Real Bangkok to Singapore
from $2038
Duration: 14 Days
Jungle escapades, city expeditions, swimming, swimming and more swimming. Sound good? Duh! From the bustling streets of Bangkok to the jungle of Khao Sok, sleep on a raft, kick back at Krabi and eat your way through Penang and Singapore. If this trip was a dish it would taste like Singapore’s chilli crab – full of spice, full of flavour and with plenty of time by the sea. Take a 14-day overland adventure to some of South East Asia’s highlights. You’ll be sweating on the regular, but that doesn’t matter ‘cause the scenery will make up for it.
  • Khao Sok National Park is like stepping into another world. Cruise along the Cheow Lan Lake and spend a night on the banks in a rafthouse.
  • Take some time out in Ao Nang to recharge and relax. You’ll also get the opportunity to share a meal and chat with a local family in their home!
  • How about jumping on a long tail boat and heading into the spectacular limestone cove of Railay Beach? It’s only accessible by water, but is definitely worth the trip.
  • Kuala Lumpur is a fantastic urban centre to dig your teeth into. Master the metro, tackle the Petronas towers and explore the colourful Batu Caves.
  • Eat on the roadside in Bangkok and Penang and get a taste of everything delicious in one of Singapore’s hawker centres.
  • Bangkok - Chinatown walking tour
  • Khao Sok - Cheow Lan Lake boat trip
  • Ao Nang - Homestay visit with dinner
  • Penang - Hawker food experience
  • Penang - leader led orientation walk
  • Kuala Lumpur - Batu Cave
  • Singapore - Leader Led Orientation Walk
  • Day 1 Location: Bangkok
    Sawasdee! Welcome to Bangkok. Your South East Asian adventure starts with an important welcome meeting at 6pm. Thailand’s capital is a chaotic hub of markets, shops, and scooters. So many scooters. It’s a colourful place full of things to do and see, so we recommend you arrive a day or two early to experience it all. If you do arrive early, why not take a walk around Chinatown and explore the crowded streets, wander down the tourist mecca of Khao San Road or indulge in a Thai massage?
    Day 2 Location: Bangkok – Overnight Train
    Good morning! Today, explore some of Bangkok's oldest neighbourhoods on a walking tour with your leader. Begin after breakfast and head to Wat Tri Mit temple – the site of the world’s largest solid gold seated Buddha from the Sukhothai era, measuring nearly 5 metres tall and weighing 5.5 tonnes. Along the way, you’ll be able to stop by some food stalls on Sukorn Alley for some snacks. Onto the Odien Circle intersection and the Chinese Temple, and finishing with a walk through the bustling daytime Sampeng wholesales market. You’ll have an included lunch at the famous Labour Egg Noodle (or similar), so tuck into some Fish Ball Noodles or Tom Yam Pork Noodles – they’re to die for. This afternoon is up to you. Perhaps visit the local Talad Noi Market, Chinese Temple and find hidden street art installations. Pass by Wat Pho and perhaps stop in to see who can spot the most images of Buddha (rumour has it there are up to 1000) Tonight, board your overnight train to Surat Thani (approximately 13 hours).
    Day 3 Location: Khao Sok National Park
    Arrive in Surat Thani early in the morning, then transfer by private mini van (approx. 2 hours) to Khao Sok National Park. It's an amazing environment, so colourful and vivid it almost looks like it's fake! When you reach Ratchaprabha Lake Pier, hop on to a long tail boat for another hour to reach a raft house on Chiew Larn Lake, where lunch will be served. These dense rainforests are humming with exotic animals and plants, and some walking trails lead to awesome waterfalls alongside the huge Cheow Lan Lake. Cruise along it and see the limestone cliffs set against the jungle backdrop. There’s a chance for your group leader to take a hike to a nearby cave or waterfall, as well as an evening safari on the lake, when the animals are most active. In the evening, enjoy a traditional southern Thai dinner, and stay in a simple raft house, which is literally on the lake. Wait till you see the view when you wake up!
    Day 4 Location: Ao Nang
