Discover the highlights of Thailand and Cambodia & Vietnam on a journey that will take you through the history and culture of three diverse countries . Visit the Kingdom of Thailand from bustling Bangkok and the ancient ruins of Ayuthaya, to the night markets of Chaing Mai and hill tribes of Chiang Rai, before continuing into neighbouring Cambodia and discovering the iconic temples of Angkor to the local hospitality in the Mekong Delta to Vietnam’s coastline and Halong Bay for a cruise around stunning limestone islets set in turquoise waters.
Discover Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam tour in brief:
Day 1: Bangkok Arrival
Day 2: Bangkok - City tour
Day 3: Bangkok - Kanchanaburi
Day 4: Kanchanaburi - Ayuthaya
Day 5: Aythaya - Bankok - Night train to Chiang Mai
Day 6: Chiang Mai
Day 7: Chiang Mai - Free day
Day 8: Chiang Rai - Chiang Rai
Day 9: Chiang Rai - Bangkok
Day 10: Bankok - Flight to Siem Reap
Day 11: Siem Reap - Angkor tour
Day 12: Kbal Spean - Banteay Srei
Day 13: Kompong Phluk
Day 14: Siem Reap - Flight to Hanoi
Day 15: Hanoi city tour
Day 16: Hanoi - Halong Cruise
Day 17: Halong Bay - Hanoi- Flight to Hue
Day 18: Hue city tour
Day 19: Hue - Da Nang - Hoi An
Day 20: Hoi An - My Son
Day 21: Da Nang - Flight to Sai Gon
Day 22: Sai Gon - Cu Chi tunnels
Day 23: Sai Gon - Cai Be floating market - Can Tho
Day 24: Cai Rang Floating market - Sai Gon
Day 25: Sai Gon - Departure
Saturday. Welcome to Bangkok, the ever-alluring capital of Thailand. Arrival transfer to our hotel where our Welcome Meeting takes place later in the evening.
Overnight - Bangkok.
This morning we visit the spiritual and religious heart of the city - the striking Grand Palace. Topped by golden stupas, the complex has been the site of royal coronations and is home to the legendary Emerald Buddha. We’ll also visit the House of the Reclining Buddha, the Original Thai Massage School and the 24hr Flower Market before boarding longtail boats to explore the city’s canals. Known as khlongs, the canals enable surface water to make its way to the sea and have long been a way of getting around Bangkok. On our journey we’ll glide by curious stilted houses and gleaming temples whilst old men fish and children folic about on the waters edge.Our boats drop us off within walking distance of Khao San Road, popular with backpackers and hippies. Late afternoon offers free time for you to enjoy the many bars, restaurants, street performers, market stalls and tailors - that will measure you up for a new suit, that line this vibrant road.
Overnight - Bangkok.
Bangkok - Kanchanaburi. It’s an early start today as we drive 2.5hrs west of the capital to the small town of Kanchanaburi. Here we pay our respects to the thousands of Allied POWs who perished in the area under the hand of the Imperial Japanese Army. After pausing at the Allied War Cemetery we continue to the infamous ‘Bridge over the River Kwai’, immortalised by the film of the same name. You have a chance to take pictures before you board a train for a 2 hour journey that crosses the bridge before following the tracks dug by the POWs and locals some 75 years earlier. Disembarking at Nam Tok we have a short drive to ‘Hellfire Pass’ where the POWs dug through a mountain often using only their bare hands. A fascinating museum at the entrance details the region’s history. After our day’s sightseeing a leisurely longtail boat ride leads us to our fabulous floating jungle raft hotel. To the beauty of a hundred softly glowing lanterns and the sounds of the tropical forest and cool water flowing by we enjoy dinner and a relaxing evening on the deck.
Overnight - Kanchanaburi.
Kanchanaburi - Ayuthaya. This morning we travel on to the beautiful Erawan National Park, to explore the rivers, waterfalls and trails on foot. The park boasts a stunning tiered waterfall and there’s time to take a quick dip in the crystalline waters before we visit an elephant centre to enjoy a ride through the forest. Our final destination today is Ayuthaya, the former capital of Thailand.
