Transport & Accommodation

ACCOMMODATION: (PLEASE READ CAREFULLY).

Please always remember that Baktrax in general is a BUDGET  product.

Each tour itinerary clearly lists the exact  accommodation  for that trip.

Baktrax list of accommodation is transparent so there is no confusion on your arrival.

If a website lists accommodation as such;  seven nights guest houses/ hotels then all of the following come under that description. Again we tell it exactly as it is. With Baktrax you will know what to expect long before your arrival.

Baktrax stay in a variety of accommodation. From hill tribe villages for a cultural experience with a difference to three & four star hotel for those requiring more creature comforts. In general Baktrax don’t believe you want to travel half way around the world to sit in your room and watch T.V.

Some of our itineraries have a choice of either budget or  standard accommodation. These trips are identical other than where you will sleep. All our accommodation is clean and comfortable enough to ensure a good nights rest. Cash before comfort tours stay in basic and simple accommodation to allow for more affordable travel  while standard will in general never be less than one to two star unless noted for a few nights only. A very good simple guest house in Laos is one example.

Hill tribe villages may be the exception to a good nights sleep due to dogs, pigs and chickens making their usual sounds at all hours. As well as being in communal rooms with your hosts around an open fire on a bamboo floor. This is about as far away from standard as it gets. A shot or two of the local brew may help in this regard.

Our tour accommodation uses the following.

  1. STANDARD, (S).
  2. BUDGET, (B).
  3. VERY BUDGET , (VB).
  4. A MIX, (M).

Standard class accommodation ranges from 1 to 2 star, up to 3 & 4 star. Best described as mid range tourist accommodation.  The very occasional best  class of simple guest houses when noted also. This is not luxury accommodation. If you require five star luxury then Baktrax  may not be your product. Although that can also be arranged for private itineraries in many destinations.

Budget class accommodation ranges from simple guest houses to 1 to 2 star. The occasional three star hotel may also be used.

Very budget accommodation is a  majority of basic and simple guest houses or hotels .

A mix is self explanatory. ( check individual itineraries).

All the  accommodation will have varying degrees within their own class. Some simple guest houses will be almost one star with air con and TV, others will be bare bones. Please expect the lesser class and you will not get an unpleasant surprise on arrival. In fact we expect you will more often than not be pleasantly surprised. Three & four star hotels in particular  usually have a variety of rooms from standard , to Suites. Superior and Deluxe sit in between. Expect standard or superior rooms as the norm but  perhaps getting deluxe. All are clean and comfortable.

These destinations, particularly Cambodia & Laos are among the poorest countries on the planet as you will experience along the way so do not ever expect standards to be the same as back home in any way shape or form. A spot of mould in the shower or a rat in the garden is not the end of the world nor is a cup of warm coffee at the breakfast buffet. While the first two are most uncommon the latter is often the case  even at the best buffets  in Vietnam.  So you need to be tolerant and flexible if you book with Baktrax. If you want a sanitized view of Asia then we suggest you book five star travel or stay at home altogether. Lastly, we cannot emphasize too much on what not to expect with basic guest houses or even simple ones. They are as the names suggest and are for hardier travellers only. They make it  possible for more people to  travel. Occasionally simple ones will be almost one star as they have air con and TV albeit in smaller rooms but usually not.

 

As follows is a brief description of the standards. Each individual itinerary lists the type of accommodation on that particular trip.

1: HILLTRIBE VILLAGES ( North Thailand only); Very very basic with almost no amenities as you are use to.

2: BASIC GUEST HOUSE; A fan cooled room with shared facilities.

3: SIMPLE GUEST HOUSE; A fan cooled room with en suite facilities.

Basic  accommodation usually has no other furniture other than a bed and a fan. Simple accommodation is usually sparsely furnished also.

4: 1 to 2 star hotels and guest houses. A clear distinction up from a simple guest house. These places have bigger rooms with en suite facilities as well as some basic furniture. T.V. and air conditioning when needed also. The rooms themselves may  be  3 star standard but the property may not have other 3 star facilities like a pool or restaurants.

5:  3 & 4 STAR HOTELS; The usual standard as expected at these establishments. Air con when needed, restaurants, and other services as per usual. Usually with a pool but not always. Buffet breakfast most of the time.

Like our transport, Baktrax believe the accommodation should reflect the region you are staying in. First and foremost our hosts must be our friends rather than business people. In this regard we have some of the most congenial hosts on earth. If they welcome us with open wallets instead of arms we go elsewhere.

Each Itinerary has a tour number followed by a letter indicating accommodation type.

(S) = STANDARD;  (B) = BUDGET; ( M) = MIX . (VB) = VERY BUDGET.

Transport and accommodation should be major highlights rather than just how to get around and where to sleep

Baktrax TRANSPORT

Local TaxiBaktrax tours use anything and everything the locals use. If it’s going our way and you don’t want to wait, we jump aboard.

Like the accommodation; think less and you will be content and more often pleasantly surprised. A true local experience much of the time.

But at the same time we don’t believe that travel in Asia should be an endurance test all the time. So we have tried as much as possible to take the hard and exhausting work out of adventure travel while still showing you how the locals get around. But by it’s very nature, travel in this part of the world may not be as easy as back home. In some countries in the region roads are sub standard, buses are antiquated and are sometimes not even buses at all but rather a truck substitute. Take a look at our “Bus Tales from Laos” to see if you are a Baktrax traveller.

Timetables can be irregular to say the least if there are any at all. Sometimes the bus just leaves when full. But with all our knowledge we have come up with the most comfortable and convenient transport available.

Rowing boatBaktrax do not use transport as accommodation also. So unless it’s a great train trip or the most convenient travel method we don’t put you on overnight trains and/or buses to save on accommodation costs. We like to see the scenery by day and sleep in a comfy bed at night.

All transport from the time you check in to your day 1 accommodation until the time you check out of your final nights accommodation is included in your up front price apart from any taxis, buses etc you may use in your free time. This also includes any international and/or domestic flights on the itineraries. While your departure airport transfer is always included we only include arrival transfers on day one in Vietnam.

AS follows is a broad description of what we use:

1: PLANES; International and domestic as per itinerary.

2: BUSES; From up to date modern air conditioned to antiquated third world models. A number of varieties in between.

3: TRAINS; From  comfy air con sleeper trains  to packed in like sardines, local commuter ones. Sleeper trains are  comfortable Pullman style in Thailand and the best available soft class in Vietnam. Long day trips are also on the best available while shorter trips may be on local commuter ones. We  prefer  one hour flights in Thailand rather than 14 hour overnight trains for the most part.

4: TAXIS: This covers a myriad of vehicles on wheels that can be hired to move people short distances. From new air conditioned and metered cabs to bicycle rickshaws. It maybe a tuk tuk in Thailand to a moto in Cambodia to a jumbo in Laos, (no, not an elephant).

It may be a shared pick up or a motorcycle with a cart attached. Some of these contraptions will astound first time Asian travelers.

5: BOATS; Again a numerous variety ranging from modern ferries to recycled fishing boats. Some very cramped, and some with a kiosk offering a cup of coffee and biscuit. From fast, long tail ones to slow row boats. Boats are used primarily for getting to islands and/or sightseeing.  Often a combination of both.

Baktrax believe travel should be fun rather than an endurance test. But if on some occasions the travel does get a bit long and arduous, (think Laos and possibly Bangkok grid lock), please remember you will be home again soon and the locals will still be here. So do as they do and be patient, keep smiling, stay relaxed and take it all in.

NOTE: Baktrax never use private vehicles unless you request it for private tours. Private transport is not readily available everywhere but where it is and you decide you want to use it once a tour has commenced we will arrange it for you at your total extra cost.

ENJOY rather than ENDURE.