River Kwai & Ancient Thai Kingdoms Trip Notes

River Kwai & Ancient Thai Kingdoms

Last Modified: 21 Jul 2016
River Kwai & Ancient Thai Kingdoms
Trip code: TTAR-O
Validity: 01 Jan 2014 to 31 Dec 2016
Leave behind the fast-moving streets of the Thai capital and take time out to experience Ayutthaya, a World Heritage-listed wonder near the border of Burma (Myanmar). Explore this ancient Siam capital with a knowledgeable local guide, and bear witness to timeworn temples, bell-shaped chedis and intricately carved relics of Thailand’s golden era. Travel onwards to the shady town of Kanchanaburi and pay tribute to the brave POWs who perished while building the infamous Hellfire Pass and Bridge on the River Kwai. Delve further into World War II history on a visit to the War Museum and Allied Cemetery before this historical sojourn completes the loop back in Bangkok. End the journey amid the buzz of night markets, sidewalk restaurants and colourful, chaotic streets.
Table of Contents
StyleAccommodationFinishing point instructions
ThemesAccommodation NotesEmergency contact
Is this trip right for you?Meals introductionVisas
Why we love itMealsWhat to take
MapMoney mattersClimate and seasonal information
ItineraryGroup leaderHealth
Itinerary disclaimerSafetyTravel insurance
Physical ratingJoining pointA couple of rules
Included activitiesJoining point descriptionResponsible Travel
Important notesJoining point instructionsThe Intrepid Foundation
Group sizeFinish pointFeedback
Your fellow travellersFinish point description
Style
Original
Themes
Short Breaks
Is this trip right for you?
- This Short Break Adventure is a ‘join in’ group departure, which means you are not accompanied by an Intrepid group leader – our local representative fills this role – and the configuration of any fellow travellers in the group might change during the trip.
- This trip will run with a minimum of one person, so you may be joined by other travellers booked on the same date as you, or you may be on your own.
- This trip starts early on Day 1 and finishes in the afternoon on Day 3. Therefore we recommend you book pre and post accommodation in Bangkok in conjunction with this trip. Our sales team can assist with these extra nights.
Why we love it
- Explore the ancient and modern history of Thailand with a 3-day trip from Bangkok, taking in Kanchanaburi and Ayutthaya
- Uncover a golden age of Siam with the royal residences and atmospheric temples of ancient Ayutthaya
- Swim in idyllic rock pools fed by waterfalls in the seven-tiered Erawan National Park
- Take a ride on the Death Railway and learn all about this tragic part of history at the Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum
- Travel by samlaw to the infamous Bridge on the River Kwai
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Bangkok/Ayutthaya/Kanchanaburi
Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand. Around 8am-9am this morning you’ll be picked up from the joining point hotel, along with other travellers in your group. If you prefer to be picked up from a different, centrally located hotel in Bangkok, please advise your booking agent at least 14 days before your departure date. Your first stop is the Bang Pa Inn Palace, a former summer retreat of Thai kings on the Chao Phraya River 65 kilometres north of the capital (approximately 1.5 hours). Admire the magnificent grounds, which are a combination of European and Thai designed buildings and gardens. Next, visit Ayutthaya, one of the ancient capitals of Siam and a World Heritage site. Here, explore Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, a temple that might offer a glimpse into the future, as it’s home to a fortune teller. Continue to Wat Phanan Cheoeng, Ayutthaya's answer to the Taj Mahal (approximately 40 minutes). It’s one of Ayutthaya's oldest temples and home to a 19-meter-high Buddha image. Behind the temple is a small 18th-century shrine built to honour a Chinese Princess, who drowned herself because of the king's infidelity. After lunch, move on to the 13th century ruins of Wat Phra Mahathat. The rows of Brumese beheaded Buddhas are very atmospheric, and a Buddha head surrounded by Banyan tree roots is perhaps the most photographed site in all of Ayutthaya. Head west to Kanchanaburi (approximately 3 hours) and check in to your resort, located on the famous River Kwai.
Included Activities
  • Ayuthaya Historical Park
    Accommodation
    Royal River Kwai Resort and Spa or similar (1 nt)
    Meals
    1 lunch
    Day 2 Kanchanaburi
    In the morning, set off to visit to Erawan National Park (approximately 1.5 hours) where you can explore the famous seven-level waterfall or simply swim and relax. The falls are considered the most beautiful in the whole country, with glacial blue waters rushing through the forest into bamboo-shaded pools perfect for a refreshing dip. If you want to make the climb all the way from level one to level seven it’s about a ninety-minute hike, with the uppermost level usually quiet and with a stunning view over the jungle below. Be sure to pack your swimming gear, but also appropriate footwear if you’re going to make the walk. After lunch, travel (approximately 1 hour) back towards Kanchanaburi, where you'll learn about a tragic part of the area's history. Hellfire Pass memorial was built to honour the Allied POWs and Asian conscripts who died while constructing some of the most difficult stretches of the Thai-Burma Death Railway – the eponymous pass, cut through rock 18 metres deep, got its name from the hellish fires used to light the work at night. Then you'll travel a short distance (approximately 20 minutes) to Nam Tok Train Station - The end of the original death railway station during the second world war which was constructed by the allied POWs. Take a ride along the historic tracks alongside the Kwai Noi River, passing through Tham Krasae station which is one of the most beautiful panoramic scenes of the Kwai Noi river from the curves of the wooden railway line close to the mountainside. After arriving at Kilen Train Station, transfer back to the hotel (approximately 30 minutes). Tonight there's an option to head into Kanchanaburi's famous night markets and try a variety of Western Thai dishes.
    Included Activities
    • Kanchanaburi - Erawan National Park
      Accommodation
      Royal River Kwai Resort and Spa or similar (1 nt)
      Meals
      1 breakfast, 1 lunch
      Day 3 Kanchanaburi/Bangkok
      After breakfast, head out on an orientation of the sights surrounding the town on board a traditional saamlaw (tricycle). This will include the WWII War Museum, the Allied War Cemetery, and the Bridge over the River Kwai itself. Travel through magnificent scenery and back to a dark time in the area’s history, and spend a moment reflecting on those who were forced to give their lives in the process of bending this environment to man’s will. You will then end this short adventure with a return to Bangkok (approximately 2 hours), where your trip ends in the afternoon.