Overnight - Ayuthaya
Ayuthaya - Bangkok - Chiang Mai. Ayuthaya was sacked by the Burmese, leading them to abandon the site and relocate the capital to Bangkok. All that remains are the stone and brick temples from the era. Today we explore Ayuthaya’s famous ruins, visiting the magnificent stupas at Wat Phri Sanphet, the giant Bronze Statue of Buddha and iconic Wat Mahatat where the head of a damaged Buddha statue has slowly been embraced and lifted by a nearby tree. This is one of Thailand’s most religiously significant places. Departing Ayuthaya we board a cruise ship on the mighty Chao Praya River, for a scenic cruise back to the Bangkok, enjoying lunch on board. On arrival there’s time to explore the nearby shops and bars before heading to Bangkok’s main train station to catch our overnight express sleeper train (2nd class A/C sleeper cabins) to Chiang Mai.
Overnight - Sleeper train
This morning we arrive into the picturesque city of Chiang Mai, nestled in the foothills of northern Thailand. This afternoon we take a trishaw ride and explore the old city of Chiang Mai before driving up to the majestic Doi Suthep, standing like a sentinel overlooking Chiang Mai. The tranquility of monks chanting as the sun slowly heads to the horizon is a highlight for many. In the evening we head into the night market to explore many of the street foods on offer and perhaps try our hand at haggling.
Overnight - Chiang Mai.
A free day for you to relax or participate in some of the many activities on offer. Choose from the more relaxing options with spa treatments and massages, to the adrenaline-fuelled with canopy zip lines and rock climbing. No trip to Chiang Mai would be complete without trying a local cooking class and perfecting your very own Pad Thai!
Overnight - Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai. Our journey today takes us through stunning karst and jungle scenery. Stopping for lunch at Ta Thon we board private long tail boats for a cruise down the Kok River watching rural life pass us by. Farmers work the land where oranges grow whilst men fish along the banks and buffalo wallow in the shallow waters.From our arrival point continue to Wat Rong Khun (White Temple) - a beautiful complex of newly built white and golden temples that are still a work in progress. Proceed to Chiang Rai where we wander the night market for last-minute souvenirs and tasty street food.
Overnight - Chiang Rai.
Chiang Rai - Bangkok. The city of Chiang Rai is a great base for visiting local hill tribes and this morning we visit a Karen village where we may encounter the famous Long Neck tribe, so known for the neck rings that the women wear to elongate their necks. Continuing to the border frontier town of Mae Sai, we may have the chance to cross briefly into Myanmar and enter the Burmese town of Tachilek (optional). At Chiang Saen we stand at a viewpoint that lets us see both Myanmar and Laos. We take time to visit the Opium Museum before returning to Chiang Rai to catch our flight back to Bangkok. On arrival in Bangkok we transfer to our hotel arriving late in the evening - not really a problem in ‘the city that never sleeps’!
Overnight - Bangkok.
Bangkok - Siem Reap. Today offers free time for you to independently explore before early this evening heading to the airport for our included flight to Siem reap, Cambodia. Arriving to the Kingdom of the Khmer empire at at approx 9.30pm, you can either grab a good nights rest or head out for a late night bite to eat.
Overnight - Siem Reap.
Today we immerse ourselves in one of the most astounding archaeological sites in the world. The magnificent Angkor complex of temples is scattered over an area of 200 square kilometers. We start our exploration this morning with a visit to Ta Prohm when the birds and parrots out number the tourists. We then continue towards Angkor Wat. We return to our hotel for a well-earned siesta. This afternoon we return to the temples by private vehicle and visit to the ancient city of Angkor Thom. We enter at the best preserved South Gate and take an in depth look at the Terraces of the Elephants and the Leper King, the Royal Palace, and Baphoun. But we save the best till last, the Bayon is perhaps Angkor’s most moving of all temples. As the sun gently falls it casts its rays on the giant stone faces and as the light changes so do their expressions, a magical experience! In the evening, there's a lovely dinner and cultural dance performance you can attend or alternatively opt do your own thing. Siem reap offers some hidden Cambodian culinary gems as well as international restaurants and everything in between. There is also ‘Pub Street’ for the party goer and to the fine dining options at the Foreign Correspondents Club, Raffles or Amansara.