    This morning, take a longtail boat back to the pier (approximately 1 hour) and then travel to Ao Nang in Krabi province (approximately 2.5 hours) in a private mini van. Home to sweet white-sand beaches and limestone karsts jutting out of cerulean waters, Krabi is a picture-perfect paradise. The main street of this lively beachside town has heaps of bars and restaurants to enjoy. As the sun begins to set, take a quick 15-minute trip out of Ao Nang to a local Thai family’s home. Sit down to the table and share a dinner, along with laughs, and a heart-warming evening experience.
    Day 5 Location: Ao Nang
    That's the trouble with paradise – there's too many ways to enjoy it. Today is free for you to explore, so that means time to kayak or climb the karst rock formations that surround this place. Your group leader will recommend a trip to Railay Beach, which is definitely a must when visiting Krabi. This bay is only accessible by a short 15-minute long tail boat trip because of the limestone cliffs that surround the bay. It’s an extraordinary sight to see, and a perfect place for a relax and a swim. Otherwise, you might like to take an optional kayaking activity you can head to Ao Thalane and paddle through mangrove forests, coves and narrow karst-walled canyons, keeping an eye out for kingfishers, herons and crab-eating macaque monkeys.
    Day 6 Location: Ao Nang
    Today is yours. You're free as a bird. An island-hopping day trip is a great way to get a real sense of just how amazing this part of Thailand is. You can take a longtail boat out to stunning islands like Phi Phi, where the swimming is great and the views are even better. Like exotic, far-out film locations. You'll never tire of looking up at those karsts towering above the turquoise waters. The real adventure-types might opt to go scuba diving. Either way you approach it, paradise is paradise.
    Day 7 Location: Penang
    Today is a long travel day by private vehicle. Sit back, relax and let Thailand disappear in the rear-view mirror. Next stop – Malaysia! Penang is Malaysia's prized island. You may have heard that people from Penang are serious about their food, and it is delicious, but there is so much more to this place, such as a gorgeous coastline and a colonial heritage which thrives amid the skyscrapers over Georgetown. The Georgetown area is a cool (and World Heritage-listed) blend of religious sites of worship. Now, what time is it? Street food time! Head with your leader on a tour of the best local haunts, and pick up some delicious specialties on offer. Obviously, things change from day to day, but you might snag an ice kacang (a dessert made with crushed ice, syrup and a mixture of jellies, nuts and sweet beans), a hearty nasi kandar (steamed rice accompanied by curries, fried chicken, seafood or vegetables) or the popular char kway teow (stir-fried rice noodles)! Afterwards, perhaps head on for an optional bar crawl with your leader and the gang – they’ll take you to their favourite spots.
    Day 8 Location: Penang
    Today your group leader will take you on a orientation walk through the Georgetown area to check out the shophouses, Penang Museum, street art and clan jetties. Once you've become old friends with this place, the rest of the day is yours. Check out Kek Lok Sii (the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia), Khoo Kongsi (amazingly ornate and one of the oldest clan houses in Malaysia) or Cheong Fat Tze Museum (fascinating if you have an interest in Feng Shui), then go looking for delicious food. This place is famous for its cuisine, as you would’ve worked out from yesterday’s delicious outing, and it’s all thanks to many cultures that have lived side-by-side here for ages.
    Day 9 Location: Kuala Lumpur
    You will have a free morning before setting off for Malaysia’s capital today. A short taxi ride will take you to the ferry terminal and then you will take the ferry to Butterworth (20 minutes), and then take the train to Kuala Lumpur (approximately 4 hours). The train will have you arrive into Kuala Lumpur in the evening. If you’re still feeling like exploring, head out to a bar with a view and take in the city’s lights over a cocktail. Be sure to try and find one with a view of the mighty Petronas Towers, which come to life under lights at night.
