- This combination trip includes trips in Thaiiland, Laos, Vietnam & Cambodia that are some of the most popular in the entire Intrepid range. Travel by boat, train, plane, private minibus, taxi and even on the back of a motorbike!
- Angkor Wat. Need we say more? As well as a guided tour, you'll also have a pass to cover your whole time in Siem Reap. So you can explore this incredible temple complex as much and as often as you like.
- Settle in for the night and experience overnight train journeys, starting from Hanoi and Bangkok and waking up ready to head out and explore Chiang Mai and Hue.
- The two-day boat journey down the iconic Mekong River passes incredible rural scenery and is one of the must-dos to truly experience South East Asia.
- Discover the mysterious beauty of the Lao jungle as you walk side by side with recently rescued elephants on stroll through their natural habitat.
- Sample local food wherever you go, from a seafood dinner on Halong Bay, street snacks at markets, a meal at a buddhist nunnery, coconut candy and tropical fruits in the Mekong Delta, and dinner at KOTO restaurant.
- The perfect blend of included sights and free time to make your own discoveries in some of our favourite destinations, like Hoi An and Luang Prabang.
- Discover Kampong Luong and the countryside around Battambang with a visit to a floating village and a bike ride around farms and cottage industries.
- Have expert advice on hand the whole way with an experienced local leader to help you get the best out of your time in South East Asia, like Channa: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/channa-intrepid-leader-cambodia/
- Travel from Vietnam to Thailand, experiencing the contrasts between three of the region’s most fascinating countries.
04 Jul 2023
South East Asia Loop
Validity: 01 Jan 2023 to 31 Dec 2023
Join us as we travel into the heart and soul of South East Asia. Starting off in Bangkok, get lost in the chaos of Thailand's capital city before succumbing to the slightly more relaxed pace of Chiang Mai. Cruise along the Mekong River to reach peaceful Luang Prabang, a colourful town dotted with monks, pop-up stalls and French-inspired eateries. In Vietnam, cruise through dramatic karst scenery on a boat tour of Halong Bay, travel back to the time of Vietnam’s emperors in Hue, soak up the old-world charm of Hoi An and be wowed by the endless energy of Ho Chi Minh City. Then discover Cambodia's fascinating history and culture in Phnom Penh's bustling streets and in the awe-inspiring temples of Angkor, before wrapping up the adventure back in Thailand.
Boat,Longtail boat,Overnight sleeper train,Plane,Private minibus,Public Bus,Songtheaw,Motorbike,Taxi
ASAI Bangkok Chinatown
531 Charoen Krung Rd, Khwaeng Pom Prap, Pom Prap Sattru Phai
Phone: +66 22208999
If you want to book an arrival transfer with us, please provide your flight details to us no later than 14 days before departure. For your confirmed arrival transfer, you’ll be met after exiting the Customs Hall. A transfer representative holding a sign with your name on will meet you at between Exit Door 3-4. If you cannot find your transfer representative, please go to the Information Counter at Exit Door 3. Ask them to call our transfer provider, Ms. Janet, on +66 64 649 0485. Please note that neither the driver nor any representative should ask you for additional payment. For arrivals at Don Muang International Arrival, when you are at the arrival hall, our representative will be in front of you at Gate 5. Please find the Intrepid Logo and check your name on the signboard held by the representative on your lefthand side. If you have trouble locating our representative, please call our transfer provider Ms. Janet, at +66 64 649 0485. In case of flight cancellations, changes, if you experience severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able to find the driver, please contact our local office on the number in the ‘Problems and emergency contact information’ section. 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.
ASAI Bangkok Chinatown
531 Charoen Krung Rd, Khwaeng Pom Prap, Pom Prap Sattru Phai
Phone: +66 22208999
If you have a confirmed departure transfer your leader will advise your pick up time the day before your trip ends. Alternatively, please ask your leader or hotel staff for assistance in arranging a taxi or instructions to reach the airport by public transport.
