Classic Thailand East Coast (May - Oct)

Classic Thailand East Coast (May - Oct)

174 Views
17 Days
From

$2985

$2467

Classic Thailand East Coast (May - Oct)

17 Days Starting in Bangkok and ending in Ko Samui

Visiting: Bangkok, Sukhothai, Village Homestay, Village Homestay - Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai, Bangkok / Overnight train, Koh Pitak, Chumphon, Ko Tao, Ko Samui

Tour operator:

Intrepid Travel

Tour code:

TTSBC

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

1 - 12

Physical rating:

Medium

Age range:

15-99 years

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians

Tour operated in:
English
Trip Styles:

Small Group

Activities:

Snorkeling

From:
$2985
$2467 (USD) Operator discount: -$448 The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$70 -17%
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Tour Overview

Combining the best of the north and south, this is the definitive Thailand tour. Travel from the clamour of the capital to the serenity of steamy rainforests, from atmospheric ruins to relaxed sun-drenched islands. Tour temples in Bangkok, bargain-hunt in lively Chiang Mai and then swim, snorkel or simply kick back on the divine beaches of the southern coast. This adventure is the perfect chance to visit the many attractions and treasures of Thailand.

Highlights

  • Work up an appetite with a leisurely cycle through the ancient Buddhas and ruined temples of Heritage-listed Sukhothai Park, then feast on a home-cooked picnic lunch

  • Experience daily rural life first hand when staying with long-time Intrepid friends in a small Thai village

  • Support an important animal welfare initiative and get close to incredible creatures at the Hospital of the Friends of the Asian Elephant

  • Pick up some impressive new culinary skills and taste delicious local dishes in a Thai cooking class

  • Discover the best beaches and islands of Thailand’s east coast – from popular Ko Samui to laid-back Ko Tao – for a true slice of paradise

  • Cruise to Ko Pitak for a taste of real island life. Enjoy an overnight homestay, feast on fresh seafood and interact with local fishermen

  • Two in-depth snorkelling trips, one in Chumphon and one in Ko Tao, give you plenty of time to explore underwater worlds brimming with coral and colourful tropical fish

  • Travel as the locals do on overnight sleeper trains – the best way to travel long distances, meet locals and maximise time at destinations

  • Experience a variety of local accommodation, from small guesthouses to beach resorts

Itinerary

Expand All
Day 1: Bangkok
Location: Bangkok
Accommodation: Hotel

Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Bangkok, Thailand's bustling capital. Bangkok is famous for its tuk tuks, khlong boats and street vendors serving up delicious Thai food. With no planned activities until your important welcome meeting at 6 pm, why not head out and explore. You could take a riverboat to Chinatown and explore the crowded streets, uncover the magnificent Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, wander down the tourist mecca of Khao San Road, or indulge in a Thai massage. After the meeting tonight, perhaps gather your fellow travellers together and tuck into some into world famous street food.

Optional Activities:
-Bangkok - Grand Palace
-Bangkok - Thai Massage
-Bangkok - Tuk Tuk Experience Urban Adventure

Day 2: Sukhothai
Location: Sukhothai
Accommodation: Resort

This morning, leave the current capital of Thailand and head north by train (approx 6 hours) and private mini van (approx 1 hour) to one of the first ancient capitals of Siam, Sukhothai. Located on a fertile plain, Sukhothai was established in the 13th century, and the name means the 'Dawn of Happiness'. It’s now famous for its World Heritage-listed historic park that celebrates the Golden Age of Thai civilisation. Tonight, be sure to head to the fascinating local night market and try the local dishes, like Sukhothai noodles.

Included Activities:
-Sukhothai - Night Market

Day 3: Sukhothai
Location: Sukhothai
Accommodation: Resort
Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch

Head out to the historical ruins of Old Sukhothai, set amid beautiful lakes and gardens. The religious art and architecture of the Sukhothai era are considered to be the most classic of Thai styles, and the Sukhothai Historical Park contains the remains of 21 historic sites, with awe-inspiring Buddha images and four large ponds often filled with stunning lotus flowers in full bloom. Upon arrival at the park, hire bicycles and enjoy a few leisurely hours feeling the breeze in your hair and learning about the history of this fascinating place. Enjoy a home-cooked picnic lunch somewhere along the way, and if you have enough free time, visit a local ceramics factory.

