Preparing for your trip

Package: Treasures of Thailand & Songkran Festival, 2019-20

Print this page and refer to it as you prepare for your trip!

Printed 11/17/2019. Please visit https://www.friendlyplanet.com/before-you-go/?tourId=1273 for the latest updates.

Checklist

Item Due
Ensure you have a current passport valid for at least six months after your return date. Immediately
Complete your registration. You'll receive a link to the registration form after you complete your booking. Within 24 hours of booking
Request any additions or changes you may still want to make to your trip. (Fees and/or additional charges may apply.) 75 days prior to travel
Make your final payment, if any balance is due.
75 days prior to travel
Obtain required travel visas and review any requirements for entry. See below
Print your itinerary and other final documents, which we will send you via email by 14 days prior to travel. Prior to travel
Print your policy documents, if you purchased travel insurance, and carry them with you. Prior to travel
Enroll in The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), if you're a U.S. citizen or national, so the State Dept. can locate and assist you in case of an emergency. Prior to travel

In addition, if you booked flights with your package:

Item Due
Book connecting flights to your departure city, if necessary. (Please confirm your international flight schedule first!) 75 days prior to travel
Make advance seat reservations for your international flight, if you have a preference. After receiving your e‑tickets
Confirm your flight times and any special meal requests with the airline, and print and carry a copy of your e-ticket. 72 hours prior to travel
Check in for your flights online and download/print your boarding passes (if available). 24 hours prior to travel
Arrive at the airport, ready for the trip of a lifetime! 3½ hours prior to departure

Documents

Visa Required

U.S. citizens must have a visa for entry into Cambodia. Cambodia visas will be granted upon arrival. See below for more information.

Passport, Visa & Entry Requirements for Cambodia

U.S. citizens must have a passport which is valid for at least six months after your return date. U.S. passport holders must have a visa to enter Cambodia, which will be issued upon arrival. You must bring two passport-size photos and $30 (exact change, U.S. dollars only) visa fee with you. Consult the Cambodia Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the U.S. Dept. of State website for more information.

If you do not hold a U.S. passport, please see the entry requirements.

Passport, Visa & Entry Requirements for Thailand

U.S. citizens must have a passport which is valid for at least six months after your arrival date.

U.S. passport holders do not need a visa to enter Thailand for tourist stays up to 30 days. For extended stays, a visa is required prior to arrival, which can be obtained from the Thai Embassy, a consulate or a fee-based visa service, such as our preferred provider, VisaHQ. See the U.S. Dept. of State website for more information.

If you do not hold a U.S. passport, please see the entry requirements.

General Requirements & Guidelines

  • We provide visa & entry requirement information for the convenience of our travelers, and we try to keep it up-to-date. Ultimately, however, it is your responsibility to determine the passport and visa requirements that apply to you and to comply with them, including securing proper travel documents by the required deadlines and carrying them with you. Requirements are subject to change, sometimes without notice, and we suggest you verify them with the relevant embassy or consulate, the U.S. State Dept (if you're a U.S. passport holder), and/or with an expedited visa service such as VisaHQ. Airlines and cruise ships may deny boarding, your trip may be disrupted, and travel insurance may not cover your losses if your passport and visa are not in order.
  • To travel abroad, U.S. citizens must have a passport. In general, it should be valid for at least six months after your return date, and passports expiring before then should be renewed as soon as possible. We recommend that passports contain at least 2 blank pages for each country visited. If your passport does not have this many pages, you should obtain a new passport as soon as possible.
  • Any changes in names or passport information should be reported to us immediately. Airlines and cruise ships may deny boarding if the name on your passport does not match your tickets.
  • Minors (age 17 or younger) departing and/or returning to the U.S. without parents or with only one parent may be required by U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) to present a notarized parental consent letter and/or unabridged birth certificate (more information). Many other countries have similar entry requirements, especially for minors traveling with a parent/guardian with a different surname; check with the consulates of all countries you'll be visiting to learn more.

