Singapore to Bangkok Adventure Trip Notes

Singapore to Bangkok Adventure

Last Modified: 08 Jan 2016
Singapore to Bangkok Adventure
Trip code: TMRA
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
From the steamy streets of Singapore to the pulsating tourist mecca of Bangkok, this adventure will see your tastebuds tingle on Singaporean laksa, heart soar while scaling Kuala Lumpur's tallest tower, spirit warmed by a cup of Cameron Highland's tea and body challenged while hiking, climbing and tubing around Khao Sok National Park. From bustling big cities to isolated islands, everything in between Singapore and Bangkok is exciting and exhilarating, combining ancient tradition and new-age impulses into one unforgettable journey.
Table of Contents
StyleTippingFinish point
ThemesDeparture taxFinish point instructions
Is this trip right for you?Important notesEmergency contact
Why we love itGroup sizeEmergency funds
MapYour fellow travellersVisas
ItinerarySingle travellersIssues on your trip
Also available to purchaseAccommodationWhat to take
We also recommendMeals introductionHealth
Itinerary disclaimerMealsSafety
Culture shock rating TransportTravel insurance
Physical ratingGroup leaderResponsible Travel
Included activitiesJoining point A couple of rules
Optional activitiesJoining point descriptionThe Intrepid Foundation
Money ExchangeJoining point instructionsCarbon offset
Spending moneyArrival complicationsFeedback
Style
Basix
  • Our Basix style trips are designed for travellers who want exceptional value, plenty of free time and having the flexibility to choose where and how their time and money is spent. By working plenty of free time into the itineraries and keeping many of the activities optional, we aim to make travel possible for those on even the most slender of budgets. After all, why pay for an activity or excursion you wouldn’t otherwise be interested in? Or a level of comfort you don’t require? As a wise person probably once said, a bed's just a bed when there's exploring to be done.
Themes
Explorer
Is this trip right for you?
- Some long journeys by public and also private bus. There is a lot of distance to cover across these 3 countries, but you can take in the scenery along the way, and there will be stops to stretch your legs.
- Overnight sleeper train to Bangkok. Trains are basic but comfortable, with bunk beds and shared facilities
- Enjoy free time in each location, so you can pick and choose the activities that suit you best.
Why we love it
- Orientation walks in each city, then plenty of free time to explore and to chose the activities that interest you
- Escape to the Cameron Highlands
- Explore the lush forests, and expansive lake of Khao Sok National Park
- 13 days to try Singaporean, Malaysian and Thai food. Delicious!
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Singapore
Welcome to Singapore!
With flourishing retail hot spots, a booming, cross-cultural culinary scene and one of the world's best airports, it's not hard to see why Singapore acts as a launching (and finishing) point for many of our Asian odysseys. From the traditions and heritage of Chinatown to the aromatic delights of Little India and the modernity of glitzy hotels, a few days in sizzling Singapore is the perfect bookend to any Intrepid adventure.
Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at 6pm on Day 1.
You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting; please check with the hotel reception where and when it will take place, or check the reception notice boards. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel by early evening, 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.
Our accommodation tonight is a centrally located hotel. Please note that some rooms are internal and do not have windows.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 Melaka
A public bus journey (approx. 5.5 hrs) takes us across the border into Malaysia, and to the World Heritage-listed port town of Melaka.
An intriguing blend of Malay, Indian, Chinese and Portuguese cultures, Melaka has a wealth of interesting architecture, distinctive food and cultural heritage.
Once the most important trading port of Malaysia, Melaka attracted Chinese, Indian, Dutch, Portuguese and British traders, all seeking wealth or an opportunity to control the Straits of Malacca, a vital trading route between the Indian and Pacific oceans. Today, Melaka's wealth of historical sites remind visitors of times gone by and its multicultural past is revealed in its distinctive cuisine.
Optional Activities
  • Melaka - Eco Bike Tour - MYR100
  • Melaka - River Tour - MYR17
  • Melaka - Trishaw Tour - MYR50
  • Melaka - Taming Sari Tower - MYR22
  • Stadhuys, Melaka - MYR10
  • Melaka - Baba Nonya Heritage Museum - MYR8
  • Portuguese ship Replica, Melaka - MYR7
  • Melaka - Cheng Ho Museum - MYR20
  • Melaka - Museum Of Enduring Beauty - MYR1
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 3 Kuala Lumpur
Transfer by local bus to Kuala Lumpur (approx 2.5 hrs).
