Thailand Family - Land of Smiles Trip Notes

    • 12
    • TTFA
    • 4.75 out of 5
    • Total price tool tip
      USD $1,440
      CAD $1,470
      AUD $1,525
      EUR €1,062
      GBP £913
      NZD $1,810
      ZAR R13,889
      CHF FR1,309
      *
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    • Explorer, Family
    • Original
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Print Version
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2014
Thailand Family - Land of Smiles
Trip code: TTFA
Validity: 01 Jan 2014 to 31 Dec 2014
Want a family getaway that’s a little different? The combination of culture, friendly people, exciting activities, yummy food and stunning scenery make Thailand an ideal family destination. Visit golden temples, shop in colourful markets, and ride elephants through the jungle. Introduce the kids to a new world, and have a great holiday at the same time, on this fun-filled family adventure.
This trip is operated by our trusted local partners, The Adventure Company.
Table of Contents
StyleYour fellow travellersEmergency contact
ThemesSingle travellersEmergency funds
MapAccommodationVisas
ItineraryMeals introductionIssues on your trip
Also available to purchaseMealsWhat to take
Itinerary disclaimerTransportHealth
Culture shock rating Group leaderSafety
Physical ratingJoining point Travel insurance
Included activitiesJoining point descriptionResponsible Travel
Optional activitiesJoining point instructionsA couple of rules
Money ExchangeAlternate Joining point The Intrepid Foundation
Spending moneyArrival complicationsResponsible Travel projects
TippingFinish point Carbon offset
Departure taxFinish point descriptionFeedback
Important notesFinish point instructions
Group sizeAlternate Finish point
Style
Original
  • Original trips are classic Intrepid adventures. With a mix of included activities and free time, they offer plenty of opportunities to explore at your own pace and take part in activities that really get beneath the skin of a destination. While the occasional meal may be included, you'll have the freedom to seek out your own culinary adventures. Accommodation is generally budget or tourist class (2-3 star), but you're as likely to find yourself as a guest of a local family as staying in a hotel or camping. Transport will vary as well. Depending on the destination and the itinerary you could find yourself travelling on anything from a camel to a train or a private safari vehicle. It's all part of the adventure! Original travellers have a desire to make the most of their travel time and really get to know a place, its people and cultures.
Themes
Family, Explorer
Map
Thailand Family - Land of Smiles
Itinerary
Day 1 Bangkok
Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand.
Our adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1.
After arriving in Bangkok, there will be plenty of time for relaxing and meeting the other members of your group, or head out and explore the crowded streets, visit the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, wander down the tourist mecca of Khao San Road or indlge in a Thai massage.
Optional Activities
  • Bangkok - Grand Palace - THB500
  • Bangkok - Thai massage - THB250
  • Bangkok - Thai kickboxing exhibition - THB2200
  • Bangkok - Jim Thompson's House - THB100
  • Bangkok - Urban Adventures - Bangkok Chinatown Food Discovery - THB1870
Accommodation
Viengtai Hotel (1 nt)
Days 2-3 Kanchanaburi
Today we will travel by longtail boat down the Chao Phraya River to explore the famous 'khlongs' (canals) of Bangkok (approx 1 hr). Life along these canals seems a world away from the chaotic streets of the capital. Then pay a visit to Wat Pho, home to the country's largest reclining Buddha and keeper of the magic behind Thai massage.
This afternoon we travel by local bust to Kanchanaburi (approx 2 hrs) and check into our hotel.
Located where the Khwae Noi and Khwae Yai rivers converge, Kanchanaburi is home to the infamous 'Bridge on the River Kwai'.
The following day we travel to Erawan National Park (approx 1.5 hrs each way), where you can explore the famous seven-level waterfall or simply swim and relax. On the return journey, there's the possibility of grabbing a kayak and taking the River Kwai back towards town, paddling under the infamous bridge for a unique view. If kayaking isn't your thing, there are also majestic Buddhist temples to explore.
Included Activities
  • Bangkok - Khlong boat (canal) tour
  • Bangkok - Wat Pho temple
  • Kanchanaburi - Erawan Water Falls
  • Kanchanaburi - Erawan Falls
Optional Activities
  • Kanchanaburi - Kayaking - THB300
Accommodation
Riverkwai Bridge Resort or similar (2 nts)
Day 4 Ayutthaya/Overnight train
Transfer by minibus to the nearby city of Ayuthaya (approx 2.5 hrs).
Once the capital of ancient Siam, Ayuthaya offers a great opportunity to stroll the World Heritage-listed ruins of this once magnificent city.
There's time for a guided tour of of the picturesque ruins and temples spread across the town. The ruins at Wat Phra Mahathat provide many photo opportunities and the Buddha head surrounded by Banyan tree roots is perhaps the most photographed site in Ayuthaya.
Board an overnight train bound for Chiang Mai (approx 11 hrs). We use soft sleeper class trains for all of our overnight train journeys. Multishare compartments with air-conditioning and bunk beds - sheets and a pillow are provided. Our baggage travels in the carriage with us. There's a food and drink service available on board.
Included Activities
  • Ayuthaya - Historical ruins guided tour
Accommodation
Overnight Sleeper Train (1 nt)
Day 5 Chiang Mai
The most vibrant city in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai has many famous temples and an interesting old city area. This 'Rose of the North' is also known for its beauty and the friendliness of the local people.
Explore the famous temple complex of Doi Suthep. Drive along a scenic, winding mountain road that ends at an impressive 300-step naga-guarded stairway (approx 45 mins). The rewards justify the climb with one of the most beautiful temples in Thailand on display, not to mention fantastic panoramic views of the city and the opportunity to listen to hypnotic evening chanting by resident Buddhist monks.
We also visit Bor Sang, a traditional Umbrella factory.
In the evening you can choose to wander through the enormous, colourful Night Bazaar, and perhaps relax at a fine restaurant along the riverfront. Make sure to sample some delicious traditional northern Thai food - the signature dish is kao soy, yellow wheat noodles in a curry broth, traditionally served with chicken or beef.
Included Activities
  • Chiang Mai - Doi Suthep temple
  • Traditional Umbrella Factory
Optional Activities
  • Chiang Mai - Bicycle tour - THB750
  • Chiang Mai - Thai cooking course - THB800
  • Chiang Mai - Thai massage - THB200
  • Chiang Mai - Urban Adventures - Mind & Soul - THB2300
  • Chiang Mai - Urban Adventures - Mae Ping River Experience - THB2105
Accommodation
Wangburapa Grand Hotel or similar (1 nt)
Day 6 Village Homestay
We set off early (approx 8am) and drive along Mae Taeng Valley to Elephant Nature Park (approx 60 km), a unique project providing a sanctuary and rescue centre for elephants.
Greeted by an expert guide we learn about the story of rescued elephants and elephants problem in South-East Asia. After that you will have a chance to feed the elephant from the viewing platform.
Lunch is provided before elephant bathing time. After a safety briefing you can join in to scrub and bathe the elephant (bring some shorts/swim gear and change of clothing) or alternatively just kick back and enjoy watching the elephants bathe.
We depart the Elephant Nature Park at around 5pm to return to Chiang Mai.
Set off to the warm and welcoming village of Ban Hua Tung (approx 30 mins) for a truly unique experience when the local Thai community accept us into their village for the night. In the evening, we're treated to a traditional northern Thai dinner accompanied by live music and dancing.
Although accommodation is basic, this is an experience that will be cherished by the whole family. We'll be accommodated in village homes with fold-out mattresses on the floor and shared bathrooms.
Please note that the days we spend in Chiang Mai and the family homestay may vary depending on the commitments of our host family at the homestay.
Accommodation
Village House (1 nt)
Days 7-8 Chiang Mai
This morning we say goodbye to our village hosts and head into the sacred community forest at the base of Chiang Dao mountain. Here, local guides will show you the community forest, which community members manage together. The biodiversity of the forest is protected by a sacred 'forest ordination' by Buddhist monks whereby trees are ordained as monks - the people nurture the forest, and the forest nurtures the people in return. Every year the local community participate in the annual bamboo harvest where all the profits are divided amongst the village families.
The Hua Tung is a new community initiative and the local villagers take great pride in showing you the development of their village and the many different kinds of herbal medicines and wild foods in the forest.
Return to Chiang Mai. There are loads of optional activities to keep you fully occupied, you could hire bicycles to ride around town and further explore the city's historic temples or visit one of the many Royal Projects that have been initiated in and around this region of the country. Why not learn the art of Thai cooking at a local school or try a traditional massage.
Another unique attraction for kids is the Northern Thai Doll museum at Baan Tawai wood handicraft village, south of Chiang Mai. Here you'll find a delightful collection of dolls decked out in the colourful costume of Northern Thailand's ethnic minorities. Stroll through the serene Queen Sirikit Gardens where the family can enjoy the Butterfly Garden and Insectarium.
Tonight we take an overnight train to Bangkok
Accommodation
Wangburapa Grand Hotel or similar (1 nt), Overnight Sleeper Train (1 nt)
Days 9-10 Hua Hin
Transfer by minivan south to the beach town of Hua Hin (approx. 3 hours).
Spend your time exploring and swimming in the numerous white sandy beaches, and by night indulge in amazing food.
Accommodation
Chom View Hotel (2 nts)
Days 11-12 Bangkok
Return by minivan to bustling Bangkok. This afternoon you have free time, you could grab a taxi and head over to Siam Ocean World to enjoy their interactive show and daily feedings. Or explore the streets markets and relax with a massage.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
Optional Activities
  • Siam Ocean World - THB900
Accommodation
Viengtai Hotel (1 nt)
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.
      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. For the latest updated Trip Notes please visit our website: www.intrepidtravel.com
      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.
      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.
      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.
      Money Exchange
      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. Please note we recommend that any tips are given directly to the intended recipient by a member of your group as our group leaders are prohibited from collecting cash for tips.
      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 group 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
      The minimum age for children is 5 years old.
      LOCAL PARTNER:
      This trip is operated by our experienced local partner, The Adventure Company.
      BANGKOK PROTESTS Ongoing since November 2013
      There has been ongoing protest's in Bangkok since November 2013. During this time when protest gatherings have been quite large Bangkok taxi drivers may not want to drive from the airport to your downtown hotel. If the public taxis will not take you please go back inside the airport and you can arrange a private vehicle transfer with the Airports of Thailand transfer services. These cost about 1200THB per car to the downtown hotels.
      Please refer to our safety page on the Intrepid website for more up to date information regarding these protests.
      http://www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us/safety
      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. However you can download Intrepid's FREE Meet Up app to chat with your fellow travellers before your trip. Meet up, discuss your upcoming trip and share the excitement of planning for your adventure. For more information visit: www.intrepidtravel.com/meetup
      Single travellers
      Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. On our Family Adventures, single relatives or friends are welcome to travel along with a family. These single travellers share with people of the same gender for the duration of the trip and in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Please note that 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 Comfort and Original style trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own room (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, please refer to your booking agent for further information.
      Please note a single supplement is not available on the following nights,
      Day 4 Overnight train
      Day 6 Homestay
      Day 8 Overnight train
      Accommodation
      Overnight Sleeper Train (2 nts), Chom View Hotel (2 nts), Riverkwai Bridge Resort or similar (2 nts), Wangburapa Grand Hotel or similar (2 nts), Viengtai Hotel (2 nts), Village House (1 nt)
      GENERAL ROOMING CONFIGURATIONS:
      Family of two - All family groupings of two will be put into a twin room.
      Family of three - Wherever possible we will put you in a triple room. Please be aware that in some places triple rooms are in short supply. This means that, in practice, a triple room will often simply be a twin room with a mattress on the floor or a further bed squashed in. Where it is impossible to provide a triple room, you will have to decide which of your party takes the single room.
      Family of four or more - You will most likely stay in two twin rooms. If and wherever possible we will aim put you in a quadruple room. Whilst we will do our very best to ensure that families are roomed close together (in some cases, we can arrange adjoining rooms), we can’t guarantee this. Most family holidays occur during peak season and we sometimes have little to no control over where you will be put. You need to come prepared for this.
      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
      11 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
      Budget for meals not included:
      USD 250.00
      Transport
      Bus, Minivan, Sammlaw (cycle rickshaw), Songthaew, Overnight sleeper train, Longtail boat
      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 Family trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to assist your family take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for fun things to do and see- for both kids and parents, recommend great local eating venues that will even get the kids trying new things, 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 countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.
      Our leaders are not babysitters on this trip - we leave that to you (the experts), but they will make sure that group members of all ages are able to explore their destination safely and with as much fun as possible. Our group leaders are not responsible for looking after children at any time and children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times throughout this itinerary.
      Joining point
      Viengtai Hotel
      42 Rambuttri Road
      Banglumphu
      Bangkok
      10200
      THAILAND
      Phone: +66 22805434
      Fax: +66 22818153
      Joining point description
      Centrally located just off famous Khao San road, the Viengtai is within walking distance of many of the area's main attractions such as: Grand Palace, National Museum and Wat Po. Local area maps are available from reception.
      Rooms are equipped with private en-suite, AC, TV, phone & mini-fridge. The hotel has 24hr reception, restaurant and swimming pool.
      www.viengtai.co.th/en
      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, do 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 (US$13). Non-metered taxis are also available, where you will be given a docket to pay the driver a set price of THB700 (US$20). It will take about 1 hour drive to the hotel.
      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 outside. Look for exit door 6 and our representative holding a sign with your name on it.
      If you have any problems locating our representative please go to the ATTA Counter (Association of Thai Travel Agents) near exit door 6 and ask to call our transfer company on one of the following 24 hour numbers:
      081 658 2727 or
      081 566 9324
      If you flight is delayed or cancelled please call the above numbers.
      Normal check in time at the hotel is after 14:00.
      Alternate Joining point
      For trips departing on the following dates, use this joining point.
      20 Sep 2014 (TTFA140920), 27 Sep 2014 (TTFA140927), 20 Dec 2014 (TTFA141220), 03 Jan 2015 (TTFA150103), 10 Jan 2015 (TTFA150110), 17 Jan 2015 (TTFA150117), 04 Apr 2015 (TTFA150404), 08 Apr 2015 (TTFA150408), 15 Apr 2015 (TTFA150415), 18 Apr 2015 (TTFA150418), 20 Jun 2015 (TTFA150620), 27 Jun 2015 (TTFA150627), 01 Jul 2015 (TTFA150701), 04 Jul 2015 (TTFA150704), 08 Jul 2015 (TTFA150708), 18 Jul 2015 (TTFA150718), 29 Jul 2015 (TTFA150729), 08 Aug 2015 (TTFA150808), 15 Aug 2015 (TTFA150815), 19 Sep 2015 (TTFA150919), 26 Sep 2015 (TTFA150926), 19 Dec 2015 (TTFA151219), 30 Dec 2015 (TTFA151230)
      London, Heathrow
      London
      UNITED KINGDOM
      Arrival complications
      We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group 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 operators Emergency phone numbers from our Emergency Contact section of these trip notes.
      Finish point
      Viengtai Hotel
      42 Rambuttri Road
      Banglumphu
      Bangkok
      10200
      THAILAND
      Phone: +66 22805434
      Fax: +66 22818153
      Finish point description
      Centrally located just off famous Khao San road, the Viengtai is within walking distance of many of the area's main attractions such as: Grand Palace, National Museum and Wat Po. Local area maps are available from reception.
      Rooms are equipped with private en-suite, AC, TV, phone & mini-fridge. The hotel has 24hr reception, restaurant and swimming pool.
      www.viengtai.co.th/en
      Finish point instructions
      A pre-booked departure transfer is available - please enquire at time of booking.
      A taxi to the airport should cost between THB400-700 (US$13-20) depending on time of day and use of toll ways. It will take about 1 hour drive to the airport.
      Normal check out time is 12 noon. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel.
      Alternate Finish point
      For trips departing on the following dates, use this finish point.
      20 Sep 2014 (TTFA140920), 27 Sep 2014 (TTFA140927), 20 Dec 2014 (TTFA141220), 03 Jan 2015 (TTFA150103), 10 Jan 2015 (TTFA150110), 17 Jan 2015 (TTFA150117), 04 Apr 2015 (TTFA150404), 08 Apr 2015 (TTFA150408), 15 Apr 2015 (TTFA150415), 18 Apr 2015 (TTFA150418), 20 Jun 2015 (TTFA150620), 27 Jun 2015 (TTFA150627), 01 Jul 2015 (TTFA150701), 04 Jul 2015 (TTFA150704), 08 Jul 2015 (TTFA150708), 18 Jul 2015 (TTFA150718), 29 Jul 2015 (TTFA150729), 08 Aug 2015 (TTFA150808), 15 Aug 2015 (TTFA150815), 19 Sep 2015 (TTFA150919), 26 Sep 2015 (TTFA150926), 19 Dec 2015 (TTFA151219), 30 Dec 2015 (TTFA151230)
      London, Heathrow
      London
      UNITED KINGDOM
      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 all other enquiries please contact our Reservations department which is open 24 hours, 6 days per week (excluding Sunday). For further contact details please use the following page:
      Emergency funds
      Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest 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.
      VISAS
      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.
      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 and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb.
      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. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. 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 end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Please avoid the purchase of bottled water by using the chemically sterilized water stored in the purpose-built storage tank or in water jerry cans in your overland vehicle. You're free to refill your bottle as many times a day as you like.
      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.
      Kids' bellies are delicate and the standards of hygiene you may experience while travelling in this region can be less than what you are accustomed to at home. There are a few simple precautions you can take that will keep the family travelling in good health.
      DRINKING WATER:
      Make sure you always travel with plenty of water so you do not risk dehydration.
      FOOD:
      With all the exotic tastes available it would be a shame to avoid the great experience of trying new foods for the first time - both kids and parents! In most cases food is fresh and tasty, and perfectly fine to eat, however it can contain ingredients that you are not used to. Any change in diet (no matter where in the world you travel) can result in an upset stomach. Usually this is the only side-effect and it can last a few days. We don't want you to miss out savouring new flavours, but be wary of what you choose to eat - especially what your kids eat.
      HYGIENE:
      Keep your hands clean - and the kids'. It is important to remember to do this before eating especially if you will be eating with your hands as may be the custom. Antiseptic wipes or antiseptic hand gel (which you can use without water) are fabulous inventions - made with travelling families in mind.
      CONTACT WITH ANIMALS:
      In new and exciting destinations we often come across different animals. There are a lot of stray cats and dogs in some destinations. Keep an eye on children in these situations as aggravated animals can bite and may transmit diseases including rabies.
      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.
      Safety
      Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.
      We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
      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 group 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 group 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:
      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!
      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 and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
      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 group 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:
      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.
      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.
      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$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your group leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
      Responsible Travel projects
      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.
      Carbon offset
      Carbon Offset C02-e 366.00 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.
      Remember that once you’ve left your feedback you’ll automatically be entered into our monthly draw for a US$500 (or equivalent in your local currency) travel voucher.