Classic Thailand East Coast (May - Oct) Trip Notes

Classic Thailand East Coast (May - Oct)

Last Modified: 21 Mar 2016
Classic Thailand East Coast (May - Oct)
Trip code: TTSBC
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Combining the best of the north and south, this is the definitive Thailand tour. Travel from the clamour of the capital to the serenity of steamy rainforests, from atmospheric ruins to relaxed sun-drenched islands. Tour temples in Bangkok, bargain-hunt in lively Chiang Mai and then swim, snorkel or simply kick back on the divine beaches of the southern coast. This adventure is the perfect chance to visit the many attractions and treasures of Thailand.
Table of Contents
StyleAccommodation NotesFinishing point instructions
ThemesMeals introductionEmergency contact
Why we love itMealsVisas
MapTransportWhat to take
ItineraryMoney mattersHealth
Itinerary disclaimerGroup leaderTravel insurance
Physical ratingSafetyA couple of rules
Included activitiesJoining pointResponsible Travel
Important notesJoining point descriptionThe Intrepid Foundation
Group sizeJoining point instructionsFeedback
Your fellow travellersFinish point
AccommodationFinish point description
Style
Original
Themes
Explorer
Why we love it
- Explore the colourful streets of Bangkok
- See the stunning ruins of Sukhothai
- Feast upon scrumptious Thai cuisine
- Stay with Intrepid's village friends in rural Thailand
- Experience culture in chilled out Chiang Mai
- Discover Buddhist relics in Bangkok city
- Cruise to idyllic Thai islands
- Chill out on perfect beaches
- Experience the amazing Thai hospitality
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Bangkok
Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1.
Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
Thailand's bustling capital, Bangkok is famous for its tuk tuks, khlong boats and street vendors serving up delicious Thai food.
Bangkok has so much to offer those with time to explore - why not take a riverboat to Chinatown and explore the crowded streets, uncover the magnificent Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, wander down the tourist mecca of Khao San Road, or indulge in some Thai massage?
Optional Activities
  • Bangkok - Grand Palace - THB500
  • Bangkok - Thai Massage - THB250
  • Bangkok - Tuk Tuk Experience Urban Adventure - THB1790
  • Bangkok - Bangkok by Bike Urban Adventure - THB1904
    Accommodation
    Hotel (1 nt)
    Day 2-3 Sukhothai
    We take a local bus from Bangkok to Sukhothai (approx. 6 hours) with a short midway stop for a chance to stretch the legs and buy some lunch.
    The first ancient capital of Siam, Sukhothai was established in the 13th century. Located on a fertile plain, Sukhothai means the 'Dawn of Happiness' and is now famous for its World Heritage-listed historic park, which celebrates the Golden Age of Thai civilisation.
    Try a local dish such as Sukhothai noodles at the fascinating local night market.
    Head out to the historical ruins of Old Sukhothai, set amid beautiful lakes and gardens. The religious art and architecture of the Sukhothai era are considered to be the most classic of Thai styles and the Sukhothai Historical Park contains the remains of 21 historic sites with awe-inspiring Buddha images and four large ponds often filled with stunning lotus flowers in full bloom.
    Upon arrival at the park, hire bicycles and enjoy a few leisurely hours feeling the breeze in your hair and learning about the history of this fascinating place. Enjoy a home-cooked picnic lunch somewhere along the way, and if we have enough free time, we'll visit a local ceramics factory.
    Included Activities
    • Sukhothai - Historical Park Bike Tour & Picnic Lunch
      Accommodation
      Resort (2 nt)
      Meals
      1 breakfast, 1 lunch
      Day 4 Homestay
      Today we travel by private minivan from Sukothai to our Homestay for the evening (approx 4-5 hours). On the way we stop off at Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital located in Lampang.
      Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital is a non-government organisation in Thailand which aims to protect and conserve the welfare of elephants both domesticated and wild. We stop off at this center today to see the fantastic work this organisation is doing to care for the elephants in Thailand.
      Stay the night at the warm and welcoming home of Intrepid's longtime friends in a small Thai village (approx 1.5 hrs from the Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital) Accommodation is multishare and basic (there will be fold-out mattresses on the floor and shared bathrooms). In the evening, we're treated to a traditional northern Thai khantohk dinner accompanied by live music and dancing
      Included Activities
      • Lampang - Friends of the Asian Elephant
        Accommodation
        Homestay (1 nt)
        Meals
        1 breakfast, 1 dinner
        Day 5-7 Chiang Mai
        In the morning we jump on local bikes and cruise around the homestay village. This is a great opportunity to see how the locals live and we make a few stops along the way to see small country industries. Cycling past the rice fields and breathing in the fresh country air with beautiful mountains in the distance makes this morning a picture postcard experience.
        We say goodbye to our new friends and travel to Chiang Mai (approx 45 mins)
        The most vibrant city in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai has many famous temples and an interesting old city area. This 'Rose of the North' is also known for its beauty and the friendliness of the local people.
        Explore the famous temple complex of Doi Suthep. Drive along a scenic, winding mountain road that ends at an impressive 300-step naga-guarded stairway (approx 45 mins). The rewards justify the climb with one of the most beautiful temples in Thailand on display, not to mention fantastic panoramic views of the city and the opportunity to listen to hypnotic evening chanting by resident Buddhist monks.
        You have the option of doing a half day Thai Cooking Class or a half day Cycling tour around Chiang Mai
        Discover some of the secrets of Thai cuisine by joining a cookery course. Learn about the main ingredients used in Thai cuisine, how they are used and stored and what alternatives you can substitute if you can't get them at home. Questions are welcome and you are provided with a comprehensive book of recipes and ingredient details. For lunch, sit down and feast on the delicious results of your tuition. The meal is usually rounded off with a tasting of seasonal Thai fruit.
