Travelo Vietnam(T.L.V), Vietnam Package Tours, Adventure in Vietnam, Trekking, Cycling, Multi-activity Tours, Family HolidaysTravelo Vietnam(T.L.V), Vietnam Package Tours, Adventure in Vietnam, Trekking, Cycling, Multi-activity Tours, Family Holidays
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Travel FAQs

Travelers’ Frequently Asked Questions
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Thank you for visiting our FAQs pages. Here are the most common questions asked by our travelers. Please follow the links to get the answers or type your questions in the search bar. If you can not find your answers, please send us your questions via email or on our Travelo Vietnam Team facebook page. We will email you back with your answer, and update it on our website for other travelers.

Travel insurance

Before you come

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.

Can Travelo Vietnam do the round-trip airfare from our country?
Yes Travelo Vietnam team can, but the fact that we are a local tour operator, we would rather focus on organizing and booking your Vietnam trips. You should know that we can book domestic flights and will do all the domestic bookings for your package tour.
For you international flight, we advise that you please contact with your local or online airline agents. Vietnam airlines now has flights to / from almost every place in the World. Here is a link to their website: http://vietnamairlines.com.

What should we bring along on our trip to Vietnam?
It is best to travel light in Vietnam. One medium 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 Travelo Vietnam trekking trips.
–  Cable locks or padlocks for your luggage.
– Camera with charger, extra batteries, and memory cards.

We have also created an fun check list you can print and stick onto your refrigerator.
Travel insurance? Should we buy it here at home before traveling to Vietnam?
Travelo Vietnam works hard to make sure you stay on the safe side but, for your protection, please buy travel insurance in your country before you travel to Vietnam. It is compulsory for any particip ant on our tours.
Insurance will be really helpful in case of medical emergency evacuation. The travel insurance will cover against hospital and medical expenses and other expenses as a consequence of accidents occurring to the bearer during the period of Insurance and / or unforeseen illnesses which arises during that period as well. Be sure to read all the terms and conditions before purchasing any travel insurance.

When are the public holidays in Vietnam?
Here are a list of the public holidays in Vietnam. Hotels and transport with be busy at these times with domestic tourists who are travelling with their families.

January 1: New Year’s Day
End of January / Beginning of February: Tet or Vietnamese New Year. The actual dates vary from year to year according to the lunar calendar. Officially 3 days are given for the holiday but many businesses close down for a full week. This is the busiest time of year for traveling in Vietnam and hotels, flights and trains are often full.
April 30: Liberation of Saigon Day
May 1: International Labour Day
May 19: Birthday of Ho Chi Minh
September 2: National Day

Note: As in most other nations, if a holiday falls during the weekend, it is observed on the following Monday. On those days, Travelo Vietnam will close for our holiday too. Please contact us if you need more information of who to contact during our holidays.

Will it be hot and humid in most places?
Northern Vietnam has two distinct seasons – hot and humid summers (vary from 24 to 41 oC) and cool and dry winters (vary from 16 to 23 oC).
Central Vietnam’s coastal areas are more temperate than the sticky south (although they do experience heay rainfall), while the Central Highlands are pleasantly cooler. The weather is also hot and reasonably dry from May to September. The monsoon winds then change bringing above average rain during late September.
Southern Vietnam is fairly consistently hot and humid all year round. May to November expect temperatures from 24 – 41 oC, and from December to April, 22 – 33oC.

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 depends 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. There are plenty of clothing markets with good prices at almost every destination in Vietnam.

When is the best time to travel Vietnam?
Vietnam stretches over 1,800km up the eastern coast of the Indochina peninsula and has various climates throughout the region.
Winter season lasts from November to April in the North with temperatures averaging 16 oC. The rest of the year is considered summertime with heavy rainfalls and occasional storms.
The rainy season lasts from May to October in the South. However, it rarely rains the whole day. It gets dry after rainfall as quickly as it comes. The dry season is generally from November to April.
The central parts of Vietnam are affected by the South West monsoon season coming from Laos during May.
June experiences a muggy heat and sometimes produces typhoons and tropical storms.
During November and December there is sometimes long lasting rains. Despite of this fact the months of November and December are constantly considered the peak period for incoming tourists.
January and February are still occasionally cloudy and rainy.
The best time for a long Vietnam tour from North to South would be from January till April. For those who wish beach holidays can come to enjoy warm water and sunshine in the central coast during summer time – from May to October.

