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GENERAL FAQS

VIETNAM GENERAL TRAVEL INFORMATION

When is the best time to travel in Vietnam?
Vietnam lies in the Southeast Asia inter-tropical monsoon zone. When one region is wet, there is always somewhere else sunny and warm. Its varied climate and landscape range from the four seasons of the mountainous north to the year round tropical temperatures of the lush south. The average temperature ranges from 20 to 30 degrees Celsius (68- 90 degrees F).

The best time to travel in Vietnam is when there is a reduced chance of rain:
October - January ( Hanoi ),
February - April (Hue and Danang ),
December - March ( from Dalat to the Mekong Delta).


Is this safe to travel in Vietnam?
Vietnam is one of the safest countries for traveling. Women and independent travelers have found it relatively hassle-free and easy to travel throughout the country. Petty theft, such as pickpockets and drive-by bag snatchers, is more rampant in Ho Chi Minh than elsewhere in the country. Visitors are advised to avoid wearing extravagant jewelry or carrying large amounts of money when walking in the streets. If you do choose to drive a motorbike or ride a bicycle, always wear a helmet.

 

How to apply Vietnam entry visa?
All visitors must obtain Vietnam visa prior to entry. However, Thailand, Filipino, Malaysia Nationalities are not required visa and allow to stay in Vietnam for 1 month.

Vietnam Visa on arrival:  For those travelers who live at the countries where Vietnam Embassies or Consulates do not exist or who do not have time to apply visa at the Vietnam Embassies, you may obtain Vietnam visa upon arrival at the Ho Chi Minh or Hanoi airport, but letter of invitation is required to guarantee your visa stamp on arrival.

If you book one of our tours, VietnamTrip.com is able to arrange letter of invitation at cost of US$20/person as services fee and assistance at the airport (US$25 visa stamp fee for single entry excluded).

To prepare the letter, we need your personal information as mentioned below for 2-3 working days. Once letter is ready we will e-mail or fax it to you. Upon check-in at the airport for International flight to Vietnam, please enclose the letter with your passport so that they will allow you to check-in.

The visa on arrival procedures:

In Hanoi City

  • Our representative will be waiting for you inside the immigration Office before your arrival 30 minutes
  • Show your name signboard and bring you to the Immigration desk.
    Assist you to complete all the formalities to get the visa on hand in some minutes

In Ho Chi Minh City

  • Our representative comes to the airport before your arrival 1 hour to hand-over the original letter of invitation + the form with your full details to the immigration Office.
  • The immigration office will meet you and help to complete all the formalities to get the visa on hand in some minutes. Our representative is not allowed to be inside the airport as in Hanoi.
  • Herewith are the needed details to prepare the letter:Passport number
    Nationality
  • Full name as per passport
  • Full address as per passport
  • Date of birth
  • Validity of passport (at least 06 months)
  • Date of arrival
  • Flight number
    (Please bring 01 Passport photo (3x4) for visa stamp on arrival)

What to bring?
Comfortable lightweight clothing in natural fabrics such as cotton is most suitable. Lightweight raincoat is a good idea in the rainy season.
Winter months in Hanoi and the rainy season in the central region can get cool so a sweater or light jacket will come in handy. Good walking shoes and sandals that can be easily removed are recommended especially when entering temples and people's homes.

Outside of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City you will have trouble finding sunscreen, tampons, mosquito repellent, multivitamins, and prescription medicines. So make sure you got all sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellent, personal first aid kit, personal toiletries.
Shirts and long pants is needed when visiting religious buildings including temple and pagoda or at formal events.

Do I need any vaccinations?
No vaccination is required to enter Vietnam. However visitors are advised to have up-to-date inoculations for Cholera, Hepatitis A and B, Malaria, Typhoid and Tuberculosis. Malaria is prevalent in the remote mountainous regions. Please ask your doctor regarding immunizations and for the best preventative measures.

Do I need travel insurance?
Insurance is not included in the tour cost. Passengers are strongly advised to have full travel insurance by their own before leaving their country. Being a local handler, VietnamTrip.com will follows your every steps and assist you to insure yourself comprehensively for the full tour duration. Should there be any affects to the schedule of itinerary caused by airlines and / or local condition, VietnamTrip.com will substitute for a suitable arrangement of similar value.

Nevertheless, we are not responsible for any loss, injury or damage sustained by clients, including those occurring outside the tour program. The clients must cover additional expenses incurred due to delays, accidents, natural disaster, political actions and unrest.

Which currencies and credit card are accepted in Vietnam?
The official currency is the Vietnamese Dong (VND). Although US dollars are widely accepted, you should have local currency for use in taxis and shops. It is sometimes the best currency to carry due to its easy exchange to dong. Approximately 1 USD is equal to 15,500 Dong. Traveler's cheques can be cashed at only major banks and usually incurred a 2-5 % transaction fee.

Visa and MasterCard are accepted in almost hotels, restaurants and shops. ANZ and Vietcombank have automated teller machines (ATM) for cash advance (in VND).
*Do not accept old, faded or ripped bills (dong or dollars), as you may have trouble spending them.
Banks are open Monday to Friday and some are open Saturday morning. In the major cities there is bureaus de change and most hotels will change US Dollars. When departing, change any Dong back to US dollars.

