IFT06: Amazing Vietnam & Cambodia - 21 days from HCMC

21 days

Your "Amazing Vietnam & Cambodia" tour is an individual tour with a flexible schedule. There is no other traveler on the tour. You will have a private English speaking tour guide and a private air-conditioned vehicle at each destination.

Amazing Vietnam and Cambodia tour in brief: IFT06


Day 1: Sai Gon arrival
Day 2: Sai Gon - Cu Chi Tunnels - Sai Gon
Day 3: Sai Gon - Cai Be floating market - Can Tho
Day 4: Can Tho - Sai Gon - Flight to Siem Reap
Day 5: Siem Reap - Angkor Complex
Day 6: Siem Reap - Grand Circuit
Day 7: Siem Reap - Flight to Hanoi
Day 8: Hanoi - City tour
Day 9: Hanoi - Hoa Lu - Tam Coc
Day 10: Ninh Binh- Halong
Day 11: HaLong - Hanoi - Flight to Hue
Day 12: Hue tour
Day 13: Hue - Hoi An
Day 14: Hoi An - Free day
Day 15: Hoi An - Free day
Day 16: Hoi An - Da Nang - Sai Gon - Flight to Phu Quoc
Day 17: Phu Quoc island - Free day
Day 18: Phu Quoc island - Free day
Day 19: Phu Quoc island - Free day
Day 20: Phu Quoc island - Free day
Day 21: Phu Quoc island - Flight to Sai Gon - Departure


  • Tour Class

  • 3 Star Hotel
  • 4 Star Hotel
  • 5 Star Hotel

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    High Season

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    (Jan 1 - Apr 30 & Oct 1 - Dec 31)

  • 3 Star HotelFrom $
  • 4 Star HotelFrom $
  • 5 Star HotelFrom $

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    Low season

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    (May 1 - Sep 9)

  • 3 Star HotelFrom $
  • 4 Star HotelFrom $
  • 5 Star HotelFrom $
Day 01

Ho Chi Minh Arrival (G)

Upon arrival at Tan Son Nhat airport, welcome by our private Vietnam tour guide and driver and transfer to you hotel for check in. Ho Chi Minh, the most exciting city of Vietnam, a mecca of commerce, also a city with a chequered history and a rich culture, its pagodas, museums, public buildings, parks and boulevards make it one of the most delightful Vietnam Tours and cities to visit in Vietnam. Free time at leisure.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh.

Accommodation at:

Day 02

Ho Chi Minh – Tay Ninh – Cu Chi Tunnels – Ho Chi Minh (B/L) (G)

After breakfast, enjoy a morning drive through typical southern Vietnamese countryside to Tay Ninh Province in the west of Cu Chi TunnelsVietnam. At Tay Ninh, visit the incredible Cao Dai Great Temple, with architecture that could have come straight from a Walt Disney fantasy and where all the major faiths of the world blend together in a unique religious cocktail. In the afternoon, visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, an underground tunnel network constructed by Vietnamese resistance fighters during the long struggle for independence where you will understand more about the Vietnam War or American War, a must see Vietnam Tour for any tourists to learn about Vietnam past and present days.

Overnight in Ho chi Minh.

Accommodation at:

Day 03

Ho Chi Minh – Cai Be floating Market – Can Tho (B/L) (G)

Today we will start our exploration of the Mekong Delta, a major rice producing area. This must be one of the most fascinating riverine deltas in the world. The Mekong splits into nine major arteries. A vast network of rivers and waterways with thousands of ships of all sizes plowing the waters gives the Mekong Delta a very special atmosphere and no doubt one of the most favorite destinations for Vietnam Tours and a smart Vietnam Tour maker would never skip. On arrival, we will make a boat trip to the Cai Be floating Market, visit villages and meet the people of the Mekong Delta. Continue your boat trip to An Binh Island for Lunch in a local family and bike trip in the afternoon. Continue to Can Tho – the heart of Mekong Delta in Vietnam.

Check in on your arrival, free at leisure and overnight in Can Tho.