Kuala Lumpur, the cosmopolitan capital of Malaysia, is affectionately known as KL and you'll almost always hear locals refer to it by its acronym. Communities of Indian, Chinese and ethnic Malay people mingle peacefully, allowing travellers to get the best of all three worlds.
Our hotel is right amongst the night markets and hawker stalls of the famous Petaling Street in Chinatown and is a great place to explore this ever changing city. while here make sure to grab a map and explore the many walkable areas in KL. Bukit Bintang, the Golden Triangle with the latest shopping and just a short stroll to Menara Tower (entry fee applies). You might like to head out of town to visit the famous Batu Caves or the head over to the Lakes Gardens to visit the Islamic Arts Museum and the National Mosque before the fascinating Orang Asli Museum. Get up early to get your tickets to the second-tallest buildings in the world? Ask your Leader how the system works!
The evening is best spent at the night market sampling the different cuisines on offer and bargain hunting among the stalls of the famous Petaling Street Chinatown Night Markets.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 4 Kuala Lumpur
Enjoy a free day to explore KL. Perhaps book a ticket to get a view of the city from the from the Petronas Towers or visit the Islamic Arts Museum or National Mosque.
Optional Activities
  • Kuala Lumpur - Batik Day Course - MYR30
  • Kuala Lumpur - Cultural Show - MYR5
  • Kuala Lumpur - KL Tower - MYR49
  • Kuala Lumpur - Planetarium - MYR12
  • Kuala Lumpur - Islamic Arts Museum - MYR12
  • Kuala Lumpur - Petronas Towers Skybridge & Observation Deck - MYR86
  • Kuala Lumpur - National Mosque - Free
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 5 Cameron Highlands
Travel by public bus to the dramatic and beautiful Cameron Highlands (approx 4 hrs).
The Cameron Highlands were a favourite getaway of the colonial British - a place of tranquillity and beauty to escape the humidity of the jungles.
Optional Activities
  • Half Day Tour - Gunung Brinchang - MYR40
  • Cameron Highlands - Half Day Tea Plantation Tour - MYR50
  • Cameron Highlands - Rain Forest Jungle Trekking - MYR45
Accommodation
Guesthouse (1 nt)
Day 6 Penang
Today we leave our beautiful countryside and travel onto Penang
Penang - Malaysia's prized island - has a beautiful coastline, wonderful cuisine and its colonial heritage is still present in amongst the modern skyscrapers that tower over Georgetown.
Penang Island was the first destination of the colonial British in 1786. They invited Chinese, as well as others from all over Asia, to live on this island in the tropics. Today, this exotic blend of cultures still exists and the World Heritage site of Georgetown contains a fascinating blend of religious places of worship.
Our accommodation is located in the heart of historical Georgetown. Twin share with private facilities and whilst our hotel is basic it is a great base for exploring the temples, mosques and museums of Penang. Some sights worth mentioning are: at night, don't miss the local food stalls that set up along many of Penang's streets. This island is famous for its food, thanks to the many cultures that have lived side-by-side here for centuries. Be sure to try a refreshing ice kacang (a dessert made with crushed ice, syrup and a mixture of jellies, nuts and sweet beans), or a hearty nasi kandar (a dish of steamed rice accompanied by curries, fried chicken, seafood or vegetables).
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 7 Penang
Today your leader will take you on a guided orientation walk through the Georgetown area, to check out the shophouses, street art and the Penang Museum. The rest of the day you are free to Check out Kek Lok Sii Temple (the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia), Khoo Kongsi (amazingly ornate and one of the oldest clan houses in Malaysia), Cheong Fat Tze Museum (fascinating if you have an interest in Feng Shui). Or you can take the Funicular Railway up Penang for views across the island. If you want more of the beach or want a unique Penang experience, grab a Taxi over to Batu Ferringhi or take the unspoilt trails of Malaysia's smallest National Park at Teluk Bahang.
Included Activities
  • Penang - Penang Museum
Optional Activities
  • Penang - Funicular Railway - MYR55
  • Penang - Khoo Kongsi - MYR10
  • Penang - Kek Lok Si - MYR8
  • Penang - Teluk Bahang National Park - MYR9
  • Penang - Trishaw Ride - MYR50
  • Penang - Chong Fat Tze Museum - MYR12
  • Penang - Tastes & Traditions of Penang Urban Adventure - USD52
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 8 Krabi
Today is a long travel day by mini van as we say goodbye to Malaysia and head for Thailand, approximately 8 hours and time to cross the border. We cross the border at Wang Kelian (Malaysian checkpoint) / Wang Prajan (Thai checkpoint) before proceeding up the isthmus through Krabi to our accommodation in Ao Nang.
With powdery white-sand beaches, limestone karsts jutting out of cerulean waters and jaw-dropping scenery both in and out of the water, Krabi is a slice of paradise.
A lively beachside town in Krabi Province, Ao Nang has a main street with restaurants, shops and bars, and is close to many idyllic islands.
Accommodation
Guesthouse (1 nt)
Day 9 Krabi
Famous for stunning limestone karst scenery of the headland, Krabi is perfect for both relaxing on the beach or getting active.
For those actively inclined consider sea kayaking, or some world class rock climbing. Alternatively take a trip out to Phi Phi Island.
In the the evening look out for a beautiful sunset and consider dining on seafood in a beachside restaurant.
Optional Activities
  • Krabi - Rock climbing - THB1800
  • Krabi - Scuba Diving Ao Nang (3 dives) - THB4000
  • Krabi - Sea kayaking - THB1800
  • Krabi - Phi Phi Island Day Tour - THB1600
Accommodation
Guesthouse (1 nt)
Day 10 Khao Sok National Park
Travel about 3 hours to Khao Sok National Park by minvan.
Khao Sok National Park is simply breathtaking. Dense rainforests hide a myriad of exotic animals and plants, whilst some of the many walking trails lead to awesome waterfalls and alongside the expansive lake.
There are two seasons in Khao Sok National Park, the 'dry' season and the 'rainy' season. The dry season is from November until April, and the rainy season from May to October when most of the rain falls. Be aware that all the walking trails will be muddy and slippery during the rainy season and harmless leeches are abundant, however the scenery is beautifully lush and green. Each of the seasons has its charms and its difficulties.
Cruise out along the Cheow Lan Lake, with it's striking limestone cliffs with a vibrant jungle backdrop.
On our first night here we stay in a simple raft house literally on the lake, where you wake up to stunning water views.
Accommodation
Rafthouse (1 nt)
Day 11 Khao Sok National Park
We have a change of scenery today, and head up into the hills, where we spend a night in our bunglows set in the jungle.
There is plenty of options to consider such as, tackling one of the park walking trails looking out for local wildlife hiding amongst the forest or taking a tour to the stunning nearby lake Cheow Lan.
Accommodation
Guesthouse (1 nt)
Day 12 Khao Sok National Park - Overnight train
Today travel to Surat Thani by minivan (approx 2.5 hours). Board an overnight train to Bangkok (approx 13 hrs). Our train is basic but comfortable - air-conditioned, sleeping in bunks with shared facilities.
Accommodation
Overnight sleeper train (1 nt)
Day 13 Bangkok
Arriving early in the morning, our tour concludes upon arrival at Bangkok Railway Station.
Please note this trip finishes at approximately midday. Please do not book International flights until the afternoon if you are planning to leave Bangkok on this day.
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?
Please enquire with your booking agent about booking accommodation after your tour.
Optional Activities
  • Bangkok - Thai massage - THB250
  • Bangkok - Urban Adventures - Bangkok by Bike - THB1904
  • Bangkok - Chinatown Food Discovery Urban Adventure - THB2149
  • Bangkok - Temple & River of Kings Urban Adventure - THB2465
  • Bangkok - Tuk Tuk Experience Urban Adventure - THB1790
  • Bangkok - Grand Palace - THB500
Also available to purchase
For many of our trips we have other services or experiences that are also available to purchase to extend your trip or to make your holiday a little easier. Below is a list of other travel products you can purchase in conjunction with this trip.
  • TMRA Single Supplement (TMRA)
We also recommend
If this trip is not quite right for you, cast your eye over these alternatives:
  • Best of Malaysia (TMSA)
  • Classic Malaysia (TMKP)
  • Best of Thailand & Malaysia (TTSLC)
Itinerary disclaimer
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 in Australia. 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.
Culture shock rating

Expect some culture shock. You'll be exposed to signs of poverty and access to services may be sporadic. The food will be quite different to home and English speakers harder to find. Respecting the local culture will make it easier to fit in and really experience the location.
Physical rating

Some easy physical activities included in your trip. No physical preparation is required to make the most of the journey.
Included activities
Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
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.
Money Exchange
The official currency of Singapore is the Singapore dollar (SGD).
The most convenient and cheapest way to obtain local currency in is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). ATMs are now readily available and visa cash advances are available in most banks. Foreign currency notes that are old, torn or faded can be very difficult to exchange, clean bills in small denominations are most useful.
The official currency of Malaysia is the Ringgit (MYR).
The most convenient and cheapest way to obtain local currency in is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). ATM's are now readily available 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 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.
Spending money
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
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.
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
Departure tax
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
Important notes
RAMADAN:
The month-long Ramadan Festival will start on the 7th of June 2016. This is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan business hours are shortened, including opening hours at all popular tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. While you definitely need to expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month of Ramadan is a fantastic month to travel in Muslim countries as it offers a chance to witness this fascinating Islamic event and the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken, from 7th July 2016.
CHINESE NEW YEAR:
An important 15-day festival for the Malaysian Chinese, based on the lunar calendar in January or February. In 2016, the Year of the Monkey is scheduled to be held from 8th February. This can be a busy time and some transport delays, shop closures and reduced opening hours at some sites may be expected, but there are also many fabulous festivals and rituals to observe during this time, so it's a great time to travel. Although we make all reasonable efforts to avoid disruption a flexible approach from the traveller is appreciated.
Group size
Maximum of 16 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.
Single travellers
A single supplement is available on this trip, please refer to your booking agent for further information.
Please note the single supplement excludes:
Day 10 Raft House
Day 12 Overnight sleeper train
Accommodation
Hotel (6 nts), Guesthouse (4 nts), Overnight sleeper train (1 nt), Rafthouse (1 nt)
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
2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 1 Dinner
USD 250.00
Transport
Taxi, Van, Public bus, Private minibus
LONG TRAVEL DAYS
There are some long travel days and some of the transport can be quite cramped and without air-conditioning.
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.
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.
Joining point
Hangout Hotel
10A Upper Wilkie Road
Little India
Singapore
228119
SINGAPORE
Phone: +65 (06)4385588
Fax: +65 (06)3396008
Joining point description
Set in a quiet location on the outskirts of Little India and just a short 5 to 10 minute walk from the Little India MRT, the Hangout Hotel has 24 hour free internet and free wireless in all rooms. All rooms have en suite bathrooms and air conditioning. Please note some rooms are internal and do not have windows. Requests for double rooms cannot be guaranteed due to a limited number of rooms, and twin rooms will be provided in this case. Other features include rooftop terrace and lounge area with movies and pool table. Other facilities include safety deposit boxes, baggage storage room, 24 hour international calling, token operated laundry and drying machines available 24 hours and basic cooking facilities.
www.hangouthotels.com
Joining point instructions
Taxis are easy, safe and cheap. As you emerge from Immigration, you will see the signs to the public taxi. A taxi will take 30 - 45 minutes to the hotel depending on the time of day at a cost of around SGD$20. Surcharges apply early morning and late evenings on standard rates (up to about SGD$32).
Arrival complications
We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.
Please also make sure have a copy of the local operator's emergency phone numbers from our Emergency Contact section of these trip notes.
Finish point
Bangkok Railway Station
Hualumphong
Bangkok
THAILAND
Finish point instructions
A taxi from the railway station to the airport will cost around THB400 (US$12) and take about 45 minutes.
