The Tour Price displayed here is for the tour only and does not include international flights. Our flight prices are very competitive, please ask for a quote when making your booking
This trip is an overland trip run in an overland truck. In addition to paying for your trip, you're require to make a separate payment to your tour leader at the start of the trip, usually in USD. Kitties are flexible and change as prices are updated. Therefore you should check the latest kitty amount on this website before you depart.
A kitty is a group fund which covers all accommodation, meals while camping (not in hotels) and activities listed as included. It's a system unique to overlanding to provide the maximum flexibility and best value on the road (you get everything at cost price!). The kitty is your money, not ours, so any amount left over is divided among the group as a refund.Close
|Trip Code||Start Date||End Date||Currency||Kitty|
|TMKB||Saturday 10 Aug 2013||Monday 19 Aug 2013|
|TMKB||Saturday 07 Sep 2013||Monday 16 Sep 2013|
|TMKB||Saturday 19 Oct 2013||Monday 28 Oct 2013|
|TMKB||Saturday 02 Nov 2013||Monday 11 Nov 2013|
|TMKB||Saturday 14 Dec 2013||Monday 23 Dec 2013|
|TMKB||Saturday 21 Dec 2013||Monday 30 Dec 2013|
|TMKB||Saturday 28 Dec 2013||Monday 06 Jan 2014|
|TMKB||Saturday 11 Jan 2014||Monday 20 Jan 2014|
|TMKB||Saturday 25 Jan 2014||Monday 03 Feb 2014|
|TMKB||Saturday 08 Feb 2014||Monday 17 Feb 2014|
|TMKB||Saturday 22 Feb 2014||Monday 03 Mar 2014|
|TMKB||Saturday 08 Mar 2014||Monday 17 Mar 2014|
|TMKB||Saturday 22 Mar 2014||Monday 31 Mar 2014|
|TMKB||Saturday 05 Apr 2014||Monday 14 Apr 2014|
|TMKB||Saturday 19 Apr 2014||Monday 28 Apr 2014|
|TMKB||Saturday 03 May 2014||Monday 12 May 2014|
|TMKB||Saturday 17 May 2014||Monday 26 May 2014|
|TMKB||Saturday 31 May 2014||Monday 09 Jun 2014|
|TMKB||Saturday 14 Jun 2014||Monday 23 Jun 2014|
|TMKB||Saturday 28 Jun 2014||Monday 07 Jul 2014|
|TMKB||Saturday 12 Jul 2014||Monday 21 Jul 2014|
|TMKB||Saturday 26 Jul 2014||Monday 04 Aug 2014|
|TMKB||Saturday 09 Aug 2014||Monday 18 Aug 2014|
|TMKB||Saturday 16 Aug 2014||Monday 25 Aug 2014|
|TMKB||Saturday 23 Aug 2014||Monday 01 Sep 2014|
|TMKB||Saturday 06 Sep 2014||Monday 15 Sep 2014|
|TMKB||Saturday 13 Sep 2014||Monday 22 Sep 2014|
|TMKB||Saturday 20 Sep 2014||Monday 29 Sep 2014|
|TMKB||Saturday 04 Oct 2014||Monday 13 Oct 2014|
|TMKB||Saturday 18 Oct 2014||Monday 27 Oct 2014|
|TMKB||Saturday 01 Nov 2014||Monday 10 Nov 2014|
|TMKB||Saturday 15 Nov 2014||Monday 24 Nov 2014|
|TMKB||Saturday 29 Nov 2014||Monday 08 Dec 2014|
|TMKB||Saturday 13 Dec 2014||Monday 22 Dec 2014|
|TMKB||Saturday 27 Dec 2014||Monday 05 Jan 2015|
Golden sands line the beaches of many places in Malaysia. There are palm trees as far as the eye can see, and many more wonderful sites.
Enter the beautiful tropical island of Pulau Langkawi and take a cable car from the Oriental village up the hillside. There is a chance to trek to each station, and with the astonishing views that greet you, it is definitely worth it. Ascending through the land, it becomes clear how truly striking the views actually are. The Telaga Tujuh waterfalls are visible and as the peak is reached, so too is the winding curving bridge. Linking the top station to the Machinchang mountain range, the wonderful sights are breathtaking.
In the capital of Kuala Lumpur lie the soaring Petronas Towers. These are among the tallest in the world and there are many like it that rise into the sky. This diverse city checks all the boxes of a modern city, but its history is still flowing, and the Chinatown of this city brings a whole new meaning to the word "exploration". With stalls showing off the goods they have to sell, and traditional food available, the choices are endless. The food, not only in Chinatown, but across Malaysia is a mixture of Chinese, Thai and Indian foods. The staple food of rice varies across the country and when infused with coconut milk and fried anchovies it creates the popular dish of Nasi Lemak. Chicken satay is another popular food within Malaysia and often seen as an icon. Another icon of Malaysia is the music. The many types of music across the country are influenced by Indonesia, Thai, Portuguese, Filipino, British and Chinese music, making many different genres for Malaysian people to enjoy. From contemporary to jazz and even rock and punk, the music scene in Malaysia has adapted through the years.
Malaysia is a country to find so many animals living in their natural habitat. Tigers, crocodiles, elephants and pot bellied pigs are just some that roam the land. To wander the land yourself, you will discover how attractive Malaysia is.
An intriguing city between the Borneo jungle and the South China Sea, Kota Kinabalu has a charm that can only be found in a frontier town.
You'll be met on arrival at Kota Kinabalu airport and transferred to your hotel. Please advise flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to departure if you wish to have this transfer provided..
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1.
At the group meeting we will be collecting your insurance details and emergency contact information, so please ensure you have all details on hand to provide to your leader. After the meeting, there is the option of joining your fellow travellers for dinner. If your flight is scheduled to arrive late we recommend that you consider booking a night's accommodation prior to the trip so you can ensure you are able to attend the important group meeting.
Complimentary airport arrival transfer
Kota Kinabalu - Monosopiad Cultural Village, Kota Kinabalu - MYR75.00
Kota Kinabalu - River rafting (full day), Kota Kinabalu - MYR230.00
Kota Kinabalu - Sabah Museum, Kota Kinabalu - MYR15.00
Hotel (1 nt)
Kinabalu National Park encompasses the lowland tropical forest surrounding the imposing peak of Mt Kinabalu has beautiful nature trails, diverse flora and fauna.
Mt Kinabalu (located within Kinabalu National Park) at 4,095.2 metres, is the highest mountain on the island of Borneo. Mount Kinabalu is one of the youngest non-volcanic mountains in the world. It was formed within the last 10 to 35 million years. The mountain still grows at a rate of 5 millimetres a year. Kinabalu National Park covers an area of 754 square kilometers and was Malaysia's first UNESCO World Heritage Site. The mountain and its surroundings are among the most important biological sites in the world, with over 800 species of orchid, 600 species of ferns, 326 species of birds, and is the richest place in the world for the Nepenthes insectivorous pitcher plants (five of the thirteen are found nowhere else on earth).
Here we will stretch our legs and take in the mountain views on one of the numerous walking trails - keeping an eye out for birds, snakes and the odd little leech.
Visit the Kundasang War Memorial, commemorating Australian and British POW's who died in Sandakan and during the infamous death marches to Ranau during World War II. The memorial also remembers the people of North Borneo who risked their lives to help the POWs.
The Memorial is made up of four beautiful gardens - the Australian Garden, the English Garden, the Borneo Garden and the Contemplation Garden and Pool - to represent the different nationalities. With its towering pine trees and blooming roses, a walk in the gardens is reminiscent to that of a stroll in a quaint English garden. The Kundasang War Memorial is a place to contemplate and remember the heroes of war. Visitors can also opt to view a brief video on the history of the Sandakan Death March.
Tonight we stay amongst the grounds of a tea garden.
Kundasang - War Memorial
Mt Kinabalu - Guided walk around lower trails
Cottage (1 nt)
Warm sulphur water is piped into several open-air Japanese style baths at Poring Hot Springs, which are said to have curative properties for the skin.
Before we leave for Poring we will take an early morning walk through the tea plantation concluding in some tea sampling.
It takes approx 45 mins to reach Poring Hot Springs. We will traverse the tree-tops on a suspended canopy walkway where you can get a birds eye view of the jungle and mountains of this beautiful National Park area.
There'll be some free time to explore the Park - you may like to visit the Butterfly Garden, the Orchid Garden or take a short walk through the jungle to the Kipungit Waterfall where you can have a refreshing swim. Afterwards, relax in the open air hot springs and soak up this unique atmosphere.
