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Winter Adventure Getaway - 9 Exciting Island Hopping Days in Thailand!!

  • February 11 · 12:00 PM

UPDATE #19: The travel company has passed along further and greater details upon our arrival. ​For those arriving at BKK airport in Bangkok, please meet our driver near the information counter at entrance door number 3 of the airport (2nd floor), in the arrival hall. For those arriving at DMK airport in Bangkok, please look for our driver at entrance door number 2 in the arrival hall. Just a reminder, our driver will be holding a sign that says "J.T.'s Washington DC Thailand Meetup Trip" (see "Flights, Days Off, & Arrival Transfer" section of the trip posting). If for any reason you can not locate our driver please call the emergency transfer phone number at +66 (0)[masked] or contact one of our two tour leaders (see UPDATE #17).

UPDATE #18: The travel company has informed me that they will also be able to provide the arrival airport transfer to the hotel for those that are arriving into DMK as well! Just a reminder, I will only be available by email starting Sun. Feb. 5th (see previous UPDATE #17). See you soon! 

UPDATE #17: Just a reminder, for those that are taking advantage of the group arrival transfer from the Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), please look for the person holding the sign that says "J.T.'s Washington DC Thailand Meetup Trip" at the arrival gates (see "Flights, Days Off, & Arrival Transfer" section of the trip posting for full details). If you are not taking the group arrival transfer (e.g. you are landing at a different airport, you booked a different hotel for pre-accommodation before our trip start date, etc.), the best way to get to the arrival point hotel (see UPDATE #10) is via taxi from the airport. The airport is located ~30 km (~19 miles) away from downtown Bangkok. The travel company recommends approaching the taxi counters, and advising them where you are going and they will write this information down for you along with the taxi's registration details. Taxis should always use the meter and you are required to pay a 50 Baht (~$1.50 USD) airport surcharge on top of the metered fee plus any tollway fees (approx 75 Baht depending on the route taken). Total journey will cost between 350 THB – 500 THB (~$10 - $15 USD), depending on traffic and toll fees. The expressway is substantially faster, so tell the taxi driver to use the expressway, you can say either "kuen ton-way" (from 'tollway') or "kuen taang duan" in Thai (but most understand tollway / express way in English). The contact information for our 2 Adventure Tour Leaders are (1) Seksun Paramee: sparamee [at] gceos [dot] com, phone +66 [masked] and (2) Yachathip Phattharakhom: yphattharakhom [at] gceos [dot] com, phone +66 (0)804926840. Please only use in an emergency as you are traveling to Thailand. I typically add an international text and / or voice plan for our trips, but I recently switched plans and they informed me that they don't currently have international options with my new service. As such, if you need to reach me, please send me an email to jt [at] goingoutgroup [dot] com (starting Sun. Feb. 5th). I will connect to wifi where I can. When we arrive, I will ask our Adventure Tour Leaders about possibly securing a SIM card for phone service, as our friendly contacts at The Royal Thai Embassy suggested. One. more. week. See you soon!

UPDATE #16: The travel company has requested that everyone verify and fill in any remaining pre-departure information. Please click on the "pre-departure link" assigned to you and fill out as soon as you can here... http://www.goingoutgroup.com/files/thailandadventurerslinks.pdf . This update has been emailed to the yes RSVPs.

UPDATE #15: The travel company passed along additional information re: luggage (I've updated the Luggage section of the trip posting appropriately). They recommend keeping the weight of our bags between 22 - 30 lbs, and that we opt for something that is no bigger than 23 - 26” (however 21 - 22” would be preferable). See link for diagram... http://files.meetup.com/214400/luggage.jpg . 

UPDATE #14: Just a friendly reminder, please send me your arrival flight airline, number, and landing time (see Traveler Information section of the trip posting) if you haven't done so already. Also, don't forget insurance is required for this trip, so please purchase it if you haven't already done so (see "Insurance" section of the trip posting for full details). Thank you! 

UPDATE #13: I've been receiving questions re: vaccinations, so I asked the travel company for some guidance. Here's their response: "While we are not trained to advise on immunizations, I believe that Thailand does not require US travelers to have any vaccinations to enter the country. That being said, we always suggest visiting a travel clinic prior to departure, since they can make recommendations on vaccinations that may be useful for travel to this country. For those looking for insight into questions about vaccinations, I would suggest visiting the US Government’s website with information on travel to Thailand - https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/thailand.html." Note that it states under Vaccinations that "Yellow fever may be required if arriving from certain countries with yellow fever." So please take note if you will be in a country with yellow fever beforehand. I hope that helps!

UPDATE #12: I've posted the event for the pre-trip embassy visit here... https://www.meetup.com/30sand40sgroup/events/236267396/ . Due to their schedule, the embassy requested that I move the date back 1 week. So instead of Thurs. Jan. 12th, it's now scheduled for Wed. Jan. 18th. I'll need to give the embassy a list of attendees, so please RSVP as soon as you can (the RSVP list closes Wed. Jan. 18th @ 7:30am). I'll also hand books out to those that have not yet received one. Getting excited, see you there! 

UPDATE #11: The rooming list has been finalized here.. http://files.meetup.com/214400/thailandadventurers.pdf . For those with a single room and for those that have requested a roommate, please verify that I have you listed correctly. Feel free to use the list above to reach out to others (click on their Meetup profile to send them an message). 

UPDATE #10: The list of hotels has been finalized as follows (with address and phone): CENTRA CENTRAL STATION HOTEL BANGKOK (Feb. 11; 23/34-35 Trimitr Road Taladnoy, Samphanthawong, Bangkok, 10100 Thailand; [masked]), DEEVANA KRABI RESORT (Feb. 12 - 13; 90 Moo 3, Aonang, Krabi, 21120 Thailand; [masked]), ANDAMAN LANTA RESORT (Feb. 14 - 15; 142 Moo3, Khlong Dao Beach, Ko Lanta, Krabi, 81150 Thailand; [masked]), KOH NGAI RESORT (Feb. 16 - 17; 142/1 M.4 Tambol Mai-Fad Amphor Sikao, Trang 92150 Thailand; [masked])

UPDATE #9: There's a possibility a double occupancy spot has opened up for the trip. If you are interested and can make payment immediately, please contact me through my Meetup profile (do not comment on the trip posting).