Accommodation at:

Day 04

Can Tho – Cai Rang floating market – Ho Chi Minh – Siem Reap (B/L) (G)

In the morning, we make the boat cruise to see the Cai Rang floating market (the nicest one with heaps of rowing boats), truly spotlight of your Vietnam family tour where you will enjoy the beautiful scenery and see the daily activities of the locals who live along the Mekong canals and later, you will roam through the village to visit a rice husking mill, a rice noodles making shop which are nice chances to discover the daily life of Vietnamese people in Mekong Delta. Afternoon, drive back to Ho Chi Minh airport and take the short flight to Siem Reap. Pick up on arrival and transfer to your hotel.

Free at leisure and overnight in Siem Reap.

Accommodation at:

Day 05

Siem Reap – Angkor Tour (B/L) (G)

Today breakfast, then we will visit Angkor Thom beginning with the portal South Gate. Angkor Thom is located in the middle of Angkor. We also visit Bayon, Baphoun, elephant terrace and the Terrace of leper king, then visit Ta Prohm, the Jungle Temple. Afternoon we will discovered the beautiful temple of Angkor Wat, classified as World Heritage by UNESCO, with its soaring towers and its extraordinary bas-reliefs. It is one of the most extraordinary monuments ever conceived by the human spirit, built in the 12th century in honour of Vishnu. Angkor Wat, formed a rectangle of 1500 metres by 1300, covers an area of almost 200 hectares to include the supervision of watersheds ditches 190 metres wide. Within these, the wall encloses an area of 1025 meters on 800, or 82 hectares is the largest monumental Group of Angkor.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

Accommodation at:

Day 06

: Siem Reap – Angkor Thom – Angkor Wat (B/L) (G)

This morning after breakfast, we drive through the countryside to reach the magnificent Banteay Srei temple–the Citadel of women. This Hindu temple, dating back to the 10th century, has three central towers each decorated with superbly intricate carvings and reliefs of male and female divinities, Then on the way back we stop to visit the Cambodian Landmine museum and Rehabilitation Centre to get some more experiences about the past time in Cambodia during the civil war. Afternoon we going to explore the Grand circuit as Preah Khan, Neak Pean, Ta som and Mebon temples.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

Accommodation at:

Day 07

Siem Reap – Hanoi (B) (G)

Tonle Sap LakeThis morning after breakfast at the hotel, we will enjoy Tonle Sap Lake, Asia’s largest inland lake also the biggest harvest fresh water fish in the world, which swells to ten times its normal size during the wet season; here we have a two-hours boat trip observing how local people go about their daily lives in the floating village, during the boat trip we stop to visit a bird garden and a fishing farm, and also see floating school and a local market will also prove a rewarding experience for today.
PM : we will have time to go shopping arround the Old Market in the French quater area. Old Market has handicrafts local made, palm sugars as well as many other things from Cambodian products. Then transfer you to Siem Reap International Airport for departure flight to Hanoi. Upon arrival, our private Vietnam Toursguide and driver will welcome your Vietnam Holiday, pick up and transfer to the hotel for check in. Hanoi, a city where the exotic chic of old Asia blends with the dynamic face of new Asia. Where the medieval and modern co-exist. A city with a blend of Parisian grace and Asian pace, an architectural museum piece evolving in harmony with its history, rather than bulldozing through like many of the region’s capitals. Hanoi is where imagination becomes reality.

Free at leisure.  Overnight in a Hanoi hotel.

Accommodation at:

Day 08

Hanoi City tour (B/L) (G)

Hanoi is choice for any Vietnam Tours. Today we enjoy a full day Hanoi city tour of this charming capital city including the mausoleum of the nation's founder Ho Chi Minh (close on Monday & Friday), the Presidential Palace, the Ho Chi Minh's house on stilts, the One Pillar Pagoda, the Temple of Literature, the impressive Ethnologic Museum, the beautiful West Lake, the Tran Vu Pagoda, the peaceful lake of the Restored Sword.

Late afternoon we take a cyclo tour for a short excursion through the bustling old quarter streets named after the specific goods once offered for sale at these places. In the evening, we end Hanoi city tour with a fantastic traditional water puppet show.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Accommodation at:

Day 09

Hanoi – Hoa Lu – Tam Coc (B/L) (G)

Pick up from the train station and continue your impressive Vietnam Toursby heading south for the two hour drive along Highway One. We spend one hour visiting the Dinh and Le sanctuaries. These are the two remaining temples of the ancient citadel of Hoa Lu. The first is dedicated Tam Coc Tourto Dinh Tien Hoang (also known as Dinh Bo Linh), an Emperor from the Dinh Dynasty. The second commemorates the rulers of the Le Dynasty. Dinh Bo Linh successfully conquered Vietnam’s first independent rulers, the Ngo Dynasty. On his death in 980, General Le Hoan wisely married Dinh’s widow and established the Le Dynasty and enlarged the citadel.

