The perfect trip for anyone wanting to combine unique adventure with stunning locations and a real exploration of the magic of Northern Thailand.
Northern Thailand has been bussed, cycled, trekked and moped’ed but has it ever been ‘Tuk-Tuk’d’? Release your inner cab driver and join us on a trip that puts you in charge of Thailand’s most iconic form of transport. Well, apart from an elephant and that wouldn’t be right, would it. We can guarantee numb bums, shaky arms, ringing ears, huge amounts of fun, more than a touch of luxury and a travel story to bore your friends with for years…
Starting and finishing in the beautiful Mae Wang valley The Tuk-Tuk Club takes you on a journey through some of South East Asia’s most spectacular scenery, lets you stay in some of the coolest small hotels in the region and brings you in touch with local communities like you’ve never known before
Can I do this?
Yes – as long as you’ve got a sense of adventure and flexibility of course you can.
What sort of people is this trip for?
Anyone who wants to see the ‘real’ Thailand from a different perspective and be amongst the first people to take part in this sort of travel in Thailand. NOTE: Other than nights 3 and 4 the accommodation is at a high 3* / 4 * level. Nights 3 and 4 are simple and ‘rustic’ but the location and views make the simplicity more than worthwhile.
What do I need to bring?
A sense of humour, casual relaxed clothing and some spending money (around GBP 100 will be fine).
I don’t like Guest Houses / grotty accommodation?
Nights 3 and 4 in the National Park are in ‘rustic’ accommodation – taking advantage of the stunning surroundings. All other accommodation is of a high standard (4*) with air-conditioning.
What if I don’t want to drive?
That’s fine – no-one is forced to drive but of course we do need at least 1 driver per tuk tuk.
Day 1: ARRIVAL, DRIVER TRAINING AND TEMPLE BLESSING
Day 2: MORE TRAINING AND ELEPHANTS
Day 3: AND WE’RE OFF – DOI INTHANON HERE WE COME
Day 4: TREKKING
Day 5: ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Day 6: MORE BENDS AND MOUNTAINS
Day 7: FREE DAY TO EXPLORE
Day 8: MOUNTAIN ROADS TO PAI
Day 9: ENJOY PAI AND THE SURROUNDING AREA
Day 10: THE FINAL LEG
Day 11: FAREWELL
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary, therefore, on occasions there may be some alternations. While we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.
Given the unpredictable nature of weather and travel, we are sometimes forced to make late itinerary changes due to unexpected heavy rain and/or storms and road closures. In the event of this occurring, itinerary changes may need to be implemented after commencement of you trip. In this event, your Tour guides have full authority to change the itinerary and/or order of activities and substitute alternative destinations and activities as necessary. No refunds are available due to itinerary changes and missed activities caused by extreme weather conditions and/or road closures.
> By it’s very nature this trip is an ‘adventure’ – when it’s hot….it’s hot, when It’s wet….it’s wet and when it’s cold….it’s cold (and it does get cold in the mountains between November and February). And as with any trip of this nature there is some inherent risk which must be accepted by all travellers – without a small amount of risk there is no adventure! However, all routes and roads have been extensively researched (in Tuk Tuk’s of course), there is plenty of training and practice of driving before we hit the windy roads heading up into the mountains and the guides will always set a sensible pace for the conditions for each different day.
What driving experience do I need?
> All travellers who wish to drive a Tuk Tuk MUST have a driving license from their own country (manual gear) and an International Driving Permit (IDP) – this is very easy and quick to organise
> No previous Tuk Tuk driving experience is necessary!
Can I book on my own / can I take a whole Tuk Tuk?
> This experience is perfect for solo travellers, couples or groups of friends (or even adventurous families).
> Each Tuk Tuk can seat a maximum of 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children (under 12)
> If you book as a party of 3 you can take your own Tuk Tuk.
> The maximum group size for each trip is 15 – 3 adventurers per Tuk Tuk.
> Each trip will consist of up to 6 Tuk Tuks - the lead vehicle driven by one of your guides – and a support vehicle, driven by an additional guide, carrying bags, spare parts, water, snacks etc.
The Tuk Tuk’s
> All the Tuk Tuk’s are original, classic ‘Bangkok style’ Tuk Tuk’s with the relevant registrations to allow them to be driven by the group on all the roads taken during the tour
> Whilst Tuk Tuk’s are relatively simple to drive, training and experience is provided in the driver training sessions on Days 1 and 2 of the trip
> All fuel is provided as part of the adventure
> No-one is forced to drive! There is space for 2 people comfortably on the back seats
> Simple mechanical training will be given on Days 1 and 2 and how to care for your Tuk Tuk sessions will take place. In addition, our team are on hand to assist in the event of any mechanical issues.
> All travellers must ensure that they conform to local traffic laws and agree to abide by the driving rules of The Tuk Tuk Club – this is for everyone’s safety.
> Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
> Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
>Passport (required) (With photocopies)
> Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
> Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
The official currency of Thailand is the Baht (THB). The most convenient and cheapest way to obtain local currency is via ATMs which are available in most towns and cities. Foreign currency notes that are old, torn or faded can be very difficult to exchange. Clean bills in small denominations are most useful. The use of credit cards is restricted, mainly to major hotels and more upmarket shops and shopping centres.
Tipping is thailand is expected.
Please be aware that wifi and internet access is not as readily available in Thailandas in other parts of the world. There are often additional charges to connect to the internet, and speeds may be slower than what you are used to.
There is usually a max weight limit of 15kg (33lbs) on the internal flight in Thailand. Passengers are responsible for any excess luggage charges..
CLIMATE & CLOTHING:
Thailand has relaxed attitudes to standards of dress, unless you are visiting temples for the day. Please make sure you fully cover your shoulders and knees when entering religions places in Thailand. Not doing so, is a sign of disrespect. Given the unpredictable nature of weather and travel in the tropics, we are sometimes forced to make late itinerary changes due to unexpected heavy rain and/or storms and road closures.
Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation or simply refill with tap water. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.
The Songkran Festival is celebrated to mark the Lao New Year. The festival runs from the 13th to the 17th of April. Traditionally houses and villages are properly cleaned in preparation for the New Year, flowers are gathered to decorate Buddha images, young people pour water over the elders for good luck. Songkran Festival is often referred to as the “water festival” as it is now common to throw water over each other during the festival period. This is an epic party period in Thailand, but please be careful, cities can get very very crowded and crime heightens during this time.
We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact GoKo Travels or your Tour leader on the numbers provided in the contact selection of this document (bottom).
If you are unable to get in touch with your with us via the details given on our website, please refer to our emergency contact details.
You do not need to pre-booked an airport transfer, as your tour leader will collect you from outside the airport and will take you to your Starting Point hotel.
Our advice is to be prepared to get wet and keep all valuables in your accommodation! Your local guides will discuss the festival activities upon day one at the group meeting.
PASSPORTS & VISAS
Passports and Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity) and entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality.
If entering by air most nationalities will be granted a 30 day stay on arrival.
If entering by a land border, you will be granted a 15 day stay only (some exceptions are citizens of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Italy, Germany and Japan who are eligible for 30 day visa at land borders). A visa extension can be obtained in Thailand at an immigration office for approx. 2000THB or alternatively you can apply for a Thailand visa in advance from your embassy or consulate that will allow a 30 day stay when entering at an overland border.
If planning to enter Thailand via a land border multiple times during your travels, we recommend you pre-obtain a 60 day multiple entry visa from you embassy or consulate before you travel rather than attempting to obtain a visa at the border on multiple occasions which may result in being denied re-entry into the country. For the most up to date information on visa requirements, we recommend you contact the Thai mbassy in your country (visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/thailand for more information)
** Note: Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.
FLIGHTS & TRAVEL INSURANCE
GoKo Travels doesn't currently have the facilities to book your external/international flights. Therefore, you will have to prearrange your own flights to the required destination. We are always looking to improve our services, therefore, are planning to implement this solution as soon as possible.
