Tour Title: Colours of Asia
Tour Company: G Adventures
Tour Leader: Cat Thongnigh
Countries Visited: Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand
Dates: 29 September 2012 to 12 October 2012.
G Adventure Tours
I took this trip as part of my 4.5 month World Trip during 2012-2013. I booked several G Adventure Tours including the Mexico and Central America tour between 15 December and 10 February 2013 which has four separate stages/tours:
1) Mexico Ancient Civilizations
2) Mayan Sun
3) Volcano Trail; and
4) Panama Experience
This tour is listed as one of G Adventures Classic tours. In short the hotels you stay at will be good to very good and there will be included activities as well as opportunities for individuals to do their own thing.
Trishaw ride in Melaka, Half day tour of Kuala Lumpur, Rainforest Expedition in Cameron Highlands, Butterfly Farm, Bangkok Klong tour, Entrance and guide to Wat Pho.
Hotels had most of the expected extras for good 3-4 star hotels like good showers, air conditioning and TVs but some had no wifi access and most charged for wifi, in particular the wifi charges at the Bangkok Centre Hotel were outrageous.
We had 7 included meals as per the trip plan. Laundry was best done away from the hotels we stayed at since that was the cheapest option. Our tour leader always made good suggestions.
There were 11 other travellers including Sarah, Chloe, Lydia, Kirsty, Laurence, Maria, Catherine, Yasmin, Joanna, Raymond, Sue and Sophie. There are three guys, including me and ten women.
Cat Thongnigh is an experienced tour leader with G Adventures and clearly likes her job and was keen to promote the countries we visited. Cat especially got along with the female tour members advising them of the risks in particular locations. Cat continued to help tour members after the tour had ended in Bangkok which is a class act.
There were lots of highlights of this tour including;
– Enjoying an Elephant ride
– Patting a tiger,
– Kayaking in the sea and into dark caves,
– Hiking in the highlands of Malaysia,
– Watching a Shadow Puppet Show,
– Visiting the stunning Batu Caves
– Watching fireflies light up trees like it was Christmas,
– Visiting the Kuala Lumpur Towers at night
– The beach resort in Koh Phangan (especially the massage on the beach)
– Muay Thai Kickboxing
We were extremely lucky with the weather, it only rained at night never really effecting any activity. That said it is extremely hot and humid over here. You also have to get used to variable standards of facilities like toilets (which you pay for in public areas). The overnight train was much better than I expected and at most markets I wasn’t hassled as much as I thought I would be.
In Singapore if you are going to do anything you need to do it before the tour as you leave on the first full day. My journal entries list what I did and recommended:
Likewise you have little official time in Bangkok so I recommend taking an extra day there and doing something like I did:
Day 17- Bangkok, Thailand.Highlights: Trip to the old capital in Ayutthaya, Visit Bang Pa-In Summer Palace, River cruise back to Bangkok.
I booked these activities using a company called Viator.
Day 03 – Singapore. Highlights: Jurong Bird Park, Listening to AFL Grand Final, Meeting tour group.
Day 04 – Melaka, Malaysia. Highlights: Trishaw ride, Taoism Temple.
Day 05 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Highlights: Petronas Towers, Chinese Night market, Reggae Bar.
Day 06 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Highlights: National Palace, National Monument, National Mosque, Freedom Square, Batu Caves, Pewter Factory, Silver leafed monkeys and Fireflies.
Day 07 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Highlights: Petronas Twin Towers and drive to Cameron Highlands.
Day 08 – Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. Highlights: Tea Plantation, hiking in the forest, relaxing at the waterfall.
Day 09 – Penang, Malaysia. Highlights: Penang Hill, Cocktails with the girls.
Day 10 – Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand. Highlights: Shadow Puppet Show.
Day 11 – Koh Samui, Thailand. Highlights: Elephant ride, Patting a tiger, Ferry crossing to Koh Samui.
Day 12 – Koh Samui, Thailand. Highlights: Ang Thong National Marine Park, Kayaking in the Gulf of Thailand.
Day 13 – Koh Panghan, Thailand. Highlights: Fun in the sun, Aroma Massage, Hiking, BBQ seafood, Chinese Lanterns.
Day 14 – Koh Panghan, Thailand . Highlights: Crazy truck drive, overnight train to Bangkok.
Day 15 – Bangkok, Thailand. Highlights: Royal Temple of Wat Po, Canal Ride, Farewelling group members.
Day 16 – Bangkok, Thailand. Highlights: Jim Thompson House and Museum, Shopping at MBK, Muay Thai (Thai Kickboxing).