Last Modified: 16 Oct 2016
Bangkok to Bali
Trip code: TTSIC
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Travel from Bangkok to Ubud on a voyage of discovery. Soaking up the regions traditional culture and revel in the exotic flavours of the islands. With golden temples and saffron-robed monks, soft white sand beaches and bright blue skies, tantalising seafood and a host of shopping spots, our journey from Thailand to Indonesia via the Malay Peninsula is sure to delight.
TRIP CHANGES FOR 2016:
Following the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej a 1 year mourning period has been declared in Thailand. In the first 30 days all government offices will fly the Thai flag at half-mast and there will likely be restrictions on the opening hours or selling of alcohol at entertainment venues including pubs and clubs. If your trip is before mid-January 2017 and includes a visit to the Grand Palace, this activity will be replaced with an alternative as the Palace will be closed to tourists while people from all over Thailand pay their respects to the King. Your leader will discuss this and any other changes with you at the Group Meeting on Day 1. As this is an emotional time for Thailand and its people we ask that our travellers wear dark coloured clothing over the next 30 days as a mark of respect to the much loved King.
Table of Contents
Is this trip right for you?
- This trip is a combination of two separate itineraries and does not include the connecting flight from Singapore to Jakarta. Your will need to book your own flight between these destinations, and make your own way to the joining point hotel in Jakarta.
- This trip includes includes walking, hiking, cycling and kayaking. Whilst most of these activities will not require training or much previous experience, a moderate level of fitness will help you to get the most out of this trip.
- On this itinerary we cover a lot of distance. There are some longer travelling days on public and private buses, as well as an overnight train. It is best to prepare for the longer journeys with some snacks and entertainment..
- This itinerary travels through multiple countries, each with their respective customs and National Holidays. Please read the trip notes for more information about what to expect and national holidays.
- We stay with a family in a village homestay in Thailand, with simple mutli-share accommodation. Conservative dress is also recommended.
- Accommodation at Seloliman Nature Reserve, and near Mt Bromo is in basic guesthouses. Set on the edge of a tropical forest the Seloliman Reserve embraces philosophies of environmental education, and we are sure you will get a good nights sleep. The next night close to the base Mt Bromo our guesthouse is selected for it's location. Our stay is short, as we awake very early the next day for our sunrise hike.
- Dress standards in most of Java, Indonesia, are more conservative than other areas of Asia. Conservative dress is also recommended for this portion of the trip. Please refer to the 'What to Take' section of the notes.
Why we love it
- Explore the stunning natural areas including Khao Sok National Park, Ao Thaland near Krabi, and Green Canyon near Pangandaran
- Taste Thai traditions while learning how to cook an authentic Southern Thai dish with a village homestay host
- Travel by train, bus, bicycle, boat, cycle rickshaw, kayak and by foot - all the best ways to get you close to the attractions and chatting to the locals
- Encounter the fusion of cultures that gives Penang a unique atmosphere; walk down the backstreets where colonial buildings, tumble-down shops and hawker-filled alleyways meld with cool street art
- Take a guided walk through the jungle and rice paddies of Seloliman Nature Reserve, then sit back, relax and soak up the ambience under the stars
- Climbing Mt Bromo in the early hours of the morning is an adventure to remember. If the conditions are right, you'll be rewarded with a dazzling sunset over mist-laden volcanoes
- There's plenty of time to chill out at beautiful Balian Beach, with a morning yoga class included
Day 1 Bangkok
Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1.
Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
Thailand's bustling capital, Bangkok is famous for its tuk tuks, khlong boats and street vendors serving up delicious Thai food.
Bangkok has so much to offer those with time to explore - why not take a riverboat to Chinatown and explore the crowded streets, uncover the magnificent Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, wander down the tourist mecca of Khao San Road, or indulge in some Thai massage?
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 Bangkok
Begin the day with a river cruise down the Chao Phraya River to explore the famous ‘khlongs’ (canals) (approximately 1 hour). Life along these canals seems a world away from the chaotic streets of the capital. Pay a visit to Wat Pho, one of the ‘trinity’ of Bangkok temples, with a 46-metre long gold plated Buddha reclining inside. Even the feet of this statue are incredible, three metres long and intricately decorated with mother of pearl. The temple grounds are equally fascinating, filled with beautifully decorated stupas, halls, and shrines. No trip to Thailand is complete without an overnight train journey. This evening you’ll head south to Surat Thani on an overnight train journey, accommodated in air-conditioned sleeping berths (approximately 12 hours). Multi share compartments have bunk beds, with sheets and pillow provided. Your baggage travels in the carriage with you. There is a food and drink service available on board.
- Bangkok - Khlong boat (canal) tour
- Bangkok - Wat Pho Temple
- Bangkok - Thai Massage - THB250
- Bangkok - Chinatown Food Discovery Urban Adventure - THB2149
- Bangkok - Grand Palace - THB500
- Bangkok - Jim Thompson's House - THB150
Overnight sleeper train (1 nt)
Day 3 Khao Sok National Park
Arrive into Surat Thani in the morning and then and travel by minivan to Khao Sok (approximately 2.5 hours). Set amid hectares of thick jungle, waterfalls, limestone cliffs and topped off with an island-studded lake, the national park of Khao Sok is a nature lover's paradise. Here you’ll have free time to explore one of the oldest rainforest in the world. Walk along the dirt trails that snake through the quiet park, looking out for wildlife as you head for rivers and waterfalls. The park is home to boar, gaur, gibbons, deer, wild elephants, and even the occasional tiger. The flora is also top-notch, with the rare Rafflesia Kerri, one of the world’s largest flowers, only found in Thailand here. There are longer hiking trails also available and in the rainy season there's an option to take to the water in inner tubes and float down the river through the rainforest. Spend a night in a rustic hut amid ancient gnarled rainforest trees.