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your Tour leader/ local representative, who will take note of your insurance details and emergency contact number. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability of luggage, cancellation, curtailment and loss and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
MONEY & TIPPING
When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. Some prefer to spend all their money on alcohol, whille other prefer souvenirs. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier.
With that said, make sure you have enough to budget for 7 lunches and 5 dinners during the trip. Lunches on the road will be between 50 and 100THB and dinners can vary widely depending where you eat but would usually range between 100 and 300THB per person.
Of course you also need to budget for drinks throughout the trip. Beers range from 60THB up to 150THB for a large bottle (depending where you buy them – sometimes even 150THB for a small bottle)
Whilst everyone’s needs are different we’d suggest that you budget for around 7,500 to 10,000THB for food, snacks, drinks etc during your trip.
The currency of Thailand is the Baht (THB).For the latest exchange rate refer to https://www.xe.com but you are better office exchanging money either at the airport or withdrawing cash from ATMS.
The most convenient and cheapest way to obtain local currency is via ATMs which are available in most towns and cities. Foreign currency notes that are old, torn or faded can be very difficult to exchange. Clean bills in small denominations are most useful. The use of credit cards is restricted, mainly to major hotels and more upmarket shops and shopping centres.
Make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't.
We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to an extra GBP£300 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last-minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result, there may be some extra costs involved.
ACCOMMODATION, FOOD & TRANSPORT
The accommodation is intentionally of a very high standard throughout the trip to allow you to ‘adventure’ during the day but relax and enjoy great surrounding in the evenings and free days.
Mae Wang ‘base camp’ – nights 1,2 and 10 – 3-4*
Khum Khun Wang Resort (or similar), Mae Wang. A stylish Northern Thailand hotel in peaceful grounds with a laid back small dining area. Perfect for our ‘base camp’.
Doi Inthanon – nights 3 and 4 – 2*
Breakfasts (10), lunches (3) and dinners (5).
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with GoKo Travels you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally, meals are included in the trip price, therefore, it is your responsibly to let us know if you have any food allergies at time of booking, so we can make arrangements accordingly.
Travellers with special dietary requirements or food allergies are required to advise us at the time of booking.If you do not inform us before departure date, it may be difficult to source special dietary requests.
You may be asked to pay for any additional food if you have not advised us of any special dietary requirements beforehand.
The below dietary can be easily catered for:.
Dairy Free (soy available )
Please bring your own staples (nuts, bars, snacks) if you require a diet differing from the above.
As you may well know, adventures always carry an element of danger. Our GoKo trips are not just package holidays, they are immersive experiences that go off the beaten path and push can you beyond your comfort zone. That’s what makes them awesome, and that’s why we take safety very seriously.
Different countries have their own infrastructures, laws, regulations, transport systems, cultures, political situations, climates and ecosystems so the nature of an adventure means it carries genuine risks. With this is mind, we are dedicated to ensuring all reasonable precautions are made to provide trips that are safe.
We closely monitor all the countries we travel to, keeping in regular contact with our operators and suppliers for their local knowledge and expertise.
If you have any concerns about travelling to a particular country, most governments provide their own travel advice. Here are some useful links regarding foreign travel: UK citizens; US citizens; Canadian citizens; Australian citizens; New Zealand citizens. If you are not from one of the follow countries, please visit your official government advice page.
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safekeeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities, have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our guides to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
MEDICAL & HEALTH:
All GoKo travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if in the opinion of our tour leader / local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, GoKo Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure. Information should be gathered round necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure.
We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements.
For legal reasons, our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group guides or local representatives straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/ local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
If for whatever reasons, you wish to contact GoKo directly regarding changes to your scheduled trip or make a complaint while you are already on your trip, or need to contact us in cases of an emergency, please use the following details below:
Emergency Contact Number: +44 7305027666