Bangkok to Singapore Trip Notes

Bangkok to Singapore

Last Modified: 25 Apr 2016
Bangkok to Singapore
Trip code: TMSM
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Travel from Bangkok to Singapore on a voyage of discovery, soaking up traditional cultures and revelling in the exotic flavours of the region. With golden temples and saffron-robed monks, soft white beaches and bright blue skies, tantalising seafood and a host of shopping spots, our journey from Thailand down to the Malay Peninsula is sure to delight.
Table of Contents
StyleAccommodationFinish point description
ThemesAccommodation NotesFinishing point instructions
Is this trip right for you?Meals introductionEmergency contact
Why we love itMealsVisas
MapTransportWhat to take
ItineraryMoney mattersClimate and seasonal information
Itinerary disclaimerGroup leaderHealth
Physical ratingSafetyTravel insurance
Included activitiesJoining pointA couple of rules
Important notesJoining point descriptionResponsible Travel
Group sizeJoining point instructionsThe Intrepid Foundation
Your fellow travellersFinish pointFeedback
Style
Original
Themes
Explorer
Is this trip right for you?
- This trip covers quite a bit of ground, and so there are some longer travelling days on public and private buses, as well as an overnight train. Many of these journeys offer a great chance to interact with the locals, soak up the scenery, and even catch up on a book, but make sure you are prepared for the journeys.
- There is an included sea kayaking trip in Krabi, in single kayaks. The water is usually calm through the beautiful mangrove forests. Please let your leader know if you have any concerns about participating.
- This itinerary travels through multiple countries, each with their respective customs and National Holidays. Please see the 'Climate and Seasonal Information' section for more details.
- There is a village homestay with a family on this trip, in simple multi-share accommodation where conservative dress is recommended. There a few better ways to get to know a country and its people.
Why we love it
- Dive into the nature lover’s paradise of Khao Sok National Park, exploring, hiking, relaxing, and cruising by longtail boat on a limestone cliff-circled lake
- Taste Thai traditions while learning how to cook an authentic Southern Thai dish with a village homestay host
- Discover a true slice of paradise on an included sea kayaking trip through the stunning inlets, caves and hidden lagoons of the Ao Thalane mangrove forests
- Encounter the fusion of cultures that gives Penang a unique atmosphere; walk down the backstreets where colonial buildings, tumble-down shops and hawker-filled alleyways meld with cool street art
- Explore the streets of Melaka from the back of a cycle rickshaw
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Bangkok
Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand. Thailand's bustling capital, Bangkok is famous for its tuk tuks, khlong boats and street vendors serving up delicious Thai food. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place, and have your insurance details and next of kin information ready for collection. Bangkok has so much to offer those with time to explore, so perhaps arrive a day or so early and take a riverboat to Chinatown and explore the crowded streets, uncover the magnificent Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, wander down the tourist mecca of Khao San Road, or indulge in some Thai massage. After the meeting tonight perhaps gather your fellow travellers together and tuck into some into world famous street food.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 Bangkok
Begin the day with a river cruise down the Chao Phraya River to explore the famous ‘khlongs’ (canals) (approximately 1 hour). Life along these canals seems a world away from the chaotic streets of the capital. Pay a visit to Wat Pho, one of the ‘trinity’ of Bangkok temples, with a 46-metre long gold plated Buddha reclining inside. Even the feet of this statue are incredible, three metres long and intricately decorated with mother of pearl. The temple grounds are equally fascinating, filled with beautifully decorated stupas, halls, and shrines. No trip to Thailand is complete without an overnight train journey. This evening you’ll head south to Surat Thani on an overnight train journey, accommodated in air-conditioned sleeping berths (approximately 12 hours). Multi share compartments have bunk beds, with sheets and pillow provided. Your baggage travels in the carriage with you. There is a food and drink service available on board.
Included Activities
  • Bangkok - Khlong boat (canal) tour
  • Bangkok - Wat Pho Temple
    Optional Activities
    • Bangkok - Thai Massage - THB250
    • Bangkok - Chinatown Food Discovery Urban Adventure - THB2149
    • Bangkok - Grand Palace - THB500
    • Bangkok - Jim Thompson's House - THB100
      Accommodation
      Overnight sleeper train (1 nt)
      Day 3 Khao Sok National Park
      Arrive into Surat Thani in the morning and then and travel by minivan to Khao Sok (approximately 2.5 hours). Set amid hectares of thick jungle, waterfalls, limestone cliffs and topped off with an island-studded lake, the national park of Khao Sok is a nature lover's paradise. Here you’ll have free time to explore one of the oldest rainforest in the world. Walk along the dirt trails that snake through the quiet park, looking out for wildlife as you head for rivers and waterfalls. The park is home to boar, gaur, gibbons, deer, wild elephants, and even the occasional tiger. The flora is also top-notch, with the rare Rafflesia Kerri, one of the world’s largest flowers, only found in Thailand here. There are longer hiking trails also available and in the rainy season there's an option to take to the water in inner tubes and float down the river through the rainforest. Spend a night in a rustic hut amid ancient gnarled rainforest trees.
      Accommodation
      Resort (1 nt)
      Day 4 Khao Sok
      Travel through pristine jungle, rubber and oil plantations before boarding a long tail boat for a ride across stunning Cheow Lan Lake, with one of its island as your destination. With limestone karst hills rising almost 1,000 metres into the air and surrounded by beautiful green waters, the area is incredibly picturesque. Trek to the an island cave and discover its eerie stalactites and bats hanging from the celling, with subterranean streams at your feet. You’ll enjoy lunch in a local raft-house before having free time to relax, swim or kayak around the lake to search for wildlife – the water is clear and teems with aquatic life, and you might spot hornbills, langurs, macaques or gibbons above water. Return to your accommodation for the night.
      Included Activities
      • Khao Sok - Cheow Lan Lake tour
        Accommodation
        Resort (1 nt)
        Meals
        1 lunch
        Day 5 Homestay
        Sit back and enjoy a local bus ride to Krabi province – you’ll travel by private minibus to your village homestay (approximately 3 hours). When you arrive, enjoy a walk with your homestay host around the village, try out rubber tapping and enjoy the great food and hospitality of the region. Thailand is one of the world’s three largest producers of rubber, and you can try your hand at ‘tapping’ a rubber tree – skimming the bark off the tree to create a path for the milky white latex to run down. There is also an opportunity to assist with the preparation of tonight's meal – learn some of the delicious secrets of southern Thai cooking and enjoy a dinner that tastes all the better thanks to your handiwork! This is a wonderful opportunity to absorb some of the daily rituals of Thai culture.

