Family - Breathtaking Burma Trip Notes

Experience the Asia of old on a family adventure that captures the spirit of Burma. Meet its friendly people and explore Bagan’s ancient temples, perfectly preserved after years of isolation.

    • 11
    • TTFB
    • Total price tool tip
      USD $2,995
      CAD $3,060
      AUD $3,180
      EUR €2,195
      GBP £1,895
      NZD $3,770
      ZAR R28,945
      CHF FR2,725
      *
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    • Explorer, Family
    • Original
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There is a later version of this trip also available for travel from Jan 1, 2015 to Dec 31, 2015. View later Burma Teenage Adventure.
Print Version
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2014
Family - Breathtaking Burma
Trip code: TTFB
Validity: 01 Jan 2014 to 31 Dec 2014
Rudyard Kipling once described Burma as “quite unlike any land you know about”. A century later, this magnificent country still remains much as it was then and ripe for exploring. Take the family back in time to discover the treasures of this breathtaking corner of Asia. Embark on an adventure along riverways and lakes and be amazed by the extraordinary beauty of its temple complexes and caves. Spend time getting to know the warm, smiling Burmese people and learn some of their cultural traditions. Come home with magical stories of this unspoiled land.
This trip is operated by our trusted local partners, The Adventure Company.
Table of Contents
StyleImportant notesEmergency contact
ThemesGroup sizeEmergency funds
MapYour fellow travellersVisas
ItinerarySingle travellersIssues on your trip
Also available to purchaseAccommodationWhat to take
Itinerary disclaimerMeals introductionHealth
Culture shock rating MealsSafety
Physical ratingTransportTravel insurance
Included activitiesGroup leaderResponsible Travel
Optional activitiesJoining point descriptionA couple of rules
Money ExchangeJoining point instructionsThe Intrepid Foundation
Spending moneyArrival complicationsCarbon offset
TippingFinish point descriptionFeedback
Departure taxFinish point instructions
Style
Original
  • Original trips are classic Intrepid adventures. With a mix of included activities and free time, they offer plenty of opportunities to explore at your own pace and take part in activities that really get beneath the skin of a destination. While the occasional meal may be included, you'll have the freedom to seek out your own culinary adventures. Accommodation is generally budget or tourist class (2-3 star), but you're as likely to find yourself as a guest of a local family as staying in a hotel or camping. Transport will vary as well. Depending on the destination and the itinerary you could find yourself travelling on anything from a camel to a train or a private safari vehicle. It's all part of the adventure! Original travellers have a desire to make the most of their travel time and really get to know a place, its people and cultures.
Themes
Family, Explorer
Map
Family - Breathtaking Burma
Itinerary
Day 1 Yangon
Min Gala Ba! Welcome to Burma.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on day 1.
You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until your welcome meeting. The country's biggest city and former capital, Yangon has many cultural delights and excellent sights, including religious monuments, museums, parks and the Bogyoke Market. Yangon has many cultural delights and excellent sights on offer, with the circular train providing great access to different parts of the city.
This evening you have the option to go for dinner with the others in your group.
Day 2 Yangon
Formerly named Rangoon, Yangon is the country's biggest city and was the capital from 1885, when the British conquered the north and the kingdom of Mandalay, until just a few years ago when the government moved the capital to Naypyidaw.
This morning we will transfer to the boat pier and take a boat trip across the Yangon River. At the other side we take a tuk tuk ride to Twunte village, as we explore the village on foot our guide will tell us about the village. Then it's time to get our hands dirty as we have a go at making some local traditional pottery! Great fun for all the family. After lunch we return to the boat pier and travel back across the river our hotel.
Included Activities
  • Pottery Village Tour
Accommodation
East Hotel (1 nt)
Day 3 Bagan
Today we'll head out early to catch our flight to the ancient wonder of Bagan. Here spread out across the horizon are the peaks of 4,500 brick and gilded ancient temples. Dotting the skyline in many shapes and forms some say they compare in splendour to the majestic Angkor kingdom. Theravada Buddhism was introduced by the former kings of Pagan (Bagan) in the mid 11th century, which spurred on the swift building of a swathe of temples to worship their gods, be they Buddhist, Hindu or Nat, over the ensuing 200 or so years.
This afternoon we will take a tour by horse and cart (2 people travel per cart) to visit some of the main temples and go shopping in some of the local markets. Hawkers often surround the most popular temples, selling lacquer ware or handicrafts and there are also stalls offering cool drinks and a welcome touch of shade.
Included Activities
  • Horse Cart Tour
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 4 Bagan
Today we travel to Ngat Pyit Taung Monastery where we can explore the temple's caves and learn about local traditions and beliefs. Later we visit a Monastic Primary School, seeing the local children here as they go about their lessons will give your kids a totally different perspective on school life! There will certainly be many smiling faces to welcome your visit too. Onwards to the town of Nyaung U where we will visit small neighbouring villages and learn about traditional life here. We will see the process of creating "Poneyay" - pea powder paste and watch as local plum jam is made and packed, if we are lucky they will give you a taste of it too! On our second evening in Bagan we will see a colourful marionette performance which will delight the kids, a tasty dinner of traditional Bamar cuisine is included while we watch.
Included Activities
  • Ngat Pyit Taung Monastery
  • Marrionette Puppet Show
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Days 5-6 Kalaw
This morning we transfer to Bagan Airport (approx 20 mins) and fly to Heho. Then transfer on to Kalaw. Stopping for lunch enroute. As a former British hill station Kalaw makes a welcome retreat from the heat of the lower lying areas. While the surrounding hills are the home to various ethnic minority groups, including the Palaung, Danu and Pa-O.
The following day, children from a local school will meet us at our hotel and join us for a walk to the market to see the produce on sale and to explain the local food to us. Later we will join in a classroom activity with the children, who will no doubt be delighted by our visit! Enjoy a game of badminton with the children and they will also teach us some local games. There is time for some group singing and we will also eat lunch with the children. After lunch we take a walk with the local school children to the 500 year old Hnee Paya temple. We will no doubt have made many new little friends during the day and take home some great memories of the experience.
Included Activities
  • RDC Orphanage Visit
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
Days 7-9 Inle Lake
Setting off across the mountains today we cross the plateau which is crammed with farms and make a stop at the caves of Pindaya. As one of the 'Golden Caves' in Shan state, pilgrims flock to worship the 8000 or so Buddha images which adorn the caverns, tunnels and meditation chambers of this huge limestone cave. We'll venture into the labyrinth of tunnels with our guide to gain a better insight into its history.
Pushing on towards Taungyi, we take the turnoff to the resort town of Nyuangshwe, set at the northern end of Inle Lake and our base for the next few days.
The calm waters of Inle Lake are the life-blood for many ethnic minority communities found in stilt houses in lake's shallow fringes and surrounding areas.
The following day we head out in motorised boats and spend the day taking in all the sights from the distinctive leg rowing of local fishermen casting their nets and Nga Hpe Kyaung Monastery with its jumping cats and collection of ancient Buddha images to the floating tomato plantations and plethora of cottage industries such as silversmiths, weavers and cigar makers. We may even come across the floating market which circles the lake each 5 days, where locals sell traditional wares and we can take advantage of shopping opportunities which might come your way.The final day at Inle is free for us to relax or choose our own activities. Perhaps visit the markets, take a wander around the nearby waterfront, cycle off into neighbouring villages or see old payas/temples and the lovely teak monastery.
Included Activities
  • Pindaya Caves Visit
  • Inle Lake Boat Tour
Accommodation
Hotel (3 nts)
Days 10-11 Yangon
We bid farewell to the splendour of Shan state as we make our way to Heho airport for your flight back to the hustle and bustle of Yangon. After checking in to our hotel and freshening up we will make a walking tour of downtown Yangon. Here we will visit markets and perhaps have our fortune told at one of the street stalls. In the afternoon we will visit Shwedagon Pagoda and Karaweik. Then travel on to Kandawgi Lake. See the sunset at Shwedagon and visit its temple. We will be shown how to make a traditional prayer offering before the tour ends.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart our accommodation at any time. Please check the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.
Included Activities
  • Shwedagon Temple
Also available to purchase
For many of our trips we have other services or experiences that are also available to purchase to extend your trip or to make your holiday a little easier. Below is a list of other travel products you can purchase in conjunction with this trip.
      Itinerary disclaimer
      Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. For the latest updated Trip Notes please visit our website: www.intrepidtravel.com
      Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.
      Culture shock rating

      You're really out there! You'll need to pay specific attention to health and hygiene. A large proportion of locals’ living conditions are a world away from standards you are used to at home. You may have difficulty finding an English speaker and there's little or no access to services. Paying heed to local customs is essential.
      Physical rating

      Some easy physical activities included in your trip. No physical preparation is required to make the most of the journey.
      Included activities
      Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
      Optional activities
      A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
      Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
      Money Exchange
      The official currency of Burma is the Kyat (MMK) - pronounced 'chat'.