We then move on to Tam Coc - Poetically penned ‘Halong Bay on the rice paddies’, the area around Tam Coc boasts stunning scenery. While Halong Bay has rugged rock formations jutting out of the sea, here they soar skywards from a sea of green. After a three hour boat trip along the Boi River, we do beautiful bicycle trip to Bich Dong pagoda for visit to a very nice pagoda and cave. 

Overnight in Tam Coc.

Accommodation at:

Day 10

Ninh Binh – Ha Long Bay (B/L/D) (G)

This morning, after breakfast, we drive to Halong Bay, Vietnam most scenic sight, a recognized World Natural Heritage Site and highlight of any Vietnam Tours. Upon arrival, board your traditional wooden junk. Welcome drink on board. After a relaxing break, enjoy a delicious seafood lunch while cruising through the wonderful Ha Long bay visiting its amazing grottoes and caves. Opportunity to dive off the boat and have a pleasant swimming in the deep blue water of East Sea before relaxing on your sun deck to view a Halong sunset.  Dinner on board with excellent fresh seafood.

Overnight on board.

Accommodation at:

Day 11

Ha Long – Hanoi – Fligh to Hue (B) (G)

Halong CruisePeople said that your Vietnam Tours would not have been done without a trip to Halong Bay and a romantic night on Halong Cruise. People describe Halong Bay as majestic and mysterious, inspiring and imperious and words alone cannot do justice to the natural wonder that is Halong Bay. Imagine 3000 or more incredible islands rising from the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin and you have a vision of breathtaking beauty. Halong Bay is pure art, a priceless collection of unfinished sculptures hewn from the hand of nature. It is absolutely true when you get up early to catch the sunrise on the bay, doing Ta Chi on sundeck and relax with a cup of hot coffee or tea when the boat cruising to explore more of Halong Bay. All make your Vietnam Holiday with full sweet memory. Back to Halong city, end of your beautiful Halong Bay Cruise at around noon where our private guide and driver are waiting for the transfer back to Hanoi Airport for afternoon flight to Hue. Upon arrival, pick up and transfer to the hotel for check in. Free at leisure. 

Overnight in Hue.

Accommodation at:

Day 12

Hue Tour (B/L) (G)

Hue is one of places, which has many cultural heritages. Up to now, there is no place like Hue remaining a lot of originally historical vestiges as in this ancient Capital City and an enjoyable stop for your Vietnam tours. After breakfast, our tour starts with the visit to Imperial Citadel before taking the beautiful boat trip on the romantic Perfume River and visit Hue's best-known religious site-Thien Mu Pagoda and the Mausoleum of former emperor Minh Mang in a tranquil setting of gardens and lakes. Return to the hotel. Free at leisure.

Overnight in Hue.

Accommodation at:

Day 13

Hue – Hoi An (B/L) (G)

Hoi AnAfter breakfast, we drive to Hoi An,  a major Asian trading port in the 17th and 18th centuries whose architecture and relaxed lifestyle has changed little over the years and for sure, Hoi An is the most favorite destination for all kinds of Vietnam Tours. This scenic drive passes through the fishing village of Lang Co before climbing over the Pass of Ocean Clouds. Along the way, stop in Danang to visit the Cham Museum which contains the finest collection of Cham sculptures in the world. Upon arrival in Hoi An, free to take walking tour of the Hoi An ancient town centre.

Overnight in Hoi An.

Accommodation at:

Day 14

Hoi An (B)

Hoi An Ancient Town – The most interesting break for any Vietnam Tours and no Vietnam Tours maker would skip, is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century. Its buildings and its street plan reflect the influences, both indigenous and foreign, that have combined to produce this unique heritage site.

Accommodation at:

Day 15

Hoi An (B)

Hoi An Ancient Town – The most interesting break for any Vietnam Tours and no Vietnam Tours maker would skip, is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century. Its buildings and its street plan reflect the influences, both indigenous and foreign, that have combined to produce this unique heritage site.