What is it this like to travel in monsoon season; will it cause trouble for us?
During the monsoon season (usually between June, July and August) some heavy rain affects the North. Not so much in the South of Vietnam. Typically, clouds come just suddenly with strong winds and make the sky dark. The rain pours down from 1 to 2 hours then leaves the air cool and fresh with the sun shinning. At times there is minor flooding in places like Hanoi however, it is not serious and usually subsides in a matter of minues.
You will enjoy less people traveling at this time, and might get some discounts for your Vietnam tours and services. Be aware however, as you might get stuck somewhere (never more than a couple of days) due to the hard rains and typhoons.
Some short tours to the North and South are recommended but we need to take the weather into account. We strongly recommend spending extra time in Central Vietnam for a beach holiday during the monsoon season. The magnificent coral sand beaches and great sites like Hue, Hoi An, and My Son are fantastic areas to visit.

How hot is that in the summer?
The temperature in Vietnam is high. The annual average temperatures range from 22 oC to 27 oC. However, the average temperature is different in every place.
In Hanoi the average temperature is 23 oC. During summer time it can reach up to 35 oC or more.
In Ho Chi Minh City 26 oC is the average, and summer will vary from 30 – 35 oC.
In Hue and Danang the temperature is around 29 – 36 oC.
Some places like Dalat and Sapa have a maximum temperature of 20 oC in the summer, with temperatures dropping, on accoasion, as low as 0 oC.

How cold can it get in the winter?
Actually, it can get cold. The winter temperatures in the North fall the lowest in December and January. In the Northern mountainous regions such as Sa Pa, Moc Chau, Son La, Tam Dao and Hoang Lien Son, the temperature can sometimes get down to 0°C with snow.
During the days, in the areas where it is very cold, you will be more than likely be trekking or walking, so the cold is not too much of a problem, and actually pleasant. It is at night, when the sun goes down, that you will appreciate the warm sweater and long underwear that you brought with you. Remember to try and leave you cotton clothes at home during this time.
All of the other places in Vietnam (Hanoi, Halong Bay, Danang, Saigon) have very mild weather in the winter. With clear days and cool nights, travel in Vietnam is pleasant and weather is rarely an issue.
Tip: Most hotel air conditioners are also heaters if you need a little extra heat.

What means of transportation is available for traveling in Vietnam?
Travel in Vietnam is easier than it used to be. Routine travel in Vietnam between major cities and tour destinations is generally comfortable and hassle free. Independent travelers will sometimes be required to have some local knowledge to ensure a decent level of comfort.
By air: You can get almost anywhere while visiting Vietnam, but scheduled flights to some Vietnam travel destinations are few and late changes in aircraft type can sometimes impact travel plans. There are also many low-cost airlines worth checking out.
By train:  Rail is generally slower than air or road, however they are great value for money. Lines run between Hanoi – Saigon, Hanoi – Lao Cai – Hekou (China) – Kunming (China), and Hanoi – Langson – Beijing (China). The train to China departs from Hanoi train station. You can join the train to Kunming at the Lao Cai station, but you can only join the train to Beijing from Hanoi. The train stations for some Vietnam travel destinations can be literally in the middle of nowhere. Travelo Vietnam generally recommends AC soft-sleepers to their clients.
By local bus: Bus travel used to be available as only packed, sardine-style, into a hot and stuffy, smoke belching reject Russian 40-seater, with bicycles, motorbikes and maybe the odd pig strapped to the roof. For the true adventurer only! These buses are still around and popular with the locals as tickets are dirt cheap.
However, there is now a system of privately owned buses, open-tour buses, minivans (usually 12 to 16-seaters) connecting most sizeable cities with neighboring towns and cities. Alternatively you sk your travel consultants at Travelo Vietnam how to get to your next travel destination by minivan.
In most of the cities you can find cyclo or xe om for transferring around, negotiate for prices before you jump on is a must.
Bicycle or motorbike rentals can be found in major cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh Hue, or Hoi An, but make sure that you understand the traffic rules before riding.
On Foot: You may need to learn how to cross city streets, especially in Saigon and Hanoi, but generally foot travel is a great experience.