If you have booked additional post tour accommodation through Intrepid and would like to organise a departure transfer from your hotel, please contact your sales agent at least 14 days prior to your trip departure to organise this.
If you have a transfer to the Bangkok Airport your transfer driver will collect you from your hotel 3 hours before your flight time. 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
In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Thailand Office can be reached on Tel: +66 898 103 722 (Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Borneo, Indonesia & Phillipines) and Tel: +855 92 555 969 (Cambodia). Intrepid's Vietnam Office can be reached on Tel: +84 903 117 770.
For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist. For further contact details please use the following page:
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.
Visas
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
SINGAPORE:
Australia: No - not required
Belgium: No - not required
Canada: No - not required
Germany No - not required
Ireland: No - not required
Netherlands: No - not required
New Zealand: No - not required
South Africa: No - not required
Switzerland: No - not required
United Kingdom: No - not required
USA: No - not required
Tourists not requiring a visa will be granted a 30 day stay on arrival. Other nationalities should check with their Singapore embassy or consulate.
MALAYSIA:
Australia: No - not required
Belgium: No - not required
Canada: No - not required
Germany No - not required
Ireland: No - not required
Netherlands: No - not required
New Zealand: No - not required
South Africa: No - not required
Switzerland: No - not required
United Kingdom: No - not required
USA: No - not required
The above nationalities do not need visas to visit Malaysia as a tourist for up to three months. Other nationalities should check with their Malaysian embassy or consulate.
THAILAND:
Australia: No - not required
Belgium: No - not required
Canada: No - not required
Germany No - not required
Ireland: No - not required
Netherlands: No - not required
New Zealand: No - not required
South Africa: No - not required
Switzerland: No - not required
United Kingdom: No - not required
USA: No - not required
If entering by air you will be granted a 30 day stay on arrival.
If entering by a land border, you will be granted a 15 day stay only (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.
BORDER CROSSINGS:
Your visa application form may require you to state the dates on which you enter and exit that country. Please note we suggest you list your date of entry a few days before, and date of exit a few days after, your intended dates in case you encounter any delays or problems en route. The following are the international/administrative border crossings for this trip:
On Day 2 we cross the border from Singapore to Malaysia
- The Singapore border is Singapore
- The Malaysia border is Johor Bahru
On Day 8 we cross the border from Malaysia to Thailand
- The Malaysia border is Wang Kelian
- The Thailand border is Wang Pra Jan
To help calculate the exact dates of these crossings we have found the following website useful - http://www.timeanddate.com
Issues on your trip
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.
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.
You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
WATER BOTTLE:
Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.
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.
AIR POLLUTION
From June to October, Malaysia can experience air pollution from forest fires in Indonesia. Current recorded pollution readings in a number of states are higher than usual for this time of year. The persistent hot and dry weather conditions also causes dust to remain suspended in the air and accumulate, causing haze. Please be aware of this if you suffer from any medical conditions exasperated by air pollution.
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.
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:
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.
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.
SWIMMING POOLS:
You may stay at hotels with unfenced pools and no life guard on duty.
SCAMS:
We have become aware of passengers being approached outside of our starting point hotels by 'helpful' locals who want to show you where to go or claiming to be Intrepid employees selling Urban Adventures or Intrepid trips. These people are not employees of Intrepid nor registered guides and will try and get as much money from you as they can. A friendly 'no thank you' should suffice. If this does happen to you, please advise your leader or the reception of your hotel immediately so that the person can be reported to the appropriate authorities.
BALCONIES:
Some hotel balconies don't meet UK standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.
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.
LIFE JACKETS:
While life jackets are generally available on water craft, there may be occasions where they are not provided and child size life jackets are not always readily available. If travelling with children and this safety issue concerns you we will be able to advise alternative methods of transport (where available) for you to travel to the next destination. You can choose to travel independently for this leg of the journey. This would be at your own expense.
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.
Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
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:
LOCAL DRESS:
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 by wearing sleeves and long trousers. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in areas of predominantly hot climate. In many rural areas 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.
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.
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:
Carbon offset
Carbon Offset C02-e 221.00 kgs per pax.
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.