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Thailand & Angkor Wat Cultural Journey

Valid for all trips departing January 1st, 2013 - December 31st, 2013 Last Updated:
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Introduction

Just a few minutes into the bustle of Bangkok and you realize why Thailand is known as the 'Land of Smiles'. Explore the region’s charming temples, take a canal tour and enjoy a break from the fast pace of Bangkok in the hills of Chiang Mai. Inhale fragrant lemongrass as you indulge in a khantoke dinner and learn to cook. Our experts will season your adventure with local spice and colour. And, for a memorable finish, explore the jungle-choked ruins of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat—the largest religious monument in the world.

  • Making all your favourite Thai dishes in a cooking class
  • Experiencing Buddhist ceremonies
  • Learning about the history and conservation of elephants
  • Supporting a school in Siem Reap with lunch visit
  • Walking into the past with visits to UNESCO World Heritage sites
Duration: 14 days
Start/Finish City: Bangkok to Bangkok
Service Level: Upgraded
  • All the adventure you want, with a softer landing
  • Handpicked, character-rich accommodations with upgraded amenities services
  • Upgraded and private transport, including flights to maximize time
  • More included meals, activities and transfers
Physical Grading: 2
There'll be some light walking and hiking. Suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.
Travel Style: Discovery Adventures
Say hello to your world.

Engage the extraordinary cultures, wildlife and landscapes through exhilarating, educational and immersive activities while achieving a greater appreciation for our planet. These trips are as much about doing as seeing — all with a comfortable feel.

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 Thailand & Angkor Wat Cultural Journey (ATTWD)

Day 1 Bangkok

Upon arrival you will be transferred to hotel. There are no activities planned. You are free to relax, explore the city & adjust to the frantic pace and humid heat of Bangkok.

Please plan your arrival 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 your CEO will ask to see 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.

Our hotel is located in heart of Silom, very close to the BTS Skytrain which allows easy access to most of Bangkok including MBK, Siam Paragon shopping areas. The hotel has a beautiful pool and has wifi available.

Day 2 Bangkok (B)

Today we rise with the sun, and start the day by giving alms to the local Buddhist monks. After that walk through Pak Klong Talaat, the flower market where you will see many of Thailand’s exotic flowers and flora including many species of orchids. Experience the hustle and bustle of the busy working market and drive you to Chinatown square where you start an interesting walk through one of the oldest parts of Bangkok. Walk along Yaowarat Road where you visit interesting shops selling birds nests and shark fins, continue to a very old teashop to enjoy a cup of Chinese tea with the locals before heading down Trok Leng Moi Eia (a small soi)to Talad Kao for a busy local market with variety of fresh food, fresh & dry fruits, Chinese herbs, groceries. End the walk at Wat Leng Neng Yee to visit the Taoist temple.

This afternoon, hop on a long tail boat ride along the bustling Chao Phraya River and the quiet canals. Take you back in time to a more traditional way of life, far removed from Bangkok’s modern skyscrapers, passing many beautiful landmarks on the riverside. Disembark at Ta Chiang pier to visit the incomparable Grand Palace where you will be awed by the majestic throne halls and mysterious Emerald Buddha.

Return to the hotel in the late afternoon where you will join your Discovery Adventure Guide for a one hour Thai language lesson.

Overnight in Bangkok.

Day 3 Chiang Mai (B,D)

After a short flight northward we arrive into Chiang Mai, and settle into our exquisite surroundings, taking a relaxing break from the fast pace of Bangkok. Later in the day we visit Doi Suthep Temple. Established in 1383, this is one of the most sacred Buddhist temples in Thailand. The views and serenity, our reward after climbing over 300 stairs to reach the top, are amazing.

In the evening, we enjoy a Kantoke dinner, sampling several small dishes of exotic Thai flavors and relaxing to some Thai music and dance.

Our hotel is located in the heart of Chiang Mai city, within 5 a minute walk of the famous night bazaar. The hotel has great views of the city. The rooms are all air conditioned with en suite bathrooms. Wifi is available for an additional cost. There is also a pool for a relaxing afternoon swim.

Approx travel times:
Transfer to Bangkok airport: 45 min
Flight Bangkok to Chiang Mai: 1 hour
Transfer to Chiang Mai hotel: 30 min

Day 4 Chiang Mai (B,L)

We try our hand at creating some of the dynamic taste creations you’ve been eating for the past few days at a Thai cooking school. With our teacher, we visit a local market to learn more about the main ingredients in Thai cooking and then take our purchases back to the school where the teacher explains and demonstrates the basics of some of the more popular Thai dishes. We then enjoy the results for lunch. To congratulate ourselves on our culinary achievements, we’ll be rewarded with the pleasures of a traditional Thai massage.

In the evening, we are treated to a traditional Thai massage and explore Chiang Mai’s popular downtown night market where all the locals and visitors are spending the evening.

Day 5 Lampang (B)

Today we travel to an Elephant Conservation Center. All the money the center raises goes towards Conservation, public awareness campaigns and the daily care of these wrinkled giants. We tour the facility and learn about the regal history of elephants in Thailand, as well as their artistic side (elephants, as it turns out, enjoy painting). We also take a ride on an elephant and imagine living life in the hill tribes of Northern Thailand. Also visit the hospital, nursery and dung paper factory for a demonstration on how elephant dung is turned into lovely paper products and handicrafts. This evening we overnight in Lampang, known as Meuang Rot Mah, or Horse Cart City.

Our hotel in Lampang is situated in the city center and has comfortable twin share rooms with air conditioning and en suite bathrooms. Wifi and computers are available for use at an extra cost.

Approx travel times:
Private transport Chiang Mai to Lampang: 1 hour

Day 6 Sukhothai (B)

On the morning of day six we drive to Sukhothai. After checking into our hotel we visit one of Thailand's UNESCO World Heritage sites, Sukhothai Historical Park, which we explore by bicycle with our local guide. If anyone in the group prefers not to cycle, other options will be available.

The city of Sukhothai, literally translated as; Dawn of Happiness, was the original capital of Thailand's first kingdom and is viewed as representative of the Golden Age of Thai civilization. The religious art and architecture of the Sukhothai era are considered to be the most classic of Thai styles. The Sukhothai ruins contain the remains of 21 historical sites with awe-inspiring Buddha images and four large ponds often filled with stunning lotus flowers in full bloom. Explore the remains of the ancient royal realm, now one of Thailand's World Heritage sites and marvel at the evocative religious art and architecture of the classic Sukhothai era.

Tonight we stay in a beautiful boutique resort located in the old city within a kilometer of the Sukhothai Historical Park. The rooms are air conditioned twin and double share with en suite bathrooms. There is a pool for relaxing and internet is available.

Approx travel times:
Private transport Lampang to Sukhothai: 4 hours

Day 7 Ayuthaya (B,L)

This morning we travel to Ayuthaya, where we take an extensive temple tour.

Ayuthaya served as Thailand’s capital from the 14th to 18th centuries, when it ranked as one of the most magnificent cities in the world. Late in the 17th century its population reached one million, and foreign visitors wrote awestruck accounts of its size and splendor. Located 54 miles (86 km) north of Bangkok, the ruins of this UNESCO World Heritage Site may be visited on foot and include various pagodas and Buddha images.

Our hotel is centrally located and all the required amenities such as swimming pool and fitness centers. The twin and double share rooms all come with air conditioning and en suite bathrooms. There is a business center for all your internet needs.

Approx travel times:
Private transport Sukhothai to Ayuthaya: 5 hours

Day 8 Kanchanaburi (B,L)

Today we visit the seven tiered waterfalls of Erawan National Park and soak in the coolness of the pools at the base of the falls. The highest fall is said to resemble Erawan, the three-headed elephant of Hindu mythology. Spend a day relaxing by the water, trekking through the jungle, climbing through the local caves, or just relaxing in the reviving shade.

Our hotel is 5 km from Kanchanaburi town, located along the River Kwai. The comfortable twin and double rooms all come with air conditioning and en suite bathrooms. There is a pool and internet available.

Approx travel times:
Ayuthaya to Kanchanaburi: 3 hours

Day 9 Kanchanaburi (B)

Today we take a visit the Allied War Cemetery, built to commemorate the POWs who died building the Thai-Burmese railway. We’ll also visit the Thai-Burmese Railway Museum, and then experience a train ride on the Death Railway, taking a step back in time to WWII.

Day 10 Siem Reap (B)

We drive back to Bangkok in the morning and board our plane to Siem Reap, Cambodia the gateway to the temples of Angkor.

Angkor, the former capital of the Khmer kingdom, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the great wonders of the archeological world, rediscovered at the end of the last century by French explorers. This vast ruined city is becoming one of the most popular sites in Southeast Asia. We arrive in the afternoon, and catch our first views of Angkor Wat at sunset.

Our hotel is in the center of Siem Reap, about 6 km from the Angkor Archaeological Park. The twin and double share rooms all have air conditioning and en suite bath. There is a beautiful pool and free wifi available.

Approx travel times:
Private bus Kanchanaburi to Bangkok: 2 hours
Flight Bangkok to Siem Reap: 1 1/4 hours
Siem Reap to hotel: 30 min

Days 11-12 Siem Reap (2B,2L)

Over the next two days, we visit some of the highlights of this ancient capital, such as: the magnificent temple of Angkor Wat, the enigmatic Bayon within the walled city of Angkor Thom, Preah Khan and Ta Prohm, which is the temple in the jungle otherwise known as the Tomb Raider temple.

Enjoy a Khmer lunch at New Hope, a local school and Planeterra-supported project. Planeterra and G Adventures built the New Hope Training Restaurant that provides skills training in the tourism and hospitality sector to underserved people in the Siem Reap community. This restaurant has been built directly in the New Hope Cambodia Outreach Centre, which was founded to provide accessible education and health care for the community. Siem Reap has undergone a recent boom in tourism, an opportunity that was not benefitting many of the local people. The restaurant trains groups of marginalized Khmers skills to access new job opportunities. G Adventures travellers visit the restaurant, and funds from the restaurant go to support the program as well as the health and education centre in the same compound.

Day 13 Bangkok (B)

Today we say goodbye to Cambodia and board a plane back to Bangkok. Explore this wondrous city, indulge in some last minute shopping, or just relax by the pool. In the evening we will head out for a farewell dinner together.

We stay in the same hotel where we started our trip on Day 1.

Approx travel times:
Transfer to Siem Reap airport: 30 min
Flight Siem Reap to Bangkok: 1 1/4 hours
Transfer from Bangkok airport to hotel: 45 min

Day 14 Depart Bangkok (B)

Depart any time today.

We look forward to receiving your evaluation regarding this tour itinerary and your CEOs performance. We value your input into what we could improve to make this trip even better and of course love hearing about what we are already doing well! You will be sent a post tour email on your return with details on how to go in line and fill in this simple form. Thank you so much in advance.

What's Included

Arrival transfer - Welcome gift - Introductory language lesson - Walking tour of Bangkok's flower market and Chinatown - Boat tour of Klong canal - Tour of the Grand Palace and the emerald Buddha Temple - Visit the Doi Suthep Buddhist Temple - Thai cooking classes - Traditional Thai massage - Visit to Chiang Mai night market - Visit and tour of Lampang Elephant Conservation Center with elephant ride - Cycling tour of Sukhothai ruins - Tour of Ayuthaya Temple - Visit Erawan Falls National Park - Tour of the Allied War cemetery, Thai/Burma War Museum and train ride on the Death Railway - Tours of the Angkor Wat Temple complex - Lunch at New Hope project, a local school in Siem Reap.

Highlights

Making all your favourite Thai dishes in a cooking class, Experiencing Buddhist ceremonies, Learning about the history and conservation of elephants, Supporting a school in Siem Reap with lunch visit, Walking into the past with visits to UNESCO World Heritage sites

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

Discovery Adventures is operated in conjunction with G Adventures, the world leader in sustainable adventure travel. An award winning company with over 800 employees and 17 operational offices worldwide, G Adventures has 20 years experience in creating culturally interactive travel experiences. G Adventures advocates a triple bottom line business philosophy where equal attention is given to the environmental, social and economic impact of tourism to achieve long-term environmentally responsible growth whilst protecting destinations & cultural heritage for future generations.

Group Leader Description

All Discovery Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our expert group tour leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. 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. Group leaders are experts in their region with a broad, general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local expert 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 12

Meals Included

13 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 1 Dinner

Meals

Travelling with Discovery Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful foods and flavors that are available in the world. Some meals are included in the trip price in more remote regions or as a highlight where we can share a local specialty or cultural experience. In many places where there is a choice of eating options, we like to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each others company, but there is no obligation to do this. Your CEO will be able to suggest favorite restaurants during your trip. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Meal Budget

Allow USD200-250 for meals not included.

Transport

Minibus, van, Thai boat, tuk tuk, elephant, plane, walking

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.

There may be a weight restriction for the internal flight on this tour. Each passenger is allowed to carry one checked bag with a maximum weight of 20 kg (44lbs). Additional bags or excess weight charges may apply. These charges are the responsibility of the passengers.

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

Comfort hotels (13 nts)

My Own Room

Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops

About Accommodation

The accommodation level for most Discovery Adventure tours are comfortable, in mid-range hotels, motels, lodges, guest houses, etc. You'll often enjoy air-conditioned rooms, complete with en suite bathrooms and some amenities. Accommodation and amenities can vary by Country and region and please remember that standards can be different from what you are used to in your home country, which is part of the appeal of adventure travel. Some trips may include camping, permanent tented camps or more rustic lodges, depending on the remoteness of where you are visiting. Please see your trip details for more information, specific to your tour. Porterage is not included, but can be arranged directly at most hotels.

Joining Hotel

Furama Xclusive Sathorn
59 Silom Soi 3 (Piphat 2),
Silom Road, Silom
Bangkok 10500
Tel: +66(0)2266 8030

Joining Instructions

An arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour and our driver will be waiting for you with a Discovery Adventures Sign with your name on it. Make your way to meeting point 3 and look for your driver near the Airport Information Counter.

Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned, so you may arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day in which no activities are planned. Your CEO will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. Your CEO will contact you at the hotel on Day 1 and make sure you are settled comfortably. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.

**Please note, the arrival transfer included occurs on Day 1 of the tour. If you plan to arrive prior to Day 1, you will be required to arrange pre-tour accommodation through G Adventures to be eligible for the transport from the airport. Due to customer experience and quality considerations, all services related to the tour must be continuous.

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 and 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

What you need to bring depends on the trip you have chosen and the countries or regions you are planning to visit. We suggest that you pack as lightly as possible as your are expected to carry your own luggage. As a rule we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 mintues with your bags which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 10-15kg/22-30lb. Suitcases are not recommended for Discovery Adventures trips! Most travellers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size (no XXL ones please!) as they need to fit under the beds when travelling on sleeper trains. You will also need a day pack/bag to carry water, cameras and other electronics like ipods and mobile phones. If your trip involves overnights in homestays, villages or camping then you usually have the opportunity to rent sleeping bags if need be instead of bringing them with you.

Checklist

Documents
•Passport (with photocopies)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•Cash
•Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
•Discovery Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and trip details
•Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required

Suggested
•Day pack for daily personal items
•Watch or Alarm clock
•Flashlight or Headlamp (with extra batteries)
•Sun hat, Sun block, Sunglasses
•Insect Repellent
•Water bottle
•Ear plugs for train journeys or light sleepers
•Small towel and swim wear
•Toiletries (biodegradable)
•Sturdy walking shoes/Sport sandals
•hand sanitizers/ antibacterial wipes
•Money belt
•Shorts for summer months (June – September)
•Long trousers
•Shirts/T-shirts
•Warmer clothes for Nov-April.
•Umbrella or waterproof jacket.
•Cover for backpack or plastic bags to keep clothes dry.
•Pocketknife
•Camera and extra memory card/film
•Extra batteries (recommended)
•Electricity Plug Adapter
•First-aid kit (should contain Lip balm with sunscreen, Aspirin, Ibuprofin, malaria pills, band aids/plasters, tape, anti-histamine, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)

