Southeast Asia in Depth

Valid for all trips departing January 1st, 2014 - December 24th, 2015 Last Updated:
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Introduction

Get off the beaten path and head right into the wonders of Southeast Asia. On this best-of collection of Bangkok, Bali, Sumatra and more, we’ll see some of the most famous tourist areas as well as little-known marvels. With days spent on boat trips and sunny beaches and evenings full of bonding with new friends as you enjoy the city nightlife, your schedule will be so full that the 41 days will fly by.

  • Watch the sunrise from Mt Bromo
  • Hike down to a beautiful crater lake
  • Sample java from its namesake island
  • Chill out on stunning beaches
  • Encounter orangutans up close and personal in Sumatra.
Duration: 41 days
Start/Finish City: Bangkok to Sanur
Service Level: Basic
  • Excellent value, amazing prices, quality experiences
  • Simple and clean hotels, guesthouses and hostels chosen for location and character
  • Affordable public and private transport for maximum cultural interaction
  • Plenty of optional activities tailored to your interests and budget
Physical Grading: 3
Trips may include activities like hiking, biking, rafting or kayaking. No sweat, right?
Travel Style: Yolo
Adventures for 18 to thirty somethings

Designed for young, budget-minded travellers, Yolo trips maximize time and money by squeezing the most out of a destination. This ain't your typical big-bus tour, though. Small groups, insider access and personal freedom to follow the whim of the moment are the order of the day, every day.

Trip Type: Small Group
Group trips average 12 travellers per departure, depending on the adventure. The maximum is usually no more than 16, but some can be smaller or bigger, depending on the trip. Check individual trips for details.

Itinerary

Route map for Southeast Asia in Depth (ATSE)

Day 1 Bangkok

Today is arrival day so there are no activities planned. You are free to relax, explore the city & adjust to the frenetic pace and humid heat of Bangkok.
Please arrive at our start point hotel before 6pm for an important group meeting where you will meet you Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and the other group members. Please look for a sign on the hotel's notice board for the time and location of your group meeting.
At this meeting you CEO will ask to sight your travel insurance and complete some other paper work. After your meeting, you may choose to head out for an optional dinner to further get to know your CEO and fellow group members.

We spend this evening in Bangkok. Our hotel is located in China Town, next to the central train station and MRT (Subway), and is only a short USD2 taxi ride from Khao San road and the central shopping area of Siam Square, MBK, Siam Paragon, etc. All rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. The hotel has a small pool and wifi is available at extra cost.

Day 2 Bangkok (1B)

Estimated Travel Time: 12 Hours (train)

In the evening of day 2 we embark on an overnight sleeper train adventure, traveling with local Thais' to Surat Thani in the south of Thailand.

Day 3-4 Koh Phangan

Estimated Travel Time: 5 Hours (day 3)

A short boat ride takes us to the small island of Koh Pha Ngan where we have the next few days to explore the islands waterfalls, swim in its lagoons or just relax. Options for snorkelling, hiking, visit waterfalls or simply chill out. With everything from yoga and meditation courses, natural beauty, waterfalls and its famous Full Moon Parties, Koh Pha Ngan has something for everyone.

Day 5-6 Koh Samui

Lying off of Thailand’s east coast in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Samui offers everything you could possibly want in a tropical retreat: white sandy beaches, coconut palms, fresh seafood and warm, clear waters. With an area of 247 square kilometers, Koh Samui is the largest island in an archipelago of around 80 islands.

We stay in a resort that is located a stone's throw away from the beach and has all the amenities that you may require, including a bar and swimming pool. All of our rooms are twin share and come with an en suite bathroom.

Approx travel times:
Transfer from hotel to pier: 15 min each way
Ferry Koh Phangan to Koh Samui: 45 minutes

Day 7 Penang (1B)

You will have an early start from Nakhon Si Thammarat today.

Take the option of a bicycle-rickshaw to meander through the streets and lanes of Georgetown. You can also see colourful bazaars, bargain at the night markets or visit numerous Chinese temples. If time allows, a visit to the Butterfly Farm on the north of the island offers a great insight into Malaysia's fascinating insects, Penang has something to offer everyone.

Food is also a treat here, with an impressive variety from Chinese to Malay and Indian. Don't miss the waterfront night market that serves up excellent local food.

Approx travel times:
Boat and private bus from Koh Samui to Satun: 6.5 hours (not including border crossing)
Private bus from Satun to Penang: 4.5 hours

Day 8-9 Cameron Highlands (1B)

This morning we head for the hills (approx. 6 hours). The Cameron Highlands hill station is one of Malaysia's most famous. Established in 1885 by William Cameron, a British surveyor, the hill station is famous for its tea plantations and strawberry farms. The drive takes us from the flat lowlands through to mountainous terrain. In your free time you may want to take a walk along one of the many well marked trails, visit the tea plantations or just relax and enjoy the cooler temperatures!

Day 10-11 Kuala Lumpur

Arriving in Kuala Lumpur in the afternoon after a 5 hour bus journey, we have ample time to see the city's impressive architecture and experience the fascinating cultural mix that gives this city such a uniquely cosmopolitan feel. You might like to head out of town to visit the famous Batu Caves or the Orang Asli Museum, north of town. The evening is best spent at the night market sampling the different cuisine, some of the best in South East Asia and bargain hunting among the stalls of Chinatowns night market. How about starting the day with a visit the Petronas Towers,the tallest twin towers in the world.

Day 12 Melaka

A bus journey (approx. 3 hours) takes us to the old port town of Melaka where we can wander the narrow streets and absorb the atmosphere of this historically important town.
With the beginning of trade with China in the early 15th Century, Melaka rapidly became the most important trading port in South East Asia. Chinese traders were followed by those from India. With them came Islam and soon the Melaka sultans ruled the largest empire in Malaysia's history. Successively the Portuguese, Dutch and British arrived in search of trading wealth. While the effects of recent economic growth are apparent, Melaka remains one of Malaysia's premier destinations. The streets of Chinatown are lined with Peranakan (Straits Chinese) shophouses offering their traditional cuisine, Nyonya. There are temples, churches and mosques, museums and forts to explore.

Day 13 Singapore

In the morning we take a 4-5 hour bus journey to the Straits of Johore and onto the island of Singapore. Tonight you could visit the world famous night safari, take in a harbour cruise around Boat Quay or sample some mouth watering local food at one of the many hawker street stands.

Whilst Singapore has few areas untouched by modernization, wandering the streets of Little India and Chinatown is a great way to see the old parts of the city.

Day 14 Medan

Arrive at any time. There will be a welcome meeting around 6 or 7pm on this evening with your new Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and some new group members. Please look for a welcome note upon arrival to the joining hotel for the exact time of the meeting.

Medan is Indonesia's third largest city and is comprised of many different ethnic groups, contributing to a wide variety of mouth-watering foods.

Day 15-16 Bukit Lawang (2B)

Tour Medan in the morning of Day 2, visiting Maimoon Palace, the Great Mosque and the Vihara Gunung Timur temple. In Bukit Lawang, visit the orangutan viewing platform, and opt to go jungle trekking in Gunung Leuser National Park.

An orangutan rehabilitation centre was set up in 1973 to help orangutans released from captivity to learn the skills they will need in the wild. Once they are released into the wild, they are monitored and still provided with some supplementary food until they're 100% ready to fend for themselves. We visit this feeding platform when they are being fed.

Gunung Leuser National Park is located nearby and a great place to do some wildlife trekking in this large jungle park.

Approximate distance: 100 km
Estimated travel time: 5 hours (including stops)

Day 17-18 Tangkahan (2B)

Traverse bumpy roads to reach the small jungle community of Tangkahan. Opt to participate in an elephant feeding session or go hiking.

This tiny, remote village was practically built on the logging trade in the 1980s and 1990s, because the people became aware of the damages by such activity. They collectively decided to stop illegal logging and transform the area into an functional, self-sustained ecotourism destination. So in April 2001 the community banded together to form the Tangkahan Tourist Institute (Lembaga Pariwisata Tangkahan - LPT) and fixed regulations prohibiting the exploitation of the surrounding rainforest. So the Conservation Response Unit (CRU) was born - a team of Sumatran elephants and their mahouts that helps safeguard the national park to protect it from encroachment. When its bath time at the elephant camp on the outskirt of Gunung Leuser National Park tourists are allowed to help. By joining the elephants by their afternoon bathing you will support this local initiative.

Approximate distance: 50 km
Estimated travel time: 3 hours

Day 19-20 Berastagi (2B)

Hike from Tangkahan to Bukit Lawang, then continue to Berastagi by bus. Orientation walk upon arrival. Opt to hike a volcano or tour traditional villages.

Originally developed around 1920 as a Dutch hill base in the Karo highlands, the cooler weather and surrounding smoking volcanoes make this destination ideal for weekending Medan residents and travellers alike. Berastagi is also known for their myriad flowers, fruits and vegetables piled high at the local markets. Explore further afield and check out examples of traditional Karo Batak architecture.

On your free day, opt to hike up Sibayak volcano for sunrise and take in the stunning view of the valley. Free afternoon with the option to visit the local hot springs.

Approximate distance: 160 km
Estimated travel time: 8 hours (including stops)

Day 21-22 Samosir Island (2B)

Travel to the world's largest volcano lake, Lake Toba. Situated in the centre of Lake Toba, Samosir has all the features of a resort area but still retains a rustic charm and relaxed atmosphere. You have a free day here with options to relax or explore the area. Chill out and swim in the warm waters of the lake or opt for some culture by visiting local Batak villages to see traditional Batak houses and the tombs in Tomok.

Approximate distance: 190 km
Estimated travel time: 8 hrs (including stops)

Day 23 Sipirok (1B)

Take a boat across the lake then set off by private van towards Siporok. Stop off at local villages visiting weavers and a markets en route to this beautiful hilltop town surrounded by rice fields and mountains. Enjoy an orientation walk around Sipirok upon arrival.

Approximate distance: 200 km
Estimated travel time: 9 hrs (including stops)

Day 24-25 Bukittinggi (2B)

Orientation walk upon arrival after a long travel day with a few stops to break up the journey. Free day to go rafting, kayaking, visit Sianok Canyon or check out the Japanese Caves built during World War II. The Sianok Canyon is located just outside of town and offers breathtaking views of the canyon with Mount Singgalang in the background.

Bukittinggi is a city of approximately 100,000 people located in the Minangkabau Highlands and is a good jumping off point for nearby activities.

Approximate distance: 400 km
Estimated travel time: 12 hrs (including stops)

Day 26 Maninjau (1B)

Transfer down to the beautiful crater lake of Maninjau. Enjoy the slow pace of life and do not miss the sunset!

There are several small villages along the lake that are perfect for experiencing the rural lifestyle in Sumatra. A waterfall is located about a half an hour outside of town along a steep (and sometimes slippery) path.

Approximate distance: 30 km
Estimated travel time: 2 hrs

Day 27-28 Jakarta (2B)

Today a short flight takes us to Jakarta, capital of Indonesia and the economic heart of Java. Frenetically paced, the chaos is a far cry from the order of Singapore and the afternoon is free to relax into the different atmosphere that Java brings. You might choose to take a walk around the old Dutch colonial heart of Kota, or simply search out your first true cup of Java coffee!

Day 29 Cianjur (1B)

Day 16 begins with a bus journey (3 1/2 hours) south east to Cianjur.

Along the way we visit the 100 yr old Gunung Mas or 'Golden Mountain' Tea Plantation where we learn how tea is hand picked and then processed continually throughout the year.

Cianjur is the Capital of the Cianjur Regency and is also considered the capital of rice production in Java. The region sees very little tourism and you will be delighted by the reactions of the friendly locals.

Experience local life by sleeping at a homestay while here. The homestay is located on the outer ring of CIanjur.

Day 30 Bandung (1B)

Depart the homestay and travel to the sprawling city of Bandung, Indonesia's third largest city. Enjoy an orientation walk led by the CEO, then have some time to explore on your own.

A popular weekend destination for those in Jakarta, Bandung is surrounded by the beautiful Parahyangan mountains. With a strong food culture, the city has loads of varieties of both international and local cuisine. Try one of many local delicacies, such as Bakso Tahu, which is steamed meat served with soy sauce, lime and peanut paste, or martabak, a fried stuffed pancake that comes either sweet or savoury.

Day 31-33 Yogyakarta (2B)

We transfer by bus to Bandung on the morning of Day 19 and then board our train for a scenic trip to Yogyakarta.

Once home to the Mataram Palace, Yogyakarta (or Yogya as it’s known locally) lies in the shadow of Mt Merapi, but is most famous for the nearby Buddhist Temple complex of Borobudur. Built in the 8th century, this stunning artistic and architectural marvel lay undiscovered under layers of volcanic ash until 1815 when Sir Stamford Raffles, then Governor of Java, ordered that the area be cleared. Further attempts at restoration were finally completed in 1983, and no visit to Java would be complete without a visit to this awe-inspiring World Heritage Site.

Other options in and around Yogyakarta include the impressive Kraton, an 18th century palace built by the Sultans of Yogya and one of the finest examples of Javanese palace architecture or Taman Sari Water Castle, built around the same time as a pleasure park for the Sultan.

Yogyakarta is very walkable and stroll around the fascinating bird market is always interesting, and if silver is of interest, then a trip to Kota Gede is definitely worthwhile to pick up a hand-beaten bowl or some fine filigree. Of course, being the home of arts, this really is the place to take in a Wayang (puppet) show, or a dance performance- usually based on the Ramayana story.

Day 34 Tawangmanggu (1B)

Begin the day with an easy 2.5 hour drive. On the way we have the option of stopping at Prambanan to explore the largest Hindu temple complex in Java by foot. Built between the 8th and 10th century, these temples stand as one of the most outstanding works of Hindu art, with a wealth of intricate design, particularly on the Shiva temple. The optional visit allows for approximately 1.5 hours of exploration, and anyone who chooses not to visit the temple can visit an art market located near the temple.

We can also opt to visit the Sukuh Temple, known to be a fertility temple with erotic carvings. From there, walk approximately 3 hours through small villages and along agricultural land, finsihing up at a waterfall. A walk up a staircase finishes in the village of Tawangmanggu, where the evening is free to enjoy.

Day 35 Malang (1B)

Our 4 hour bus journey today takes us eastward to Malang, the second largest city in East Java.

Dating back to at least AD760 Malang has been a regional center of government for successive dynasties eventually being enveloped by the Mataram Kingdom in 1614. Owing to it's altitude (476 meters) the climate here is cooler then the lowlands and therefore became very attractive to European settlement during Dutch colonisation.

Spend the afternoon checking out the gorgeous parks, the bird and flower market, Singosari temple, Jago temple or Kidal temple or just relaxing with a cup of local tea.

Day 36 Mt. Bromo (1B)

Today's drive takes us through the tropical winding landscape of Eastern Java, climbing ever upwards and further out of the heat towards the grandeur of Mt Bromo- part of the Tengger Caldera, the largest volcanic range in the area. Bromo is only one of many peaks, but is distinct in appearance, having blown its top completely off and is constantly smouldering with white smoke.

Day 37 Kalibaru (1B)

A pre-dawn trek across the “sea of sand” to watch the sunrise over the crater’s rim is a must-see, popular with both tourists and the local Buddhist Tenggerese alike who can be seen giving offerings of food to receive blessings from the Supreme God Hyang Widi Wasa.

After this wonderful start to the day, a 6 hour drive takes us to our overnight accommodation in the coffee plantations of Kalibaru. Brought to Java by the Dutch, Indonesia is now the world’s fourth largest coffee grower and the name “Java” is recognized in coffee houses all over the world.

Day 38-39 Pemutaran (2B)

Following a picturesque 2 hour drive through the rolling hills and plantations down to the coastal lowlands, we board our 1 hour ferry trip and bid farewell to Java. Arriving in internationally acclaimed Bali we continue with a short drive to Pemuteran.

Pemuteran lies on the quiet North West coast sandwiched between National Parks containing pristine coral reefs and luxuriant tropical rainforest. 14kms offshore lies Menjangan Island, one of the best snorkel and dive sites in Bali with rich marine life and protected coral reefs. You may also wish to snorkel the reef directly off the beach at Pemutaran and explore the intriguing Bio Rock Structures, wire frames through which low voltage electric current is run to encourage fast coral regeneration.

Wander up the beach and past the rural countryside for magnificent coastal views and ornate traditional temples inhabited by tribes of cheeky monkeys. For the energetic explorer set out on an optional guided hike through the West Bali National Park in search of deer, pigs, macaques or the elusive Bali Starling. The natural beauty of Pemuteran will astound and enchant you.

Day 40 Sanur (1B)

Today's drive is a journey, highlighting the spectacular natural diversity and intense cultural wealth that makes Bali such a sought after destination.

We commence by traveling along the exotic northern coastline before heading up into the emerald carpeted hills, stopping at the Banjal Hot Springs and perhaps visiting nearby Brahmavihara Arama, Bali's only Buddhist monastery. We continue towards Monduk and have the chance to view the impressive Gitgit waterfall as we rise higher, eventually climbing over the lip of an enormous caldera surrounded by the peaks of extinct volcanoes and elegantly adorned with turquoise mountain lakes.

Our journey proceeds southwards down through the rich tropical jungle, passing by idyllic terraced rice fields, quaint scenes of local village life and eventually passing through the thriving metropolis of Dempasar before arriving at our overnight destination on the magnificent beaches of Sanur.

Day 41 Sanur (1B)

You are free to depart at any time today.

What's Included

Koh Phangan and Koh Samui beaches. City tour of Medan. Visit to orangutan feeding platform. Hike between Tangkahan and Bukit Lawang. Trek down to Maninjau. Orientation to the walking trails of the Cameron Highlands. Orientation walks of Bandung, Berastagi, Sipirok and Bukittinggi. Entrance to Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. Mt Bromo sunrise climb. Two street food crawls. Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Highlights

Watch the sunrise from Mt Bromo, hike down to a beautiful crater lake, sample java from its namesake island, chill out on stunning beaches, encounter orangutans up close and personal in Sumatra.

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

1. There are some long travel days on public buses.

2. As we frequently get on and off sometimes crowded local transport please note backpacks are much more suitable than suitcases for this style of trip.

3. In some major cities in Malaysia and Singapore, many hotel rooms do not have windows.

4. Due to the infrastructure of the countries we travel through, the accommodation may sometimes be fairly basic.

5. Depending on the lunar cycle, Ramadan will fall between June 28 and July 27, 2014. Please note that Ramadan is a month of fasting observed by Muslims throughout the world, during which time the followers of Islam should not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. There may be some limitations to services and disruptions to schedules during Ramadan in Muslim areas, but generally our tours still operate effectively during this period and food is available to non-muslims throughout the day. It is very important to display increased cultural sensitivity during Ramadan. Please wear loose fitting clothes, that cover knees and shoulders, and try to avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public out of respect for those who can't at that time.

Group Leader Description

All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They 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 countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting - we think it's the best of both worlds.

Group Size Notes

Max 16, avg 10.

Meals Included

30 breakfasts, 1 dinner.

Meals

Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. Included breakfasts will usually be asian style consisting of noodles or congee (rice porridge) or bread and eggs. Vegetarians will be able to find a range of different foods, although in some areas the choice maybe limited. While trekking in remote regions food is included, plentiful and made of fresh local ingredients. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Meal Budget

Allow USD750-900 for meals not included.

Transport

Train, local bus, minibus, ferry, songthaew, taxi, flight.

Local Flights

All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Simple hotels (36 nts), bungalows (2 nts), sleeper train (1 nt), local homestay (1 nt).

My Own Room Exceptions

Night 2 on the Sleeper Train and Night 29 in Cianjur

About Accommodation

A variety of styles of hotels/guest houses are used on this trip. In many instances they might not be like what you are accustomed to as service and efficiency can vary. In some areas we stay in simple local guest houses in stunning locations. That said, rooms are generally small and simple yet clean. There may only be shared toilet facilities and showers.

We will be travelling through a region where cold water showers are the accepted norm. In keeping with our authentic tours, many of our hotels will not have hot water showers.

During the homestay in Cianjur, the group will share a big house. Up to five travellers will be sharing each room, and there are three bathroom facilities to be shared by the group.

Joining Hotel

Bangkok Centre Hotel
328 Rama IV Road
Bangkok
+66 (0) 2 238-4980-99

Joining Point Hotel in Jakarta on Day 14:

Hotel Bintang Griyawisata
Jl. Raden Saleh No. 16
Jakarta Pusat, 10430
Tel. +62 (21) 392-2566

Joining Instructions

When arriving at Suvarnabhumi Airport (pronounced 'su wan na poom') in Bangkok proceed to the Arrivals Hall where you can change money into Thai Baht. (You may be approached by nicely dressed, official looking touts offering an expensive limousine service to your hotel; ignore these offers.) You have three transport options; public bus, the Airport Train & MRT or public taxi. All transportation is located on the ‘ground’ floor. Public Bus The Airport Bus operates 4 bus routes to downtown for a cost of 150 Baht for the entire route. Bus AE2 goes to Banglamphu and Bus AE4 goes to Hua Lamphong train station. Our hotels are located in both the Bang Lamphu and Hua Lamphong areas. Taxi The airport is located 30km’s away from downtown Bangkok. Approach the taxi counters, advise them where you are going and they will write this information down for you along with the taxis registration details. Taxis should always use the meter and you are required to pay a 50 Baht airport surcharge on top of the metered fee plus any tollway fees (approx 70 Baht depending on the route taken). Total journey will cost between 350 THB – 500 THB, depending on traffic and toll fees. The expressway is substantially faster, so tell the taxi driver to use the expressway, you can say either ""kuen ton-way"" (from 'tollway') or ""kuen taang duan"" in Thai (but most understand Tollway/express way in English). Airport Train If you are staying at the Bangkok Centre Hotel you can take the Airport Train. Board the express airport train at a cost of 150 THB to the City Air Terminal; Makkasan. Here you will need to disembark and change to the MRT (subway) Blue line, boarding at Phetchaburi Station. From Pethaburi Station travel to the last stop, Hua Lamphong, and follow the signs at the exit for the Bangkok Centre Hotel. Arrival Transfers If you have paid for an arrival transfer when you booked your trip then please proceed to the Airport Information Counter near entrance 3 and look for the driver who should be holding a G Adventures sign.

Arrival Complications

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details.

If you have pre-booked an airport transfer please meet your driver near the information counter at Entrance Door number 3 of the airport, in the arrival hall. If for any reason you can not locate you driver please call the emergency transfer phone number at +66 (0) 800 562777.


If you have still have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER 
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:

Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel. 

If your call is specifically concerning Bangkok Airport Transfer complications please call our local G Adventures Transfer provider directly at:+66 81 847 3034 (081 847 3034 from within Thailand) or +66 86 339 5881 (086 339 5881 from within Thailand)

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Bangkok, Thailand
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time)
From outside Thailand: +66 2 381 5574
From within Thailand: 02 381 5574

After hours emergency number
From outside Thailand: +66 87 049 6074
From within Thailand: 087 049 6074

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 01805 70 90 30 00
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

What to Take

You will be on the move a good deal, so pack as lightly as possible (try to stay under 10 kg /22lb). It is in your own interest as you are expected to carry your own luggage, though distances are never great. Most travellers carry their luggage in a pack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice. Suitcases are not recommended for G Adventures travellers! Travellers will need a day pack to carry water and a camera for day walks and day trips in both national parks and at the lake.

