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At Cox & Kings, we believe that a good holiday is not luck, but judgement. We have compiled the following information to outline the nature of travel in the Far East, and to help you prepare for your holiday. However, even with the most meticulous planning, minor problems can occur and, while our local representatives are always on hand to rectify such occurrences, we do request that you have a patient and broadminded approach to travelling in the Far East.
Cox & Kings supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) Travel Aware campaign to help you stay safe and healthy overseas. Find out more at FCO Travel Aware. The FCO website provides travel information for many countries around the world which includes advice on safety and security, entry requirements and health, as well as general information. Cox & Kings strongly recommends that you, and everyone on your booking, visit the FCO website and read the advice about the country you are planning to visit prior to booking. You should also revisit the advice regularly prior to your departure as it may change frequently. It is also possible to sign-up to receive FCO e-mail updates for your destination so you are aware of any changes to advice they issue and we recommend you do this. There are different levels of advice, and sometimes this includes advice against travelling to certain areas or countries. To check the current travel advice, visit gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice and follow @FCOTravel on Twitter and Facebook.com/fcotravel.
International flights: On most of our tours the following carriers will be used: British Airways, Thai Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and Virgin Atlantic Airways. The name of the airline and the city of the departure and arrival airports are clearly listed in the table relating to the tour, together with the stop-off airport, should this apply. We do not display actual flight timings as these are subject to change, but you will find full details relating to your international flights printed on your confirmation invoice. All flight times as stated on your confirmation invoice refer to local times.
Some flight routings involve a change of aeroplane en route to your destination, so please take note of the flight details in your confirmation invoice, as these will show you the amount of scheduled transit time in the stop-off city. Please note that all flight timings are subject to change by the airline. It is important to note the difference between a ‘direct’ flight and a ‘non-stop’ flight. Non-stop flights do not have any scheduled touchdowns en route, while direct flights mean that there is no change of aircraft but that stops are possible, and indeed probable, as per the airlines’ timetables. Unfortunately, airlines change their schedules regularly, and although we will advise you of any stops or aeroplane changes at the time of booking, we cannot be held responsible for any changes after this date.
Baggage allowances vary according to the destination, flight and class booked, although in the majority of cases, the allowance for Economy is 20kg, Business is 30kg and First is 40kg. When booking Business Class international flights, please check with your consultant the baggage allowance for any domestic flights involved in your itinerary.
Internal flights: Almost all the internal flights in our collection use jet airliners, with some internal airliners in south-east Asia using turbo prop aircraft. Occasionally, when travelling on internal flights with local carriers or in light aircraft, it may be necessary for operators to change schedules at short notice. If this should happen, everything possible will be done to minimise the inconvenience. Such a change may cause a delay to your onward travel arrangements and require an extra night’s accommodation at your board point; or alternative travel by another airline or method of transportation may be required. Although these arrangements are at the discretion of the airline, Cox & Kings will endeavour to help in any way it can and ensure that arrangements go as smoothly as possible (see below for more details).
Flight delays & insurance: Unfortunately, due to the increase in air traffic, government restrictions and changing weather conditions, flight delays have become more commonplace. These delays can cause problems with onward connections and / or hotel and holiday arrangements. While the airline will sometimes make alternative arrangements to get you to your next destination at no extra cost, additional costs may well be involved for accommodation in the event of an overnight cancellation and also after your arrival at your next destination. These may be in the form of additional accommodation costs, transfers and onward travel. It is important that your travel insurance covers you against the costs incurred as a result of cancellation or delay to your flight. Unfortunately, since most services are paid for in advance, any services missed due to delays are non-refundable. The insurance policy offered by Cox & Kings is designed to mitigate the costs and effects of such delays in certain circumstances and we strongly advise that you are insured against such eventualities.
Flight amendments: Most of our tours shown use special airfares. These have certain conditions, which normally restrict any change of date, route or airline. Any such change made after a ticket has been issued will normally necessitate the purchase of a new ticket at the passenger’s expense.
Special requests: Cox & Kings will endeavour to request any specific meals or services, on the condition that we are told at the time of booking. Specific seat requests with most major airlines can now only be requested if travelling in Business or First Class. We are able to request general seating preferences for Economy Class passengers. With all special requests, please remember that they are ‘requests’ and as such are at the discretion of the airline and cannot be guaranteed.
Airport departure taxes: International UK departure tax is included in the cost of your holiday (unless otherwise stated), when you buy your ticket from Cox & Kings. The cost of our tours does not always include other airport departure taxes or overland departure taxes. Occasionally, taxes may be included on your ticket and we will advise you accordingly. Since there is no standard charge between countries, and taxes are subject to change, it is not possible to list the taxes in this brochure. We will advise you of the current charge with your final documents and our local agents will confirm the amount payable on arrival. Please ensure you keep enough local currency or US dollars to cover these taxes.
In China, the majority of the roads to and from major tourist destinations are sealed and in reasonable condition. Although many of the city roads are now four- to six-lane highways and have had a large amount of investment in recent years, many of the narrower ones and smaller highways are bumpy and pot-holed. Driving rules and regulations are very complicated and it is currently not possible to hire cars to travel outside the major cities within China, and not recommended within the cities. In Mongolia, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Cambodia, many of the roads are in poor condition, but most of the main highways are sealed. For longer journeys, we will nearly always advise you to fly. Types of vehicles vary according to the country visited and the numbers on a tour. Generally, the following can be used as a guideline for the size of transportation provided: 1-3 passengers, saloon car; 4-6 passengers, minivan; 6-19 passengers, small bus; 20-28 passengers, medium bus.
A number of flights within China and the Far East arrive / depart early in the morning and, while we will endeavour to schedule your tour with a flight that arrives / departs at a reasonable time, sometimes there is little or no alternative and early check-in / check-out times may be required. These are not always included in the tour price/ FIT quote, so please check with your consultant.
Accommodation standards vary dramatically throughout the Far East; however, in most of the major cities, the hotels are of a good standard. Standards will vary much more in some of the smaller cities and rural areas. For our tours in the Far East, we have chosen hotels primarily for their location and the facilities available. We will endeavour to supply any extra information that you may require on these hotels. The hotels listed in the tour itineraries may occasionally be unavailable for the required dates. In this event, we will advise you of alternative hotels that will, where possible, be of the same or of a higher standard than those featured in the itineraries. There are many new hotels being built in the Far East and we may upgrade those featured in the brochure if better options in the same category become available. In Mongolia, we use traditional tents, known as gers. Please note, all rooms reserved on your tour are standard; however, if you wish to upgrade your room (eg to a lake view or suite), please speak to your consultant who will be able to advise about options and applicable supplements.
Check-in & check-out times: For all group and individual tours, hotel check-in time is normally 14:00 and check-out time is normally 12:00, but this does vary between hotels. Early check-in and late check-out cannot be pre-booked without extra payment.
Single accommodation: Often, the location and standard of single rooms may not be as good as that of doubles. If you are in doubt, we suggest you request a double room at an additional supplement. If you are unhappy with your room while on holiday, please ensure that you query this with a Cox & Kings representative at the time. In the absence of a Cox & Kings representative, we advise you to discuss the matter with the hotel manager.
Many of the sites in the Far East necessitate a reasonable amount of walking, either to the site or around it. While the walking is normally easy going, a full day’s sightseeing can be quite tiring and sometimes strenuous. In addition, at the Great Wall in China there are many steep sections and uneven surfaces. Travel in Mongolia involves a fair amount of walking and it can be of a strenuous nature. A reasonable amount of fitness is required.
Cruise boats may vary their itineraries with little or no notice if water levels become unusually low or to avoid areas of dense traffic. Such changes are generally very rare, but you should check the final itinerary at reception when you embark. Cruise itineraries include full board, but all drinks will be charged as extras.