How is train travel in Vietnam?
Traveling by train is a good option to see the whole of Vietnam. There is a direct line from North (Hanoi) to South (Saigon). We can not compare trains here in Vietnam with trains in Europe, but the trains are in good condition, with the newer trains equipped with modern air-conditioned coaches and sleeper cabins for the popular overnight routes. Running not faster than the bus, but much safer, Travelo Vietnam suggests, whenever there is an option with the train, take it!
The major routes is the North to South train that links Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, serving most popular destinations along the way, and the Northern line from Hanoi to Sapa. There are also trains that go beyond to Beijing and China.
Travel between Hanoi and Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
Vietnam’s Reunification Express (Thong Nhat) is the main train line running between North and South, connecting Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and stopping at many destinations along the coast, including Hue, Danang, and Nha Trang.  The train trip from Hanoi to HCMC is 1,726 km (1,070 miles), taking more than 30 hours, although few people do it in one long journey without stopping along the way.
The two major types of trains are the: SE (SE1-SE6) and TN (TN3-TN10).  In general, the SE trains are the better trains with modern air-conditioned coaches and larger windows, as well as a restaurant car.
Travel between Hanoi and Lao Cai (Sapa), and beyond
From Hanoi, there are also trains that run northwest or northeast with border crossings into China (please click here for more information on trains to and from China).
A popular route is between Hanoi and Lao Cai, which is the closest train station to the tourist destination of Sapa. The trip from Hanoi to Lao Cai takes about 10 hours, with most choosing to do an overnight trip. There is a number of tourist trains that run daily from Hanoi to Lao Cai and back, including Viet Royal, Tulico, Ratraco, all with air-conditioned soft sleeper cabins which are comfortable, although not luxurious. For a luxury option, the Victoria Sapa has its own luxury cabins on the train for those that will stay at their hotel.

Which are the international airports in Vietnam? Airport taxes in Vietnam?
Noi Bai International Airport, Hanoi (in the North), Vietnam
Location: The airport is situated 28 miles (45km) north of Hanoi.
Time: GMT +7.
Transfer to the city: Airport minibuses and metered taxis are available outside arrivals for transport to the city centre. Make sure the taxi driver is wearing an official name badge and that the meter is on. Cost of a taxi is about $18 USD.
Departure tax: none, but this could change without notice.
Tan Son Nhat International Airport, Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon (in the South), Vietnam
Location:  The airport is situated four miles (7km) from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).
Time: GMT +7.
Transfer to the city: Minibuses and metered taxis are available for transport to the city centre. Make sure the driver is wearing an official name badge and that the metre is on. Most hotels can arrange transport for arriving passengers, but visitors should organize this in advance. Cost is usually about $15 USD.
Departure tax: none, but this could change without notice.
There are also major airports in Danang (Central Vietnam), Nha Trang (Central Vietanm), and Cat Bi (Hai Phong, near Halong Bay in Northern Vietnam). Check with your Travelo Vietnam consultant for more information about other domestic airports (Dong Hoi, Can Tho, Phu Quoc, to name a few).