Checklist

Travel documents: passport (with blank pages), visa, travel insurance, air tickets, voucher
Health requirements arranged
Money: USD cash/credit card
Money pouch
First Aid kit and personal medication
Alarm clock and torch/flashlight
Ear plugs
Water bottle (optional)
Walking shoes with good grip/Swimming costume
Insect repellent
Torch
Sun screen/Hat/Sunglasses
Gastrolite - Oral Rehydration Powder
Comfortable Pack (see above)
Travel sickness tablets (for long bus journeys- optional)
Inner sheet/sleeping sheet (optional for overnight train)
Waterproof bags for rain protection while trekking or in rainy season (plastic shopping bags are fine)
Warmer clothes for overnight in the jungle and cool bus journeys.

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Visas

Generally Australian, New Zealand, British, Canadian, American, and most European passport holders are granted 30-day visa free entry on arrival in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

Please ensure you check with the appropriate embassy in your home country prior to arrival, especially for certain South American passport holders. Please note that some nationalities (eg. Colombian) are not allowed to enter Malaysia or Singapore overland and instead must fly to enter these countries. If this is applicable to you please note that we can assist you with making flight arrangements for this tour for you but these costs would be additional and not included in tour costs.

Indonesia: The visa situation in Indonesia is frequently changing. Please check on-line or at your local travel agent for the latest information. As of January 2010, visa on arrival was available for most nationalities for a fee of approximately $25 US.

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

During this tour the local currency you will use is the Thai Baht, Malaysian Ringitt, Singaporean Dollar and Indonesian Rupiah. As currency exchange rates in South East Asia do fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for the most up to date daily exchange rates: www.xe.com for each of the above mentioned currencies. The best way to carry your money is in debit cards, withdrawing cash in local currencies from ATM machines. ATMs are found throughout South East Asia and will generally accept cards on the Visa and Mastercard networks. It is a great idea to travel with both a Visa and Mastercard if at all possible in case of loss or problems with one card, you will have a back up. Please note, your bank will charge a fee for overseas withdrawals. USD Cash is recommended for times when ATMs are not accessible. You should bring some cash with you for emergency situations (please refer to our trip dossier) but carrying only cash is a high safety risk. ATM card/s and some cash is the ideal mix. Travellers cheques can be tricky, timely and expensive to exchange. While we do not recommend that you bring them as your primary source of funds, it is great to have one or two cheques in case of emergency. Thomas Cook or American Express travellers' cheques in US currency are the easiest to exchange. Cash advances can also be made with some banks but are time consuming and tend to have high fees attached.Credit cards can be used at some upmarket restaurants, and at some larger stores if shopping for big items. If you are bringing US Dollars, please make sure that the notes are new and in good condition. Notes older than 2003, or with any tears or blemishes may not be accepted. Be fussy with your bank when buying cash!

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $250 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Departure Tax

Departure Tax in Indonesia is not included in the cost of your flight ticket. Departure taxes are per person per departure and payable only in cash at the time of departure. Departure tax is paid for by G Adventure for any included internal flights. Taxes will need to be paid for any non-included flights you may be taking, including international air from the destination. Below are updated tax prices, which change frequently with little notice. Please check with your CEO for updated rates.

Denpasar Airport (DPS): Domestic flights: 75.000 IDR (from 1st August), International flights: 200.000 IDR (from 1st April).
Juanda International Airport near Surabaya (SUB): Domestic flights: 75.000 IDR, International flights: 200.000 IDR (both from 1st April).
Sultan Aji Muhamad Sulaiman International Airport in Balikpapan (BPN): Domestic flights: 75.000 IDR, International flights: 200.000 IDR (both from 1st April).
Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport (UPG): Domestic flights: 50.000 IDR, International flights: 150.000 IDR (both from 1st April).
Lombok International Airport (LOP): Domestic flights: 45.000 IDR, International flights: 150.000 IDR (both from 1st April).

Tipping

It is customary in Asia to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected - though not compulsory - and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $1.5-$3.5 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.

Optional Activities

All prices are per person (unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.

Bangkok:
Grand palace - USD11
Royal Barge Museum USD 1.50
Wat Po - USD2
Klong(Canal) Tour - Approx $10-30 dependent on numbers
Thai massage – USD10 per hour
Cooking Class - USD30 Half Day

Koh Samui:
Ang Thong Marine National Park - kayaking, snorkeling and sightseeing - USD 60
Island City Tour - Big Buddha Temple, Chinese temple, 1000 arms goddess, View Point, Grandmother and Grandfather rock, waterfall, mummified monk - USD 15
Boat tour around Island - Big Buddha Bach, snorkeling at Green Peace Island, Swallows Nest Island, sightseeing and relaxing - USD 50
Cooking Class - USD 43
Jungle Safari Tour Full Day tour USD 67 and Half Day tour - USD 50

Penang:
Chong Fatt Tze Mansion - USD4

Cameron Highlands:
Day Trek with a Guide - USD5-15
Countryside Tour - USD3

Kuala Lumpur:
KL Menara Tower – USD6
Petronas Towers - Free
Islamic Arts Museum - USD4
Lake Gardens Bird Park - USD10

Melaka:
River cruise - USD3

Singapore:
Singapore Zoo - USD18

Bukit Lawang:
- Jungle Trekking (3 hours) - $20 USD
- Bukit Lawang Feeding Point (camera fee $5 USD) (1.5 hours) - $15 USD
- Bat Cave Trek (2 hours) $10 USD
- Tubing (1.5 hours) $20 USD

Tangkahan:
- Elephant Bathing $10 USD
- River Cruse (3 hours) $20 USD

Berastagi:
- Gunung Sibayak Climb/Walk - $24 USD

Samosir
- Bicylcle Rental $5 USD

Bukittinggi:
- Ngarai Sianok Trek $20-30 USD

Lake Maninjau
- Tropical Forest Trek $10 USD
- Waterfall Trek $10 USD

Padang:
- Pagang Island (full day) - $80 USD

Ubud:
Monkey Forest in - $2
Bali Bird Park - $10 (plus transport)
Puri Lukisa Museum - $3
Lovina snorkelling - $7
Day trip to Menganan Island for snorkelling ($40)

Tawangmangu
- Prambanan $20-30 (depending on sites visited in the complex)

Lovina:
Visit to Gigit Waterfall near - $5-1
Hotsprings near - $0.5 plus transport.
Entry fees to Besakhi Temple $1, Kerth Temple $1.20, Taman Ayun Temple $0.30.

Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. In Asia pharmacies tend to stock the same western drugs as you get at home but they are usually produced locally so please bring the full drug name with you when trying to purchase a prescription drug. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.

Safety and Security

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. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

Trip Specific Safety

We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

A Word of Warning

Please do not buy gems in Bangkok unless you know what you are doing. Even if genuine you should not expect to be able to sell them at home. If you fall victim to a gem scam, we are unable to assist you.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org

Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our Planeterra projects.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)

Local Dress

When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative throughout Asia. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot Asian climate (suitable clothing can be purchased cheaply in Bangkok). Shorts should be knee-length. Singlets and tank tops (vest tops) are not suitable in many areas. Most of the areas visited on this trip are predominantly Muslim and therefore modest dress is suitable. Topless and nude bathing or sunbathing is not appropriate and is in fact illegal. In some places you should use a sarong or shorts and T-shirt for swimming rather than a swimsuit.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Newsletter

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.