Included Activities:
-Sukhothai - Historical Park bike tour
-Sukhothai - Home-cooked picnic lunch

Day 4: Village Homestay
Location: Village Homestay
Accommodation: Homestay (Multishare)
Meals Included: breaksfast, dinner

Travel by private minivan from Sukothai (approx 4 hours) to the warm and welcoming home of Intrepid's long-time friends in a small Thai village where you’ll spend the night. Accommodation at the homestay is multishare and basic (there will be fold-out mattresses on the floor and shared bathrooms), but there is no better way to better understand a country and its people. In the evening, you’ll be treated to a traditional northern Thai khantok dinner, accompanied by live music and dancing.

Included Activities:
-Village Homestay - Cultural performance
-Village Homestay - Khantok dinner

Day 5: Village Homestay - Chiang Mai
Location: Village Homestay - Chiang Mai
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch

In the morning, jump on some bikes and cruise around the homestay village. This is a great opportunity to see how the locals live, and you’ll make a few stops along the way to see small country industries in the area. Cycling past the rice fields and breathing in the fresh country air, with beautiful mountains in the distance, makes this morning a picture-postcard experience. Say goodbye to your new friends and travel on to Chiang Mai (approximately 45 minutes). The most vibrant city in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai has many famous temples and an interesting old city area. Renowned for dazzling beauty and extremely welcoming locals, the ‘Rose of the North’ will leave you spellbound. Chances are, you won’t want to leave. Follow your leader on an orientation walk to get your bearings and enjoy a free evening tonight.

Included Activities:
-Village Homestay - Home-Cooked Lunch
-Village Homestay - Cycling tour

Optional Activities:
-Chiang Mai - Night Market - Free

Day 6: Chiang Mai
Location: Chiang Mai
Accommodation: Hotel

This morning, follow your leader to the largest fresh produce market in Chiang Mai for a visit. You'll be able to learn about these fresh ingredients and where the beautiful flavors of Thai cooking comes from. Then the rest of the day is free.Perhaps explore the famous temple complex of Doi Suthep. Drive along a scenic, winding mountain road that ends at an impressive 300-step naga-guarded stairway (approximately 45 mins). The rewards justify the climb with one of the most beautiful temples in Thailand on display, not to mention fantastic panoramic views of the city and the opportunity to listen to hypnotic evening chanting by resident Buddhist monks. Or maybe wander markets, meet monks, cruise the river, and slurp noodles on a Mae Ping River Experience. Don't miss out on trying lunch at the Chuan Chom vocational training center where you'll learn about the work that they do to train the women from the correctional institution with skills to go back to society. Or maybe join a Thai cooking class to discover some of the secrets of Thai cuisine. Your tour leader will be able to help you make the best of your day with plenty suggestions.

Included Activities:
-Chiang Mai - Fresh Produce Market Visit

Optional Activities:
-Chiang Mai - Doi Suthep Temple Complex (Entrance)

Day 7: Chiang Mai
Location: Chiang Mai
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: lunch

Today, you’ll have a pretty special time visiting the ChangChill elephant experience. Take a 1.5-hour drive out of Chiang Mai to ChangChill, where you’ll begin to learn how this organisation supports the protection, conservation and lifestyle of free roaming elephants in the region. You’ll observe the daily patterns of these jungle giants from a safe distance, seeing how they graze and socialise with their other friends. The expert local guides will be able to give you a ‘live lecture’ on the elephants themselves, its sustainable tourism practices and conservation efforts in the area. Enjoy some refreshments nearby the elephant’s mud pit but be careful not to get a spray! Be treated to some lunch in a riverside sala (pavilion) alongside your giant friends, who will be enjoying a meal too. Return to Chiang Mai where the rest of the time is at leisure.

Included Activities:
-Chiang Mai - ChangChill Elephant Sanctuary

Day 8: Bangkok
Location: Bangkok
Accommodation: Hotel

Today, take an unaccompanied flight back to Bangkok. You'll have some free time during the day before your 6pm group briefing to meet your new leader and your new group members.

