a beach cleanup day into our regular itineraries across the world. Through our sponsorship and partnership with Trash Hero, our travellers and others like them have since collected tens of thousands of kilograms of trash from the beaches we travel to…and really, there’s nothing more epic than saving the world!

Party for Prosthetics

Party for Prosthetics is one of our newest initiatives that turns the aluminum tabs from beer cans into prosthetic limbs for people in need, such as those who have been dismembered from injury, disease, or landmines. We have partnered with a Thai organization called The Prostheses Foundation that has been doing this since the early 90’s - when we realized how much we could help out just by saving our beer tabs we thought this was a real win-win! Through a combination of our beach bevvies, travel day sippy cups, and all-night ragers, we have been known to put away a few beers from time to time, and now we are turning these parties into prosthetic limbs! This initiative adds even more zest to each cheers, shotgun, and beer bong, and fills us with a sense of pride as we gather the tabs over the course of each trip and see buckets fill with valuable little pieces of metal that are going to change someone’s life!

Accommodations and Transportation

What's included in this adventure


  • Accommodation for the duration of your Free & Easy experience


  • All group travel between destinations
  • If you are doing multiple trips, all travel between trips is included
  • Return international flights and airport transfers*** (No surprise extra flight surcharges)

***Land Package prices do not include your international flight, airport taxes or transfers


  • 2 knowledgeable and fun Free & Easy leaders
  • 15 years of trip leading experience
  • No commissions or gratuities required or accepted... ever!
  • Preparations guidebook
  • Trip Experience guidebook

Activities: Philippines (Cloud 9)

  • 3 beach destinations & 2 surf destinations (Siargo and Catanduanes) Tons of surf breaks!
  • Two day trek through the Batad Rice Terraces (Waterfall hike, guides incl.)
  • Transportation to Waterfall and Viewpoint hike in Cantanduanes
  • Boat trip to see Whalesharks in Donsol (only March trip)
  • Boat trip to Naked Island (Incl. overnight stay at Sohoton, caving, swim with jellyfish*)


Activities: Thailand (40 Days)

  • Bangkok Temple Tour
  • 3 Viewpoint Hikes
  • 3 day, 2 Night National Park Rainforest Floating Lakehouse Trip (3 meals a day, and National Park Fee incl.)
  • Kayaking while at the
  • Phi Phi Island/Maya Bay Sunset Boat Trip (incl. dinner, kayaking, snorkelling, and National Park Fee)
  • River Tubing through a Tropical Rainforest
  • Cave Hike w/ Local Guide
  • Visit to a traditional, local Thai Market
  • The Free and Easy Full Moon Party Experience
  • Beach Olympics
  • Free & Easy sponsored
  • Additional National Park Fees {PP, Lao Liang, Lipe]

Meals: Philippines (Cloud 9)

  • One Filipino style group dinner
  • Lunch at a national park after trek through the Batad Rice Terraces
  • All meals included on boat trip to Naked Island/Sohoton Island (1 breakfast, 2 lunch, 1 dinner)

Meals: Thailand (40 Days)

  • Authentic Thai Style Welcome Dinner w/drinks
  • All meals incl. on Rainforest Lake Trip

Optional Activities: Philippines (Cloud 9)

  • Fishing
  • Yoga
  • Surfing lessons
  • Wake Boarding
  • Paddle Boarding

Optional Activities: Thailand (40 Days)

  • Yoga
  • Rock climbing
  • Scuba diving
  • Bungee jumping
  • Ziplining
  • Snorkel trip
  • Lady boy show
  • Boat cruise
  • Muay Thai lessons
  • Cooking classes
  • Fishing

Not Included

  • All meals and drinks (except those mentioned above)
  • Activities outside of the ones listed above
  • Any Visa or Visa fees

Find out how much spending money you will need here.

Thailand (40 Days)

  • ​The Original 40-Day Thailand backpacking adventure...(since 2003, often imitated, never duplicated)
  • A FREE hand-woven, jumbo hammock of your choice ($130 value)

Make this adventure Epic

15-50 Days 51-79 Days 80-100 Days 100+ Days


$4450 Flight options available*

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