Thailand Family Holiday
from $1985
Duration: 12 Days
Want a family getaway that’s a little different? From the colourful markets of Bangkok to the palm-fringed beaches of Hua Hin, introduce the kids to a new world on this Thailand trip with a twist. Watch rescued elephants splash in the mud at a nature park in Chiang Mai, see how other families live during a fun homestay, uncover the exciting history behind the ancient ruins of Ayutthaya and try some new and yummy treats along the backstreets of Bangkok. Both children and adults alike will have a blast on this carefully designed itinerary that promises new friends, heaps of fun and plenty of free time to connect as a family.
  • This trip has a fabulous pace to it. There's plenty of action, and lots of room for quality family time in which to play, swim or stroll in some of Thailand's most amazing coastal and jungle destinations.
  • A long-tail boat trip on the canals is the perfect introduction to Bangkok. Follow it up with a visit to Wat Pho, where the larger-than-life reclining Buddha will blow you and your family’s mind.
  • The food is excellent, there's a great spread of local restaurants, and your Ban Hua Tung homestay takes the hospitality to the next level, with home cooking and a cultural dance performance.
  • The activities in Chiang Mai are both fun and educational. One minute you’ll be walking with rescued elephants, the next you're strolling through the sacred foothills of Chiang Dao learning about natural medicines.
  • Let your expert leader take the hassle out of family travel as they guide you through the sights and bites of Thailand, so relax and hand over the responsibility – you deserve it.
  • Bangkok - Khlong boat canal tour
  • Bangkok - Wat Pho
  • Kanchanaburi - Erawan National Park & Falls
  • Kanchanaburi - Erawan National Park
  • Ayutthaya - Temple Ruins entrance & guided tour
  • Chiang Mai - Doi Suthep temple complex
  • Chiang Mai - Chang Chill Elephant Sanctuary day trip
  • Chiang Mai - Traditional Umbrella Factory
  • Day 1 Location: Bangkok
    Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 5 pm. If you arrive early, there is plenty to see and do in this exciting city. Bangkok is famous for its tuk tuks, khlong boats and street vendors serving up delicious Thai food. Perhaps take a riverboat to Chinatown and explore the crowded streets, uncover the magnificent Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, wander down the tourist mecca of Khao San Road, or indulge in a Thai massage. After the formalities of the meeting, take the opportunity to introduce yourselves to your leader and the other families joining your tour and perhaps head out for a group dinner.
    Day 2 Location: Kanchanaburi
    Today you will travel by longtail boat down the Chao Phraya River and explore the famous khlongs (canals) of Bangkok (approximately 1 hour). Life along these canals seems a world away from the busy streets of the capital. After that you will pay a visit to Wat Pho, one of the six most important temples in the country. It's home to the country's largest reclining Buddha, which is a seriously impressive sight. This place is also the gatekeeper of the secrets of Thai medicine and massage. After exploring the site, you and the family will take a private minivan to Kanchanaburi (approximately 2.5 hours) and check into your hotel. The hotel is situated where the Khwae Noi and Khwae Yai rivers converge. Kanchanaburi is home to the infamous 'Bridge on the River Kwai'.
    Day 3 Location: Kanchanaburi
    Travel to Erawan National Park in the morning (approximately 1.5 hours each way). Located in western Thailand in the Tenasserim Hills of Kanchanaburi Province, this national park boasts the incredible Erawan Falls, a famous seven-level waterfall of luminous turquoise pools and exotic tropical fish. It's a great place to explore or simply swim and relax. If you do some exploring of the lush surrounds, keep your eyes peeled for eagles, pheasants or leafbirds among many others who might be soaring above or perched in the treetops.
    Day 4 Location: Ayutthaya/Overnight train
    Transfer by minibus to the nearby city of Ayutthaya (approximately 2.5 hours). Once the capital of ancient Siam, Ayutthaya offers a great opportunity to stroll the World Heritage-listed ruins of this once magnificent city. There's time for a guided tour of the picturesque ruins and temples spread across the town. The ruins at Wat Phra Mahathat provide many photo opportunities and the Buddha head surrounded by Banyan tree roots is perhaps the most photographed site in Ayutthaya. You will have access to a day room at a local hotel in Ayutthaya to have a swim in the hotel pool and freshen up before the train. Afterwards, board an overnight train to Chiang Mai (approximately 11 hours).
    Day 5 Location: Chiang Mai
    Wake up in Chiang Mai, the most vibrant city of Northern Thailand. As well as amazing temples and an interesting old town, the city is known for its friendly, smiling locals. Drive along a scenic, winding mountain road that ends at an impressive 300-step Naga-guarded stairway (approximately 45 minutes). The rewards will justify the climb, as one of Thailand's most stunning temples reveals itself. This is Doi Suthep. You'll be treated to panoramic views of the city from up here. You might also be able to listen to the evening chants of the resident Buddhist monks while you're here. You'll also visit Bor Sang today, a traditional umbrella factory. With free time in the evening, perhaps wander through the colourful night bazaar or visit one of the quality restaurants along the riverfront. In any case, don't miss out on the signature northern dish kao soy – yellow wheat noodles in a curry broth with chicken or beef.
    Day 6 Location: Chiang Mai
    After breakfast we take the journey out to see the elephants - which will sure to be a highlight for the entire family. One hour outside of Chiang Mai, the elephant sanctuary is home to elephants who have been rescued. Upon arrival head out on a walk with a local guide into the forest to observe the elephants grazing and socializing, from a safe distance of course! The children will learn some new facts about Asian Elephants and meet their Mahouts. Your guide will deliver a "live" information session answering any questions you may have about conservation, elephant behavior, and interesting facts: like how much they eat? After some Thai snacks you will then head to the riverside where you can help fill feeding tubes with corn, sugar cane, grass, bananas and any other supplementary food on hand for the elephants. We will have lunch at the Sanctuary before heading back to Chiang Mai arriving in the late afternoon. You   will have some free time to maybe visit the night markets or take a wander around the city.
    Day 7 Location: Village Homestay
    Today we will set off early through the Mae Taeng Valley to Ban Hua Tung. Along the way we will visit Bor Sang a traditional umbrella factory to gain an insight into traditional paper umbrella making. Then hitting the road again we arrive at the warm and welcoming village of Ban Hua Tung (approximately 2hours). The community will invite you and your family into their village for the night for a truly unique experience. Once settled in, you will take a walk around the village learning about local agricultural and life before returning to your homestay for a home-cooked dinner! After dinner head back to the common area to learn about traditional Thai dancing.
    Day 8 Location: Overnight Train
    Bid farewell to your village hosts and head into the forest at the base of Chiang Dao mountain. Local guides will show you around the forest which the local Hua Tung people manage together as part of a new community initiative. The biodiversity of the forest is protected by a sacred 'forest ordination' by Buddhist monks whereby trees are ordained as monks – the people nurture the forest, and the forest nurtures the people in return. There's a yearly bamboo harvest which raises money for the village. The locals take great pride in showing you the development of their village and the many different herbal medicines and wild foods in the forest. Return to Chiang Mai by early afternoon. We will have day rooms available for each family to repack, freshen up before the overnight train back to Bangkok.
    Day 9 Location: Hua Hin
    Arrive into Bangkok around 6 am this morning. After some breakfast at a local hotel, make the journey south to the beach town of Hua Hin (approximately 3 hours). With two days to enjoy this palm-fringed resort town, spend your free time exploring the numerous white sandy beaches by day and indulging in amazing food by night. This beautiful coastal spot is located right by a sophisticated city that has everything you need. But its slickness takes nothing away from the gorgeous beach and blue-green waters, which are perfect to laze around in. Hua Hin was once a sleepy fishing village before Thai royalty made it their beachside getaway in the 1920’s. Hin Beach is the main strip – grab a coconut, settle in and be sure to sample the delicious thom kha (spicy seafood soup).
    Day 10 Location: Hua Hin
    Today is free to spend as you please. A bicycle tour is always an excellent choice for the family, and there are many nearby vineyards and mountainous trails to explore, depending on how far you would like to venture. You might like to just stay at the beach and soak up the atmosphere of Thailand's original coastal resort. Perhaps stroll north on the main shore to check out some of the opulent Victorian-style garden estates. The day market, Chatchai, is well worth a visit, boasting fresh fruit, delicious donuts and traditional sweetened coffee.
    Day 11 Location: Bangkok
    Return by minivan to Bangkok and enjoy an afternoon of free time. The shopping is excellent in Bangkok, and the malls sometimes feel like their own kind of theme park. Tonight, why not head out for a farewell dinner and take the opportunity to look back on the week’s adventures with your family and new-found friends.
    Day 12 Location: Bangkok
    There are no activities planned for the final day and you are free to depart at anytime following check-out. If you have time, there’s still plenty to enjoy in this bustling capital, ask your leader for their recommendations on the best family-friendly activities.
    Dates
    Prices
    Availability
    Departure Date:
    28MAR2020
    Return Date:
    08APR2020
    2055NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    04APR2020
    Return Date:
    15APR2020
    2095NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    11APR2020
    Return Date:
    22APR2020
    2155NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    27JUN2020
    Return Date:
    08JUL2020
    2095NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    28JUN2020
    Return Date:
    09JUL2020
    2075NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    11JUL2020
    Return Date:
    22JUL2020
    1985NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    18JUL2020
    Return Date:
    29JUL2020
    2045NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    01AUG2020
    Return Date:
    12AUG2020
    1985NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    02AUG2020
    Return Date:
    13AUG2020
    1985NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    08AUG2020
    Return Date:
    19AUG2020
    1985NZD
    available
    Last modified (date)

    27 Jan 2020

    Trip title

    Thailand Family Holiday

    Trip code

    TTFA

    Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2020

    Introduction

    Want a family getaway that’s a little different? From the colourful markets of Bangkok to the palm-fringed beaches of Hua Hin, introduce the kids to a new world on this Thailand trip with a twist. Watch rescued elephants splash in the mud at a nature park in Chiang Mai, see how other families live during a fun homestay, uncover the exciting history behind the ancient ruins of Ayutthaya and try some new and yummy treats along the backstreets of Bangkok. Both children and adults alike will have a blast on this carefully designed itinerary that promises new friends, heaps of fun and plenty of free time to connect as a family.

    Style

    Original

    Themes

    Family

    Transport

    Private Minivan,Longtail boat,Overnight sleeper train

    Physical Rating

    2

    Physical preparation

    These trips are setup to involve and include all the family so no real physical preparation is necessary. The trips all have some degree of physical activity but nothing that is too strenuous. Please check the physical rating on the trip notes and if you need further explanation please contact one of our sales consultants who will provide you with more detailed information.

    Joining point

    Nouvo City Hotel (Canal Wing)

    2 Samsen 2, Samsen Road, Pranakorn

    Banglumphu

    Bangkok

    10200

    THAILAND

    Phone: +66 22827500

    Joining point description

    The Nouvo City Hotel is within walking distance of many of the area's main attractions, such as the Grand Palace, National Museum and Wat Po. We use the Canal Wing and rooms are equipped with a private en-suite. Breakfast is not included but a buffet breakfast can be purchased in the hotel's restaurant. Please also note that no alcohol is served in this hotel, but there are lots of great bars across the road.

    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

    Nouvo City Hotel (Canal Wing)

    2 Samsen 2, Samsen Road, Pranakorn

    Banglumphu

    Bangkok

    10200

    THAILAND

    Phone: +66 22827500

    Finish point description

    The Nouvo City Hotel is within walking distance of many of the area's main attractions, such as the Grand Palace, National Museum and Wat Po. We use the Canal Wing and rooms are equipped with a private en-suite. Breakfast is not included but a buffet breakfast can be purchased in the hotel's restaurant. Please also note that no alcohol is served in this hotel, but there are lots of great bars across the road.

    Finish point instructions

    Intrepid can assist with pre-booking a departure transfer to the airport - enquire with your agent. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to the start of your trip. If you have pre-booked a departure transfer your leader will advise your pick up time the day before your trip ends. You can expect to be picked up three hours prior to your flight. If your transfer has not arrived within 15 minutes of the scheduled pick up time, ask the hotel staff to call our transfer provide, World Travel Idea, on +66 81 658 2727 or +66 81 566 9324. Taxi fare from your hotel to the airport will cost approx. THB700. Please ask your leader or hotel staff for assistance in arranging a taxi.

    Important information

    Please note that these trips are for adults and children travelling together and there must be at least one child under 18 with you. Minimum age for children on this trip is 5 years old. A discount of 10% applies on this trip to children 17 years and under at time of travel. A single supplement is available on this trip with exception of Day 4 (Overnight Train), Day 6 (Homestay) and Day 8 (Overnight Train).

    Group leader

    All Intrepid Family trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to assist your family take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for fun things to do and see- for both kids and parents, recommend great local eating venues that will even get the kids trying new things, and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. Our leaders are not babysitters on this trip - we leave that to you (the experts), but they will make sure that group members of all ages are able to explore their destination safely and with as much fun as possible. Our group leaders are not responsible for looking after children at any time and children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times throughout this itinerary.

    Safety

    Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips. 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 valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests 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. For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

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

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

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

    Visas

    Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking 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.

    Why we love it

    This trip has a fabulous pace to it. There's plenty of action, and lots of room for quality family time in which to play, swim or stroll in some of Thailand's most amazing coastal and jungle destinations.

    A long-tail boat trip on the canals is the perfect introduction to Bangkok. Follow it up with a visit to Wat Pho, where the larger-than-life reclining Buddha will blow you and your family’s mind.

    The food is excellent, there's a great spread of local restaurants, and your Ban Hua Tung homestay takes the hospitality to the next level, with home cooking and a cultural dance performance.

    The activities in Chiang Mai are both fun and educational. One minute you’ll be walking with rescued elephants, the next you're strolling through the sacred foothills of Chiang Dao learning about natural medicines.

    Let your expert leader take the hassle out of family travel as they guide you through the sights and bites of Thailand, so relax and hand over the responsibility – you deserve it.

    Is this trip right for you

    Prepare for hot and sticky temperatures during the day, but cooler climates in the evening. Layers are the best way to tackle this. Be sure to also drink plenty of water and use sun protection. You and your family will visit several temples on this trip, which means covering up arms and shoulders as per the local custom. A light scarf is a great idea for covering shoulders and arms when it’s hot. Your overnight train journey (Day 4) is quite long. Make the most of it by checking out the scenery and chatting with local travellers. There's nothing quite like waking up on a sleeper train in a new and exciting destination. While bedding is supplied some families choose to bring their own sleep sheets. The accommodation is basic at your homestay (with fold-out mattresses and shared facilities), but the experience of spending time with a local family in their home will more than make up for the lack of creature comforts.