        Some may prefer to jump on a half day cycling trip. After a short safety briefing and bicycle fitting, we leave the hotel for the streets of Chiang Mai. Traffic downtown is light as we begin our cycling journey south, following the Ping River. It's pleasant to ride along its green banks. We visit a former leper colony which is now a rehabilitation centre and you will get to know some more of the daily life of the missionaries who worked here over a hundred years ago. Cycling over small country roads you will discover the real rural Thailand. The trip continues along various fruit orchards and you'll encounter the Thai way of life as we meander around the villages on the outskirts of Chiang Mai. We explore the temple ruins of Wiang Kum Kam, the former capital of Lanna, before we cycle back to Chiang Mai.
        Our accommodation clean, comfortable in Chiang Mai is located by the famous night markets and has ensuite bathrooms and air conditioning.
        Board an overnight train for Bangkok (approx 13 hrs). We use soft sleeper class trains for all of our overnight train journeys. Multishare compartments with air-conditioning and bunk beds - sheets and a pillow are provided. Our baggage travels in the carriage with us. There's a food and drink service available on board.
        Included Activities
        • Chiang Mai - Thai Cooking Class OR Cycling Tour (half day)
          Optional Activities
          • Chiang Mai - Doi Suthep temple - THB50
          • Chiang Mai - Urban Adventures - Mae Ping River Experience - THB2460
          • Chiang Mai - Urban Adventures - Mind & Soul - THB2300
            Accommodation
            Hotel, Overnight sleeper train (3 nt)
            Meals
            1 breakfast, 2 lunches
            Day 8-9 Bangkok
            Loud, bright, chaotic and delightful, Bangkok is a city of modern excesses intermingled with simple traditions, all wrapped up in the famous smiles of the locals.
            As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.
            Pay a visit to Wat Pho, home to the country's largest reclining Buddha and keeper of the magic behind Thai massage.
            We head southbound for Surat Thani on an overnight train, accommodated in air conditioned sleeping berths (approx 13 hrs). Multishare compartments have bunk beds; sheets and pillow provided. Our baggage travels in the carriage with us. There is a food and drink service available on board.
            Included Activities
            • Bangkok - Wat Pho Temple
              Optional Activities
              • Bangkok - Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) - THB50
              • Bangkok - Thai Massage - THB250
              • Bangkok - Grand Palace - THB500
              • Bangkok - Chinatown Food Discovery Urban Adventure - THB2149
              • Bangkok - Jim Thompson's House - THB100
              • Bangkok - Bangkok by Bike Urban Adventure - THB1904
                Accommodation
                Hotel, Overnight sleeper train (2 nt)
                Day 10-11 Ko Pha-Ngan
                Arrive into Surat Thani and continue by bus (approx 1.5 hrs) and boat (approx 3 hrs) over to Ko Pha-Ngan.
                The beautiful island of Ko Pha-Ngan is a perfect spot for relaxing on the beach or exploring the island's fishing villages, temples and waterfalls.
                A highlight on any beach in Thailand is to get a massage on the beach. We enjoy an included 1 hour Thai massage right on the beach front where you have no choice but to relax!
                Finish a relaxing day with an included seafood barbeque right on the beach.
                Included Activities
                • Koh Pha-Ngan - Thai Massage on the beach (1 hour)
                  Accommodation
                  Guesthouse (2 nt)
                  Meals
                  1 dinner
                  Day 12-13 Ko Tao
                  From one island paradise to another - it's about 2 hours by boat to Ko Tao.
                  Famous for its spectacular coral reefs, the delightful little island of Ko Tao is the place for immersing yourself in tropical waters and relaxing on the beach under swaying coconut palms - what a tough life!
                  Take a snorkelling trip to explore around the island. With coral and fish aplenty and the remote chance of seeing timid reef sharks amongst mesmerising coral formations, Ko Tao is undeniably one of the jewels in southern Thailand's crown.
                  In the evenings, you can stroll the beaches or sample local fare at a seafood restaurant. Ko Tao also has a small but lively scene for those who are interested in some dancing and socialising on the beach.
                  Included Activities
                  • Ko Tao - Day tour & snorkelling
                    Optional Activities
                    • Ko Tao - Thai Massage - THB300
                      Accommodation
                      Bungalow (2 nt)
                      Meals
                      1 breakfast, 1 lunch
                      Day 14-16 Ko Samui
                      Take a boat over to Ko Samui (approx 2.5 hrs).
                      Known simply as Samui by locals, Thailand's third largest island is rich with white sandy beaches, coral reefs and coconut trees. There's also the Big Buddha, waterfalls, a mummified monk, great shopping opportunities and a lively nightlife. There's something for everyone on this cosmopolitan island.
                      If you feel like being more active today, take an optional day trip to Ang Thong Marine National Park - an idyllic archipelago of around 40 islands - where you have the opportunity to explore some of the islands and do some snorkeling.
                      There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
                      Optional Activities
                      • Ko Samui - Ang Thong Marine Park tour - THB1500
                        Accommodation
                        Hotel (2 nt)
                        Meals
                        3 breakfasts
                        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
                        Sukhothai - Historical Park Bike Tour & Picnic Lunch
                        Lampang - Friends of the Asian Elephant
                        Chiang Mai - Thai Cooking Class OR Cycling Tour (half day)
                        Bangkok - Wat Pho Temple
                        Koh Pha-Ngan - Thai Massage on the beach (1 hour)
                        Ko Tao - Day tour & snorkelling
                        Important notes
                        A single supplement is available on this trip, please see trip notes for further 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.