Accommodation at:

Day 16

Hoi An – Danang – Ho Chi Minh – Flight to Phu Quoc Island (B) (G)

After breakfast, you are free at leisure until we transfer you to the airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh and connect with the short flight to Phu Quoc. Met on arrival and transfer to your resort.

Overnight in Phu Quoc.

Accommodation at:

Day 17

Phu Quoc Island (B)

Phu Quoc IslandOne of Vietnam’s star attractions, mountainous and forested Phu Quoc is a splendid tropical getaway set with soft secluded beaches, the water a thousand different shades of turquoise. Stunning sunsets, thunderclouds heaped on the horizon. Palm trees protruding perpendicular over the gentle waves. That's Phu Quoc island and paradise for Vietnam beach lovers and great place to end your amazing Vietnam Holiday. Days free at leisure.

Overnight in Phu Quoc.

Accommodation at:

Day 18

Phu Quoc Island (B)

Phu Quoc IslandOne of Vietnam’s star attractions, mountainous and forested Phu Quoc is a splendid tropical getaway set with soft secluded beaches, the water a thousand different shades of turquoise. Stunning sunsets, thunderclouds heaped on the horizon. Palm trees protruding perpendicular over the gentle waves. That's Phu Quoc island and paradise for Vietnam beach lovers and great place to end your amazing Vietnam Holiday. Days free at leisure.

Overnight in Phu Quoc.

Accommodation at:

Day 19

Phu Quoc Island (B)

Phu Quoc IslandOne of Vietnam’s star attractions, mountainous and forested Phu Quoc is a splendid tropical getaway set with soft secluded beaches, the water a thousand different shades of turquoise. Stunning sunsets, thunderclouds heaped on the horizon. Palm trees protruding perpendicular over the gentle waves. That's Phu Quoc island and paradise for Vietnam beach lovers and great place to end your amazing Vietnam Holiday. Days free at leisure.

Overnight in Phu Quoc.

Accommodation at:

Day 20

Phu Quoc Island (B)

Phu Quoc IslandOne of Vietnam’s star attractions, mountainous and forested Phu Quoc is a splendid tropical getaway set with soft secluded beaches, the water a thousand different shades of turquoise. Stunning sunsets, thunderclouds heaped on the horizon. Palm trees protruding perpendicular over the gentle waves. That's Phu Quoc island and paradise for Vietnam beach lovers and great place to end your amazing Vietnam Holiday. Days free at leisure.

Overnight in Phu Quoc.

Accommodation at:

Day 21

Phu Quoc Island – Ho Chi Minh City (B)

Free time at leisure for you to wrap up your memorial Vietnam family vacation until we transfer you to the airport. We hope that you have enjoyed your Vietnam Tour with us and look forward to welcoming you back for your next trip. Indochinavalue says goodbye and see you again!!!

Accommodation at:

Inclusion:

• All transfers and transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle with driver
• Accommodation in twin/double sharing (triple room, extra bed, interconnecting room... are on request)
• 4 Flight tickets: HCMC - Danang, Hue - Hanoi, Hanoi - Luang Phrabang, Luang Phrabang - Siem Reap (Economy class)
• Meals as indicated in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
• English speaking guide (French, Spanish, Russian, Italian Speaking tour guides are available and on request)
• Entrance fees to indicated sights and activities as stated
• Boat trips (if mentioned)
• Bottled mineral water during touring days

Exclusion:

• Tips
• Drinks
• Other meals
• Insurance
• Personal expenses
• Expenses for any optional tours or activities during free time

Tour guide

Tour guides who wor with usk are well-paid, experienced with a university background, eager to exchange our cultures and lifestyles ... with travelers, and have a great passion for their country and understand the personal touch. In some parts such as Sapa, we may use local tour guides who come from the ethnic hilltribes like H'Mong or Red Dao as they know about their land much better than anyone else and this is also the way that Indochinavalue helps the local people a better life.

Vietnam tour guide

Tour guide is one of the most inportant factors to a successful holiday. Indochinavalue understands that a good tour guide needs not only good knowledge on history, culture, good English, French... but also needs to have general requirements and follow our guidelines as below:

1 - Licensed at least for 4 years with work experience.

2 - Guiding does require more than just hanging out in the sun. Guides must be friendly and good with people, organized enough to keep groups or people on schedule, quick on their feet and ready for the inevitable snafus that arises.

