In most instances you will start your holiday with an arrival by air. Upon landing, having cleared immigration, collected your luggage and passed through customs, you will walk into the airport arrivals hall where you will be met by your Selective Asia guide, who will have an arrivals board with your name on it.
Please remember your guide will not know your appearance at this stage and therefore you will need to look out for your name. It is very possible you will be a little bleary-eyed after a long flight and there are also likely to be any number of meeting boards being held up for various passengers. Once you have identified yourself to your guide, they will assist with your luggage and accompany you to your waiting vehicle for the transfer to your hotel.
Please note: At some airports, guides are not allowed into the airport waiting area. In such instances you will be met by a representative, also displaying your name, who will accompany you out to your waiting guide and vehicle.
Firstly do not panic. Let the crowds clear a little, and stay with your luggage. Stay together as your guide will be looking for a party of your size. After 15 minutes, if you still have not been met then one of you should locate an airport ‘information point’ and check that you are in the correct place (some airports have several terminals and your guide will be waiting for you at your timetabled arrival terminal).
In the extremely unlikely event that after 45 minutes you have not been greeted, you should call the 24 hour local contact number that can be found at the top of your itinerary document.
Guides do not normally travel with you on train journeys, and therefore you will be meeting a new guide at your destination (this is not always the case with journeys to/from Sapa).
Follow the same guidelines suggested for an airport arrival. However, please note your guide may not know what carriage you are in and therefore it is essential that you and your luggage are prepared to disembark well in advance of pulling into the train station. In Asia, it is not uncommon for trains to only stop briefly, therefore disembarking quickly is essential.
Having disembarked, you will typically meet your guide at the end of the platform. Please remember your guide will not know your appearance at this stage and therefore you will need to look for your name on a board. Once you have identified yourself to your guide, they will assist with your luggage and accompany you to your waiting vehicle for the transfer to your hotel.
It is very possible at this point that you may want to freshen up after a long journey or go straight to bed. Alternatively, you may want to head straight out to soak up the local atmosphere or to have a bite to eat. Whatever your preference, you can make arrangements with your guide, who will also notify you of the following day’s start time and some general details.
Please note: In some countries your hotel may require your passport for a few hours, allowing them to register you with the relevant authorities. This is normal procedure and you should not worry about your passport going astray – just be sure you have it when you move on to your next destination.