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Please note that this tour has been extended by one more day in 2014 to allow for extra time in Chiang Mai. Please see trip code ATDT.

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

Get the best of Thailand's culture, sacred sites and beaches on this 17-day adventure. You'll take an unforgettable ride aboard an elephant, explore the north’s Golden Triangle and cycle the streets of ancient Sukhothai before heading south for peaceful island beaches. You'll explore the perfect islands and swim in the incredible waters of the Andaman Sea and its remote islands. This trip offers the classic Thai experience—a great combination of must-see highlights and free time to do your own thing.

  • Experiencing the sights and smells of Bangkok by boat
  • Exploring Buddhist temples and palaces new and ancient
  • Riding on the back of an elephant
  • Relaxing on a stunning beach
  • Snorkelling through crystal-clear blue waters
Duration: 17 days
Start/Finish City: Bangkok to Bangkok
Service Level: Standard
  • Great value, reasonable prices, quality experiences
  • Comfortable and varied tourist-class accommodations chosen for location and character
  • Mix of public and private transport for the best overall experience
  • All the top highlights included, plus plenty of time to explore on your own
Physical Grading: 3
Trips may include activities like hiking, biking, rafting or kayaking. No sweat, right?
Travel Style: Classic
The trips we've built our reputation on.

Designed for maximum variety, these trips are geared towards travellers searching for a healthy mix of active exploration, uncommon landscapes, amazing wildlife and local cultures.

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

Updated 2013 ATTD map

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.

Days 2-3 Sukhothai (2B)

On Day 2 we head off on a long tail boat to explore the canals of Bangkok en route to Wat Po, home of the giant reclining Buddha. After lunch we depart by public bus to the town of Sukhothai.

Located about 450km from Bangkok, the ruins of Sukhothai date back to the mid-13th century, when the site became the capital of Thailand’s first kingdom. Sukhothai is viewed as representative of 'the Golden Age' of Thai civilization. The religious art and architecture of the era are considered to be the most classic of Thai styles. The ruins contain the remains of 21 historical sites with awe-inspiring Buddha images and 4 large ponds often filled with stunning lotus flowers in full bloom.

On day 3 we head out on bikes to explore the remains of this ancient royal realm, now one of Thailand's Cultural World Heritage sites.

Our hotel is located approximately 3 km from Sukhothai Historical Park and has comfortable twin share rooms with air conditioning and en suite bathrooms. The hotel has a pool and free wifi in the lobby area.

Approx Travel Time:
Public bus from Bangkok to Sukhothai: 5 hours

Day 4 Lampang (1B)

We take a public bus drive to Lampang. Located approximately 100kms from Chiang Mai, Lampang was an important trade town during the Dvaravati period (around the 7th century), and was supposedly founded by the son of Queen Chama Devi of the Hariphunchai Empire (she was the first ruler of the state which was one of the important ancient towns of the Khmers). The state was eventually absorbed into the Lanna kingdom in the 13th century when King Miengrai (the founder of Chiang Rai) defeated the Khmers.

The city of Lampang was an important trade centre for teak wood both domestically and internationally. During that time (1900’s), Britain still controlled Burma (who possessed great knowledge about teak), sent a large company over to Lampang to ply their trade resulting in the construction of several temples. Lampang was made the temporary capital of the Lanna kingdom between 1776 and 1791 when Chiang Mai was deserted as a result of successive wars with the Burmese. Arriving around mid day you have a free afternoon to explore Lampang.

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 time:
Public bus from Sukhothai to Lampang: 4 hours

Day 5- 6 Chiang Rai Province and Golden Triangle (2B)

As we drive to Chiang Rai Province we stop at the Lampang Elephant Conservation Centre where we tour the facilities of the elephant hospital and see how sick elephants are cared for. All the money raised by this centre goes towards the care of the elephants. We have the opportunity to take a ride on the back of these majestic animals, an experience which many find to be a highlight of their visit to this enchanting country.

We then head onwards to Chiang Saen in the area known as the Golden Triangle, our home for 2 nights. This is an ideal base from which to explore the remote area where Myanmar, Thailand and Laos meet. Mountains form a natural border between Thailand and Myanmar, while the mighty Mekong River divides Thailand from Laos.

This region has long been associated with the opium trade, although poppy fields have now given way to vegetable plots.

A visit to the border town of Mae Sai on day 6 gives you the opportunity to see some local Burmese traders and pick up a few souvenirs. Pay a visit to the Opium Museum to understand the history of the region.

Our hotel is located in Chiang Saen just a short distance from the Golden Triangle and 45 minutes away from Chiang Rai city. Chiang Saen is a quiet town with limited amenities. The hotel has comfortable twin share rooms with air conditioning and en suite bathrooms. There is free wifi in the hotel lobby.

Approximate travel time:
Private bus Lampang to Chiang Rai: 4 hours driving time.

Day 7 - 8 Chiang Mai (2B)

Using a private bus, we head to Chiang Mai. Surrounded by rolling hills, Chiang Mai offers both pretty surroundings and architecture. Enclosed by a moat and crumbling walls, the old city features great cafes, shops and accommodations. An important Buddhist centre since the 14th century, Chiang Mai is home to more than 300 temples. Many visitors come here to attend meditation retreats, massage classes or yoga lessons. It is also a centre of handicraft production, with a long history of silverwork, woodcarving, pottery-making and weaving. Not to be missed is the Night Bazaar, a series of covered markets, shops and stalls that offer the best selection of handicrafts in Thailand.

We arrive mid morning of day 7, and have free time to explore for the rest of the day. In the late afternoon we set off to visit the famous temple complex of Doi Suthep about a 45 minute drive from the center of the city. Doi Suthep is one of northern Thailand's most sacred temples. Our local guide explains the history of the temple to us. A naga (mystical serpent) staircase of over 300 steps leads to the temple at the top of the mountain from which there are wonderful views of the surrounding countryside.

Day 8 gives you free time to catch up on shopping or maybe a cooking class before catching the overnight train back to Bangkok.

Day 7 accommodation in Chiang Mai is located just outside of the Chiang Mai Gate of the old city of Chiang Mai and withing walking distance of the famous night markets. The hotel has comfortable twin / double rooms with en suite bathrooms.

Day 8 accommodation is an overnight sleeper train. Beds are dormitory style, with bunks on two layers along the side of the train carriage. There are curtains along each bunk for privacy. Your luggage will be accessible during the journey. The train has air-conditioning and clean bedding is provided for each bunk. There are both western style and Asian style toilets at the end of each carriage. Food and drinks are served on the train but you can always bring your own food from the shops and restaurants in the train station.

Please note: Due to disruptions of Thai trains in the north during the monsoon season, trips running July through October may be upgraded to a flight and extra hotel night in Chiang Mai instead of the overnight train.

Approximate travel time:
Private transport from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai: 4 hours
Train ride from Chiang Mai to Bangkok: 12-13 hours
Private transport to train station: 20 min

Day 9 Bangkok (1B)

Arrive back into Bangkok at roughly 8am where you have a free day to continue to explore the capital city.

We spend this evening in Bangkok at the same hotel as Day 1 of the trip.

Day 10 Koh Klang (1B)

After a short morning flight from Bangkok to Krabi we are transferred to the homestay on Koh Klang where you can learn about southern Thail culture.

Our homestay is on Koh Klang, situated at the mouth of Krabi River flowing into the Andaman Sea. It is the closest island to Krabi town. The island is connected only by longtail boats from two piers (Chao Fa pier and Tara pier). It takes about 10 minutes to cross. On the way to the Pier, we'll stop at Department of Fisheries to learn about fish in Andaman Sea, Mangrove forest, and the local ecosystem of Krabi.

Enjoy an included visit to the best OTOP (Government’s project: One Tambon One Product. Thailand consists of sub districts known as "tambons". In order to help build local communities, each Thai tambon has uniquely made and marketed products that are promoted and sold all over the world.)

Estimate Travel Time : Flight 1.20 hr From Krabi Airport to Homestay 30 – 40 mins.

Days 11-12 Krabi (2B)

After breakfast, the we'll take a private boat to Jao Fah pier and drive to Ao Nang Beach. A minivan will take us about 40 mins from the pier to the hotel.

Ao Nang, Krabi is paradise for anyone desiring relaxation. White sand beaches with swaying coconut palms surrounded by incredible cliffs are the standard view here. Anyone looking to stay busy will find a variety of activities here, as well.

From Ao Nang there are several excursions by boat available, as well as, kayaking, snorkelling and diving. The small village of Ao Nang still retains its tranquil pace of life, despite the fact that you now can find shops, bars and intimate restaurants. You will find boats and ferries with daily departures to Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, and Koh Lanta.

Days 13-14 Koh Phai (2B)

Today, head to Koh Phai, or Bamboo Island, by private longtail boat. With lovely beaches on the north and east sides, and coral gardens spreading to the south, this island won't leave you disappointed. Koh Phai is situated in the Andaman Sea and is part of Hat Noppharat Thara –Phi Phi National Park archipelago. The northern and eastern shores offer outstanding beaches and a long stretch of coral reef to the south of the island.

Here, we'll get closer to nature with two nights of camping. We provide luggage storage on Railay Beach for any large bags or suitcases. Please be prepared to pack a daypack with the items you'll need while camping.

During your time here, enjoy an include island hopping snorkelling tour. The tour will visit the following locations:

Koh Mor & Koh Tub: Mor Island is a rocky beach with very clean water, about 70m away from Tub Island. During low tide, a sand bar will appear linking three islands together.

Koh Kai (Chicken Island): This small island is situated just south of Poda and Tup Island about 30 minutes by longtail boat from the west coast of Krabi. Koh Kai is well known as Chicken Island because of a large rock formation that looks like the head and neck of a chicken. Snorkelling around this island is fantastic with spectacular coral reefs and surrounded with tropical fish.

Phra Nang Cave: Located on Railay Peninsula. The legend and mystery of Phra Nang goes back many centuries and the belief in the Princess Goddess still remains strong amongst local people. This cave is a sacred place.

Koh Poda: Located in west of Ao Nang. A wonderful beach on the north side of Koh Poda is gorgeous with white fine sand and crystal-clear water.

Days 15-16 Railay/Overnight train (2B)

Head to the famous Railay Beach and spend one night in a cozy guesthouse. Railay is isolated from the mainland on a peninsula, surrounded by the warm Andaman Sea, lush jungle, and twisted rock. It contains enough activities for the most adventurous while allowing sunseekers to relax on the beaches as well.

Options abound here. Choose to go sea kayaking, scuba diving, rock climbing, snorkelling, jungle trekking, cooking, elephant trekking, whitewater rafting or quad biking.

Free morning on Day 16 before a transfer to the station and an overnight train to Bangkok.

Approx travel time:
Transfer to train station: 3 hours
Train to Bangkok: 13-14 hours

Day 17 Bangkok

Our train will arrive in Bangkok early in the morning. Your tour ends at the train station, where your CEO can help you arrange onward transport. To explore more of the sights around Bangkok, book some post trip accommodation and take in some of the temples, life on the river or even head North on a trekking trip with us. Thailand is extremely diverse and there is always more to see! If you are leaving Bangkok today we recommend that you do not book onward travel until after 3pm, in case of train delays.

We look forward to receiving your evaluation regarding this tour itinerary and your CEO's 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 on line and fill in this simple form. Thank you so much in advance.

What's Included

Klong boat tour, entrance and guide to Wat Po, entrance to Doi Suthep temple, entrance to Opium Museum, Elephant Conservation Centre and show, elephant ride, half day bicycle trip around historical Sukhothai, village tour on Koh Klang, island hopping snorkel trip, local homestay.

Highlights

Experiencing the sights and smells of Bangkok by boat, exploring Buddhist temples and palaces new and ancient, riding on the back of an elephant, relaxing on a stunning beach, snorkelling through crystal-clear blue waters

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. Please note that this trip is a combination of multiple G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and/or particular vehicles operating your tour may change between tour segments. You may also expect some group members to join or leave the tour, between tour segments.

