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Classic Thailand Tour

Well organized with good guides. Small groups and well paced and decent time for departure from one city to another.

Jagdev, Aug 2017

reviews proof

Classic Thailand OVERVIEW

TOUR SUMMARY

13 days

Bangkok to Bangkok

From

$3595 (p/p)

Country(ies): Thailand

Tour type: Private

Group size: Min: 1 | Max: Any

Accommodation: 4 to 5-star hotels, river camp & sleeper train

Meals:

Transport: AC minibus, train & flight

Highlights: Temples & palaces of Bangkok, bridge on the River Kwai, wildlife of Erawan National Park, Chiang Mai gateway to the north, Chiang Rai and the Golden Triangle

This tour itinerary for Thailand introduces you to many of the main sights in the North. We have designed a balanced itinerary to visit temples & important historical sites, view beautiful scenery & countryside, and learn about local life in the cities and remote border villages.

The tour begins in the busy and bustling city of Bangkok, with a tour of the Grand Palace, and an afternoon long-tail boat trip through the peaceful canals of Thonburi, in the west of the city. From Bangkok, we visit a cemetery and museums in Kanchanaburi, home of the bridge on the River Kwai and some beautiful countryside. Also included here is a train journey to the Hellfire pass, where the railway was gouged through the rock by thousands of prisoners of war.

Moving on from Kanchanaburi, our next stop is to tour the magnificent ruins at Ayutthaya, one of Thailand's former capitals. These mainly brick-built temples are spread out through parkland on a large island formed by the Chao Phraya & Lopburi Rivers, and formed the heart of one of the world's great cities.

We leave Ayutthaya on the overnight sleeper train, heading north for Chiang Mai, where we tour the hilltop temple of Doi Suthep on the outskirts of the city, enjoy a traditional evening Kantoke dinner, and have some free time to try a cooking course or more sightseeing. Also included is a day trip to tour the sacred Wat Phra That Lampan Luang temple complex at Lampang, which we combine with a stop at an ethically run Elephant Conservation centre.

Our final destination on the tour is Chiang Rai and the famous Golden Triangle, where Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet. We reach Chiang Rai by way of an exciting long-tail boat trip down the Mae Kok river, and include a day-trip to Yao and Akha hill-tribe villages, and the border town of Mae Sai as well as some free time to visit more sites or relax in the resort. The tour ends with a flight back to Bangkok.

This is a sample private tour itinerary and we can customise the daily itinerary, duration and accommodation levels and styles as much or as little as you wish.

ITINERARY

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Day 1 Arrive in Bangkok, transfer to hotel

Meet & greet at the airport and transfer to hotel.

OVERNIGHT:

Bangkok hotel

MEALS:

None

EXTRAS:

Extra day in Bangkok - pre-tour
Single room supplement (THTMCT)


Day 2 Grand Palace & city canal tours

A tour to visit the splendid Grand Palace complex and the Royal Temple of the Emerald Buddha where varied styles of Thai architecture are delicately woven together to enchant the viewer, see also the Coronation Hall. Afterwards transfer to the pier for an excursion by boat on canals of Bangkok's surprisingly rural western suburbs. Enjoy the natural scenery and observe the daily lives of the people who live along the canals.

OVERNIGHT:

Bangkok hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch

EXTRAS:

None


Day 3 Kanchanaburi & River Kwai tour

Depart Bangkok for the River Kwai with stops at the cemetery for Allied prisoners for war, JEATH Museum and the world renowned bridge over the River Kwai. Take a train journey on the Death Railway over the bridge and a spectacular wooden viaduct built by the POWs.

Afternoon excursion to Hell Fire Pass Memorial, the largest of 1000 meter series of passes hacked through the mountains by allied POWs building the Death Railway and so named for its flaming torch-lit appearance at night.

OVERNIGHT:

Kanchanaburi camp

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 4 Erawan National Park

Head to Erawan National Park to visit the spectacular Erawan Waterfall, considered by many to be the most beautiful in the country. This 1,500-metre cascade of water breaks into seven separate tiers, each with its own profusion of plant life. Deep, emerald-green pools await those energetic enough to take the well marked trail which goes all the way up to the sixth tier. The first tier is especially good for a swim after the 700-metre climb from the parking area.

