Real Food Adventure - Thailand Trip Notes

Real Food Adventure - Thailand

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


Last Modified: 15 Sep 2016
Real Food Adventure - Thailand
Trip code: TTZF
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
An adventure in flavour, experience the fresh aromas and heavenly spices that make Thai food a worldwide phenomenon. Explore bustling markets spread out over land and water, and taste exotic fruits and aromatic dishes whipped up in front of your eyes. Learn the trick behind making palm sugar, experience the thrill of a passing train in the Mae Glong railway market, slurp noodles alongside the locals in Bangkok, whip up a jungle curry in Kanchanaburi, enjoy home cooking with a family in Chiang Mai, sit down to a Khantohk feast and tour all the must-see sights of Thailand in one incredible culinary journey through one of South-East Asia’s most seductive food cultures.
Table of Contents
StyleAccommodationEmergency contact
ThemesAccommodation NotesVisas
Is this trip right for you?Meals introductionWhat to take
Why we love itMealsHealth
MapTransportTravel insurance
ItineraryMoney mattersA couple of rules
Itinerary disclaimerGroup leaderResponsible Travel
Physical ratingSafetyThe Intrepid Foundation
Included activitiesJoining pointFeedback
Group sizeJoining point description
Your fellow travellersFinish point
Style
Original
Themes
Food
Is this trip right for you?
- This trip aims to give you an exciting, diverse and well-rounded experience of a country’s cuisine. While we endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements, some meals and food activities are set in advance and may be difficult to adjust. Please be aware that in many countries dietary restrictions are not common or well understood. If you have dietary requirements, simply contact your agent at the time of booking for further information on how this may impact on your ability to take part in included activities and meals. Come with an open mind and open mouth, and you won’t be disappointed!
- This trip includes two nights on overnight trains between Ayuthaya and Chiang Mai. Accommodation is simple but comfortable – soft sleeper class multishare compartments with air-conditioning and bunk beds, with sheets and a pillow provided. Overnight trains are a real Intrepid experience and one of the best ways to come face-to-face with the country and its people.
- There is a night at a homestay on this trip, a wonderful opportunity to witness everyday Thai life. Facilities can be basic and multishare, with fold-out mattresses on the floor and shared bathrooms. The rewards of such an authentic local experience are immeasurable.
Why we love it
- Discover a world of Thai food beyond the obvious (albeit delicious) dishes of Pad Thai and Thai Green curry – experience new Thai tastes, like ‘boat noodles’ and khao soi in Ayutthaya
- Whip up northern Thai khantohk specialties with Aoi outside of Chiang Mai, and live Thai life from a local's perspective with a stay in her home
- Experience the eye-opening and surprising world of Thai food markets, filled with unpredictable tastes and found in unexpected places – floating on a river or set up on a railway track!
- Get ready for a hands-on masterclass in Central Thai cuisine in Kanchanaburi, browsing the market to pick fresh produce before feasting on your creations
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Bangkok
Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand. Thailand's bustling capital, Bangkok is famous for its tuk tuks, khlong boats and street vendors serving up delicious Thai food. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 5pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place, and have your insurance details and next of kin information ready for collection. Bangkok has so much to offer those with time to explore, so perhaps arrive a day or so early and take a riverboat to Chinatown and explore the crowded streets, uncover the magnificent Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, wander down the tourist mecca of Khao San Road, or indulge in some Thai massage. After the meeting tonight, jump in a tuk tuk for a moveable feast. The first stop is for pork satay from a place that's been serving it up for more than 40 years. Next, take a short walk to dine at a restaurant that’s a favourite of the royal family. Finish up with a popular Thai dessert of toast topped with cream (don't knock it till you've tried it!).
Included Activities
  • Bangkok - Food Crawl
    Accommodation
    Hotel (1 nt)
    Meals
    1 dinner
    Day 2 Kanchanaburi
    Head to the Mae Glong Railway Market (approximately 1.5 hours) for a breakfast of khnom krok (rice pudding) or khnom gui chai (fried Chinese chives rice cake). Prepare for stalls to be quickly pulled to one side when the train quite literally passes through the centre of the market. Continue by minivan to swap tracks for water at the Tha Kha Floating Markets. Walk past canals filled with sellers hawking their colourful fruits and wares at this authentic local market, then board a paddle boat to explore the waterways further. The area’s well known for coconut palm sugar production and along the way you’ll stop past a riverside operation to see how it is made. Travel on to Kanchanaburi (approximately 2 hours), stopping at Nakorn Pathom to witness the tallest stupa in the world – 120 metres high – while snacking on the popular regional dessert of khao lam, an enticing mixture of sweet sticky rice neatly wrapped in a bamboo tube. By mid afternoon, arrive in Kanchanaburi, famed as the location of the Bridge on the River Kwai and a beautiful town surrounded by verdant jungle, waterfalls and rivers. Choose to visit the Bridge on the River Kwai and the World War II Museum on a rickshaw tour, or relax at one of the floating restaurants along the river, watching the river traffic pass by. Tonight dine at the local night market, which is sure to get tastebuds singing.
    Included Activities
    • Bangkok - Tha Kha floating Market Visit & Paddle Boat Ride
    • Bangkok - Palm Sugar Demonstration
    • Bangkok - Mae Glong Railway Market Visit
      Accommodation
      Guesthouse (1 nt)
      Day 3 Kanchanaburi
      Get ready for a hands-on masterclass in Central Thai cuisine today. Start at the markets to collect ingredients for the day's menu, then whip up some classic dishes including wing beans, banana flower cake, and jungle curry. Feast on your creations for lunch. The rest of the afternoon is free for your own exploration. You could continue your discovery of the area’s dark history with a moving visit to the Hellfire Pass Memorial, built to honour the Allied POWs and Asian conscripts who died while constructing some of the most difficult stretches of the Thai-Burma Death Railway. You can head out to a teak observation deck and look across to Myanmar just 25 miles away. You’ll also see the eponymous pass, cut through rock 18 metres deep, that got its name from the hellish fires used to light the work at night. Then you can board a train at Nam Tok station, the main terminal of the Death Railway, and take a ride along the historic tracks along the Kwai Noi River. This passes through magnificent scenery and you can spend a moment reflecting on those who were forced to give their lives in the process of bending this environment to man’s will. Perhaps meet up with your group in the evening for dinner at a restaurant specialising in E-saan flavours found in north-eastern Thailand.
      Included Activities
      • Kanchanaburi - Market Tour and Central Thai Cooking Class
        Accommodation
        Guesthouse (1 nt)
        Meals
        1 lunch
        Day 4 Ayutthaya
        Wake early and travel to Ayutthaya (approximately 3.5 hours), the second capital of Siam after Sukhothai, and once one of the most powerful in Asia with over 1 million residents by AD 1700. Stop past a street food stall for a demonstration and tasting of roti sai mai, a dish synonymous with the Kingdom of Ayutthaya. It consists of a thin pancake wrapped around delicious, fine strands of thin-spun cotton candy. Also be sure to try a steaming bowl of guay-tieo-ruea, or 'boat noodles'. The combination of fragrant pork broth, roasted strips of meat, Thai-style pork balls and crackling skin, sliced morning glory stalks, fresh green onion and a choice of rice noodles served in Ayutthaya is thought of as the original and best. While no longer served from sampans on the river, these narrow rowboats adorn the roadside eateries as a marker of what's on the menu. See the remains and reminders of Ayutthaya’s golden age with a guided tour of the picturesque ruins and temples spread across the town. The rows of headless Buddhas at Wat Phra Mahathat, sacked by the Burmese in the 18th century, are very atmospheric, and a Buddha head surrounded by Banyan tree roots is perhaps the most photographed site in all of Ayutthaya. This evening you’ll head north to Chiang Mai on an overnight train journey, accommodated in soft sleeper class air-conditioned berths (approximately 13 hours).