2. There is usually a max weight limit of 15kg (33lbs) on the internal flight in Thailand. Passengers are responsible for any excess luggage charges.

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 15, avg 12

Meals Included

15 Breakfasts

Meals

Eating is a big part of traveling. Traveling 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 others company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favorite restaurants during your trip. Included breakfasts will usually be Asian style consisting of noodles or rice soup 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 USD325-425 for meals not included.

Transport

Train, public bus, taxi, walking, elephant, songthaew, bicycle, longtail boat, plane.

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

Guesthouses/hotels (8 nts), sleeper trains (2 nts), simple bungalows (3 nts, fan-cooled), camping (2 nts), homestay (1 nt).

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

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

Joining Hotel

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

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; pubic 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

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 G 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

Passport (with photocopies)
Travel insurance (with photocopies)
Airline tickets (with photocopies)
Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
Alarm clock
Flashlight
Sun hat, Sunblock, Sunglasses
Insect Repellent
Water bottle
Small towel and swim wear
Toiletries (biodegradable)
Sturdy walking shoes/Sport sandals
Money belt
Shorts
Long trousers
Hiking pants/track pants
Shirts/T-shirts
Warm clothes for Nov-Feb. Fleece, Windproof/waterproof jacket
Waterproof clothes for wet season May-Oct. Umbrella or waterproof jacket.
Cover for backpack or plastic bags to keep clothes dry.
Clothes for temples – long pants or sarongs.
Sleep sheet for trekking or sea safari trips.
Thermarest or sleeping mat and travel pillow for trekking or sea safari trips.
Snorkel gear – optional (also available for hire)
Camera and film
Reading/writing material
Binoculars
Pocketknife
First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking).

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

It is your responsibility to arrange visas before you travel. Your travel agent can assist. Below are the visa requirements for Thailand, at the time of printing. Note that your passport must be valid for at least six months from your time of entry: Thailand: Australian, British, Canadian, American, Belgian, Swedish, German, Dutch and Danish passport holders do not require a visa for a stay of 30 days or less. If staying in Thailand for more than 30 days, you will be required to obtain a tourist visa in advance. New Zealand passport holders do not require a visa if their stay is 90 days or less. For other nationalities, please ask your travel agent.

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. 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 is included in all International and Domestic tickets in China, Thailand and Vietnam.

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 Activities: USD200 for optional activities not included in the trip.

Grand palace (Bangkok) - USD11
Wat Po (Bangkok) - USD2
Klong(Canal) Tour (Bangkok) - Approx $10-30 dependent on numbers
Thai massage – USD10 per hour
Doi Suithep (Chiang Mai) - USD2 (plus transport)
Bicycle tour (Chiang Mai) - USD30 for Half Day
Thai Cookery Course (Chiang Mai) - USD30 for Half Day
Kan Toke Traditional Dinner (Chiang Mai) - USD30
Bamboo rafting (Chiang Mai) - USD15 plus transport
Elephant riding (Chiang Mai) - USD15 plus transport
Ang Thong Marine National Park - kayaking, snorkeling and sightseeing (Koh Samui) USD 60
Island City Tour - Big Buddha Temple, Chinese temple, 1000 arms goddess, View Point, Grandmother and Grandfather rock, waterfall, mummified monk (Koh Samui) USD 15
Boat tour around Island - Big Buddha Bach, snorkeling at Green Peace Island, Swallows Nest Island, sightseeing and relaxing (Koh Samui) USD 50
Cooking Class (Koh Samui) USD 43
Jungle Safari Tour (Koh Samui) Full Day tour USD 67 and Half Day tour USD 50

All prices are per person (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 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.
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.

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

In Asia the dress standard is more conservative than it is back home. When packing try to pick loose, lightweight, long clothing that will keep you cool in the usually hot and humid climate of Asian summers. In predominately Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim countries we ask that you dress respectfully and avoid very short shorts/skirts and singlets/tanktops when visiting temples or mosques or other holy sites. In Pakistan we recommend a head scarf for women while walking around.

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.