                        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.

                        A single supplement is available on this trip. The following days are excluded from the single supplement:
                        Day 4 Homestay
                        Day 7 Overnight Train
                        Day 9 Overnight Train
                        Accommodation
                        Bungalow (2nt), Guesthouse (2nt), Homestay (1nt), Hotel (6nt), Overnight sleeper train (2nt), 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
                        7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 2 dinners
                        Transport
                        Bus, Ferry, Minibus, Overnight sleeper train, Public bus, Songthaew

                        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.
                        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 USD360 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.

                        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.

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

                        The receipt of commissions or kickbacks in exchange for recommending particular shops or services is ingrained in the culture of the tourism industry. Rather than turning a blind eye to this unavoidable issue in some areas, Intrepid has established a centralised fund whereby contributions from recommended suppliers are collected and distributed back into the business. Intrepid aim to provide the best value trips in the market, and this fund assists in keeping operating costs and trip prices low to you.

                        A priority in establishing this fund is that the experience of our traveller - you - is not compromised in any way. Please let us know via the feedback form completed after your trip if we are successfully meeting this objective.
                        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
                        Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

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

                        Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

                        For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

                        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.

                        SNORKELLING:
                        Your leader will conduct a brief safety discussion before our snorkelling activities.

                        WATER SAFETY:
                        Please take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water, where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It's expected that anyone taking part in water activities is able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water.

                        Please note bike helmets are provided on the included bike activity on this trip. Please note bike helmets may not be of the same standard as from your home country, if you have any concerns we recommend you bringing your own bike helmet.
                        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
                        Samui Palm Beach Resort
                        175/3 Thaveerat-Pakdee Road
                        Bophut
                        Ko Samui
                        84320
                        THAILAND
                        Phone: +66 77425494
                        Fax: +66 77425358
                        Finish point description
                        The beautiful Samui Palm Beach Resort is located in the city centre, very close to Bo Phut Beach, Fishermans Village, Bo Phut Beach Pier and Mae Nam Beach Pier. Samui Palm Beach Resort includes a 24 hour front desk, ATM/banking facilities, Lounge Bar, Restaurant, a choice of swimming pools, fitness centre, Free internet service at lobby (but a charge for Wifi)
                        and a dry cleaning service. The rooms have private bathrooms, tv with premium channels and air-con.

                        Finishing point instructions
                        Samui Palm Beach Resort can help organise a taxi to the airport - this will take roughly 15 minutes (depending on traffic) and expect to pay around THB210 (About USD6) - please speak to hotel reception to organise this.

                        The opportunity to pre- book a private departure transfer is available through Intrepid - please enquire at the time of booking. This needs to be booked at least 2 weeks prior to trip start date.

                        Normal check out time is 12 noon
                        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
                        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.

                        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 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

                        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.

                        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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