Thailand Beaches West Coast (Nov - Apr) Trip Notes

Thailand Beaches West Coast (Nov - Apr)

Last Modified: 13 May 2016
Thailand Beaches West Coast (Nov - Apr)
Trip code: TTZT
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Clear blue waters, white sands, swaying palm trees and a bungalow on the beach… Thailand has the ideal ingredients for a holiday in paradise. Come and explore Thailand's beautiful southern islands, relax in the sun and try some of the special Thai food this region is famous for. These are just some of the pleasures that await you on this relaxing tour of Thailand's beautiful beaches.
Table of Contents
StyleAccommodation NotesFinish point
ThemesMeals introductionFinish point description
Is this trip right for you?MealsFinishing point instructions
Why we love itTransportEmergency contact
MapMoney mattersVisas
ItineraryGroup leaderWhat to take
Itinerary disclaimerSafetyClimate and seasonal information
Physical ratingJoining pointHealth
Included activitiesJoining point descriptionTravel insurance
Important notesJoining point instructionsA couple of rules
Group sizeAlternate joining pointResponsible Travel
Your fellow travellersAlternate joining point descriptionThe Intrepid Foundation
AccommodationAlternate joining point instructionsFeedback
Style
Original
Themes
Explorer
Is this trip right for you?
- This trip includes free time for flexibility and space for making your own discoveries. There are lots of recommended optional activities if you wish, or just time to soak up the sun and kick back on the countless beautiful beaches.
- Experience travel in a variety of different ways, using private mini vans and local transport like overnight sleeper trains, longtail boats, speed boats, and even kayaks!
Why we love it
- Discover a true slice of paradise on an included sea kayaking trip through the stunning inlets, caves and hidden lagoons of the Ao Thalane mangrove forests
- Get into the indulgent beach-loving life on the still untouched, chilled out island of Ko Yao Noi and, armed with a snorkel, explore the surrounding islands and waters on an included boat trip
- Travel like the locals do on an overnight sleeper train, the best way to travel long distances, meet locals and maximise time at destinations
- Meet some furry friends and learn about the great work done at the Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Bangkok
Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand. Bangkok is a heady mixture of ancient traditions and slick modernity, where bazaars (obviously bustling) and world-class cuisine are only the beginning. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm today. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. Have your insurance details and next of kin information on hand for collection. With free time, acquaint yourself with this frenetic city of tuk tuks, street food and traditional khlong boats winding down the Chao Phraya River. Tonight you might want to experience the unique tourist mecca of Khao San Road.
Optional Activities
  • Bangkok - Temple & River of Kings Urban Adventure - THB2465
  • Bangkok - Chinatown Food Discovery Urban Adventure - THB2149
  • Bangkok - Tuk Tuk Experience Urban Adventure - THB1790
  • Bangkok - Bangkok by Bike Urban Adventure - THB1904
    Accommodation
    Hotel (1 nt)
    Day 2 Bangkok
    You’ll start today with a visit to Wat Pho, home to the country's largest reclining Buddha and keeper of the magic behind Thai massage. Wat Pho is one of the ‘trinity’ of Bangkok temples, located practically next door to the Grand Palace, and inside lies a 46-metre long gold-plated Buddha. Even the feet of this statue are incredible, three metres long and intricately decorated with mother of pearl. The temple grounds are equally fascinating, filled with beautifully decorated stupas, halls, and shrines. The complex is considered the first public university in the country, and is home to the world famous Wat Pho massage school, the centre of the traditional practice. The rest of the afternoon is free for optional activities, and this city has so much to offer – perhaps head next door to the magnificent Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, take a riverboat to Chinatown and explore the crowded streets, or travel by longtail boat down the Chao Phraya River to explore the famous 'khlongs' (canals) of Bangkok. Life along these canals seems a world away from the chaotic streets of the capital. Tonight you will board an overnight train southbound for Surat Thani (approximately 13 hours).