UPDATE #8.5: Just a reminder, the balance is due Thurs. Dec. 1st. Please make sure to make your balance payment by that date (see Remainder Balance Payment section of the trip posting), otherwise you will lose your deposit and your spot on the trip! Can't wait for this adventure!

UPDATE #8: The trip has sold out!

UPDATE #7: If you have not already submitted your traveler information (see "Traveler Information" section of the trip posting), please get that to me as soon as you can!

UPDATE #6: The travel company has passed along further and better clarification re: luggage. Luggage on the in-country flight on Day 2 (Sun. Feb. 12th) includes a checked bag (to a maximum weight of 20kg or ~44 lbs). Travelers can have one carry-on with maximum weight of 7kg (~15 lbs). Generally fees for excess luggage can be quite high, and would be communicated by the authorized agent when we are checking in. Suitcases are not recommended. Most travelers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size (no XXL ones please) as they need to fit under the beds when traveling on the train back to Bangkok at the end of the trip.​

UPDATE #5: Some people have informed me that they are currently unable to find any more flights that land in Bangkok on Day 1 (Sat. Feb. 11th) in time for our 6pm welcome meeting without requiring an overnight stay the night before. For those that need / want to stay an extra night overnight on Fri. Feb. 10th, the travel company is able to offer our group a discounted rate at our hotel for $50. This would still include the arrival transfer from the airport to the hotel gratis. Please send me a message through my Meetup profile (please do NOT post a comment on the trip posting) and I'll pass along the information.

UPDATE #4: The $1395 price has ended and the ticket price is now $1495.

UPDATE #3: There are fewer than 10 early bird spots left and the price will increase from $1395 to $1495 when the early bird spots are gone or BEFORE Sat. Aug. 20th (whichever comes first). To be fair to those who want to join in and are ready to make payment, I'll be removing those that haven't paid at least the deposit by Sun. Aug. 14th. So make payment to *truly* lock in your spot (see "Payment" section of the trip posting for full details). If you've already made payment, the Paypal email you received is confirmation that we've received your payment (no need to email me asking for payment confirmation). I hope to see you there!

UPDATE #2: We have more than 10 people that have signed up and made payment...  so this trip is confirmed! If you've made payment or deposit for this trip, feel free to book your flights per the "Flights, Days Off, & Airport Transfer" section of the trip posting. I look forward to seeing you there!

UPDATE #1: I've announced the Thailand pre-trip dinner. Click here. If you've already made payment for the Thailand trip and can make the dinner, please go ahead and RSVP but do NOT make payment, as that's included as part of joining the Thailand trip itself (please do so by Sun. July 24th. After that date, payment will be required for joining the dinner). If you've made payment for the Thailand trip, and you'd like to RSVP for the dinner after that date, send me a message through my Meetup profile, and I'll manually add you to the dinner event. I hope to see you there! 

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Natural beauty abounds in Thailand! 

Tropical beaches, white sandy coastlines, crystal clear waters, natural hot springs and waterfalls, amazing limestone rock formations, stunning caves, scenic mountain ranges, and sacred temples. This action-packed island tour of Thailand's highlights is perfect for the adventurer with limited time who wants to explore the region's diversity. We'll spend time island-hopping through the best of southern Thailand's islands. We'll snorkel the crystal-clear warm waters, relax under swaying palm trees, meet the friendly locals, unwind on the islands’ beaches (and much more) while enjoying this tropical paradise. Our Adventure Tour Leader will help us find the secluded spots only the locals know. Does this sound like a fun and relaxing vacation to you? 

Seven Reasons to Book This Trip:

1. Affordable Adventure - Did you know that this trip INCLUDES a rainforest and hot springs tour, a ferry boat ride to a secluded island, a marine life snorkeling boat trip, an exploration of the stunning Emerald Cave, a visit to the sacred Tiger Cave Temple, a swim in the natural bath of the Emerald Pool / Crystal Lagoon, free time on spectacular beaches, an Adventure Tour Leader for the full duration of our adventure, 7 breakfasts, a picnic lunch, a beach barbecue dinner, a transfer from the airport upon arrival, all in-country transfers between cities, 7 nights in a hotel, a scenic overnight sleeper train journey, 3 events in DC (2 dinners and 1 Embassy visit), plus a Thailand book discussion (book included) during the trip... all for less than $160 a day??

2. Shared Photos - As with all of our events, we can all upload our pictures to this website to share the best of our photos and multiply the memories!

3. Make New Friends - We are the ONLY Meetup group that offers us the opportunity to travel abroad with other globally-minded people from the DC area, PLUS arrange 3 more events for the group that take place in DC to make sure that we will make friends that we will continue to see in DC!

4. Leadership - I (J.T., your organizer) will be there every step of the way, making sure that the trip goes as smoothly as possible.

5. Book Discussion - We will each receive, read, and discuss sections of "Travelers' Tales Thailand: True Stories," a collection of place-specific tales previously scattered far and wide that best capture the experience of Thailand. Please note if new prints are unavailable, the best available condition used book will be obtained.

6. Unforgettable Memories - Thailand is truly is a beautiful and adventurous place. Let's experience it together and make some wonderful memories!

7. Escape the Cold Winter - Let's get away from the cold DC winter and the occasional Snowpocalyptic storm that comes through our area. 

This 9-day exciting expedition through the islands of Thailand is crammed with all the energy and activities deserving of our group. We'll begin our journey in DC with a fabulous dinner at I-Thai restaurant in Georgetown. Then, before departing on our trip, we will have a private visit at the Embassy of Thailand featuring diplomats who will teach us about their country. Shortly after we return stateside, we'll reunite at DC's popular Bangkok Joe's restaurant with an evening of Thai food and a recap of our travel experience for our reunion dinner!