        Notes: Please be aware that this is a Muslim region so conservative dress standards are appreciated. Your homestay is located in a small friendly village, in basic multishare rooms with mattresses and mosquito nets provided. Bathroom facilities are shared.
        Included Activities
        • Homestay - Village walk
        • Homestay - Thai cooking demonstration
          Accommodation
          Homestay (1 nt)
          Meals
          1 lunch, 1 dinner
          Day 6 Krabi
          Make the short journey by private minibus to the stunning surrounds of Krabi and your base at Ao Nang (approximately 30 minutes). Famous for the incredible limestone karst scenery of the headland, sun-seekers will fall in love with Krabi's unspoilt beaches, the spectacular cliffs will tempt avid rock climbers, while scuba fans can embark on a Krabi diving adventure. If you love getting out on the water and exploring islands, then consider taking a trip by boat to explore Phi Phi and Khai Nok, islands surrounded by white sandy beach perfect for swimming and snorkelling. The area around Krabi is also home to some of the most spectacular climbing routes around. Whether you're a novice or a pro, being securely tied high up a limestone cliff-face looking down on jungle and crystalline seas is unforgettable. In the evening, look out for a beautiful sunset and consider dining on seafood in a beachside restaurant, followed by a drink in one of the many clubs and bars along on the beach.
          Optional Activities
          • Krabi - Rock Climbing - THB1800
          • Ao Nang - Scuba Diving (3 dives) - THB4000
          • Krabi - Phi Phi Island Day Tour - THB1600
          • Krabi - Thai Cooking Class - THB1300
            Accommodation
            Guesthouse (1 nt)
            Meals
            1 breakfast
            Day 7 Krabi
            This morning you’ll enjoy an included half day Sea Kayaking trip to the mangrove forest of Ao Thalane. About half way along the coast between Than Bok Khoranee and Krabi town is a bay of mangroves that might just be the most beautiful bay in Thailand. Surrounded by towering karst formations and many small offshore islands, let the waterways become your pathway as you move slowly through the bays and canyons, discover inlets, caves and hidden lagoons, and check out the local wildlife up-close – the birds overhead and monkeys in the trees. If you do see a monkey, make sure you secure your belongings and any food! If you have time today in the afternoon, you could explore the beautiful underwater world around Ao Nang with some scuba diving, which includes three dives, or maybe absorb Thai culture through the tastes of a Thai cooking class. In the evenings, you can stroll the beaches, sample local fare at a seafood restaurant, enjoy a relaxing massage on the beach, or simply sit back with a good book and a cool cocktail to watch the sun slip beneath the waves.
            Included Activities
            • Krabi - Sea Kayaking
              Accommodation
              Guesthouse (1 nt)
              Meals
              1 lunch
              Day 8 Penang
              Get out your best book or find your entertainment at the scenery out the window, as today’s a long day of travel (approximately 9 hours). The journey by private minibus sees you say goodbye to Thailand and wave hello to the cultural melting pot of Malaysia. The fascinating island of Penang was the first destination of the colonial British in 1786. They invited the Chinese, as well as others from all over Asia, to live on this island in the tropics. Today, this exotic fusion of cultures still exists and the World Heritage site of Georgetown contains a fascinating mix of religious places of worship. When you arrive, you’ll take an orientation walk around the blend of colonial buildings, tumble-down shops and hawker-filled alleyways to get your bearings. The food here might just be the best in Malaysia, so tonight why not seek out the endless food stalls of this food paradise. Your guide can give you some tips, or ask the locals! Look out for local specialties like Nasi Kandar, Penang Laksa, and Char Kway Teow.
              Included Activities
              • Penang - Orientation Walk
                Accommodation
                Hotel (1 nt)
                Day 9 Penang