1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Day 2,15 (Sleeper Train), Day 5,6 (Guesthouse) and Day 14 (Overnight Boat) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.Rooms booked only for day use are also excluded.Please note that some room configurations have two single beds, although a double bed will always be requested. 2. Please provide your full name exactly as per passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport) for train and flight tickets. 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 new tickets. 3. This trip includes a domestic flight. Checked luggage allowance is a maximum of 20 kilograms, plus up to 7 kilograms carry on luggage. Any excess luggage charges will need to be paid directly to the airline at check 4. Please note that the flight from Vientiane to Hanoi is still suspended. The only option is to take transit flight via Bangkok. You may need to go through Thailand immigration for this and register Thailand Pass for the transit. This may take a total of 8 hours to travel from Vientiane to Hanoi depending on flights availability on the day. Your tour leader may advise you on the confirmed flight for this section and immigration requirements. We'll revert to using direct flight once the flight route resumes. 5. As this is a combination trip, your tour leader and group composition may change on Day 13 and Day 22
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 are 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.
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.
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.
BICYCLE HELMETS Bicycle helmets are not provided on the optional cycling activity in Vang Vieng. If you wish to wear a bike helmet we recommend you bring one from home.
PASSPORT You’ll need a valid passport to travel internationally and most countries require your passport to have a minimum of 6 months validity, so remember to check the expiry date. We need your passport information to get everything ready for your trip so it’s important that the information on your booking matches your passport exactly. Please take care to provide the correct details. We recommend carrying a copy of the photo page of your passport while travelling and leaving a copy at home with family or friends. VISAS Many countries require a visa and obtaining the correct visa is your responsibility. We recommend you check your visa requirements as soon as you have booked your trip. This will ensure you have time to prepare your documents and for your visa application to be processed. Entry requirements can change and are different depending on your nationality. Please refer to your government's foreign travel advisories, the consular websites for the countries you’re travelling to and those you may transit through. Always follow visa advice from official websites; not all visa information found online may be valid. You can also head to Intrepid’s Entry & Health requirement page to get the latest information on travel documents and visa requirements, plus local government COVID-19 vaccination and quarantine policies: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/visa-health-requirements BORDER CROSSINGS Your visa application form may require you to state the dates on which you enter and exit that country. 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 6 we cross the border from Thailand to Laos: The Thai border is Chiangkhong. The Laos border is at Houy Xai. To help calculate the exact dates of these crossings we have found the following website to be very useful - www.timeanddate.com LAOS We ask all travellers to obtain their Laos visas at the border and NOT in their home country prior to travel. When the whole group does this together it allows us to cross the border more efficiently and to minimise delays. Please ensure that you have at least 1 passport photo and up to USD45 cash for your application. Please provide your sales agent with accurate passport details prior to the departure of your trip as these details will be passed on to your leader to help speed up the process. Those without a photo, or who are arriving on a weekend, holiday or after hours, will have to pay an additional one or two dollars. All visa fees are payable in cash only. VIETNAM E-VISAS AND APPROVAL LETTERS Intrepid can arrange your E-Visa or provide an approval letter to obtain your visa from an embassy. Both services are at an additional cost and we will require the below information from you in order to process your request. Turnaround time is 7-10 business days in Vietnam. Please contact your booking agent if you would like to utilise this service. • Colour passport scan • A copy of your confirmed travel details in and out of Vietnam The E-Visa service is not available to passengers booking under the Standard Booking Conditions – UK or Standard Booking Conditions – Europe. DUAL PASSPORT HOLDERS For travel between countries in South East Asia you will need to travel on the same passport for all border crossings. Immigration authorities will need to see entry and exit from the previous country before allowing you to enter their country. E-VISAS AND OVERLAND BORDER CROSSINGS Holders of a Cambodian or Vietnamese E-Visa may be required to pay an extra service fee when crossing overland between the two countries. This fee is charged by local bus companies as a service fee and will be between USD1-3, subject to change. Please ensure that you have adequate USD in cash for this fee. ADDRESS FOR VIETNAM VISA APPLICATIONS If you require an address for your visa application please use: Intrepid Vietnam Ground Floor, Ladeco Building 266 Doi Can St Ba Dinh District, Hanoi Vietnam Ph +84 4 3715 0996 ADDRESS FOR CAMBODIA VISA APPLICATIONS If you require an address for your visa application, please use: Intrepid Cambodia 92 Taneuy Street Wat Bo Village Siem Reap BORDER CROSSINGS ON THIS TRIP: On Day 6 we cross the border from Thailand to Laos: The Thai border is Chiangkhong. The Laos border is at Houy Xai. On Day 13 we fly from Laos to Vietnam: We depart from Vientiane, Laos. We arrive in Hanoi, Vietnam. On Day 23 we cross the border from Vietnam to Cambodia: The Vietnamese border is Moc Bai. The Cambodian border is Ba Vet. On Day 29 we cross the border from Cambodia to Thailand: The Cambodian border is Poipet. The Thai border is Aranyaprathet. To help calculate the exact dates of these crossings we have found the following website to be very useful - www.timeanddate.com
This combination trip includes trips in Thaiiland, Laos, Vietnam & Cambodia that are some of the most popular in the entire Intrepid range. Travel by boat, train, plane, private minibus, taxi and even on the back of a motorbike!
