Frequently Asked Questions
Please read our general FAQs
, where you can find essential information that applies to all of our programs.
Resources to Learn & Teach About This Region
Visit our recommended reading page
to see the list of books GEEO recommends reading before your program (this is not required reading). We also have lesson plans
and Pinterest boards
that may be useful for you as you learn about your destination and prepare to bring lessons back to your classroom.
Terms and Conditions
It is very important for you to visit our Terms and Conditions
page before signing up for this program.
GEEO Program Confirmation Process
We require a minimum of 6 participants for most GEEO programs. We officially confirm that a program will run once at least 8 people have signed up, which provides a margin for individual cancellations. Nearly all GEEO programs ultimately meet this enrollment quota, and in the rare event that a program does not meet the minimum requirement and GEEO cancels the program, we will work with you to find a suitable alternative or provide a refund of your deposit if you prefer. We encourage you to sign up for any program that interests you, and we will notify the entire group once 6 people are booked and again once 8 people are booked. We always emphasize the importance of exercising caution when making non-refundable travel arrangements, especially given the unpredictable nature of travel. For example, we typically recommend booking flights with flexible change/cancellation policies.
All cancellations must be submitted to GEEO in written form by emailing your request for cancellation to email@example.com
. If you do not receive a confirmation that we have received your written cancellation request, please call us at 1-877-600-0105. Verbal cancellation requests will not be honored.
- If you cancel 60 days or more prior to departure, all your program fee payments will be refunded besides your $350 deposit which is kept on file for future use
- If you cancel between 30 and 59 days prior to departure, you will receive a 50% refund and your deposit is kept on file for future use
- If you cancel within 30 days of departure, you will receive no refund, but your deposit is kept on file for future use
Group Leader Description
All GEEO/G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of G Adventure’s group leaders, which they refer to as Chief Experience Officers (CEOs). The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues, and introduce you to our local friends. Our itineraries often have plenty of free time to explore on your own.
While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.
This trip includes light walking and hiking that is suitable for most fitness levels. The heat and humidity are the biggest physical challenges. Make sure you stay hydrated!
Half of GEEO’s participants travel by themselves, so please don’t worry if you do not have a travel companion for your trip. Our program fee is for one traveler in double-occupancy accommodation, and GEEO can find you a roommate of the same gender if you do not have a travel companion. Most of our programs have a “My Own Room” option, also known as a “Single Supplement,” which is an extra fee that you can pay to have a room to yourself. You will only incur an additional charge if you specifically request a single room. To see the price for the “My Own Room” option, please find your program on our extra services page
. If you want to room alone, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
to request a single room.
Day 1 is an arrival day, and no activities have been planned. Upon arrival to the city on Day 1, or earlier if you have booked pre-accommodation with us, please make your way to the joining hotel. Please note: Check-in time will be in the afternoon. Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note at reception from your tour leader. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on Day 1, usually between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., during which you will get a chance to meet your tour leader and other travelers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details. If you miss the Welcome Meeting, your tour leader will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need and with instructions for the next morning.
When arriving at Suvarnabhumi Airport (pronounced 'su wan na poom') in Bangkok, proceed to the Arrivals Hall where you can change money into Thai Baht. (You may be approached by nicely dressed, official looking touts offering an expensive limousine service to your hotel; ignore these offers.)
If you have paid in advance for an arrival transfer, a G Adventures representative will be at the airport to meet you (go to gate number 4). If for any reason you are not met at the airport, please call our local support line. If you are unable to make contact for whatever reason, please make your way to the joining point hotel via taxi.
IMPORTANT NOTE (If you have NOT pre-booked an arrival transfer with G Adventures):
Directions to Hotel Royal Bangkok AT ChinaTown (OR Yaowarat). Please make sure to check your tour vouchers for correct start accommodation.
You have two transport options; taxi or the Airport Train & MRT. All transportation is located on the ‘ground’ floor.
The airport is located 30km’s away from downtown Bangkok. Approach the taxi counters, advise them where you are going and they will write this information down for you along with the taxis registration details. Taxis should always use the meter and you are required to pay a 50 Baht airport surcharge on top of the metered fee plus any tollway fees (approx 75 -125 Baht depending on the route taken). Total journey will cost between 350 THB – 500 THB, 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/expressway in English).
Directions to Hotel Royal Bangkok AT ChinaTown (OR Yaowarat):
If you are staying at the Hotel Royal Bangkok AT ChinaTown (OR Yaowarat), you can take the Airport Train. Board the express airport train at the City Air Terminal at a cost of 150 THB. Here you will ride all the way along to Makkasan Subway station where you will need to disembark and change to the MRT Blue line, boarding at Phetchaburi Station. From Petchaburi Station travel to Wat Mangkon station and follow the signs for Exit 1. Once out you're on Plaeng Nam Road, walk 3 minutes. The hotel is located on Yaowarat road.
Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call their local G Adventures office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
After office hours emergencies:
From outside Thailand +66 (0) 92 338 9222
From within Thailand (0) 92 338 9222
If you are experiencing complications with your Bangkok airport transfer that was booked through G Adventures, please call: +66 86 321 0729 (086 321 0729 from within Thailand) or +66 82 450 2777 (082 450 2777 from within Thailand)
If for any reason you are unable to reach the G Adventures local office, please call the numbers listed below to connect with their Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
Please read this article
on GEEO’s blog for our staff’s suggestions on the best gear to pack for your upcoming travels. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them up and down stairs, on and off transportation, and to hotels. As a rule, we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 minutes with your bags, which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 22-30 lb. Most travelers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size. No XXL bags please! A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person plus a daypack per person.
There may be a weight restriction for the internal flight on this tour. Each passenger is allowed to carry one checked bag with a maximum weight of 15 kg (33 lbs). Additional bags or excess weight charges may apply. These charges are the responsibility of the passengers.
Health & Safety
- N95/KN95 Face masks (at least a few just in case there is an outbreak within your group)
- Hand sanitizer
- Quick Covid Test/Antigen Tests (at least 3)
- Light windproof/waterproof jacket or umbrella
- Sun hat
- Personal clothing for hot weather – t-shirts, shorts, etc.
- Sturdy walking shoes
- Sport sandals or flip-flops
- Watch or alarm clock
- Clothes for religious sites – knees and shoulders must be covered
- Toiletries – your hotels will have soap and shampoo
- First-aid kit, including: lip salve, Aspirin, bandaids, anti-histamine, Dramamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, electrolyte powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking
- Lightweight silk sleep sheet
- Travel pillow
- Money belt
- Water bottle
- Phone/tablet for internet – most hotels have WiFi
- Chargers for electronics as well converters/adapters, if needed
- AirTags or Tile trackers
- Packing cubes
- Snacks – packing a few granola bars is a good idea; you can buy snacks when you get there too, so don’t go crazy here
- Ziplock bags for wet clothing
- Reading/writing material
- Hand sanitizer/baby wipes
- Passport (with photocopies)
- Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
- Travel insurance ID card
- Flight itinerary/boarding pass(es)
- USD/EUR cash
- Credit/debit card
- G Adventures vouchers
- GEEO Classroom action plans for your group – this is sent a few days before departure
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge, or you can ask your tour leader where the nearest laundromat is located. In case you want to do your own laundry, we suggest you bring your own non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Passports and Visas
All GEEO programs require that the participant have a valid passport. Please see our general FAQ
for information on obtaining a passport. As with all of our trips, we try to provide the most accurate information we can, but governments sometimes change visa rules. It is your responsibility to double check the information we provide below by searching here
U.S. citizens do not need a visa for stays in Thailand of less than 30 days. Please check with your nearest Thai Embassy if you are not a U.S. citizen.
Your tour leader will assist with the arrangements for your Laos visa at the start of your trip, so you do not need to get it in advance of your departure. You will need 2 passport pictures, and it costs approximately $50.
You will need to get a tourist visa for Vietnam
. U.S. citizens must have a valid passport and a visa to enter Vietnam. Your passport must be valid for six months beyond your planned stay, and you must have at least one blank visa page. If you arrive in Vietnam without an appropriate visa or pre-approval for a visa on arrival, you will be denied entry.
You have until about 2 weeks before departure to complete your online application, but we suggest getting it done at your earliest convenience. We suggest using Sherpa's services, available here
, or applying for an e-visa through the Embassy of Vietnam here
. The e-visa fee is $25 USD, and the processing time is 3 business days. Here is the information you will need for your application:
- Intended date of entry: the date that your flight lands in Vietnam
- Intended temporary residential address in Viet Nam: GEEO will provide this to registered participants
- Intended length of stay in Vietnam: GEEO will provide this to registered participants
- Entry checkpoint: Noi Bai Int Airport (Ha Noi)
- Exit checkpoint: GEEO will provide this to registered participants
- a photo of the ID page of your passport
- a passport-style photo of yourself against a light background
Travelers with an e-visa can go directly to the immigration checkpoints at their point of entry and do not need to wait in line at the Visa-on-Arrival counters.