OVERNIGHT:

Kanchanaburi camp

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 5 Ayutthaya temples tour

Depart Kanchanaburi for Ayutthaya, the former capital of Thailand (AD 1350-1767), the site of magnificent ruins and a World Heritage Site.

Transfer to hotel for fresh up and after that transfer to train station for overnight train to Chiang Mai (1st class air-con).

OVERNIGHT:

Sleeper train

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch

EXTRAS:

None


Day 6 Doi Suthep temple tour, Kantoke dinner

Arrive in Chiang Mai in the morning, transfer to hotel accommodation. A tour to visit the Temple of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, spectacularly situated on a mountaintop at an altitude of 3,520 feet. The temple's golden pagoda contains Buddha relics, and attracts Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world throughout the year. Its compound offers an exhilarating view of Chiang Mai city and surrounding countryside. Enjoy Kantoke dinner which is an important part of the northern people's culture and hospitality. The name derives from the individual tables set with a variety of northern dishes served in lacquer ware. During the dinner there will be a performance of traditional northern Thai and hill-tribe music and dancing.

OVERNIGHT:

Chiang Mai hotel

MEALS:

Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 7 Tour to Lampang & elephant centre

Depart Chiang Mai in the morning to Lampang, visit the Elephant Conservation Centre to see elephants bathing and demonstrating their skills at hauling lumber. Tour the facilities of the elephant hospital, to which sick and injured elephants are brought from all over the country and also see how young elephants are weaned from their dependence upon humans in preparation for releasing them into the wild. The centre also runs training courses for mahouts and participants can join in at the beginners' level and learn some of the basic techniques of elephant handling. Continue to Lampang city for lunch followed by a visit to one of the most sacred temples in the North, Wat Phrathat Lampang Luang, and the Burmese-style temples Wat Phra Kaew Dontao and Wat Sri Longmuang. Return to Chiang Mai in the evening.

OVERNIGHT:

Chiang Mai hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch

EXTRAS:

None


Day 8 Chiang Mai, free day

Free day in Chiang Mai to enjoy a temples tour, learn how to make Thai cuisine or experience a handcrafts tour.

OVERNIGHT:

Chiang Mai hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

None


Day 9 Chiang Rai, Mae Kok river boat trip

Proceed to Chiang Rai and then cruise down the Mae Kok River. Continue by road to to Chiang Rai and check in to hotel.

OVERNIGHT:

Chiang Rai hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

None


Day 10 Full day Golden Triangle tour

After breakfast visit the famous Golden Triangle, where Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet. Visit Yao and Akha hill-tribe villages and then continue to the border town of Mai Sai with a stop for lunch along the way. Located just across the Sai River from Myanmar, the town has a thriving market based on cross-border trade.

OVERNIGHT:

Chiang Rai hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

None


Day 11 Chiang Rai, free day

Free day to explore Chiang Rai and the surrounding area.

OVERNIGHT:

Chiang Rai hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

None


Day 12 Morning flight to Bangkok

Transfer to airport to airport for flight to Bangkok. Upon arrival transfer to hotel.

OVERNIGHT:

Bangkok hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

None


Day 13 Transfer to the airport for departure

Free time in Bangkok before transfer to airport for departure flight.

OVERNIGHT:

N/A

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Extra day in Bangkok - post-tour


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Included:
  • All Accommodation
  • All meals indicated in your itinerary
  • Airport transfers at the start and end of your trip
  • Site entrance fees for all tours detailed in your itinerary
  • Qualified tour guide to accompany you on all sightseeing
  • Private vehicles for all road journeys indicated
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material

Excluded:
  • International flights (can be arranged on request)
  • Thailand Tourist Visa
  • Departure taxes
  • Tips
  • Meals, drinks & snacks not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Any other items not mentioned in the itinerary

Gallery


Dates and Prices

Seasonal prices for this tour are given below. We can also customise the itinerary to fit your personal requirements. Please contact us for details and prices.

Start Date
End Date
Price (P/P)
Offer price
Note

29th of Nov 2020

30th of Apr 2021

$3735.00

-


Book this tour in less than 3 minutes!

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1st of May 2021

30th of Sep 2021

$3595.00

-


Book this tour in less than 3 minutes!

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1st of Oct 2021

23rd of Nov 2021

$3735.00

-


Book this tour in less than 3 minutes!

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Accommodation

The hotels and accommodations listed below are the ones we most often on this tour. From time to time we may exchange these for similar properties at the same level. In general, specific hotels cannot be guaranteed on our group tours, but you may select your preferred options if you are booking a tailor-made trip.

Urbana Langsuan Bangkok

Urbana Langsuan Bangkok

Bangkok


Located in the very heart of Bangkok, the Urbana Langsuan is just a short walk from the Central World Plaza and Lumpini Park.

Local rating

Our rating

 Urbana Langsuan Bangkok Urbana Langsuan Bangkok

The Urbana Langsuan offers a choice of Studios and Apartments in the heart of Bangkok. The hotel offers a good range of facilities from Tennis Courts to Massage and Spa Treatments. Rooms are fully equipped and also feature Satellite TV and DVD Players.

 

River Kwai Resotel

River Kwai Resotel

Kanchanaburi


The Resotel is a resort style property, set on the banks of the beautiful Kwai Noi River in beautiful Kanchanaburi.

Local rating

Our rating

 River Kwai Resotel River Kwai Resotel

Surrounded by mountains and tropical forests, the River Kwai Resotel offers guests the opportunity to stay in unique accommodation, beside the Kwai Noi River. Rooms here are beautifully furnished with Thai decor and feature a balcony, satellite TV, tea/coffee facilities. Whilst at the resort why not take advantage of the many facilities which include Herbal Thai Massage, a crafts village, a jungle-style restaurant and an on-site cocktail bar.

 

Sleeper Train

Sleeper Train

Bangkok


Thailand has one of the best metre-gauge rail systems in the world, and train travel is easily the best way to get around & see the country.

Local rating

Our rating

 Sleeper Train Sleeper Train

The sleeper trains in Thailand are of a good standard and are popular with tourists. Each carriage has its own steward who ensures the train is kept clean and tidy, and from whom meals and drinks can be ordered to your seat. There is also a separate restaurant car. Each carriage will sleep approximately 40 people. On either side of the carriage there are 2 seats facing each other, with a window and small table. In the evening, the steward will convert these seats into beds for you, with a pillow, sheets and a blanket as well as a curtain for privacy.

Duangtawan Hotel Chiang Mai

Duangtawan Hotel Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai


A centrally located hotel, in the heart of Chiang Mai. Just a 10 minute walk from the vibrant night bazaar.

Local rating

Our rating

 Duangtawan Hotel Chiang Mai Duangtawan Hotel Chiang Mai

The Duangtawan Hotel is located in the centre of the beautiful northern city of Chiang Mai, just a 10 minute walk from the bustling night market where you can experience real Thai cuisine and purchase souvenirs. The hotel has a fitness centre, huge swimming pool and a choice of restaurant options. Rooms are equipped with air-conditioning and oversized windows to make the most of the city views.

 

The Heritage Chiang Rai

The Heritage Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai


A high-end 5-star option in beautiful Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand.

Local rating

Our rating

 The Heritage Chiang Rai The Heritage Chiang Rai

A great option for those looking for high-end accommodation in Chiang Mai, the Heritage Hotel offers a great selection of facilities and stylish rooms, close to the city centre. Rooms are the hotel feature air-conditioning, satellite TV, Tea/Coffee facilities. All rooms offer a garden view.

 

Options

Our tours are designed to include all that you need to enjoy a really special time in the destination you‘re visiting. However, we do also offer some extra options to complement the tour and add some additional sightseeing or activities, or some extra time at either end of the tour.