Final Documents

Your final travel documents will be sent to you via email by 14 days prior to departure. These will include your daily itinerary, hotel and emergency contact information, and other relevant information. Please print your documents and take them with you. If you're departing in less than a week and haven't received your documents, let us know immediately!

Travel Insurance Documents

If you purchased travel insurance, please print your policy documents. If you purchased our protection plan, you can find a link to the full policy on our travel protection page. Carry this document with you when you travel, as it includes contact information for emergency travel assistance and instructions on how to make a claim.

Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)

We encourage all U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This free service allows you to receive important updates about safety and security issues in your destination, and makes it easier for the U.S. Embassy, as well as family & friends, to contact you in case of an emergency. To enroll or get more information, please visit the STEP website or any U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Flights, Transfers & Arrival

Questions about your flights before you depart? Read the information below first. If you still have questions, contact our air specialists at 800-555-5765 ext. 2 or air@friendlyplanet.com.

Land Only: If you purchased this package without flights, you are responsible for booking your own flights in and out of Bangkok. After you book your flights, please send us a copy of your flight arrangements for our records.

For land-only travelers, the touring program will begin at the hotel in Bangkok on Day 3 of the listed itinerary, and end at the hotel in Bangkok on Day 12. If taking the optional Angkor Wat and/or Phuket extensions, the touring program ends at the airport in Bangkok on Day 15 (or Day 18 if taking both extensions). Flights should not depart earlier than 5:00pm. Generally, hotel check-in time is 3pm and check-out time is 11am.

Flights & tickets: If you selected flights with your package, we generally book your flights and issue tickets within 1–3 business days of your booking. However, flights cannot be booked more than 300 days prior to travel. If you are departing more than 300 days in the future, we'll book your flights once they become available. If you requested flights from another city, our air specialists will research the best options and send you a tentative flight schedule and quote for your approval.

Once we have issued your tickets, we'll send you an "e-ticket receipt" which contains all of your flight information, including times, carriers, an airline booking reference number, and an e-ticket number. If you have not received this, or have questions about the flights we booked for you, please contact our air department. You will not receive paper tickets. We recommend you print and carry a copy of your flight details, including the airline booking reference number and e-ticket number, as some airports require this to enter the terminal. You do not need to reconfirm your flights with the airline prior to your departure, as we will handle this for you.

Want to reserve specific seats?

That depends on the airline. You can usually request a window or aisle seat, and sometimes specific seat numbers (but not exit row and bulkhead seats) ahead of time. Many airlines now charge a fee for this, and such fees are not included in your package price. If you have a seat preference, let us know when you book, in the special requests section, or email us at air@friendlyplanet.com after you book. Then:

If your airline does not charge a fee to pre-assign seats: We'll happily pass along your seat request to the airline and confirm they received it (though we cannot guarantee it will be honored).

If your airline does charge a fee to pre-assign seats: We'll let you know. You'll need to contact the airline directly to request your seats after we have issued your flight tickets, and fees are payable directly to the airline.

If you do not request specific seats: The airline typically assigns them within 24 hours of departure. If you do not like your assigned seats, you may be able to change them, subject to availability, when you check in online or at the counter. Learn more about Advance Seat Reservations.

Want to request a special meal?

You can enter special meal requests when you book with an agent or complete your online registration, shortly after booking. We will relay your requests to the airlines and our representatives abroad, but we cannot guarantee they will be honored. Please double check meal requests with your airline 72 hours before departure, and with our representatives upon arrival.

Looking to earn frequent flyer miles?

You may be able to earn frequent flyer points for your flights on this package. Contact the airline directly once you receive your tickets to enter your frequent flyer number in your flight record, or enter it when you check in. As you travel, check your tickets or ask the check-in or gate agent prior to boarding each flight to ensure the number has been entered properly. And just to be safe, keep your boarding passes and passenger receipt as proof that you have actually flown the miles you want credited to your account.

Interested in upgrading to business class or premium economy?

Cabin upgrades may be available on this package. Ask us about price and availability when you book online, in the special requests section. Please note that our special contracted airfare rates generally do not permit upgrading with frequent flyer points, and that upgrade requests may incur change fees if tickets have already been issued.