Optional Items: reading/writing material, binoculars, cover for backpacks, Maps,

Donation items for New Hope project in Cambodia:
Should you have extra room in your suitcase, the project we visit in Cambodia is always happy to accept donations. Items that are always needed are: Clothing for children & young adults (new or good second hand clothes are great) the other thing they have difficulty getting in Cambodia are children's building blocks & leggo. As well, the medical clinic is always in need of the following items:
• Children’s Multivitamins with iron (Hugely Important!)
• Inhalers for patients with Asthma
• Zinc 25 mg/ Zinc 10mg
• Digital thermometers (preferably with replaceable batteries)
• Elastic bandages
• Gauze pads of various sizes( 5x5, 10x10, etc.), sterile and non-sterile
• Bandaids and plasters – different sizes
• Betadine swabs/betadine solutions
• Blood pressure cuffs
• Absorbent underpads (often called “Chux”in the U.S.)
• Cotton swabs
• Vaseline gauze
• Small/medium/large gloves (latex/medical gloves)
• Hand gels/sanitizers/alcohol/Liquid hand soaps

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

Please note that visas for Thailand are the responsibility of the individual traveler. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. For the most up to date information please check your Governments Foreign Ministry website or with you travel agent as rules do change. It is important that you check for yourself. For most travelers there will probably have an Embassy and Consulate in the country that you live in.

THAILAND - Most nationalities do not need a visa for Thailand for stays of 30 days or less but if you do they are available on arrival at Bangkok Airport.
Please note that certain nationalities (including: Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Czech, Estonia, Hungary, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Oman, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Taiwan and Ukraine) may not be able to obtain visa at a land border.

CAMBODIA - The visa cost for Cambodia is paid on arrival into Siem Reap Airport, which is $25 USD. You can also apply online for an e visa at http://evisa.mfaic.gov.kh/e-visa/vindex.aspx

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 currencies you will use are the Thai Baht, US Dollar and Cambodian Riel. 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

All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket

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

Optional activity prices are subject to change and can fluctuate in relation to the high/low season and the number of people on a specific excursion. Not all excursions listed here may be available, due to season, or weather conditions. As generally not a lot of time is spent in start/end cities, you may want to arrange to arrive early, or stay longer after the trip in order to allow sufficient time to participate in optional activities there.


Bike ride, Bangkok – $25 USD
Thai kickboxing exhibition, Bangkok - $50 USD
Visit Chatuchak Weekend Market (taxi transport both ways), Bangkok - $6 USD
Jim Thompson's House, Bangkok - $3 USD
Kayaking, Kanchanaburi - $20-40 USD
Thai cooking class, Kanchanaburi - $30 USD for Half Day
Samlaw tour, Kanchanaburi - $7 USD
Bicycle tour, Chiang Mai - $30 for Half Day
Bamboo rafting, Chiang Mai plus transport - $15 USD
Landmine Museum, Siem Reap - $1 USD
Half day village tour, Siem Reap – $10 USD (transport additional)
Tuk tuk to Tonle Sap lake and boat trip, Siem Reap - $15-20 USD


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

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 information pertaining to the country you are traveling to well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as a full supply of any personal medical requirements. In Asia, you will not find the same drugs as you get at home. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities. Also note that for legal reasons our Leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. 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. For travelers over 70 years a completed Medical Form is required. Discovery Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if, in the reasonable opinion of the 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.
Please note that all passengers traveling to Antarctica are required to fill out this questionnaire.

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.

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)

Associated Planeterra Project

Planeterra and G Adventures built the New Hope Training Restaurant that provides skills training in the tourism and hospitality sector to underserved people in the Siem Reap community. This restaurant has been built directly in the New Hope Cambodia Outreach Centre, which was founded to provide accessible education and health care for the community. Siem Reap has undergone a recent boom in tourism, an opportunity that was not benefitting many of the local people. The restaurant trains groups of marginalized Khmers skills to access new job opportunities. G Adventures travellers visit the restaurant, and funds from the restaurant go to support the program as well as the health and education centre in the same compound.

Local Dress

When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative throughout Asia. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means covering shoulders and no very short shorts. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot Asian climate. Shorts should be knee-length.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that you'll receive a special discount code for free online prints and 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.