Active Chiang Mai Trip Notes

Active Chiang Mai

Last Modified: 17 May 2016
Active Chiang Mai
Trip code: TTAV-O
Validity: 01 Jan 2014 to 31 Dec 2016
Travel to Thailand and experience an intoxicating blend of ancient temples, steamy rainforest trails and raucous markets in Chiang Mai. This is a full-throttle short break that features the best Thailand’s northern region has to offer. Tackle the world-famous Mae Taeng River rapids on a rafting excursion, hike through local villages and temperate rainforests, cycle through the fruit orchards and temple ruins dotted around the countryside and climb the ancient staircase to the hilltop of Doi Suthep in time for sunset. Combine this with shopping expeditions through Chiang Mai’s famous Night Bazaar, encountering friendly faces around every corner and feasting on superb Thai cuisine. A perfect blend of energetic pursuits and enchanting sights , this trip is bound to leave you breathless! Please note for all departures in May and June in 2016 there is an amended itinerary on day 3 due to the severe drought Thailand is experiencing. Please see 'Climate and Seasonal Information" section of the trip notes for further information.
Table of Contents
StyleAccommodationFinishing point instructions
ThemesAccommodation NotesEmergency contact
Is this trip right for you?Meals introductionVisas
Why we love itMealsWhat to take
MapMoney mattersClimate and seasonal information
ItineraryGroup leaderHealth
Itinerary disclaimerSafetyTravel insurance
Physical ratingJoining pointA couple of rules
Included activitiesJoining point descriptionResponsible Travel
Important notesJoining point instructionsThe Intrepid Foundation
Group sizeFinish pointFeedback
Your fellow travellersFinish point description
Style
Original
Themes
Cycling, Short Breaks, Walking & Trekking
Is this trip right for you?
- This Short Break Adventure is a ‘join in’ group departure, which means you are not accompanied by an Intrepid group leader – our local representative fills this role – and the configuration of any fellow travellers in the group might change during the trip.
- This trip will run with a minimum of one person, so you may be joined by other travellers booked on the same date as you, or you may be on your own.
- This is an active style trip so a good level of fitness and a passion for hiking, biking and rafting is of course recommended.
- Your evenings will be free, and your local guide will be able to recommend some restaurants to dine at.
Why we love it
- Get the heart pumping on an active adventure tour from Chiang Mai
- Climb to the summit of Doi Suthep temple and enjoy the hypnotic atmosphere of chanting Buddhist monks and sweeping views of the city
- Uncover Thailand’s rural charm as you hike and bike thought scenic hilltribe areas
- Cycle off the main streets and into the heart and soul of Chaing Mai with a backstreets, Ping River countryside bike tour
- Discover the ancient lost capital of the Lanna Kingdom and the incredible remains of Wiang Kum Kam
- Ride a raft over the rugged white water rapids of the Mae Taeng River
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive Chiang Mai
Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand. The most vibrant city in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai has many famous temples and an interesting old city area. Renowned for dazzling beauty and extremely welcoming locals, the ‘Rose of the North’ will leave you spellbound. Chances are, you won’t want to leave. Today is an arrival day and you can arrive at any time. An airport arrival transfer is included. This transfer is only valid if arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Intrepid. Please provide your arrival details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 15 days prior to travel to organise this. There will be a 'welcome letter' waiting for you at the hotel reception with further information about your trip. Please ask for this welcome letter upon check in at the hotel. You are free for the remainder of the day to explore charming Chiang Mai or just laze by the pool. The friendliness of the people, the vibrant Night Bazaar, the interesting old town bound by moats, and the many fascinating temples enthral travellers from around the world. Make sure to sample some delicious traditional northern Thai food tonight. The signature dish is kao soy, yellow wheat noodles in a curry broth, traditionally served with chicken or beef.

Notes: If you do not receive a welcome letter upon check in, please call Intrepid's local office on +66 (0) 89 9521000.
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
    Accommodation
    Hotel (1 nt)
    Day 2 Doi Suthep Temple/Cycling
    After breakfast, head off to explore the famous temple complex of Doi Suthep. Pick up time is between 8.30-9am. A short drive (approximately 45 minutes) along a scenic and winding mountain road brings you to an impressive 300-step Naga-guarded stairway. The rewards justify the ascent to the top, with one of the most beautiful temples in Thailand on display, not to mention the fantastic panoramic views of the city! You’ll then return to your hotel at around 11am for a short break. At about 1.30pm, after a safety briefing and bicycle fitting, saddle up for a cycling adventure into the streets of Chiang Mai and beyond. Journey south through pleasant green fields, following the Ping River downstream. Make a stop at a former leper colony turned rehabilitation centre, where you’ll get to know some of the daily life of the missionaries who worked here over a hundred years ago. The trip continues along various fruit orchards, and cycling down small country roads, meandering around the villages on the outskirts of Chiang Mai, where you’ll encounter the Thai way of life and the real rural Thailand. Explore the temple ruins of Wiang Kum Kam, the former capital of Lanna, before you cycle back to Chiang Mai. Perhaps reward yourself with an authentic Thai massage tonight.

    Notes: The cycling distance is around 25-30km along flat ground, with 1.5km along unsealed road. The cycling time will be approximately 4.5 hours with frequent stops. Helmets and comfort bicycles (adapted mountain bike), with 24 gears and front suspension, are provided.
    Included Activities
    • Guided bike ride
      Accommodation
      Hotel (1 nt)
      Meals
      1 breakfast
      Day 3 Hiking and Rafting
      Get set for an action packed day exploring the hill tribe areas north of the city. After breakfast, around 8am, drive north to the Mae Tang area where your adventure begins. Get on two wheels again to mountain bike through scenic landscapes along local roads (approximately 8 kilometres) to the starting point of a trek to a waterfall (approximately 1.5-2 hours). Make your way through the forest scenery on a hike to Huay Sathan Waterfall, where you can relax, enjoy the beautiful scenery, and dip into the cooling waters. After completing the trekking loop, drive up to the river camp. In the afternoon, prepare for a thrilling whitewater rafting session. Get outfitted with helmets and life jackets, and take a safety brief to get acquainted with the paddling commands, the correct way to sit in the raft, and the necessary precautions on river safety. Then, the rapid Mae Taeng River and its 14 gorges along a 10 kilometre stretch await. The difficulty level on the Mae Taeng River ranges from grade 3 to 5. It has been praised by travellers as some of the best whitewater rafting in Asia. This awesome rafting trip takes approximately 2 hours and finishes at the downstream camp, where you can rest and change into dry clothes. Enjoy some hot and cold drinks or fresh fruits before returning to your Chiang Mai accommodation. On your last night, soak up the atmosphere of the vibrant night markets once more.

      Notes: For all departures departing in May and June in 2016, due to the severe drought that Thailand is currently experiencing, there will be an amendment to the itinerary on this day. Please see the “Climate and Seasonal Information” section of the trip notes for further information.
      Included Activities
      • White water rafting
      • Guided bike ride
        Accommodation
        Hotel (1 nt)
        Meals
        1 breakfast, 1 lunch
        Day 4 Depart Chiang Mai
        There are no activities planned for today and you are free to depart at any time. Check out time from the hotel is at 12 noon. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel. A departure airport transfer is included to Chiang Mai airport.
        Included Activities
        • Complimentary Arrival/Departure Transfer
          Meals
          1 breakfast
          Itinerary disclaimer
          ITINERARY CHANGES 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.

          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.
          Physical rating

          Included activities
          Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
          Guided bike ride
          White water rafting
          Complimentary Arrival/Departure Transfer
          Important notes
          Complimentary airport arrival and departure transfers are included with this trip. Please advise your flight details at time of booking.

          Amended itinerary for all May and June departures in 2016 for day 3 of this trip, due to the severe drought that Thailand is experiencing. Please see the "Climate and Seasonal information" in the trip notes for more information.

          Group size
          Maximum of 12 travellers per group.
          Your fellow travellers
          GROUP TRAVEL
          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.

          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.

          Please note many of our Short Break Adventures operate with a minimum of 1 person, so there may be instances where you are the only person on the trip.
          Accommodation
          Hotel (3nt)
          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 your selected 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 your arrival, especially if you're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible, which means you won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, you can store your luggage and explore the 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 have the opportunity to experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. 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.
          Meals
          3 breakfasts, 1 lunch
          Money matters
          SPENDING MONEY
          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).

          We recommend USD40 for meals not included.

          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.

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

          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.

          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: We suggest US$2-3 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$1-2 per day for drivers.

          In total, we recommend you budget approx US$5-10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.
          Group leader
          The aim of our local guides is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. On this Short Break Adventure you will get to enjoy the variety of having someone different for each day and/or activity. They will be able to provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and, where possible, introduce you to our local friends. You can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.
          Safety
          Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

          We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

          In addition to any included activities on your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. Our local representative may be able to assist you with 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 our local representative 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:

          http://www.intrepidtravel.com/safety

          FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
          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.

          SEAT BELTS:
          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.

          RAFTING
          During the rainy season (or in the dry season following heavy rainfall) the current will be quite strong and the guide will decide whether the rafting should proceed or not. Their advice on this matter should be strictly followed.
          Joining point
          Imperial Mae Ping
          153 Sridonchai Road
          Chang Klan
          Chiang Mai
          50100
          THAILAND
          Phone: 66 (0)53283900
          Fax: 66 (0)53270181
          Joining point description
          Please note we sometimes need to use alternative accommodation when the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel is fully booked.

          The alternative hotels we use in Chiang Mai are:
          Raming Lodge Hotel & Spa
          17-19 Loikroh T.Changklan A.Muang
          Chiang Mai
          THAILAND
          Phone: +66 53 271 777

          and

          Chiang Mai Plaza
          92 Sridonchai Road,
          Chang Khlan, Chiang Mai,
          THAILAND
          Phone: +66 53-270036

          Please check with your booking agent to confirm if you are staying at the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel, Raming Lodge Hotel & Spa or Chiang Mai Plaza.
          Joining point instructions
          An arrival transfer is included on this trip. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your departure. If you plan to arrive earlier, this arrival transfer can only be offered in conjunction with pre-tour accommodation booked through Intrepid.

          Our local representative will be holding a sign with your name when you exit the airport terminal. If you have any problems and cannot locate our transfer operator on arrival please our Thailand 24hr emergency number +66 89 810 3722.

          A taxi from the airport to your hotel in Chiang Mai costs about THB100. Buy a ticket at the taxi kiosk outside the baggage claim area in the airport.
          Finish point
          Imperial Mae Ping
          153 Sridonchai Road
          Chang Klan
          Chiang Mai
          50100
          THAILAND
          Phone: 66 (0)53283900
          Fax: 66 (0)53270181
          Finish point description
          Please note we sometimes need to use alternative accommodation when the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel is fully booked.

          The alternative hotels we use in Chiang Mai are:
          Raming Lodge Hotel & Spa
          17-19 Loikroh T.Changklan A.Muang
          Chiang Mai
          THAILAND
          Phone: +66 53 271 777

          and

          Chiang Mai Plaza
          92 Sridonchai Road,
          Chang Khlan, Chiang Mai,
          THAILAND
          Phone: +66 53-270036

          Please check with your booking agent to confirm if you are staying at the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel, Raming Lodge Hotel & Spa or Chiang Mai Plaza.

          Finishing point instructions
          Normal check out time is 12 noon. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel.

          If you have a transfer to the Chiang Mai Airport your transfer driver will collect you from your Guesthouse 1.5hrs (90mins) before your flight time for domestic flights and 2.5hrs before your flight time for International flights. If your transfer has not arrived within 15minutes of the scheduled pickup time please call the Thailand 24hr emergency number +66 89 810 3722
          Emergency 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.

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

          In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local operator on the number below.


          Intrepid's Thailand Office: +66 898 103 722
          Visas
          As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required.
          Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.

          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.

          THAILAND:
          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.
          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:

          http://www.intrepidtravel.com/pdf/trips/packinglist.pdf
          Climate and seasonal information
          AMENDED ITINERARY FOR DAY 3 OF THIS TRIP FOR ALL MAY AND JUNE DEPARTURES IN 2016
          Please note for all May and June departures in 2016 there will be an amendment to this itinerary on day 3. Due to the severe drought that Thailand is currently experiencing, the water levels are too low for us to run the hike and rafting activity on day 3. Instead we will replace this activity with the full day "Flight of the Gibbon' activity. Flight of the Gibbon is a thrilling, zipline course, above the treetops of a rainforest canopy located at Mae Kampong village 37km’s outside of Chiang Mai.
          Amendment as follows,
          Days 1 and 2
          remain unchanged
          Day 3
          You will be picked up from the hotel after breakfast between 8.00 and 8.30am. You then drive to the beautiful Mae Kongpong village, 35 kms outside of Chiang Mai, where you will arrive at Flight of the Gibbon - Thailand’s thrilling rainforest canopy Eco Adventure. Here you will experience the zipline through 30 stations, some suspended up to 50m above the valley floor which will take approximately 3 -3.5 hours to complete.
          What to bring – we suggest you bring your camera, sunscreen and insect repellent.
          Wear – loose fitting clothes & outdoor shoes with a good grip
          Included - transfer to and from your hotel, equipment check and safety briefing, guided zipline course, trek to waterfall and lunch will be provided.
          You will return back to your hotel around 5pm.
          Day 4
          remains unchanged

          "Flight of the Gibbon"has become one of the most popular activities we now offer in Chiang Mai so we are confident that this is a great replacement to your rafting experience.
          Health
          All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

          You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

          DENGUE FEVER:
          Rare instances of dengue fever have been reported in this region. This virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. There is no vaccination against it, but there are preventative measures that you can take such as wearing long clothing, using repellent and being indoors particularly around dusk and dawn.

          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
          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:

          http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php
          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 or local representative 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.

          http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

          ELEPHANT PERFORMANCES & ELEPHANT RIDING:
          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:

          http://www.intrepidtravel.com/pdf/rt/51033_Elephant_Welfare.pdf

          LOCAL DRESS:
          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.

          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:

          http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

          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.

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