Burma (Myanmar) Sailing Adventure ex Phuket Trip Notes

Burma (Myanmar) Sailing Adventure ex Phuket

Last Modified: 29 Sep 2016
Burma (Myanmar) Sailing Adventure ex Phuket
Trip code: TSSB
Validity: 01 Apr 2016 to 31 Dec 2017
Departing from Phuket, discover Burma on an Intrepid sailing adventure and dive into an aquatic playground that is truly one of the world’s best-kept secrets. While the backpackers, honeymooners and day-spa crowds have swarmed to the beaches of Thailand and Bali, Burma’s remote Myeik Archipelago has remained almost frozen in time since the days of the early colonial explorers. Difficult to reach and well-off the tourist trails, sailing through these islands offers the chance to glimpse back to a time before the internet, phones, convenience stores and even denim existed, and experience the traditional clothing, local foods and martial arts of Burma’s virtually untouched island cultures. Be surprised by the wealth of pristine coastline, jungled forests and historical sights that span back to the Stone Age, and by the generous locals, who carry smiles that will warm travellers just as much as the ever-present sunshine. Perhaps a little sleepy from their solitude, these are the faces that will no doubt spark a tourist boom in these quiet islands – so get in quick before the crowds arrive.
Table of Contents
StyleYour fellow travellersFinish point
ThemesAccommodationEmergency contact
Is this trip right for you?Accommodation NotesVisas
Why we love itMeals introductionWhat to take
ItineraryTransportTravel insurance
Itinerary disclaimerMoney mattersA couple of rules
Physical ratingGroup leaderResponsible Travel
Important notesSafetyThe Intrepid Foundation
Group sizeJoining pointFeedback
Is this trip right for you?
- You don't need to complete a Physical Participation Form, but it's important to read the trip notes carefully to make sure you're suited to this trip. You’ll need to feel comfortable with moving about the boat. The cabins and communal areas are spread over two decks, and the steps between decks are steep.
- You will be entering and exiting a Zodiac boat during wet and dry landings and when returning from snorkelling. Although the waters are usually calm, it can get rough and choppy, which requires steady sea legs and a sturdy stomach. Rain or shine, your trusty crew will always be on hand to assist you.
- The boats are real yachts, and this is a real sailing trip. Yachts are designed to maximise living area space, so sleeping quarters (typically four twin-share cabins) can be a bit cramped. That said, the adventure and exhilaration of an authentic sailing trip more than makes up for any discomfort.
- While at sea and when exploring the islands, you may be exposed to the sun for large parts of the day. It’s important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water.
- Sometimes changes to the itinerary are necessary due to the weather. This can happen with little notice. If you're flexible and have a sense of humour, you're bound to have a fun and relaxing trip across this beautiful part of the world.
- It's important to have fun, but also to respect your shipmates who might be sleeping. If you do enjoy a late night out, consider booking a hostel (where available) for the night so you don't wake your fellow travellers (and more importantly the skipper) upon your return.
Why we love it
- Disconnect from the modern digital world and find a different kind of buzz on an incredibly relaxing journey through the islands of Myanmar
- Explore the beautiful unspoilt Mergui Archipelago, meeting local wildlife, local fisherman, and the nomadic seafaring community of the Moken along the way
- Sit back and soak up some of the best beaches in the world, and enjoy a BBQ on a secluded stretch of sand with fish caught fresh that day
- Anchor in the calm waters surrounding local islands, where you can kayak, paddleboard and snorkel among stunning marine life
- Embrace the sea-faring life with hammocks on deck, spectacular sunsets, and nights spent out beneath the stars

Day 1 Phuket
Sawatdee. Welcome to Phuket, arguably Thailand’s best known island, and certainly its largest. You can arrive at any time, as there are no activities planned for today. Your accommodation for this evening is located in the middle of the Sirinat National Park and is within walking distance of the beach. It's also convenient for those flying in directly to meet the trip, as it's in close proximity to the airport. If you arrive early, Phuket has some excellent beaches and a huge array of restaurants, bars and shopping to choose from. Spend an evening in the hectic hub of Phuket – perhaps laze on the beautiful beaches before the sun goes down or dine at one of the delicious beachfront restaurants. You'll have an early start tomorrow morning, so please regularly check the hotel noticeboard for information about your transfer – this can be altered at short notice.