How about laundry facilities?
It is rather cheap in Vietnam and generally available wherever you go. Don't hand in your laundry to the hotel if you stay for only one night because this service may take longer than one night, especially when the weather is wet. In the main cities of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) or Hanoi, clothes are machine dried and can be done in a day.

Tipping?
Tipping is not expected in Vietnam, but it is anyway, highly appreciated. A 5-10% tip for a meal is a very small amount of money. Avoid tipping too much, as it will set a precedent for others. It is customary, though not compulsory, to tip tour guides and drivers at the end of a tour. Hotel and station porters should also be tipped. Tipping when eating is probably the most asked question. In the large cities when dining in large hotel restaurants, if you feel the service was good you can tip around 10,000 - 20,000 Dong (around 0.80 - 1.50 USD). As you travel and eat on the roadside it is not required that you tip.

How much for airport tax?
International Flights: 12 USD (if from Danang, HCMC), 14 USD (if from Hanoi)
Domestic Flights: None
Children under two are exempted.

Things to remember when traveling in Vietnam?
- Do not drink tap water.
- Dress modestly and appropriately when visiting local dwelling and religious sites, etc.
- Leave your valuables behind before a night out on the town, or going to the beach.
- When crossing the road- especially in HCMC - always keep looking to the left and right and walk slowly!
- Do not offer money directly to minority people - instead donate to a local charity or offer a small gift, such as pens
- Try and sample at least once the delicious, local street food.
- Always ask permission first before talking photograph, especially in minority a

VIETNAM TOUR PACKAGES

When are the departure dates of tour packages?
Our tour packages are based on private tour arrangements only for your party with private air-conditioning car and English or Thai Speaking Guide. It means that tours are daily departure and you are able to fix your own departure date. Tour guide with other languages are on requested with additional supplement, please contact our tour coordinator.

What are included and exclude in tour package prices?

Our package tour prices INCLUDE:

  • Accommodation on a twin share basis with daily breakfast
  • English speaking guide
  • Meals as indicated within the itinerary
  • All mean of transport (private air-conditioning car and domestic flights) as indicated within the itinerary
  • Arrival & Departure airport transfers
  • Admission fees and permits during guided excursions as indicated within the itinerary

Our package tour prices EXCLUDE:

  • International Airfares
  • International Airport tax
  • Meals and drinks not mentioned within the itinerary
  • Personal expenses such as Bar, Laundry & Telephone bills
  • Admission fees and permits during free time
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Entry visa fee

Can you also arrange International air-ticket?
We are able to arrange special airfare from Bangkok to Vietnam, please feel free to contact us or you may visit our website at www.SaveFlights.com

What are the hotels like?
Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh offer the best selection of hotels ranging from mini-hotels to deluxe properties. Beach resorts located along the coastline are relatively new, offering comfort in a private relaxed setting. In the outlying areas, accommodation normally ranges from class 2 to 3. Most hotels have private bath/shower, AC, mini-bar, safe box, and a television. We try to provide our clients with the most updated information on accommodation since hotels are constantly under renovation and new properties are continually being developed.

Who is my guide?
We consider tour guide as the most important to our operation. All of our tour guide are carefully selected and trained. They are open-minded, well-educated and enthusiastic young people who can provide the traveler with first-hand knowledge of Vietnamese culture and history. They are also curious about foreign cultures and are eager to engage in a cultural exchange with visitors. Our guides speak English, French and German…etc.

We have guides in the three major regions of the country (Hanoi, Danang/Hue, and Ho Chi Minh City); who have specialized knowledge of their respective cities and surroundings. Upon arrival at the airport, a local guide will meet you and be your escort for the duration of your stay in that particular city. However, you have the option or hiring a national guide who will accompany you through your entire journey.

What is the transportation like?

Vehicle
We used all air-condition vehicle operated by experienced and skillful drivers during your tour. For more adventurous tours, four-wheel drive vehicles will be used.

Air
Most of the big cities in Vietnam are linked by domestic flights. The three international airports are in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh city and Danang.
At present, all domestic flights use the following aircraft: the Airbus320, the Boeing767, the Focker 70 and the ATR 72. For International flights, 02 Brand-new Boeing 777 airplanes have recently operated.
Departure tax for international flight from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh city and Danang is 14USD, 12USD and 10USD respectively.

Train
Overnight sleeper trains used on our package tour are the most comfortable available although they can not be compared to European standards. Travel by train is a leisure trip through the countryside, giving you the opportunity to see the country and its people in a much more relaxed and direct atmosphere. Your tour price is quoted based on Soft sleeper berth on overnight train. In case we are unable to get soft sleeper due to circumstances beyond our control, we will secure the best available class and revised your price.

Do the 'mini-vans' have seat belts? What sort of vehicles are they?
Minivan we used in Vietnam is 16-seater Mercedes Van, 16-seater Ford Transit or 15-seater Toyota. All these kinds of van have seat belt for driver and the seats in the fist line only. However, traffic in Vietnam is generally safe. We can also arrange 07 seat car Toyota Zace or Mitsumishi Jolie which are equipped seat belt for 02 first lines. 
 

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