    Notes: Sleeper trains are clean and air-conditioned, and beds are multi-share compartments with bunk bed padded berths with sheets, pillow and blanket provided (although some people prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet). Please note that you may be sharing compartments with locals of the same or opposite gender. Your baggage will travel in the carriage with you. There's also a food and drink service available on board.
    Included Activities
    • Bangkok - Wat Pho Temple
      Optional Activities
      • Bangkok - National Museum - THB50
      • Bangkok - Thai Massage - THB250
      • Bangkok - Grand Palace - THB500
      • Bangkok - Jim Thompson's House - THB150
        Accommodation
        Overnight sleeper train (1 nt)
        Day 3 Ao Nang/Krabi
        Arrive into Surat Thani this morning and continue by bus (approximately 2.5 hours) to the resort town of Ao Nang. A lively beachside town in Krabi Province, Ao Nang has a main street with open-air restaurants, shops that light up the sidewalk and bars perfect for kicking back with a beer. It’s also in a great position to hop on longtail boats to beaches like Railay and idyllic islands. There's plenty of free time to relax on the beautiful beaches and get into the spirit of southern Thailand. Enjoy a relaxing massage on the beach, or simply sit back with a good book and a cool cocktail to watch the sun slip beneath the waves. Rather than relaxing today you also might want to take advantage of some of the optional activities on offer, like a cycling trip that takes you on backcountry tracks, gets you close to local culture, and rewards you with a lovely afternoon dip in a beautiful waterfall. The area around Krabi is also home to some of the most spectacular climbing routes around. Whether you're a novice or a pro, being securely tied high up a limestone cliff-face looking down on jungle and crystalline seas is unforgettable.
        Optional Activities
        • Ao Nang - Longtail Boat Taxi to Railay Beach - THB80
        • Krabi - Cycling Trip including waterfall visit - THB3000
        • Ao Nang - Thai Massage - THB300
        • Krabi - Rock Climbing - THB1800
          Accommodation
          Guesthouse (1 nt)
          Day 4 Ao Nang
          This morning you’ll enjoy an included sea kayaking trip to the mangrove forest of Ao Thalane. About half way along the coast between Than Bok Khoranee and Krabi town is a bay of mangroves that might just be the most beautiful bay in Thailand. Surrounded by towering karst formations and many small offshore islands, move slowly through the bays and canyons that are like passageways, discover inlets, caves and hidden lagoons, and check out the local wildlife up-close – the birds overhead and monkeys in the trees. If you have time today (or possibly on Day 3), you could explore the beautiful underwater world around Ao Nang with some scuba diving, which includes three dives. Maybe absorb Thai culture through the tastes of a Thai cooking class this afternoon. In the evenings, you can stroll the beaches or sample local fare at a seafood restaurant.
          Included Activities
          • Krabi - Sea Kayaking
            Optional Activities
            • Ao Nang - Scuba Diving (3 dives) - THB4000
            • Krabi - Thai Cooking Class - THB1300
              Accommodation
              Guesthouse (1 nt)
              Meals
              1 lunch
              Day 5 Ko Yao Noi
              Transfer by vehicle and longtail boat to the island of Ko Yao Noi (approximately 2 hours). Set in the heart of Phang-Nga Bay, the chilled-out island of Ko Yao Noi is a great place to relax away from the tourist trail and absorb its natural wonders. It has unspoilt shorelines, beaches and coves, a dramatic mountainous backdrop, fantastic views back across to the limestone islands of Ao Phang-Nga, and friendly locals. The afternoon is free to take an island tour, along roads that may still be dirt, past dense green forest to visit fishing villages and rubber plantations to meet the locals, or perhaps simply appreciate the islands serenity and beauty, coupled with some swimming in the crystal clear waters.