        Notes: Multishare compartments have bunk beds with sheets and a pillow provided. Your baggage travels in the carriage with you. There's a food and drink service available on board.
        Included Activities
        • Ayutthaya - Temple Ruins Guided Tour
        • Ayutthaya - Roti Sai Mai Demonstration
          Accommodation
          Overnight Sleeper Train (1 nt)
          Meals
          1 lunch
          Day 5 Chiang Mai
          Arrive in Chiang Mai by mid-morning. The most vibrant city in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai has many famous temples and an interesting old city area. Renowned for dazzling beauty and extremely welcoming locals, the ‘Rose of the North’ will leave you spellbound. Chances are, you won’t want to leave. Most importantly, Chiang Mai is famous for its northern Thai cuisine and may just be home to many of your favourite Thai dishes. Lunch today is khao soi, a delicious curry noodle dish that is synonymous with the region. The rest of the day is free, and there are so many things to do – spectacular temples, an enormous night market, a picturesque river-front, and fantastic shopping. Join your leader on a walk through the old city, hire a bicycle, or simply loosen those muscles with some traditional Thai massage. Maybe take a scenic, winding drive up a mountain (around 45 minutes) to one of the country's most stunning temple complexes, Doi Suthep. A 300-step naga-guarded stairway leads you to the temples, and the climb is well worth the effort. The hypnotic atmosphere of chanting Buddhist monks and sweeping views of the city make for a memorable experience. In the evening, check out the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, full of local handicrafts and fabulous northern street food dishes.
          Included Activities
          • Chiang Mai - Khao Soi Lunch
            Accommodation
            Hotel (1 nt)
            Meals
            1 lunch
            Day 6 Homestay
            Wake early to offer alms to local monks before a breakfast of traditional congee. Later in the morning, meet Aoi, your gracious host for an incredible homestay experience in a small Thai village. Stop by a restaurant specialising in the local delicacy of fermented rice noodles for lunch, and be treated to a noodle-making demonstration. Next, head to the homestay via some producers, including a mushroom farm, where you'll pick up ingredients for a northern Thai cooking class. Journey on to Aoi’s home and get ready to cook up a feast – quite literally! Over the years, a khantohk dinner has become a traditional way to welcome guests. Khantohk technically refers to a raised tray used for serving food in northern Thailand. Eleven dishes are featured on this traditional Khantohk menu, so roll up the sleeves and spend a fun afternoon learning the ins and outs of this northern Thailand cuisine. Cut, chop and sizzle the day away, then tuck into dishes like northern style gai tod (fried chicken) and naam prig ong (minced pork & tomato chili paste) while listening to local musicians sing and dance traditional fare through dinner.

