Best of Thailand & Malaysia

Trip Code: TTSLC

Why we love it

Support an important animal welfare initiative and get close to incredible creatures at Chang Chill Elephant Park., See how the locals live on a bicycle ride through your homestay village. Ride past the rice fields and breathe in the fresh country air, with beautiful mountains in the distance., Discover a different side of Kuala Lumpur – away from the skyscrapers – on a half-day street food tour through the alleyways, uncovering flavours you need to be a local to know., Dive into a nature lover’s paradise at Khao Sok National Park, exploring, hiking, relaxing, and cruising by longtail boat on a limestone cliff-circled lake., Find a slice of paradise on an included sea kayaking trip through the stunning inlets, caves and hidden lagoons of the Ao Thalane mangrove forests.

Is this trip right for me?

This trip includes a night on an overnight sleeper train. Accommodation is simple but comfortable – soft sleeper class multishare compartments with air-conditioning and bunk beds, with sheets and a pillow provided. Overnight trains are a real Intrepid experience and one of the best ways to come face-to-face with the country and its people.

This trip covers quite a bit of ground, and so there are some longer travelling days on public and private buses, as well as overnight trains. Many of these journeys offer a great chance to interact with the locals, soak up the scenery, and even catch up on a book, but make sure you are prepared for the journeys.

There is one night at a homestay on this trip, a wonderful opportunity to witness everyday Thai life. Facilities are basic and multishare, with fold-out mattresses on the floor and shared bathrooms. The rewards of such an authentic local experience are immeasurable.

This trip involves a fair amount of activity including hiking, cycling and kayaking. A moderate level of fitness will help you to get the most out of this trip.

There is an included bike ride around Sukhothai Heritage Park on this trip. Don't worry if you are not an experienced cyclist as it’s a leisurely ride, and one of the best ways to explore the park.

Your included sea kayaking trip in Krabi is in double kayaks. The water is usually calm through the beautiful mangrove forests, but you will need to be a confident swimmer to take part.

The village visit on this trip is with a family and our past travellers have found this experience of getting to know a country and its people a true highlight. In order to respect our hosts, we appreciate if travellers dress conservatively while here.

Important information

1. A Single Supplement to have your own room is available on this trip and excludes days 4 Homestay and 9 (overnight sleeper train), where you will be in shared accommodation.

What to bring/pack

MAIN LUGGAGE
What you need to bring will vary according to when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances (maximum of 30 minutes) including up and down stairs and in busy train stations. Our travellers usually find the smaller their luggage is, the more they enjoy the trip not having to worry about carrying heavy bags! Aim to keep your main luggage under 15kg. Smaller bags are also better for fitting in storage areas of public transport. Small, wheeled suitcases that can also easily be picked up and carried are suitable, or if you prefer, a back pack is also a good option.

It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary that your luggage gets stowed separately (and unattended).

DAY PACK
A day pack for carrying essentials when exploring destinations. On overnight trains packing this with the essentials you need to access during the trip will also be very useful.

ESSENTIALS:
- Lightweight clothing: A mixture of covering lightweight clothing and some warm layers (depending on the season) are recommended. It is best to check the weather and seasonal information before travelling. Dress standards are conservative in Malaysia and parts of Thailand, especially outside major cities. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot climate. For visits to religious sites you will also need to wear clothing that covers shoulders and pants/skirts that go past the knee. Laundry facilities may not be available in all destinations, so make sure you have a few cycles of clothes.
- Wind and waterproof jacket
- Comfortable shoes for walking and hiking: Closed-in shoes that are comfortable to walk for an entire day are recommended to protect your feet on city and countryside walks as well as longer treks. For longer hikes comfortable and supportive shoes with good grip are best.
- Sandals/flip flops: Sandals with straps or shoes which are not likely to fall off are preferable for any water based activities. Easy to remove shoes are also good in the heat and for visits to religious sites.
- Sun protection: hat, sunscreen, sunglasses
- Toiletries

RECOMMENDED:
- Personal medical kit. A larger kit will be on hand with your leader, but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes and adhesive bandages.
- Insect repellent
- Water bottle. We recommend a 1.5litre capacity. While drinking tap water is not recommended some hotels will have filtered drinking water available.
- Camera with spare batteries/power bank. You will have access to power to recharge your electrical items most days, however a spare battery or power bank are recommended.
- Electrical adapter plug
- reusable shopping bag for buying supplies
- torch/flashlight
- travel wipes, hand sanitiser
- small towel
- ear plugs & eye mask
- A good book, a journal and music player for overnight train rides and longer drives.

MORE!
If you need some further tips for packing, you can always check out our ultimate packing list., https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list, LOCAL DRESS:
When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative throughout Asia, especially outside major cities. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot Asian climate. In many rural areas in Asia women will need to wear modest clothing even to swim. Singlets, tank tops and topless sun bathing are all unacceptable. When visiting religious sites men often need to wear long trousers and women a long skirt or sarong., GRAND PALACE, BANGKOK - DRESS CODE:
On the 13th of October 2016 the Thai Government announced the passing of his majesty, the King of Thailand. This is a time for deep sorrow for Thai people. During this time of mourning, strict dress codes have been put in place for entry into the Grand Palace. You must wear dark (preferably black) full length pants or skirt down to your ankle and a Dark coloured t-shirt, shirt or blouse. Shoulders must be covered. Thai officials at the Grand Palace are enforcing this strict dress code and will not allow entry if you are not following these directions. Although on this itinerary the Grand Palace is not an included activity you may want to visit it in your own free time. We want to make you aware of this so as you can pack accordingly, PROHIBITED ITEMS IN SINGAPORE
According to Singapore law, many items are prohibited from being brought into the country, or need to be declared. Prohibited items include (but are not limited to) tobacco products, any substance containing nicotine (including electronic cigarettes) and chewing gum. Please refer to the Singapore Government website for further information https://www.customs.gov.sg/individuals/going-through-customs/arrival/prohibited-and-controlled-goods

Physical rating

 
2

Joining your group

Nouvo City Hotel (Canal Wing), 2 Samsen 2, Samsen Road, Pranakorn, Banglumphu, Bangkok, 10200, THAILAND, Phone: +66 22827500

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

Joining instructions

Intrepid can assist with pre-booking an arrival transfer from the airport - enquire with your agent. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your departure.

If you have pre-booked a transfer for an arrival at Suvanabhumi International Airport, you will be met after exiting the Customs Hall. A transfer representative holding a sign with your name on will meet you at between Exit Door 3-4. If you cannot find your transfer representative, please go to the Information Counter at Exit Door 3. Ask them to call our transfer provider, Ms. Janet, on +66 64 649 0485. Please note that neither the driver nor any representative should ask you for additional payment.

For arrivals at Don Muang International Arrival, when you are at the arrival hall, our representative will be in front of you at Gate 5. Please find the Intrepid Logo and check your name on the signboard held by the representative on your lefthand side. If you have trouble locating our representative, please call our transfer provider Ms. Janet, at +66 64 649 0485.

Metered taxis are available outside the airport entrance on the 1st floor. Exit the Customs Hall, go down to the 1st floor and leave the airport at Gate 3, 4, 7 or 8. You will find a table with a “metred taxis” sign. The taxi fare will be the metred fare plus a surcharge of THB50-THB75 (depending on the driver’s use of toll roads). The total fare will be approx. THB400. Pre-paid taxis are also available, where you will be given a docket to pay the driver a set price of THB700. Please avoid taxi touts who tell you that they have a metered taxi parked outside the airport.

Finishing your trip

V Hotel Bencoolen, 48 Bencoolen Street #01-01, Singapore, 189627, SINGAPORE

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 12

Lunches included: 7

Dinners included: 3

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies, please let your booking agent know prior to departure.

THAILAND FOOD:
One of the most popular take away foods in the world, you'll have a chance to try authentic Thai food, local and fresh, throughout this trip. Here's just some of what you can look forward to: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/best-food-thailand/

For vegans and vegetarians, you'll need to look out for ingredients like shrimp paste (often in curry sauces), fish sauce, dried shrimp and cooked egg added to stir fries and soups. If you are a vegan foodie, check out our Thailand Food Adventure trip: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/thailand/thailand-vegan-food-adventure-114827

Travelling in South East Asia with a food allergy? We have some advice for you here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/travelling-food-allergies-south-east-asia/

Climate & seasonal information

SONGKRAN FESTIVAL
The Songkran Festival is celebrated to mark the New Year. The festival runs from the 13th to the 16th of April. Traditionally houses and villages are properly cleaned in preparation for the New Year, flowers are gathered to decorate Buddha images, young people pour water over the elders for good luck. Songkran Festival is often referred to as the “water festival” as it is now common to throw water over each other during the festival period. Our advice is to be prepared to get wet! Your leader will discuss the festival activities upon day one at the group meeting.

RAMADAN
The important month of Ramadan will be in progress 22 March - 20 April 2023 and 10 March to 08 April 2024, and the Eid ul-Fitr festival will be held directly at its conclusion for 3-4 days. Ramadan is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan, business hours are shortened, including opening hours at some tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. While you should expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month is a fantastic opportunity to travel in a Muslim country and witness this unique period, particularly the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken. Please note that although the Eid ul-Fitr festival can also be a fascinating time to travel it's a period of national holiday. Most government offices and businesses will be closed and some tourist site opening hours may be affected.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local operator on the number below.

Intrepid's local Operator: +66 898 103 722

Intrepid's local Operator: +66 89 810 3722

Accommodations

Transportation

OVERNIGHT TRAINS
Overnight sleeper trains in Thailand are air-conditioned and have sleeping berths down both sides of the carriage. The carriage is multishare, with are curtains that close over the beds. A sleeping sheet and a pillow are provided, and our luggage travels in the carriage with us. There is a western and Asian-style toilet located at the end of the carriage, but no showers. Carriage lights staying on during the night, so an eye mask is a good thing to bring with you, as is warm clothes as the air conditioning can be cold. For more on overnight trains in Thailand and around the world: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/overnight-train-travel-around-the-world/

LONG TRAVEL DAYS
There are some long travel days and some of the transport can be quite cramped and without air-conditioning.


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