Travel guide

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get more information?
You can tell us more about your requirement. We can provide you with comprehensive, useful and most update information by fax or email. Our friendly and professional staffs have in depth local knowledge and experience of the trips we offer and can provide helpful advice and practical travel tips. They are pleased to help you or your travel agent selects your holiday. This is one reason why most our passengers join us through personal referrals or have had a great experience with us before.
How do I book your tours?
Please click on 'book this tour' button on your chosen tour page. We will be back to you within 24 hours with confirmation of availability or payment mode. Please see at Payment & Refund for more details.
How can I make a booking
Booking can be actually made on line. Once you are interested in the trip, you then can go ahead and sign up the tour by sending us by fax the completed reservation form so that we could process your booking. In case you won't find any option that matches your expectation or you want to follow your own itinerary, then do not hesitate to fill the customized trip form and forward it to us. We will work it out and tailor your trip to just what you long for.
How often do I cancel a trip?
As a general rule, unless otherwise stated, our policy is that all cancellation must be informed in writing either by email or fax. Cancellations will be charged as follows:
* More than 60 days prior to trip departure. No charge, however 100$US deposit is non-refundable.
* 14 days before arrival: 10% charge
* 13-7 days before arrival: 60% charge
* Within 7 days before arrival: 100% charge.
How fit do I have to be?
Your trips are first and foremost fun, educational and engaging and can be undertaken by anyone in good shape. All our trips are graded, thus helping you to choose a suitable trip. Bear in mind that our tour products have a wide range from easy touring to physically challenges, not to mention adventure trekking, sea kayaking and mountaineering trips. For those who would prefer a less active holiday, or sign up for special interest trip, family vacation please does let us know. We take pride in tailor made holiday and able to come up with interesting program.
What level of comfort can I expect?
It may vary from one trip to another pending on what trip you are following. On all our trekking trips we stay overnight at local family in hilly and mountainous area. All your gear will carried, your meals are prepared. Of course we will use also comfortable hotel with local quaint whenever available. On beach escape and touring holidays we stay in local hotels with fully supported staffs and amenities. All you have to do is enjoy yourself.
What the accommodation like?
Hotels range from budget to five-star. While deluxe properties are located only in the major cities, the charm, and quaint local family run accommodations with varying levels of private facilities can be found throughout the country. Welcome Vietnam Tour constantly stays abreast of hotel developments in order to offer our clients the best available and most preferred lodging?
How safe is it?
Above all, your well being is of paramount importance on all our trips. Our local staff constantly reviews every aspect of your adventure and our expert guides are fully conversant with the demands of traveling in remote and isolated regions.
What about travel insurance?
Travel insurance is compulsory for any participant. It is advised that all travelers should have travel insurance covered before your departure. This will be really helpful in case of medical emergency evacuation. It is with go safe. The travel insurance will cover against Hospital and Medical expenses, the cover relates to expenses as a consequence of accidents occurring to the bearer during the period of Insurance and/or unforeseen illnesses which arise during that period as well.
Do I need to have some vaccination before the trip?
No vaccinations are officially required by the Vietnamese authorities, however immunization against cholera, hepatitis, typhoid, tetanus, polio and Japanese encephalitis is advised. Please consult your doctors for further medical advice. Also plan to bring mosquito repellent. Wearing long-sleeved shirts and slacks from dusk onward and avoiding perfume is also recommended. In addition to an ample supply of any prescription drugs you are taking (and a prescription which can be filled in case your pills go missing) bring medicines for: Headaches, diarrhea, constipation, insect bites, sore throats, eye drops, cuts, etc. Medical standards outside Hanoi and Saigon, Siemreap and Luangprabang are lower that those found in western countries.
What about the food?
Your good health is a top priority on all our trips. We are therefore fully aware of the healthy appetites that build up when trekking, kayaking or touring and provide tasty and varied meals with plenty of fresh ingredients. All our food is prepared by genius cooks who ensure high standards of hygiene and who serve a sensible combination of local and Western dishes. . We also cater for vegetarians, and none-seafood individuals. Whereas sometimes you have to choose your own meals, eat only the well-cooked food at decent hotels and restaurants. While snacks may be offered for sale elsewhere, one never knows the condition under which they were prepared or the health of the food handlers. You may want to bring along dried fruits and other "comfort" for the bus ride (there is a "dining car" on the train which serves drinks and light meals).
Who is your guide?
Positive feedback from our clients validates our policy of employing local people as guide. Our guides are open-minded, qualified and enthusiastic young people who can accommodate your travel needs and provide you - the traveler, with first-hand knowledge of local history and culture. They are also curious about foreign culture and are keen to engage in cultural exchange with visitors. They are there to make your trip a success.
What about Responsible Travel?
We are highly committed in the friendly environment operation. Our style of travel is "environmentally, culturally and socially responsible - we call this 'Responsible Travel'. It involves working closely with local people and, where possible, training local people as trip guide and staff about how to protect the environment and decisions that affect their future. This is our mission to conserve the areas we visit, keep them intact and unspoilt by tourism and bring positive benefits to local communities.
Can I organize my own group?
Our website is just the starting point. If the specified trips are not suitable, or you don't want to follow the same itinerary, we would be happy to come up with a program to suit your travel interests. This service is available to any individual, family or group. We regularly organize tailor-made holidays for families, groups of friends, schools, clubs, societies, associations and special interest groups. We're happy to be of any assistance in planning and making your trip, as you've ever wanted it to be!
What is included in my trip?
Pending on specific trip our inclusions may vary from trip to trip, as an indication we include accommodation in clean, friendly located hotels with local character where possible on a double/ twin shared basis with daily breakfast; all transfers & transportation including boat ride, train journey if any; experienced English speaking guide; domestic flights where specified in the itinerary; food as stated in the trip; other specific arrangement for special interest tours.
Are children charged the full room rate?
Rates are normally reduced for children under the age of 12 years.
Are there any hidden cost or extra charges?
Good question! Most of our tours include all transport, meals, accommodation and much of arrangement and service you will need in the tour the cost is a little to spend. Read though the inclusion, exclusion portion and you will find more specific about it. Compare our quality, inclusions and daily rates our holidays offer good value for money.
What is the local money called? Can I use credit cards and travelers check?
Currency:
Vietnamese – Dong
Cambodian – Riel
Laos – Kipa
Credit Cards
In Viet Nam credit cards are accepted at most hotels and better restaurants and shops. In Cambodia and Laos credit cards are accepted in major hotels.
Travelers Checks
In Viet Nam traveler’s cheque is accepted in the big cities but when you change it you need to bring along your passport
In Cambodia and Laos, traveler's cheque is accepted on a limited basis and may be difficult to change.
ATM Machines
In Viet Nam: available in most of the major cities. In Cambodia, Laos presently is not available. US dollars, preferably crisp clean bills, are accepted almost everywhere in all of the countries listed above.
Should I come Sapa ? Give me some advises