Optional Activities:
-Bangkok - Bangkok by Bike Urban Adventure
-Bangkok - Chinatown Sights and Bites Urban Adventure

Day 9: Bangkok / Overnight Train
Location: Bangkok / Overnight train
Accommodation: Overnight sleeper train

You’ll start today with a visit to Wat Arun – Temple of the Dawn. Named after the Indian God of Dawn - Aruna, this impressive landmark of Bangkok sits majestically on the westbank of the Chao Phraya River. The rest of the afternoon is free for optional activities, and this city has so much to offer – perhaps head next door to the magnificent Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha or Wat Pho, home to the country's largest reclining Buddha and keeper of the magic behind Thai massage. You may want to take a riverboat to Chinatown and explore the crowded streets, or travel by longtail boat down the Chao Phraya River to explore the famous 'khlongs' (canals) of Bangkok. Life along these canals seems a world away from the chaotic streets of the capital. Tonight you will board an overnight train southbound for Langsuan (approximately 9 hours).

Notes: Sleeper trains are clean and air-conditioned, and beds are multi-share compartments with bunk bed padded berths with sheets, pillow and blanket provided (although some people prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet). Please note that you may be sharing compartments with locals of the same or opposite gender. Your baggage will travel in the carriage with you. There's also a food and drink service available on board. Some may find the air conditioning on the train quite cold overnight so best to pack a jumper and some long pants.

Included Activities:
-Bangkok - Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)

Optional Activities:
-Bangkok - Thai Massage
-Bangkok - Grand Palace
-Bangkok - Jim Thompson's House
-Bangkok - Wat Pho

Day 10: Koh Pitak
Location: Koh Pitak
Accommodation: Homestay
Meals Included: lunch, dinner

Arrive on your overnight train early in the morning, at around 6 am. Try a local style breakfast in Luangsuan market before heading to the pier (approximately 20 minutes) for Koh Pitak. Take a 10-minute boat to nearby Koh Pitak, a gorgeous little island, the location of tonight's homestay. Take an orientation walk around the village. While you're here, you'll see how the fisherman live and how they make their interesting fish traps. Your homestay tonight will include lunch, dinner and breakfast. Most meals will be be typical southern fare with fresh local seafood.

Day 11: Chumphon
Location: Chumphon
Accommodation: Resort
Meals Included: breaksfast

Say goodbye to your hosts and travel back to the mainland on a short boat trip. Then make the journey to Chumphon by private minivan (approximately 1.5 hours) and check into your resort. Your accommodation is beautifully located, right on the beachfront at Thung Wua Lan Beach (located about 16 kilometres away from the main town). You'll join the rest of the group to travel to a local lookout point, Khao Matsee, to take in some nice views and perhaps grab a cup of coffee. Back at the beach, spend free time stolling along the white sands of this pristine, uncrowded strip of coast.

Day 12: Chumphon
Location: Chumphon
Accommodation: Resort
Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch

Embark on a full-day snorkelling adventure. You will start at around 9 am and finish up at around 3 pm. The trip covers three different snorkelling spots, which gives you a nice variety of underwater scenery. See how many different kinds of tropical fish you can spot. The snorkelling will take place in the open water, so there will be no beach stops. Lunch is included, and you will arrive back at base at around 5 pm.

Included Activities:
-Chumphon - Snorkelling tour

Day 13: Ko Tao
Location: Ko Tao
Accommodation: Resort
Meals Included: breaksfast

Hop from one beach paradise to another, travelling to Ko Tao. The ferrry takes around 2 hours, and you'll arrive on Ko Tao mid-afternoon. Famous for its spectacular coral reefs, the delightful little island of Ko Tao is popular not only among divers but also those looking for beautiful palm-fringed beaches such as Sairee. Here you can relax or perhaps take up some optional diving. Cooking classes, aromatherapy sessions or local spa visits are also great options. Ko Tao also has a small but lively nightlife for those interested in dancing and socialising on the beach or in bars.

Optional Activities:
-Ko Tao - Thai Massage
-Ko Tao - Scuba diving
-Ko Tao - Aromatherapy Care by Jamahkiri Spa
-Ko Tao - Thai cooking class

Day 14: Ko Tao
Location: Ko Tao
Accommodation: Resort
Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch

Today you’ll experience the beautiful underwater world that surrounds Ko Tao with an exploratory snorkelling trip. With coral and fish a plenty and the remote chance of seeing timid reef sharks amongst mesmerising coral formations, Ko Tao is undeniably one of the jewels in southern Thailand's crown. Sail south from Mae Haad Pier, navigating around the southern tip of the island until you reach Shark Island. You might see the occasional leopard shark. Drop by Luek Bay for one of the best swimming beaches on the island with fish-filled reefs on either side, then stop at Hin Wong Bay for lunch aboard the boat – an idyllic spot where palm trees line the sheltered inlet. The shallow waters of Muang Bay are filled with colourful fish to swim by, and then stop at Nang Yuan Island. You can pay the small entrance fee to this privately owned island and take a short hike up to a viewpoint, relax on the beach, snorkel through schools of parrotfish, or chill out on the boat.