Notes: The beauty of sailing is that each day is unique and, while we have a destination to reach, if the weather changes or something takes the group’s fancy, we are flexible on the day's itinerary. The itinerary is subject to change and may vary depending on weather and berth availability. Your skipper will make the final call to ensure your safety at all times.
Nai Yang Beach Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2-7 Ranong/Thae Yae Island
Around 7am, transfer to Ranong (approximately 4.5 hours), then take a longtail boat (approximately 30 minutes) to Kawthoung, stopping briefly at a little island for Thai and Burmese immigration purposes. Once in Kawthoung, meet your skipper and board your home for the next week – Similie. Newly refurbished, this will be your home away from home for the next week. Similie comes with her own on-board chef who will cook up delicious meals from the galley (kitchen) and the boat also comes equipped with kayaks, paddle boards and snorkelling gear. If relaxing is your thing then you may choose one of the other activities on offer – like simply toasting amazing Andaman Sea sunsets from your hammock or bean bag. We’ll be collecting insurance and next of kin information at the initial meeting, and our Burmese guide will sort out formalities in regards to visas and Marine Park fees. Once processing is complete, set sail! Your first port of call is Tae Yae, approximately 12 NM (nautical miles) away. Cruising along at 10-15 knots it will take around 2 hours, under sail approximately 1.5. The isolated Myeik (Mergui) Archipelago is made up of around 800 islands, many deserted, making this an amazing place to explore. The islands' limestone cliffs and dense rainforest meet with vast mangrove stretches and untouched white sand beaches. Underwater, the scenes are just as spectacular with a diversity of marine life and coral reefs. Drop anchor and explore Thae Yae Island. Maybe try sea kayaking, snorkelling, or simply marvel at the natural beauty of this incredibly remote part of the world. Enjoy dinner around 7pm, then luxuriate in your surroundings.

Perhaps wake early for your first ocean sunrise and morning swim. Around 9am, sail north 20 NM to Palu Bada, a group of remote islands with great snorkelling spots. Here you’ll stop for lunch, a swim and a paddleboard, and have the chance to spot sea otters, turtle hatchlings, stingrays, and maybe even dolphins. The island is also home to a variety of birdlife, and there may be time to snorkel and discover some of the underwater wildlife. After lunch set off again for 115, 30 NM (approximately 5 hours under motor). The island is so called because its peak is 115 metres tall. After arriving, disembark for a jungle walk with the local Burmese guide. The walk is easy going across the island and takes approximately 10-15 minutes. You may get the chance to meet some local fisherman at a camp. Walk along the white sandy beach and wade into the clear turquoise waters. After returning to the other side of the island, the guide can take your cameras and clothing back in the zodiac and you can swim back to the boat – a short 300 metres. Once back at the boat you can get in the kayak or paddleboard, or grab your mask and flippers and go for a snorkel. Dinner is served around 7pm.

Leave 115 this morning and sail a few hours north to Bo Cho island, where you’ll get a taste of village life. Bo Cho is home to a Moken village, Ma Kyone Galet, and is the largest island village in the southern Mergui archipelago. Once a permanent nomadic, seafaring people, the Moken spent almost all their time floating on small wooden boats and diving for shellfish. Like many ethnic minorities in Burma, most Moken were forced to relocate to onshore sites during the 1990s. The local guide will go out to the island to pick up a village elder, who will come to meet you on the boat and explain the ways of the Moken. You might be greeted by some young children as you wait – maybe offer some fruit as a gift. Transfer to the island by zodiac and walk along the beach into the village. Visit the local primary school, and then continue on to the Buddhist temple. On your return, you can sit at a local café for a cold drink and get to meet more of the locals. Say farewell and head off to Lampi Island, a beautiful long white sand beach (approximately 7 NM, or just over an hour). Lampi Island has a small river that you can paddleboard and kayak up in beautiful silence, seeing the mangroves and local bird life, Oriental pied hornbills and Collared kingfishers. Return to the boat for dinner as the sun is setting.

After breakfast, set off from Lampi Island southwest to Bo Yae (approximately 16 NM). Here there is a little stream running out of the rocks that the Moken believe to be sacred, and nearby is a mini shrine where ribbons and offerings are left on a nearby tree. Here you can have a refreshing fresh water shower under the small waterfall, and also refill the water bottles with the fresh water. Swim to the shore with a snorkel, and then swim, paddle or kayak back to the boat for lunch. In the afternoon, sail 3 NM to Nga Manu (Shark Island) (approximately 30 minutes), the final stop for the day. The beach here is wide and strikingly white. Head ashore, snorkel around the rocks, and sit on a beach that few people have touched, backed by a dense jungle humming with wildlife. For dinner tonight your crew might have some freshly spear-caught fish on offer.

Sail from Nga Manu to Nyaung Wee Island (9 NM) for the best beach of the trip (which is really saying something as all these beaches are incredible!). Luxuriate in the beautifully clear waters that are perfect for a leisurely swim, a paddleboard or kayak, or to just relax on the beach. Return to the boat for lunch. Then continue 11 NM from Nyaung Wee to Bo Yar Nyunt. Relax on board, or go for a swim and paddle along the long stretch of beach with oyster-covered coral below, while herons perch on rocky outcrops. Later this evening head out to the beach for a night beach BBQ, grilling up the fish and squid that you might have hopefully caught earlier today. Swing away the night in a hammock beside a fire pit, and watch the sun sink beneath the waves.

Head 18 NM from Bo Yar Nyunt to picturesque Myauk Ni Island, and stop at a quiet cove where you’ll enjoy lunch. This will be your last chance to paddle and swim in the crystal clear Myiek Archipelago waters that fringe the island. Choose your transport method (paddleboard, kayak, swim or snorkel) to the beach, where you can relax or take a walk, perhaps looking out for the large fruit bats and abundant birdlife that call the island’s trees home. Before your last sunset, sail to Thae Yae, the island that was your first port of call, and where the boat drops anchor for the group’s last night on board together.
Overnight Boat (6 nt)
6 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners
Day 8 Ranong/Phuket
Sail the 18 NM from Tae Yae to Kawthaung, generally arriving around 12pm. Say farewell to your skipper and cook, and travel in a long-tail boat with your guide to re-enter Thailand via Ranong. From here, transfer by private vehicle back to Phuket. The guide will stay in Ranong, so you will be unaccompanied for this leg of the journey. You should hopefully be back in Phuket by 6pm. In the evening, perhaps enjoy a final meal with your fellow travellers and celebrate this wonderful Myanmar sailing adventure.
Nai Yang Beach Hotel (1 nt)
1 breakfast
Day 9 Phuket
There are no activities planned today and you're free to leave the hotel any time before 10am (checkout time). Transfers to the airport or Phuket town can be organised with the hotel reception.
1 breakfast
Itinerary disclaimer
For sailing trips the itinerary will be subject to change depending on weather conditions. Your skipper will make the final decision to ensure safety at all times. Generally daily sailing time would not exceed 6 hours. Please note that we will endeavour to sail at all times but there may be times during the trip that we will use the sails and motor or just the motor.
Physical rating

Important notes
1. Please provide passport details at time of booking with exact name as per passport (including middle name), as these are
essential for booking services on this trip. The passport details provided must match the passport you are travelling on.
2. Parts of this trip will be unaccompanied, see trip notes itinerary for details.
3. All travellers must pay an additional US$20/day Mergui Archipelago park fee.

Group size
Maximum of 8 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.
Hotel (2nt), Overnight boat (6nt)
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 in Phuket. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
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.
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.

The sailing part of this trip is accommodated on board a catamaran boat. Our boats are equipped with twin-share cabins, and shared bathrooms (1-4) The average size of the boat is 53 feet. Fresh water is available for showers, and toilets are either electronic or the hand pump variety. The boat is equipped with a motor for times when the wind is not sufficient for sailing. Our boats are real yachts and this is a real sailing trip. Yachts are designed to keep sleeping areas to the absolute minimum of space, while maximising common areas as much as possible.

The skipper will allocate the rooms on arrival to the boat and single travellers will be paired up with another passenger of the same sex, this may mean sharing a double mattress. The skipper will also be sharing the yacht's facilities and sleeping quarters.

While some may find the living quarters quite close, those who are looking to revel in the adventure and exhilaration of an authentic sailing trip usually find any discomfort is more than made up for by the spirit of this sailing experience.

As tourism infrastructure is starting to develop, you may find the accommodation standards to be lower than in other Asian countries. Since Myanmar has recently become a popular tourist destination, pricing has also inflated due to high demand, although standards can still be quite basic. At times our hotels can change at the last minute, as advance bookings are cancelled by hotels charging a higher price to other travellers. We ask for your patience with any last minute hotel changes.
Meals introduction
For your convenience most meals on your Burma sailing adventure are included, and will be prepared on board by the resident cook. When a meal is not included you will have the opportunity to disembark the boat and eat at a local restaurant.