Angkor Wat. Need we say more? As well as a guided tour, you'll also have a pass to cover your whole time in Siem Reap. So you can explore this incredible temple complex as much and as often as you like.
Settle in for the night and experience overnight train journeys, starting from Hanoi and Bangkok and waking up ready to head out and explore Chiang Mai and Hue.
The two-day boat journey down the iconic Mekong River passes incredible rural scenery and is one of the must-dos to truly experience South East Asia.
Discover the mysterious beauty of the Lao jungle as you walk side by side with recently rescued elephants on stroll through their natural habitat.
Sample local food wherever you go, from a seafood dinner on Halong Bay, street snacks at markets, a meal at a buddhist nunnery, coconut candy and tropical fruits in the Mekong Delta, and dinner at KOTO restaurant.
The perfect blend of included sights and free time to make your own discoveries in some of our favourite destinations, like Hoi An and Luang Prabang.
Discover Kampong Luong and the countryside around Battambang with a visit to a floating village and a bike ride around farms and cottage industries.
Have expert advice on hand the whole way with an experienced local leader to help you get the best out of your time in South East Asia, like Channa: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/channa-intrepid-leader-cambodia/
Travel from Vietnam to Thailand, experiencing the contrasts between three of the region’s most fascinating countries.
We cover a lot of distance on this trip, including on overnight trains. Accommodation and amenities are shared and basic, but the experience of rubbing shoulders with the locals makes it all worthwhile. For more about what this experience is like, see our blog post here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/what-to-expect-on-an-overnight The sightseeing tour by motorbike in Hue is great fun with bikes driven safely by professionals (and helmets provided), but alternative transport can be arranged for those who would prefer not to travel by motorbike It can be surprisingly cool, especially at night from November to February. Make sure you have some warm gear packed for this period so you can be comfortable. Smoke Haze can be common for Northern Thailand into Laos between March and April due to burning off season of crops. You may wish to take a quality mask with you if you are particularly sensitive to smoke. Depending on where you come from, the weather in Vietnam might be hotter and more humid than what you are used to. We recommend checking online for what the typical temperatures will be at the time of year you are looking to travel to see what to expect - this page might be useful: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/vietnam/weather-in-vietnam Laos is less developed than many other South East Asian countries. The roads can be bumpy, delays are common, and accommodation can be basic but always clean and comfortable. A little bit of patience will go a long way towards your enjoyment of this beautiful country! Pak Beng, where we pause to break up our Mekong journey, is a remote and quiet town with little tourist infrastructure – a contrast to the traveller hubs of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang Due to dam construction upstream, water levels aren't as reliable as in previous years. When the Mekong River is at its lowest from February to April, part of the journey may occasionally need to be made by land The stories and history shared at the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21) are confronting and many travellers will find them upsetting. This is an important part of Cambodia’s recent history that we feel is important for travellers to know. If you would prefer not to join these activities your leader can recommend some optional alternatives. Some further information on visiting the Killing Fields can be found here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/importance-visiting-cambodia-killing-fields/ There are some long travel days by both private and public transport (up to 10 hours on the road), including the days that we cross from Vietnam to Cambodia and Cambodia to Thailand. Your leader and local guides will assist with the border crossings, but plenty of patience is advised At times our accommodation may not have continuous hot water. Most travellers don’t find this a problem however, and are often keen to cool down from the heat with a refreshing cold shower!
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 in their original packaging as they may not easily be obtained while travelling. 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 VACCINATION POLICY From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 for this trip. However, we continue to strongly recommend that all travellers get vaccinated to protect themselves and others. Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully. For more information, including a detailed FAQ about this policy, please visit https://www.intrepidtravel.com/covid19. HEALTH SCREENING If you are unwell prior to travelling, please stay at home and contact us to make alternative arrangements. From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to complete a self-screening health form at the group meeting for this trip. If you are displaying any COVID-19 symptoms or have any health concerns during the trip, we will follow the advice of local health authorities to determine whether medical assistance, isolation or further action is required. Travellers who test positive while taking part in an Intrepid trip will need to leave the group for a minimum of five days and may only rejoin the group if presenting as asymptomatic – our team will assist them in arranging a place to self-isolate and any onward journey. It's quite possible that the destination country may have different or more strict protocols than your home country regarding COVID-19. This may include hotel or hospital quarantine or quarantine for the group. Please check your government's travel advice or contact the closest embassies to find out the details. We ask all travellers to continue to monitor their health throughout their travels and report any relevant symptoms to their tour leader. MOSQUITO-BORNE ILLNESSES: Mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever and Japanese encephalitis are widespread in South East Asia. Malaria is also prevalent in some regions, particularly along the borders in mountainous regions. Take preventative measures such as wearing long clothing, using repellent and being indoors particularly around dusk and dawn. Seek medical advice prior to travel for medication or vaccination advice. 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. You may wish to take a quality mask with you if you are particularly sensitive to smoke. Regular air quality reports are available from the following website http://aqicn.org/city/bangkok/
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. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies, please let your booking agent know prior to departure. INCLUDED BREAKFASTS: At hotels you’ll often have a buffet with choices of Vietnamese and Western food. At homestays you will have more basic breakfasts of local foods, eggs, bread, jam, tea and coffee. Take away breakfasts for early starts may be very simple such as a piece of fruit and a bread roll. DIETARY REQUIREMENTS: Check out this guide to eating in Vietnam for vegan, vegetarian, gluten & peanut free travellers: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/vegan-vegetarian-gluten-free-vietnam/ FOOD ALLERGIES: Travelling in South East Asia with a food allergy? We have some advice for you here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/travelling-food-allergies-south-east-asia/
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. We recommend USD600 for meals not included. The official currency of Thailand is the baht (THB). The most convenient and cheapest way to obtain local currency is via 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. LAOS: The official currency of Laos is the Kip (LAK), however, USD are also widely used throughout Laos. Foreign currency notes that are old, torn or faded can be very difficult to exchange, clean bills in small denominations are most useful. Visa cash advances are available in major banks, and ATMs are present in most towns. The use of credit cards is restricted mainly to major hotels, more upmarket shops and shopping centres. VIETNAM: You can use your credit/debit card in ATMs, which are common throughout Vietnam. These machines dispense cash in VND (Vietnamese dong). Credit/debit cards aren’t accepted for small payments in Vietnam so please ensure you have VND cash to cover daily expenses. Clean banknotes in small denominations are most useful. There is no need to bring lots of cash with you unless you prefer not to use ATMs. You can obtain VND cash prior to arriving in Vietnam, through normal outlets such as banks and currency exchange offices. CAMBODIA: You can use your credit/debit card in ATMs, which are common throughout Cambodia. These machines dispense cash in USD. There is no need to bring lots of cash with you unless you prefer not to use ATMs. There is also no need to pre-purchase Cambodian riel prior to arriving in the country. Most travellers never need to have more than USD10 worth of Cambodian riel on them at any one time, as USD cash is widely accepted. After making a payment in USD, change is often given in Cambodian riel. Many businesses are unable to change larger notes (USD20, USD50 or USD100), so we recommend carrying a mix of denominations. If you are obtaining USD cash prior to arrival in Cambodia, please check that all your notes are in good condition and not old. Banknotes that are crumpled, torn, marked or printed before 2006 are generally not accepted. USD2 banknotes are also not accepted. Please be warned that some banks at Cambodian airports may tell you that you need to change your USD cash into Cambodian riel, but this is not true. TIPPING Tipping can be an appropriate way to recognise great service when travelling. While it may not be customary in your home country, it is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many of our destinations and is greatly appreciated by the people who take care of you during your travels. It is always best to avoid tipping with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes, as this can be regarded as an insult rather than the goodwill gesture it is intended to be. OPTIONAL TIPPING KITTY On Day 1 of your trip, your tour leader may discuss with you the idea of operating a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and your tour leader distributes tips for drivers, local guides, hotel staff and other services included on your trip. This excludes restaurant tips for meals not included in your itinerary. The leader will keep a running record of all monies spent which can be checked at any time, and any funds remaining at the end of the tour will be returned to group members. We have found that this is 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 is 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. Please note this is a combination trip made up of 3 sections. There will be the option of contributing to a group tipping kitty on all sections of this trip. Day 1 Optional tipping kitty for this section: THB 690 per person Day 13 Optional tipping kitty for this section: USD 28 per person Day 22 Optional tipping kitty for this section: USD 18 per person YOUR LEADER You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline US$3-6 per person (in a currency relevant for your destination), 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 and involvement of your leader on your trip. 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. COMMISSIONS Unfortunately, commissions in exchange for recommending particular shops or restaurants are an ingrained part of the tourism industry. Rather than turning a blind eye, we’ve tried to legitimise the practise with a centralised fund. Moneys are collected from recommended and fully vetted suppliers and funnelled back into our business. This keeps the trip cost low (for us and for you) and makes sure you only get the best experiences. If you’re unhappy with any places your leader recommends, or feel the quality of the trip is being compromised in any way, please let us know in your feedback.
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, 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 or up or down a flight of stairs. 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. Many travellers carry their luggage in a compact smaller suitcase or backpack with wheels. We recommend your bag has carry straps or handles so it is easy to lift and carry for the times you are unable to wheel it (ie. on rough surfaces or up steps). If you are taking overnight trains, or primarily using public transport then the smaller your luggage the easier it will be to store under or above bunks. Large suitcases may not be able to be taken on board. A lockable bag or small padlock for your bag will be useful especially when travelling on public transportation as well. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, swimming suit, hiking shoes and jacket etc. when you’re exploring during the day. Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:
WATER BOTTLE Please bring your own water bottle to refill along the way. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please use the water dispensers which are provided on some of our vehicles and at some of our accommodation. Your leader will advise whether tap water is safe to drink in your destination and if it is you can simply refill with tap water. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day. If you are walking or trekking as part of your trip you will need to carry at least 2L of water with you.
INTERNAL FLIGHT LUGGAGE ALLOWANCE: Checked luggage allowance is a maximum 20kg, with up to 7kg carry on luggage. Any excess luggage charges can be paid directly to the airline at check-in.
LOCAL DRESS: When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative throughout Asia, especially outside major cities. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot Asian climate. In many rural areas in Asia women will need to wear modest clothing even to swim. Singlets, tank tops and topless sun bathing are all unacceptable. When visiting religious sites men often need to wear long trousers and women a long skirt or sarong.
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. LAOS FLOODING & LANDSLIDES: The rainy season in Laos normally runs from May to October, coinciding with the typhoon season in South East Asia. Mountain areas are particularly vulnerable to landslides in the rainy season and flooding may occur along the Mekong river basins and elsewhere. Occasionally roads between Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng and Vientiane may be closed suddenly due to road conditions. Should this occur, your itinerary may be rerouted to fly between destinations and you will need to use your contingency funds to cover the cost of this change. TET 21 - 27 January 2023, 9 - 15 Feburary 2024 Tet is Vietnam’s New Year festival which takes place in late January/early February based on the lunar calendar and is the most important celebration of the year. While this can be a fascinating time to be in Vietnam, you do need to be prepared for some businesses to be closed, tourist sites to be very busy and for transport to be packed as many Vietnamese are travelling around the country. Although we do our best to run trips during Tet as per the scheduled itinerary, it is likely that there will be some changes to transport, accommodation or order of destinations visited. Due to the high demand on tickets at this time, flights and overnight trains may on occasion need to be replaced with day buses. We will aim to communicate any known changes prior to your departure. WEATHER IN VIETNAM The most popular times to visit Vietnam are spring (February-April) and autumn (September-December) but because of the huge variations in latitude and altitude, there is no one best time to go to Vietnam. Temperatures vary from 4°C (39°F) in Sapa in winter to humid 36°C (97°F) days in Saigon in the middle of the dry season. The monsoons bring heavy rain to the south, and a cooler winter to the north. It’s a good destination all year. WET SEASON Flooding is common across Vietnam during rainy season (June-December) and could also lead to landslides. Typhoons are also common during this period. During these months there may be disruptions to transport and some activities or destinations may need to be changed as a result at short notice. CAMBODIAN FESTIVALS & HOLIDAYS: During public holidays and festival periods in Cambodia some businesses may close, transport may be extremely busy and travel times may increase. The main holidays in Cambodia are: Chinese New Year (21-27 January 2023) Khmer New Year (14 - 17 April 2023) Royal Birthday of the King Sihamoni (14 May 2023) Pchum Ben Day (24-27 September 2022, 13-16 October 2023) Water & Moon Festival (7-9 November 2022, 26-29 November 2023) WEATHER IN CAMBODIA Any time of the year is a good time to travel in Cambodia, with each season having its advantages. The climate in Cambodia is generally hot and humid throughout the year. Temperatures stay in the 30Cs most of the year, dropping back to the 20Cs at night. There are officially two seasons in Cambodia – wet and dry. During November to May you can expect dry conditions, while June to October will have wetter weather. SEASONAL FLOODING IN CAMBODIA Severe storms and widespread seasonal flooding, including localised flash flooding, can occur without warning in Cambodia, particularly during the local wet season from July to November. The Cambodia/Thailand land border is occasionally closed due to flooding. Should land travel be disrupted and we need to fly, travellers will need to use their contingency funds to cover any additional costs.
We like to think our Intrepid travellers are all connected by a love of adventure and passion for seeing the world in a different way. We've laid down a few non-negotiable rules to ensure everyone feels connected, comfortable and safe on our trips. We ask that you respect your fellow travellers, group leader, and local people and places we visit in all circumstances. We don't tolerate any forms of violence and expect that you follow the local laws, customs and regulations in any destination we travel to. Any behaviour contrary to the above, including any behaviour that prevents our staff from performing their duty of care or continuing the itinerary as planned, may result in travellers being removed from the trip. If you consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking and expect you to abide by local alcohol laws. To ensure the well-being of everyone on the trip, all decisions made by group leaders and ground staff are final. Romantic relationships between travellers and group leaders are not permitted while on trip. By travelling with us, you agree to comply with these rules and the laws and customs of all countries visited. If something is concerning you during your travels with us, please speak to your group leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in your Essential Trip Information’s Problems and Emergency Contact section.
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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 contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/ In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below: Intrepid's Cambodia Office: +855 92 555 969 Intrepid's local Operator: +66 898 103 722 Intrepid's Vietnam Office: +84 903 117 770
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 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 ORPHANAGE TOURISM In recent times orphanage tourism has become increasingly popular in Cambodia. Orphanage tourism is what happens when good intentions and reality don’t quite synch up. Travellers who visit and volunteer in orphanages may genuinely want to help, but their efforts can often perpetuate a system where children are separated from their families and, in some cases, abused. That’s why we don't include visits to orphanages on any of our trips. For more on our position on orphanage tourism and the work we are doing to protect children in the countries we visit, see these links below: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/the-fight-against-orphanage-tourism/ https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/why-were-rethinking-orphanage-tourism/ https://www.intrepidtravel.com/sites/intrepid/files/basic_page/files/IG%20Child-Protection-Flyer-LR.pdf
We created our not-for-profit, the Intrepid Foundation because you – our travellers – told us you wanted to make an even greater impact in the communities you visit. The Foundation works by teaming up with partners around the world so that together we can deliver greater positive impact at scale. Partners are identified by our local staff who live and work in our destinations. They harness their powerful community connections to determine the issues that matter most and select local partners who can deliver real solutions. Since 2002, the Intrepid Foundation has raised more than 12.8 million dollars and supported more than 130 communities worldwide. Now, with almost 40 partners all over the world, your donations are helping to restore forests in Kenya, empower women in Honduras and promote elephant welfare in Laos, to name just a few. By simply being on this trip, Intrepid Travel will make a donation to the Intrepid Foundation on your behalf. If you choose to donate too, 100% of your donations will go directly to our partners on the ground – where they’re needed most. For more information about the Intrepid Foundation, please ask your leader or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/ This trip directly supports Mandalao Elephant Conservation, the first non-riding elephant sanctuary in Luang Prabang, who actively promote ethical elephant care and create jobs in communities in Laos. Donations help them care for rescued elephants at their sanctuary (including food and veterinary costs) while providing employment opportunities within the local community. To find out more or make a donation, visit: www.theintrepidfoundation.org/t/mandalao-elephant-conservation
HOTELS: Most of the accommodation on this trip is in hotels (mostly 2 to 3-star). Facilities are often basic, with some properties not having a continuous supply of hot water on occasion. All rooms are either fan cooled or with air conditioning and twin share with private facilities unless stated otherwise in the daily itinerary. Double beds are not widely available in South East Asia. WINDOWLESS ROOMS: Some hotels in South East Asia have windowless rooms, or windows that don't necessarily have a view. This is often due to high population density in large cities, however local building standards also do not require rooms to have windows. We do request rooms with windows, however they aren't always available. DAY ROOMS & EARLY CHECK IN: Please note in some destinations we will provide use of day rooms. These rooms are provided for shared group use before or after overnight train journeys. We have some days where we arrive at our destination before check in time and a day room is not included. If you have booked a Single Supplement for your trip, it will not apply to these day rooms. Your leader may be able to assist you in booking a room for your sole use (depending on availability) until our regular trip rooms become available for an additional charge. Please talk to your leader at the Welcome Meeting if this is a service you would like to request.
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/ VIETNAM FLIGHTS: Please provide your exact name (including middle name) as per passport 45 days prior to your trip's departure date for flight tickets to be issued. Internal flights will be on the following safety audited airlines: Pacific Airlines, Vietjet or Vietnam Airlines. UNACCOMPANIED FLIGHTS: During peak travel times your group may be required to travel on different flights at different times of the day, and you may be unaccompanied on the internal flight. In this case you will be assisted by additional tour escorts on departure and arrival. OVERNIGHT SLEEPER TRAINS IN VIETNAM: Compartments will be 4 berth to 6 berth depending on seasonal variations and the group configuration. We aim to secure 4 berth compartments where possible. A sheet, pillow and blanket are provided, although some travellers prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet. Passengers of different genders may be required to share a compartment and there will be occasions where you'll be sharing with local travellers or travellers who are not part of your group. On occasion the group may be split between several carriages, however your leader will coordinate and give further information on the trip.
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. For travellers who reside within the European Union, Switzerland or USA the requirement to purchase travel insurance cannot be compulsory. However the purchase of travel insurance is still highly recommended, and travellers from these regions who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting, recognizing personal responsibility for emergency medical and repatriation costs should they arise. For assistance with travel insurance or other services, please visit the link below: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/booking-resources/our-services MOTORBIKE INCLUDED ACTIVITY: Please note that for this particular trip, your travel insurance must also cover riding pillion on a motorbike. The motorbikes used are 125cc or less.
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. SOLO TRAVELLERS The beauty of our style of travel is that it caters to travellers who are travelling solo and who want to meet and share experiences with like-minded people. On our trips rooming is organised on a twin-share basis. We pair up solo travellers with another traveller of the same gender as per the gender marker on each of their passports. As a responsible tour operator, we strive to create a safe and inclusive environment for everyone. In the case that your gender identity differs from what is indicated on your passport, please contact us so that we can discuss rooming options with you. We also have an optional single supplement available on most trips for travellers who prefer to have their own room. Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour. Pre-trip and post-trip accommodation booked through us will be on a single room basis. On a small selection of itineraries some accommodations are booked on an open gender, multi-share basis (for example on a felucca in Egypt or an overnight train in Vietnam). In those instances it will clearly be stated in our Essential Trip Information prior to booking and travelling.
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.
Guesthouse (2 nights),Hotel (24 nights),Overnight boat (1 night),Overnight sleeper train (2 nights)