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SPIRIT ASIA TRAVEL TIPS

Preparations Before Departure

Compulsory Documents

Travel Insurance is essential. You have to be covered, in minimum, for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. Please bring a copy of your travel insurance policy as well as the insurance company’s 24hours emergency contact number to give to your tour leader in case of illness. If you join the holiday without adequate insurance, you may not be allowed to travel with us, with no right of refund.  Please make sure you are able to present the appropriate documents during the group meeting of the first day of your trip. Note that Spirit Asia Travel is unable to accept insurance provided by a credit card issuer.

You are also strongly advised to be covered for personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Spirit Asia Travel shall not be liable for all this kind of occurrence.

For Cambodia, a visa is required for all nationalities except Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam and Singapore. It is your responsibility to obtain this visa. You can usually obtain it very easily when arriving in Cambodia by plane or at the border. Tourist visas (30 days, single entry) are issued on arrival for US$20 and a passport photo. If you do not have a passport photo with you, you will have to pay a supplement. At the moment the most easy way tourist can apply E-visa via internet. As regulations change frequently you are advised to obtain your visa in advance, or at least to contact your Cambodian Embassy or Consulate for up to date information shortly before you travel. Spirit Asia Travel cannot accept responsibility for anyone who is refused entry to Country because they lack the correct documentation.

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the intended length of stay with at least two blank pages. You are strongly advised to bring with you good photocopies of all your documents and keep them in a separate place to wherever you keep your passport.

You will receive, by email, two vouchers – a transfer voucher and a travel voucher – after you have fully paid the booking price. You have to print these vouchers and bring them with you. You are requested to give the transfer voucher to the driver waiting for you at the airport on arrival on day one of your trip. You will be asked to show the travel voucher on arrival at the hotel and you have to give it to your tour leader at the first meeting of the trip.

Money

The official unit of currency in Cambodia is the Khmer Riel (KHR), Vietnam is the Vietnam Dong and Laos is the Laos Kib, however US$ are used everywhere in the country of Cambodia but except Vietnam and Laos we need to use their local currencies. If you bring US$ cash, be careful to bring new and clean banknotes, or you risk that they are not accepted. It is very useful to bring some notes of smaller denomination. The exchange rate is usually roughly changes so you can check on the day of arrival in the country. For exact currency conversion, you can consult the following website : www.xe.com.

We advise you to bring US$ currency and Credit Card advances are possible at banks but can be expensive. ATM’s have been recently installed almost everywhere, making it easy to withdraw cash. If there is no ATM at one of your future destinations, your tour leader will keep you informed of this in advance to give you the opportunity of withdrawing money before departing.

In case of unexpected events, such as (but not limited to) natural disaster, human conflict or adverse weather conditions, which would necessitate a change to our itinerary, please make sure you have access to an additional US$300. This is very rare but we must be prepared for every possibility.

Arrival Transfer

Arrival transfers are included of Day One providing that you inform our office of your flight details by email at least one week before your arrival – be sure that you receive a confirmation of reception by email or by phone. Your driver will be waiting for you as you leave the customs hall, holding a Spirit Asia Travel sign with your name. If you decide to use a public taxi, you should pay about US$5 to the hotel (the prices can fluctuate with the petrol rate). Even though you should not need our assistance, you will be able to call our emergency phone number that you will receive after confirmation of your booking. We will be pleased to help you.

Meeting Point

You can arrive anytime during the morning before the group meeting at Noon. When arriving at the hotel, you will need to show you’re Spirit Asia Travel voucher at the reception desk to get your room and pick up a note from your tour leader confirming the time and location of the meeting. The group meeting will be followed by a welcome lunch or dinner depending on our itinerary.

To the meeting, please bring your passport and a good photocopy of it, your travel insurance policy and emergency phone number, your travel voucher. Your tour leader will check that you have the adequate documents and give you some information about your trip. 

Arrival Complication

If for any reason you are unable to arrive at on time of Day One of the trip, please contact your joining point hotel and ask to speak with your tour leader or leave him a message. Your are allowed to join the tour you booked on the way, however the additional cost needed to meet up with your group is at your own expense. Note also that no refund is available on missed transfers or sections of your trip owing to a different or delayed flight arrival and so.

Health & Physical Rating 

Trip Grade

The trips can be enjoyed by almost anyone in good health. A basic level of fitness is required to carry personal luggage on and off transportation and up hotels steps. Your itinerary includes easy to moderate walking, biking, cruising, and sightseeing. Please note that some stairs in the temple are steep, can become quite strenuous and can be a little daunting for people suffering of vertigo. However it is always possible to avoid them so everybody shall be able to enjoy the visit of the sites.

Health

All Spirit Asia Travel, travellers need to be in good health in order to participate fully in the trip. If you have any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday, you must advise us in writing at the time of booking giving full details. If we feel unable to properly accommodate your particular needs, we reserve the right to decline or cancel your booking. We reserve the right to exclude someone from all or part of the itinerary without refund if in the opinion of our tour leader the completion of the itinerary puts him/her or the rest of the group in danger. It is important that you read carefully the itinerary to be sure you are able to complete it, and please consult this with your doctor if you have any doubts.

If you have any personal medication, be sure that you have enough for the entire duration of the trip, some medicines can be difficult to find. Medicines in frequent use must be carried in your hand-luggage.

