One Week in Thailand: Kayaking and Hilltribes

Trip Code: TTYN

Why we love it

Trek deep – super deep – into the northern Thai hinterland with two days of trekking and two nights staying in a traditional hilltribe village, laughing with the locals and learning about their lifestyle., Immerse yourself in some of the most beautiful landscapes in all of Thailand, from cascading waterfalls and mountainside views to a kayaking adventure on Mae Taeng River (followed by a spot of white-water rafting if you dare) to get a new perspective., Get your street food fix in bustling Bangkok and cool Chiang Mai and tuck into some of the tastiest eats in all of Asia. When you’ve had your fill (is that even possible?), be treated to traditional homecooked dinners during your hilltribe village homestays., Hit the nightlife in cruisy Chiang Mai, in the Nimman area that’s swarming with hipster bars and uber-cool lounges. Bar hop, hit the night markets and find all the best spots from a local leader with all the insights., Enjoy loads of free time to choose your own adventure, whether that’s a bit of rest and relaxation at the local Thai massage place or discovering new friends at the Chiang Chill Elephant Sanctuary., By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, EcoThailand Foundation. Donations help educate school children on important environmental issues like climate change, nature appreciation, conservation and sustainability.

Is this trip right for me?

This trip includes a two-day hillside trek, which is challenging and involves a lot of walking. Take note of the time of year you’re trekking to know what to expect weather-wise. The wet season runs from May to October and often results in muddy or slippery paths. Please ensure you bring sturdy walking shoes and comfortable clothes. Hiking boots and long pants during wet season are highly recommended. To make the most of the trip, it's best if you have a good level of fitness.

Part of travelling with Intrepid means respecting local cultures and sensibilities. That way you get the most out of your interactions with local people. Please bring clothes that cover the arms and pants/skirts that go past the knees. A light scarf is also a good idea for covering shoulders and arms when it’s hot.

This trip involves some long journeys on the road and two overnight trains, which can be tiresome. Although conditions are basic, overnight trains are a true local experience and the best way to travel long distances, meet locals and maximise time at your destinations. Occasionally passengers of different genders will be required to share a compartment and/or you'll be sharing with locals or travellers from other groups. For your own security, take a lock for your luggage.

As this is a Basix trip, the majority of activities are optional and you'll have lots of free time. This means you're able to do your own thing at your own pace.

Important information

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Day 2 (Overnight sleeper train), Days 4 & 5 (Hilltribe Village), and Day 7 (Overnight sleeper train) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Some room configurations have two single beds, although a double bed will always be requested. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

What to bring/pack

Remember - the lighter you travel the better! You may be buying things as you go, so don't bring too much from home. Many people find a backpack the most suitable type of luggage for our holidays. Medium-sized suitcases can also be used; however, you should avoid the large, bulky cases that are difficult to carry. Lockable suitcases on wheels are the best type to use. Be aware that some hotels in Asia do not have lifts (elevators) and there may be occasions when you need to carry your luggage up stairs or along railway platforms, etc.

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. Sandals, thongs, flip-flops or jandals are appropriate footwear in the tropics. 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 sites of religious significance, all travellers should wear clothing that covers their shoulders and knees. In some sites in South East Asia thongs are not allowed (ie. Royal Palace in Phnom Penh). Please check with your leader or local guide.

When you pack your clothing, consider the climate at the time of year you are travelling and any specific requirements for your trip as at certain times of the year some of the items suggested in the list that follow may not be necessary. Bear in mind that the weather will vary significantly from place to place. Most of the time the weather is warm in South East Asia; however, it may be distinctly cold up in the highlands. If there are specific requirements for a trip they will be noted here, in the Essential Trip Information. Laundry facilities are available in most destinations.

Below is a list of equipment and documentation that we suggest you take with you. Please use this checklist as a guide when packing for your holiday.

Travel documents: passport, visa (if required), travel insurance, flight tickets, Essential Trip Information
Photocopy of the above documents
Spare passport photos
Money: cash, credit/debit cards
Money belt
Small padlocks
Metal chain and padlock to secure luggage on overnight trains – additional precaution
Small first-aid kit
Daypack for use on day or overnight excursions
Watch/alarm clock and torch/flashlight (and spare batteries)
Electrical adapter plug
Toiletries/roll of toilet paper/travel wipes
Insect repellent
Sunscreen, lip balm, sunhat and sunglasses
Earplugs and eye mask (for light sleepers)
Extra pair of prescription glasses (if required)
2 strong plastic garbage bags (for laundry and in case of rain)
Refillable water bottle
Phrase book
Warm clothes - when travelling in cooler climates
Wind and waterproof jacket
Comfortable and sturdy walking shoes with good walking socks
Camera and charger, spare batteries
Swimwear

Physical rating

3

Joining your group

lyf Sukhumvit 8 Bangkok, 35 Soi Sukhumvit 8, Khlong Toei, 10110, Bangkok, THAILAND, Phone: +66 22541900

Centrally located in the Sukhumvit area of Bangkok, only a few minutes away from the Nana Sky Train (BTS) and Sukhumvit Underground (MRT) stations, Lyf Sukhumvit 8 Bangkok has easy access to Bangkok’s major shopping areas, parks and city landmarks. The hotel has a 24 hour reception. All rooms have private ensuite. The property has modern shared spaces, open working areas, shared kitchen with rooftop lawn, water refill station and coined laundry.

Alternate Joining Point


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 it will meet you between Exit Doors 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

lyf Sukhumvit 8 Bangkok, 35 Soi Sukhumvit 8, Khlong Toei, 10110, Bangkok, THAILAND, Phone: +66 22541900

Centrally located in the Sukhumvit area of Bangkok, only a few minutes away from the Nana Sky Train (BTS) and Sukhumvit Underground (MRT) stations, Lyf Sukhumvit 8 Bangkok has easy access to Bangkok’s major shopping areas, parks and city landmarks. The hotel has a 24 hour reception. All rooms have private ensuite. The property has modern shared spaces, open working areas, shared kitchen with rooftop lawn, water refill station and coined laundry.

Alternate Finish Point


Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 4

Lunches included: 3

Dinners included: 2

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader or local representative 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.

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 group leader or local representative will discuss the festival activities upon day one at the group meeting.

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 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 or local representative may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the group leader or local representative 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 contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the numbers below:

Intrepid local operator : Available for phone call on +30 697 800 6335 

Available for phone call or WhatsApp call on +66 89 810 3722

Accommodations

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on a different Intrepid trip than your own.

CHECK-IN TIME
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (subject to availability), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

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/