To help us pass the time while traveling and to learn even more about this culture-rich society, we'll read the book "Travelers' Tales Thailand: True Stories" by James O'Reilly and Larry Habegger during our trip. At certain points during the trip, I (J.T., your Meetup organizer) will lead discussions of the book for anyone who wants to participate!

Please note this is a joint trip with the 20s & 30s Going Out Group, and the Global Adventurers Traveling Group. Our traveling group will likely consist of members with an average age in their 30s.

Questions? If you have any questions not answered on this page, please post a comment in the comment box below, message me through my Meetup profile, or call / text me at 703.470.4848.

We've got an early bird special for this trip of $1395! The first 25 paid sign-ups, or those who pay before Sat. Aug. 20th (whichever comes first) get the early bird price! After that, the trip price will go to $1495, then $1595, then $1695. Our past trips have always sold out early! We have a LIMITED number of spots so make sure to RSVP early AND make payment to secure your spot and get the early bird price! To make payment, please follow the steps in the "Payment" section of the trip posting.

Also please know that your RSVP is not guaranteed unless we receive payment. When you pay, your online receipt is confirmation that we have received your payment.

I hope you can join us on this amazing adventure!

- J.T.

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ITINERARY

                                           (I-Thai restaurant) 

Mon. Aug. 8th 2016: Pre-Trip Dinner at I-Thai

This delicious Thai meal at I-Thai restaurant (or similar) in Georgetown is open to other group members as a paid event, but is FREE for those attending the trip. It is wonderful way for all trip-goers to meet each other for the first time, and it's a perfect time for those who haven't yet signed up to ask any questions related to the trip. I will even refund the cost of the dinner to anyone who signs up and makes payment for the Thailand trip AFTER our dinner!

                                       (Embassy of Thailand) 

Wed. Jan. 18th 2017: Pre-Trip Embassy Visit

We will meet with Thai diplomats and receive an official country briefing including the history, geography, culture and tourism of Thailand. This event is organized exclusively for trip-goers and will NOT be open to other members of our group.

                                                (Bangkok)

Sat. Feb. 11th 2017: Day 1, Bangkok 

Arrive at any time in Bangkok, then check in and enjoy the city. Please try to arrive before 6pm for an important group meeting where we'll meet with our Adventure Tour Leader and other group members.

Bangkok, Thailand’s capital, is a sprawling metropolis known for its ornate shrines and vibrant street life. The boat-filled Chao Phraya River feeds its network of canals, flowing past the Rattanakosin royal district, home to the opulent Grand Palace and its sacred Emerald Buddha temple. Nearby is Wat Pho with its enormous reclining Buddha and, on the opposite shore, Wat Arun with its steep steps and Khmer-style spire. 

                                 (Wat Arun Buddhist temple)

Bangkok welcomes more visitors than any other city in the world and it doesn’t take long to realize why. Bangkok is a city of contrasts with action at every turn; marvel at the gleaming temples, catch a tuk tuk along the bustling Chinatown or take a longtail boat through floating markets. Food is another Bangkok highlight, from local dishes served at humble street stalls to haute cuisine at romantic rooftop restaurants. 

Luxury malls compete with a sea of boutiques and markets, where you can treat yourself without overspending. And no visit to Bangkok would be complete without a glimpse of its famous nightlife – from cabarets to exotic red-light districts, Bangkok never ceases to amaze.

Overnight: Centra Central Station Hotel Bangkok or similar 

                                                   (Krabi)

Sun. Feb. 12th 2017: Day 2, Krabi / Ao Nang 

We'll transfer to the airport for the flight to Krabi, and then take a ride to nearby Ao Nang. Ao Nang is a beach town in southern Thailand's Krabi Province. It's known for it's beautiful, palm-lined stretch of sand, dominated by the large cliffs at its southern tip. Optional activities in this area abound. We can spend the day here swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, or scuba diving; getting a traditional Thai massage; or enjoying a drink in a nearby beach cafe; most people use Ao Nang as a jumping off point for long-tail boat day trips to the nearby beaches of limestone islands (such as Ko Hong, Ko Poda, and Ko Gai) and Railay Beach, a well-known destination for rock climbers.

                                                 (Ao Nang) 

After sunset—which is often a spectacular show seen from the beach—the beachfront comes alive as people return from the islands and set off, freshly showered and dressed up for a night out. Shopping, eating and drinking are what is done best here. There’s a large choice of restaurants. Shops sell everything from souvenirs to fake Rolex watches and DVDs (buyer beware!) and bargaining is a must. Massage shops, spas and beauty parlours stay open late, so we can indulge after a hard day island-hopping. Alternatively, we can sit in a roadside bar and people watch, or sip a pina colada under the stars at a beach bar on the sand.

Overnight: Emerald Garden Resort / Deevana Krabi Resort or similar. Estimated Travel Time: 1.5 hours. Approximate Distance: 500 miles

                                         (Tiger Cave Temple)

Mon. Feb. 13th 2017: Day 3, Ao Nang 

In the morning, we'll set off on a rainforest and hot springs tour, with a picnic lunch included. We'll enjoy trekking through the jungle in Krabi and admire the stunning scenery of caves, limestone rock formations, and the Ao Luk Thanu mountain range. On this full-day tour, we'll visit the Tiger Cave Temple to pay homage to "The Goddess of Compassion and Mercy," swim in the natural bath of the Emerald Pool (not to be confused with the Emerald Cave later in our trip), and relax in the natural hot springs (known to be good for our health).

Tiger Cave Temple (Wat Tahm Suea) is aptly named because of the rock outgrowth nearby resembling a tiger’s claw. The temple is known as a center for meditation and its spectacular setting in the Ao Luk Thanu mountain range provides the necessary quiet atmosphere for meditation. 250 monks and nuns live in the temple compounds at the moment. The main vihara (sanctum sanctorum) is inside a small shallow limestone cave, where the walls are lined by cells. The area is well lit and very well maintained to preserve the serenity of the environment. 