                This morning you’ll take a half day sightseeing walking tour around Penang and Georgetown, soaking up the relaxed pace of life and the mix of cultures on show in this heritage area. See the original 19th century shophouses, the street markets, and the strong cultural and religious identity still on display in each neighbourhood – Little India, Chinatown or the Muslim Quarter. Check out the street art that adorns the walls and stop by a clan jetty. Clans were formed by 19th century immigrants, banding together based on the area of China that they came from, and they built rival waterfront societies on wooden jetties. You’ll also pay a visit to Thai and Burmese temples, and see Kek Lok Si Temple, the largest Buddhist temple in South East Asia. You’ll have this afternoon free and, aside from sauntering along the interesting streets (or hoping in a trishaw for a ride that will take you back in time), you might visit Fort Cornwallis, built to defend the city from invasion, or see the clan house of Khoo Kongsi. Check out the ornate carvings on the walls, roof and pillars, and maybe see more Chinese architecture in the memorably blue Courtyard House of Cheong Fatt Tze, a fabulously wealthy merchant. Don’t forget to feast on the island’s culinary delights tonight.
                Included Activities
                • Penang - Half Day Sightseeing
                • Penang - Kek Lok Si
                  Optional Activities
                  • Penang - Fort Cornwallis - MYR20
                  • Penang - Khoo Kongsi - MYR10
                  • Penang - Funicular Railway - MYR55
                  • Penang - Trishaw Ride - MYR50
                  • Penang - Chong Fat Tze Museum - MYR12
                    Accommodation
                    Hotel (1 nt)
                    Meals
                    1 breakfast
                    Day 10 Kuala Lumpur
                    Continue south on a local bus to Kuala Lumpur (approximately 5 hours). This is a great opportunity to try and chat with the locals and maybe get some tips out of them for your next destination. Kuala Lumpur, the cosmopolitan capital of Malaysia, is affectionately known as KL and you'll almost always hear locals refer to it by its acronym. Communities of Indian, Chinese and ethnic Malay people mingle peacefully, allowing travellers to get the best of all three worlds. KL has grown from a sleepy little village to a skyscraper-lined multi-million-peopled metropolis. The city can seem vast, but the main focus is the traditional core of the old town (the former colonial centre), the luxury hotel and shopping mall district of the Golden Triangle, and bustling Chinatown and Little India. Once again, you’ll be incredibly spoilt with the breadth and quality of dining options on offer. From simple-street side fare that attracts queues of customers eager to try the latest dish said to be the best around, to seriously high-calibre, world-class cuisine.
                    Accommodation
                    Hotel (1 nt)
                    Meals
                    1 breakfast
                    Day 11 Kuala Lumpur
                    Take a half-day tour and absorb the fascinating multicultural mix that gives Kuala Lumpur such a uniquely cosmopolitan feel. You’ll also visit some of the city's most impressive architecture such as the National Monument (commemorating those who died in Malaysia's struggle for freedom and based on the Iwo Jima Memorial in the USA), the vast National Mosque, featuring a bold and modern design, and the Istana Negara (National Palace). You’ll also drop by the Royal Selangor Club, which looks like it’s come straight from Tudor England, and scale the 272 steps up to the Batu Caves, where shrines are filled with fascinating statues of the Hindu Gods. In free time, you might stroll Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square), or shop in Suria KLCC (one of Malaysia’s premier shopping destinations) and then head up to the Skybridge & Observation Deck of the iconic Petronas Towers. Those with a head for heights can also climb up the KL Tower at dusk and watch the city lights come to life. Lake Gardens is home to a number of sights, including the National Planetarium and the superb Islamic Arts Museum, home to a standout collection. If culture’s your thing then perhaps enjoy a cultural show, or try your hand at Batik, a technique of dying cloth that’s a real art form. Tonight, be sure to indulge in the myriad tasty food options Kuala Lumpur is famous for.
                    Included Activities
                    • Kuala Lumpur - City tour
                      Optional Activities
                      • Kuala Lumpur - KL Tower - MYR49
                      • Kuala Lumpur - Cultural Show - MYR5
                      • Kuala Lumpur - Batik Day Course - MYR30
                      • Kuala Lumpur - Petronas Towers Skybridge & Observation Deck - MYR86
                      • Kuala Lumpur - Planetarium - MYR12
                      • Kuala Lumpur - Islamic Arts Museum - MYR12
                        Accommodation
                        Hotel (1 nt)
                        Meals
                        1 breakfast
                        Day 12 Melaka
                        Transfer by local bus to the old port town of Melaka (approximately 3 hours). Back when Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore left little impression on a map, the historic city of Melaka was the most important trading port in Malaysia, attracting Chinese, Indian, Dutch, Portuguese and British traders. These visitors sought wealth or an opportunity to control the Straits of Malacca, a vital trading route between the Indian and Pacific oceans, which lead to 400 years of colonial rule. Today, Melaka's wealth of historical sites remind visitors of times gone by, and its multicultural past is revealed in its distinctive cuisine. Like Georgetown, the Melaka was declared a World Heritage Site in 2008, and like its Penang sibling, the city is a harmonic mix of cultures, a place where colonial buildings sit next to Chinese shophouses and temples.
                        Accommodation
                        Hotel (1 nt)
                        Meals
                        1 breakfast
                        Day 13 Melaka
                        Today you’ll get to know this port city better with a quaint trishaw tour along the narrow winding streets. You’ll admire Chinatown's unique Peranakan architecture, get a taste of old Melaka, and learn about the ancient spice trade. Take in sites such as Harmony Street (so called because it contains the prayer houses of Malaysia's three main faiths), and stop by a mosque, Chinese Buddhist Temples, and a traditional Muslim house-museum. In your free time this afternoon there are plenty of historic sights and museums to check out. From 17th century Dutch buildings and ships, to museums that showcase the local history of ethnic Chinese-Malays, the travels of diplomat and explorer Zheng He, and even a museum that focuses on concepts of beauty in different cultures. If you’re looking to get more active then you could perhaps jump on two wheels for an Eco Bike tour around the city, or see Melaka from a different perspective with a boat tour along the river.
                        Included Activities
                        • Melaka - Guided Orientation Walk
                        • Melaka - Trishaw Tour
                          Optional Activities
                          • Stadhuys, Melaka - MYR10
                          • Melaka - Taming Sari Tower - MYR22
                          • Portuguese ship Replica, Melaka - MYR7
                          • Melaka - Baba Nonya Heritage Museum - MYR8
                          • Melaka - Cheng Ho Museum - MYR20
                          • Melaka - Eco Bike Tour - MYR100
                          • Melaka - Museum Of Enduring Beauty - MYR1
                          • Melaka - River Tour - MYR17
                            Accommodation
                            Hotel (1 nt)
                            Meals
                            1 breakfast
                            Day 14 Singapore
                            Travel by local bus to your final destination of Singapore (approximately 5 hours). Singapore has few areas untouched by modernisation, but wandering the streets of Little India and Chinatown is a great way to see the old parts of the city. To explore further, check out the renowned shopping precinct of Orchard Road, or stop by Raffles to experience the old world charm of a Singapore Sling. An evening in Singapore is not complete without a stroll along Clarke Quay, or even a river cruise to learn more about the fascinating history of this city. Your accommodation tonight is a centrally located hotel, perfect for easy exploring. Whatever you choose today, maybe gather together your fellow travellers for a celebratory drink or meal as your Bangkok to Singapore adventure comes to an end.

                            Notes: Some rooms in tonight’s accommodation are internal and do not have windows.
                            Accommodation
                            Hotel (1 nt)
                            Meals
                            1 breakfast
                            Day 15 Singapore
                            There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
                            Optional Activities
                            • Chinatown Food Adventure Singapore - SING1 / Optional - USD60
                              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
                              Bangkok - Khlong boat (canal) tour
                              Bangkok - Wat Pho Temple
                              Khao Sok - Cheow Lan Lake tour
                              Homestay - Village walk
                              Homestay - Thai cooking demonstration
                              Krabi - Sea Kayaking
                              Penang - Orientation Walk
                              Penang - Half Day Sightseeing
                              Penang - Kek Lok Si
                              Kuala Lumpur - City tour
                              Melaka - Guided Orientation Walk
                              Melaka - Trishaw Tour
                              Important notes
                              A Single Supplement is available on this trip. Please contact your booking agent for more information. Single supplement doesn't include the following nights:
                              - Day 2 Overnight train
                              - Day 5 Homestay

                              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.

                              SINGLE TRAVELLERS:
                              Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
                              Accommodation
                              Guesthouse (2nt), Homestay (1nt), Hotel (8nt), Overnight sleeper train (1nt), Resort (2nt)
                              OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
                              The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

                              TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
                              Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Intrepid trips than your own.

                              CHECK-IN TIME
                              Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

                              PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
                              If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
                              Meals introduction
                              While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.
                              Meals
                              8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner
                              Transport
                              Bus, Overnight sleeper train, Private minibus, Public bus, Taxi, Underground/Subway, Van

                              OVERNIGHT TRAINS
                              Overnight sleeper trains in Thailand are air-conditioned with sleeping berths down both sides of the carriage. The carriage is multishare, and there are curtains that close over the beds. A sleeping sheet and a pillow are provided, and our luggage travels in the carriage with us. There is a western and Asian-style toilet located at the end of the carriage, with carriage lights staying on during the night.

                              LONG TRAVEL DAYS
                              There are some long travel days and some of the transport can be quite cramped and without air-conditioning.
                              Money matters
                              The receipt of commissions or kickbacks in exchange for recommending particular shops or services is ingrained in the culture of the tourism industry. Rather than turning a blind eye to this unavoidable issue in some areas, Intrepid has established a centralised fund whereby contributions from recommended suppliers are collected and distributed back into the business. Intrepid aim to provide the best value trips in the market, and this fund assists in keeping operating costs and trip prices low to you.

                              A priority in establishing this fund is that the experience of our traveller - you - is not compromised in any way. Please let us know via the feedback form completed after your trip if we are successfully meeting this objective.

                              The official currency of Thailand is the Baht (THB).

                              The official currency of Malaysia is the Ringgit (MYR).

                              The official currency of Singapore is the Singapore dollar (SGD).

                              The most convenient and cheapest way to obtain local currency is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). ATMs are now available in most towns and visa cash advances are available in major banks. The use of credit cards is restricted, mainly to major hotels. 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.

                              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).

                              TIPPING
                              If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. Although can be difficult to source we advise you to carry small notes of local currency each day to make tipping easier.

                              The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:

                              Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest US$1. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.

                              Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest US$2-US$3 per day for local guides.

                              Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest US$1-US$2 per day for drivers.

                              Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline US$2-US$4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

                              In total, we recommend you budget approx US$5-US$10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.

                              Optional Tipping Kitty:
                              At your group meeting on Day 1 your tour leader will discuss with you the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This is often the easiest way to avoid the hassles of needing small change and knowing when and what is an appropriate amount to tip. Participation in this kitty is optional at your own discretion.

                              Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult

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

                              Budget for meals not included: 180.00

                              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.
                              Group leader
                              All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

                              Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
                              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.

                              MOTORBIKE BAG SNATCHING:
                              Be particularly aware of motorbike bag snatching, especially in the bigger cities.
                              Joining point
                              Nouvo City Hotel (Canal Wing)
                              2 Samsen Road
                              Banglumphu
                              Bangkok
                              10200
                              THAILAND
                              Phone: +66 22815596
                              Joining point description
                              Centrally located and close-by the famous Khao San road, the Nouvo City Hotel is within walking distance of many of the area's main attractions such as: Grand Palace, National Museum and Wat Po. Rooms are equipped with private en-suite, Formerly known as the New World City Hotel they have changed their name on the 1st of December 2014 to merge with the Nouvo City Hotel. We use the "canal wing" for all of our Intrepid Original trips that stay at this property.
                              Breakfast is not included but a buffet breakfast can be purchased in the hotel's restaurant.
                              Please note that no alcohol is served in this hotel but there are lots of great bars across the road
                              Joining point instructions
                              Metered taxi ranks are located outside the airport entrance on the 1st floor (gate 4 and 7). Go out of the customs hall, down to the 1st level and walk outside the airport where there is a table with a sign saying "metered taxis". The cost is the metered fare plus a THB50 surcharge. If the taxi uses the toll way it is up to an extra THB75. The total fare should be about THB400 Baht (US$11). Non-metered taxis are also available, where you will be given a docket to pay the driver a set price of THB700 (US$20).

                              Alternatively Intrepid offer a pre arranged transfer service option. Enquire with your agent and advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your trip departure. If you have purchased an arrival transfer you will be met after exiting customs. Look for exit door 6 and our representative holding a sign with your name on it.

                              If you have any problems and cannot locate our transfer representative on arrival please go to the ATTA Counter (Association of Thai Travel Agents) near exit door 6 on the same floor and ask them to call our transfer operator World Travel Idea 24hr number 081 658 2727 or 081 566 9324.

                              Check in time at the hotel is after 14.00
                              Finish point
                              Hangout Hotel
                              10A Upper Wilkie Road
                              Little India
                              Singapore
                              228119
                              SINGAPORE
                              Phone: +65 (06)4385588
                              Fax: +65 (06)3396008
                              Finish point description
                              Set in a quiet location on the outskirts of Little India and just a short 5 to 10 minute walk from the Little India MRT, the Hangout Hotel has 24 hour free internet and free wireless in all rooms. All rooms have en suite bathrooms and air conditioning. Please note some rooms are internal and do not have windows. Requests for double rooms cannot be guaranteed due to a limited number of rooms, and twin rooms will be provided in this case. Other features include rooftop terrace and lounge area with movies and pool table. Other facilities include safety deposit boxes, baggage storage room, 24 hour international calling, token operated laundry and drying machines available 24 hours and basic cooking facilities.
                              www.hangouthotels.com
                              Finishing point instructions
                              You can contact the staff at Hotel reception if you would like to arrange a Taxi to the airport. Approximate cost is SGD25 (surcharges apply between 07:30-09-30 and 23:30-06:30) and take about 30 minutes depending on traffic.

                              Alternatively, a short walk from our hotel is the Little India MRT station where trains to Changi Airport leave every ten minutes between 05:30 and 23:30 - please allow at least 60 minutes travel time. You will have to change lines on the way. A MRT ticket to the airport will cost SGD1.60.
                              Emergency contact
                              In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Thailand Office can be reached on Tel: +66 898 103 722 (Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Borneo, Indonesia, Burma & Phillipines) and Tel: +855 92 555 969 (Cambodia).

                              For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist. For further contact details please use the following page:

                              For general contact details please use the following page: 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.

                              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.

                              MALAYSIA:
                              Most nationalities do not need visas to visit Malaysia as a tourist for up to three months. Please check with your relevant Malaysian embassy or consulate.

                              SINGAPORE:
                              Most nationalities do not require a visa to visit Singapore. Tourists not requiring a visa will be granted a 30 day stay on arrival. Other nationalities should check with their Singapore embassy or consulate.

                              BORDER CROSSINGS:
                              Your visa application form may require you to state the dates on which you enter and exit that country. Please note we suggest you list your date of entry a few days before, and date of exit a few days after, your intended dates in case you encounter any delays or problems en route. The following are the international/administrative border crossings for this trip:

                              On Day 8 we cross the border from Thailand to Malaysia
                              - The Thailand border is Wang Pra Jan
                              - The Malaysia border is Wang Kelian

                              On Day 14 we cross the border from Malaysia to Singapore
                              - The Malaysia border is Johor Bahru
                              - The Singapore border is Singapore

                              To help calculate the exact dates of these crossings we have found the following website useful - http://www.timeanddate.com
                              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

                              WATER BOTTLE:
                              Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.

                              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.
                              Climate and seasonal information
                              RAMADAN:
                              The month-long Ramadan Festival will start on the 7th of June 2016. This is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan business hours are shortened, including opening hours at all popular tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. While you definitely need to expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month of Ramadan is a fantastic month to travel in Muslim countries as it offers a chance to witness this fascinating Islamic event and the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken, from 7th July 2016.

                              CHINESE NEW YEAR:
                              An important 15-day festival for the Malaysian Chinese, based on the lunar calendar in January or February. In 2016, the Year of the Monkey is scheduled to be held from 8th February. This can be a busy time and some transport delays, shop closures and reduced opening hours at some sites may be expected, but there are also many fabulous festivals and rituals to observe during this time, so it's a great time to travel. Although we make all reasonable efforts to avoid disruption a flexible approach from the traveller is appreciated.

                              SONGKRAN FESTIVAL 13-15 April 2016:
                              The festival depends on the Lunar New Year and in 2016 will be in 13-15 April 2016. Traditionally houses and villages are properly cleaned in preparation for the New Year, flowers are gathered to decorate Buddha images, young people pour water over the elders for good luck. Songkran Festival is often referred to as the “water festival” as it is now common to throw water over each other during the festival period.
                              Our advice is to be prepared to get wet! Your leader will discuss the festival activities upon day one at the group meeting.
                              Our 10th of April 2016 departure will experience the Songkran Festival.
                              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.

                              BOX JELLY FISH
                              Box jelly fish have been reported in Thailand waters throughout the year. Please be aware when swimming alone and follow any warnings from local authorities as stings require immediate medical treatment and fatalities have been known to occur.

                              AIR POLLUTION
                              From June to October, Malaysia can experience air pollution from forest fires in Indonesia. Current recorded pollution readings in a number of states are higher than usual for this time of year. The persistent hot and dry weather conditions also causes dust to remain suspended in the air and accumulate, causing haze. Please be aware of this if you suffer from any medical conditions exasperated by air pollution.
                              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.

                              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 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

                              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.

                              Feedback
                              After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

                              http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback

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