Flight Schedule

If you selected flights with your package, you may review the sample flight schedule(s) below. This information is for general planning puposes. You will receive your your actual flight schedule and details by email once we issue your tickets.

Airlines may change schedules at any time, even after flights have been confirmed, and we are not responsible for such changes. Please confirm your flight schedule prior to booking any connecting flights and again 72 hours prior to departure.

China Airlines Toll-Free Number is 800-227-5118. 

Sample Flight Schedule from Los Angeles (LAX)

You must arrive at LAX by 9:00 PM, or 3 hours prior, on the day of your departure to check in for your flight departing after midnight at 12:05 AM. You will arrive 1 day later. See sample schedule below.

DEPARTURE
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
CI 007 Los Angeles (LAX) Taipei (TPE) 12:05 AM 5:00 AM (1 day later) 13.55 hrs
CI 833 TPE Bangkok (BKK) 7:20 AM 10:00 AM 3.40 hrs
RETURN
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
CI 836 Bangkok (BKK) Taipei (TPE) 5:30 PM 10:10 PM 3.40 hrs
CI 008 TPE LAX 11:50 PM 8:50 PM 12.00 hrs

 

Connecting Flights

If you plan to purchase connecting flights to your departure city, we strongly suggest waiting until 75 days prior to departure (and after you make your final payment) to ensure materialization and to reduce the chances that your international flight times might change—since airlines sometimes change schedules even after flights have been booked. Before purchasing connecting flights, always confirm the times for your international flights first. Leave at least 3½ hours connecting time between flights, and if you're traveling within a few weeks of Daylight Savings Time changes (in March and November, when flight schedules may change even more dramatically), allow 5–5½ hours between flights. Nobody likes waiting around the airport, but missing your flight is far worse!

Airport Transfers

If you purchased this package with flights, scheduled group airport transfers at the destination are included. When you exit customs, please look for our representative holding a Friendly Planet sign, who will cheerfully escort you to your transfer vehicle and assist with your luggage.

If you purchased this package without flights, transfers are generally not included. In most cases, private transfers are available for an additional fee; contact us for price and availability. Or you may instead arrange your own ground transportation to the touring program start and end points, usually the first and last hotels listed in the itinerary.

Arrival Complications

We make every effort to ensure our tours run smoothly and trouble-free. We don't expect any problems, and nor should you. But when things don't go as planned, here's what to do:

  • You miss your flights, or your flights are cancelled: Please call us immediately. If it's outside our normal business hours, leave a message in our emergency mailbox, with a phone number at which to reach you, and we'll get right back to you.
  • Your flights are delayed and you're worried about missing your included transfers: Please contact us to let us know about the delay, and we will notify our partners in destination. If you are arriving on one of our group flights, or booked your own flights and supplied us with the details, our partners will be tracking your arrival and will plan accordingly.
  • Your package includes transfers, but you can't find our representative at your destination: Don't panic—they may have been unexpectedly delayed. Wait up to 30 minutes. Then contact our local partners in destination, listed on the emergency contact page of your final documents. If you can't reach them, call us. If it's outside our normal business hours, leave a message in our emergency mailbox. If all else fails, make your own way to the starting hotel (or cruise port), and we'll refund you the cost of your transfer.

Packing & Luggage

Baggage allowance: In general, our tours & packages allow per person: one checked bag, not to exceed 44 pounds; one personal item such as a purse or camera bag; and one carry-on bag, which should fit under your seat or in the overhead compartment. If your trip includes domestic flights within your destination and/or travel by motor coach, your carry-on should also fit should also fit under your seat or in the overhead bins on those flights or coaches.

Learn more about Baggage Allowances on your international flights. Note that our baggage allowances may be less than those for your international flights. If you exceed the baggage limits, you may be subject to excess baggage charges levied by the airlines and/or by Friendly Planet.