Overnight - Siem Reap.
This morning we drive to Phnom Kulen to visit Kbal Spean, commonly known as the River of a Thousand Lingas. This site was only ‘rediscovered’ in 1969 and is a tranquil place with an attractive waterfall. Later we head to visit the elegant temple of Banteay Srei built by a Brahman in the 10th Century. It is said they must have been carved by women as the detail is too fine for the hands of a man. This gives us the origin of the Khmer name, Fortress of the Women. In the late afternoon we return to Siem Reap where the rest of the evening is at leisure.
Overnight - Siem Reap.
Today we take a short drive to Kompong Phluk, a floating/stilted community on the immense Tonle Sap. Here we board a private boat and explore the floating community of Kompong Kleang. The community is made up of ethnic Khmer, Viet and Cham, who tend to spend their entire lives on this bountiful lake. In the afternoon we enjoy some free time to relax by the pool, or to explore the town. We recommend a visit to the Artisan’s D’Angkor workshops, where talented artisans from some of the poorest villages in the country are taught the ancient Khmer skills and are then encouraged to return to their communities to generate further work and opportunities there.
Overnight - Siem Reap (B).
Upon arrival, our private Vietnam Tours guide 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 Hanoi.
Hanoi without a doubt a beautiful start for your 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.
Halong tour must be the most beautiful tour in Vietnam for any visitors. This morning, after breakfast, we drive to Halong Bay (165km), 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.
It is said that your Vietnam Tours will not be complete without a trip to Halong Bay and spending one night on romantic 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 at around noon whereVivutravel's private guide and driver are waiting for the transfer back to Hanoi Airport , flight to Hue .
Overnight in Hue.
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 favorite destination for all 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.
After 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 a wonderful 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 Museumwhich 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.
After breakfast, we invite you an interesting visit to My Son Holy land, once the spiritual capital of Champa Kingdom that dominated South East Asia for nearly a thousand years and occupied most of the central parts of Vietnam from 2nd century to 16th century with very rich in history and culture. Contemplate its remarkable red brick towers and sanctuaries dating from between the 7th and 13th centuries.Drive back to Hoi An, end of your today's beautiful Vietnam Tour with visit the former merchants' homes, the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, Phuc Kien Pagoda and the colourful riverside market.
Overnight in Hoi An.
After breakfast, our Vietnam tour guide and driver in Hoi An will transfer you to the airport for the morning flight to Ho Chi Minh (VN). Arrive at Tan Son Nhat airport, transfer to the hotel in Saigon, 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 places to visit in Vietnam. Upon arrival, check in at the hotel, free time at leisure.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh city.
Morning pick up from the hotel for Cu Chi Tunnels tour, en route to visit the bustling market at Thu Dao Mot. Upon arrival in Cu Chi, we visit the incredible underground tunnel network of approximately 200 kilometres hand-constructed by Vietnamese guerillas 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. At noon drive back to Ho Chi Minh
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh.
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 double one of the most favorite destinations for Vietnam Tours. 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.
In the morning, we make the boat cruise to see the Cai Rang floating market (the nicest one with heaps of rowing boats), truly highlights of any Vietnam Tours 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. After lunch, drive back to Ho Chi Minh.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh.
• Flights as indicated (Economy class)
• All transfers and transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle with driver
• Luggage Transfers: Between airports and hotels
• Accommodations as indicated
• Meals as indicated in the itinerary
• Professional licensed English-speaking guide (other languages on request)
• Entrance fees to indicated sights and activities as stated
• Train tickets as indicated
• Boat trips as indicated
• Bottled mineral water during touring days
• Vietnam visa on arrival
• International FLIGHTS
• Other meals
• Personal expenses
• Expenses for any optional tours or activities during free time
Tour guides who worK with us 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.
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.
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.
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 is included at all hotels and is buffet breakfast with Asian and Western food.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.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.
- 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 are possible at the last minutes. However, if changes caused extra costs, you willhave to pay for. (For examples, hotels, flights, cruises...)
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.
Thanks you Tipping is not mandatory but it is expected inTipping 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.
- 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:
2) Passport number
3) Date of birth
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.
- 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.
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 themselves 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