All accommodation based options (e.g. Single supplements, extra nights, cruise upgrades) should be booked and paid for in advance so that we can make the appropriate arrangements. Other options may either be booked and paid for in advance or while you are on the tour, though we recommend booking in advance to ensure there are no issues with availability.

Many options are priced the same throughout the year, but some may incur single or high season supplements - full details are given on the tour reservation form or on request.

Extra day in Bangkok - pre-tour

Extra day in Bangkok - pre-tour

Min numbers: 1


This option adds an extra day to the start of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport arrival transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

*Price from
$95
per person/s

*Price based on 2 person/s

This option adds an extra day to the start of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport arrival transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

Note: Single room and peak season supplements apply.

Extra day in Bangkok - post-tour

Extra day in Bangkok - post-tour

Min numbers: 1


This option adds an extra day to the end of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport departure transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

*Price from
$95
per person/s

*Price based on 2 person/s

This option adds an extra day to the end of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport departure transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

Note: Single room and peak season supplements apply.

Single room supplement (THTMCT)

Single room supplement

Min numbers: 1


This option books a single room in all the accommodation throughout the tour. Room shares may be available but the supplement is payable if a room share cannot be arranged.

*Price from
$640
per person/s

*Price based on 1 person/s

This option books a single room in all the accommodation throughout the tour. If you are a single traveller and would be happy to share a room, let us know and we will see if we can pair you up with another single traveller of the same sex. If a room share is not available when you book then we will add the single room supplement to your booking and it will be payable with your balance payment unless we have arranged a room share for you by then. If a room share is arranged after you have paid the supplement then we will refund it to you. Room shares are arranged in order of booking.

Note: The price shown is a low season price. Slightly higher prices may apply during high and peak seasons - the exact price for your dates will be shown on the online booking form and is always available on request.

Tour Notes

The detailed Tour Notes below have been written to give you some more detailed information about how the tour runs, what to expect, and how to prepare for your holiday. We recommend downloading an up to date copy of these shortly before you travel in case of any changes.

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  1. Accommodation

We use good quality hotels rated at the Thai 4 and 5-star level on this tour, together with a river camp and sleeper train. Accommodation is based on twin, triple or double en-suite rooms with air conditioning. Please visit the accommodation tab of this tour for examples of the hotels normally used on this tour. If you have any specific accommodation requests please let us know and we'll be happy to provide you with a customised quotation.


  2. Transport

Our trips feature a mix of different transport options. We want you to feel like you're really experiencing the country you're travelling through, but at the same time we want you to finish journeys refreshed enough to enjoy the next stage of the tour. With this in mind we use public transport where we think it offers a good local experience & this may include 2nd class overnight sleeper trains, local buses and local ferries. We also use private transportation including jeeps, song- thaews or pickup trucks, and mini buses for sightseeing tours where required.

Sleeper trains:
The sleeper trains in Thailand are of a good standard and are popular with tourists. Each carriage has its own steward who ensures the train is kept clean and tidy, and from whom meals and drinks can be ordered to your seat. There is also a separate restaurant car. Each carriage will sleep approximately 40 people. On either side of the carriage there are 2 seats facing each other, with a window and small table. In the evening, the steward will convert these seats into beds for you, with a pillow, sheets and a blanket as well as a curtain for privacy.


  3. Transfers

The tour includes a 24-hour arrival and departure airport-hotel transfer service in Bangkok airport and all other transfers.


  4. Culture and Customs

Dress code
The Thai people consider dressing appropriately to be important and respectful, so please follow their example. This means covering up your swimwear while not on the beach or by the pool, and while shorts and T-shirts are fine, please try not to look scruffy. Remember to take your shoes off before entering local houses or any religious buildings.

Temple etiquette
When entering temples you should wear clothes that cover your knees and shoulders. Women may be asked to wear long skirts, not trousers, and shorts are not appropriate for either sex. You may wear a shawl to cover up and these are sometimes available to hire before entry. Again please take your shoes off before entering. 