How many domestic airports are there in Vietnam?
Here are the list of all the domestic airports in Vietnam:
Ban Me ThuotAirport
Da Nang Airport
Haiphong Airport
Hanoi – Noi-Bai Airport
Ho Chi Minh City – Tan Son Nhat Airport
Hue Airport
Nha-Trang Airport
Phuquoc Airport
Nha-Trang Airport
Phuquoc Airport
Pleiku Airport
Quinhon Airport
Rachgia Airport
Son-La Airport
Tuyhoa Airport
Vinh City Airport

Can we travel by local bus?
If you plan to get more of a local experience then you can travel by local bus. There are public bus stations in all Vietnam cities and towns, but we do not recommend traveling on these buses.
There are many reasons for this. The safety is not to a standard that we feel is sufficient for our guests, and the standard of the bus alone is one that is almost always in dire need of attention. Finally, safe driving sense is one that is not practiced by the drivers of these buses.

What about the Open Bus?
Same as the train from North to South and vise versa, the open bus is often a good choice for budget travelers. The open-tour buses cover most of the popular destinations between the North and South, and travelers can jump on and off whenever they want, for as long as they want, in each destination along the way.

How can I get visa upon arrival?
There are 2 ways to get your Vietnam visa:
1. Get your visa in the country where you are living by contacting the visa department at the Vietnam Embassy or Consulate there.
Documents needed: Passport of 6 months’ validity; visa application forms; and probably some others required by the embassy or consulate. Visa forms are available directly from the Vietnamese embassy or consulate in your country.
Fees: vary from embassy to embassy.
Duration: It will take between 4 to 10 days depending on your country of origin.

2. Get your visa upon arrival in Vietnam with pre-approved entry visa letter. 
Relax and we will handle everything from here for you.* Travelo Vietnam, as your sponsor, will email you the Visa Approval Letter issued by the Vietnam Immigration Office here. When you enter Vietnam by air** you will, fill out a short form, and give the issuing officer two passport photos and a fee. He/she will give you  the all important visa and stamp on your passport.
How long does it take? Normally it takes 2-3 days to complete from when we receive all your information.
How much does it cost? This depends on the typr of visa you require (Tourist or Business, 1 or 3 months, Single or Multiple Entry). Please get this information from our Travelo Vietnam consultant.
How long can I stay? The regular Tourist visa are valid for 30 days. You can extend it here if needed.
Documents needed: Please send us a complete copy of your passport via email including your full name as it appears on your passport, date of birth, gender, nationality, passport numbers, passport expiry date, and your arrival date to Vietnam or flight information.
Attention please:
(*) We can only obtain the visa for you once you have decided to book a tour with us. This is set by the Vietnam Immigration Department.
(**) Visa upon arrival can only be arranged when you enter Vietnam by air (Hanoi, Danang, Saigon).

What if I wish to extend my visit while I’m in Vietnam?
No problem, you can always extend your visit in Vietnam!
You are normally given a one month single entry travel visa, which lasts 30 days. If you plan on extending You should need to make your decision at least 7 days before your visa is expired as it normally takes about 2 working days to get your visa extended. Extensions are usually for another one month period. For longer stay visas or extensions, it may take about 7 to 15 days to get.
There are also 3 month tourist visas available at a reasonable cost when you enter Vietnam. Ask your visa provider about this option before coming to Vietnam when you are applying for your pre-approved entry visa letter. Then you do not have to worry about extending your visa when you here.

What is the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT)?
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) is a Governmental Agency which exercises the state management function over tourist operations and activities throughout country. It has full control in terms of business development, planning, public relations, personnel training, conducting research, instructing and inspecting the implementation of policies and other regulations in the tourism sector.

Who are the Vietnam tour operators?
Tour operators are the ones who make the necessary arrangements to create tourists’ holidays. This includes arranging flight tickets, transfers, hotels, cruises, meals and other travel activities.
In Vietnam, there are Vietnamese tour operators and international tour operators. We at Travelo Vietnam are local Vietnam tour operators. We specialize all the local arrangements for your Vietnam holiday. We specialize in cycling, trekking, cruising & kayaking, short breaks & city tours, package tours, and volunteer & educational tours in Vietnam.
In order to become a Vietnam tour operator, catering to inbound (internatinoal) travelers to Vietnam, one must have enough work experience and also a bond account (set by VNAT).  Please be aware, that currently there are  some illegal tour operators in Vietnam. Your travel in Vietnam should be one that is hassle-free if you book with a licensed, legalized tour operator.
There are not many international tour operators now operating local tours here, but soon there will be. We suggest when traveling to Vietnam, that everyone books their services with the local Vietnam tour operators so that your money will stay and benefit the country and its people. Please travel responsibly.