It is amazing place. There are three seasons a day. Minority guides were so awesome!! You can catch a train from Hanoi to Lao Cai station. If you reach there on Monday you can visit Bac Ha Market. Things that you dont miss are trekking at Cat Cat (6 kms) and Lao Chai Villages(12kms). There are medical bath shops, you can take your relax time. It is very good for you to spend your vacation in Sapa. I believe that you will not forget it. (hope this infomation can help you in oreder to make your decision...)

How far from Ho Chi Minh city to Phnom Penh city? How can we go there?

It's 360km from Ho Chi Minh city to Phnom Penh city.
You can go there by plane via Vietnam Airlines or Cambodia Angkor Air. It takes 45 minutes.
And, you can go by bus. Enroute, you pass Moc Bai border - between Vietnam & Cambodia.
It takes 6 hours and half of hour for entry procedures.

I know that Vietnam and some countries as China, Korea, Japan...have the biggest holiday on the Lunar new year. Can you introduce some information about Tet holiday for us?
Thanks and we'd like to give you some outlines as below:
Tet Holiday In Viet Nam
Tet holiday is the biggest festival in Vietnam. TET, Vietnamese New Year, occurs somewhere in the last ten days of January or the first twenty days of February, nearly halfway between winter solstice and spring equinox. Tet is the Festival of thanksgiving, purity and renewal.
Vietnamese New Year Customs:
Tet Holiday Decoration
1. Clean and decorate the house:
Before the Tet Holiday, people usually clean and decorate the house, especially the kitchen have to clean before 23rd, December of lunar month. This is the ritual in Viet Nam and people believe that cleaning the house will get rid of the bad fortunes associated with the old year. Some people would paint their house and decorate with festive items.
2. Getting new clothes
In Viet nam, the children is one of the most important roles to make Tet is more exciting. Their parents often buy or sew new clothes for children a month prior The New year. However, the children cannot wear new clothes before the first day of the New Year and the children want to keep their new clothes on the New Year Eve and the first day of New Year.
3. Apricot, Peach flower and Kumquat trees.
On Tet Holiday, in each family are decorated by flower such as Apricot, Peach flower and Kumquat Tree. In the north they use Apricot Flower and in the south use Peach flower, because Apricot – Hoa Mai are adaptable to hot weather from the south and Peach flower – Hoa Đào are adaptable to are the warm pink of the peach blossoms that match well with the dry, cold weather from the North. Tet is not Tet if there is no sight of Hoa Mai (south) or Hoa Dao (north) in every home.

4. The Five Fruits
One thing is very important on the ancestor’s altar in every Vietnamese home during Tet Holiday, this is Five Fruits. Following the views of Vietnamese people they believed that five fruits are symbolic for five basic elements: metal, wood, water, fire and earth. The plate of fruits on the family altar at New Year is one of several ways to represent this concept. The plate of fruits also represents the desire for good crops and prosperity.

5. Parallels sentences and Traditional Painting
Another thing Vietnamese people use to decorate on Tet Holiday Parallels sentences and Dong Ho Painting, Parallels sentences is often hung up on honor place - the both side of ancestor’s altar
Here is two pair of Parallels Sentences:
"Fat meat, pickled onions, red parallel sentences
New Year pole, strings of firecrackers, green Chung cake."
And Dong Ho painting, one kind of folk painting is used to decorate home on New Year festival.

Vietnamese New Year Foods
1. Banh Chung – Square Cake
One of the most important traditional foods on Tet Holiday is Banh Chung – Square Cake or sticky Rice Cake. Chung Cake is made by sticky rice, green bean, pork meat, pepper and all ingredients are wrapped by special leaf which calls “Dong”. After that, it is boiled in big pot for 12 hours and the children often play around warm fires. It is also the time for parents to tell their children folklore stories about Chung cake and ancestor – Hung Vuong King.
Viet Namese New Year Ceremony and Rituals
1. Ong Cong, Ong Tao ( The kitchen Gods) Ceremony
In the Custom of Vietnamese people, on 23rd, December, Each family offers “ Ong Cong-Ong Tao” ceremony to go up to Heaven palace. He goes to heaven to report to Jade Emperor everything about the people have done in this year. And he goes to Heaven palace by carp fish; this is the reason why they need Carp Fish on their offer.
2. Eve New year
New Year Eve is called “Giao Thua”, it is the moment of seeing the old year and make plan for the new year. And Giao Thua is the time Ong Cong,Ong Tao come back to Earth after report to Jade Emperor and the family have to make the offer to well come him.
3. “ Li Xi “ – Lucky money
In the new year of Vietnamese people often give lucky money
When is the best time to travel Vietnam?

Vietnam
The climate in Ho Chi Minh City and elsewhere in the south is hottest and most humid in March and April. The dry season runs from November to April and the rainy season from May to October. In the north, the wet season is from May to September; December to March is the driest months.

Cambodia
The climate is tropical with three seasons. The most pleasant being the dry season from November to February when temperatures are cooler. The hot season lasts from March to May with average temperatures in the high 90s. The monsoon season, which is both hot and humid, is from June to October. The wettest months are August to September.

Laos

The rainy season lasts from May through October with hot and humid weather. The dry season begins in November with cool temperatures giving way to hot and dry weather from April through May when the temperature is very hot.

How to apply for a visa in Vietnam

Visitors must obtain visa approval prior to entry. We offer the visa approval service. The procedure can be summarized as follow:
(1) Passport details and arrival, departure dates are to send to us no later than 14 day prior to your departure. (You can send by email, fax or snail mail; we need: full name as stated in passport, gender, date of birth, passport number, expiry date, nationality, arrival & departure date, place to receive your visa-please advise which Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate where your want to get your visa stamped)
(2) We then go ahead and submits these details to the Vietnamese Immigration Department.
(3) The Immigration Department will confirm us of visa approval and send it by fax/telex approval to the Embassy or Consulate in the country of visitors' residence
(4) We send you the approval document via email.
(5) You bring your passports & 2 passport sized photos to Vietnamese embassy to get the visa stamped (stamp fee will be paid by yourselves).

How can I get more information
You can tell us more about your requirement. We can provide you with comprehensive, useful and most update information by fax or email. Our friendly and professional staffs have in depth local knowledge and experience of the trips we offer and can provide helpful advice and practical travel tips. They are pleased to help you or your travel agent selects your holiday. This is one reason why most our passengers join us through personal referrals or have had a great experience with us before.
 