    Day 10 Location: Kuala Lumpur
    Today, you’ll take the train just like a local out of the city to the famous Batu Caves. Check out the tall Murugan statue and the colourful steps that lead up to the limestone karsts. Be careful of the mischievous monkeys though! If you’re hungry, your leader can show you a place which makes some of the best roti in Kuala Lumpur right near the caves. Later on, make sure you get a map and venture out on some walking adventures. You can hit Bukit Bintang, the Golden Triangle (for shopping), or Menara Tower (entry fee applies). Kuala Lumpur also has some great nightlife, so hit up your group leader for some more bar or club recommendations.
    Day 11 Location: Kuala Lumpur
    Today is another free day to explore KL. Get up early and grab your tickets to see two of the world's tallest buildings, the Petronas Towers. Be sure to ask your leader how the system works, as probably the best thing to do is book your tickets the day before to make sure you’ll get up the towers. The evening is best spent at the night market sampling the different cuisines on offer and bargain-hunting among the stalls of the famous Petaling Street.
    Day 12 Location: Melaka
    An intriguing blend of Malay, Indian, Chinese and Portuguese cultures, Melaka has a wealth of interesting architecture, distinctive food and proud cultural heritage. Take a public bus there (approximately 3 hours in total) and enjoy a free afternoon. Once the most important trading port of Malaysia, Melaka attracted Chinese, Indian, Dutch, Portuguese and British traders, and this diversity is reflected in its overall vibe. Check out Harmony Street where these communities have their places of worship, with a church, mosque, and a couple of different temples all on the one street. Peace out!
    Day 13 Location: Singapore
    A public bus journey (approximately 5 hours) takes you to Singapore. Your leader will take you on a walk to give you an introduction to this ever-evolving city. There will be time to take in the retail hot spots like Orchard Road and the 'booming cross-cultural culinary scene' before enjoying an evening with your fellow travellers. Hit up one of Singapore’s famous hawker centres (Newton, Lau Pa Sat and Tiong Bahru, to name a few) or take the chance to get up top of the mother of all buildings, Marina Bay Sands. Head to the Sky Bar to enjoy sweeping views of the Singaporean port and skyline and perhaps grab a couple of drinks with the gang. The 360-degree views across the city also gives a great bird’s eye view of Gardens By The Bay. While you’re up in the clouds, you might catch its light show!
    Day 14 Location: Singapore
    With no activities planned for today, you’re free to leave at any time. However, we recommend spending a couple more days in Singapore to check out all the British, Indian and Malaysian influences. Better yet, why not book yourself in an Urban Adventures tour to explore what Singapore has to offer? Find out more at urbanadventures.com/destination/Singapore-tours. If you would like to spend more time in Singapore, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
    Dates
    Prices
    Availability
    Departure Date:
    20DEC2020
    Return Date:
    02JAN2021
    2285NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    27DEC2020
    Return Date:
    09JAN2021
    2305NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    07MAR2021
    Return Date:
    20MAR2021
    2330NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    16MAY2021
    Return Date:
    29MAY2021
    2330NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    04JUL2021
    Return Date:
    17JUL2021
    2330NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    19SEP2021
    Return Date:
    02OCT2021
    2330NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    24OCT2021
    Return Date:
    06NOV2021
    2330NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    07NOV2021
    Return Date:
    20NOV2021
    2330NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    19DEC2021
    Return Date:
    01JAN2022
    2330NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    06FEB2022
    Return Date:
    19FEB2022
    2265NZD
    available
    Last modified (date)