            Note: You can leave your main luggage at the Chiang Mai hotel and pack an overnight bag for the homestay. As we will be staying in a traditional rural community, please be mindful to pack and wear conservative dress. The accommodation tonight is multi-share and basic, but the atmosphere is warm and welcoming. Beds are fold-out mattresses on the floor and bathrooms are shared.
            Included Activities
            • Homestay - Khantohk Cooking Class
              Accommodation
              Homestay (1 nt)
              Meals
              1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
              Day 7 Chiang Mai
              Wake up and enjoy a sumptuous northern Thai breakfast of fried rice, sweet sticky rice and egg custard. Farewell your hosts then head back to Chiang Mai to check out the bustling Warorot Market (Kad Luang). One of Chiang Mai’s largest markets and a thriving social hub, this is the perfect place to get a glimpse of daily life in northern Thailand, as well as some of the ingredients and snacks unique to northern cuisine. Take a tasting tour through the stalls. Be sure to try sai ua (Chaing Mai sausage). Bamboo worms are for the more intrepid foodies... There will also be time for some final shopping, eating, and perhaps another massage. Perhaps meet up again in the evening for a final dinner at a restaurant along the Mae Ping River, and toast the end of this Real Food Adventure Thailand with a beautiful view over the water.
              Included Activities
              • Chiang Mai - Warorot Market Tasting Tour
                Accommodation
                Hotel (1 nt)
                Meals
                1 breakfast
                Day 8 Chiang Mai
                Your delicious Real Food Adventure ends this morning and you are free to leave at any time as there are no activities planned for today.
                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 - Food Crawl
                Bangkok - Tha Kha floating Market Visit & Paddle Boat Ride
                Bangkok - Palm Sugar Demonstration
                Bangkok - Mae Glong Railway Market Visit
                Kanchanaburi - Market Tour and Central Thai Cooking Class
                Ayutthaya - Temple Ruins Guided Tour
                Ayutthaya - Roti Sai Mai Demonstration
                Chiang Mai - Khao Soi Lunch
                Homestay - Khantohk Cooking Class
                Chiang Mai - Warorot Market Tasting Tour
                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.

                SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
                A single supplement is available on this trip, please refer to your booking agent for further information.
                Accommodation
                Guesthouse (2nt), Homestay (1nt), Hotel (3nt), Overnight sleeper train (1nt)
                OVERNIGHT TRAINS
                We use soft sleeper class trains for all of our overnight train journeys. Multi share compartments are air conditioned, with bunk beds; sheets and pillow provided. Our baggage travels in the carriage with us. There is a food and drink service available on board. Please note that on occasion the overnight trains may be covered by an overnight bus rather than train.

                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 we will endeavour to cater to dietary requirements where possible, please note that many meals and food activities on Real Food Adventures are set in advance in order to deliver a well-rounded experience of a country’s cuisine. In many countries, dietary restrictions are uncommon and not well understood. If you have dietary requirements and are concerned about whether this may impact on your ability to participate fully in all food-related activities on this trip, please contact your agent at time of booking for further information. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies, you must notify your booking agent prior to departure so it can be determined whether your dietary requirements can be met.
                Meals
                2 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 2 dinners
                Transport
                Overnight sleeper train, Songthaew, Tuk-Tuk, 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).

                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.

                Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.

                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.

                If you are happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is 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. We recommend that any tips are given to the intended recipient by a member of your group, rather than collected and passed on by the group leader.

                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.

                Your crew: Tipping is entirely voluntary. The crew may be travelling with you for many weeks and usually they become good friends with most members of the group. It is sometimes easy to forget that they do work hard to ensure that you do have a great trip. If you feel you would like to tip them, they certainly would appreciate it. On a number of our trips, we also use a local guide as well as our own crew. These guides live and travel with you through their home country and it is usual to tip them when they leave. We recommend USD10 to USD15 per person

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

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

                PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
                While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

                SWIMMING POOLS:
                You may stay at hotels with unfenced pools and no life guard on duty.

                HERITAGE HOTELS:
                On this trip you will be staying in some heritage hotels and traditional guesthouses, and these are one of the charms of this trip, but occasionally staircases, balconies and passages etc don't always comply with western safety standards. Please don't expect elevators in these properties as they are preserved to their original state.
                Joining point
                Nouvo City Hotel
                2 Samsen Road, Pranakorn
                Banglumphu
                Bangkok
                10200
                THAILAND
                Phone: +66 22827500
                Joining point description
                A modern centrally located hotel in the Bangamphu area which is also known as the Old Bangkok City. The hotel is only 15 minutes walk from Khao San Road. and walking distance to many Buddhist temples and the Grand Palace.
                All rooms have WiFi, air conditioning, hair dryer and a fridge.
                Please note that no alcohol is served in this hotel but there are lots of great bars across the road

                Finish point
                Buaraya Hotel
                234 / 18 Maneenopparat Road
                Chiang Mai
                THAILAND
                Phone: 053 2180834
                Fax: 053 218085
                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, Burma & Phillipines) and Tel: +855 92 555 969 (Cambodia).

                For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist. For further contact details please use the following page:

                For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/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.
                Visas
                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

                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.

                OVERNIGHT TRAIN JOURNEY:
                We recommend that you pack some light warm clothing for the overnight train as it may get a little cold through the night with the air-conditioning. An eye mask and ear plugs are also recommended.
                Health
                All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

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

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

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

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

                When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the 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:
                Dress standards are conservative throughout Asia, especially outside major cities. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees by wearing sleeves and long trousers. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in areas of predominantly hot climate. In many rural areas women will need to wear modest clothing even to swim. Singlets, tank tops and topless sun bathing are all unacceptable. When visiting religious sites men often need to wear long trousers and women a long skirt or sarong.

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

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

                http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

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

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


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

                http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback