Myanmar Golden Rock Short Break Trip Notes

Myanmar Golden Rock Short Break

Last Modified: 05 Feb 2016
Myanmar Golden Rock Short Break
Trip code: TTAC-C
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Discover a country of mythical landscapes, ancient treasures and some of the friendliest folk you’ll ever meet. From golden-gilded Buddha’s in Yangon to the gravity defying Kyaiktiyo Golden Rock, Myanmar will excite, impress and intrigue you. Experience the South-East Asia of forty years ago - full of rarely seen sights and generations of stories just waiting to be told. Come and discover a little bit of Myanmar magic with us.
We have recently received information that restoration of the Golden Rock Pagoda is due to take place from mid to late February 2016. During this time the Golden Rock Pagoda will be shrouded with bamboo mat for the application of the gold leaf, and views may be obstructed. February departures will run as scheduled.
Table of Contents
StyleDeparture taxAlternate Finish point
ThemesImportant notesAlternate Finish point description
Is this trip right for you?Group sizeEmergency contact
Why we love itYour fellow travellersEmergency funds
MapSingle travellersVisas
ItineraryAccommodationIssues on your trip
We also recommendMeals introductionWhat to take
Itinerary disclaimerMealsHealth
Culture shock rating TransportSafety
Physical ratingJoining point Travel insurance
Included activitiesAlternate Joining point Responsible Travel
Optional activitiesAlternate Joining point descriptionA couple of rules
Money ExchangeAlternate Joining point instructionsThe Intrepid Foundation
Spending moneyArrival complicationsCarbon offset
TippingFinish point Feedback
  • ‘Comfort travel’ means encountering all that the real world has to offer, but with an added degree of, well… comfort. We use more private transport, the travel pace more relaxed, the accommodation a touch nicer. And by paying a little more up front, you’ll be treated to more included meals, more leader-led activities and get a greater immersion in all things local.
Explorer, Short Breaks - Group Adventures
Is this trip right for you?
- We visit a number of temples on this trip, which requires a certain level of modesty. Please bring clothes that cover the arms and pants/skirts that go past the knees. A light scarf is also a good idea for covering shoulders and arms when it’s hot.
- Temperatures can be extreme in Myanmar. During the day the weather can be very hot so please bring appropriate clothing, use sun protection and drink plenty of water. In the evenings temperatures really drop (especially in the mountains), so bring base layers and warm clothing.
Why we love it
- See several of Myanmar's most iconic sites in a short space of time
- Riding through the mountains of Mon State in an open-air truck is an experience you won't soon forget. Travel alongside pilgrims, monks and fellow travellers all heading to Kyaiktiyo
- Balanced on the edge of cliff, covered in golden leaf and topped with a small stupa, Kyaiktiyo Pagoda (Golden Rock) embodies the beauty and spirituality of Myanmar
- Visit the former southern capital of Myanmar, Bago - a hub of temples, former royal palaces and religious sculptures

Day 1 Yangon - Golden Rock (Kyaiktiyo)
Your Short Break Adventure starts at 8.00am on Day 1
For departures from 1st Jan - 31st March 2016 you will be picked up on Day 1 from the ground floor elevator entrance to the Taw Win Garden Hotel (see joining point instructions), or from the Asia Plaza Hotel (if advised prior to departure), between 7.30 – 8.00.
For departures from 1st April 2016 onwards, you will be picked up on Day 1 from the Summit Parkview Hotel. Please meet your local representative in the hotel foyer between 8.00 - 8.30 am. Alternative pick up can also be arranged from the Asia Plaza Hotel, as outlined in the joining instructions below, between 7.30 – 8.00.
You can leave your main luggage at the hotel as we will return here after the tour, so we recommend you only take a small bag with a change of clothes and essential travel items.
Beautiful Burma is stepping out of a chequered past into a new era of hope and optimism. Visitors can expect to be dazzled by shimmering cities of gilded temples, enlivened by emerald green landscapes and humbled by the warm smiles of gracious villagers. Now is the time to contribute to Maynmar's blossoming future - peaceful pagodas, sacred sites, ancient towns and monasteries await.
One of Myanmar’s major landmarks, famous for its precarious position and religious importance, Kyaiktiyo the “Golden Rock” is a huge boulder completely covered by gold leaf and delicately balanced on the edge of a cliff.
We arrive at the base camp of Kinpun and continue up to the Golden Rock by open truck, about an hour’s mountain drive. A further light trek to the summit we will have time to have enjoy the sunset from the top of the hill.
Descending back down, we spend the night at our hotel in Kyaiktiyo.
Included Activities
  • Mt Kyaiktiyo - Golden Rock & Pagoda
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 Bago - Yangon
After breakfast this morning, we walk for 30mins to reach Kyee Kan Pa Sat (Crow's mouth Cave); an important place of worship for the local people. On the way we will pass by some local handicrafts selling local produce.
Midmorning we will return Yangon via Bago through rice fields and small towns. When we arrive in Bago we will visit the local market, Kanbawza Thardi Palace built by King Bayinnaung, the Kalayani Sima (Ordination Hall), Shwemawdaw Pagoda, and Shwethalyaung Pagoda - home to what many say is the world’s most beautiful reclining Buddha. We then return to Yangon.
You will be dropped off the Taw Win Garden Hotel, and no accommodation is included for tonight. You are able to add extra accommodation at time of booking, please contact Intrepid or your travel agent for more information.
Your tour finishes in Yangon at 5pm. If you are leaving Myanmar today then please keep this in mind when booking outbound flights.
Included Activities
  • Bago - Tour of Palace, Kalayani Sima, Shwemawdaw & Shwethalyaung Pagodas
    We also recommend
    If this trip is not quite right for you, cast your eye over these alternatives:
    • Best of Myanmar (TTSM)
    • Myanmar Experience (TRRB)
    • Ngwesaung Beach Getaway (TTAN-C)
    • Classic Myanmar (TTKA)
    Itinerary disclaimer
    We've allowed plenty of room for freedom and flexibility in our trips. In fact, flexibility is one of the ingredients that makes each of our trips so exciting. This style of travel offers us some unexpected circumstances at times, for example, bad weather and road conditions, technical defects of transportation, inconveniences caused by local operators and authorities, and other circumstances beyond our control. Changes in the program may be required to make the best of the unique situations that we encounter.
    Overnight stops and driving distances each day may vary to best suit the needs of the group. Our described itineraries are to be used as a general guide only.
    Culture shock rating

    Expect some culture shock. You'll be exposed to signs of poverty and access to services may be sporadic. The food will be quite different to home and English speakers harder to find. Respecting the local culture will make it easier to fit in and really experience the location.
    Physical rating

    Some easy physical activities included in your trip. No physical preparation is required to make the most of the journey.
    Included activities
    Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
    Optional activities
    A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
    Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
    There are many opportunities to purchase souvenirs and handicrafts while on this trip. While we do not make arrangements for specific shopping excursions due to our passengers feedback, there may be opportunities where your local guides can offer services if you are particularly interested. Please note it is customary for local guides (not Intrepid group leaders) to accept commission from the factory or shop in exchange for their service. You are under no obligation to purchase anything from local guides and we do encourage you to enjoy shopping in the markets to compare prices and quality.
    Money Exchange
    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.
    Spending money
    Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
    While tipping is not a traditional part of culture in Myanmar it is becoming more common as tourism increases, particularly when you have experienced excellent service. If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - may be appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, and inspires excellent service. We recommend that any tips are given to the intended recipient by a member of your group, rather than collected and passed on by the group leader. The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
    Hotels / Restaurants: US$ 0.50-1 for porters and restaurant staff
    Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group however a base of US$2 per person, per day is generally appropriate.
    Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest US$2 per day for local guides.
    Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline US$ 2-3 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
    Departure tax
    All departure tax should be included in your flight ticket.
    Important notes
    This short break begins from the joining point hotel at 8am on Day 1 and finishes with a drop off at the same hotel at 5pm. Please take this into consideration when booking flights and accommodation.
    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 is also inflated due to demand, and at times our hotels can change as bookings are bumped by hotels charging a higher price to other travellers. Please be patient with any last minute hotel changes, and please be aware that often although the price of the accommodation is quite high due to demand, some hotel standards can be quite basic.
    Group size
    Maximum of 6 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.
    Single travellers
    On some trips accommodation is available only on a shared basis with other travellers, who might not necessarily be Intrepid travellers. Arrangements vary depending on the trip from twin to multishare, so refer to the daily itinerary for more details on your accommodation. In some situations you may have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure you have your own room.
    Hotel (1 nt)
    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.
    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.
    Meals introduction
    While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.
    1 Breakfast
    Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.
    Budget for meals not included:
    USD 40.00
    The food in Myanmar is described as more mild, and oily than it's neighbouring countries. We will try and give you a taste of traditional cuisine in each region, and the blend of influences including Chinese, Mon and Indian.
    Please note that breakfasts are often simple (eggs, bread, jam and coffee/tea would be most common), or there may only be local breakfast available.
    In addition, as tourism is developing, many restaurants are still learning to cater for foreign tourists. Your leader will assist with suggesting restaurants that follow expected food hygiene practices.
    There are some long travel days and some of the transport can be quite cramped and without air-conditioning.
    Joining point
    Summit Park View Hotel
    350 Ahlone Road Dagon Township
    Phone: +95 1 211 888
    Alternate Joining point
    For trips departing on the following dates, use this joining point.
    08 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160208), 09 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160209), 10 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160210), 11 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160211), 12 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160212), 13 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160213), 14 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160214), 15 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160215), 16 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160216), 17 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160217), 18 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160218), 19 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160219), 20 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160220), 21 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160221), 22 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160222), 23 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160223), 24 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160224), 25 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160225), 26 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160226), 27 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160227), 28 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160228), 29 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160229), 01 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160301), 02 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160302), 03 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160303), 04 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160304), 05 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160305), 06 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160306), 07 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160307), 08 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160308), 09 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160309), 10 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160310), 11 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160311), 12 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160312), 13 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160313), 14 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160314), 15 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160315), 16 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160316), 17 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160317), 18 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160318), 19 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160319), 20 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160320), 21 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160321), 22 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160322), 23 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160323), 24 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160324), 25 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160325), 26 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160326), 27 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160327), 28 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160328), 29 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160329), 30 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160330), 31 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160331)
    Taw Win Garden
    45 Pyay Road
    Dagon Township
    Phone: +95 1 8600 080
    Alternate Joining point description
    Located on Pyay Road, close to shopping centres, ATMs and restaurants. 30-minutes drive from Yangon International Airport. 10 minutes drive to city centre and to the Shwedagon Pagoda.
    Alternate Joining point instructions
    A pre-booked airport arrival transfer is available if arranged at the time of booking. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your departure.
    If you have pre-booked an arrival transfer you will be met in the arrivals all by a representative holding an Intrepid sign with your name on it.
    If you cannot find your transfer representative, or if your flight is delayed, please call our hotline at +95 9 420254468.
    If you arrive early or choose to take a taxi, it should cost approximately MMK6000-9000 (depending on the time of day) to get to the hotel, which is close to the city centre.
    Departures from Jan-31st March 2016:
    You will be picked up on Day 1 from the Taw Win Garden Hotel. Please meet your local representative at the entrance to the Taw Win Garden Hotel, at the ground floor elevator entrance. The Hotel is adjacent to the Taw Win Center. If you require pick up from the the Asia Plaza Hotel, Yangon, please inform your booking agent at least 14 days prior to departure.
    Departures from 1st April-31st December 2016:
    You will be picked up on Day 1 from the Summit Parkview Hotel. Please meet your local representative in the hotel foyer between 8.00 - 8.30 am.
    If you require pick up from the the Asia Plaza Hotel, Yangon, please inform your booking agent at least 14 days prior to departure. Pick up from the Asia Plaza is between 7.30 – 8.30.
    Arrival complications
    We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact section below for who to contact depending upon your starting location.
    No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
    Finish point
    Summit Park View Hotel
    350 Ahlone Road Dagon Township
    Phone: +95 1 211 888
    Alternate Finish point
    For trips departing on the following dates, use this finish point.
    08 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160208), 09 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160209), 10 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160210), 11 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160211), 12 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160212), 13 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160213), 14 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160214), 15 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160215), 16 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160216), 17 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160217), 18 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160218), 19 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160219), 20 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160220), 21 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160221), 22 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160222), 23 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160223), 24 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160224), 25 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160225), 26 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160226), 27 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160227), 28 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160228), 29 Feb 2016 (TTAC-C160229), 01 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160301), 02 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160302), 03 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160303), 04 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160304), 05 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160305), 06 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160306), 07 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160307), 08 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160308), 09 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160309), 10 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160310), 11 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160311), 12 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160312), 13 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160313), 14 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160314), 15 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160315), 16 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160316), 17 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160317), 18 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160318), 19 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160319), 20 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160320), 21 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160321), 22 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160322), 23 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160323), 24 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160324), 25 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160325), 26 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160326), 27 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160327), 28 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160328), 29 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160329), 30 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160330), 31 Mar 2016 (TTAC-C160331)
    Taw Win Garden
    45 Pyay Road
    Dagon Township
    Phone: +95 1 8600 080
    Alternate Finish point description
    Located on Pyay Road, close to shopping centres, ATMs and restaurants. 30-minutes drive from Yangon International Airport. 10 minutes drive to city centre and to the Shwedagon Pagoda.
    Emergency contact
    In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, please call the Intrepid Myanmar emergency contact number: +95 9 420254468.
    For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at
    Emergency funds
    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.
    Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
    We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
    Australia: Yes - in advance
    Belgium: Yes - in advance
    Canada: Yes - in advance
    Germany Yes - in advance
    Ireland: Yes - in advance
    Netherlands: Yes - in advance
    New Zealand: Yes - in advance
    South Africa: Yes - in advance
    Switzerland: Yes - in advance
    United Kingdom: Yes - in advance
    USA: Yes - in advance
    Most nationalities can obtain a tourist visa using a eVisa system. For information on obtaining an eVisa visit website:
    Important to note when applying for an eVisa:
    - Passport validity must have at least (6) months validity from date of return.
    - You will need to present one colour photo (4cm X 6cm) taken within the last 3 months and a copy of your return ticket.
    - Length of stay is 28 days from the date of arrival in Myanmar.
    - The eVisa fee is US$50 per person, payable by credit card (note: visa fee is non-refundable should the eVisa be denied)
    - The processing time is approximately 3 working days for granting an eVisa however we recommend allowing longer in the event of delays.
    - The validity of eVisa approval letter is 90 days from the date of issue. If it has expired, entry will be denied.
    - eVisas are applicable for single entry into Myanmar only and you will not be permitted to re-enter on an eVisa that you have previously entered on (multiple entries not possible).
    - eVisas are only obtainable if you are arriving into Yangon International Airport, Nay Pyi Taw International Aiport and Mandalay International Airport. If arriving into another Myanmar entry point you will need to apply for your visa in advance through a Myanmar Embassy.
    Nationalities who are unable to obtain an eVisa should contact the Myanmar embassy in their country of residency. Note - you may be requested to provide a letter of invitation from a local Myanmar ground operator. In such cases please contact Intrepid to attain this letter and we will forward to you.
    Issues on your trip
    While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
    We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
    You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
    What to take
    What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage, 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.
    You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
    Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.
    All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
    You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
    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.
    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.
    Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!
    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.
    Some hotel balconies don't meet western standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.
    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.
    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 group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
    If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
    Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
    Responsible Travel
    We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
    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 by wearing sleeves and long trousers. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in areas of predominantly hot climate. In many rural areas 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.
    While we respect each individual’s decisions while travelling, Intrepid does not include elephant rides or unnatural performance activities on any itinerary, and we recommend you bypass these activities should they be offered to you during your stay. Professional wildlife conservation and animal welfare organisations, including the World Animal Protection (formerly the World Society for protection of Animals) 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 well-being. 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 below link:
    We also recommend you visit the wonderful colourful 'Do's and Don'ts for Tourists - How you can visit Myanmar responsibly':
    This fabulous booklet', illustrated by a wide range of Myanmar cartoonists, will help you respect the traditions and customs of Myanmar, helping make Myanmar a better place for people to live and a better place to visit.
    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.
    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:
    Carbon offset
    Carbon Offset C02-e 40.00 kgs per pax.
    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.