      Notes: There is no accommodation included tonight.
      Included Activities
      • Saamlaw Tour (WWII museum, Allied War Cemetery, Bridge over River Kwai)
        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.

        This trip may run in reverse with the same inclusions and program AGE RESTRICTIONS: Age restrictions apply to this trip - minimum age 5.
        Physical rating

        Included activities
        Ayuthaya Historical Park
        Kanchanaburi - Erawan National Park
        Saamlaw Tour (WWII museum, Allied War Cemetery, Bridge over River Kwai)
        Important notes
        1. This Short Break Adventure starts at 8am on Day 1 and finishes in the afternoon on Day 3.
        2. You will be picked up on Day 1 from the Joining Point Hotel listed in the Essential Trip Information for this itinerary. Pick-up will take place between 8am and 8.30am in the Hotel Foyer..
        3. If you require pick up from another centrally-located hotel in Bangkok, please inform your booking agent at least 14 days prior to departure.

        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.

        Please note many of our Short Break Adventures operate with a minimum of 1 person, so there may be instances where you are the only person on the trip.
        Accommodation
        Hotel (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
        2 breakfasts, 2 lunches
        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 USD50 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.

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

        EMERGENCY FUNDS
        Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (e.g. a natural disaster, civil unrest, strike action or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        http://www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us/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.
        Joining point
        Nouvo City Hotel
        2 Samsen Road, Pranakorn
        Banglumphu
        Bangkok
        10200
        THAILAND
        Phone: +66 22827500
        Joining point description
        A modern centrally located hotel in the Bangamphu area which is also known as the Old Bangkok City. The hotel is only 15 minutes walk from Khao San Road. and walking distance to many Buddhist temples and the Grand Palace.
        All rooms have WiFi, air conditioning, hair dryer and a fridge.
        Please note that no alcohol is served in this hotel but there are lots of great bars across the road

        Joining point instructions
        You will be picked up on Day 1 from the Nouvo City Hotel between 8.00am and 9.00am. If you wish to be picked up from a different, centrally located hotel, please advise your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.

