VIETNAM TRAVEL AND TOURS - VIETNAM TRAVEL INFORMATION
and thank you for joining us for the trip of a lifetime. First and foremost,
despite the challenges you may have heard or read about the region, we are here
to ensure your trip goes not only smoothly, but is one of the most remarkable
you've ever had. For us, your trip preparation begins well before you depart
with careful planning and arrangements. On your part, please relax, we'll let
you know what and when we need anything from you and what you should be doing
(if anything aside from browsing through a few books about where you will be
traveling). Again, let us sweat the details, that's what you've entrusted us to
60 to 90 days before your depart, you will receive printed materials from us in
your pre-tour packet. Please inspect and read thrse documents carefully, some,
such as your visa on arrival authorization form, may be required for entry into
the country you are traveling to. Most of these documents are posted here if
you wish to get an early start. Of course, please don't hesitate to contact us
with any questions you may have. We would also be happy to place you in contact
with our past travelers for their advice.
of Vietnam is made up of mountains. The main parts of Vietnam that you should
visit are Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, Halong Bay, Haiphong, North-West & North-Est
Vietnam, Hue, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Phan Thiet and Dalat. Ho Chi Minh City and
Hanoi are enormous cities that have such attractions as museums, markets, parks
and pagodas, many restaurants and bars and an exciting nightlife. Halong Bay
has beautiful emerald green waters and thousands of islands and caves that you
can explore. North-West & North-Est Vietnam's breathtaking mountain scenery
and colourful hill tribe minorities should not be missed. When visiting Hue you
absolutely must visit the ancient citadel and take a 'Dragon Boat' trip to the
majestic Royal Tombs. Hoi An has a charming atmosphere and while here you must
see the extraordinary Cham ruins, located at nearby My Son. Nha Trang &
Phan Thiet has crystal clear turquoise waters and offers great island-hopping
and scuba diving. Dalat is made up of pine-forested hills, cultivated valleys,
lakes and waterfalls. Dalat is quite different from anywhere else you’ll visit
in Vietnam. You should almost be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled into the
French Alps in spring time. Booking Dalat Hotels in advance is highly recommended if
you want to visit this amazing place.
Important: Your passport must be valid for six months beyond
the ending date of your trip; please check your passport is indeed valid for
this amount of time.
Myanmar, Vietnam, Bhutan, and China require visa or visa
authorization before arrival, which Indochina Travel will assist with
securing*. Unless transiting through the airport, these countries also require
a re-entry visa if passing through more than once. For all other countries, your
visa will be processed after arrival, including Laos and Cambodia. Thailand,
Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and Singapore do not require a visa.
Luxury Travel may assist with obtaining visas or visa on arrival authorization,
each traveler bears the ultimate responsibility to ensure they have the
required documentation for entry.
Health vaccinations are not required. However, health requirements may change
and we recommend you check with a medical professional and the Centers for
Disease Control Web site for current information on your destinations. Malaria
does not occur in most places where you will likely be traveling. For an
incidence map, please search on the CDC's Malaria Map Application. Although
Malaria data is limted for Myanmar, it does not occur in cities (Yangon and
Mandalay) and does not occur in Bagan nor Shan State over 1,000 meters (which
includes Inle Lake, Kalaw, and Maymyo).
Contacts & Insurance
All travelers (except to China) are covered for emergency medical and air
evacuation insurance through the Global Traveler Program by International SOS
(Membership No: 12148-B). International SOS operates its own medical clinics
and offices in-country with locations in Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Yangon, Beijing,
Shanghai, Hue, Hanoi, and Saigon and provides our travelers with air evacuation
services to Singapore or Bangkok if deemed necessary. Please note: the SOS
Global Traveler Program does not cover air evacuation to any location but
Singapore or Bangkok nor subsequent medical expenses after evacuation, please
supplement this insurance with your own coverage. Luxury Travel is not
affiliated with SOS International and does not warrant any claim or
responsibility for their services: Travelers are ultimately responsible for
contacting with SOS and arranging for services required.
Despite the region's history, Indochina and Myanmar are now amongst the safest
places in the world to travel where physical crime against travelers is unheard
of and even theft is rare. When traveling with us, please entrust your your
possessions and valuables to your vehicle, always carefully watched by your
driver. When not with us, please leave your valuables and travel documentation
in your hotel safe.
Note that with the exception of Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, all
tipping in Indochina and Myanmar tipping is preferred in US dollars. Tipping is
not expected in restaurants, where like in Europe a service charge is typically
included in the bill. For informal, street cafes a small tip is appreciated. An
appropriate tip for hotel porters and other service providers is $1-2. Cleaning
staff get about $2 a day, left at the end of your stay on the nightstand, where
it's easily visible. Masseuse, $5 to $10. For guides, the range for tipping,
dependent on your satisfaction of course, is from $20-100 per day for a couple
(double this amount for families or small parties). For larger groups, an
appropriate range is $100 and up for your entire party/per day. Drivers are
tipped about half the guide rate. Two dollar bills are valued souvenirs in
Vietnam. In Vietnam, baseball caps and hometown collegiate t-shirts are also
Four great philosophies and religions have shaped the spiritual life of the
Vietnamese people: Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism and Christianity. The
Vietnamese language (kinh) belongs to the Mon-Khmer stock, which comprises Mon
(spoken in Burma) and Khmer (the language of Cambodia), as well as Khmu,
Bahnar, Bru and other languages of the highlands of Vietnam. Mon-Khmer, Tai and
Chinese elements with many of its basic words derived from the monotonic
Mon-Khmer languages. The most widely spoken foreign languages in Vietnam are
Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), English, French and Russian, more or less in
that order. Popular artistic forms include: traditional painting produced on
frame-mounted silk; an eclectic array of theatre, puppetry, music and dance;
religious sculpture; and lacquerware. Vietnamese cuisine is especially varied -
there are said to be nearly 500 different traditional dishes, ranging from
exotic meats such as bat, cobra and pangolin to fantastic vegetarian creations.
The currency for Vietnam is Dong. The US dollar virtually acts as a second local
currency and all hotels, airlines and travel agencies quote prices in US
dollars. However, you should pay in Dong. Vietnamese law requires all
transactions in dong, though in practice many people will accept dollars.
Visa and MasterCard credit cards are accepted in the major cities and towns
popular with tourists. Getting cash in advance is also possible but you will be
charged between 2% and 4% commission plus any charges levied by your bank.
Travellers cheques in US dollars can be exchanged and only at certain banks.
Most hotels and airline offices do not accept travellers cheques as payment.
Lost or stolen cheques are not replacable in Vietnam.
Domestic Air Services: All air travel within Vietnam is handled by Vietnam
Airlines. All reservations can be made by your agent or the airlines directly.
Buses: Most foreigners do not use local buses. It is advisable to use Taxi's,
private buses or hired rentals with a driver. The Vietnamese drive on the
right-hand side of the road. You can hire a motorcycle to drive yourself if you
have an International Driver's Permit endorsed for motorcycles. Travelling
through Vietnam by bicycle is worth considering, though the traffic is still a
hazard on highways without wide shoulders. Trains and buses will carry your
bike when you want a break.
Hitching: Though it is practised it is not recommended. You are expected to pay
the driver for picking you up and he will negotiate the fee prior to letting
you on board.
Boats: are widely used in the Mekong Delta area and Cantho is accessible by
this method from Ho Chi Minh City.