Poring Hot Springs
Poring Hot Springs - Canopy Walk
Tea Garden - Sunrise Morning Walk
Cottage (1 nt)
The busy city of Sandakan has a strong Cantonese influence which is evident in the lively harbourside market, the many Chinese temples and the local cuisine.
It takes approx 5hrs to reach Sandakan, stopping at the Sandak War Memorial along the way.
Get some insight into the city's past at the emotive War Memorial, built on the site of a Japanese POW camp. This site also marks the starting point of the tragic Sandakan Death Marches, on which 2,400 POWs were forced to walk through the jungles of Borneo. By the end of the march, only 6 Australians survived, and only because they had escaped.
Sandakan was once the capital of British North Borneo and traditionally has strong trading ties with Hong Kong.
Hotel (1 nt)
The Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre was set up to prepare orphaned baby orangutans to return to the wild
It is a quick ride in our private transportation to the centre. To aid the orangutans adapt to the wild, a supplementary diet of bananas and milk is laid out on feeding platforms twice a day. From the viewing platform, you can watch and photograph these charming creatures as they swing into view on ropes and vines. We're not permitted to hinder the orangutans as human contact must be kept to a minimum and it's essential that we follow the instructions of the park, as directed by your leader. There's also a short film about the orangutan rehabilitation process to watch in the reserve's interpretation centre.
Visit the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary where you can watch up close the amazing bachelor proboscis lazing and feeding - an experience that can only be found in Borneo. The sanctuary is a protected forest reserve inhabited by several groups of wild proboscis monkeys.
Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary
Sepilok - Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
Sepilok - Rainforest Discovery Centre, Sepilok - MYR10.00
Hotel (1 nt)
Hit the road to Sukau, stopping to visit the Gomantong Caves en route. Continue on to a jungle lodge near Kinabatangan River. Spend free time here relaxing and enjoying the surroundings before spotting local wildlife on a river cruise.
It takes approx 2.5hrs to reach our jungle lodge. The Kinabatangan River is the 2nd longest river in Malaysia at 560 kms from its source at Mt Trus Madi to the Sulu Sea and is also a protected forest reserve which contains some of Borneo's highest concentrations of wildlife.
In the late afternoon we will take a river cruise and hopefully spot some of the local wildlife - wild elephants are rarely seen but we will hopefully find crocodiles, macaques, wild orangutan and proboscis monkeys, as well as hornbills or kingfishers - just some of the many types of animals and birds found in this area.
We will return to our jungle lodge for dinner and there is the option to do a night trek if you're ready for more adventure!
Sukau - Gomantong Caves
Sukau - River cruise & wildlife spotting on Kinabatangan River
Chalet (1 nt)
One of the larger islands in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine National Park, Manukan Island is beautiful place to explore, snorkel with tropical fish or simply kick back and relax.
Located just off the coast of Kota Kinabalu, it is a short flight from Sandakan airport (max luggage allowance 15kg). We spend two days here, with the first day free for activities.
Today we explore the island and take a snorkelling trip - be sure to look out for tropical fish and colourful coral.
We stay here for one more night before heading back to Kota Kinabalu.
Boat trip to Tunku Abdul National Marine Park
Chalet (2 nts)
This marine park offers the chance to walk along the 1.5km beach at low tide, go swimming, diving amongst the fish and coral or simply kick back and relax.
Board a plane back to Kota Kinabalu and spend time relaxing at our beachside location. Toast the end of a great journey with new friends during a farewell dinner.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart our accommodation at any time. Please check the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.
Tunku Abdul Marine Park - Scuba diving, Kota Kinabalu - MYR260.00
Hotel (1 nt)
Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. Our brochure is usually released in November each year. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. For the latest updated Trip Notes please visit our website: www.imaginative-traveller.com
Please note that 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.
Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are for entrance only and don't include transport costs to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Optional activities aren't necessarily endorsed or recommended by Imaginative Traveller nor included in price of this trip. If you do any optional activities, you do so at your own risk and it must be clearly understood that your participation is your own decision and doesn't form part of your contract with Imaginative Traveller. You may be required to sign/complete a waiver form or a receipt for some optional activities.