Resort (1 nt)
Day 4 Khao Sok
Travel through pristine jungle, rubber and oil plantations before boarding a long tail boat for a ride across stunning Cheow Lan Lake, with one of its island as your destination. With limestone karst hills rising almost 1,000 metres into the air and surrounded by beautiful green waters, the area is incredibly picturesque. Trek to the an island cave and discover its eerie stalactites and bats hanging from the celling, with subterranean streams at your feet. You’ll enjoy lunch in a local raft-house before having free time to relax, swim or kayak around the lake to search for wildlife – the water is clear and teems with aquatic life, and you might spot hornbills, langurs, macaques or gibbons above water. Return to your accommodation for the night.
- Khao Sok - Cheow Lan Lake tour
Resort (1 nt)
Day 5 Homestay
Sit back and enjoy a local bus ride to Krabi province – you’ll travel by private minibus to your village homestay (approximately 3 hours). When you arrive, enjoy a walk with your homestay host around the village, try out rubber tapping and enjoy the great food and hospitality of the region. Thailand is one of the world’s three largest producers of rubber, and you can try your hand at ‘tapping’ a rubber tree – skimming the bark off the tree to create a path for the milky white latex to run down. There is also an opportunity to assist with the preparation of tonight's meal – learn some of the delicious secrets of southern Thai cooking and enjoy a dinner that tastes all the better thanks to your handiwork! This is a wonderful opportunity to absorb some of the daily rituals of Thai culture.
Notes: Please be aware that this is a Muslim region so conservative dress standards are appreciated. Your homestay is located in a small friendly village, in basic multishare rooms with mattresses and mosquito nets provided. Bathroom facilities are shared.
- Homestay - Village walk
- Homestay - Thai cooking demonstration
Homestay (1 nt)
1 lunch, 1 dinner
Day 6 Krabi
Make the short journey by private minibus to the stunning surrounds of Krabi and your base at Ao Nang (approximately 30 minutes). Famous for the incredible limestone karst scenery of the headland, sun-seekers will fall in love with Krabi's unspoilt beaches, the spectacular cliffs will tempt avid rock climbers, while scuba fans can embark on a Krabi diving adventure. If you love getting out on the water and exploring islands, then consider taking a trip by boat to explore Phi Phi and Khai Nok, islands surrounded by white sandy beach perfect for swimming and snorkelling. The area around Krabi is also home to some of the most spectacular climbing routes around. Whether you're a novice or a pro, being securely tied high up a limestone cliff-face looking down on jungle and crystalline seas is unforgettable. In the evening, look out for a beautiful sunset and consider dining on seafood in a beachside restaurant, followed by a drink in one of the many clubs and bars along on the beach.
- Ao Nang - Rock Climbing - THB1800
- Ao Nang - Scuba Diving (3 dives) - THB4000
- Ao Nang - Phi Phi Island Day Tour - THB1600
- Ao Nang - Thai Cooking Class - THB1300
Guesthouse (1 nt)
Day 7 Krabi
This morning you’ll enjoy an included half day Sea Kayaking trip to the mangrove forest of Ao Thalane. About half way along the coast between Than Bok Khoranee and Krabi town is a bay of mangroves that might just be the most beautiful bay in Thailand. Surrounded by towering karst formations and many small offshore islands, let the waterways become your pathway as you move slowly through the bays and canyons, discover inlets, caves and hidden lagoons, and check out the local wildlife up-close – the birds overhead and monkeys in the trees. If you do see a monkey, make sure you secure your belongings and any food! If you have time today in the afternoon, you could explore the beautiful underwater world around Ao Nang with some scuba diving, which includes three dives, or maybe absorb Thai culture through the tastes of a Thai cooking class. In the evenings, you can stroll the beaches, sample local fare at a seafood restaurant, enjoy a relaxing massage on the beach, or simply sit back with a good book and a cool cocktail to watch the sun slip beneath the waves.
Guesthouse (1 nt)
Day 8 Penang
Get out your best book or find your entertainment at the scenery out the window, as today’s a long day of travel (approximately 9 hours). The journey by private minibus sees you say goodbye to Thailand and wave hello to the cultural melting pot of Malaysia. The fascinating island of Penang was the first destination of the colonial British in 1786. They invited the Chinese, as well as others from all over Asia, to live on this island in the tropics. Today, this exotic fusion of cultures still exists and the World Heritage site of Georgetown contains a fascinating mix of religious places of worship. When you arrive, you’ll take an orientation walk around the blend of colonial buildings, tumble-down shops and hawker-filled alleyways to get your bearings. The food here might just be the best in Malaysia, so tonight why not seek out the endless food stalls of this food paradise. Your guide can give you some tips, or ask the locals! Look out for local specialties like Nasi Kandar, Penang Laksa, and Char Kway Teow.