What is the meaning of Travel Agency?
A Vietnam travel agency is a business that sells travel related products and services, particularly package tours, to end-user customers on behalf of third party travel suppliers, such as airlines, hotels, tour companies / tour operators, and cruise lines.

There are now many travel agents in Vietnam. They are selling tours or package tours for other travel companies. You can find many Vietnam travel agents online, here in Vietnam, and in many international destinations worldwide.

Travel agents are not allowed to make arrangement like tour operators, they only sell tour operators’ products and receive commissions from the sales.

Travelo Vietnam is not a travel agent, we are a Vietnam tour operator doing tours by ourselves. Book your travel with us will cut out the middle man and save you money.

How should I dress while traveling in Vietnam?
Appropriate dress differs from North to South. Southern Vietnam is tropical year around and people dress comfortably and casually. Light weight cotton and wool fabrics will be comfortable at any time of year. While they may resist wrinkles, synthetics, cottons, and blends are miserably hot.
Generally, short pants are inappropriate anywhere but a beach resort or a farm, and you will look like a foolish tourist on the streets of most cities. Jeans are almost always fashionable except for business occasions. Further, in any business setting never where shorts even if they are cut from the finest Italian fabric.
Winter (November through April) can be cool in Hanoi, and a coat may be necessary. Dress here is a bit more formal and conservative than the fashionable South.

How should I dress to visit a specific place like a temple or a pagoda?
Never wear shorts, dresses or skirts, or tops with low-neck lines and bare shoulders to Temples and Pagodas. To do this is considered extremely rude and offensive.

What are the Do’s?
Before venturing out from your hotel, make sure you do have a hotel business card with you. This will make your return to the hotel in a taxi or cyclo much easier!
For longer excursions from your hotel, it is always a good idea to carry a roll of toilet paper in your pack or purse. You never know when you will need it!
Please always dress appropriately. Not only for the Vietnam climate, but also to not cause offense to the local people. Vietnamese (and many tourist sites) have conservative dress codes. It is only in larger cities, like Saigon that these codes are relaxed a little.
Always leave your excess cash, airline tickets, passports and valuables in the hotel’s safety deposit box.
Do drink plenty of bottled water. During the summer months you should be drinking a minimum of 2 liters per day. If you drink tea, coffee, or alcohol you should increase you water intake accordingly as these will dehydrate you.
Always be aware when entering someone’s home as at some homes you must please remove your shoes at the front door.
Please always ask permission first when taking a photograph of someone. If they indicate that they do not want you to, then abide by their wishes. Please do not push the issue or offer money. Furthermore, there are some times when you shouldn’t even ask.

What are the Don’ts?
Please don’t wear shorts, dresses or skirts, or tops with low-neck lines and bare shoulders to Temples and Pagodas. To do this is considered extremely rude and offensive.
Please don’t give sweets and candies to the local children when trekking through ethnic minority villages. Many of these people do not have access to dental health. If you would like to give pens/paper, ask your guide to introduce you to the local school and give them to the teacher for distribution.
Please don’t sleep or sit with the soles of your feet pointing towards the family altar in someone’s house.
Please don’t venture out from your hotel with more cash than you really need for that day. It is not something to be paranoid about, simply do not make yourself a target for pickpockets or drive-by bag snatchers in the big cities. Ho Chi Minh City seems to be a little worse than anywhere else in Vietnam is. On the whole it is one of the safest countries you could wish to travel in.
Please don’t loose your temper in public or when bargaining for a purchase. This is considered a serious loss of face for both parties. Always maintain a cool and happy demeanor and you will be reciprocated with the same.
Please don’t try and take photographs of military installations or anything to do with the military. This can be seen as a breach of national security.

