Hilltribe Experience Trip Notes

Hilltribe Experience

These trip notes are valid for departures from 01 January 2014 to 31 December 2016. View the trip notes for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Last Modified: 04 Oct 2016
Hilltribe Experience
Trip code: TTAX-B
Validity: 01 Jan 2014 to 31 Dec 2016
Pull on your walking boots, stretch those leg muscles and take to the hills on a classic Intrepid trek through Thailand’s hilltribe country. Walk along winding jungle tracks and through green fields, observing what life is really like for villagers in this remote area, and sleep in traditional bamboo huts at night. Make friends with welcoming tribespeople as you hike through this remote region where each tribe has its own distinct language, style of dress and religion and learn the secrets to jungle survival from those who know best. Stay on a few extra days to explore ancient temples in Chiang Mai - there are over 300! If you’re after a short city escape and the chance to experience the real Thailand away from the tourist crowds, then this trip is just the ticket. TRIP CHANGES FOR 2016: Following the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej a 1 year mourning period has been declared in Thailand. In the first 30 days all government offices will fly the Thai flag at half-mast and there will likely be restrictions on the opening hours or selling of alcohol at entertainment venues including pubs and clubs. If your trip is before mid-January 2017 and includes a visit to the Grand Palace, this activity will be replaced with an alternative as the Palace will be closed to tourists while people from all over Thailand pay their respects to the King. Your leader will discuss this and any other changes with you at the Group Meeting on Day 1. As this is an emotional time for Thailand and its people we ask that our travellers wear dark coloured clothing over the next 30 days as a mark of respect to the much loved King.
Table of Contents
StyleAccommodationFinishing point instructions
ThemesAccommodation NotesEmergency contact
Is this trip right for you?Meals introductionVisas
Why we love itMealsWhat to take
MapMoney mattersHealth
ItineraryGroup leaderTravel insurance
Itinerary disclaimerSafetyA couple of rules
Physical ratingJoining pointResponsible Travel
Included activitiesJoining point descriptionThe Intrepid Foundation
Important notesJoining point instructionsFeedback
Group sizeFinish point
Your fellow travellersFinish point description
Short Breaks, Walking & Trekking
Is this trip right for you?
- Please note many of our Short Break Adventures operate with a minimum of 1 person, so there may be instances where you are the only person on the trip.
- This trip is lead by our local representative – they will meet you on Day 1 at the group meeting, then meet you again on the morning of Day 2 to begin the Hilltribe trek. They will not stay in the hotel in Chiang Mai.
- This trip includes treks of moderate difficulty of 4-5 hours on Days 2 and 3, and requires you to carry your trek pack and any additional personal items required for two nights. Therefore a good level of fitness is required to maximise your enjoyment of this trip.
Why we love it
- Discover real Thai countryside and its people with a 3-day trek into the hills of Northern Thailand
- Local guides deepen the learning and appreciation of different villages, each with their own language, clothing style and belief systems
- Meet and chat with friendly villagers and discover more about their unique cultures
- Stay in atmospheric bamboo huts in different hilltribe villages each night
- Explore remote villages, help prepare evening meals, and feast on traditional hilltribe cuisine
- Start and finish in the temple-studded city of Chiang Mai, making this short break adventure an easy add-on to a Northern Thailand journey

Day 1 Chiang Mai
Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand. The most vibrant city in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai has many famous temples and an interesting old city area. Renowned for dazzling beauty and extremely welcoming locals, the ‘Rose of the North’ will leave you spellbound. Chances are, you won’t want to leave. Today is an arrival day and you can arrive at any time before the welcome meeting tonight at 6pm. An airport arrival transfer is included. This transfer is only valid if arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Intrepid. Please provide your arrival details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 15 days prior to travel to organise this. There are so many things to do here – spectacular temples, delicious food, an enormous night market, a picturesque river-front and fantastic shopping, so perhaps arrive a few days early. Chiang Mai is a great place to hire a bicycle, sign up for a Thai cooking class, or loosen those muscles with some traditional Thai massage. After the welcome meeting your evening is free to explore the city as you please. Your local guide will meet you again tomorrow morning.