- Penang - Orientation Walk
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 9 Penang
This morning you’ll take a half day sightseeing walking tour around Penang and Georgetown, soaking up the relaxed pace of life and the mix of cultures on show in this heritage area. See the original 19th century shophouses, the street markets, and the strong cultural and religious identity still on display in each neighbourhood – Little India, Chinatown or the Muslim Quarter. Check out the street art that adorns the walls and stop by a clan jetty. Clans were formed by 19th century immigrants, banding together based on the area of China that they came from, and they built rival waterfront societies on wooden jetties. You’ll also pay a visit to Thai and Burmese temples, and see Kek Lok Si Temple, the largest Buddhist temple in South East Asia. You’ll have this afternoon free and, aside from sauntering along the interesting streets (or hoping in a trishaw for a ride that will take you back in time), you might visit Fort Cornwallis, built to defend the city from invasion, or see the clan house of Khoo Kongsi. Check out the ornate carvings on the walls, roof and pillars, and maybe see more Chinese architecture in the memorably blue Courtyard House of Cheong Fatt Tze, a fabulously wealthy merchant. Don’t forget to feast on the island’s culinary delights tonight.
- Penang - Half Day Sightseeing
- Penang - Kek Lok Si
- Penang - Fort Cornwallis - MYR20
- Penang - Khoo Kongsi - MYR10
- Penang - Funicular Railway - MYR55
- Penang - Trishaw Ride - MYR50
- Penang - Chong Fat Tze Museum - MYR12
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 10 Kuala Lumpur
Take a local bus to Kuala Lumpur (approx 5 hrs).
Kuala Lumpur, the cosmopolitan capital of Malaysia, is affectionately known as KL and you'll almost always hear locals refer to it by its acronym. Communities of Indian, Chinese and ethnic Malay people mingle peacefully, allowing travellers to get the best of all three worlds.
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 11 Kuala Lumpur
Take a half-day tour and absorb the fascinating multicultural mix that gives Kuala Lumpur such a uniquely cosmopolitan feel. You’ll also visit some of the city's most impressive architecture such as the National Monument (commemorating those who died in Malaysia's struggle for freedom and based on the Iwo Jima Memorial in the USA), the vast National Mosque, featuring a bold and modern design, and the Istana Negara (National Palace). You’ll also drop by the Royal Selangor Club, which looks like it’s come straight from Tudor England, and scale the 272 steps up to the Batu Caves, where shrines are filled with fascinating statues of the Hindu Gods. In free time, you might stroll Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square), or shop in Suria KLCC (one of Malaysia’s premier shopping destinations) and then head up to the Skybridge & Observation Deck of the iconic Petronas Towers. Those with a head for heights can also climb up the KL Tower at dusk and watch the city lights come to life. Lake Gardens is home to a number of sights, including the National Planetarium and the superb Islamic Arts Museum, home to a standout collection. If culture’s your thing then perhaps enjoy a cultural show, or try your hand at Batik, a technique of dying cloth that’s a real art form. Tonight, be sure to indulge in the myriad tasty food options Kuala Lumpur is famous for.
- Kuala Lumpur - KL Tower - MYR49
- Kuala Lumpur - Cultural Show - MYR5
- Kuala Lumpur - Batik Day Course - MYR30
- Kuala Lumpur - Petronas Towers Skybridge & Observation Deck - MYR86
- Kuala Lumpur - Planetarium - MYR12
- Kuala Lumpur - Islamic Arts Museum - MYR12
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 12 Melaka
Transfer by local bus to the old port town of Melaka (approximately 3 hours). Back when Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore left little impression on a map, the historic city of Melaka was the most important trading port in Malaysia, attracting Chinese, Indian, Dutch, Portuguese and British traders. These visitors sought wealth or an opportunity to control the Straits of Malacca, a vital trading route between the Indian and Pacific oceans, which lead to 400 years of colonial rule. Today, Melaka's wealth of historical sites remind visitors of times gone by, and its multicultural past is revealed in its distinctive cuisine. Like Georgetown, the Melaka was declared a World Heritage Site in 2008, and like its Penang sibling, the city is a harmonic mix of cultures, a place where colonial buildings sit next to Chinese shophouses and temples.
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 13 Melaka
Today you’ll get to know this port city better with a quaint trishaw tour along the narrow winding streets. You’ll admire Chinatown's unique Peranakan architecture, get a taste of old Melaka, and learn about the ancient spice trade. Take in sites such as Harmony Street (so called because it contains the prayer houses of Malaysia's three main faiths), and stop by a mosque, Chinese Buddhist Temples, and a traditional Muslim house-museum. In your free time this afternoon there are plenty of historic sights and museums to check out. From 17th century Dutch buildings and ships, to museums that showcase the local history of ethnic Chinese-Malays, the travels of diplomat and explorer Zheng He, and even a museum that focuses on concepts of beauty in different cultures. If you’re looking to get more active then you could perhaps jump on two wheels for an Eco Bike tour around the city, or see Melaka from a different perspective with a boat tour along the river.
- Melaka - Guided Orientation Walk
- Melaka - Trishaw Tour
- Melaka - Stadhuys - MYR10
- Melaka - Taming Sari Tower - MYR22
- Portuguese ship Replica, Melaka - MYR7
- Melaka - Baba Nonya Heritage Museum - MYR8
- Melaka - Cheng Ho Museum - MYR20
- Melaka - Eco Bike Tour - MYR100
- Melaka - Museum Of Enduring Beauty - MYR1
- Melaka - River Tour - MYR17
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 14 Singapore
Travel by local bus to Singapore (approx 5 hrs).