Buddhist Culture
Thailand is a Buddhist country and Buddhism permeates nearly all aspects of society and culture, resulting in a country with different customs to much of the West. Rudeness and disrespect are frowned upon and you will be judged on your behaviour. Some tips for behaviour to avoid causing offence are; do not touch other people with your feet, point your feet at Buddhist statues or shrines (be careful of this when you sit), and don't touch the head of someone you don't know well. Public displays of affection are frowned upon, so save these until you are in private. You'll find being polite using a few Thai words will really pay dividends (thank you is Kawp Khun Kaa if you are female, and Kawp Khun Kraap if you are male. Your tour guide will provide more information and advice while you are on the tour; please don't hesitate to ask them any questions or for advice.

The Royal Family
The Thai people have huge respect for their Royal Family and this is enshrined in many laws as well. You should bear this in mind when speaking to Thai people and in simple things like remembering that Thai paper money has the King's face on and should therefore be treated carefully.

Drugs and Alcohol
Drugs are illegal in Thailand and heavy penalties including very large fines and jail time can be imposed. Don't think that because you are a tourist you are exempt or will be treated differently. Drinking is legal and you should not worry about having a few beers or cocktails while on tour. However remember to be respectful to your surroundings, fellow group members and the local population.


  5. International Flights

We want to give you as much flexibility as possible when it comes to booking your holiday with us. So, to take account of people with varying travel plans, we don’t include your international flights in the main tour price. We are however very happy to suggest flights to go with the tour. Please contact us with your preferred dates and departure airport and we’ll give you a selection of airlines, times and fares to choose from.

Your airport arrival & departure transfers are included on the first and last days of the tour.

Most of our Thailand tours start and finish in Bangkok, and include an arrival and departure airport transfer from/to Bangkok international airport (BKK). However, some tours also finish on one of Thailand's islands. Transfers back to Bangkok or to one of the nearby island airports can be arranged on request.

  6. Group Size/Tour Leaders/Guides

As we don't offer guaranteed group departures on this tour we can run the itinerary for however many people you happen to be travelling with, starting from 1 upwards. The prices given for this tour are based on a minimum of 2 passengers travelling, so if you have a different number of passengers in your group please contact us for a customised quotation.

In Thailand we provide fully trained, local English-speaking guides for all of the sightseeing tours. At Encounters Travel we only use local guides and reps. We feel this gives you the best experience of the country and the sites you are seeing. Please check our website for more details and profiles of some of our most famous guides.


  7. Entrance Fees

The tour price includes entrance fees to all the tourist sites mentioned in the itinerary.  You will need to cover the cost of entrance to any other extra sites that you may wish to visit.


  8. Tipping

Tipping is not part of Thai culture but has become customary but not compulsory in the tourist and service industry. Tipping is always optional, and any amounts paid should reflect excellent service. You may therefore wish to tip your guide and driver at the end of the tour.  You should not feel obliged to tip any particular amount, and should consider your personal budget. We are often asked to provide a guide however, and can suggest that approx. GBP 5 / USD 8 per person per day would be appropriate.


  9. Health and Vaccinations

You should ensure you are fully insured for medical emergencies including emergency evacuation and repatriation.

Recommended vaccinations and other health protection measures vary according to the country you are visiting and where you are travelling from. We recommend you contact your GP/medical practitioner or a travel clinic for current information on vaccinations needed for your destination. You should ensure that you are up to date with vaccines and boosters recommended for your normal life at home, including for example, vaccines required for occupational risk of exposure, lifestyle risks and underlying medical conditions. In addition, additional courses or boosters normally recommended for the countries in this region are:

Thailand: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Tetanus. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted through an infected area.
Vietnam: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from an infected area.
Cambodia: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted through an infected area.
Laos: Additional vaccinations: Diptheria, Poliomyelitis, Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from an infected area.

The above information can change at short notice. For up to date health information & vaccination requirements we recommend that you contact your medical practitioner or a travel clinic.

Malaria: Vaccinations are not available against Malaria, which is a disease transmitted by mosquitoes that can be very serious and sometimes fatal. You should avoid mosquito bites by covering up bare skin with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers and applying insect repellents to exposed skin. When necessary, sleep under a mosquito net. Mosquitoes are most active during and after sunset. You should consult with your GP/medical practitioner/travel clinic about the most appropriate malaria prophylactic medication to take for the regions you are visiting.