Notes: The trekking route is not fixed and may change due to weather and local conditions. Please bear this is mind.
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 Hilltribe Trek
This morning around 8:45am, leave Chiang Mai with your local guide by songthaew and head north (approximately 3 hours). At Mae Malai market stock up on snacks and water for the trek, then continue on to Chiang Dao Caves. Explore a set of five interconnected caves, thought to expand more than 12 kilometres into Doi Chiang Dao Mountain. The caves are among the most extensive in the county and are a popular pilgrimage spot for both monks and ordinary Thais. Tham Phra Nawn and Tham Seua Da are illuminated by electric lights and contain hermit images, a reclining Buddha, and stunning stalagmite and stalactite rock formations. Have lunch at a local restaurant near the cave entrance, then take a short drive to an Aha village called Baan Huay Go, the start of the trek. The first 2.5-3 hours of the trek is along an easy undulating path, through agricultural farmland and fields of corn. Cross through bamboo forest, surrounded by a beautiful landscape of limestone mountains. You’ll then arrive at this evening’s destination, a Palong (though they perefer the term Dara Ang) village called Baan Pang Daeng Nai. Around 58 families live in this self-sufficient economic village, strongly Buddhist people who migrated to Thailand in the early 1980s. Enjoy dinner cooked by your host, then take a walk around the village to interact with the locals, perhaps checking out the local naturally dyed clothes. You’ll stay in a bamboo stilt house, surrounded by an organic vegetable farm, with shared facilities. Conditions are basic, but this is a truly unforgettable Intrepid experience!
Included Activities
  • Hilltribe village visit
  • Hilltribe - 3 days trek
  • Chiang Dao Cave visit
    Bamboo Hut (1 nt)
    1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
    Day 3 Hilltribe Trek
    Wake up to the sounds of roosters and pigs, fuel up on breakfast around 8:30am, then maybe chat with local women and see the handicrafts that they sell, perhaps choosing to purchase some – spending your money on community enterprises directly can help support community development. Farewell your hosts and begin today's walk, which will take around 4-5 hours. Make your way through agricultural land, jungle, and then climb a hill through bamboo forest to reach a lookout (approximately 2.5 hours). Enjoy a quick rest and admire the view across the beautiful scene of Chiang Dao below. Descend for around 45 minutes, and then make friends with some elephants at a local camp as you set up for lunch. Enjoy noodles, vegetables, and fruit – maybe using some chopsticks that a porter has shaped from bamboo along the way. After lunch, continue your trek for another hour to the Dara-Ang (Palong) Village of Baan Pang Hor, your base for the night. Relax and rest your legs, then explore the village on a walk. There are around 120 Buddhist families in the village, which has a primary school and a temple, and tonight you’ll enjoy a cultural treat – a dancing show (Palong dance) by the local children.
    Included Activities
    • Hilltribe Cultural Dancing show
      Bamboo Hut (1 nt)
      1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
      Day 4 Hilltribe Trek / Chiang Mai
      Enjoy a natural animal wakeup call around 8am this morning, try and chat with the locals and discover more about their culture, then get some fuel – maybe pancakes or French toast! – on-board for today’s walk. Then it’s the start of your last day of trekking, and an easy walk to finish it off. Spot the local agricultural practices as you trek through farmland for the last 2 hours of the trek, before meeting your driver at the village of Baan Pang Dang Nok. Drive 40 minutes before stopping for lunch, then continue back to Chiang Mai (approximately 2 hours), arriving around 3pm and checking into your accommodation. The rest of the day is free to relax and explore the city. Maybe take a scenic, winding drive up a mountain (around 45 minutes) to one of the country's most stunning temple complexes, Doi Suthep. A 300-step naga-guarded stairway leads you to the temples, and the climb is well worth the effort. The hypnotic atmosphere of chanting Buddhist monks and sweeping views of the city make this a most memorable experience. Maybe head out for a final celebratory meal as this Hilltribe Experience comes to an end.
      Optional Activities
      • Chiang Mai - Doi Suthep temple - THB50
        Hotel (1 nt)
        1 breakfast, 1 lunch
        Day 5 Chiang Mai
        This adventure comes to an end today. There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. A transfer to the airport for your departure flight from Chiang Mai is included.
        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

        For the trek on this trip the general rule is the more preparation you have done for it, the more you will enjoy it. Although we are not walking at altitude or setting any distance records each day, the trek can still be demanding, as we walk through hilly terrain with our packs, and the temperature is often hot. We recommend that you undertake regular aerobic exercise in the weeks before you travel, particularly if you are not in the habit of regular exercise. Walking, jogging, swimming or riding a bike are all good ways to increase your aerobic fitness, which will allow you to enjoy the trek to its fullest.
        Included activities
        Hilltribe village visit
        Hilltribe - 3 days trek
        Chiang Dao Cave visit
        Hilltribe Cultural Dancing show
        Important notes
        Complimentary airport arrival and departure transfers are included with this trip. Please advise your flight details at time of booking.