    20 Sep 2020

    Trip title

    Real Bangkok to Singapore

    Trip code

    TTYB

    Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2021

    Introduction

    Jungle escapades, city expeditions, swimming, swimming and more swimming. Sound good? Duh! From the bustling streets of Bangkok to the jungle of Khao Sok, sleep on a raft, kick back at Krabi and eat your way through Penang and Singapore. If this trip was a dish it would taste like Singapore’s chilli crab – full of spice, full of flavour and with plenty of time by the sea. Take a 14-day overland adventure to some of South East Asia’s highlights. You’ll be sweating on the regular, but that doesn’t matter ‘cause the scenery will make up for it.

    Style

    Basix

    Themes

    18 to 29s

    Transport

    Boat,Overnight sleeper train,Private vehicle,Public bus,Taxi

    Physical Rating

    2

    Joining point

    W22 Hotel

    422 Mittphan Road, Pomprab

    Pomprabsattrupai

    Bangkok

    10100

    THAILAND

    Joining point description

    Located in Bangkok, 2 km from Temple of the Golden Mount, W22 by Burasari provides air-conditioned rooms and a bar. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and a shared lounge, along with free WiFi. The property is non-smoking and is situated 3.3 km from Temple of the Emerald Buddha. All rooms in the hotel are equipped with a flat-screen TV, a private bathroom with a shower, a hair dryer and free toiletries. All rooms will provide guests with a fridge.

    Joining point instructions

    Intrepid can assist with pre-booking an arrival transfer from the airport - enquire with your agent. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your departure. If you have pre-booked an arrival transfer you will be met after exiting the Customs Hall. A transfer representative holding an Intrepid sign will meet you at Exit Door 4. If you cannot find your transfer representative, please go to the ATTA Counter (Association of Thai Travel Agents) near Exit Door 6. Ask them to call our transfer provider, World Travel Idea, on +66 81 658 2727 or +66 81 566 9324. Please note that neither the driver nor any representative should ask you for additional payment. Metered taxis are available outside the airport entrance on the 1st floor. Exit the Customs Hall, go down to the 1st floor and leave the airport at Gate 3, 4, 7 or 8. You will find a table with a “metred taxis” sign. The taxi fare will be the metred fare plus a surcharge of THB50-THB75 (depending on the driver’s use of toll roads). The total fare will be approx. THB400. Pre-paid taxis are also available, where you will be given a docket to pay the driver a set price of THB700. Please avoid taxi touts who tell you that they have a metered taxi parked outside the airport.

    Finish point

    Hotel MI Singapore

    41 Bencoolen Street, Singapore

    Singapore

    189623

    SINGAPORE

    Phone: +65 62518822

    Fax: +65 62663126

    Important information

    1. A Single Supplement to have your own room is bookable on this trip, subject to availability, and excludes Day 2 (overnight sleeper train) you will be in shared accommodation. 2. Please provide your full name as per passport and passport number 45 days prior to departure in order to secure the train ticket in Malaysia. Ticketing fees may apply for amendments to details within 45 days of departure, and in some cases you will be required to cover the cost of issuing a new ticket.

    Group leader

    All 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. On this trip between Bangkok and Singapore your Group Leader will usually be a Thai national who is experienced in travelling in Malaysia and Singapore.

    Safety

    Most national governments provide regularly updated foreign travel advice 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 destinations and activities on your trip. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/travel-alerts We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your 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 or relax and take it easy. 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. Intrepid's operational safety policies can be viewed on our website at the link below. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how safety is being managed on our trips.

    https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safety-guidelines

    FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms. SEAT BELTS: Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts. PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY: While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing. MOTORBIKE BAG SNATCHING: Be particularly aware of motorbike bag snatching, especially in the bigger cities.

    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. PASSPORT You will need a valid passport to travel internationally. As a general rule, most countries require that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets exactly and contact us immediately if there are any errors. We recommend taking copies of the main passport pages and other important documents with you as well as leave copies at home with family or friends. VISAS Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time. It is important that you check your government's foreign travel advisories along with the consular website of the country or countries you are travelling to for the most up to date information specific to your nationality and circumstances. Please be aware that not all visa information found online from other sources may be valid while COVID-19 restrictions are in place. Visas can take several weeks to process, so make sure you research the requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for obtaining any necessary documents as well as the application and processing time. Your booking consultant can advise on a visa processing service or you can apply yourself directly through a consulate. Below you will find general visa advice about the destinations on your trip. Due to constantly evolving COVID-19 requirements and restrictions, please refer to your government's foreign travel advice for most up to date information. SINGAPORE: Most nationalities do not require a visa to visit Singapore. Tourists not requiring a visa will be granted a 30 day stay on arrival. Other nationalities should check with their Singapore embassy or consulate. MALAYSIA: Most nationalities do not need visas to visit Malaysia as a tourist for up to three months. Please check with your relevant Malaysian embassy or consulate. 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. BORDER CROSSINGS: Your visa application form may require you to state the dates on which you enter and exit that country. Please note we suggest you list your date of entry a few days before, and date of exit a few days after, your intended dates in case you encounter any delays or problems en route. The following are the international/administrative border crossings for this trip: On Day 7 we cross the border from Thailand to Malaysia - The Thailand border is Wang Pra Jan - The Malaysia border is Wang Kelian On Day 13 we cross the border from Malaysia to Singapore - The Malaysia border is Johor Bahru - The Singapore border is Singapore To help calculate the exact dates of these crossings we have found the following website useful - http://www.timeanddate.com

    Why we love it

    Khao Sok National Park is like stepping into another world. Cruise along the Cheow Lan Lake and spend a night on the banks in a rafthouse.

    Take some time out in Ao Nang to recharge and relax. You’ll also get the opportunity to share a meal and chat with a local family in their home!

    How about jumping on a long tail boat and heading into the spectacular limestone cove of Railay Beach? It’s only accessible by water, but is definitely worth the trip.

    Kuala Lumpur is a fantastic urban centre to dig your teeth into. Master the metro, tackle the Petronas towers and explore the colourful Batu Caves.

    Eat on the roadside in Bangkok and Penang and get a taste of everything delicious in one of Singapore’s hawker centres.

    Is this trip right for you

    Your overnight sleeper train from Bangkok to Surat Thani is an adventure for sure. Be prepared for basic conditions though – bunk beds and shared facilities. There's one full day of travelling involved (from Ao Nang across the border into Malaysia, then down to Penang). Some travel is on public buses. This is, of course, a great way to mingle with the locals and experience how they travel. And it keeps your carbon footprint down. Go free and explore! As there are not a heap of inclusions, the resulting free time means flexibility and space for making your own discoveries. This is a great way to travel independently while drawing on the knowledge of local leaders, and keeping your costs down.

    Health

    GENERAL HEALTH All 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 manage and enjoy 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, we reserve 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 before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained while travelling. Below you can find some further information about health issues relevant to the destinations visited on this trip. COVID-19 The safety and wellbeing of our travellers, leaders, crew, staff, and suppliers continues to remain our highest priority as we travel. You can read more about how we will keep you safe on our trips, including our COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safe-travels We will not require a negative COVID-19 test before joining a trip unless it is a requirement of entry for the country. If you are unwell prior to travelling, please stay at home and contact us to make alternative arrangements. At the group meeting, you will be asked to complete a self-screening health form and report any COVID-19 symptoms as well as any close contact with someone who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19. If you are displaying any symptoms or have any health concerns at this time, we will follow the advice of local health authorities to determine whether medical assistance, isolation or further action is required. We ask all travellers to continue to monitor their health throughout their travels and report any relevant symptoms to their tour leader. DENGUE FEVER: Dengue fever occurs in Thailand, and is particularly common during the rainy season (November-March in Koh Samui and the south-east of the Thai peninsula and May-October in the rest of Thailand, including Phuket), peaking in July and August. There is no vaccination or specific treatment available for dengue fever. MALARIA: Malaria can be contracted throughout the year in rural areas, particularly near the borders with Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. Speak to your doctor about preventative medication if you are concerned about malaria. OTHER: Other mosquito borne illnesses, such as Japanese encephalitis also occur in some areas. Always take preventative measures to protect yourself against mosquitoes such as wearing long clothing, using repellent and being indoors particularly around dusk and dawn. AIR POLLUTION From June to October, Malaysia can experience air pollution from forest fires in Indonesia. The persistent hot and dry weather conditions also causes dust to remain suspended in the air and accumulate, causing haze. Please be aware of this if you suffer from any medical conditions exasperated by air pollution. BOX JELLY FISH Box jelly fish have been reported in Thailand waters throughout the year. Please be aware of this when swimming alone and follow any warnings from local authorities. Stings require immediate medical treatment and fatalities have been known to occur. ZIKA VIRUS: There have been reports of transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in this region 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, we recommend all women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant to consult with their doctors before booking their trip. AIR POLLUTION AND SMOKE HAZE: Bangkok and other Thai cities experience high levels of air pollution, which may aggravate bronchial, sinus or asthma conditions. These can be particularly high between the months of December and February. Smoke haze, which usually occurs across parts of north and north-east Thailand during March to April, can also aggravate these conditions. Regular air quality reports are available from the following website http://aqicn.org/city/bangkok/

    Food and dietary requirements

    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. 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.

    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 an appropriate amount for things like optional meals, drinks, shopping, optional activities, and laundry. Make sure you have read the itinerary and inclusions thoroughly so you know what is included in the trip price and what you may need to pay for while travelling. The official currency of Singapore is the Singapore dollar (SGD). The most convenient and cheapest way to obtain local currency in is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). ATMs are now readily available and visa cash advances are available in most banks. Foreign currency notes that are old, torn or faded can be very difficult to exchange, clean bills in small denominations are most useful. MALAYSIA The official currency of Malaysia is the Ringgit (MYR).The most convenient and cheapest way to obtain local currency is by ATM. Foreign currency notes that are old, torn or faded can be very difficult to exchange, clean bills in small denominations are most useful. The official currency of Thailand is the Baht (THB). The most convenient and cheapest way to obtain local currency is via ATMs which are available in most towns and cities. Foreign currency notes that are old, torn or faded can be very difficult to exchange. Clean bills in small denominations are most useful. The use of credit cards is restricted, mainly to major hotels and more upmarket shops and shopping centres. 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. Carrying small notes of local currency will make tipping easier. It is best to avoid tipping with with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes, as this can be regarded as an insult. Optional Tipping Kitty: 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 for drivers, local guides, and hotel staff (excludes restaurant tips). The leader will keep a running record of all monies spent which 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, and you are welcome to manage your own tipping separately if you prefer. Please note the tipping kitty excludes tips for your tour leader. Optional tipping kitty for this trip: THB 380 per person 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. CONTINGENCY FUNDS We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. We reserve the right to change an itinerary after departure due to local circumstances or a Force Majeure Event. In such emergency circumstances, the additional cost of any necessary itinerary alterations will be covered by you. Please note we are not responsible for any incidental expenses that may be incurred as a result of the change of itineraries including but not limited to visas, vaccinations or non-refundable flights. Make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last-minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result, there may be some extra costs involved. The recommended amount is listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers, however, local currency may be needed once in the country to cover these costs.

    What to take

    MAIN LUGGAGE What you need to bring will vary according to when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances (maximum of 30 minutes) including up and down stairs and in busy train stations. Our travellers usually find the smaller their luggage is, the more they enjoy the trip not having to worry about carrying heavy bags! Aim to keep your main luggage under 15kg. Smaller bags are also better for fitting in storage areas of public transport. Small, wheeled suitcases that can also easily be picked up and carried are suitable, or if you prefer, a back pack is also a good option. It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary that your luggage gets stowed separately (and unattended). DAY PACK A day pack for carrying essentials when exploring destinations. On overnight trains packing this with the essentials you need to access during the trip will also be very useful. ESSENTIALS: - Lightweight clothing: A mixture of covering lightweight clothing and some warm layers (depending on the season) are recommended. It is best to check the weather and seasonal information before travelling. Dress standards are conservative in Malaysia and parts of Thailand, especially outside major cities. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot climate. For visits to religious sites you will also need to wear clothing that covers shoulders and pants/skirts that go past the knee. Laundry facilities may not be available in all destinations, so make sure you have a few cycles of clothes. - Wind and waterproof jacket - Comfortable shoes for walking and hiking: Closed-in shoes that are comfortable to walk for an entire day are recommended to protect your feet on city and countryside walks as well as longer treks. For longer hikes comfortable and supportive shoes with good grip are best. - Sandals/flip flops: Sandals with straps or shoes which are not likely to fall off are preferable for any water based activities. Easy to remove shoes are also good in the heat and for visits to religious sites. - Sun protection: hat, sunscreen, sunglasses - Toiletries RECOMMENDED: - Personal medical kit. A larger kit will be on hand with your leader, but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes and adhesive bandages. - Insect repellent - Water bottle. We recommend a 1.5litre capacity. While drinking tap water is not recommended some hotels will have filtered drinking water available. - Camera with spare batteries/power bank. You will have access to power to recharge your electrical items most days, however a spare battery or power bank are recommended. - Electrical adapter plug - reusable shopping bag for buying supplies - torch/flashlight - travel wipes, hand sanitiser - small towel - ear plugs & eye mask - A good book, a journal and music player for overnight train rides and longer drives. MORE! If you need some further tips for packing, you can always check out our ultimate packing list.

    GRAND PALACE, BANGKOK - DRESS CODE: On the 13th of October 2016 the Thai Government announced the passing of his majesty, the King of Thailand. This is a time for deep sorrow for Thai people. During this time of mourning, strict dress codes have been put in place for entry into the Grand Palace. You must wear dark (preferably black) full length pants or skirt down to your ankle and a Dark coloured t-shirt, shirt or blouse. Shoulders must be covered. Thai officials at the Grand Palace are enforcing this strict dress code and will not allow entry if you are not following these directions. Although on this itinerary the Grand Palace is not an included activity you may want to visit it in your own free time. We want to make you aware of this so as you can pack accordingly

    PROHIBITED ITEMS IN SINGAPORE According to Singapore law, many items are prohibited from being brought into the country, or need to be declared. Prohibited items include (but are not limited to) tobacco products, any substance containing nicotine (including electronic cigarettes) and chewing gum. Please refer to the Singapore Government website for further information https://www.customs.gov.sg/individuals/going-through-customs/arrival/prohibited-and-controlled-goods

    Climate and seasonal

    CHINESE NEW YEAR: An important 15-day festival for the Malaysian Chinese, based on the lunar calendar in January or February. In 2021, the Year of the Oxis scheduled to be held from the 12th February. This can be a busy time and some transport delays, shop closures and reduced opening hours at some sites may be expected, but there are also many fabulous festivals and rituals to observe during this time, so it's a great time to travel. Although we make all reasonable efforts to avoid disruption a flexible approach from the traveller is appreciated. RAMADAN & EID AL-FITR: In Malaysia, a country with a large Muslim population, the month of Ramadan is referred to as the ‘fasting month’, which culminates with the biggest Muslim holiday in Malaysia: Eid al Fitr or ‘Idul Fitri’. This ninth month on the Islamic Hijri calendar is considered the holiest month by Muslims, commemorating the first revelation of the Quranic verses to the Prophet Muhammad. Ramadan is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. In bigger cities like Kuala Lumpur and Georgetown where there are many residents of Chinese origin as well as in popular tourist destinations there will be little disruption to services or being able to find places to eat. In other areas with a bigger Muslim population, businesses and services may have limited operation hours, alcohol may not be permitted during daylight hours and restaurants closed. Please note that drivers and leaders of Muslim faith are likely to be fasting over Ramadan. While you should expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month is a fantastic opportunity to travel in a Muslim country and witness this unique period, particularly the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken. Dates for Ramadan are: 12th April 2021 - 11th May 2021, 2nd April 2022 - 1st May 2022 Dates for Eid Al-Fitr are: 12th May - 13th May 2021, 2nd - 3rd May 2022 LUNAR NEW YEAR: Also known as Spring Festival or Chinese New Year, is the biggest and most important annual festival for Chinese and the Chinese communities world wide. During the first days of Chinese New Year many businesses close, as Chinese business owners are visiting their relatives in their home towns or home countries.Traveling during this time can be hectic as many people are on the move. Public transport and flights can be packed in the days leading up to the festivities, with traffic jams and delays common. Plenty of patience is required if you are in Malaysia during this time, but the festive atmosphere and local traditions make it an interesting time to be in the country. Public holidays in Malaysia for Lunar New Year are: 12th - 13th February 2021, 1st - 2nd February 2022 OTHER HOLIDAYS: Other major national public holidays in Malaysia are: Malaysia Day: 16th September 2021, 16th September 2022 Agong's (Malaysian King) Birthday: 6th - 7th June 2021/2022 Vesak (Buddha's birthday): 26th May 2021, 16th May 2022 Awal Muharram (Islamic New Year): 9th - 10th August 2021, 29th - 30th July 2022 Deepavali (Diwali): 4th November 2021, 24th October 2022   SONGKRAN FESTIVAL The Songkran Festival is celebrated to mark the New Year. The festival runs from the 13th to the 16th of April. Traditionally houses and villages are properly cleaned in preparation for the New Year, flowers are gathered to decorate Buddha images, young people pour water over the elders for good luck. Songkran Festival is often referred to as the “water festival” as it is now common to throw water over each other during the festival period. Our advice is to be prepared to get wet! Your leader will discuss the festival activities upon day one at the group meeting.

    A couple of rules

    Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. You must at all times comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange and drug regulations of all countries visited, and you also agree to travel in accordance with our Responsible Travel Guidelines. The decision of the group leader is final on all matters likely to affect the safety or well-being of any traveller or staff member participating in the trip. If you fail to comply with a decision made by a group leader, or interfere with the well-being or mobility of the group, the group leader may direct you to leave the trip immediately, with no right of refund. We may also elect not to carry you on any future trips booked. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

    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/

    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. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time. 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

    Responsible travel

    Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable, and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers, and staff are trained on these principles and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel. Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/responsible-travel 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 World Animal Protection, 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 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/elephants-welfare

    The Intrepid Foundation

    Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website:

    Accommodation notes

    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 a different Intrepid trip 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 (subject to availability), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

    Transport notes

    OVERNIGHT TRAINS Overnight sleeper trains in Thailand are air-conditioned and have sleeping berths down both sides of the carriage. The carriage is multishare, with 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, but no showers. Carriage lights staying on during the night, so an eye mask is a good thing to bring with you, as is warm clothes as the air conditioning can be cold. For more on overnight trains in Thailand and around the world: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/overnight-train-travel-around-the-world/ LONG TRAVEL DAYS There are some long travel days and some of the transport can be quite cramped and without air-conditioning.

    Travel insurance

    Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted 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 your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. Travellers who reside within the European Union or Switzerland receive basic international health insurance, so travel insurance is not mandatory under European Union Law. However, as this does not cover situations such as emergency rescues, private health care, or repatriation to their home country, comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended. European Union or Swiss travellers who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting. For assistance with travel insurance or other services, please visit the link below: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/booking-resources/our-services

    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.

    Itinerary disclaimer

    ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, 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 maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested in the Group Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

    Accommodation

    Guesthouse (3 nights),Hotel (8 nights),Overnight sleeper train (1 night),Rafthouse (1 night)

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