Included Activities:
-Ko Tao - Day tour & snorkelling

Day 15: Ko Samui
Location: Ko Samui
Accommodation: Resort
Meals Included: breaksfast

Jump on another boat today and cruise over to Ko Samui (approximately 2.5 hours). The island is certainly a brasher, more vibrant extrovert compared to its sister islands. If a little modern pizazz is what you’re after with your dose of sunshine exotica, look no further – this island offers a little something for everyone. Known simply as Samui by locals, Thailand's third largest island is rich with white sandy beaches, coral reefs and coconut trees. There's also the Big Buddha, waterfalls, markets, temples, a mummified monk, great shopping opportunities, Michelin star restaurants, luxury spas, and a lively nightlife. Today you can take an optional sightseeing tour around the island or brush up on your cooking techniques with a Thai cooking class.

Optional Activities:
-Ko Samui - Island sightseeing tour
-Ko Samui - Thai Cooking Class

Day 16: Ko Samui
Location: Ko Samui
Accommodation: Resort
Meals Included: breaksfast

It’s up to you what you want to do today, but if you feel like being more active, take an optional day trip to Ang Thong Marine National Park, an idyllic archipelago of around 40 islands (many uninhabited). If you choose this option you’ll take a speedboat to the Marine Park, with the island of Ko Wao or Ko Tai Plow as your first stop – here you can snorkel in the turquoise waters filled with ever changing colours of coral and fish. Sail around the steep limestone cliff islands and stop near an inland saltwater lagoon called Emerald Lake (Talay Nai), which is fed by an underground cave. Take a short walk up pathways and a wooden staircase to reach a magnificent hilltop lake viewpoint. Enjoy lunch on the island that houses the park headquarters, then chill out on the beach, climb up for a panorama of the Marine Park, and get out on to the bay for some kayaking. You’ll head back to Ko Samui in mid-afternoon. If you prefer to stay on land perhaps check out the Samui Elephant Sanctuary and observe these gentle giants as they roam, socialise, bathe and enjoy a peaceful life that they so deserve. Maybe join you the rest of your group for a drink to celebrate the end of this east coast Thailand beach adventure tonight.

Optional Activities:
-Ko Samui - Ang Thong Marine Park tour
-Ko Samui - Samui Elephant Sanctuary

Day 17: Ko Samui
Location: Ko Samui
Meals Included: breaksfast

This wonderful Thailand beach adventure comes to an end today, and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. Perhaps continue your exploration of South East Asia with another Intrepid adventure.

What's Included

  • Meals

    10 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 2 dinners

  • Accommodation

    Homestay (2 nights), Hotel (5 nights), Overnight sleeper train (1 nights), Resort (8 nights)

  • Sukhothai - Night Market

  • Sukhothai - Home-cooked picnic lunch

  • Sukhothai - Historical Park bike tour

  • Village Homestay - Cultural performance

  • Village Homestay - Khantok dinner

  • Village Homestay - Home-Cooked Lunch

  • Village Homestay - Cycling tour

  • Chiang Mai - ChangChill elephant sanctuary

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Transport

  • OVERNIGHT TRAINS
  • Overnight sleeper trains in Thailand are air-conditioned and have sleeping berths down both sides of the carriage. The carriage is multishare, with are curtains that close over the beds. A sleeping sheet and a pillow are provided, and our luggage travels in the carriage with us. There is a western and Asian-style toilet located at the end of the carriage, but no showers. Carriage lights staying on during the night, so an eye mask is a good thing to bring with you, as is warm clothes as the air conditioning can be cold. For more on overnight trains in Thailand and around the world: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/overnight-train-travel-around-the-world/

Accommodation

  • OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
  • 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.
  • TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
  • Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on a different Intrepid trip than your own.
  • CHECK-IN TIME
  • 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.
  • PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
  • If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (subject to availability), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

Included Activities

  • Sukhothai - Night Market
  • Sukhothai - Historical Park bike tour
  • Sukhothai - Home-cooked picnic lunch
  • Village Homestay - Cultural performance
  • Village Homestay - Khantok dinner
  • Village Homestay - Cycling tour
  • Chiang Mai - Thai Cooking Class
  • Chiang Mai - ChangChill elephant sanctuary
  • Bangkok - Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)
  • Chumphon - Snorkelling tour
  • Ko Tao - Day tour & snorkelling

Important Information

  • 1. A single supplement is available to book for this trip, except Day 4 (homestay), and is subject to availability. Please note that some room configurations have two single beds, although a double bed will always be requested.

