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intrepid tours in Thailand

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1. Posted by murphc09 (Budding Member 57 posts) 5y

Hi all,

Has anyone been on an intrepid tour within thailand? there's a variety to choose from and I can't make my mind up!
Some of them are VERY expensive for what they are and i'm worried they might not be worth the money?

£400 + £250 local payment for 10 days away? (while 3 of the days are starting and ending in bangkok!)

I'll be travelling alone and it's my first time in thailand, so my thinking is that I might be able to meet a few solo travellers on the tours and it'll be a comfortable way to get used to the thai culture and language. If I go north of Bangkok to chang mai with intrepid I'll be able to travell south on my own as I'll have experience and hopefully some company for the journey.

Any help/advice would be great!

thanks.

2. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1326 posts) 5y

Quoting murphc09

Hi all,

Has anyone been on an intrepid tour within thailand? there's a variety to choose from and I can't make my mind up!
Some of them are VERY expensive for what they are and i'm worried they might not be worth the money?

£400 + £250 local payment for 10 days away? (while 3 of the days are starting and ending in bangkok!)

I'll be travelling alone and it's my first time in thailand, so my thinking is that I might be able to meet a few solo travellers on the tours and it'll be a comfortable way to get used to the thai culture and language. If I go north of Bangkok to chang mai with intrepid I'll be able to travell south on my own as I'll have experience and hopefully some company for the journey.

Any help/advice would be great!

thanks.

Getting a tour in Thailand after you arrive is real easy. In Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Pattaya you simply go into the nearest travel agency and check out their list of tours. There are lots of travel agencies - just choose a couple of nearest ones and compare the offers. Most of the prices are around the same price anyway. This is much cheaper than booking tours when you are in a different country.

Most of the tours are in shared vans with other tourists. Your tour company will pick you up at your hotel and return you there when the tour is over. You can get overnight tours if you want. It is easy to book your own flights in Bangkok if you want to fly to other areas. You can also use the train to take you to Chiang Mai or other places. Bus travel is good too - get your bus from a bus station.

You can take the overnight sleeper train to Chiang Mai if you want. Book the train a few days early to guarantee a sleeping berth. Plan on spending a few days in Bangkok at the beginning of your trip and a final night in Bangkok before you fly home. This way you won't be worrying about a late arrival connecting flight and you can do some last minute shopping and take in a dinner cruise.

Just a suggestion.

Good luck.

3. Posted by wildfk (Respected Member 454 posts) 5y

Thailand is a SOFT destination.
getting about and arranging your own accommodation/tours/timetable is very easy.
Most times of the year you don't have to pre-book anything.

The only problem is that local tour operators will promise you anything to get your business - and oce they have it your money tour are in their power!

If you are planning any eco touring etc you are best going to an established company as most of the local Thai companies don't give a tinker's cuss about the environment etc.

As for meeting people - unless you are completely socially inept - or smell - you should have no problem!

[ Edit: Edited on 11-Mar-2009, at 19:57 by wildfk ]

4. Posted by scandreame (Budding Member 9 posts) 5y

I plan to Bangkok on this coming April 21. I'll take flight from Kuala Lumpur, and looking for companion or locals who could accompany my trip in Bangkok. This will be my first time in Bangkok and I think it is better for me to have a travel buddy like u.. Have a nice trip, see u in Bangkok..

5. Posted by murphc09 (Budding Member 57 posts) 5y

Thanks for the advice.

If I do the sleeper train to chiang mai myself then arrange a hill tribe treck locally I can save an amazing amount of money! Intrepid are charging the best part of £500 for the trip and if I were to do it myself I think £150 would be sufficient. What a saving! thanks again.

6. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1326 posts) 5y

Quoting wildfk

Thailand is a SOFT destination.
getting about and arranging your own accommodation/tours/timetable is very easy.
Most times of the year you don't have to pre-book anything.

The only problem is that local tour operators will promise you anything to get your business - and oce they have it your money tour are in their power!

If you are planning any eco touring etc you are best going to an established company as most of the local Thai companies don't give a tinker's cuss about the environment etc.

As for meeting people - unless you are completely socially inept - or smell - you should have no problem!

I'll agree that tour companies are out to make money. But, in over 12 years I have never been ripped off from a local tour company for ordinary tours. You choose the tour from a travel agency and the company picks you up at your hotel. ( I have never got a tour from the Khao San Road area though!) I have lots of friends that look me up for help in Bangkok or other cities and sometimes I go on the tour with them, otherwise I just help them where I can. They have never been cheated out of their money. Guess I have been lucky!

Tourist dollars are needed to support many areas tourists want to see. I think some so called "Eco Tours" are just charging more money for an ordinary tour! The only way you can really keep an environment pristine is to keep tourists out entirely. This is something like the "Earth Day" get-togethers in the US involving thousands of participants - when the show is over the ground is still covered with crap just like you get from a rock group!

  • *******

"If I do the sleeper train to chiang mai myself then arrange a hill tribe treck locally I can save an amazing amount of money! Intrepid are charging the best part of £500 for the trip and if I were to do it myself I think £150 would be sufficient. What a saving! thanks again."

  • *******

When I use the overnight sleeper train to Chiang Mai I get my tickets a few days ahead of time, especially if it is close to Christmas/high season.

http://www.seat61.com/Thailand.htm

Enjoy your stay in Thailand.

7. Posted by wildfk (Respected Member 454 posts) 5y

I think it is the responsability of todays tourists to familiarise themselves with the isssues surrounding "eco-tourism" etc - then they would be less likely to post some of the rather bnal comments above.

8. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1326 posts) 5y

Quoting wildfk

I think it is the responsability of todays tourists to familiarise themselves with the isssues surrounding "eco-tourism" etc - then they would be less likely to post some of the rather bnal comments above.

The only thing that motivates "responsible tourism" is a profit motive! When I see tourists walking on "eco treks" picking up their own trash, pooping in plastic sacks and lugging that crap out and not leaving cigarette butts every where then I will believe that tour is more "eco friendly!"

Without any tourist money coming in a lot of this "responsible, eco friendly" tours will not exist.

No one says to deliberately destroy or damage the environment but some so called eco tours are just a way to get more money from tourists.

9. Posted by wildfk (Respected Member 454 posts) 5y

As I say it would be nice if some posters had at least a general overview of the issues involved.
If one thinks that profit is the only factor in economics then I'm sorry to say that that is a very blinkered line to take.
Satisfaction has always been a factor in economics and in terms of eco-tourism a lot of other factors besides economics come into play too.
They are readily available to anyone who cares to check before spouting off.

[ Edit: Edited on 13-Mar-2009, at 20:34 by wildfk ]

10. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1326 posts) 5y

Quoting wildfk

I
They are readily available to anyone who cares to check before spouting off.

No profit no tour! Sure some philanthropist may have a thing for ecology and using HIS money pay for everything allowing select visitors to tour - but money is always required in some fashion! Even if a "government agency" is the sponsor - that money comes from taxes. (Just tax the rich - right? Every foreigner visiting Asia is rich!)

But this is a moot point, if someone is in to Eco-touring - fine - just go! If someone just wants and ordinary tour - just go on one! Make your own choice and be as responsible as humanely possible without being all wacky about it!

And have a nice time touring Asia - remember be responsible!

http://cambridgehub.org/node/1411

http://yep.mikehorn.com/blogs/entry/Is-Ecotourism-possible-in-a-third-world-developing-country-

http://www.earthfoot.org/lit_zone/schmack.htm

http://www.articlearchives.com/international-relations/national-security-foreign-foreign/769977-1.html