3 - Must be an honest broker of their services and able to take criticism.

4 - Should be qualified at some level in health, health care or first aid.

5 - Able to relate to people from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds.

6 - Clear speech and good hearing.

7 - Must not be a alcoholic or No-alcohol during working time or anytime when on tour.

8 - Tour guide is a nurse to take care of visitors, a boss to keep the right itinerary, a teacher to give information, an ambassador to introduce our country, an entertainer because Indochinavalue's clients want to be entertained in extend, a friend...

9 - Must be on time every time. Being late or delay is unacceptable.

10 - Check flight tickets, train tickets, meals, weather... to make sure things are in order and inform local office if any changes that might effect the tour.

11 - Solve problems with care when there is dissatisfy. Argument should be averted by courtesy.

Transport

Kind of vehicle (offered on tour) depends on the size of your group size or your requirements.To ensure your comfort, all cars feature air conditioning and enough room inside. Drivers are local, with years of experience, taking you to your destination quickly and safely.

1 - Our drivers are professional and reliable with at least 5 years of experience, driving safely.

2 - Our drivers are not allowed to hear cell-phone or smoke, chat, drink when driving.

3 - Our drivers must be friendly, helpful with good behavior and attitude.

4 - Our drivers are not allowed to take you to shops unless you ask for.

Vietnam hotel

2 Stars from: US$35 -> US$40

The 2 star hotels are good for budget travelers and sometimes, we have no choice but stay in a guesthouse, mini hotel, 2 star hotel in the remote and mountainous areas. Basically, 2 star hotels will offer good size and clean guest rooms with AC, TV, hot water, shower and private bathrooms

3 Stars from: US$40 -> US$80

The 3 star hotels are good for many travelers because they offer basic needs for a comfortable stay, good size and clean guest rooms with Free access high speed Internet, Welcome baskets and drinking water, Telephone with international dialing, Electronic safe box in room, Hairdryer, Coffee and Tea, Wake-up service, AC, TV, hot water, shower and private bathrooms. On-site restaurants with breakfast included and lunch or dinner at your own pick up. A small fitness center, spa and swimming pool can be expected.

4 Stars from: US$80 -> US$130

Offering a wide range of comfortable boutique hotels are available with shopping, dining andentertainment facilities nearby. Featuring quality service, fully furnished rooms, restaurants, fitness center with spa (and swimming pool in most cases), the hotels are expected to offer an above-average accommodation experience.

5 Stars from: US$130 -> US$200 –> US$ 300

Offering an extensive range of facilities for an excellent experience. Multiple restaurants on siteand a wide range of choice for buffet breakfast, good size of swimming pool, fitness center and concierge service round out the experience.

The restaurants we will take you for lunch or dinner are all designated tourist restaurants approved by local tourist administration bureau. They have very good sanitary conditions and the food is prepared fresh and clean.

Note: If you have any special dietary needs, just let your travel consultant know when booking.

Breakfast:

Breakfast is included at all hotels and is buffet breakfast with Asian and Western food.

Lunch:

Lunches (if included) are usually set menu at handpicked local restaurant with comfortable dining environment where you can rest assure to taste the local flavor. All restaurants are carefully selected and highly recommended.

Vietnam restaurant

Dinner:

Dinners are only included if you stay overnight in a homestay with a local family, on cruise inHalong Bay, Mekong Delta or at some special occasions such as welcome dinner, farewell dinner or on requested. So dinners are at your own choice and arrangement, but our tour guides will always give you good suggestions based on your preferences.

If allergic to some food

We suggest you to list any food or ingredients that you are allergic to and let our travel consultant know. Then your travel consultant will mark them in the guide’s itinerary, so that our guides in different cities can make some preparations and arrangements in advance.

Do our guide and driver join the meal with us?

The tour guides and driver will be at the same restaurants with you, but they will only join themeal when you invite. Sometimes the drivers are shy to join as they usually eat fast and could not understand English talk around the table, so the guide will be with you more often.

Street food tour:

Street foods in Vietnam are very delicious and should you want to taste the specialities of each Vietnam holiday destination, we can arrange a street food tour for you. Please contact us at info@indochinavalue.com for a detailed tour itinerary and quotation.

How to request a tour package?