Should I bargain for everything?
Almost everything is negotiable in Vietnam (with the notable exception of meals), and bargaining is very much part of the Vietnamese way of life. All tourists are regarded as wealthy – which we are compared to average local – but that doesn’t mean you’ll always be quoted an outrageous price. Small shopkeepers and restaurateurs will often charge you the reasonable local rate.
When bargaining it helps if you know some Vietnamese numbers and have a general idea of the going rate for the item. Otherwise, the trick is to remain friendly, be realistic and make the process fun. If you manage to reduce the price by 40%, you’re doing very well. In most cases it’ll be more like 10 – 20%.
A common ploy is to start moving away if you’re on the verge of agreement. But don’t bargain just for the sake of it. If you agree on a price, then you are honour-bound to the purchase. And lways keep a sense of perspective: don’t waste time and energy haggling over what only amounts to a few cents.
Good luck, stay positive, and have fun!

Is it a good idea to take gifts?
Giving small gifts to those who have performed a special service or with whom you have a working relationship is greatly appreciated. Anything from your local area, such as cakes, sweets, chinaware or photo books or calendars, is a good idea. Otherwise, inexpensive make-up, perfume, jewellery and pretty toiletries go down well with women, while men will prefer pens, cigarette lighters, imported cigarettes, whisky or other spirits and car / biking magazines. For children, obviously small toys such as inflatable playground balls and skipping ropes are popular and easy to transport. Or how about drawing books / pads of paper and pencils or crayons, erasers, model cars, small-size T-shirts and other clothes.
When presenting gifts, don’t expect effusive thanks as this isn’t Vietnamese style. Whatever their reaction, you can be sure that the gift was appreciated.

What souvenirs are available to bring home?
Vietnam has a good variety of lightweight, transportable souvenirs. You’ll find them on sale in all the main tourist areas, though Hanoi and Saigon probably offer the greatest variety.
Silk is probably high on most people’s list, either tailored or as uncut cloth. Hoi An, in central Vietnam, has become the place to get clothes tailor-made, but you’ll also find good tailors in Hanoi along Hang Gai and in Saigon. Beautifully embroidered cottons are another popular choice, as are printed t-shirts in a whole range of designs.
Traditional craft items include laquerware, items decorated with mother-of-pearl inlay, conical hats, carvings made of cinnamon and camphor wood, bronze Buddhist bells and musical instruments. A water puppet also makes a nice memento. Fabrics from the various ethnic minorities are either sold in lengths or made into bags, purses or skull-caps. Minority groups in the south produce wonderful basketry and bamboo pipes.
Vietnam has a thriving fine arts scene, with some artists commanding substantial sums, though you need to be wary of fakes. Galleries in Hanoi, Saigon, Hue and Hoi An also show works by lesser-known artists at more affordable prices. Look out also for lovely, hand-painted greetings cards.
Note that export restrictions apply to all items deemed to be of “cultural or historical significance”, including works of art and anything over 50 years old. To take any such item out of the country you’ll need an export license. Even if it’s a modern reproduction it might be worth getting clearance anyway, since customs officials aren’t necessarily very discriminating.
To support responsible travel in Vietnam, please read this article about Vietnam Environment.

Can I use Thai Baht in Vietnam?
Thai Baht is not popular, nor convenient for purchasing in Vietnam. You should bring US dollars. It is easiest to change from USD to Vietnam Dong (VND).