                              (Summit at Tiger Cave Temple)

Here we can venture up the hills by taking 1 of 2 passages. One passage takes us up 1,200 steps to the hill top and the other is only 130 steps up to reach a place where monks live in their small cottages. The commanding 360 degree view all around is worth taking the strain to climb the hill. The whole area is full of caves and limestone rock formations. Archaeologists have found remnants of ancient habitations as old as from the Stone Age. Stone tools, shards of pottery and beads, and idols of clay have all been unearthed which bear testimony to the cultural heritage of the area.

                             (Emerald Pool / Crystal Lagoon)

The Emerald Pool / Crystal Lagoon (Sra Morakot) is a freshwater pool inside the Khao Phra Bang Khram Nature Reserve. The waters of this 120-square-meter pond take on a green hue thanks to an abundance of minerals from the surroundings limestone hills. The crystal clear water is unsuitable for drinking and feels thick due to its high calcium carbonate content which can cause gallstone. Here we can go for a swim to escape the heat of the day and admire the stream, one of the sources of the pool, which tumbles in at one end over rock made smooth by mineral deposits.

                          (Klong Thom waterfall / hot springs)

Another natural wonder we'll see is the natural hot springs in Krabi. Out in the forest about 25 miles south of Krabi Town is Klong Thom waterfall (Namtok Ron). Though the falls itself is just a cascade tumbling gently but 10 feet or so, it is unique in that the spring water that feeds it bubbles up from the earth at temperature of more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. It cools a bit as it flows to the cascade and you can swim in the calm stream below for a much cooler bath. 

Overnight: Emerald Garden Resort / Deevana Krabi Resort or similar. Estimated Travel Time: 3 hours. Approximate Distance: 100 miles 

                                                 (Ko Lanta)

Tues. Feb. 14th - Wed. Feb. 15th 2017: Day 4 - 5, Ko Lanta 

We'll take a ferry to the secluded island of Ko Lanta, and spend free time here before enjoying a beach barbecue dinner on day 4.

Ko Lanta is a large island 4 miles wide and 20 miles long, 9 beaches lie from north to south along the sunset coast. The island boasts stunning scenery; fantastic white sandy beaches; coastlines dotted with more than 70 small islands and plenty of forest; an intricate system of reefs, islets, and underwater caves are teeming with vibrant sea life. The dive sites surrounding Ko Lanta are considered to be some of Thailand’s finest. The geography of the island is typically mangroves; coral rimmed beaches; and rugged tree covered hills.

                                     (Ko Lanta diving option)

Of all Thailand's islands, Ko Lanta is one of the best all-rounders. It has nature reserves and beaches where you won't see another soul; the waters are calm and the island safe. If you want to have it all - suntanning on beautiful beaches, a bit of world-class diving, a great massage, fun beach bars, kayaking through a mangrove forest, eating mouthwatering seafood Tom Yum (freshly caught and spicy enough to make your tongue tingle) with the locals in friendly fishing villages - then Ko Lanta is where you get it.

We can also opt for a day trip to nearby Ko Rok where we can snorkel at Ko Rok's national park, trek to a stunning view point, and enjoy a picnic lunch. Our Adventure Tour Leader can secure any of these options for us. We'll need to secure diving on our own (with our Adventure Tour Leader's guidance).

Overnight: Andaman Lanta Resort or similar. Estimated Travel Time: 2.25 hours. Approximate Distance: 45 miles 

                                                  (Ko Ngai)

Thurs. Feb. 16th 2017: Day 6, Ko Ngai 

We'll get on a ferry and travel to tiny Ko Ngai and experience more of Thailand's pristine paradise. 

Sitting quietly amid a scenic patch of the Andaman Sea, Ko Ngai is a tiny island measuring 2.5 miles long and 1.25 miles wide, and hosts a long sliver of blondish-white sand with views to distant limestone karsts and the mainland. Mountainous and covered by tropical forest, much of the coastline is indented with rocky headlands, while the eastern part has some beautiful sand beaches, and in the south coconut plantations and more beautiful smaller beaches. The island has crystal clear water and is surrounded by plentiful and magnificent corals. 

                                       (Monkeys in Ko Ngai)

Don't be surprised to see crab-eating monkeys and monitor lizards coming down from the mountains. In the uninhabited western and northern parts of the island, bird watchers should have a field day looking out for migrating birds. Snorkeling is easy along the western and southern coasts, where some reefs can be accessed directly from the beach.

Overnight: Koh Ngai Resort or similar. Estimated Travel Time: 1 hour. Approximate Distance: 40 miles 

                                     (Snorkeling Ko Chuek)

Fri. Feb. 17th 2017: Day 7, Ko Chuek / Ko Mook / Ko Kradan

We'll get to know the local marine life with an included full-day snorkeling tour of the islands of Ko Chuek, Ko Mook, and o Kradan. We'll board a boat and hop over to Ko Chuek to experience the idyllic waters, and explore the amazing Emerald Cave (not to be confused with the Emerald Pool earlier in our trip) of Ko Mook. 

We'll snorkel the crystal clear turquoise waters of Ko Chuek, a small karst islet with sea caves and unmatched small white sandy beaches between Ko Mook and Ko Ngai. The island is known to have beautiful and colorful corals.

                                             (Emerald Cave)

We'll then later visit Ko Mook, the largest island on this tour. It is best known for its Emerald Cave (Tham Morakot) and secret hidden lagoon in the center of the island. The entrance to the cave is located on the western side of the island and is only accessible during low tide. The cave itself winds for about 250 feet to its other exit, onto a white beach with an emerald pool surrounded by steep cliffs.

Finally, we'll enjoy beach time at Ko Kradan, an island that boasts a gorgeous white-sand beach stretching between fluffy green hills and the cerulean blue Andaman Sea. Ko Kradan is among Thailand's more visually spectacular islands.

Overnight: Koh Ngai Resort or similar. Estimated Travel Time: 2 hours. Approximate Distance: 20 miles 

                                         (Scenic train ride) 

Sat. Feb. 18th 2017: Day 8, Trang / Bangkok

We'll take a ferry to Pak Meng Pier, and continue on to Trang in a private transfer. From there, we'll stretch out and get some well-earned rest aboard a scenic sleeper train ride en route back to Bangkok. No trip to Thailand is complete without spending time on the rails, it's a genuine Thai experience which makes the journey as much a part of our trip as the destination. The trains are comfortable, the hosts are charming, the views are stunning and the journey takes us through amazing patches of land that would be impossible to see from the major highway routes. We'll get to see the sun set in the country mountainside at night, and wake up to views of the bright and bustling city of Bangkok in the morning upon arrival.

Overnight: Sleeper train. Estimated Travel Time: 17 hours. Approximate Distance: 555 miles 

                              (Chatuchak market in Bangkok)

Sun. Feb. 19th 2017: Day 9, Bangkok 

We'll arrive at Bangkok train station in the morning. Depart anytime after 3pm (do not book onward travel until after this time in case of train delays).

                                            (Bangkok Joe's)

TBD: Post-Trip Reunion Dinner at Bangkok Joe's

Dates and details TBD. We will feast on a sumptuous Thai meal at Bangkok Joe's (or similar)! Dinner attendance will also be open to non-trip goers in our group.

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PRICE

Price below reflects double occupancy. For single occupancy, please add $600.

$1395 if booked before Sat. Aug. 20th (or whenever early birds sell out)

$1495 if booked before Mon. Oct. 17th

$1595 if booked before Thurs. Dec. 15th

$1695 on or after Thurs. Dec. 15th*

* Starting Thurs. Dec. 15th, spaces are subject to availability. If booking on or after Thurs. Dec. 15th, do NOT purchase your airline ticket until you have been confirmed on the trip by the Organizer.

DEPOSIT

Non-refundable deposit of $450 due at booking, full payment due by Thurs. Dec. 1st or at booking, whichever is later. This deposit locks in a price per the "Price" section.

TRAVELER INFORMATION

The travel company needs the following information for final booking: 1. Full name as it appears on passport 2. Passport number 3. Passport issue date 4. Passport expiry date 5. Date of birth 6. Nationality 7. Existing medical conditions 8. Meal requirements 9. Emergency contact / next of kin 10. Will you take advantage of the transfer to the hotel upon arrival? 11. Cell phone number 12. Will you be getting a single room for an extra $600? 13. Sex 14. Roommate's name (if you have one; otherwise, a roommate of the same sex will be assigned to you) 15. Arrival flight airline, number, and landing time (when you secure it). Please send me a message (through my Meetup profile, click "Send Message") with this information once you've secured your spot by making payment.

ACCOMMODATION

Price is based on double occupancy. If you have a preference for a roommate, please let me know full first and last name. Otherwise, you will be assigned a roommate (same sex). Single supplement is $600 to stay in your own room for all nights, with the exception of night 8 on the sleeper train journey.

PAYMENT

Paypal account not required. Please follow the instructions below for making payment (if payment by smartphone doesn't work, please try your computer). All of our trips have sold out in the past, so we recommend you secure your spot online early.

1. Select "Yes" under "Will you attend?" (or select "Change" RSVP to add more guests if you've already purchased ticket(s))

2. Enter the number of guests coming and click "Finish RSVP"

3. Click "Pay Now" (or "Pay Online Now") at the top of the event posting near the ticket price per person

4. Verify correct dollar amount for number of people you're paying for:

• If you are paying in full, and if you are looking for double occupancy, leave the dollar amount as is. If you are looking for single occupancy, please add $600 to the total and change the dollar figure. For your convenience, the single occupancy price will either be $1995 (booked before Sat. Aug. 20th), $2095 (booked before Mon. Oct. 17th), $2195 (booked before Thurs. Dec. 15th), or $2295 (booked on or after Thurs. Dec. 15th). Click "Pay Now" button.

• If you are paying just the non-refundable deposit, change the dollar amount to $450. Click "Pay Now" button. You will need to pay the balance by Thurs. Dec. 1st. 

5. If you don't have a Paypal account, click "Pay with a Debit or Credit Card"

6. If you have a Paypal account, simply log in, and pay as you normally would via Paypal

--

REMAINDER BALANCE PAYMENT

Paypal account not required. If you've already paid the initial non-refundable $450 deposit, please follow the instructions below for making the balance payment (if payment by smartphone doesn't work, please try your computer). Balance payment must be made by Thurs. Dec. 1st, otherwise you will lose your deposit and your spot on the trip.

1. Click on the appropriate link below

Double Occupancy:

• To pay the balance ($945) for the $1395 price (to qualify, you must have made deposit before Sat. Aug. 20th), please click here.

• To pay the balance ($1045) for the $1495 price (to qualify, you must have made deposit before Mon. Oct. 17th), please click here.

• To pay the balance ($1145) for the $1595 price (to qualify, you must have made deposit before Thurs. Dec. 15th), please click here.

Single Occupancy:

• To pay the balance ($1545) for the $1995 price (to qualify, you must have made deposit before Sat. Aug. 20th), please click here.

• To pay the balance ($1645) for the $2095 price (to qualify, you must have made deposit before Mon. Oct. 17th), please click here.

• To pay the balance ($1745) for the $2195 price (to qualify, you must have made deposit before Thurs. Dec. 15th), please click here.

