Our first two nights, we will stay in a hotel in Bangkok. This accommodation has western-style toilets, hot water, electricity, mosquito nets, running and drinking water available. Rooms will be shared between two to three participants of the same gender. There will be free wi-fi available but please keep in mind that this is a basic hotel and there may be times where the wi-fi will run slower than what you may be used to back home so patience and respect to the hotel staff is key!
In Surin, you will be in a homestay with a local Thai family. There will be 4-8 other Ambassadors in the same house and you will be separated into rooms based on gender. The bathrooms in these homes are very traditional. You will have a western style toilet or squat toilet depending on your house. There will also be 'bucket' showers. The team leaders will show you how to use them once you arrive. Also note there is no wifi in Surin village.
Important: In Thailand, accommodation providers are asked to take passports of foreigners/tourists to the Local Authority so that all foreigner movements are registered. This means when you arrive at accommodation, you will be requested to hand in your passport. We will manage this process as a group. You should have a copy of your passports to carry with you throughout your travels.
Food is at the very heart of the Thai culture and you'll have the opportunity to try this delicious cuisine for the duration of your trip! Meals are included during the trip, and will mostly be Thai dishes (pad thai, green curry,etc)
Our team will accommodate for any dietary preferences and requirements you may have (vegetarian, vegan, gluten intolerance, etc.)
You may hear Thai food requires eating with chopsticks and there won't be forks available, don't fear! If you don't know how to use these - you will soon master the art! (And forks will always be available.
All transportation is provided while you are in Thailand. Pick up and drop off from the airport will be by private car or bus and you will be escorted by a member of the GYAP team.
During our stay in Thailand, we have a private bus that takes you from Bangkok to Surin. Our driver has driven with us for many trips and has all the certifications and paperwork required by the Thai government for both himself and his vehicle.
Health and Safety
In Thailand you should be meticulous about looking after yourself to avoid sickness. To avoid viral infections, avoid sharing drinks and utensils of any form. Keep your hands clean by washing them often, particularly before eating and after using the toilet.
Only drink water from containers with a seal. Take care with fruit juice, which may have had water added to it, and ice. Tea and coffee should be fine, since the water will have been boiled.
In general people are extremely friendly in Thailand and you will be humbled by their hospitality.
Basic Safety Rules for Travelers:
- Make a copy of your passport and any credit/debit cards and keep it in your luggage.
- Don't carry too much cash with you at one time. It is best to carry what you need for one day.
- If you are carrying expensive items, such as camera equipment, then keep it covered at all times.
what to wear
When considering clothing, keep in mind where you’ll be and what you’ll be doing. Also consider culture and customs so as not to offend anybody with how you dress.
In Thailand, it is frowned upon to wear a bikini anywhere other than at the beach. If you’re planning to enter any temples you must cover shoulders and legs. The custom of removing shoes is also prevalent across Asia, so lace-up’s may not be the best idea. Please do consider these implications as they will help you to have a more enjoyable time.
Light, cotton clothing is recommended, sleeved shirts/t-shirt and knee-length shorts or skirts are acceptable. A few long sleeved items are a good idea for when the nights begin to cool down.
- Light, loose fitting cotton clothing
- Shorts and t-shirts
- Lightweight work clothes you do not mind sweating in and getting dirty (knee-length shorts, t-shirts)
- Long sleeve top(s) and trousers: to protect you from mosquito bites in the evenings
- Flip Flops or sandals- it’s polite to remove shows before entering some buildings. Flip flops/sandals make this much easier
- Comfortable shoes and sandals. (sturdy trekking shoes or boots can be good for construction projects)
- Sunhat, cap or bandana
Phones and electronics
If you'd like to bring a cellphone, we will instruct you how to get Thai sim-card to use for your phone in Thailand. Many Ambassadors use Thai sim-cards to receive international calls or send text messages. We will not have wifi when we are in Surin, so if you want to stay connected to your parents you may consider getting a Thai sim. Your trip leaders will also have a Thai phone you may use to contact home.
It is your choice whether to bring larger electronics. You are welcome to bring cameras, but we do not recommend bringing laptops. You will not need them during your week. If you do bring more expensive electronic devices, make sure they are covered in your travel insurance.
In terms of electricity, the most commonly found socket is a two-round prong socket, or the two flat prong socket. The picture above can be used for reference.
The currency in Thailand is the Thai Baht.
The large cities are the best places to change money or use an ATM as there are plenty of money changers, banks and ATMs around, particularly in the tourist areas. Please note that there are no cash-dispensers in the local villages in Surin and it is not possible to pay with cards there.
You shouldn't have any difficulties getting cash from an ATM with a regular debit card, or with a Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card.
The US dollar is the most common of foreign currencies and can be exchanged and used pretty much everywhere. Make sure any bills you take with you are in good condition, and when you receive change, check for the same thing - you'll have a hard time getting someone to take a ripped bill.
USD $3 = THB $100