        Should you need to contact our local office for any last minute Hotel pick up changes, please call +66 2 282 2863 during business hours, or +66 898 103 722 after hours.

        We also recommend pre accommodation at the Nouvo City Hotel,

        Nouvo City Hotel,
        2 Samsen Rd, Banglumphu,
        Bangkok
        Ph: +66 2282 7500


        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.

        Finish point
        Nouvo City Hotel
        2 Samsen Road, Pranakorn
        Banglumphu
        Bangkok
        10200
        THAILAND
        Phone: +66 22827500
        Finish point description
        A modern centrally located hotel in the Bangamphu area which is also known as the Old Bangkok City. The hotel is only 15 minutes walk from Khao San Road. and walking distance to many Buddhist temples and the Grand Palace.
        All rooms have WiFi, air conditioning, hair dryer and a fridge.
        Please note that no alcohol is served in this hotel but there are lots of great bars across the road

        Finishing point instructions
        You will be dropped back off at your centrally located Hotel in Bangkok.

        If you have a transfer to the Bangkok Airport your transfer driver will collect you from your Guesthouse 3 hours before your flight time. If your transfer has not arrived within 15minutes of the scheduled pickup time please ask the hotel / guesthouse reception to call our transfer operator World Travel Idea 24hr number 081 658 2727 or 081 566 9324.
        Emergency contact
        While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

        We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

        You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

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

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


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

        Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

        THAILAND:
        If entering by air most nationalities will be granted a 30 day stay on arrival.

        If entering by a land border, you will be granted a 15 day stay only (some exceptions are citizens of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Italy, Germany and Japan who are eligible for 30 day visa at land borders). A visa extension can be obtained in Thailand at an immigration office for approx. 2000THB or alternatively you can apply for a Thailand visa in advance from your embassy or consulate that will allow a 30 day stay when entering at an overland border.
        If planning to enter Thailand via a land border multiple times during your travels, we recommend you pre-obtain a 60 day multiple entry visa from you embassy or consulate before you travel rather than attempting to obtain a visa at the border on multiple occasions which may result in being denied re-entry into the country.
        What to take
        What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage, although you won't be required to walk long distances with it (max 30 minutes).

        Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.

        Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:

        http://www.intrepidtravel.com/pdf/trips/packinglist.pdf
        Climate and seasonal information
        AMENDMENT TO ITINERARY
        Please note on the following dates:
        03Dec2016
        22Dec2016
        24Dec2016
        25Dec2016
        29Dec2016
        the Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum will be closed. We will instead visit the JEATH Museum which is also located in Kanchanaburi.
        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 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        ELEPHANT PERFORMANCES & ELEPHANT RIDING:
        While we respect each individual’s decisions while travelling, Intrepid does not include elephant rides or unnatural performance activities on any itinerary, and we recommend you bypass these activities should they be offered to you during your stay. Professional wildlife conservation and animal welfare organisations, including the World Animal Protection (formerly the World Society for protection of Animals) advise that contrary to common belief, captive elephants remain wild animals and despite good intentions, unfortunately many venues are unable to provide the appropriate living conditions elephants require and this ultimately impacts their well-being. While there is some merit in the argument that the money that you pay for the activity goes towards keeping the elephants and their mahouts employed, we know that it also fuels demand for elephants to be captured in the wild or captive bred. We thank you for your support in improving the welfare of these majestic creatures. Further information is available on the below link:

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

        LOCAL DRESS:
        When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative throughout Asia, especially outside major cities. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot Asian climate. In many rural areas in Asia women will need to wear modest clothing even to swim. Singlets, tank tops and topless sun bathing are all unacceptable. When visiting religious sites men often need to wear long trousers and women a long skirt or sarong.

        The Intrepid Foundation
        Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.

        The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:

        http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

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

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


        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