2. If you don't have a Paypal account, click "Pay with a Debit or Credit Card"

3. If you have a Paypal account, simply log in, and pay as you normally would via Paypal

--

INCLUSIONS

• Pre-trip dinner at I-Thai restaurant (or similar)

• Pre-trip Embassy of Thailand visit with diplomats

• "Travelers' Tales Thailand: True Stories" paperback version and book discussions during the trip (please note if new prints are unavailable, the best available condition used book will be obtained)

• Accommodations as stated above (hotels 7 nights, sleeper train journey 1 night, based on twin-share rooms)

• Seven breakfasts, 1 picnic lunch, 1 beach barbeque dinner

• Rainforest and hot springs tour

• Ferry boat ride to a secluded island 

• Marine life snorkeling boat trip

• Exploration of the stunning Emerald Cave (not to be confused with Emerald Pool also on our trip)

• Visit to the sacred Tiger Cave Temple

• Swim in the natural bath of the Emerald Pool / Crystal Lagoon (not to be confused with Emerald Cave also on our trip)

• Free time on spectacular beaches 

• Arrival transfer from the airport 

• All transfers between destinations and to / from included activities (internal in-country flight, local bus, air-conditioned bus / minivan, longtail boat, ferry, train)

• English speaking travel guide 

• Meetup group facilitation with book discussion by J.T. (Organizer)

• Local guides / representative assistance

• Post-trip reunion dinner at Bangkok Joe's restaurant (or similar)

EXCLUSIONS 

• Entrance fees not listed

• International airfare

• Applicable tourist visas

• Incidentals

• Insurance

• Airport taxes

• Tips or gratuities (typical tip for tour leader is $10 per day per person)

• Beverages

• Meals not mentioned above

• Excursions and activities listed as optional or suggestions

FLIGHTS, DAYS OFF, & AIRPORT TRANSFER

Please do not purchase your air ticket until this trip is confirmed (10 people have paid). You will receive notification by email when the trip is confirmed and I will also update the event posting at the top of this page. We can coordinate air schedules in the comment box of this page to try to get the same flights.

When buying your air ticket, make sure it arrives on Sat. Feb. 11th and departs on Sun. Feb. 19th after 3pm (do not book onward travel until after this time in case of train delays... see Day 8 in Itinerary section). Also, depending on how many transfers you get, you may need to request off of work Fri. Feb. 10th - Mon. Feb. 19th. Please send to me your flight information through my Meetup profile.

Upon arrival on Sat. Feb. 11th, a free transfer from the airport (Suvarnabhumi Airport - BKK) to the hotel is included. Look for the person at the arrival gates with the sign that says "J.T.'s Washington DC Thailand Meetup Trip." For those arriving at BKK airport in Bangkok, please meet our driver near the information counter at entrance door number 3 of the airport, in the arrival hall. For those arriving at DMK airport in Bangkok, please look for our driver in the arrival hall. Please try to arrive at the hotel in time for our recommended welcome meeting at 6pm with our Adventure Tour Leader and other group members.

LUGGAGE

Luggage on the in-country flight on Day 2 (Sun. Feb. 12th) includes a checked bag (to a maximum weight of 20kg or ~44 lbs). Travelers can have one carry-on with maximum weight of 7kg (~15 lbs). Generally fees for excess luggage can be quite high, and would be communicated by the authorized agent when we are checking in. Suitcases are not recommended. Most travelers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size (no XXL ones please) as they need to fit under the beds when traveling on the train back to Bangkok at the end of the trip.​ The travel company recommends keeping the weight of our bags between 22 - 30 lbs, and that we opt for something that is no bigger than 23 - 26” (however 21 - 22” would be preferable). See link for diagram... http://files.meetup.com/214400/luggage.jpg .

INSURANCE 

You are required to purchase an all-inclusive insurance policy that covers emergency repatriation, medical, and evacuation for a combined minimum amount of $200,000. Trip cancellation, trip interruption, baggage loss and accidents should also be included. Costs vary by age, travel dates, and when you purchase, but an approximate quote is $100 - $150 for a 30-year-old. You should extend the insurance to cover your entire journey if you are arriving before or departing after our trip. I also recommend getting full coverage vs. coverage for covered reasons. You will need to book your air flights first before getting insurance coverage. I used a company that specializes in this kind of thing. If you'd like to use the same, please call Mia at[masked] and they can give you a quote. Reference J.T. Yaung's Washington DC Thailand Meetup Trip (booking no. ​978967) starting on Sat. Feb. 11th.

QUESTIONS?

If you have any questions not answered on this page, please post a comment in the comment box below, message me through my Meetup profile, or call / text me at[masked]

REFUND POLICY

Since we paid in advance for this trip, all sales are final unless the trip is canceled or rescheduled. Thanks for understanding. =)

SUGGESTED ITEMS TO BRING

1. Passport (with photocopies) 2. Travel insurance (with photocopies) 3. Airline tickets (with photocopies) 4. USD cash 5. Credit and / or debit card 6. Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required 7. Alarm clock 8. Flashlight 9. Sunblock / sun hat 10. Sunglasses 11. Insect repellent 12. Water bottle 13. Small towel and swim wear 14. Toiletries (biodegradable) 15. Sturdy walking shoes / sport sandals 16. Money-belt 17. Shorts 18. Long trousers 19. Shirts / t-shirts 20. Warm clothing 21. Fleece jacket or warm layer 22. Windproof rain gear 23. Rain jacket or poncho 24. Gloves 25. Hat 26. Umbrella 27. Cover for backpack or plastic bags to keep clothes dry 28. Clothes for temples – long pants or sarongs (knees should be covered) 29. Sleep sheet for trekking, train, or sea safari trips 30. Thermarest or sleeping mat and travel pillow for train or sea safari trips 31. Snorkel gear – optional (also available for hire) 32. Camera and film 33. Reading / writing material 34. First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking). 

Join or login to comment.

  • Sanaa

    Arriving at 4:45am tomorrow. Anybody would like to meet and hang out or do a tour?

    February 10

  • Kevin

    Has anyone received an itinerary from the travel company? I'd like to know which hotel we're staying at. The travel company said it will either be the Centra by Centara Central Station Hotel or "something similar". But I never received confirmation. Does anyone know if the Centara Hotel has been confirmed? I'm arriving Friday night and I'm assuming I'll be staying at the same hotel that night?

    February 6

    • Kevin

      Totally missed that. Thank you.

      February 6

    • Sanaa

      Hey Kevin, I'm arriving tomorrow at 4:45am. Let me know if you and anybody else would like to meet for a tour or sthg until 6pm

      February 10

  • Shannon

    Hi all! If anyone will be arriving in Bangkok early I found a "Hangover Tour" that I am planning to do Friday night, that looks pretty fun, if you want to join! Safe travels!

    2 · February 2

  • J.T.