If you suffer of allergy, such as with iodine, penicillin, please keep our office and your tour leader informed of this in case of an accident.

Prophylaxis

Recommendations about vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements can change a little bit from country to country. For this reason, we advise you to consult your doctor about the prophylaxis s/he recommends.

 There is no yellow fever in Asia but if you come from an infected area, and in case of an epidemic in this area, even if you are only in this area for transit, this vaccination will be compulsory.

It is important to protect yourself against mosquito bites even if you take anti-malarial treatment. Note that different forms of the parasite exist; furthermore, resistances against some pharmaceuticals appeared in some regions, especially in south-east Asia. For these reasons it is important that you do not use medicine you still have from previous journeys without consulting your doctor about their real efficiency in your destination.

We recommend that you carry a basic medical kit with you that you should prepare with your doctor. Please understand that for legal reasons our tour leader cannot administrate any type of drugs. Even drugs as common as aspirin are not tolerated by some people.

Some websites for travellers’ health

You can find more information about travellers’ health at the following addresses.

http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel  (for English speaker)

http://www.safetravel.ch       (for French speaker and German speaker)

http://www.who.int    (the website of the world health organisation, in English, Arabic,    Chinese, French, Spanish and Russian, everything about health can be found on this website however the navigation is not easy).

Itinerary

Last minute modification of the itinerary

Please be aware that Spirit Asia Travel reserves the right to modify the itinerary in short notice if the conditions may require so, to ensure the safety of our passengers.

If water levels are low the journey from Siem Reap to Battambang will be overland. The Tonle Sap Lake presents its lowest level at the end of the dry season, in March and April.

The restaurants indicated in the itinerary are subject to modification for various reasons (availability, annual or definitive closing, late arrival).

Included activities

All the activities mentioned in the itinerary are included. Note that they are not refundable if you decide not to participate. All other activities you decide to do are at your own expense.

Accommodation

Accommodation is provided in the form of 2-5 stars hotels depending on our trip styles. Single travellers are paired in twin share rooms with someone of the same gender. Single accommodation is available on request and implies the payment of a single supplement.

Please, note that home stay accommodation is very basic and is sometimes on mixed gender and multi-share basis.

People who desire to share the same room are kindly requested to inform us of their wish at the moment of booking, as well as their preference for twin rooms or double rooms (we will take this into account whenever possible as some guesthouses and hotels offer only twin rooms).

Meals

When meals are included in the trip price, your group leader will accompany the group on booked restaurants (apart from the very expensive places) where most of the time a set menu will be served. All restaurants are carefully selected to give you the best foods and atmosphere. There is of course no obligation to follow the group if you prefer to try another place. However, note that the cost of the meals included will not be refunded if you decide to eat somewhere else.

People with a specific diet or food allergy are kindly requested to inform us of this at the time of booking. Vegetarian meals are always available during the trip. Nevertheless, steamed rice is served everywhere. A soft vegan-diet is normally not too difficult to follow as dairy products are not used in cooking and eggs easily avoidable.

Budget

To help you to budget your trip, please find a list of the approximate costs of various products and services. Prices are only an indication and can differ from place to place.

Drinks are more expensive in restaurants.

Food :       

Small snack (chips, dried fruits, nuts, cookies) : ~US$ 1 to ~US$5
Pineapple, watermelon, bananas or papaya slices : ~US$3
One piece of bread : $1
One dish at a street stall : ~US$2-3
One dish in a local mid-range restaurant : ~US$6-7 
One dish in a fancy restaurant : ~US$15-30

Drink :

Half-litre bottle of water (local brand) : ~US$1
One litre of water (local brand) : ~US$2
One class of tea : ~US$1
One class of coffee : ~US$2
One fruit shake : US$3
One can of soda : ~US$2
One small beer : ~US$2
One large beer : ~US$3
One cocktail : ~US$4-5
One bottle of wine : US$15-20

Photography :  

One 8GB memory stick : US$10
Internet cafés fee to burn a digital camera memory stick to CD : US$5

Communication : 

International call from a hotel : ~US$5/min
International call from post office : ~US$3/min
International call from internet café : US$1-2/min
Internet use in internet café : ~US$0.75/hour
Free WIFI at the hotels or some restaurants
One overseas stamp : ~US$0.5-1

Transport :       

Hiring 1 day Mountain bicycle : ~US$8
Hiring 1 day motorbike (not available everywhere) : ~US$20
Motorbike one ride with driver : ~US$2-3 (short distance)
Motorbike one day with driver : ~US$10-15 (depending on the distance)
Tuk tuk one ride : ~US$2-5 (short distance, more expensive by night)
Tuk tuk one day : ~US$15-20 (depending on the distance)
Taxi one ride : ~US$15 (short distance)
Rent a car 1 day with driver : ~US$25-150 (depending on the distance)

Laundry :   At laundries : ~US$1-2 per kilo
At restaurant :

10% of the bill

Hotel staff : US$5-10
One day driver : US$5-10 for the group
Tour leader or Tour guide : 5-10% of the trip cost or US$5-10 per person, per day

 Departure Tax : Most air-plane company now is include in the airfareTips are never compulsory but of a great significance for people who take care of you during your trip.         

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