Tea, Coffee and Juice will be served for breakfast and drinking water will be included at all times. The following drinks will be available for purchase on board.
Beer – 70 baht
Soft Drinks – 30 baht
Wine (white only) – 100 baht

Any dietary requirements need to be provided at the time of booking so that included meals can be properly catered for. Your crew will endeavour to cater for most dietary requirements.
8 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners
Boat, Longtail boat, Minibus

This is a sailing adventure so our time is spent on board a catamaran yacht. We tend to use the same vessel for the duration of our season however there could be times when we do need to swap boats due to maintenance issues.

You may be asked to assist on-deck, particularly when coming into or leaving port. No experience is necessary, but getting to know some 'sailing language' might help to get you into the spirit of the adventure.

** Time spent sailing on this trip is highly dependent on weather conditions and at your skipper's discretion. **

Port - left
Starboard - right
Bow - front of the boat
Stern - rear of the boat
Deck - outside, upper area of the boat
Hull - the main part or body of the boat
Keel - part of the boat under water that keeps the boat stable and stops it capsizing
Mainsail - the large sail attached to the mast and boom
Mast - the big vertical pole that supports the mainsail
Boom - the big horizontal pole attached to the mainsail, coming off the rear of the mast (swing from side to side)
Jib, headsail, genoa, foresail - smaller sail near the front of the boat
Sheet - ropes used to control the sails
Booty - another word for pirate treasure
Lines - other ropes on the boat (ropes are never called ropes on yachts)
Spinnaker - large extra sail
Trim the sails - adjust the position of the sails when the wind changes strength or direction
Tiller or wheel or helm - used to steer the boat
Helmsman - person steering the boat
Running - sailing with the wind
Tack - turning the bow of the boat when sailing through the wind
Jibe - turning the stern of the boat when sailing through the wind
Figure-eight knot - the stopper: often used at the end of lines to stop them getting away.
Bowline (knot) - strong and dependable knot that is commonly used
Clove Hitch (knot) - not as secure it is often used to attach an object to a line
Money matters
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).

The official currency of Thailand is the Baht (THB).
The most convenient and cheapest way to obtain local currency is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or Bancomat. ATMs are now available in most towns and visa cash advances are available in major banks. Foreign currency notes that are old, torn or faded can be very difficult to exchange, clean bills in small denominations are most useful. Traveller's cheques can be difficult to change. The use of credit cards is restricted, mainly to major hotels.

Myanmar’s national currency, the kyat (pronounced chat, and abbreviated K) is divided into: K1, K5, K10, K20, K50, K100, K200, K500 and K1000. ATMs are available in cities and most major towns, although these may still prove unreliable due to frequent power cuts or running out of funds. It's advisable to still bring cash to exchange. Foreign currency is no longer accepted for purchases in Myanmar.

USD is the primary currency to exchange. There is an official exchange rate available through authorised money exchange counters to exchange US Dollars into Kyats. Higher denominations will generally attract a higher rate of exchange. Because of concerns over counterfeit money, US Dollars with the letters AB and CB at the start of the serial number (top left-hand corner of the note) are not always accepted. Notes must be in pristine condition as notes with pen marks, folds or tears are not accepted. Notes should not be older than 2006. Euros are generally accepted as an exchange currency and do not have to be in pristine condition.

US dollars can be changed reliably at Yangon Airport and some hotels. Black market money changers in tourist areas will generally give a lower rate. Your tour leader will be able to advise you on money changing opportunities during the trip. Carrying cash is relatively safe as long as you take the usual precautions. You can exchange any left over Kyat into USD at Yangon Airport when departing.

Both Kyat (MMK) & Thai Baht (THB) is accepted in Kawthaung (Victoria Point) and the Mergui Archipelago

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.

Skipper / Local guides: We suggest US$2-3 per day for your skipper or local guides.
Crew: You may have a range of crew on your trip. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest US$1-2 per day for crew.

All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.

Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (e.g. a natural disaster, civil unrest, strike action or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
Group leader
On your Burma sailing trip you will be accompanied by one of our skippers and a chef. Your skipper's role involves taking charge of the sailing, organising the overall operation and smooth-running of the trip, managing trip logistics, safety of the vessel and safety for all passengers on board. All skippers have extensive sailing miles experience and hold a 'yacht master offshore license' or higher. They have been carefully selected and undergone intensive training of each itinerary they sail. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect your skipper to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. Your chef will prepare tasty local cuisine meals using the best of the local fresh produce available.
The day to day itinerary indicates that some parts of this trip will be unaccompanied and some parts will be with a local guide or local transfer guide only.
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:

Travellers that are able and confident swimmers will be able to enjoy swimming & snorkelling off the boat, but please always note the skipper's advice and instructions on when and where to swim and what precautions to consider. Travellers who are not able to swim are certainly welcome on this trip, but you will be required to wear a life jacket when we are sailing.
Joining point
Nai Yang Beach Hotel
80/31-38 , Moo1 Sakhu Thalang
Phone: 076 327813
Finish point
Nai Yang Beach Hotel
80/31-38 , Moo1 Sakhu Thalang
Phone: 076 327813
Emergency contact
In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency please contact Intrepid's sailing operator in Thailand on: +66 (0) 89 810 3722. If you are unable to reach anyone on this number, please contact Intrepid's sailing operations manager on: +66 (0) 811 424210 (remember to drop the +xx country code if you are calling from within the country).

Intrepid's local Burma & Thailand based representatives for this Burma Original sailing trip can be contacted on the following numbers:

Phuket contact: Boom
Phone: +66 (0) 818 924 252

Skipper: Mike
Phone: +66 (0) 878 853 605

Local Guide: Hein
Phone: +66 (0) 904 928 450

For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

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.
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.

For this Burma sailing trip visas will be obtained by the group during the trip on arrival (at border crossing between Thailand/Myanmar).
Please bring:
2 photocopies of the front page of your passport.
2 passport photos.
Crisp USD for fees.
The cost of a 15 day Tourist Visa is US$30 and all travellers must pay an additional US$20/day Mergui Archipelago park fee. Please allow approximately US$200 (which should cover any unforeseen increases.)
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:

Space on board the vessel is very limited - for your own comfort and safety, luggage should be kept to an absolute minimum. The use of a backpack, soft sports bag or duffle bag is recommended - we highly recommend you do not travel with a hard suitcase. If you are travelling with a larger bag or suitcase you can leave these bags at your hotel [usually for a small fee]. This is only applicable if you are returning to the same hotel at the end of the trip, if you aren't, it will be your own responsibility to make your own way back to collect your luggage. If you are leaving a bag at a hotel or in a locker do not leave cash, credit cards, passports or any irreplaceable belongings behind.
Daypack [a smaller back pack that you can take with you on island excursions]
Comfortable clothing for warmer temperatures [shorts, t-shirts, light long sleeved tops and pants]
A fleece or warmer jumper for the evenings or early mornings
A light rain coat or poncho
Comfortable shoes [trainers or walking shoes are sufficient for most trips]
Sandals or thongs/flip flops/jandals
Sunscreen [bio degradable and waterproof if available] and lip balm [to combat the effects of wind burn]
Sunhat [that can be secured as it can get windy out on the water]
Swimming costume
Water bottle [filtered water is available on board the boat]
Bio-degradable shampoo, conditioner and soap
Dry bag
Beach Towel
Pegs [so you can hang your swimming costume or towel out to dry]
Insect repellent [for island visits]
adaptor/electrical plug
For keen birdwatchers, binoculars
Batteries [if you do not have rechargeable camera batteries]
Please ensure you travel with all required medicines, pain killers and toiletries that you may need while in on this sailing trip. You are travelling to quite a remote destination and will not have immediate access to pharmacies and even then they not stock your required medication.
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.

Zika Virus
Thailand is experiencing ongoing transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus and 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 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

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.
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 trip, you won't be permitted to join the trip until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by our local representative.

If you have credit card insurance our local representative will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact telephone 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:

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.
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.


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.

During your visit to Asia there will be many opportunities to ride elephants and see them perform. While we believe it's important to give our travellers a choice and respect each individual's decision, we recommend that Intrepid travellers bypass this activity. Professional wildlife conservation and animal welfare organisations, including the World Society for Protection of Animals (WSPA), advise that contrary to common belief, captive elephants remain wild animals and despite good intentions, unfortunately many venues are unable to provide the appropriate living conditions elephants require and this ultimately impacts their wellbeing. While there is some merit in the argument that the money that you pay for the activity goes towards keeping the elephants and their mahouts employed, we know that it also fuels demand for elephants to be captured in the wild or captive bred. We thank you for your support in improving the welfare of these majestic creatures. Further information is available on the following pdf:

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.

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.