Yellow Fever: This disease is spread by infected mosquitoes that bite during the day. A Yellow Fever Certificate of vacinnation may be required as a condition of entry depending on which country you are arriving from, or that you have travelled or transitted through recently (including connecting flights with stopovers of over 12 hours). You can view a World Health Organisation map of areas where the virus is present in monkeys and therefore a potential risk to humans. Please ensure you have this certificate with you and to hand if necessary.

Please inform us of any pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or asthma and any prescription medicine you may be taking. We also need to know about any food allergies or physical disabilities that you may have.


  10. Passports and Visas - Thailand

Passports should be valid for at least six months after your departure from the country. Please do not bring an almost full or almost expired passport. Visa arrangements are the responsibility of the traveller, and requirements are subject to change by the local authorities.

Most foreign nationals (including UK, EU, USA, CA, AU, NZ, SA) are granted a visa exemption on arrival for stays in the country of up to 30 days. If you are looking to spend longer in Thailand then you will need to leave the country and re-enter to extend your stay. We strongly recommend arranging your visa in advance if you would like to stay longer than 30 days in Thailand.


  11. Time
The time in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos is GMT plus 7 hours. Daylight saving adjustments are not observed.

  12. Voltage
Sockets are two round or flat pronged and 220 volts (Type A, B, C). Universal adaptors are available in most airport shops if you don't have one already. Standard European adapters will work fine, though sometimes they may feel a little loose in the sockets. All hotel rooms have electrical sockets where you can re-charge cameras, phones etc. Hair dryers are normally available on request from the hotel reception if not in your room already.
If you have US appliances (110 volts) you will need a voltage converter as well as a plug adapter.

  13. What to take
Luggage: Suitcases, rucksacks or fabric holdalls are all fine to bring with you to Thailand, though if your itinerary has many stops and different travel included within it, we recommend packing light and not bring any large cases. You should also bring a small daypack/bag to take out during the day. Your main luggage will normally be left in the hotel during your sightseeing trips – you will not need to carry it far, and there are nearly always hotel porters to assist.

Luggage limits: There is no luggage limit for this tour. However, most airlines restrict you to between 20kg and 25kg for your hold luggage and between 5kg and 10kg for hand luggage. Please check with your airline before travelling to the airport.

Climate and Clothing: There are three reasonably well-defined seasons in Thailand, but unlike in Europe, where seasons are temperature based, Thailand is tropical and generally speaking warm all year round. Rains from the monsoon are the marker of seasons and the rainy season is from June to October. Pre-monsoon is from March to May, when the weather becomes progressively hotter. Post monsoon is from November to February when the weather is cooler. The range of temperature is more marked in the north where pre-monsoon can be very hot, though the heat is much drier than in the south. Winter in the north can feel cool, particularly in the mountains. Take light clothes with something warmer for the winter nights if you are travelling to the north. Some light raingear would be useful in the wet season.

Other items: We recommend you also bring:

  • Cool footwear (sandals are ideal). If you are interested in exploring the reefs, a pair of reef shoes is recommended to avoid injuries. If you are trekking, then bring comfortable and sturdy walking shoes or light walking boots.
  • Swimming costumes – rash-guards/t-shirts are recommended for snorkelling to avoid sunburn.
  • Sunscreens, after sun lotions and personal hygiene products – Please adhere to 100ml restrictions for anything you wish to carry on hand-luggage on flights.
  • Prescription medications (if required) – please bring supporting documents.
  • Power adapter for phones, laptops etc
  • Sunglasses and hats
  • Basic first aid kit and toiletries
  • Money belt
  • Small torch
  • Dive certification card and log book if you intend to participate in SCUBA diving.
  • Sleeping bag if your tour includes any hill-tribe or village trekking