Singapore has few areas untouched by modernisation, but wandering the streets of Little India and Chinatown is a great way to see the old parts of the city. To explore further, check out the renowned shopping precinct of Orchard Road, or stop by Raffles to experience the old world charm of a Singapore Sling. An evening in Singapore is not complete without an evening stroll along Clarke Quay or take a river cruise to learn more about the fascinating history of this city.
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 15 Jakarta
The flight between Singapore and Jakarta is NOT included on this trip. It is recommended to book your flight well in advance to secure availability. Please book your flight to arrive to Jakarta this afternoon so that you can arrive in time to join the group meeting at 6.00pm.
Selamat datang! Welcome to Indonesia.
If you arrive early, Jakarta has some interesting museums, such as the Wayang (puppetry), Balai Seni Rupa (fine arts) and Maritime museums. The National Museum is also a good introduction for first time visitors. If you'd like to learn about Indonesia's more recent history, head to the Purna Bhakti Pertiwi Museum, where the life of Suharto is on display, along with many of the gifts that were given to him during his tenure in office.
Monuments abound in the city - don't miss Si Jagur, an old Portuguese cannon ornately decorated with sexual imagery, or the Monas (National Monument) dedicated to the spirit of the Indonesian people.
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group will change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 16 Jakarta
Familiarise yourself with the city on a morning walking tour with your local guide. Take in Sunda Kelapa port, where the Dutch first landed, temple-filled Chinatown and the old town of Batavia. Visit a Chinese mansion (Chandra Naya) and gain an insight into the beautiful Peranakan architecture. Wander about Fatahillah Square, then explore the religious side of the city at Cathedral Church and Istiqlal Mosque, the largest mosque in South-East Asia. Meander through the antique market at Jalan Surabaya.
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 17 Pangandaran
Today there is some distance to cover, so you will spend most of the day travelling. Travel by train to Pukuwerto City (approximately 5.5 hours), then take a private minibus to Pangandaran (approximately 3 hours). Pangandaran is a small fishing village popular with visitors looking for a coastal escape. The Penanjung Nature Reserve on the adjoining peninsula boasts some impressive flora and fauna.
- Pangandaran - Guided trek in coastal reserve - IDR200000
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 18 Pangandaran
Set off on a tour of the local surrounds, villages, cottage industries and the impressive green canyon. Your day trip begins with a stop at a local market to check out the produce and home industries such as palm sugar and rice cracker production, as well as the famous Javanese 'Wayan Golek' (traditional wooden puppets). Then you'll continue to the Green Canyon. Hop aboard your boat and travel upriver (approximately 30 minutes) through superb jungle scenery, before a swim up into the canyon itself. This spot, whose water is green as its name suggests, is a popular hangout for locals, so take the opportunity to interact. Your day concludes at a nearby beach where you can take a break for lunch and swim in the afternoon before heading back.
- Pangandaran - Green Canyon and local industries tour
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 19 Yogyakarta
Head inland by private minibus (approximately 1 hour) before catching a train to Yogyakarta (approximately 4 hours). This town is one of South-East Asia's real gems. It's Java's cultural heart, has a great atmosphere and is an Intrepid favourite. From batik workshops to the nearby Hindu and Buddhist temples, 'Yogya' offers a great array of cultural avenues to explore.
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 20 Yogyakarta
Rise early to catch the morning light and avoid the crowds at Candi Borobudur, the largest Buddhist structure on earth. This magnificent UNESCO World Heritage site is set in a tranquil park. As you approach, you'll see the enigmatic temple rise before you, looming above the tropical foliage. With your local guide, follow the route of ancient pilgrims, circling the mandala-shaped structure from the early realms towards Nirvana. It's truly one of South East Asia's treasures. Afterwards, enjoy an afternoon of free time. You might like to visit one of Yogya's other heritage temples – this time perhaps of the Hindu variety. Prambanan Temple is the largest Hindu complex in Java.
- Yogyakarta - Borobudur temple complex tour
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 21 Yogyakarta
Pedal out of the city on a cycling tour (approximately 15–20 km) through the rice fields and countryside surrounding Yogyakarta. See the locals in this area making various goods, from bricks to tofu to tempe. As well as palms and lush green grasslands, you will see the odd burst of yellow and pink flowers by the side of the road, which make for great photo opportunities. This cycling tour is on relatively flat ground, so it won't be too strenuous. There will be ample time to take in all the interesting scenes of slow-paced local life.
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 22 Seloliman Nature Reserve
Travel by train (approximately 4.5 hours) before transferring on a minivan (approximately 1 hour) to Seloliman Nature Reserve. The peaceful Seloliman Nature Reserve is situated on the slopes of the sacred Penanggungan volcano. Meet some of the volunteers working at the Seloliman Environmental Education Centre and eat delicious, locally grown organic produce cooked by their staff. The centre's accommodation is atmospheric, with open-air bathrooms built in harmony with the surrounding forest, so take this opportunity to relax. This is a beautiful spot to appreciate nature – be sure to sit under the stars tonight and take in the ambience of the mountainous surrounds.