Regardless of the limits—we recommend a smaller size and weight for both your checked and carry-on bags. It's so much easier and faster for you to get around when you have fewer, lighter bags! For your carry-on, consider a soft-sided bag such as a duffel rather than a hard clamshell-type case, which may not fit as easily into overhead compartments or under your seat, especially on buses. For your protection, we suggest your checked luggage have a TSA-approved lock.

Luggage tags: We will mail you Friendly Planet luggage tags with your invoice. Fill in the luggage tags with your name and contact information and attach to each bag, including carry-ons and camera cases, so that your luggage can be identified should it get misplaced during your trip. However, we are not responsible for lost or damaged luggage.

What to pack: Check out our blog post on our Top 10 Must-Haves for International Travel. Pack smart: put your travel documents, medications, one change of clothing, and other essentials in your carry-on, in case your checked baggage is misplaced. And pack light, for your own comfort and convenience. For clothing, we suggest packing a variety of separates with climate and comfort in mind.

What not to pack: U.S. law forbids you to carry hazardous materials aboard aircraft in your checked or carry-on baggage or on your person, including explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids & solids, loaded firearms, poisons, corrosives and radioactive materials. Common examples include paints, lighter fluid, fireworks, mace/tear gas and oxygen bottles. Restricted materials may vary by airline and destination. Some items, in quantities of no more than 70 ounces total, may be carried within baggage, including medicinal or toilet articles such as hairspray, perfume and certain medicines that are necessary during your journey. Please check with the airline and/or visit the FAA website prior to travel if you have any questions.

While on Tour

What to Expect

This moderately-paced, escorted Thailand tour includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness.

Please remember that you are traveling as part of a group, and your personal cooperation to be on time for group activities will make the trip better for everyone. Also, please note that smoking is not permitted on our tour buses. 

In General: Kindly exercise caution and sensitivity to the local customs, as many activities may be conducted differently from our own country. You will find that a polite, gentle approach and a friendly, positive demeanor will help you achieve the best results as you travel in Thailand. Many people speak English, but it is best to reconfirm with your guide, the hotel clerk, the waiter or any other service providers that what you have asked for or said has been understood. Remember that you are visiting a country where rules and regulations are taken very seriously. It is easy to get into trouble by not stopping to think before acting.  Exercise caution, and check with your guide before you do anything that might create a problem or spoil your trip.

While we have made every effort to secure comfortable accommodations, transportation, restaurants, etc. we ask you to keep in mind that occasionally, the standards you encounter may be different from those you are used to at home. This is primarily due to the fact that the tourism infrastructure, while extensive, is still in the development stages, and therefore somewhat limited in certain areas. For example, on touring days you may encounter some delays due to the tremendous congestion and traffic in and around the city. Some days may require considerable driving distance, but there will be rest stops along the way. Your patience and understanding are appreciated, and if you are uncomfortable or unsatisfied at any point, please let your guide or tour director know and they will address it immediately. 

Water & Produce: As noted below in the accommodations section, the water in your hotel (from the tap) is not potable. Even if the hotel posts a sign that it is safe to drink tap water, please do not drink it. Make sure to only drink water and other beverages from sealed bottles or cans. The rule for water also pertains to ice, as it is commonly made from unfiltered, tap water. At included meals, you may enjoy the cooked fruits and vegetables, but stay away from raw items unless you can peel them. Most of our intestinal systems are not accustomed to the micro-organisms in the raw foods and water of other countries. Please do not hesitate to enjoy some of the very fine restaurants in the locations you will be traveling. There will be many, and if you exercise caution, you will avoid getting sick.  

The Songkran Festival is officially observed between in April as a three-day national holiday. Also known as the water festival, Songkran celebrates water as a ritual of washing away the negativity and misfortunes from the previous year and welcoming the new year with a fresh start. As a national holiday, most office buildings, markets, banks, as well as family-run shops and restaurants, will remain closed to celebrate the Songkran Festival. Kindly please wear comfortable clothing that may become messy or soaked, as many citizens will be throwing water or using toy water guns. Also, please exercise caution with your electronic gadgets, as the water may compromise your smart phones, cameras, and other electronics. We recommend bringing plastic zip lock bags to store your gadgets and electronics during the festival to keep them from getting wet.

 

Remember that you're a guest in someone else's homeland, and that you're traveling to experience their country and culture. Be sensitive to local customs and manners, as many things may be done differently than what you're used to. And while we have made every effort to secure modern and comfortable accommodations and transportation, please note that the standards in other countries may be different from those you are accustomed to at home. Overall, you will find a polite, positive, patient, and open-minded approach generally yields the best travel experience!

Please keep in mind that you'll be traveling with a group. Sharing your explorations with like-minded folks can often be a source of joy, and some of our travelers become lifelong friends. But traveling with strangers can also sometimes be challenging, especially in a foreign country. We ask that you be patient and respectful with your fellow travelers, including their needs and preferences. Also remember that you have responsibilities to the group—please be prompt for group activities so you don't keep everyone else waiting. Lastly, please defer to your tour leader, guide or manager. They are there for your safety and wellbeing, and to ensure the journey goes smoothly for everyone. If you have a problem with one of our tour guides or managers, please let us know, either while you're on tour or after you return, and we'll make sure your concerns are addressed.

Accommodations

Our hotels are all Western-style, and your room will, of course, have a private bathroom. The water in the hotel tap system is usually not potable. Hotels will normally provide bottled or thermos water, which has been boiled. However, any water that you consume from the hotel mini-bar will be charged to your room, and you will be responsible for payment. Electrical current is 220v with 50 cycles. Wall sockets will vary. Take a travel converter/adapter kit with you, as these are not readily available.

Eating & Drinking

The meals included with your package are listed in the itinerary.

Welcome & Farewell Dinners: We have arranged for a welcome & farewell dinner with a set menu at a local restaurant. Any additional drinks or specialty drinks or menu specials, will have to be paid and settled locally. Your guide will accompany you during these dinners to assist with translating the menus.

Non-Included Meals: Your hotels while on tour will have several dining choices, from coffee shops to specialty restaurants. Average cost for dinner (not including drinks) in the coffee shops will average about $15 - $25 per person, per meal. Your hotels accept credit card payments for not-included meals. Ask your guide or hotel concierge for restaurant recommendations for non-included meals if you wish to explore food choices outside of your hotel.

Please see above for special meal requests.

Tipping

You will be traveling through Thailand in the company of a professional National Guide and driver who are very committed to making your tour the dream vacation you are counting on. These people feel great pride in being given a chance to show foreign visitors their country. If your guide, driver and others with whom you are traveling are doing a good job, please take our suggestions for tipping seriously. Naturally, tipping is personal and completely voluntary, and if you have not received good service, your tip should reflect this fact. (You should also let us know without delay.) But just as you would never think of having dinner at a restaurant without leaving an appropriate tip, you should apply the same thinking to tipping as you travel.

A small gratuity to your guides and drivers will be greatly appreciated by them. It is customary to collect group tips and distribute them among the guides in each city.  The recommended amount is $5-$7 per person per day for the Thailand tour guide, $3 per person per day for the local guide (if applicable) and $2 per person per day for your driver. It is also customary to tip the hotel staff. Our recommended amount is $1 per person per day for housekeeping. The same amount is recommended for restaurant staff. While airport porterage of 1 suitcase per person is included, hotel porterage is not. We recommend a $1 per suitcase to the bellman who brings your suitcase to the room. As always, gratuities are an individual expression of thanks and should be based on the level of service provided.

Optional Excursions

To enhance and make your visit to Thailand more complete and memorable, your local guide will offer optional tours and cultural/dining evening activities. Additional tours will be available locally. Payments for these tours should be made directly to your guide. Rates quoted below are in US dollars and may be subject to a minimum number of passengers. Acceptable forms of payment are cash (in local currency) and major credit cards. Please note, credit card payments may be subject to a 3.5% card surcharge. These tours can only be purchased locally.

Independent Activities

You can leave the group and explore on your own at any time; however, should the group have planned activities for that day, please make sure to inform your Tour Escort, National Guide and/or Local Guide in advance. There is no refund for unused group arrangements. We recommend that you ask the front desk for a business card of the hotel with the address and local phone number in the local language and English. Or take the name of the hotel and phone number—written in Thai and English—with you so that you can communicate with taxi drivers. Your hotel staff will gladly assist you with these translations.

Special Needs & Requests

Please see above for special meal requests and seat requests. If you have any other special requests, including wheelchair or electric cart assistance, please mention your request when you book with an agent, or in the special requests section when you book online. We will do our best to accommodate them!

Country FAQs

Fast Facts about Cambodia

Overview

Capital: Phnom Penh
Population:  90.5 million
Currency: Cambodian riel (KHR)
Languages:  Khmer
Drives on the: Right
Time zone: GMT +7

Health Precautions & Vaccinations

There are no health requirements for entering Cambodia, however, it is highly recommended that you ask you doctor about obtaining malaria suppressants and possible vaccinations for hepatitis and typhoid. Polio is also present in Cambodia. Bring along plenty of insect repellent and cover any wounds with a bandage. Avoid swimming in the ocean or freshwater while in Cambodia, as many contaminants are in the water.

Center for Disease Control
World Health Organization

Weather

December and January are the best months for travel in Cambodia although it is still hot and humid. The months of November and February are tolerable. Stay away during the summer months of March through May, as the weather is extremely hot, and June through October is monsoon season.

What to wear

Please be sure to have respectable attire for visits to temples and religious sites—wear clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Jungle exploring is more comfortable with covered legs! Since weather can be unpredictable anywhere in the world and to be sure you are comfortable during your trip and prepared for all types of weather possibilities, we suggest that you carry a small folding umbrella. If you have two pairs of comfortable (broken-in, not brand-new) walking shoes, consider taking both pairs. Plan to dress in layers, so you can adjust your wardrobe according to the weather conditions of the moment. Remember that comfort and convenience should dictate your wardrobe for the tour, and casual clothes are in order for most every occasion as you travel. All hotels provide laundry service for a small fee.   

Money & Credit Cards

The local currency in Cambodia is the riel. Hotels and some stores accept major credit cards. However, for “street shopping” you will need local currency or U.S. dollars. Your hotel will be able to exchange your cash for local currency. We highly recommend that you bring crisp, new bills in small denominations. Old, torn, crumpled bills are not always accepted. Traveler’s checks are not widely accepted in Cambodia. If you intend to use traveler’s checks, please verify that they are still accepted in the places visited in this program.

Always notify your bank prior to departure to avoid any problems using your credit or debit card abroad.

Shopping

Shop for replicas of Angkor's bas-reliefs and sculptures, carvings of wood and stone, naturally dyed silk called leak tomuhjeat, Cambodian music and instruments, and precious stones. Be prepared to bargain, which is best done with small U.S. bills which are accepted throughout the country.

You will certainly have time for shopping. Your guides will no doubt have some favorite shopping places, where the vendors are known, provide good quality merchandise and probably pay some sort of commission from sales to the guide. This should not surprise or offend you. This is how business is done throughout the world. But do beware when you shop, especially if you are buying jewelry or other valuable items. If you plan to buy jewelry or other expensive items, be sure to inspect the items before you leave the store. Most stores will not allow you to return or exchange purchased items.

Electricity & Power Adapters

230 volts. Plugs A & C. Some outlets are a combination of type A and C and can accept either type plug. Plug G may be found in some hotels. You will need a voltage converter and plug adapter in order to use U.S. appliances. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit.

Learn more about electrical standards around the world.

Cell Phones & Internet

Want to take your cell phone, tablet or laptop, but not sure how to get cell service or wifi? See our blog posts on using your cell phone abroad and the top 5 ways to get Internet abroad.

Photography

Cameras and video recorders are permitted, and photography is generally permitted everywhere except at airports and military installations. Memory cards for digital cameras will be available in major cities. Bring an extra battery for your camera, as not every type of camera battery is always available as you travel.

Fast Facts about Thailand

Overview

Capital: Bangkok
Population:  67.9 million
Currency: Thai baht
Languages: Thai
Drives on the: Left
Time zone: GMT +7

Health Precautions & Vaccinations

Malaria is not present in major cities. Although not required, typhoid, tetanus and hepatitis vaccinations should be considered if you're going to remote areas. If you get nipped by a dog, even in Bangkok, get checked for rabies. Skin infections are common—even the smallest wound should be disinfected and covered with a bandage.

Center for Disease Control
World Health Organization

Weather

Thailand's climate is always hot and humid; the highlands are typically 10 degrees cooler. November through February is the best time to go when the days are milder. March thru May is extremely hot, with temperatures into the low 100's. The rainy season is May through October.

What to wear

Since weather can be unpredictable anywhere in the world and to be sure you are comfortable during your trip and prepared for all types of weather possibilities, we suggest that you carry a small folding umbrella. If you have two pairs of comfortable (broken in, not brand new) walking shoes, by all means, take both pairs.

In the warm climates of Thailand, you’ll find that cotton and lightweight clothing will be the most comfortable. Take some lightweight slacks as well as shorts. Please be sure to have respectable attire for visits to temples and religious sites, and wear clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Jungle exploring is often more comfortable with covered legs! Plan to dress in layers, so you can adjust your wardrobe according to the weather conditions of the moment. Remember that comfort and convenience should dictate your wardrobe for the tour, and casual clothes are in order for most every occasion as you travel. All hotels provide laundry service for a small fee.

Money & Credit Cards

The local currency of Thailand is the baht. Hotels and some stores accept major credit cards. However, for “street shopping” you will need local currency. Your hotel will be able to exchange your cash for local currency. We highly recommend that you bring crisp, new bills in small denominations. Old, torn, crumpled bills are not accepted. Traveler’s checks are not widely accepted in Thailand. If you intend to use traveler’s checks, please verify that they are still accepted in the places visited in this program.

Always notify your bank prior to departure to avoid any problems using your credit or debit card abroad.

Shopping

Thailand is famous for its silk (silk from Jim Thompson is good quality). Shop also for lacquerware, painted umbrellas, bronze, silver, temple bells, celadon pottery, tribal weavings, custom-made shoes, opium weights and pillows, and carved water buffalo bells. Beware of copycat items in Thailand from clothes to watches. Some 24 carat gold is also somewhat less than 100% pure, but crafted well.

You will certainly have time for shopping. Your guides will no doubt have some favorite shopping places, where the vendors are known, provide good quality merchandise and probably pay some sort of commission from sales to the guide. This should not surprise or offend you. This is how business is done throughout the world. Be cautious when you shop, especially if you are buying jewelry or other valuable items. If you plan to buy jewelry or other expensive items, be sure to inspect the items before you leave the store. Most stores will not allow you to return or exchange purchased items.

Electricity & Power Adapters

220 volts. Plugs A & C. You will need a voltage converter and plug adapter in order to use U.S. appliances. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit.

Learn more about electrical standards around the world.

Cell Phones & Internet

Want to take your cell phone, tablet or laptop, but not sure how to get cell service or wifi? See our blog posts on using your cell phone abroad and the top 5 ways to get Internet abroad.

Photography

Cameras and video recorders are permitted, and photography is generally permitted everywhere except at airports and military installations. Memory cards for digital cameras will be available in major cities.

Fine Print

Terms & Conditions: Please check out the terms & conditions for this package.

Cancellations: If something comes up and you need to cancel your trip, please let us know as soon as possible. All cancellations must be made in writing. Cancellation fees vary by package; please see the cancellation fees for this package.

Materialization: This package may require a minimum number of passengers to operate. In the unlikely event that your departure must be cancelled due to lack of participation, we will notify you prior to the final payment due date, and offer alternate dates of travel or a full refund. Please do not purchase any domestic connecting flights, or other services which are dependent upon the operation of your package, until this time.