  14. Dates & Prices

This tour is designed as a sample tailor-made tour itinerary. As such we do not offer set group departure dates that you can join. Rather, the tour is available for you to do privately starting on any date of the year. Guideline seasonal prices are given below, based on 2 people travelling. If you would like to adjust the tour itinerary, or there will be more or less people travelling, please contact us and we will customise a price for you.
For many people planning a trip to Thailand, the weather will be a determining factor in choosing when to travel. In general there isn't really a 'bad' time to visit Thailand as you'll normally experience a mix of sunshine and rainy days at most times of the year. The high season for travel in Thailand is between November and February when the weather is generally at its best throughout much of the country. In Northern Thailand the dry season is from November to May and then June to October generally experiences heavy rainfall. Please speak with our reservations team who will be happy to help you in selecting an appropriate time for your tour.


  15. Booking & Payment

If you would like to book a place on this tour, please complete the online reservation form on our website (via the Dates & Prices tab on the tour page). You may make a deposit or full payment online, or just hold a reservation if you prefer (full payments are due 8 weeks before departure). We will then contact you with more details about how to complete your booking. Payments may be made by debit or credit card (subject to a card processing fee), or by making a bank transfer, or posting us a cheque/bank draft. Full details will be provided in your booking confirmation email. Please contact us if you would like any more information or have any questions before making a booking.


  16. Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our tours and needs to cover personal accident & liability, medical expenses and repatriation, travel delay & abandonment. We also strongly recommend that you take out cover against cancellation and lost/stolen baggage. Personal medical insurance does not normally provide sufficient cover and is generally not suitable for travel on our tours. You will not be able to join your tour if you have not provided us with details of your insurance or if you arrive without cover in place (no refunds will be due in this event). More information...

You may arrange your own insurance, or you can take advantage of a comprehensive policy that we can arrange for you through Endsleigh Insurance which has been designed to be suitable for our tours. The policy is available to travellers of all nationalities and you do not need to live in the UK  to take out the policy. For full details of cover provided, prices and to apply for one of our policies, please complete travel insurance application form.
Note: Any country that borders the Mediterranean is considered as 'Europe' for the purposes of travel insurance (including Turkey, Israel, Egypt and Morocco). If you are doing a tour that visits one country in 'Europe' and one that is 'Worldwide' (for example, an Egypt and Jordan tour), then you need a 'Worldwide' policy. When completing the form you should enter your travel dates including any extra days involved in overnight flights or connecting travel between your home and the tour. Our policies are not able to cover any extra time or activities other than your tour and options booked with us and your travel to & from home.

Note - to comply with insurance sales regulations, our travel insurance policies are only available to customers booking directly with us. If you have booked through a travel agent you will need to arrange your own insurance.

If you plan to arrange a hot air balloon flight locally, or do some scuba diving during your tour, you should check the small print in your policy to make sure these are covered (these are covered in our policy). Please also check the maximum altitude that you will be reaching and that full cover including emergency evacuation is provided up to this altitude.

If you are taking expensive camera gear or other electronic equipment with you then please check the coverage and the fine print of your policy to ensure that you have sufficient cover.

IMPORTANT:  We must have your travel insurance details (policy number and type of insurance) before you depart or you may not be allowed to join the tour.  If you haven't told us already, please let us know the details when you can. You should take a paper copy of your insurance policy with you as you may be asked to show this at the start of the tour.


  17. Financial Security

We are a UK registered company and an ABTA Member (Y4447) and you can be confident when booking with us that your money is safe and protected.
Financial failure insurance is also provided through Affirma to protect all customers for the land portion of your tour.
Please see our website or booking conditions for more information.


  18. Responsible Tourism

It is impossible not to have an impact on the local environment, cultures and eco-systems when you travel. However, it is very possible to try and ensure that these impacts are as limited, or positive as possible. We are committed to ensuring that we try to leave our host countries in a better state than we found them and encourage and assist our travellers to help us with this.
The following are a few simple tips that require very little effort on your part but which will help ensure that any effect you have on the locations you visit is positive rather than negative.