    N.D. J., Tamie A., Jessica M., Michael R., per UPDATE #14 and the "Flights, Days Off, & Airport Transfer" section of the trip posting, I still don't have your flight info. If you sent it to me, I don't have it. Can you please send that to me as soon as you can (through my Meetup profile)? I've left each of you a voicemail and / or text message as well. Thank you!

    February 2

  • Carol D

    Happy holidays! Thanks for the update.

    December 15

  • Chi P.

    Hey everyone! Happy holidays! I found out that we need immunizations for Thailand. It takes 3 weeks for the antibodies to kick into our system so if you haven't yet, you might want to schedule a visit more than 3 weeks before you leave for Thailand just so you can stay healthy and protected! Also found out that appointments may book up fast depending on where you live. It seems that a more effective way of receiving shots is to look for your local "Travel Clinic" that can administer for you vs. a doctor's office. Happy traveling! So excited for Thailand! Woohoo :)

    1 · December 15

  • Paul

    It looks like we will be able to dive on day 4-5 at Ko Lanta is that correct? I'd like to plan a few dives, what time will we arrive there and leave? Also your suggested items to bring seams to suggest a lot of cold weather/rainy weather gear. My research shows the temps in 70-90 degrees. Is there a reason you are suggesting the cold weather and rain gear? You mention a backpack and camping gear (sleep sheet, thermarest). Do you recommend we travel with a backpack instead of luggage or are we going to need a backpack for part of the trip. Also is there a part of the trip we are sleeping on floors where we need the sleep pad?

    2 · June 24

    • N.d. J.

      Hi, regarding diving...this area exposed to the pacific is supposed to be some of the best diving in the world. So, if able...not gonna want to miss. I just got my Scuba refresher course done in the pool, recommend same to interested divers.

      November 16

    • N.d. J.

      Indian Ocean...oops :P Still, divers unite...let's getter done!

      November 16

  • evelyn k.

    Hi J.T.
    Quick question, will there be any laundry facility access at one of the hotels during the trip?
    Evelyn

    1 · November 8

    • J.T.

      Evelyn, the travel company said laundry facilities are offered by some of the hotels for a charge. Here are some expected prices for laundry: Bangkok - $5- 8 USD per piece (depends on the type of clothes), Koh Lanta - $0.73 USD per piece, Koh Ngai - $0.60 USD per piece​. Thanks!

      November 16

  • DC_Tazmania

    With the news about the King Bhumibol of Thailand passing away, I'm wondering if this trip is still happening? According to this article, the following reads: "A one-year mourning period was announced by the Thai junta Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha as soon as the news broke. Entertainment activities across the nation are expected to shut down for the first month, and citizens are expected to dress in solemn colours like black, grey and white. This mourning period could be extended to three months or more. The effect this will have on tourism, and on economic activity as a whole, is likely to be significant."

    Please advise as to what are the options?

    October 22

    • DC_Tazmania

      Update -- Just contacted the Thailand Embassy in DC and they informed me that by Feb 2017 everything will be back to normal, except for the locals wearing black and white to show respect for the mourning of the king for a year! So tourism and activities won't be affected during our trip. :)

      1 · October 24

    • Jehan S.

      thanks for the update! :)

      October 24

  • Shikha

    If a female wants my spot for this trip is on the waitlist/is interested in going, my spot just opened up, please message me if you want to go. [masked]. Thanks!

    October 18

  • Sanaa

    Anybody interested to make another stop somewhere in Asia after the Thailand package is over?! Maybe Malaysia?!

    August 23

    • Chi P.

      Hi..wondering if you guys are going anywhere after Thailand?? :)

      October 9

    • J.T.

      @Darwin, please see private message I sent you. Thanks!

      October 11

  • J.T.

    Darwin C., Bertina H., Joan F., Joy L., Tamie, A., Pamela L., Kimberly S., Evelyn K., Regina S., Sanaa M., Jason G., Amy A., Chi P., Jeremy F., Jacqueline S., Troy T., Quyen D., Shelly Z., and Frank Y., please get to me your traveler information (see Traveler Information section and UPDATE #7 on the trip posting for full details. You can also find UPDATE #7 sent out as an email to the yes RSVPs 4 weeks ago on Aug. 31st). The travel company is getting on me to obtain this information. If you don't have everything available at the moment, please pass along what information you have as soon as you can. Thank you!

    September 30

  • Jessica M.

    Here is one flight I found, for those that are interested:

    [1]THU., FEB. 9, NH001
    Washington,D.C.(IAD) - Tokyo(Narita)
    DEP. 11:10 ARR. 15:20(+1)

    [2]FRI., FEB. 10, NH807
    Tokyo(Narita) - Bangkok(BKK)
    DEP. 17:20 ARR. 22:40

    [3]MON., FEB. 20, NH808
    Bangkok(BKK) - Tokyo(Narita)
    DEP. 00:30 ARR. 08:25

    [4]MON., FEB. 20, NH002
    Tokyo(Narita) - Washington,D.C.(IAD)
    DEP. 11:00 ARR. 09:30

    This flight is via ANA, but can also be booked via United as a code share(with possibly not being able to choose seats in advance, and having to deal with multiple airlines if things go wrong). Currently priced $1047 via ANA and $917 via United. If you look at other flight options connecting through Tokyo, be careful as some other options require a airport change.

    This flight gets in the day before so and extra night will need to be booked for $50, see update #5 above. You could also book the departure on Feb 10th, but you would miss the 6pm "important group meeting".

    September 11

  • Christine

    I did a very similar trip last January -- Bangkok to Phuket to Railay to Ko Lanta to Koh Kradan. I definitely recommend rock climbing in Railay and a snorkel tour to Ko Rok. Feel free to send me a message if you want any recommendations/advice. Enjoy! You will have a magical time.

    1 · September 10

  • Priscilla

    Hi, I'm interested in this venture but I need more info before cementing my decision. I was wondering about the travel company. I do not see the information so that I may look into what hotel(s) we will be booked to stay at. Is this information provided after you've paid the security deposit? Thanks

    3 · August 29

    • Priscilla

      Thank you :)

      August 31

    • Rula

      Please let us know when you have confirmed the hotels. Thanks so much JT

      August 31

  • Rula

    Hi, it was fun meeting some of you yesterday! I'm trying to make a final decision about this trip & wondering about the flights between islands. Would you consider those flights like puddle jumps with minimal room for luggage? Is this more of a back packing adventure?