        Group size
        Maximum of 12 travellers per group.
        Your fellow travellers
        As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

        Please note many of our Short Break Adventures operate with a minimum of 1 person, so there may be instances where you are the only person on the trip.
        Hotel (2nt), Mountain hut (2nt)
        The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in your selected accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

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

        If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
        Meals introduction
        While travelling with us you'll have the opportunity to experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility.

        Meals will be prepared by the porter/guide during the jungle adventure. During the day a stop will be made, allowing some time for relaxation and a simple lunch of rice or noodles. Drinking water is not included.
        4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners
        Money matters
        When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document).

        We recommend USD40 for meals not included.

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

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

        We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.

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

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

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

        Local guides: We suggest US$2-3 per day for local guides.

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

        In total, we recommend you budget approx US$5-10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.
        Group leader
        The aim of our local guides is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. On this Short Break Adventure you will get to enjoy the variety of having someone different for each day and/or activity. They will be able to provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and, where possible, introduce you to our local friends. You can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.

        Your local representative will meet you on the first day for a group meeting and will then accompany you on days 2-4 on the hilltribe trek.
        Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

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

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

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


        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.

        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.
        Joining point
        People Place 2 Hotel
        5 Soi 8 Charoen Prathet Road
        Chiang Mai
        Phone: 6653 274652
        Joining point description
        Centrally located the People Place 2 hotel is within short walking distance to the famous Chiang Mai night bazaar, as well as the flower market and the Ping river.
        Rooms are equipped with private en-suite, AC, TV, phone & mini-fridge. The hotel has 24hr reception, and safety deposit boxes. The People Place 2 Hotel is located directly next to the People Place Hotel.
        Joining point instructions
        An arrival transfer is included on this trip. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your departure. If you plan to arrive earlier, this arrival transfer can only be offered in conjunction with pre-tour accommodation booked through Intrepid.
        Our local representative will be holding a sign with your name when you exit the airport terminal. Should you need to contact our office for any reason, please call the following numbers:
        +66 282 2863 business hours
        +66 898 103 722 after hours.
        A taxi from the airport to your hotel in Chiang Mai costs about THB100. Buy a ticket at the taxi kiosk outside the baggage claim area in the airport.
        Finish point
        People Place 2 Hotel
        5 Soi 8 Charoen Prathet Road
        Chiang Mai
        Phone: 6653 274652
        Finish point description
        Centrally located the People Place 2 hotel is within short walking distance to the famous Chiang Mai night bazaar, as well as the flower market and the Ping river.
        Rooms are equipped with private en-suite, AC, TV, phone & mini-fridge. The hotel has 24hr reception, and safety deposit boxes. The People Place 2 Hotel is located directly next to the People Place Hotel.
        Finishing point instructions
        If you have a transfer to the Chiang Mai Airport your transfer driver will collect you from your Guesthouse 1.5hrs (90mins) before your flight time for domestic flights and 2.5hrs before your flight time for International flights. If your transfer has not arrived within 15minutes of the scheduled pickup time please call the Thailand 24hr emergency number +66 89 810 3722
        Emergency contact
        If you have arrived in Chiang Mai and are having issues finding your group or leader, or are unsure about the joining point etc, please call +66 818423554 from 8am to 8pm Monday to Sunday

        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
        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.

        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:


        A sleeping mat, sleeping bag and backpack will be delivered to your hotel the evening (around 6pm) on day 1. It is recommended that you bring a sleeping bag liner or inner sheet. The backpack is 35 to 40 litres and should be big enough to carry a spare set of clothes and basic necessities for the few days in the jungle. Baggage which is not required may be left at the hotel in Chiang Mai and collected upon your return from the jungle adventure.

        We do not recommend bringing video cameras when walking through the hilltribes as they can be perceived by the local people as highly intrusive.
        All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

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

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

        Zika Virus
        Thailand is experiencing ongoing transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus and we advise all travellers to protect themselves from mosquito bites. Given possible transmission of the disease to unborn babies, and taking a very cautious approach, pregnant women should consider postponing travel to Thailand or talk to their doctor about possible implications.

        Please see further information about the Zika virus (and our current cancellation/change policy) on our safety page of the Intrepid website at http://www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us/safety
        Travel insurance
        Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

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

        If you have credit card insurance our local representative will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact telephone number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

        Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:

        A couple of rules
        Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader or local representative has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

        Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
        Responsible Travel
        We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller.


        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:


        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:


        Organisations and projects currently supported by The Intrepid Foundation in Thailand include:

        * Friends of the Asian Elephant aims to protect and conserve the welfare of elephants - both domesticated and wild. FAE's elephant hospital provides free medical care and transportation, and is in the process of establishing a nursery in an effort to reduce the high infant mortality rate of domesticated working elephants.

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