- Seloliman - PPLH Guided village and rice terrace walk
Guesthouse (1 nt)
1 breakfast, 1 dinner
Day 23 Mt Bromo
Join reserve staff on a walk around the reserve, learning about the local environment and the Javanese tradition of herbal medicine (approximately 2.5 hours). You'll gain an insight into local flora and fauna, traditional farming methods, rice production, the mini hydro electricity plant and the local village coffee shop. Finish up with a traditional Jamu demonstration and a tasting of 'Javanese medicine'. Continue on to Mt Bromo, the timeless homeland of the Tenggerese (approximately 4 hours). The still-active Mount Bromo (2,329 m) is the most well known volcano of the Tengger massif. This region is also the homeland of the Tenggerese and the steep, cultivated hills of the Tengger Valley. Our guesthouse tonight is basic, but we stay here so we have a short drive before starting the hike tomorrow. Retire early tonight, in preparation for tomorrow's early start.
Guesthouse (1 nt)
1 breakfast, 1 lunch
Day 24 Kalibaru
Your early start (3.30 am) will be well worth it. You'll climb to a nearby hill for fantastic views over Mt Bromo. The climb is not too difficult (approximately 45 minutes), but it can be very cold, so don't forget to bring extra layers of clothing. It's also worth bringing a scarf to cover your nose and mouth, as it can get dusty. If the weather is clear, the sunrise over this eerie sea of volcanoes is an unforgettable experience. Take a bus transfer to Probolingo, and travel by train to Kalibaru (approximately 4.5 hours). You'll stop for lunch en route, then arrive in the afternoon, with time to relax by the pool or perhaps indulge in a local massage.
Notes: At times of increased volcanic activity the crater of Mt Bromo is closed. There may be amendments to your sunrise hike and this portion of the trip depending on necessary safety precautions.
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 25 Pemuteran
Head out early in the morning to tour nearby coffee, cocoa and rubber plantations. You'll see how rubber is processed, how coffee is dried, and, if there's time, how cocoa is fermented. Before you set off, enjoy a nice cup of coffee or tea and snack on fried banana. Travel by minibus to the far eastern end of Java, Gilimanuk (approximately 3 hours). There is often a lot of heavy traffic on this stretch of road as it's the main entry point for Bali, so there may be some delays. Next you'll board a ferry across the Java Strait (approximately 1 hour), before boarding another minibus for a journey along the north west coast of Bali (approximately 1 hours). Travel on to Pemuteran, your destination for the next two nights.
- Kalibaru - Coffee, cocoa and rubber plantation tour
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 26 Balian Beach
Enjoy a relaxing day in this gorgeous beachside spot. Maybe the day
with a relaxing yoga class and then explore the local area at your own pace. Visit the surrounding monkey-filled temples, go swimming, snorkelling, or simply sit back, relax and watch the fishermen go about their work.
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 27 Ubud
Make the short journey to Ubud (approximately 5 hours). En route, stop in at Taman Ayun Temple, taking in the impressive Balinese architecture while you stroll around the tranquil gardens. Ubud is Bali's main arts and cultural centre, recently made famous by the Hollywood movie Eat Pray Love. It's a wonderful place to experience the magic that has made Bali such a popular travel destination.
Notes: Your hotel room in Ubud has a simple ceiling fan. Air-conditioning is not included, but can be provided at an additional cost. You can pay for this locally – please enquire at the hotel reception.
- Mengwi - Taman Ayu Temple
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 28 Ubud
Your trip comes to an end after breakfast this morning.
There is plenty to see and do if you're staying longer. Hire a bicycle and explore the surrounding rice paddies and small villages; or visit galleries, museums and handicraft merchants in town.
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. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! 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. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.
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.
Bangkok - Khlong boat (canal) tour
Bangkok - Wat Pho Temple
Khao Sok - Cheow Lan Lake tour
Homestay - Village walk
Homestay - Thai cooking demonstration
Krabi - Sea Kayaking
Penang - Orientation Walk
Penang - Half Day Sightseeing
Penang - Kek Lok Si
Kuala Lumpur - City tour
Melaka - Guided Orientation Walk
Melaka - Trishaw Tour
Jakarta - City Tour
Pangandaran - Green Canyon and local industries tour
Yogyakarta - Borobudur temple complex tour
Seloliman - PPLH Guided village and rice terrace walk
Sunrise Mt Bromo climb
Kalibaru - Coffee, cocoa and rubber plantation tour
Mengwi - Taman Ayu Temple
1. The flight from Singapore to Jakarta on Day 15 is NOT included. Please see Day 15 of the Itinerary for details on when to book your connecting flight.
2. In order to book the train tickets on this trip we require your full passport details at time of booking.
3. A single supplement is available on this trip. Please see 'Your Fellow Travellers' section of the trip notes for excluded nights.
Maximum of 12 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.
Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. 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 trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (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.
A Single Supplement is available on this trip with the exclusion of the following:
Day 2 - Overnight train
Day 5 - Homestay
Day 22 - Seloliman Nature Reserve
Day 23 - Mt Bromo
Guesthouse (4nt), Homestay (1nt), Hotel (17nt), Overnight sleeper train (1nt), Resort (2nt)
OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Intrepid trips than your own.
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.
PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
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.
Strict vegetarians should be aware that a lot of Indonesian cooking contains fermented shrimp paste (terasi) as a basic ingredient. Although there are many vegetarian options available, please be specific when ordering food, as often a little chicken is included with most dishes.