Non-American participants should check with their government or nearest Vietnamese Embassy to find out if they need a visa.
Please be aware that you will require 3 empty pages (minimum) in your passport and at least 6-months passport validity for this trip.
The local currencies are the Thai baht (THB), the Laotian kip (LAK), and the Vietnam is the dong (VND). As currency exchange rates fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com.
We recommend that you obtain cash from ATMs while traveling; they will dispense the local currency. We do, however, recommend that you bring at least $200 USD in cash for emergency use or in case you have trouble with the ATMs. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops, but you may be charged an international transaction fee; ask your financial institution about their international fees. Please note that if you are carrying U.S. dollars, the bills should be in good condition (i.e., not torn, wrinkled, or marked on in any way) and dated recently.
It is customary in Southeast Asia to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected, though not compulsory, component of this program and an expression of satisfaction with the people who assist you on your trip. Tipping is also one of the most direct ways that you can have a positive economic impact within the local community. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $1-2 USD per person per day, depending on the quality and length of the service. Ask your tour leader for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.
At the end of your program, if you felt your G Adventures tour leader did an outstanding job, a tip would be appreciated. The amount is entirely your personal preference, but as a guideline, $20-25 USD per person per week would be appropriate.
GEEO cannot provide any medical advice, so it is very important to consult your doctor or a travel clinic about which vaccinations you will need for your trip. We recommend contacting Passport Health (http://www.passporthealthusa.com/), which has travel clinics located throughout the United States. You can also check the CDC's recommended vaccinations
for your destination. Please take this seriously!
We find the best prices for flights are often available around 90 days before departure, but of course this varies greatly from route to route and year to year. You should wait until this trip is confirmed before you book non-refundable flights.
GEEO and G Adventures bear no responsibility for any flights purchased before the trip is confirmed.
This program begins in Bangkok and ends in Hanoi. Please double-check our itinerary for the date by which you must arrive in Bangkok. You may want to arrive in Bangkok one or more days early in case you have flight disruptions. You can arrive at any time you choose, but try to make it in time for our 6:00 p.m. Welcome Meeting on Day 1. You can depart from Hanoi any time on the final day of the program, or stay later to see more of the city.
Plugs and Converters
There are two components to provide external power to your device: adapters and transformers (also called electrical converters). The adapter is for your device's plug, adapting the prongs on a standard U.S. two- to three-pronged power cord to fit the local outlets. The transformer/converter changes the local voltage to the voltage used in the U.S.
Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam use a combination of both American and European outlets, known as type A and type C plugs. In all three countries, the voltage is 220-240V. (Standard U.S. electrical outlets are 120V.) Most new devices, including phones and laptops, are made to work with the different voltage rates, but some devices, like hair dryers, may only work on the U.S. standard of 120V. Check your device's plug or manual to see what voltage range it requires. Most transformer blocks will have an “Input” line that defines its voltage capacity; for example, “Input: 100-240V” means that it will work with voltages between 100V to 240V. If your device can’t handle the higher voltage, you’ll need to purchase a transformer/converter. You can find world transformers/converters online or at many retail stores in the travel section.
Before you decide to travel with GEEO, it is important that you read all of the information about the program you are considering. Remember, our programs are quite adventurous.
- The purpose of the accommodation is to provide a safe place for you to sleep. Sometimes you will be pleasantly surprised, but do not expect luxury. Sometimes the accommodation is not air-conditioned.
- We use a mix of transportation that gets our guests from location to location safely. Sometimes you will have full days and nights of transportation as our trips tend to cover a lot of ground. The transportation will often be an adventure in itself.
- You must be able to easily carry or roll your luggage, so do not over-pack.
- Many of our programs occur in locations where it is very hot during the day. Please make sure you have thoroughly read the itinerary and can handle the group activities, which sometimes include day hikes with your daypacks.
- We recommend always carrying snacks with you. Meals can sometimes be far apart.
- Please make sure you understand the role of your tour leader on this trip as they are not the traditional “guide” you may be expecting. While our trips are educational, they aren’t study/lecture trips. We want you to learn through exploring, and much of your experience will be based on how active you choose to be in acquiring knowledge and interacting with locals.