To request for a free tour itinerary and quotation, you can just fill out the tour inquiry form at www.indochinavalue.com or send us an email at info@indochinavalue.com then give us as much information as possible. One of our experienced travel consultants will get back to you shortly. All changes will be made (free of charge) until the your tour package meets your needs and personal interests.

How to book a tour package?

As soon as you agree on our proposal, please send us your full name, international flightinformation (if you have) and your special requirements. We will make reservations and arrange everything then confirm back to you when all done.

Payment

- Deposit is a "must". We request 30% of the tour cost. You can pay by wire transfer, creditcards, western union, onepay (online)

- Balance can be made before your arrival or on arrival in cash or by credit cards.

Changes

Changes are possible at the last minutes. However, if changes caused extra costs, you willhave to pay for. (For examples, hotels, flights, cruises...)

Cancellation

In case of cancellation, we will not apply any charge if we are not charged by the third partiessuch as hotels, cruises, flights, trains...We will recalculate the costs and resend you the money as soon as possible.

Tipping

Thanks you Tipping is not mandatory but it is expected inThanks youTipping is not mandatory but it is expected in many circumstances for service. You can tip your driver/tour guide more or less or nothing. All depends on the services you receive.

Suggested tips:

- US$10 – US$ 15 per day for tour guide

- US$7 – US$ 10 per day for driver

- US$1 – US$ 3 per meal for waiter or waitress

- US$2 – US$ 5 for short boat trips/ cyclo/ tuktuk (1 – 2) hours

Note: Please check with your travel consultant before coming and your tour guide if you are to tip someone on tour.

What you get when booking a private tour with Indochinavalue?

1. Private guide, driver and vehicle are for your exclusive use; no matter you are individually,or in a family or friends group. The tour is run exclusively for you without strangers.

2. Every itinerary can be customized to meet your specific interests/ wishes, that is, you can choose your favored hotels, sightseeing spots, the tour length, means of transportation, budget, etc. All are free of charge.

3. Start the tour on any date you want.

4. Escort you from start to finish. All private transfers during the tour are offered, including airport/ train station transfer, hotel-attractions round trip transfer.

5. The sightseeing during the tour could be based on your own timetable and pace. Flexible to change at your short notice.

6. Considerate care and assistance, such as the old, the disabled or families with small kids and children.

7. You can save time and money when traveling with us or your wants meet you budget.

How do I get a visa?

Vietnam Visa On Arrival is available for help. It is legitimated and supported by the VietnameseImmigration Department. We recommend that you choose visa upon arrival, as picking up visa at the Vietnam int'l airport/ border is quite simple, easy, no additional charges and no fail.

Please provide the following information for us to apply for your visa:

apply vietnam visa1) Full name on passport

2) Passport number

3) Date of birth

4) Nationality

5) Date of arrival

6) Date of issue

7) Date of expire

8) Please make sure that your passport is still valid for 6 months.

Can I use credit cards in Vietnam?

Major credit cards such as Master Card, Visa, Diner's Card, American Express and JCB can beused to purchase goods in large shopping malls and stores in the big and medium cities, to pay for hotel rooms and for meals in some of the fancier restaurants, and to buy plane tickets with them.

Note:

- You can use US dollar, Euro in all big cities or at major tourist sites, airports.

- If you are to travel to those small cities or even remote rural areas, only cash in Dong can be used.

Do I need to bring my medical record with me?

Yes, we suggest you take your medical record with you in case that you need it in the event ofan emergency, and please also take with you your doctor's name, address and phone number, emergency contact name and phone number, and your insurance company's name, address and phone number.

Note: You can buy medicines everywhere in Vietnam so do not need to bring medicines from home.Money exchange in Vietnam

When I finish my tour in Vietnam, if I still have some local money, what can I do?

Upon leaving Vietnam, if you still have some local money, you can change them back to foreign currency with your passport and the exchange memos given by the banks or money exchange counters. So please keep those exchange memos well whenever you change money.

What should we bring along on our trip to Vietnam?

It is best to travel light in Vietnam. Onemedium sized bag and a day pack will provide more than enough room to carry everything you'll need, and enough space for the things you'll buy in Vietnam.

There are lots of consumer goods in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, so do not worry about running out of something. If you do forget something you can easily find it here. Before you leave home complete the following checklist:

- Lightweight and quick dry clothing is most appropriate for the summer months, and warmer  clothing for the winter months. As well, sun hat, swim suit, ultra lightweight rain jacket.

- Travel Documents: Passport, Visa, Travel Insurance, Air Tickets (you should scan them and email them to yourself in case you loose them).

- Health requirements, medications, and travel insurance arranged.

- Flashlight, alarm clock, sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellent, small personal first aid kit, personal toiletries.

- Money: US dollars or travelers cheques and/ or credit card(s).

- Raincoat or umbrella, good hiking shoes are needed for all Footprint trekking trips.

- Camera with charger, extra batteries, and memory cards.

Are there any restrictions on the type of luggage that we bring? Domestic airlines have their weight restrictions. On most domestic and low-cost airlines You may only have one suitcase or backpack, with a maximum weight of 20kg, and one piece of hand luggage, with a maximum weight of (5 – 7)kg. An extra charge for overweight is applied.

There is no actual limit on our trips, but we would suggest you travel light with one suitcase or backpack and one small daypack or small bag which you can access during the day and carry items like your camera, drinking water, toilet paper, hat, sunscreen, etc.

It is essential that you have a lock for each piece of luggage. Without one, railway and airline staff and some hotels may refuse to handle it.

What is the best type of clothing we should bring?

Here is a short checklist of best type of clothing you should bring:

- Shorts and comfortable pants;

- Shirts, t-shirts and maybe some long sleeves shirts (for regions with mosquitos like the Mekong delta);

- Swim suits (for the beaches and Halong Bay);

- Good sandles as well as good shoes if trekking.

Nevertheless, it will really depend on where you travel to, when you plan on travelling, and what you plan on doing. Please note that the weather can be very cold during the winter in the Northern Vietnam (Nov to Mar) and quite cool in the central highlands (Dalat). You will need to bring a good jacket along for this time of the year, the avarage temperature is about 15 oC, but can get as cold as 3 oC.

Tip: Do not worry if you do not pack enough clothes or forget something because you can buy in Vietnam.

Shopping in Vietnam

Shopping in VietnamMany tourists can’t help but throw themselvesShopping in Vietnam head-first into shopping while in Vietnam. Why? Probably the variety of quality goods and the tempting prices have a lot to do with it. Many low-budget travelers considered Vietnam a heavenly place because in many shopping situations they can bargain the prices down to as much as a third of the original cost.

The list of Vietnamese bargains is seemingly endless and features bespoke tailoring and the national dress, the 'ao dai' from high-quality silk and many other types of material and textiles while many shoppers cannot get enough of the local handicraft, art and jewelry.

How to bargain?

Bargain is not common in some countries, but in Vietnam it really is. In Vietnam, bargaining isalways worthwhile. Yet, it is not always due to the fact that the local have a great deal of time and very little money. Bargaining is part of Vietnamese culture as through bargaining people communicate with others, create and build up their relationship, not to mention a form of entertainment.

Rule - 1: It's like the monster ride at the amusement park. If you're not having fun, get off.

Rule - 2: Don't bargain with the first person who approaches you (i.e., when looking for a taxi at the airport.) In general the further you go from the center of action, the cheaper the price.

Rule - 3: Don't be afraid to use walking away as a bargaining tool. You can always come back.

Rule - 4: Don't let pride get in the way of coming back (or Rule #3 is useless).

Rule - 5: If you really want something and the price isn't coming down, give in gracefully. (It's that pride thing again.)

Rule - 6: Don't always assume you're getting ripped off just because you're in a third-world country. Sometimes the price they're asking is the real one.

Rule - 7: Bargaining is a time/ money tradeoff. If you're in a hurry, be prepared to pay for it.

Rule - 8: Ask (Vietnamese) fellow shoppers the price of an item before you begin bargaining.

Rule - 9: Always carry small bills. Otherwise all that work is likely to be for nothing.

Rule - 10: Always bargain in native currency. Conventional wisdom says anyone who has dollars can afford to spend them.

Rule - 11: If possible, keep going back to the same person until you've gotten to know him/ her. Most third world countries have a name for this kind of relationship. The deal is that you offer your business on a regular basis and the seller responds by saving you their best tomatoes

Rule - 12: No matter what your parents told you, when you're bargaining it's perfectly okay to lie

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