19 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 2 dinners
Bus, Ferry, Mini coach, Minibus, Minivan, Overnight sleeper train, Private Bus, Private minibus, Public bus, Taxi, Train, Van
Overnight sleeper trains in Thailand are air-conditioned with sleeping berths down both sides of the carriage. The carriage is multishare, and there are curtains that close over the beds. A sleeping sheet and a pillow are provided, and our luggage travels in the carriage with us. There is a western and Asian-style toilet located at the end of the carriage, with carriage lights staying on during the night.
TRAVEL IN JAVA
Java is one of the most one of the largest islands in Indonesia, and we cover a large distance on this trip. Where suitable we travel by train to make the journey more comfortable but on some days we will be taking road transport. Travel times can be long, and traffic can be heavy and slow, especially over holiday periods. You will be expected to carry your own bags onto and off trains, and for short distances (porters are available in most stations at an extra charge).
TRANSPORT IN BALI:
In Bali we travel by generally travel in 2 minivans in order to access more remote areas such as Bedugul, and for safety on the busy and narrow Balinese roads. Your leader will rotate between the vehicles.
When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document).
Budget for meals not included:
We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.
The official currency of Thailand is the Baht (THB).
The official currency of Malaysia is the Ringgit (MYR).
The official currency of Singapore is the Singapore dollar (SGD).
The official currency of Indonesia is the Rupiah (IDR).
US$ notes older than 2000 series can't be changed in Indonesia.
If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. Although can be difficult to source we advise you to carry small notes of local currency each day to make tipping easier.
The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest US$1. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.
Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest US$2-US$3 per day for local guides.
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 we suggest US$1-US$2 per day for drivers.
Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline US$2-US$4 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.
In total, we recommend you budget approx US$5-US$10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.
Optional Tipping Kitty:
At your group meeting on Day 1 your tour leader will discuss with you the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This is often the easiest way to avoid the hassles of needing small change and knowing when and what is an appropriate amount to tip. Participation in this kitty at your own discretion.
Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult
The receipt of commissions or kickbacks in exchange for recommending particular shops or services is ingrained in the culture of the tourism industry. Rather than turning a blind eye to this unavoidable issue in some areas, Intrepid has established a centralised fund whereby contributions from recommended suppliers are collected and distributed back into the business. Intrepid aim to provide the best value trips in the market, and this fund assists in keeping operating costs and trip prices low to you.
A priority in establishing this fund is that the experience of our traveller - you - is not compromised in any way. Please let us know via the feedback form completed after your trip if we are successfully meeting this objective.
Departure tax from all Indonesian Airports, for domestic and international flights, is included in the price of your flight ticket.
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.
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 and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. 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 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 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:
Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.
Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.
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 or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
MOTORBIKE BAG SNATCHING:
Be particularly aware of motorbike bag snatching, especially in the bigger cities.
Please take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water, where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It's expected that anyone taking part in water activities is able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water.
Helmets are provided for all included cycling activities. If you prefer you can bring your own to ensure the right fit and quality.
Nouvo City Hotel (Canal Wing)
2 Samsen Road
Phone: +66 22815596
Joining point description
Centrally located and close-by the famous Khao San road, the Nouvo City Hotel is within walking distance of many of the area's main attractions such as: Grand Palace, National Museum and Wat Po. Rooms are equipped with private en-suite, Formerly known as the New World City Hotel they have changed their name on the 1st of December 2014 to merge with the Nouvo City Hotel. We use the "canal wing" for all of our Intrepid Original trips that stay at this property.
Breakfast is not included but a buffet breakfast can be purchased in the hotel's restaurant.
Please note that no alcohol is served in this hotel but there are lots of great bars across the road
Joining point instructions
Metered taxi ranks are located outside the airport entrance on the 1st floor (gate 4 and 7). Go out of the customs hall, down to the 1st level and walk outside the airport where there is a table with a sign saying "metered taxis". The cost is the metered fare plus a THB50 surcharge. If the taxi uses the toll way it is up to an extra THB75. The total fare should be about THB400 Baht (US$11). Non-metered taxis are also available, where you will be given a docket to pay the driver a set price of THB700 (US$20).
Alternatively Intrepid offer a pre arranged transfer service option. Enquire with your agent and advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your trip departure. If you have purchased an arrival transfer you will be met after exiting customs. Look for exit door 6 and our representative holding a sign with your name on it.
If you have any problems and cannot locate our transfer representative on arrival please go to the ATTA Counter (Association of Thai Travel Agents) near exit door 6 on the same floor and ask them to call our transfer operator World Travel Idea 24hr number 081 658 2727 or 081 566 9324.
Check in time at the hotel is after 14.00
Dreamtel Hotel - Jakarta
No17-19 Jalan Johar. Jakarta Pusat 13250
Phone: +62 3928728
Fax: +62 3161713
Continuing point description
The Dreamtel Jakarta is located within 10 minutes walk from the National Monument. The old town of Jakarta is approximately a 20 minute drive, while it is 45 minutes from the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. The hotel amenities include an on-site restaurant, a 24-hour front desk, luggage storage and safety deposit boxes at the front desk. Each room has a flat-screen cable TV, electric kettle, tea/coffee-making facilities, a personal safe, minibar and ensuite bathroom. Guests can access free Wi-Fi in all areas.