      The best place to change your money is upon arrival at the airport, as the exchange rate is now locked to the USD. If you need to change more money your tour leader will be able to help you to do this at the many places available, but please note that it is hard to change money outside of Yangon and Mandalay. ATM machines are now available in Yangon and to a lesser extent Mandalay. We however advise that you bring plenty of cash for your trip as the reliability of the ATM’s is still unknown, due to power cuts and the newness of the service. It is still not possible to use traveller’s cheques at this time.
      You need to bring cash in US dollars. The notes should be crisp and perfect with no folds or marks and should be no older than 2006. Bring high denominations because when you exchange into local currency you get a higher exchange rate. The best exchange rates are in Yangon so it's best to try and get all your money changed there.
      Carrying cash is relatively safe as long as you take the usual precautions. It's best to try and budget a daily rate and do all your money exchange on the day you arrive in Yangon. Burma is quite an inexpensive place to travel so a budget of US$40 per day for food and drinks is plenty.
      Hotels will generally exchange money during office hours only. You can change money at the airport upon arrival.
      You can spend US$ along the way in Burma - some places will accept it but don't rely on this. It's best to get local currency. If you have any kyat left over at the end of your trip you can change it back into US$ at a hotel, or at the airport when departing.
      Spending money
      Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
      Tipping
      While tipping is not a traditional part of Burmese culture it is becoming more common as tourism increases, particularly when you have experienced excellent service. If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - may be appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, and inspires excellent service. We recommend that any tips are given to the intended recipient by a member of your group, rather than collected and passed on by the group leader. The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
      Hotels / Restaurants: US$ 0.50-1 for porters and restaurant staff
      Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group however a base of US$2 per person, per day is generally appropriate.
      Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest US$2 per day for local guides.
      Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline US$ 2-3 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
      Departure tax
      All departure tax should be included in your flight ticket.
      Important notes
      AGE RESTRICTIONS:
      Age restrictions apply to this trip: minimum age 12. Anyone aged under 18 must be accompanied by (and share accommodation with) a parent or guardian.
      LOCAL PARTNER:
      This trip is operated by our experienced local partner, The Adventure Company.
      Group size
      Maximum of 16 travellers per group.
      Your fellow travellers
      As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.
      Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. However you can download Intrepid's FREE Meet Up app to chat with your fellow travellers before your trip. Meet up, discuss your upcoming trip and share the excitement of planning for your adventure. For more information visit: www.intrepidtravel.com/meetup
      Single travellers
      Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. On our Family Adventures, single relatives or friends are welcome to travel along with a family. These single travellers share with people of the same gender for the duration of the trip and in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Please note that some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our Comfort and Original style trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own room (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
      Accommodation
      Hotel (7 nts), East Hotel (1 nt)
      GENERAL ROOMING CONFIGURATIONS:
      Family of two - All family groupings of two will be put into a twin room.
      Family of three - Wherever possible we will put you in a triple room. Please be aware that in some places triple rooms are in short supply. This means that, in practice, a triple room will often simply be a twin room with a mattress on the floor or a further bed squashed in. Where it is impossible to provide a triple room, you will have to decide which of your party takes the single room.
      Family of four or more - You will most likely stay in two twin rooms. If and wherever possible we will aim put you in a quadruple room. Whilst we will do our very best to ensure that families are roomed close together (in some cases, we can arrange adjoining rooms), we can’t guarantee this. Most family holidays occur during peak season and we sometimes have little to no control over where you will be put. You need to come prepared for this.
      Accommodation is clean and simple. You'll mainly stay in small, locally-run, 2-3 star hotels and guesthouses, which reflect the character of the area,generally these will be a twin room with private facilities. Sometimes you'll stay in larger, more comfortable hotels or occasionally rustic accommodation with basic facilities. We use a variety of accommodation on most trips; chosen for their value for money, location and atmosphere. We also try and incorporate unique accommodation experiences, such as a night with a local tribe, or sleeping under the stars in the desert.
      Meals introduction
      While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.
      Meals
      10 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
      Budget for meals not included:
      USD 250.00
      Transport
      Private Bus, Tuk-Tuk, Plane, Boat
      Group leader
      All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.
      Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
      Joining point description
      Located near the Central Railway station and Bogyote Aung San Market, the Asia Plaza hotel has rooms with private en-suites and air conditioning.
      www.asiaplazahotel.com
      Joining point instructions
      A pre-booked airport arrival transfer is available if arranged at the time of booking. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 16 days prior to your departure. If you plan to arrive earlier, this arrival transfer can only be offered in conjunction with pre-tour accommodation booked through Intrepid.