Hopefully this is the kind of adventure you are interested in!
While it is our intention to adhere to the routes described on our website, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable, to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The information on our website is a general guide to the tour and region, and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
In parts of Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand, the wet season runs from around May to October. The wet season is characterized by a downpour for a few hours each day rather than all-day torrential downpours. The advantages of this season are somewhat lower temperatures, cleaner air, and smaller crowds.
Advice From Past Participants
“I would recommend a cooking lesson at the ‘Little Hanoi’ cooking school. It is amazing and the instructor ‘Tin’ is a culinary artist. Our guide recommended it to us and it was phenomenal, one of the highlights of the trip, and we stumbled into it on the last day. It’s run by a small family, and ‘Tin’ is their head chef.”
“Even though this trip is rated for a person of average fitness, some of the days were fairly challenging, and I am reasonably fit. I was fine, but some people in the group struggled. I would just mention that you should make sure you can climb a steep hill (embarking and disembarking from the Mekong) and lug your bags around.”
“Stress packing light. Those people who didn’t really regretted it! Mention how HOT is, so people pack appropriately. Women need appropriate clothes for visiting temples. Make sure you bring sunscreen and bug spray!”
“I wish I had known where the swimming pools were in advance!”
Please keep in mind that this trip offers some free time to pursue activities that interest you. Make sure you look over all of the optional activities and note these additional costs when deciding whether you can afford this program. The prices below are rough estimates for budgeting your trip.
Tour Company Fee
See our price in the top right corner
International Airfare from the United States
Roughly $1,000-2,000 USD
If you require assistance in booking your international airfare we would be happy to help you.
Please note: It is mandatory for all of our travelers to have Emergency Medical insurance that covers both emergency evacuation and repatriation to the sum of $200,000 USD. We also strongly recommend purchasing cancellation insurance as an add-on.
$50 for your tour leader, another $30 total for other tips like local guides and drivers.
Meals Not Listed in the Itinerary
$50 for Laos, $45 or $70 for Vietnam
Laundry, Drinks, Phone Calls, etc.
Make sure you budget for these types of expenses
Variable. Please consult your doctor.
Variable; at your personal discretion.
$100 USD (suggested donation)
This is only for non-educator guests traveling with an educator on a GEEO trip. Educators and retired educators should not make this donation.
Most optional activities are booked and paid for locally, sometimes in the local currency, and you do not have to decide in advance which ones you would like to sign up for. The prices listed are based on the latest information we have received from our participants and G Adventures. They are not guaranteed to be accurate. Please use them as a rough guide for budgeting your trip.
Grand Palace: $15 USD
Visit the King’s official residence (made up of many buildings, halls, lawns, gardens, and courtyards) on the banks of the Chao Phraya River and see the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
Jim Thompson’s House: $4 USD
Tour the Jim Thompson House, a Bangkok museum that was once the home of American businessman Jim Thompson, the “Legendary American of Thailand.” See his collection of Buddhist and secular art, amassed while building his silk company.
National Museum: $2 USD
See Thai artifacts on display from the Dvaravati, Srivijaya, Sukhothai, and Ayutthaya periods as well as other Southeast Asian collections.
Royal Barge Museum: $3.50 USD
Located along the Chao Phraya River, the museum is home to many ceremonial barges. The barges are only used for special occasions so this is a chance to catch a rare glimpse of their ornate decorations and symbolic features.
Wat Arun: $3 USD
Visit Wat Arun, a Buddhist temple and one of Thailand’s best-known landmarks. Tour inside to see its central prang (a Khmer-style tower) adorned with colorful porcelain.
Thai massage: $15-30 USD
Lie back and soothe aching muscles with a wonderful Thai massage. Affordable and amazing—don't miss out!
(Keep in mind that we have a relatively short amount of time in Chang Mai.)
Bicycle Tour: $30 USD
Meander through Chiang Mai by bike and get an alternative view of this bustling city.
Northern Thai Cooking Class: $33 USD
Channel your inner chef with a home-style Thai cooking class. Take a trip to the market with your teacher and learn about regional flavors as you pick out fresh ingredients. Head back to the cozy kitchen for a hands-on lesson in whipping up delicious local favorites like hot and sour soup, green curry, and sticky rice.
Khantoke Dinner and Show: $30 USD
Enjoy dinner northern Khantok style, with local entertainment. The main dishes on the Khantok usually include sticky rice, Hang-le curry (Burmese-styled curry), and some chili pasted with crispy pork.