Continuing point instructions
Taxis are cheap, safe and reliable. As you emerge from immigration you will pass an indoor counter for official public taxis - please go to this counter to get a taxi. Expect to pay around 250,000 IDR – the meter will not be turned on. There are also road tolls that need to be paid of between 30,000 – 40,000 IDR. The trip takes approx. one hour, though it can take longer during peak hours. Please note that if your taxi driver is unsure of the location of your hotel, please advise them that the Dreamtel Hotel is located right next to Hotel Cemara Sabang, which is the oldest hotel in the area and known to all taxi drivers.
It is also possible to take the DAMRI shuttle bus from the airport. There is a DAMRI bus counter in each terminal and the cost is 30,000 to Gambir station. From Gambir station you can take a metered taxi for around 30,000 to the hotel.
Please note we cannot provide private arrival transfers in Jakarta.
Artini 2 Cottages
2 Jalan Hanoman
Phone: +62 361975689
Fax: +62 361 813956
Finish point description
Located close to the centre of Ubud. Please be aware that there are three Artini hotels in Ubud. Our hotel is Artini 2 or 'Artini dua' in Indonesian. The complex is surrounded by lovely gardens and a great swimming pool. All rooms have private facilities and are fan cooled. The staff are friendly and helpful as well.
Finishing point instructions
Departure transfers are available for booking - please ask your booking agent. If you have pre-booked a departure transfer you will be collected from the hotel approximately 4 hours before your departure time. Please ask your leader to reconfirm your pick up time.
Alternatively, the hotel can help you book a taxi to the airport. Expect to pay about IDR300,000 for the approx 1.5 hour journey to the airport.
Normal checkout time is 11am. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel.
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.
If entering by air most nationalities will be granted a 30 day stay on arrival.
If entering by a land border, you will be granted a 15 day stay only (some exceptions are citizens of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Italy, Germany and Japan who are eligible for 30 day visa at land borders). A visa extension can be obtained in Thailand at an immigration office for approx. 2000THB or alternatively you can apply for a Thailand visa in advance from your embassy or consulate that will allow a 30 day stay when entering at an overland border.
If planning to enter Thailand via a land border multiple times during your travels, we recommend you pre-obtain a 60 day multiple entry visa from you embassy or consulate before you travel rather than attempting to obtain a visa at the border on multiple occasions which may result in being denied re-entry into the country.
Most nationalities do not need visas to visit Malaysia as a tourist for up to three months. Please check with your relevant Malaysian embassy or consulate.
Most nationalities do not require a visa to visit Singapore. Tourists not requiring a visa will be granted a 30 day stay on arrival. Other nationalities should check with their Singapore embassy or consulate.
Passport holders for most nationalities are now permitted to enter Visa Free for up to 30 days for tourism purposes. In March 2016 Australia and Ireland have been added to the list of countries now exempt from visas for visits for tourism purposes under 30 days. Please check with your relevant consulate or embassy.
Entry requirements: presentation of onward or return tickets, passport which is valid for at least 6 months. Visitors on Visa-Free Short Visits must enter AND exit from certain airports and seaports in Indonesia including: Jakarta (Soekarno-Hatta Airport), Bali (Ngurah Rai Airport), Yogyakarta (Adisucipto Airport) and Surabaya (Juanda Airport). This currently excludes entry and exist from Lombok (Bandar Udara International Airport). Visa-Free Short Visits cannot be extended and cannot be transferred to another type of visa.
Some nationalities are required to obtain a visa on arrival, or in advance. Citizens of countries who aren't on the visa on arrival or visa free lists are required to apply for a visa overseas before travelling to Indonesia.
Nationals of all countries planning to stay for more than 30 days in Indonesia have to apply for the appropriate visa at an overseas Indonesian consulate or embassy before their departure.
Local laws require that you must be able show your valid passport at any time when required to do so by an immigration office. We recommend taking a clear photocopy of your passport photo page, and visa (after arriving), to carry with you.
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, although you won't be required to walk long distances with it (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.
Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:
TRAVELLING ON LOCAL TRANSPORT
It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary that your luggage gets stowed separately (and unattended). The smaller your bag the better for you and other passengers, for when it comes to travelling on local buses and trains it's often only the smaller bags that will fit into the storage areas inside the bus or your cabin. To ensure maximum comfort, try to pack small and light.
Where Intrepid covers the cost of luggage storage during included day trips, we allow for one bag/backpack only, so it's advisable that you travel lightly and keep luggage to a limit of one item (plus your day pack). Extra luggage storage will be at your own expense.
LUGGAGE RESTRICTIONS ON TRAINS IN JAVA:
Newly introduced luggage restrictions limit bag size and weight for train travel in Java. Bags must be 20 kilograms or under and within the dimensions of 70cm long x 48cm wide x 30 cm deep. Charges for luggage in excess of 20 kilograms are IDR10 000 per kilo. Intrepid will not pay for any excess luggage.
We recommend taking a backpack and packing lightly as we will be getting on and off trains in Java.
We recommend to bring appropriate walking shoes for the included walks. Surfaces can sometimes be slippery, so shoes with good grip are preferable.
When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative throughout Asia, especially outside major cities. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot Asian climate. In many rural areas in Asia women will need to wear modest clothing even to swim. Singlets, tank tops and topless sun bathing are all unacceptable. When visiting religious sites men often need to wear long trousers and women a long skirt or sarong.