              Notes: In the event of unfavourable weather conditions, we may be unable to travel to Ko Yao Noi. Alternative arrangements will be made to stay on Phuket Island.
              Optional Activities
              • Koh Yao Noi - Island Sightseeing Tour - THB1000
                Accommodation
                Resort (1 nt)
                Day 6 Ko Yao Noi
                Today you’ll experience the beautiful underwater world that surrounds Ko Yao Noi with an included boat and snorkelling trip around the islands. Phang Nga Bay is filled with the small islands and dramatic limestone rock formations that are, for many, the iconic image of Thailand. Venture out into the bay to snorkel in the turquoise waters filled with ever-changing colours of coral and fish, and swim in the tropical sun. Enjoy a proper island-style picnic lunch on the beach at one of the many islands that are scattered around the bay, and follow it up with more swimming and snorkelling – what a tough life!
                Included Activities
                • Koh Yao Noi - Snorkelling
                • Koh Yao Noi - Phang Nga National Marine Park
                  Accommodation
                  Resort (1 nt)
                  Meals
                  1 breakfast, 1 lunch
                  Day 7 Phuket
                  Today you’ll leave the quiet and secluded nature of Ko Yao Noi for the tourist haven of Phuket, Thailand’s largest and most visited island. Travel James Bond style (who visited the nearby island of Ko Phing Kan in 1974’s The Man with the Golden Gun) by catching a speedboat to Phuket (approximately 1 hour). This island is certainly a brasher, more vibrant extrovert to the mellower sibling of the last few days. If a little modern pizazz is what you’re after with your dose of sunshine exotica, look no further – this island offers a little something for everyone. When you arrive on the island you’ll stop by the last untouched rainforest remaining on the island at the Khao Phra Thaeo Wildlife Sanctuary. Here you can drop into Bang Pae Waterfall for a refreshing swim and then pay a visit to the Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre. The centre takes in formerly captive gibbons and rehabilitates then for reintroduction to the wild. Operated by a local NGO, the project works to help ensure the continued existence of these furry little friends on the island. You’ll stay in the heart of Patong, where everything from shops to restaurants to nightclubs awaits.
                  Included Activities
                  • Phuket - Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre & Bang Pae Waterfall
                    Accommodation
                    Resort (1 nt)
                    Meals
                    1 breakfast
                    Day 8 Phuket
                    Phuket is ringed with beaches, each with their own distinct personalities, from a party vibe to perhaps something quieter and more romantic. If you can pull yourself away from the beautiful beaches and curving coasts, Phuket also has a range of activities to fill your day, from Thai boxing exhibitions to cabaret shows. If you love getting out on the water and exploring the islands, then perhaps use your last day to take a day trip out to the stunning Phi Phi and Khai Nok, a tiny island surrounded by white sandy beach perfect suitable for swimming and snorkelling. Perhaps gather together you fellow travellers tonight and enjoy a celebratory dinner as your Thailand west coast beach adventure comes to an end.
                    Optional Activities
                    • Phuket - Phi Phi & Khai Nok Island Day Trip - THB2800
                    • Phuket - Thai kickboxing exhibition - THB600
                      Accommodation
                      Resort (1 nt)
                      Meals
                      1 breakfast
                      Day 9 Phuket
                      There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
                      Meals
                      1 breakfast
                      Itinerary disclaimer
                      ITINERARY CHANGES Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

                      OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
                      Physical rating

                      Included activities
                      Bangkok - Wat Pho Temple
                      Krabi - Sea Kayaking
                      Koh Yao Noi - Snorkelling
                      Koh Yao Noi - Phang Nga National Marine Park
                      Phuket - Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre & Bang Pae Waterfall
                      Important notes
                      A single supplement is available on this trip, please see trip notes for further information.

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

                      SINGLE TRAVELLERS:
                      Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

                      A single supplement is available on this trip. The following days are excluded from the single supplement:
                      Day 2 - Overnight Train
                      Accommodation
                      Guesthouse (2nt), Hotel (1nt), Overnight sleeper train (1nt), Resort (4nt)
                      OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
                      The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

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

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

                      PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
                      If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
                      Meals introduction
                      While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.
                      Meals
                      4 breakfasts, 2 lunches
                      Transport
                      Overnight sleeper train, Songthaew, Speed boat, Van

                      OVERNIGHT TRAINS
                      Overnight sleeper trains in Thailand are air-conditioned with sleeping berths down both sides of the carriage. The carriage is multishare, and there are curtains that close over the beds. A sleeping sheet and a pillow are provided, and our luggage travels in the carriage with us. There is a western and Asian-style toilet located at the end of the carriage, with carriage lights staying on during the night.
                      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 USD200 for meals not included

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                      A priority in establishing this fund is that the experience of our traveller - you - is not compromised in any way. Please let us know via the feedback form completed after your trip if we are successfully meeting this objective.
                      Group leader
                      All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

                      Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
                      Safety
                      Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

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

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

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

                      http://www.intrepidtravel.com/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.