    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 cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations 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 at the locations on this trip. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared. Kids' bellies are delicate and the standards of hygiene you may experience while travelling in this region can be less than what you are accustomed to at home. There are a few simple precautions you can take that will keep the family travelling in good health. DRINKING WATER: Make sure you always travel with plenty of water so you do not risk dehydration. FOOD: With all the exotic tastes available it would be a shame to avoid the great experience of trying new foods for the first time - both kids and parents! In most cases food is fresh and tasty, and perfectly fine to eat, however it can contain ingredients that you are not used to. Any change in diet (no matter where in the world you travel) can result in an upset stomach. Usually this is the only side-effect and it can last a few days. We don't want you to miss out savouring new flavours, but be wary of what you choose to eat - especially what your kids eat. HYGIENE: Keep your hands clean - and the kids'. It is important to remember to do this before eating especially if you will be eating with your hands as may be the custom. Antiseptic wipes or antiseptic hand gel (which you can use without water) are fabulous inventions - made with travelling families in mind. CONTACT WITH ANIMALS: In new and exciting destinations we often come across different animals. There are a lot of stray cats and dogs in some destinations. Keep an eye on children in these situations as aggravated animals can bite and may transmit diseases including rabies. DENGUE FEVER: 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 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. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

    Money matters

    SPENDING MONEY: When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document). The official currency of Thailand is the Baht (THB). The most convenient and cheapest way to obtain local currency is via 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. DEPARTURE TAX All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket. CONTINGENCY FUNDS We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please 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 the local currency is needed in the countries you are visiting. 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. 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 400 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. Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult The receipt of commissions or kickbacks in exchange for recommending particular shops or services is ingrained in the culture of the tourism industry. Rather than turning a blind eye to this unavoidable issue in some areas, we have established a centralised fund whereby contributions from recommended suppliers are collected and distributed back into the business. We aim to provide the best value trips in the market, and this fund assists in keeping operating costs and trip prices low to you. A priority in establishing this fund is that the experience of our traveller - you - is not compromised in any way. Please let us know via the feedback form completed after your trip if we are successfully meeting this objective.

    What to take

    What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage, although you won't be required to walk long distances with it (max 30 minutes). Many travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are also convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips. Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:

    https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list

    WATER BOTTLE: Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.

    Climate and seasonal

    BANGKOK PROTESTS Ongoing since November 2013 There has been ongoing protest's in Bangkok since November 2013. During this time when protest gatherings have been quite large Bangkok taxi drivers may not want to drive from the airport to your downtown hotel. If the public taxis will not take you please go back inside the airport and you can arrange a private vehicle transfer with the Airports of Thailand transfer services. These cost about 1200THB per car to the downtown hotels. Please refer to our safety page on the Intrepid website for more up to date information regarding these protests. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us/safety 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. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund. 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

    In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Thailand Office can be reached on Tel: +66 898 103 722 (Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Borneo, Indonesia & Phillipines) and Tel: +855 92 555 969 (Cambodia). Intrepid's Vietnam Office can be reached on Tel: +84 903 117 770. For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist. For further contact details please use the following page: For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/ While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager. You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete. Peak Thailand: 0066 89 810 3722

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

    The Intrepid Foundation

    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. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation are matched by Intrepid Group dollar for dollar (up to AU$10,000 per donor and AU$500,000 in total each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And because 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: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

    Accommodation notes

    GENERAL ROOMING CONFIGURATIONS: Family of two - All family groupings of two will be put into a twin room. Family of three - Wherever possible we will put you in a triple room. Please be aware that in some places triple rooms are in short supply. This means that, in practice, a triple room will often simply be a twin room with a mattress on the floor or a further bed squashed in. Where it is impossible to provide a triple room, you will have to decide which of your party takes the single room. Family of four or more - You will most likely stay in two twin rooms. If and wherever possible we will aim put you in a quadruple room. Whilst we will do our very best to ensure that families are roomed close together (in some cases, we can arrange adjoining rooms), we can’t guarantee this. Most family holidays occur during peak season and we sometimes have little to no control over where you will be put. You need to come prepared for this.

    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/

    Travel insurance

    Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

    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. Please note a single supplement is not available on the following nights, Day 4 Overnight train Day 6 Homestay Day 8 Overnight train

    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 print and review a final copy 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 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 may be 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 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

    Hotel (8 nights),Overnight sleeper train (2 nights),Homestay (1 night)

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