How do I pay for my tour?
You can use your credit cards in both ways of online or offline option, Paypal is also available, bank transfer...Please note that bank fees will be on customer's side. See more details at Payment & Refund.
Some good Informations about the Phu Quoc Island? Where to stay, what to do and so on? Much appreciated
You can reach the Phu Quoc island by either boat from Rach Gia, Ha Tien (8 hours, by boat) or from Ho Chi Minh City (50minutes, by plane)
You can stay in many resorts on the beach (3,4 or 5 star) and hotels in center area.
Things to do in Phu Quoc: Visit Ham Ninh village, enjoy excellent seafoods, diving, visit Coi Nguon museum, visit Pearl Farm, visit Pepper plantation, visit Coconut Tree prison, snokeling excursion...
I am travelling with my wife to Vietnam this week and will need to buy a micro sim and sim card or cheap mobile phone whilst in Vietnam for my stay. We are arriving in Saigon and want to get communications up and running straight away. what is the best way sim or cheap phone? can i ring international using either method? where is the best place to buy the phones/sims? What is the likely cost?
You should choose a big store to buy mobile phone and sim card to make sure about the price.
 sim card: you can use some sims of Mobiphone, Vinaphone, Viettel with the price of $5-$8 for each. it can call international.
 Mobile phone: if you need cheap one. you can buy one of Nokia. For example, 110i or 1028 with the price of $20-$25
I'm keen to take the overnight train from HANOI to DANANG. I was hoping to bag a luxury train experience. Has anyone had a recent experience?
Now, you can take night train from Ha Noi to Da Nang via train of Vietnam Railway only. Standard is basic for tourism with 4 soft berth, air condition and western toilet. They not offer luxury cabin for tourism yet.
 Name of train you can chose as SE 1 ; SE 3 and the time follow as 19h00 and 23h00.
 
How far from HCM city to Mui Ne ? and if we can go there by plane.
it's 250km far from HCM city to Mui ne beach. You can not flight there cause Mui ne has not airport. You can get car transfer from HCM city and it took 5 hours.
Are there any significant differences between Vietnam Airlines, VietJet or JetStar regarding quality, reliability or service?
Vietjet and Jetstar are low cost carriers which means you pay for your meals, pay for your drinks, pay for your baggage and probably pay to watch movies.
 Vietjet is a new branch and using new planes.
 Vietnam Airlines is national airline with cover all domestic routes and international. They have lots of planes and a little delay.
 Of course, price is high than and better quality.
 
I am thinking to visit Cambodia this August, but some people say that it is too hot and humid this time of year. Can anyone please tell me when is a more comfortable time to travel there?
November through Febrary is probably the best time.
March and especially April are unbearably hot, and the rains start in May, which cools things down, but the water level does build. The rains end in October.
We were there in March, and will attest to the high heat. A friend went in August and he got stuck in Siem Reap during a flood.
I intend travel to Sapa, Vietnam. We found that there are some markets in Sapa. Can you review for me some main market ?
The Markets:
 Bac Hà market: The biggest ethnic market in the Lao Cai province, where you will find buffaloes, horses, blacksmiths, saddlers, but also traditional medicine doctors, with their thousands of mountain herbs and plants, and lots of traditional clothes and local artefacts. Several groups of deep-coloured Hmong are found there, as well as Dao, Tay, Nung, and Phu La. Make sure to arrive before 9 a.m., the market ends at about 12 :30. Sleeping in Bac Hà, on the Saturday offers an opportunity to watch the preparations for the market and the successive waves of villagers going there. Tasting the local corn spirit is a must, but be prudent, it may be up to 55° proof!
 
 Can Cau market: Every Saturday from 6 a.m. to 12, in the middle of the paddy fields and corn fields, the various hmong groups from the highland villages sell their farming products and buy fabrics, farming tools and kitchenware. The local Hmong wear traditional costumes that are so gaudy and heavily embroidered that the Chinese, the French and the Vietnamese have nicknamed them the « Flowery Hmong ». Numerous Hmong farmers travel back to their villages on horseback, the only way to carry heavy loads in these steep areas.
 
 Tuesday Coc Ly market: still off the main roads. Several Hmong, Dao, Tay, Nung and Phu La groups are there. You may opt for a boat trip on the river Chay, in the middle of stunning landscapes and villages that have remained totally traditional.
 
 Pha Long market: Saturday morning from 6 a.m. to twelve. Very rural seldom visited market, where you can meet ethnic groups that are only found in this particular district of Vietnam, mostly Hmong, Nung, Tou Zi, Pa Zi and Tou Lao. Along the road, in a landscape of mountain peaks, numerous Nung et Hmong villages. Lots of traditional houses with baked earth tiled roofs.
 
 Muong Khuong Sunday market: Big market with a wide range of ethnic groups: Hmong, Dao, Nung, and merchants from other ethnic groups who come all the way from China to sell their products. Several Pa Zi women sell traditional incense made from the bark and resin of scented trees.
 
 MuongHumSunday market: every Sunday from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.
 This market, the biggest cardamom market in the area, was already there during the French colonial period and serves as a meeting place for the ethnic groups living in the mountains: Giay, Dao, White Hmong, Hani. Those living in the highlands, like the Hmong and the Zao (Dao) come down to sell their specific products such as cardamom and other spices and mountain plants.
 In Mu?ng Hum, you should taste the paddy rice brandy (made with unhusked rice) from the dao village of San Lung. Its fruity flavour and mildness have made it famous well beyond the limits of the Lào Cai province.
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