The official currency of Malaysia is the Ringgit (MYR).
The most convenient and cheapest way to obtain local currency in is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). ATM's are now readily available and visa cash advances are available in major banks. Foreign currency notes that are old, torn or faded can be very difficult to exchange, clean bills in small denominations are most useful. Traveller's cheques can be difficult to change.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Imaginative Traveller destinations. Although can be difficult to source we advise you to carry small notes of local currency each day to make tipping easier. Please note we recommend that any tips are given directly to the intended recipient by a member of your group as our group leaders are prohibited from collecting cash for tips.
The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest US$1. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.
Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest US$2-3 per day for local guides.
Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest US$1-2 per day for drivers.
Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline US$2-4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
In total, we recommend you budget approx US$5-10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
The month-long Ramadan Festival will be in progress from 9 July 2013. This is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan business hours are shortened, including opening hours at all popular tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. While you definitely need to expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month of Ramadan is a fantastic month to travel in Muslim countries as it offers a chance to witness this fascinating Islamic event and the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken.
An important 15-day festival for the Malaysian Chinese, based on the lunar calendar in January or February. In 2013, the Year of the Snake is scheduled to be held from 10 February. This can be a busy time and some transport delays, shop closures and reduced opening hours at some sites may be expected, but there are also many fabulous festivals and rituals to observe during this time, so it's a great time to travel. Although we make all reasonable efforts to avoid disruption a flexible approach from the traveller is appreciated.
There is a strict 15kg luggage maximum on this trip due to internal flight. Excess luggage is to be paid by the traveller.
Maximum of 12 travellers per group.
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.
Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.
Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own room (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
Hotel (4 nts), Chalet (3 nts), Cottage (2 nts)
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.
If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.
9 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 2 Dinners
Van, Boat, Plane
All Imaginative Traveller group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Imaginative Traveller endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.
Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Imaginative Traveller we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
Lot 21, First Floor, Block A Warisan Square, Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens
Phone: +6 088 448 787
Joining point description
The Myne hotel has 72 rooms, all with air conditioning, TV's, en suites and an electronic safety deposit box.
An arrival transfer from the Kota Kinabulu airport is included. Please advise flight arrival details to you agent at least 14 days prior to departure. Our local representative will be holding a sign with your name when you exit the airport terminal.
If you cannot locate your transfer representative please take a taxi from the front of the airport and advise your group leader at the group meeting. Taxis are easy to locate at the front of the terminal where you can purchase your voucher from the pre-paid booth for approx. 45MYR for the 15min drive to the city centre.
We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.
If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the starting point hotel, following the Joining Instructions in these Trip Notes. Should this occur, please apply to your travel agent for a refund of the transfer cost on your return.
No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
Lot 21, First Floor, Block A Warisan Square, Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens
Phone: +6 088 448 787
The Myne hotel has 72 rooms, all with air conditioning, TV's, en suites and an electronic safety deposit box.
Finish point instructions
If you have pre-booked a departure transfer, please inform your leader and they will notify you of your departure transfer time.
If you are making your own way to the airport the hotel will be able to help book you an airport shuttle or taxi. Please ask at reception.
In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, our Thailand Office can be reached on Tel: +66 898 103 722 (Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Borneo, Indonesia, Burma & Phillippines) and Tel: +855 92 555 969 (Cambodia).
We also have a dedicated 24 hour telephone number which should only be used once you have left the UK and in the event of a real emergency. Should you need to call the number, we will do what we can to help but please bear in mind that real progress or action may not be possible until normal office hours.
If your flight is delayed or cancelled, please let us know and then make your way to the joining hotel as instructed in these trip notes. If you cannot get through leave a message and a contact number as these will be regularly checked. Emergency Number: +44 (0) 7985106564
Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
Australia: No - not required
Belgium: No - not required
Canada: No - not required
Germany No - not required
Ireland: No - not required
Netherlands: No - not required
New Zealand: No - not required
South Africa: No - not required
Switzerland: No - not required
United Kingdom: No - not required
USA: No - not required
The above nationalities do not need visas to visit Malaysia as a tourist for up to three months. Other nationalities should check with their Malaysian embassy or consulate.
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 leader or our local representative 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.
What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb.
Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
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 consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation.
When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day
All Imaginative Traveller 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 group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Imaginative Traveller reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. 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.