You visit a number of temples on this trip so it's a good idea to take a sarong along with you as it is compulsory to wear in a lot of temples and for shoulders and knees to be covered. Singlets, tank tops, shorts are not acceptable attire for temple visits.
Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. 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 ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.
Climate and seasonal information
RAMADAN & THE EID UL-FITR FESTIVAL
In 2017, the important month of Ramadan will be in progress from 27th May until 26th June and the Eid ul-Fitr festival will be held directly at its conclusion for 3-4 days.
Ramadan is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan, business hours are shortened, including opening hours at some tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. Please note that drivers and leaders of Muslim faith are likely to be fasting over Ramadan. While you should expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month is a fantastic opportunity to travel in a Muslim country and witness this unique period, particularly the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken. Please note that although the Eid ul-Fitr festival can also be a fascinating time to travel it's a period of national holiday. Most government offices and businesses will be closed and some tourist site opening hours may be affected.
CHINESE NEW YEAR:
An important 15-day festival for the Malaysian Chinese, based on the lunar calendar in January or February. In 2016, the Year of the Monkey is scheduled to be held from 8th February. This can be a busy time and some transport delays, shop closures and reduced opening hours at some sites may be expected, but there are also many fabulous festivals and rituals to observe during this time, so it's a great time to travel. Although we make all reasonable efforts to avoid disruption a flexible approach from the traveller is appreciated.
NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE DAY:
National Independence Day for Indonesia takes place on 17 August. Around this time you may experience some delays to transport, or alternative accommodation may be need to be sourced.
BALINESE NEW YEAR:
Known as Nyepi and based on the lunar calendar (new moon), it takes place in March or April each year (28 March 2017, 9 March 2018). Local custom requires that all people in Bali observe a day of silence and do not leave their homes. Flights to/from Denpasar airport will be suspended for this day. We endeavour to schedule our trip departures so as to avoid this day, but please note that the exact date is announced quite late, so can be difficult to avoid.
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 Travel 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.
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.
From June to October, Malaysia can experience air pollution from forest fires in Indonesia. Current recorded pollution readings in a number of states are higher than usual for this time of year. The persistent hot and dry weather conditions also causes dust to remain suspended in the air and accumulate, causing haze. Please be aware of this if you suffer from any medical conditions exasperated by air pollution.
Areas of Thailand are experiencing ongoing transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus, and limited transmission in Malaysia and Singapore. We advise all travellers to protect themselves from mosquito bites. Given possible transmission of the disease to unborn babies, and taking a very cautious approach, pregnant women should consider postponing travel to Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, or talk to their doctor about possible implications.
Please see further information about the Zika virus (and our current cancellation/change policy) on our safety page of the Intrepid website at http://www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us/safety
Health authorities in Bali have reported of an increase in the number of local people being hospitalised with rabies.
To avoid the risk of contracting rabies:
- Do not pat or touch any wild or domestic animals during travel
- Do not attempt to pick up an unusually tame, unfamiliar animal
- Do not attract stray animals by being careless with litter
Pre-exposure vaccine is available but receiving rabies vaccine prior to travel does not preclude the need for post-exposure medical evaluation and additional doses of rabies vaccine. There is a shortage of rabies vaccine in Indonesia and if you are bitten by an animal you should consider travelling to Singapore or your country of origin for treatment.
* Immediately wash the wound with soap and running water for 5 minutes.
* If possible apply an iodine solution or 40-50% alcohol (whiskey or other spirit can be used)
* Seek medical advice about the need for rabies vaccination and possible antibiotics for a bite wound infection as soon as possible. Tetanus vaccine may also be required.
All travellers who have possibly been exposed to the rabies virus, whether by bites, scratches or other exposure, should seek medical advice without delay. Medical advice should be sought without delay even if pre-exposure vaccine was received.
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 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.
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.
Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
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.
Civet coffee, or Kopi Luwak as it’s known in Indonesia, is made from coffee beans that have been partially digested and then excreted by small cat-like mammals known as civets. High demand for this expensive drink, as well as the rising popularity of Kopi Luwak with international travellers has led to a proliferation of plantations across Indonesia. However, investigations by the likes of World Animal Protection reveal increasing animal cruelty to meet demands. Rather than sourcing beans from the wild, producers are capturing civets (highly active nocturnal animals) and keeping them caged in cramped, inhumane conditions on farms. Due to the numerous ethical questions surrounding the coffee beans, we strongly encourage our travellers to refrain from purchasing Kopi Luwak.
If you’d like to know more, visit https://www.worldanimalprotection.org.au/news/civet-coffee-cruelty-cup
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$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
Organisations and projects currently supported by The Intrepid Foundation in Thailand include:
* Friends of the Asian Elephant aims to protect and conserve the welfare of elephants - both domesticated and wild. FAE's elephant hospital provides free medical care and transportation, and is in the process of establishing a nursery in an effort to reduce the high infant mortality rate of domesticated working elephants.
Organisations and projects currently supported by The Intrepid Foundation in Indonesia include:
* Bumi Sehat's mission is to reduce maternal and child morbidity and mortality, as well as to support the health and development of communities. In addition to providing education and training for midwives and community health nurses, their Bali clinic assists approximately 1,000 people each month and their Aceh clinic around 1,500 people each month.
For more information, or to make a donation please visit: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/projects/?projectcountry=indonesia
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.