Preparing for your trip

Package: Exotic Borneo & Bangkok

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

Printed 9/19/2018. Please check back for the latest updates.

Checklist

Item Due
Complete your tour registration. A link to this secure form will be included in your booking confirmation email. Within 24 hours of booking
Ensure you have a current passport valid for at least six months after your trip, and that the name on your booking matches your passport exactly. Immediately
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
Book connecting flights to your departure city, if necessary. (Please confirm your international flight schedule first!) 60–85 days prior to travel
Make advance seat reservations for your international flight, if you have a preference. After receiving your e‑tickets
Obtain any necessary travel visas and review any requirements for entry. See below
Print your itinerary and other final documents, which we will send you via email 14 days prior to travel. Prior to travel
Print your policy documents, if you purchased travel insurance, and carry 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
Call the airline to confirm your flights and any special meal requests. 72 hours prior to travel
Arrive at the airport, ready for the trip of a lifetime! 3½ hours prior to departure

Travel Documents

Passport, Visa & Entry Requirements for Malaysia

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 Malaysia for stays up to 90 days. See the U.S. Dept. of State website for more information.

If you do not hold a U.S. passport, you are responsible for obtaining any necessary visas and meeting all entry requirements. If a visa is required, we recommend using a fee-based visa service, such as our preferred provider VisaHQ.

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. Otherwise, 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.

Passport, Visa & Entry Requirements for Borneo

The island of Borneo is divided among three nations: Malaysia, Indonesia & Brunei. Please see entry requirements for the countries relevant to your visit.

General Requirements & Guidelines

  • It is the responsibility of each traveler to determine passport and visa requirements and comply with them and to secure the proper travel documents. To avoid disappointment and unnecessary expenses, please carefully review the requirements so that you can obtain all necessary documents well before your trip. Requirements are subject to change, often without notice, and we suggest you verify requirements with the relevant embassy or consulate. Airlines and cruises may deny boarding and your trip may be disrupted if your passport and visa are not in order. We will not be held responsible for any charges, trip interruptions, or cancellations due to incorrect or missing visas, nor will travel insurance cover your lost expenses.
  • Any changes in names or passport information should be reported to us immediately.
  • 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 Protection Plan

If you purchased travel insurance, please print your policy documents. If you purchased our travel protection plan by Travelex, you can find the full policy here, which varies slightly by state. Carry these documents with you when you travel, as they include 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

Flight schedule: please see your flight schedule below. Note that airlines may change flight schedules even after flights have been confirmed, and we are not responsible for such changes.

Need to arrange connecting flights? While you may want to book these as soon as possible, we strongly suggest waiting until 75 days prior to departure (and after you make your final payment) to ensure materialization. In addition, airlines do occasionally change their schedules, and your international flight times may change even after you're booked. When you purchase connecting flights, always confirm the schedule 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!

Questions about your flights before you depart? Contact our air specialists at 800-555-5765 ext. 208 or air@friendlyplanet.com.

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.

Airport Transfers

Scheduled group airport transfers at the destination are included with this package. 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. In most cases, private transfers are also available for an additional fee—contact us for price and availability. Or you may instead arrange your own ground transportation to the package start and end points. (Note that there is no discount for any unused included transfers).

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. They 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.

Flight Schedule

Questions about your flights before your trip? Contact our air specialists at 800-555-5765 ext. 208 or air@friendlyplanet.com.

Sample Flight Schedules for Sep 18 - Oct 16, 2018 Departures

Los Angeles (LAX) Schedules:

You must arrive at LAX by 9:00 PM on your scheduled departure date to check in for your flight. Your flight will depart just after midnight of the following day. 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 721 TPE Kuala Lumpur (KUL) 8:50 AM 1:30 PM 4.40 hrs
AK5228 KUL Kuching (KCH) 5:35 PM 7:20 PM 1.45 hrs
RETURN
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
CI 836 Bangkok (BKK) TPE 5:20 PM 10:10 PM 3.50 hrs
CI 008 TPE LAX 11:50 PM 8:50 PM 12.00 hrs

San Francisco (SFO) Schedules:

You must arrive at SFO by 10:30 PM on your scheduled departure date to check in for your flight. However, your flight will actually depart after midnight of the following day. See sample schedule below.

DEPARTURE
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
CI 003 San Francisco (SFO) Taipei (TPE) 1:40 AM 6:00 AM (1 day later) 13.20 hrs
CI 721 TPE Kuala Lumpur (KUL) 8:50 AM 1:30 PM 4.40 hrs
AK5228 KUL Kuching (KCH) 5:35 PM 7:20 PM 1.45 hrs
RETURN
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
CI 836 Bangkok (BKK) TPE 5:20 PM 10:10 PM 3.50 hrs
CI 004 TPE SFO 11:35 PM 8:00 PM 11.25 hrs

New York (JFK) Schedules:

You must arrive at JFK by 10:30 PM on your scheduled departure date to check in for your flight departing after midnight of the following day. See sample schedule below.

DEPARTURE
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
CI 11  New York (JFK) Taipei (TPE) 1:35 AM 5:30 AM (1 day later) 15.55 hrs
CI 721 TPE Kuala Lumpur (KUL) 8:50 AM 1:30 PM 4.40 hrs
AK5226 KUL Kuching (KCH) 5:35 PM 7:20 PM 1.45 hrs
RETURN
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
CI 834 Bangkok (BKK) TPE 11:15 AM 3:55 PM 3.40 hrs
CI 12 TPE JFK 5:30 PM 8:35 PM 14.45 hrs

Sample Flight Schedule for Nov 13, 2018 - Mar 26, 2019 Departures

Los Angeles (LAX) Schedules:

You must arrive at LAX by 7:45 PM on your scheduled departure date to check in for your flight. Your flight will arrive 2 days later.  See sample schedule below.

DEPARTURE
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
CI 007 Los Angeles (LAX) Taipei (TPE) 10:45 AM 5:15 AM (2 days later) 14.30 hrs
CI 721 TPE Kuala Lumpur (KUL) 8:30 AM 1:30 PM 4.40 hrs
AK5228 KUL Kuching (KCH) 5:35 PM 7:20 PM 1.45 hrs
RETURN
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
CI 836 Bangkok (BKK) TPE 5:20 PM 10:10 PM 3.50 hrs
CI 008 TPE LAX 11:50 PM 8:50 PM 12.00 hrs

San Francisco (SFO) Schedules:

You must arrive at SFO by 10:30 PM on your scheduled departure date to check in for your flight. Your flight will depart just after midnight of the following day. See sample schedule below.

DEPARTURE
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
CI 003 San Francisco (SFO) Taipei (TPE) 1:40 AM 6:00 AM (1 day later) 13.20 hrs
CI 721 TPE Kuala Lumpur (KUL) 8:50 AM 1:30 PM 4.40 hrs
AK5228 KUL Kuching (KCH) 5:35 PM 7:20 PM 1.45 hrs
RETURN
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
CI 836 Bangkok (BKK) TPE 5:20 PM 10:10 PM 3.50 hrs
CI 004 TPE SFO 11:35 PM 8:00 PM 11.25 hrs

New York (JFK) Schedules:

You must arrive at JFK by 10:30 PM on your scheduled departure date to check in for your flight.  Your flight will depart just after midnight of the following day See sample schedule below.

DEPARTURE
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
CI 11  New York (JFK) Taipei (TPE) 1:35 AM 5:30 AM (1 day later) 15.55 hrs
CI 721 TPE Kuala Lumpur (KUL) 8:50 AM 1:30 PM 4.40 hrs
AK5226 KUL Kuching (KCH) 5:35 PM 7:20 PM 1.45 hrs
RETURN
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
CI 834 Bangkok (BKK) TPE 11:15 AM 3:55 PM 3.40 hrs
CI 12 TPE JFK 5:30 PM 8:35 PM 14.45 hrs

Sample Flight Schedule for Apr 23 - May 7, 2019 Departures

Los Angeles (LAX) Schedules:

You must arrive at LAX by 9:00 PM on your scheduled departure date to check in for your flight. Your flight will depart just after midnight of the following day. See sample schedule below.

DEPARTURE
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
CI 007 Los Angeles (LAX) Taipei (TPE) 12:05 AM 5:30 AM (1 day later) 13.55 hrs
CI 721 TPE Kuala Lumpur (KUL) 8:30 AM 1:30 PM 4.40 hrs
AK5228 KUL Kuching (KCH) 5:35 PM 7:20 PM 1.45 hrs
RETURN
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
CI 836 Bangkok (BKK) TPE 5:20 PM 10:10 PM 3.50 hrs
CI 008 TPE LAX 11:50 PM 8:50 PM 12.00 hrs

San Francisco (SFO) Schedules:

You must arrive at SFO by 10:30 PM on your scheduled departure date to check in for your flight. Your flight will depart just after midnight of the following day. See sample schedule below.

DEPARTURE
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
CI 003 San Francisco (SFO) Taipei (TPE) 1:40 AM 6:00 AM (1 day later) 13.20 hrs
CI 721 TPE Kuala Lumpur (KUL) 8:50 AM 1:30 PM 4.40 hrs
AK5228 KUL Kuching (KCH) 5:35 PM 7:20 PM 1.45 hrs
RETURN
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
CI 836 Bangkok (BKK) TPE 5:20 PM 10:10 PM 3.50 hrs
CI 004 TPE SFO 11:35 PM 8:00 PM 11.25 hrs

New York (JFK) Schedules:

You must arrive at JFK by 10:30 PM on your scheduled departure date to check in for your flight.  Your flight will depart just after midnight of the following day. See sample schedule below.

DEPARTURE
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
CI 11  New York (JFK) Taipei (TPE) 1:35 AM 5:30 AM (1 day later) 15.55 hrs
CI 721 TPE Kuala Lumpur (KUL) 8:50 AM 1:30 PM 4.40 hrs
AK5226 KUL Kuching (KCH) 5:35 PM 7:20 PM 1.45 hrs
RETURN
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
CI 834 Bangkok (BKK) TPE 11:15 AM 3:55 PM 3.40 hrs
CI 12 TPE JFK 5:30 PM 8:35 PM 14.45 hrs

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 than what airlines typically allow. It's so much easier and faster 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.

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 fast-paced, escorted tour involves a significant amount of walking or hiking, often on uneven terrain, requiring a high level of physical fitness to fully enjoy the trip. Note the infrastructure in some areas of Borneo is limited as roads may be bumpy with few rest stops.

Meals

The meals included with your package are listed in the itinerary. For all other meals, you're at liberty to dine where you like. Your hotels will have several dining choices, from coffee shops to specialty restaurants.

Please see above for special meal requests.

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!

Travel Tips

Fast Facts about Malaysia

Overview

Capital: Kuala Lumpur
Population:  30.33 million
Currency: Malaysian ringgit (MYR)
Languages: Malaysian
Drives on the: Left
Time zone: MST (UTC +8)

Health Precautions & Vaccinations

Malaria is present in Sabah and Sarawak. Check with your physician about malaria suppressants, and possible typhoid and hepatitis vaccinations. Remember to take along plenty of insect repellant.

Center for Disease Control
World Health Organization

Weather

Malaysia is hot and humid, with Borneo being a little hotter and more humid than the rest of the country. November thru February is the rainy season on the east coast, but is considered an ideal time for visiting the west coast, which remains dry during those months. If you plan to visit higher elevations, be sure to take a sweater. 

Tipping

Tipping is not customary in Malaysia, though tips are always appreciated. A 10% service charge is often added to restaurant and hotel bills, so you do not need to tip above the service charge. Taxi and rickshaw drivers are very appreciative of a small tip. 

Money

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

Shopping

Shop for batiks, silverwork, pewter, brass, gold and silver brocades, local handicrafts, kites and carvings. Be sure not to purchase anything made from pangolin, an endangered anteater. It will be confiscated by customs. 

Electricity & Power Adapters

240 volts. Plug G. 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. View more information 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.

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, with the highlands being around 10 degrees cooler. November through February is the best time to go when the days are more mild. March thru May is extremely hot, with temps 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, consider taking 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—wear clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Jungle exploring is 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

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 always 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. View more information 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 Borneo

Money

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

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.

The Fine Print

Please check out the terms & conditions for this package.

Cancellations: In the unfortunate event that 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.