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 safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Imaginative Traveller itinerary, and Imaginative Traveller makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.
Some hotel balconies don't meet UK standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.
Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!
Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in the western world or from your home country and not all the transport which we use provides seat belts.
While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
You may stay at hotels with unfenced pools and no life guard on duty.
We highly recommend the Imaginative Traveller travel insurance which is tailored specifically for adventure travel and covers ALL activities featured in any of our tours. For more details please go to http://www.imaginative-traveller.com/travel-insurance
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
When travelling on a group trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
At Imaginative Traveller we love helping our clients experience the beauty and cultures of the destinations we visit. However, hand in hand with this we have always been aware that we have a responsibility to minimise any negative impacts that tourism can bring.
Responsible Travel is twofold. It's about taking people to the places they want to go in a safe and responsible manner but also about respecting and maintaining the natural and often delicate balance of the destination. Economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, but should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment.
• It is our aim to provide journeys that have minimal negative and maximum positive impact on the places we visit.
• We do not believe that, as visitors, we should impose our own cultures on others; rather that we should experience foreign cultures and appreciate them for what they are.
• Whilst it is our aim to show destinations and cultures in a positive light, we do not believe in papering over the cracks or shielding visitors from the realities of life. This does not mean, however, that we condone or endorse certain situations or regimes that may be in place.
Our guidelines are meant not as rigid instructions but rather as suggestions to make our holidays more enjoyable – for everybody. As cultural and environmental sensitivities vary from country to country more specific guidelines can be found in our individual country and trip dossiers.
Before you depart try to spend some time familiarising yourself with the destination you will be travelling to – their culture and customs. The country dossiers on our website offer detailed information about all the regions we visit. They also include some useful phrases in the local language for you to use on your trip! A few words of the local language can open up many more opportunities for you to interact with the people you will meet.
Although it is tempting to give out pens, sweets and money to people begging, and particularly tempting to give to children, we feel that this encourages a begging mentality and has a long-term negative impact on communities. If someone begging earns more than someone in the same community who works this can discourage local employment. If children regularly bring home money it may discourage their parents from sending them to school.
Always ask permission to photograph local people and respect their decision if they would prefer not to have their picture taken.
Respect local dress codes, especially at religious sites. Our tour leaders are always on hand to give you advice about this.
In many of the countries we visit you might see examples of animal cruelty (for example dancing bears, performing monkeys and snake charmers). Please do not take photographs of this or offer money as it encourages the activity.
Respect the environment you are in. It sounds obvious but do not throw litter, take it with you or use rubbish bins! You may see locals throwing rubbish on the street but do not follow their example!
When shopping in countries where haggling is the norm – enjoy it and only pay what you feel is a fair price for the goods you are purchasing. However, remember that the shopkeeper does have to make a living so do stop once you have reached a price you are happy with. Bargaining should be fun but always remember that a small amount can mean much more to the vendor than to you.
Endeavour to take home souvenirs made locally; the money you spend can be very important to the local communities. However, do use your common sense and don't buy anything that you think might be made out of endangered animals or plants.
To help keep as much money as possible in the host country - try to eat in locally owned restaurants and order local drinks and produce rather than international brands.
In hotels do be conscious of how much water you are using. Many of the areas we visit regularly have shortages; try not to have hour long showers! Don't leave lights, air conditioners or fans on when you leave the room – you wouldn't at home!
Respect the environment you are in, especially when in national parks or reserves. Pay attention to rules about keeping on paths, keeping a distance from animals and not removing any of the natural habitat.
Relax and immerse yourself in the differences of the culture you are in – you'll be back home in the familiar soon enough (and wishing you were still on holiday!). These cultural differences are part of what makes your experience special.
If you would like to offset the carbon dioxide that will be produced on your flights you can do this on our website (on our Responsible travel page). We work with climatecare, who will reduce the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide that you produce in another part of the World through their emission reduction projects. These projects are low carbon efficient technologies in developing countries and not only serve to reduce emissions but also help to spread the adoption of low carbon technologies and improve the quality of life for local communities. Details of climatecare's projects can be found on their website.
Please do let us know if you have any comments about responsible travel at email@example.com
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Imaginative Traveller travellers. Imaginative Traveller's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Carbon Offset C02-e 369.00 kgs per pax.
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