Royal Palace Museum: $5 USD
The ornate rooms of this royal palace-turned-museum house the country’s crown jewels, many religious artifacts, and a 110 lb Buddha cast in gold, silver, and bronze. Gifts from visiting heads of state are on display, as are the beautiful silk screens crafted by the Queen.
Phousi Temple: $2.50
Climb more than 300 steps to the top of Mount Phou Si for a panoramic view of the sunset over Luang Prabang. Ornate Buddhist shrines dot the pathway up and the glistening seven-tiered golden pagoda of Wat Chom Si awaits at the summit.
Wat Xieng Thong: $2.50 USD
Once a royal temple where Kings were crowned, the importance of this 16th-century Buddhist temple as a religious monastery is not lost on visitors. Wat Xieng Thong stands resplendent among shrines, pavilions, chapels, towers, and gardens, and its gilded wooden doors, mosaics, and ceiling displays are representative of typical Laos art and craft.
Wat Visoun Temples: $2.50
Originally built in 1513 and still operational, Wat Visoun is Luang Prabang’s oldest temple. Over the years invaders stole many of its priceless Buddha images, but this temple still offers some unusual architecture like the domed lotus flower stupa, designed by a royal and affectionately called "The Watermelon Stupa."
Royal Ballet Theater: $15 USD
Enjoy a traditional performance at the Royal Ballet Theatre and learn more about Laotian culture through the art of dance.
Vang Vieng Adrenaline Bundle: $30 USD
Head North of Vang Vieng where you’ll grab a kayak and depart downstream on the NamSong river. Passing greenery, mountain karst, and small rapids, you’ll arrive at the Tham None cave. Adventure through the cave to the other side of the mountain where you will enjoy lunch before continuing on towards Vang Vieng. The last stop will be at the infamous Blue Lagoon; swim or hang out along the banks after an afternoon of adventure before heading back to the town.
Wat Sisaket: $1 USD
Visit one of Vientiane’s oldest and most fascinating temples featuring a cloister wall filled with thousands of Buddha images.
National Museum: $4 USD
Learn about the history, culture, and people of Laos at the National Museum, including the story of the Pathet Lao. See exhibits containing ancient items ranging from dinosaur bones to early Khmer sculptures.
Wat Pha That Luang: $1 USD
See Laos’ national symbol and most important sacred monument, Pha That Luang (Great Stupa), completely covered in gold leaf. Every November, devoted Buddhists come here to celebrate Vientiane’s most important festival, Bun That Luang, with parades, music, and religious ceremonies.
Buddha Park: $1 USD plus transport
Travel approximately half an hour from the city to visit Vientiane's famous Buddha Park, or Xieng Khuan as it is otherwise known. Marvel at the scale and detail of the hundreds of religious statues that inhabit the park, including a 130-foot-high statue of Buddha. Please note that transportation to Buddha Park will cost an additional $50.
Museum of Ethnology: $2 USD
Learn about Vietnam’s various ethnic groups on this visit to the Museum of Ethnology – considered to be the finest modern museum in Vietnam.
Temple of Literature: $1 USD
Visit this sprawling temple built to honor Confucius, sages, and scholars. Dedicated to learning, it housed the country’s first university in 1076. Explore its five courtyards, containing various gates, altars, sanctuaries, shrines, the stelae of doctors, and the Well of Heavenly Clarity.
Tran Quoc Pagoda Visit: Free admission
Visit one of the oldest pagodas in Vietnam located on the eastern shore of Tay Ho. Learn about Tran Quoc's history from the 17th-century stela found on site. View it later in the day, if you can – the tall structure is striking against the setting sun.
Hanoi Foodie Culture Tour: $25 USD
Indulge your inner foodie with a street food tour through bustling Hanoi. Follow your guide through the back streets and markets of the city’s old quarter, sampling local fare along the way. Mingle with city natives and experienced street food artists alike, as you taste a variety of Hanoi faves like “nem ran” and “banh goi.” Stop at a street-side bar to savor a draught beer like Hanoians do. Cap off the tour at the Hanoi Food Culture restaurant, a G Values Fund Project, and try the city’s signature specialty coffee.
Fine Arts Museum: $1 USD
Women’s Museum: $1 USD
Army Museum: $1 USD
Taxi (to each museum): approx. $3 USD