    2 · August 9

    • J.T.

      @Rula, @Evelyn, I received further and better clarification from the travel company re: luggage. They informed me luggage on the in-country flight includes a checked bag (to a maximum of 20kg or ~44 lbs). Travellers can have one carry-on with maximum of 7kg (~15 lbs). Generally fees for excess luggage can be quite high, and would be communicated by the authorized agent when we are checking in.

      August 30

    • J.T.

      @Evelyn, the travel company said laundry facilities are offered by some of the hotels for a charge. There will be times when we may want to or have to do our own laundry so they suggested bringing non-polluting / biodegradable soap. Here are some expected prices for laundry: Bangkok - $5- 8 USD per piece (depends on the type of clothes), Koh Lanta - $0.73 USD per piece, Koh Ngai - $0.60 USD per piece

      August 30

  • Rula

    Hi, when will we learn more about the hotels?
    What is meant by 'or similar'? Many of the hotels you mention have similar ratings (3-3.5). However when search Expedia I noticed that 3star hotels vary in price from $24/night to $115/night.
    My most important concern is cleanliness. Have you looked up the photos Koh Ngai Resort for nights 6-7 on trip advisor? The beach area is breathtaking however the sleeping rooms literally has plaster hanging off the wall. I would post it here for your convenience but this comments section doesn't have this option (or I just don't see it).
    Thanks

    1 · August 19

    • Carol D

      I had the same concern. To the extent the hotels are so cheap plus the benefit of group pricing. I hope the travel company is booking the best properties for the group.

      2 · August 23

    • J.T.

      I heard back from the travel company and they let me know that they take feedback from their guests very seriously. Generally, complaints are for the older rooms, however our group will generally be booked into the clean and comfortable air-conditioned rooms which are newer. I hope this helps, and I look forward to seeing you on the trip!

      August 30

  • DC_Tazmania

    Hi J.T. Quick question. I know it states to not purchase flight tickets till we get a confirmation from you. 1) What would determine this trip to be cancelled?
    2) Approximately what's the time frame for us to wait for the confirmation to move forward, would like to purchase flight ticket before the prices go uP!
    Thanks....

    1 · August 28

    • DC_Tazmania

      Thanks Shannon! I was waiting for a "personalized confirmation", but update #2 will work!

      1 · August 30

    • J.T.

      @DC_Tazmania, yes please feel free to book your flight. UPDATE #2 was posted and also emailed out to the yes RSVPs. Please check your spam folder, and also make sure both your Meetup and email settings always allow for you to receive messages from the organizer. Thank you!

      August 30

  • Kevin

    I've been reading things online and thought I'd share some tips I found. You may already be aware but thought I post anyway.

    1.) Notify your bank and credit card company you'll be traveling to avoid any hold on your accounts. Especially if you plan to use the ATMs.

    2.) Take a tablespoon of Pepto each morning as a "just in case" if you have a weak stomach.

    3.) It's a good idea to use bottled water for everything including when you brush your teeth. You should be fine with tea and coffee since the water is hot.

    4.) Make sure your tetanus shot is up to date. 5.) Avoid anyone named "Chow" who wants to party. Are you still reading this ;-)

    I'm excited! Can't wait.

    3 · August 22

    • Tina

      Great list! I am cracking up, at Chow!!! Love that movie...😂😂

      August 22

    • Carol D

      Lol, I'll avoid Chow.

      August 23

  • J.T.

    Including in my RSVP, headcount from other groups!

    August 22

  • Tina

    Hello I mentioned this to a few people last night at dinner... if you are still tracking the best airfares for this trip...Look for Hopper in your app stores. There should be a bunny icon..Pretty reliable. Tina-

    2 · August 9

  • Pam

    Looks like a good one. I'll check the flights before I sign on to this one.

    1 · August 1

  • J.T.

    Lori, LaShawn, the trip does not include international airfare, it does include an internal in-country flight transfer as part our trip (see Itinerary section of the trip posting). Please see the "Inclusions" and "Exclusions" section of the trip posting for full details of what is and is not included as part of the trip. I hope you are able to join us on this amazing adventure!

    June 24

  • Lori D

    I'm definitely interested in going, but like LaShawn, I'm curious to know if the price includes airfare

    1 · June 23

  • Linda

    Aww man, I hope you do more trips like this. It conflicts with a cruise I am going on in February!!

    2 · June 23

38 went

  • J.T. [30s & 40s G. +14
    30s & 40s Head Organizer! - 8755 Going Out Points!, Organizer,
    Event Host
  • Omar
    30s & 40s Rockstar 2 - 91 Going Out Points!
  • Kenya
    30s & 40s Rockstar 2 - 65 Going Out Points!
  • Joan
    30s & 40s Rockstar 1 - 41 Going Out Points!
  • Shelly
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  • Carol D +1
    1 Going Out Points!
  • Shannon
    1 Going Out Points!
  • N.d. J.
    30s & 40s Rockstar 1 - 41 Going Out Points!
  • Pam
    30s & 40s Megastar 2 - 1755 Going Out Points!
  • Tina
    30s & 40s Superstar 1 - 162 Going Out Points!
  • Jessica M.
    30s & 40s Megastar 2 - 2315 Going Out Points!
  • evelyn k.
    30s & 40s Megastar 2 - 4517 Going Out Points!
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    1 Going Out Points!
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    30s & 40s Rockstar 1 - 40 Going Out Points!
  • DC_Tazmani­a
    2 Going Out Points!
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    1 Going Out Points!
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    30s & 40s Rockstar 2 - 67 Going Out Points!
  • tamie
    1 Going Out Points!
  • Darwin C.
    30s & 40s Megastar 2 - 1806 Going Out Points!
  • Sanaa
    1 Going Out Points!

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