Check out our Q&As

  • Is this trip right for you

    This trip includes a number of overnight train journeys. Accommodation is simple but comfortable – soft sleeper class multishare compartments with air-conditioning and bunk beds, with sheets and a pillow provided. Overnight trains are a real Intrepid experience and one of the best ways to come face-to-face with the country and its people.

    There is 2 nights at a homestay on this trip, a wonderful opportunity to witness everyday Thai life. Facilities are basic and multishare, with fold-out mattresses on the floor and shared bathrooms. The rewards of such an authentic local experience are immeasurable.

    This trip includes lots of free time for flexibility and space for making your own discoveries. There are lots of recommended optional activities if you wish, or just time to soak up the sun and kick back on the countless beautiful beaches.

    Get your sea legs ready because this trip involves lots of travel by boat. Apart from being the only way to see these islands, you can’t beat cruising between dramatic limestone outcrops as you island hop.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Please contact us for latest COVID-19 policies

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Intrepid Travel has been taking travellers around the world for over 30 years

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Yes

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Since 2002, The Intrepid Foundation has supported over 130 organisations across the world. We’re creating positive impact through the joy of travel, community and connection.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Over 50% of traveller travel solo with Intrepid. You can choose to share a room with another solo travelle of the same sex for no additional charge, or choose to pay a single supplement if you’d like your own room. Please request this when booking, and we will secure you a single supplement wherever possible. Please note, if you are booking a last-minute trip, it may be harder for us to secure a single room

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Henry Guy Robinson   United Kingdom

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Essential Morocco was an absolute dream. Every single day had such informative walking tours and tours of local facilities. Whether it was dinner with a local family or visiting a pottery factory, I learned so much about Moroccan culture. The accommodations were safe and I felt secure the entire 11 days. This trip wouldn’t have been the same without one person. That person is Youssef. If you are coming to Morocco with Intrepid and you don’t request Youssef, you’re doing it wrong. Words cannot describe how incredible of a guide he is. There were 3 of us on our trip of 18-29 year olds and he made us all feel so welcome and safe all the time. Whether that is cracking jokes on long drives or giving us the itinerary for the next day, Youssef ensured we felt respected and seen.

Barbara Ruth Roback   Canada

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15-Jan-2024

Absolutely superb leader - knowledgeable. fun, safety conscious. Group of 15 travellers from 5 countries who bonded into a solid team. In addition to a fantastic itinerary, our leader’s love of karaoke made the trip unforgettable. It even inspired a song written as a tribute to him.

Dates & Availability

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Sunday - Tuesday

Jun 09, 2024 - Jun 25, 2024
$2985 $2467 (USD)

Operator discount: -$448 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$70 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Tuesday

Jul 07, 2024 - Jul 23, 2024
$3015 $2493 (USD)

Operator discount: -$452 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$70 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Tuesday

Jul 21, 2024 - Aug 06, 2024
$3105 $2566 (USD)

Operator discount: -$466 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$73 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Tuesday

Jul 28, 2024 - Aug 13, 2024
$3105 $2566 (USD)

Operator discount: -$466 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$73 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Tuesday

Aug 04, 2024 - Aug 20, 2024
$3105 $2566 (USD)

Operator discount: -$466 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$73 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Tuesday

Aug 18, 2024 - Sep 03, 2024
$3105 $2566 (USD)

Operator discount: -$466 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$73 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Tuesday

Sep 15, 2024 - Oct 01, 2024
$2985 $2467 (USD)

Operator discount: -$448 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$70 (USD)

Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Intrepid Travel allows you to make 10 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 56 days before the start of the tour.

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Intrepid Travel allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform intrepid travel, 56 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Intrepid Travel requires a minimum deposit of 400 USD per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 56 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of intrepid travel charges.

    Up to 56 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 55 days before tour starts: Forfeit 30% of booking price.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 60% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

  • COVID Protection

    Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards
    From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

    However, we continue to strongly recommend that all travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and other Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

    This policy excludes all Polar trips and select adventure cruises, where testing and vaccination remains a requirement. Please refer to the Essential Trip Information of your chosen tour for more details.

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