                      TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
                      Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

                      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.

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

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

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

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

                      Check in time at the hotel is after 14.00
                      Alternate joining point
                      For trips departing on the following dates, use this joining point.
                      28 Dec 2016 (TTZT161228)
                      Royal Princess Larn Luang Hotel
                      269 Larn Luang Road, Pomprab
                      Bangkok
                      10100
                      THAILAND
                      Phone: 66 22813088
                      Fax: 66 22801314
                      Alternate joining point description
                      Situated in the heart of the historic old Bangkok, Royal Princess Larn Luang is close to many of the area's main attractions such as the Grand Palace, ancient temples and about a 15min walk to the famous Khao San Road. Hotel services include 4 different restaurants, fitness centre, day spa, outdoor pool, baggage storage, ATM on site and laundry. Rooms are equipped with private en-suite and air-con. Wifi is available at this hotel for an additional cost to be paid for locally (roughly THB370 per 24 hours).
                      Alternate joining point instructions
                      Royal Princess Larn Luang is 35km from Suvarnabhumi Airport and 3km from BTS sky train (10-15 minutes).

                      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.

                      Normal check in time at the hotel is after 14:00
                      Finish point
                      Deevana Patong Resort & Spa
                      43/2 Raj-U-Thid 200 Pee Road, Patong Beach,
                      Kathu,
                      Phuket
                      83150
                      THAILAND
                      Phone: 66 0763414145
                      Fax: 66 076 341706
                      Finish point description
                      Located at the centre of Phuket’s most popular destination – Patong, the resort is just minutes away from the famous Bangla Road’s nightlife, Jungceylon shopping and entertainment centre and 5 min walk to the beach. Guests have a wide range of facilities to enjoy during their stay including outdoor swimming pool, fitness centre, free wifi in public areas, bars, restaurants and laundry service. All rooms include private facilities, air-con, TV and safety deposit box.
                      Finishing point instructions
                      A pre-booked departure transfer is available. Please inquire with your agent.
                      If you have a transfer to Phuket Airport your transfer driver will collect you from your hotel 3.5 hours before international flight and 1.5 hrs before domestic flight. If your transfer has not arrived within 15minutes of the scheduled pickup time please ask the hotel reception to call our transfer operator Ms. Boom on +66 81 8924252.

                      A taxi to the airport will cost about THB1000, the reception can help you organise this.

                      Normal check out time is 12 noon. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel.
                      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
                      SONGKRAN FESTIVAL 10th of April 2016
                      The Songkran Festival is celebrated in Thailand as the traditional New Years Day from 13 to 15 April. The meaning of the word Songkran is to pass or move into, therefore it is the movement from one year to the next. Traditionally it was celebrated with the young sprinkling water onto the hands of the elders to wish them good luck for the New year. The young would also buy presents for the elders. This is also the time for people to do a spring clean to their house and at the local temples they would clean the Buddha images for a fresh start for the New Year. The water has always been a symbol of cleansing and now today the water has become a huge part of the festival. During Songkran you will now see children with water guns spraying anyone who comes close, locals standing with a hose waiting to spray anyone who passes by and you may even see streets lined with pick up trucks full of locals armed with buckets of water.
                      Our advice is to be prepared to get wet! Your leader will discuss the festival activities upon day one at the group meeting. Our 10th of April 2016 departure will experience the Songkran Festival.
                      Health
                      All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                      http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

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

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

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

                      http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback