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Participant Concept

Small Group Explorations:

A Visit Beyond Small Group Exploration normally has no more than 2-5 people. It is not a group tour in a big tour bus and expect therefore that you might only be 2 on the tour. And being few, you can go places less travelled. Small group explorations bring you closer to local life, increase flexibility and take you beyond the ordinary.

Shared Group Experiences:

A Shared Groups Experience normally has more than 2 participants in the group, but expect up to at least 12. Most likely, you will therefore share your experience with others. Most shared group experiences have fixed departure days so please check the booking calendar to reserve your preferred day.

Imagine exploring this...

Umphang Trekking - 6 Days


Option :  

Limestone cliffs reaching for the sky. Birds’ singing as you raft down the Mae Klong River. Gibbons, snakes and giant lizards along the way. In front of you Southeast Asia’s largest waterfall, Tee Lor Su. Jump in for a refreshing swim. Then trek through the dense jungle and bamboo forest. As dawn breaks join the local ‘mahouts’ scouting in the jungle for the village elephants. Get up and close to these majestic animals while feeding and showering them. Spend the night in the local Kho Ta village. Where life is simple, but good. And friendliness and smiles are a given. One of the best places for trekking in Thailand is near the Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary. The area was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999 and remains one of the best and most areas to do trekking in Thailand.

Description
Trip length:
6 Day(s) 5 Night(s)
Unique Experience:
● Beat the crowd and trek through unspoilt jungle near UNESCO certified Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary
● Swim in amazing Tee Lor Su Waterfall, raft down the Mae Klong River and stay overnight in local traditional villages
● Get up and close to the village working elephants and spend time with them on their terms
● Great alternative to the well-trotted tr
Locations Visited:
Bangkok, Mae Sot, Umphang
Start City:
Bangkok
End City:
Bangkok
Physical rate:
Type of transportation:
Bus, soengtaew, rafting, walking/trekking
Type of Accommodation:
Night bus, Guesthouse ,Tent and Home stay
Tour departure day(s):
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday (Wednesday only in high season).
We need a minimum of 2 travellers for the trip to depart.
Participants:
Small Group Exploration – normally no more than 2-5 travellers. Being few brings you closer to local life and flexibility to go to places less travelled; to go beyond the ordinary.
You can be min. 2 and max. 10 travellers with 1 guide.

Please note, that it is possible to book 1 person on this tour, but departure is conditioned by a minimum of 2 participants. Please check with your travel consultant. Should the minimum requirement not be met, we will always do our best to reschedule or find the best-suited alternative at any given time.
Children Policy:
Child age: Up to and including 11 years
This tour is not recommended for: Children below 6 years
Included in Price:
Meals: 4 x breakfast, 4 x lunch and 4 x dinner
Accommodation: 2 nights in VIP night bus, 1 night at a local guesthouse, 1 night in basic tent and 1 night in local Karen house
Entrance fees: All entrance fees to Wildlife Sanctuary etc.
Transport: VIP night bus from/to Mae Sot, local car, soengtaew and rubber dinghy
Driver/Guide: Guide/driver from New Road Guest House to bus station, local guide in Mae Sot and guide upon arrival in Umphang and during the trek
Excluded From Price:
● Travel Insurance (Compulsory).
● Guide during overnight bus rides and soengtaew from Mae Sot to Umphang.
● Transport to/from starting point (New Road Guest House, 1216/1 Charoen Krung Rd., Bangrak)
All other expenses not stated as included in the above.
Travel season:
All year. The Jun - Oct rainy season can bring heavy and regular rainfall. The best time to visit is Nov - Feb, when it’s dry and temperatures are at their lowest, around 30 degrees. From Mar until May the temperature can rise to 39 degrees.
Essential to bring:
Good trekking/walking shoes, Sandals (for rafting), Warm sweater and long sleeved shirts and pants for night time as it can be cold, Mosquito repellent, Sleeping bag (can be borrowed locally but simple sleeping bags), Rubber boots if preferred (can be borrowed locally for free against a small deposit), Waterproof poncho ( A very simple one can be bought in Mae Sot for 100 Baht), Long socks for treks, Passport and Motion sickness pills (if needed).

Itinerary for departures until 30 April 2015

** Please note: You have the option to end this tour in Bangkok, Mae Sot, Chiang Mai and Sukhothai at no extra charge. Simply ask us for further details.

Day 1: Bangkok – Mae Sot
We will meet at New Road Guesthouse around 8:00 pm (please ask the service guide about the exact time the day before). From here we will go by car to the bus terminal and onwards with a VIP luxury bus from Bangkok to Mae Sot...

Day 2: Mae Sot – Umphang
In Mae Sot we are picked up by Mr. Lar and have the opportunity to sleep a couple of extra hours in his guest house (Expect basic accommodation) After breakfast and a shower he will take us on a short ride to the Thai-Burmese border market at the river Moi. After lunch we will go by public Songthaew (half open pick up truck) to Umphang. It is a beautiful 4-hour ride through the mountains with over 1,000 turns in the road. (If you suffer from motion sickness this would be a good time to take some medication to avoid feeling nauseous) Accommodation for the night will be in a basic huts. You may leave some of your belongings here in order to lighten your load for the trekking ahead. We will collect them on day 5. (B,L,D)

Day 3: Umphang
After breakfast the bamboo rafting begins (or rubber dinghy in the rainy season – depending on the water-level) southwards along the Mae Klong. From the river side there are three-four hours of trekking to the camp area in Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary where the guides pitch our tents and cook dinner over an open fire. (B,L,D)

Day 4: Umphang
After breakfast on day four, we will take a walk to the impressive waterfall Tee Loi Su, South East Asia’s largest waterfall. Afterwards we will walk through bamboo forests, cross bridges and walk through dense jungles to the Karen village of Ko Tha where we spend the night in a traditional house. (B,L,D)

Day 5: Umphang – Mae Sot – Bangkok
After breakfast, the trip continues on the back of elephants through the jungle. If you feel like it, you can ask your Mahout (elephant leader) to control the elephant. When back at Umphang you can take a shower before heading back to Mae Sot. Bus from Mae Sot to Bangkok leaves at 8 pm and expected arrival on the northern bus station in Bangkok is around 5:30 am the following morning, where the tour ends. The guide will not join the overnight bus and upon arrival in Bangkok you will have to get to your next destination yourself. (B,L,D)

Day 6: Bangkok
Arrival on the Northern bus station Mochit early morning around 05.30 am. Tour ends on the bus station.

Note: Your guide might change the itinerary according to customer wishes along the way. We ensure that any replacement in itinerary will be an experience as well.

Key:
B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner

The elephants in Umphang are village working elephants; they are not there to do shows for tourists. Normally they work in logging, just as it has been for centuries.
Living and working with elephants like this is only possible due the elephant caretakers also known as mahouts. The elephant and mahout lives closely together and does so for their entire life. They grow together and develop mutual respect, which is the foundation for controlling and directing the elephant’s behaviour. To indicate directions to the elephant the mahout may choose to pull the elephant’s ear and/or use a bamboo stick – Just as a rider directs a horse.

Itinerary for departures from 01 May 2015, onwards

** Please note: You have the option to start this tour in either Bangkok or Chiang Mai and to end in Bangkok, Mae Sot, Chiang Mai or Sukhothai at no extra charge. Simply ask us for further details.

Day 1: Bangkok to Mae Sot by overnight bus

Meet at New Road Guesthouse around 8:00 pm (please ask your service guide about the exact time one day before departure). Go by car through Bangkok’s evening traffic to the Northern Bus Terminal and flow through the night by VIP luxury Bus through the outskirts and to Mae Sot.

Day 2: Mae Sot to Umphang – Border town ambience and by winding roads to Umphang

In Mae Sot our local staff picks you up. You will have the opportunity to sleep in Mr. Lar’s Resthouse for a couple of hours (expect basic shared accommodation). After breakfast you will be taken to on a short ride to the Thai-Burmese border market at the river Moi.
After lunch you go by public Songthaew (half open pick up truck) to Umphang. It is a beautiful 4-hour ride through the mountains with more than 1,000 turns in the road (if you suffer from motion sickness you might contemplate to take medication to avoid feeling nauseous). Accommodation for the night will be in basic huts/houses. You may leave some of your belongings in Mae Sot or here in order to lighten your load for the trekking ahead. You can collect it again on day 5. (B,L,D)

Day 3: Umphang – Rafting and trekking past limestone cliffs; through the dense jungle and bamboo forest
After breakfast the easy rafting takes you on the narrow Mae Klong River through the forests cape. From the riverside there are three-four hours of fine trekking to the camp area in Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary where your guides will pitch tents and cook dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 4: Umphang – Swim in Southeast Asia’s largest waterfall and spend the night in a local Karen village
After breakfast you will walk to the impressive waterfall Tee Loi Su, South East Asia’s largest waterfall. Bring a towel and swimsuit and you can take a refreshing swim and if the water level permits, cliff jump from the top of the waterfall. Afterwards you will walk through bamboo forests, cross bridges and walk through dense jungle to the Karen village of Ko Tha where you spend the night in a local, traditional Karen house. (B,L,D)

Day 5: Umphang to Mae Sot – Spend the morning with magnificent elephants before leaving the jungle behind
Early morning call around 05:00 to accompany the local mahouts (elephant caretakers) on their journey into the jungle to locate the village elephants. The elephants normally roam freely in the forest when they don’t work. While searching for traces and sounds of these grand animals in the forest, the sun rises and the first rays of light come through the trees. Once you have located the elephants, take them back to the village for a bath in the river. If the mahout finds it possible, you might take part in the showering and feeding.
Then it is time for breakfast, which is already prepared for you. In front of you is 3 hours of trekking along the river to Palatha. Here your transport back to Umphang is waiting for you.
When back at Umphang you can take a shower before heading back to Mae Sot. The bus from Mae Sot to Bangkok leaves at 8 pm. Your guide will not join the overnight bus. (B,L,D)

Day 6: Bangkok
Expected arrival on the Northern bus station Mochit early morning around 05.30 AM. The tour ends on the bus station and you will have to get to your next destination yourself.

Note: Your guide might change the itinerary according to customer wishes along the way. We ensure that any replacement in itinerary will be an experience as well. Please ask us in advance if you need help or directions for onwards transport.

Key:
B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner

The elephants in Umphang are village working elephants; they are not there to do shows for tourists. Expect that your elephant experience is dependent on the conditions of the day. We can never guarantee how many elephants you will find and bring back from the jungle. Whether you can participate in the morning routine of bathing and feeding will be up to the mahout.
Living and working with elephants like this is only possible due the elephant caretakers also known as mahouts. The elephant and mahout lives closely together and does so for their entire life. They grow together and develop mutual respect, which is the foundation for controlling and directing the elephant’s behaviour. To indicate directions to the elephant the mahout may choose to pull the elephant’s ear and/or use a bamboo stick – Just as a rider directs a horse.

General Information

NEED TO KNOW

Acting Responsible - Arrival Information - Child Explorers - Emergency Contact - Expect the Unexpected - Feedback - Guides - Health and Fitness - Luggage Storage - Optional Activities - Running Late? - Safety and Security - The Law and "the Man" - Travel Documents and Visas - Travel Insurance - Weather

NICE TO KNOW

Additional Expenditures - Departure Tax - Keeping in Touch - Meals - Money - Respectful Dress - Share your Explorations… - Tipping - What to bring

NEED TO KNOW

Acting Responsible

Traveling responsibly is a pillar of the Visit Beyond philosophy. To us, it means two things: respect for the environment and respect for local cultures. We practice low-impact tourism and make every effort to preserve the environment. We refuse to treat local people as mere photo-ops and insist that you engage with locals as human beings. You will have a better trip for it.

