Twelve Ticks

TICK 1.THE BEST VALUE, ALL INCLUSIVE

Click here to see why.

TICK 2. THE MOST EVOCATIVE AND THOUGHT OUT ITINERARIES:

Baktrax itineraries allow you to see everything there is to see in the region you are visiting and have that well earned holiday at the same time.

From the major tourist attractions to the culture and lifestyles of the locals.

Real eye openers for many people. First time Asian travellers may well look at life differently on their return home.

TICK 3. SLOW AND MELLOW TRAVEL IDEOLOGY;

Not go go go everyday but rather go,  stop, look, smell, taste and relax with the locals. Then go again.

Apart from an overnight stop to break a long  journey our philosophy is that if a place is worth going to at all then a minimum of at least two nights and one full day is needed to get the feel of it. A super highlight place means even longer again.

Baktrax itineries will never highlight a well known place, as such;

DAY 2. THE WHITE SANDY BEACH OF YYY Awaits you, followed by ; After a morning tour of XXX you will then travel to YYY . DAY 3. Today after breakfast you will travel to ZZZ.

What they won’t tell you is that travel time between XXX and YYY is at least five hours and between YYY and ZZZ at least eight hours. Meaning a midnight swim at the white sandy beach at YYY, perhaps.

If YYY is worth going to at all you will always get a minimum two days there with Baktrax. YES! YYY is a fabulous white sandy beach.

When looking at itineraries be sure to read between the lines also. In particular be wary of tours that arrive in a place one day and leave the next as this may equate to only a few hours of daylight to see things. Baktrax wont prey on your lack of knowledge to secure your booking. we tell it as it is.

TICK 4. GREAT LOCALLY OPERATED AND POSITIONED ACCOMMODATION.

Baktrax stay in a variety of accommodation. From hill tribe villages for a cultural experience with a difference to five star hotels for those requiring more creature comforts. 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 quality accommodation. These trips are identical other than where you will sleep. All our accommodation is clean and comfortable to ensure a good nights rest.

Hill tribe villages may be the exception 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 5 star as it gets. A shot or two of the local brew may help in this regard.

In general we stay in mostly family run, simple guest houses or one to two star hotels or guest houses.

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.                                                                                      Both basic and simple accommodation sometimes have no other furniture other than a bed and a fan.
  4. ONE TO TWO 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.
  5. THREE, FOUR AND FIVE 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.

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.

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

TICK 5. SMALLEST GROUP SIZE AND SINGLES STILL GET THEIR OWN ROOM.

Having a maximum group size of eight means we are the smallest in the buisness.

This means your Tour Coordinator can give everybody personalised service.

How can one tour leader interact with a fast moving group of fifteen or more let alone a coach full of fifty being led by the nose from one atraction to the next.

Single travellers will always get their own room.

TICK 6. EX PAT TOUR COORDINATORS PLUS LOCAL GUIDES AND OPERATORS WHEN NEEDED:

All group tours will be accompanied by a Baktrax tour coordinator. These people are English speaking ex pats who have lived in the region for a long time. These people are neither guides, tour leaders or nurse maids. Their job is to make sure you get exactly what you paid for. They arrange everything for you in regard to accommodation, transport, meals and sight seeing. They make sure you get on the right bus or train. They coordinate with the locals who take care of you. When dinner is included they pay the bill after you have eaten. They are definately not guides as such but their advice on where to go, what to do and a myriad of other information will be invaluable to you.

Our Ex Pat tour coordinators win hands down on local knowledge.

Only by living in a place can you find the ins and outs about it.

Compare local knowledge from living in a place for years to somebody fresh out of University whose only experience was doing the trip as a paying customer before leading it. All they want is a fast reference on their C.V. before they burn out from the exhausting travel and return home in a few months time. While some of our tour coordinators may well have a degree also it’s for their local knowledge and love of the region why Baktrax get them to look after you.

And lastly, our tour coordinators are not employees but part owners in Baktrax who get a share of the profits on top of their pay. This means they also have a further vested interest in making sure you have a great time.

On day trips we use licensed local operators who will pick you up and take you to see the sights. Your tour coordinators job is to make sure of this.

When trekking we use licensed local guides who grew up in the mountains and villages. These local people speak the local languages as well as English. These guides will show you particular areas of cultural significance and will answer all your questions about the beliefs, history and politics of these fascinating cultures.

TICK 7. OPERATED BY REAL TRAVELLERS FOR REAL TRAVELLERS:

Everybody involved with Baktrax has also travelled extensively in the region as independant backpackers. This is the only 100% real way to see another country. Their knowledge and the way Baktrax travel is the only real way to experience another country apart from backpacking. We most certainly encourage you to go backpacking if you have the time and inclination. If time restricts then Baktrax is the next best thing.

TICK 8. ALL THE WELL KNOWN HIGHLIGHTS PLUS MANY LESSER KNOWN ONES:

As well as having the opportunity to see all the major tourist highlights you will also see many lesser known ones. It will most likely be the lesser known ones you are raving to your friends about upon your return home.

Some of these may be a local market where you are the only non local or sometimes you may even have a whole town or village to yourself where you may well be treated like a star attraction as the locals come to stare.

TICK 9. EXPERIENCE AUTHENTIC LOCAL FOOD AND TRANSPORTATION RATHER THAN GENERIC TOURIST SUBSTITUTES:

All real travellers agree that the best part of travel is getting up close with the friendly locals. You certainly can’t do this in tourist restaurants and on private transport. Eating and travelling will be a major highlight in itself.

When meals aren’t included you are welcome to head of to a five star hotel restaurant but after your tour coordinator points you in the direction of genuine local food we very much doubt you’ll want to eat anywhere else other than with the locals.

Why travel at all if all you want to do is eat western food and converse with your fellow countrymen?

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

But at the same time we don’t believe that travel in Asia should be an endurance test. 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.

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.

Baktrax 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.

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 first class sleeper trains on our quality accommodation options to packed in like sardines, local commuter trains. Sleeper trains are either first class or very comfortable Pullman style in Thailand and the best soft class in Vietnam. Long day trips are also on the best available while shorter trips may be on local commuter ones.
  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, which is not often, 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.

ENJOY rather than ENDURE.

TICK 10. MOST TOURS START AND FINISH AT THE SAME ACCOMMODATION IN THE SAME CITY*:
 

 Once again we have your best interests in mind in regards to starting point and finishing point. Unlike most other operators most of our tours start and finish at the same accommodation in the same city. There are some exceptions to this because of logistical and/or economic reasons, but most start and finish in Bangkok. Bangkok is the center of the region in regards to flight options. From full service to low cost carriers. All Vietnam tours start and finish in Vietnam because of a great variety of flights there also. If a tour starts in Bangkok and finishes in Chiang Mai it will also include a domestic flight back to Bangkok to connect with your onward travels. If your tour does end in a different city in another country May World travel can arrange the flight back to Bangkok for you at more than competitive prices.

If your tour starts in Bangkok and finishes in Hanoi the cost of getting back to Bangkok will be extra for you. Flying in and out of the same city gives you far better options with flights to and from your home country and is usually far more economical. Bangkok also has a bigger range of flights that are included on your tour thus keeping those costs down also.

So apart from the Vietnam tours and one Malaysian itinerary all the others start in Bangkok and most finish there also. So even if you are doing other countries you will usually get a small taste of the Big Mango as well.

TICK 11. BAKTRAX DONT USE OVERNIGHT TRANSPORT FOR ACCOMMODATION.

While some overnight train journeys are more convenient or a great journey in themselves we will never substitute a comfy bed for a train carriage or bus seat to save on accommodation costs. No itinerary will ever have any more than two nights on trains. More than that and you will know what true travel exhaustion is all about. Baht or Dong saving backpackers use overnight travel to save on accommodation . BAKTRAX DO NOT!

TICK 12. BAKTRAX: A CULTURAL EXPEDITION AND RELAXING HOLIDAY ALL IN ONE.

TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE.

  1. A LAID BACK HOLIDAY.
  2. A REAL TRAVEL EXPERIENCE.

THE NEW WAY TO SEE THE WORLD.