      Alternatively, taxis are readily available from the airport, and drivers will often approach you before you have left the airport. From the airport to the Asia Plaza hotel (and anywhere in the city centre) should cost around $8USD and take approximately 40 minutes depending on traffic.
      Arrival complications
      We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact section below for who to contact depending upon your starting location.
      No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
      Finish point description
      Located near the Central Railway station and Bogyote Aung San Market, the Asia Plaza hotel has rooms with private en-suites and air conditioning.
      www.asiaplazahotel.com
      Finish point instructions
      A departure transfer from our hotel to the airport is available if arranged at the time of booking. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 16 days prior to your trip start date. If you plan to stay longer, this departure transfer can only be offered in conjunction with post-tour accommodation booked through Intrepid.
      A taxi from the hotel to the airport should cost around $6USD, and will take approximately 40 minutes depending on traffic. You can ask your leader or at the hotel reception if you would like help arranging a taxi.
      Emergency contact
      In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Thailand Office can be reached on Tel: +66 898 103 722 (Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Borneo, Indonesia, Burma & Phillipines) and Tel: +855 92 555 969 (Cambodia). For all other enquiries please contact our Reservations department which is open 24 hours, 6 days per week (excluding Sunday). For further contact details please refer to:
      Emergency funds
      Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
      Visas
      Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
      We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
      BURMA (MYANMAR):
      Australia: Yes - in advance
      Belgium: Yes - in advance
      Canada: Yes - in advance
      Germany Yes - in advance
      Ireland: Yes - in advance
      Netherlands: Yes - in advance
      New Zealand: Yes - in advance
      South Africa: Yes - in advance
      Switzerland: Yes - in advance
      United Kingdom: Yes - in advance
      USA: Yes - in advance
      Effective as of 01 September 2014, some nationalities including Australians, Canadians, Germans, Dutch, New Zealanders, British and Americas can obtain a tourist visa using a new eVisa system. For information on obtaining an eVisa visit website: www.myanmarevisa.gov.mm.
      Important to note when applying for an eVisa:
      Passport validity must have at least (6) months validity from date of return.
      You will need to present one colour photo (4cm X 6cm) which has been taken within the last 3 months and a copy of your return ticket.
      Length of stay is 28 days from the date of arrival in Myanmar.
      The eVisa fee is US$50 per person, payable by credit card (note: visa fee is non-refundable should the eVisa be denied)
      The processing time is approximately 5 working days for granting an eVisa however we recommend allowing longer in the event of delays.
      The validity of eVisa letter is approximately 3 months from the date of issue. You will be denied entry if you attempt to enter on an expired eVisa.
      eVisas are applicable for single entry into Burma only and you will not be permitted to re-enter on an eVisa that you have previously entered on (multiple entries not possible)
      eVisas are only obtainable if you are arriving into Yangon International Airport. If arriving into another Burma entry point you will need to pre-obtain your visa before departure via a Burmese Embassy.
      Despite having been issued an eVisa Immigration personnel will check the Interpol black list and Myanmar black list and you may be denied entry.
      This information was correct as of 21 August 2014 – please check the above website for further information as this new system is further developed.
      Nationalities who are unable to obtain an eVisa should contact the Burma embassy in their country of residency. Note - you may be requested to provide a letter of invitation from a local Burmese ground operator. In such cases please contact Intrepid to attain this letter and we will forward to you.
      Visas on arrival in Burma are currently unavailable - you should obtain your visa prior to departure.
      Issues on your trip
      While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
      We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
      You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
      What to take
      What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes).
      Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
      You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
      WATER BOTTLE:
      Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.
      Health
      All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
      You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
      DENGUE FEVER:
      Rare instances of dengue fever have been reported in this region. This virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. There is no vaccination against it, but there are preventative measures that you can take such as wearing long clothing, using repellent and being indoors particularly around dusk and dawn.
      Safety
      Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.
      We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
      Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
      For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:
      TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
      Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!
      PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
      While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
      Travel insurance
      Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
      When travelling on a group trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
      If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
      Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
      Responsible Travel
      We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
      A couple of rules
      Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
      The Intrepid Foundation
      Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
      The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your group leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
      Carbon offset
      Carbon Offset C02-e 743.00 kgs per pax.
      Feedback
      After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.
      Remember that once you’ve left your feedback you’ll automatically be entered into our monthly draw for a US$500 (or equivalent in your local currency) travel voucher.