Arrival Information

If you have booked an arrival package you can expect a Visit Beyond representative waiting for you at the airport, train- or bus station with a Visit Beyond sign and your name. If you cannot locate your tour leader at the Suvarnabhumi Airport, please visit the ATTA office in the arrival hall on the second floor near exit no. 7 where you can get help in locating your guide. In emergency cases please call Mr. Jimmy on +66 (0)81 80 80 144. Visit Beyond does not offer refunds for missed transfers due to a change in flight or delays. Should your plane or train be delayed, please contact us immediately. Any additional cost you may incur to get to your destination is at your own expense.

Child Explorers

Visit Beyond welcomes travellers of all ages but some tours are more suitable for children than others. Please make yourself aware of children rules under each tour and determine if a given trip is suitable for your family. An adult must accompany children and young people under the age of 18. An adult is defined as anyone aged 18 or above. All enquiries with respect to children are subject to review and approval by Visit Beyond. Visit Beyond reserves the right to restrict the number of travellers under the age of 18 on tours to secure optimal operation.

Please note, that the above refers to child travellers only and not to child prices. These may be seen under each individual tour, if applicable.

Emergency Contact

In the event of a genuine crisis or emergency, Visit Beyond’s Thailand Office can be reached on Tel: +66 2630 9371. For further contact details please use the following page: http://www.visitbeyond.com/contact-us

Service guide contact is available only in the working hours 8.15 – 12.00 & 15.00 – 19.00

Airport Transfer; call Jimmy at +66 (0)81 80 80 144

Regarding tours please contact P’Lek on the emergency contact number found on the voucher.

Expect the Unexpected

Visit Beyond, as the name implies, brings you places that are beyond the well-worn tourist path. Out there, things sometimes go wrong and if they do, it is imperative that you tell your guide or tour leader immediately. They are best suited to help however way they can. If this does not suffice, your guide will contact our manager. Note also that Visit Beyond trips are likely to offer circumstances that involve risks and by booking a tour with Visit Beyond, you acknowledge and accept any and all risk associated herewith.

This said, please expect and appreciate the unexpected. We try to bring you closer to local life and here English may not always be spoken and despite a global world, cultural differences still greatly exists. You will get a much better experience if you bring an open mind, a great smile, patience and willingness to meet the locals at eyelevel.

Feedback

How do you find your Visit Beyond experience? We would love to hear from your and always welcome constructive feedback. Please contact us on the following addresses: http://www.visitbeyond.com/contact-us

In the event of discrepancies or dissatisfaction, please file the complaint to your guide as soon as it arises. Doing so, we have a better chance of meeting your needs instantly and ensure you get a good experience. Note that you waive any complaints if you cannot reasonably demonstrate that the complaint was made immediately.

If you, contrary to expectation, remain unsatisfied then please file a written complaint to your travel consultant through which you have booked the service. This must be done within 15 days of the end of the service. Visit Beyond will not accept any liability for claims received after this period.

Guides

Visit Beyond provides experienced, local, English-speaking guides who know the destination and region well. We encourage you to ask all the questions you may have.

Health and Fitness

For all tours, please closely read the itinerary and note the physical rating to decide if you are fit to participate. As a general rule of thumb and to get the most out of your trip, we recommend a good physical health and if in doubt, consult your doctor or physician before leaving your home country. We do not walk at altitude nor set distance records, but some treks can still be demanding. Expect hilly terrain and high temperatures. Visit Beyond and its guides reserve the right to exclude a participant without refund if said traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to him/herself or to the group.

Small and very handy first aid kits should be readily available in your home country. We recommend you purchase a kit before departure along with any personal medication you may require. Do not rely on guides, as they are legally prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache medicine and antibiotics.

If you suffer from any conditions, physical, mental or otherwise, you are obligated to notify Visit Beyond in writing prior to booking. Visit Beyond reserves the right to decline a booking if said conditions pose a danger. Likewise, failure to notify Visit Beyond of any such condition may result in your denial of travel. Similarly, travellers should be aware that Asian countries have medical standards and facilities that may vary greatly from what you are used to in your home country. Women who are or think they may be pregnant must consult a physician before engaging in any activity with Visit Beyond or before booking any trips. Any person who is concerned about their ability to travel should contact Visit Beyond and will then be recommended a trip suitable for these specific needs (if available).

Special Health & Fitness for diving:

Before you begin your dive course, you must complete a medical test. If you suffer, or have suffered, from asthma, hay fever or allergies, you must bring a doctors certificate stating that you are physically capable of withstanding the kind of strain that diving may cause. We recommend that you obtain a doctors certificate in advance in case you are suffering from any of the above-mentioned diseases.

Luggage Storage

Visit Beyond provides luggage storage at all of our service offices, both for the day and if you go on a tour for several days. When going on a tour and you come back to our office, we recommend that you only bring what is needed for the tour and leave larger bags behind. Not only will this make it more convenient for you, but also allow for better and easier commuting.

Optional Activities

On some of our tours, there may be free time and/or options for additional activities. These are not included in the tour and do not form a contract. Visit Beyond is not responsible for anything that may arise from a traveller taking part in optional activities. Optional activities are undertaken at the cost of the traveller.

Running Late?

Please always respect the departure times when stated in itinerary. These are carefully considered to ensure you the most comfortable journey and to ensure you make opening times where applicable. In case you, contrary to expectations, are running late for a tour departure, please use the contact details on the front of your voucher to alert Visit Beyond. If we do not hear from you the tour will depart at latest 15 minutes after stated departure time and no refund will be given in case you miss the departure.

Safety and Security

Most national governments provide updated advice services on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you stay updated on your government's advice for the latest travel information – before departure and while on the road.

Visit Beyond endeavours to conduct its operations safely and your guide has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. However, Visit Beyond is not liable to you in the event of injury, death, financial loss or any other damages incurred as a result of Force Majeure, e.g., political turmoil, riots, war, landslides, flooding, etc. Visit Beyond requires you to carry insurance that covers such unforeseeable circumstances.

Adventure trips, trekking, hiking and water based activities such as swimming, snorkeling and diving inherently holds an element of danger and excitement. While we take every precaution to ensure these are carried out in agreement with operating standards, please have a balanced approach to safety and note that participation will always be at your own risk.

The Law and "the Man"

Visit Beyond does not tolerate illegal drugs nor do we tolerate visiting prostitutes. This goes even though it may be common among certain communities we visit. Possession of illegal drugs is a crime punishable by death in Thailand. Visit Beyond and guides reserve the right to immediately expel from the group anyone engaging in these activities.

Travel Documents and Visas

Note that most nationalities are required to obtain visas for travelling to certain countries in Asia. You are yourself responsible for obtaining valid visa to enter Thailand, if needed. Consult your embassy’s website in the destination country or the destination’s embassy website in their country for the latest visa requirements. Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your return date. Visit Beyond cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions in regards to visa rules.

Travel Insurance

Valid personal travel insurance is a prerequisite to participate in any activity or tour organised by Visit Beyond. It should as a minimum, but not exclusively, cover medical expenses, personal injury, repatriation and evacuation. Further amendments to your policy, such as trip cancellation, and loss of luggage and personal effect are not required, but strongly encouraged. Visit Beyond will not be held liable for lost or stolen luggage and reserves the right to deny participation in any activity or tour if you do not hold valid travel insurance. You must be able to provide proof of insurance if requested by Visit Beyond or any of its representatives.

Weather

Visit Beyond operates trips in Thailand throughout the year—including the rainy season—and changes may result from inclement weather and other unforeseen circumstances. We reserve the right to change the itinerary according to such circumstances as we see fit to ensure the best experience for our travellers.

NICE TO KNOW

Additional Expenditures

Take into account your personal spending habits when deciding how much money to bring. Are meals included? How much will you drink and party? How many souvenirs do you intend to bring home? Remember to include tips in your calculations and we also recommend keeping an emergency fund for unforeseen circumstances beyond our and your control.

Departure Tax:

There is no departure tax at Suvarnabhumi Airport or at the borders at present time, however we recommend that you always recheck before leaving for the airport. This due to said information being subject to change without notice and Visit Beyond is not liable for unexpected charges levied on departing tourists.

Keeping in Touch

It is a good idea to leave your booking agent’s contact details or Visit Beyond’s contact information with friends or family in your home country in case of emergencies.

Meals

Visit Beyond gives you the opportunity to try authentic Thai food. When meals are not included, your guide will be able to suggest restaurants and the best dishes during your trip. Your guide will normally order a variety of dishes to sample. Notify your tour leader of allergies or dietary restrictions.

Money

We recommend withdrawing money from ATMs, which are widely available throughout Thailand. This has the advantage of keeping your money safe in the bank – not vulnerable in your back pocket. Remember to bring your bank’s emergency contact details in the event that your card is stolen. You might also consider bringing a spare card in case one gets stolen. Remember to keep them separated. We recommend you bring some spare cash in USD in case of emergency.

Respectful Dress

Remember that dressing is generally conservative throughout Asia – especially outside major cities. Visit Beyond therefore strongly recommends modest clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot Asian climate. Avoid tank tops on the beach and never sunbathe topless. Men and women alike are often required to wear pants that cover the legs in temples and religious sites.

Share your Explorations…

…With your loved ones and fellow travellers. Had a beyond ordinary experience? Challenged your personal boundaries or just shared a beautiful moment despite cultural differences?

Post pictures and impressions on Facebook.com/VisitBeyond, connect with your dorm room mate on Facebook.com/New Road Guest House and post your review at Tripadvisor.com/ReviewIt

Tipping

Visit Beyond employs local guides who greatly appreciate recognition of services rendered. Tipping about THB 100 per day (if you are happy with the service) is appropriate, but not compulsory. We suggest THB 50 per day for porters (if applicable). For drivers who render services for several days in a row, THB 50 per day is appropriate. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

At small restaurants you may want to round up to the nearest THB 20. At upscale restaurants, a tip of 10% is appreciated. (Note that upscale restaurants often levy a 10% service charge on the bill. Additional tipping is at your discretion).

What to bring

Pack according to the tour you have chosen. If you’re going trekking, bring appropriate shoes. If you’re going diving, bring your suit etc. Visit Beyond encourages you to pack only necessities. Although there are some tours and trips in which you can leave your luggage behind for a day’s excursion, we generally require you to carry your own gear. For this reason, we strongly encourage you to pack in a backpack with straps and back support and a smaller daypack. We strongly discourage hard case luggage!

What you plan to bring we will leave up to you, but generally remember all your travel documents and keep a copy of your passport as well as your travel insurance card on you at all times. Give priority to lightweight and fast drying clothes just as long sleeved shirts and trousers are recommended for trekking and chilly evenings. If you are travelling in the rainy season, remember umbrella or waterproof shield. Lastly respect local culture and bring appropriate clothes for temples and religious sites. You might also find it useful to bring a phrase book – just a couple of words in the local language will give you tremendous credit. Lastly, we are in the tropics so remember sunscreen and insect repellent!

Please check Visitbeyond.com to see, if there is anything essential to bring for your particular tour.

Validity:

The above has been written in good faith and every effort has been made to accurately reflect Visit Beyond’s policies. It should be seen as general guidelines and information provided as a service to the traveller. Visit Beyond cannot be held responsible for any error, omission or unintentional misrepresentation that may appear in this document or on its website. The Client solely bares the responsibility for staying updated on travel requirements, rules and regulations at any time. Updated 26 March 2014.

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Disclaimer

This itinerary is an accurate account of your trip. Please note, however, that we regularly update each trip according to customer recommendations and changes on the ground. Varying conditions and unforeseen circumstances may alter this itinerary, which does not represent a contract between Visit Beyond and its customers. As your trip approaches, we recommend you check visitbeyond.com for the most accurate and up-to-date itinerary.

Adventure trips, trekking, hiking, and water activities including swimming, snorkeling and diving are done at your own risk. Visit Beyond recommends purchasing travel insurance before leaving your home country. We can recommend Gouda travel insurance for our European customers.

We reserve the right to make changes without prior notice.

 
 
 

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