  • Don't prejudge: Things in different countries will almost certainly be different. That doesn't make them worse or inferior, just different.
  • Communicate: Don't expect locals to speak your language. Take the trouble to learn a few words or phrases of the local language. Don't worry about sounding silly. Most locals are patient and accommodating and appreciate you making the effort to communicate in their language.
  • Conserve energy: Be careful not to waste valuable resources. Use local resources sparingly. Switch off lights, air-conditioning and fans when you leave the hotel room and don't waste water. Remove superfluous packaging. Many countries have far less efficient waste disposal systems than ours. Remove packaging from newly acquired items before leaving home.
  • Don't litter: No matter how untidy or dirty the country you're travelling in may look to you, avoid littering, as there is no need to add to the environment's stress. Many of the countries we visit have a tough challenge dealing with rubbish and waste. Please consider taking home as much plastic waste as you can (e.g. water bottles).
  • Choose environmentally friendly products: By using environmentally friendly (bio degradable) sun creams, shampoos and detergents you can help reduce pollution.
  • Respect local customs and traditions: As you are a guest in these countries, you should also comply with the local customs. If you are friendly and well mannered, the locals will reciprocate and it will only enhance your experience. It's important to follow dress and behaviour guidelines especially when visiting religious or sacred sites (your tour leader will advise you how best to do this).
  • If a client commits an illegal act the client may be excluded from the tour and Encounters Travel shall cease to have responsibility to/for them. No refund will be given for any unused services.

All porters are employed and equipped following guidelines set by the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG).


  19. Follow Us Online

You can stay in touch with us online by following us on Facebook and Twitter. We post updates on relevant travel news in our destination countries, special offers and discounts and other interesting travel related news and information.
www.facebook.com/encounterstravel
www.twitter.com/encounterstravl (yes, without the 'e')


  20. Before you travel

It is important when considering and preparing to travel anywhere in the world that you have a good understanding of the country you are visiting, its laws and customs, and the possible risks and situations that may occur. This includes specific risks related to your itinerary (eg. does it involve water & can you swim, are you fit enough for the activities included), as well as more general risks such as terrorism and natural disasters.

General details and links to more information about health risks, visa requirements, money, and travel insurance are given in these tour notes. We recommend that you re-read all these before your departure as well as the small print of your travel insurance policy so you know exactly what is covered and what is not.

You should take copies of your important travel documents with you and ideally also store them online securely as a backup. Make sure that you have given us your emergency contact details and told that person where and when you are travelling. Ensure you take enough money with you and that you have access to emergency funds.

Finally, you should read through and stay updated with the current official government travel advice for your destination. We are registered partners with the UK Foreign Office's 'Travel Aware' campaign which provides further useful and invaluable information.

'Travel Aware' campaign


  21. Money

The currency in Thailand is the Thai Baht (THB). You do not need to arrange to bring any Thai Baht with you to Thailand, as change facilities are readily available in the airport, hotels and banks. We recommend that you consider bringing both credit cards and some cash in a hard currency (e.g. GB Pounds, Euros, US Dollars).

ATMs are readily available in the arrivals hall of Bangkok airport and in most major towns. Many local shops in larger towns and resorts will accept VISA/Mastercard or Amex, but may charge fees of up to 10% - check before you pay. Travellers cheques are not recommended as they can not be changed in many places now, and can incur high fees.

For security we recommend that you use the safety deposit box in your hotel room or at the hotel reception if available. You should also be careful of pickpockets in crowded places, especially places like Khao San Road in Bangkok.

While in Thailand you will need sufficient funds to cover meals not included in the itinerary, drinks, snacks, souvenirs and personal expenses such as laundry. Check the Included/Excluded notes below the tour itinerary for more guidance. These should generally all be paid for in Thai Baht.

It is difficult to recommend a level of personal spending money which will suit everyone as this can differ greatly, but as a guideline, we would suggest allowing USD 15-25 per person per day as a minimum. Allow more if you plan on doing lots of shopping, or buying many alcoholic drinks.

Reviews

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Posted 22nd of Nov 2017

Loved, loved, loved this tour. Everything was top notch. The accommodations, the sights, the people.