How do the ATMs work in Vietnam?
When you take money out from an ATM, using your credit or debit card, you are always given Vietnam Dong (VND). You are allowed to normally withdraw 2,000,000 VND per time, and not over 20,000,000 / day. Charges vary from bank to bank.
What kind of currency do you use in Vietnam and will it be easy to change other currencies to your currency?
In Vietnam the currency is called the Vietnamese Dong (VND). Changing other currencies in Vietnam is quite easy. Changing common currencies such as USD and the Euro as well as traveler cheques are the easiest. It is although tougher and more costly to exchange your dong back into USD.
You can exchange your money at the banks, the many currency converters, and jewelry stores. Rates will vary from place to place and from currency to currency.
Tip: Always carry small denominations of VND. Some small shops and small villages often will not have change. Being aware of this will save you time, money and frustration.
Tip: Always bring crisp, clean foreign currency. Some places will not accepted tattered or torn bills. The larger bills offer better rates.

Are $US notes accepted at travel sites?
Yes, USD is often accepted at most travel sites, but it is recommended to use Dong (VND) throughout your trip to Vietnam. You will save money and never find yourself in a time where your money doesn’t work. Often USD is not accepted because the shop owner is unable to give enough change.

Are credit cards (Visa or Master Card) accepted in Vietnam?
Yes, both Visa and Master Card is accepted in Vietnam. Although, in the outer regions you may find that neither are accepted because of a lack of resources and technology. For minor purchases cash is the recommended method of payment.

Are there ATMs in the main towns of Vietnam?
Yes, there are ATM’s in all the main towns. Sometimes you may have to search for them but in almost every town there is one – Sapa included.
Warning: Some of the ATM’s have recently been reported to eat cards. Have a backup with you, or when you find one that works for you, continue to use that one.
Tip: If you are traveling to Vietnam during Tet, take out enough money to last you the week. Many people will pull out all the money they need before heading home. There have been times where all of the bank machines in Hanoi have been emptied.

Is that safe to walk in town during the day and at night?
It is generally safe to walk in town during the day. Vietnamese people are very curious but friendly. Just be careful when walking out very late (after midnight) in the big cities like Hanoi or Saigon, there might be some kinds of theft in the quiet / empty streets.
Warning: There have been frequent reports of theft at Hanoi’s crowded night market. This market happens on the weekend. The usual story sees people having their bags unknowingly slashed and the contents stolen. If you plan on going to the night market do not take a bag of any kind, and only take what money you will need. Leave your passport in your hotel safe.

Do the night clubs and bars open late at night?
Yes, there are some bars and clubs that are open very late, some open until 5:00 am the next morning. Please check with your local guide on this. The majority of the pubs and bars however, shut down at 12:00 am in Hanoi.

Do people still speak French in Vietnam?
Yes, there are people speaking French, especially, the older people in Vietnam. There are also many tour guides that can speak French as well. Please talk to one of our travel consultants to request a french-speaking guide on your Travelo Vietnam.

Cell phone carriers in Vietnam?
The major cell phone carriers are: Mobile Phone, Vina Phone, Viettel, S-Phone, E-Telephone. Vina Phone and Viettel is the best service provider with large coverage throughout Vietnam with the best quality. You can purchase a SIM card in many stores, and buy time at even more. Prices vary.
Tip: You must have your phone unlocked before an international (Vietnam) SIM card will work in your phone. If you have gotten a phone on contract with your local provider at home, chances are your phone will not be unlocked.

Is the water safe for drinking when traveling in Vietnam?
Travelers should be cautious when drinking non-bottled water and when using ice cubes in their drinks.  Travelers may wish to drink only bottled or canned beverages, or beverages that have been boiled (such as hot tea and coffee).
Responsible Travel: It is best to bring a refillable water bottle. Most hotels, and here at Travelo Vietnam, have a water station you can use to fill up on water.

Should we eat out in the streets of Vietnam?
Vietnam has a rich eating-out tradition and a burgeoning street food culture. Most of the dishes can be made at home, but many Vietnamese prefer to eat out. Restaurants are usually famous for one specialty dish. Many recipes have been passed down from generation to generation.
Restaurants themselves vary greatly. Some are just little stalls on the streets with a mini stove and plastic chairs. Some are prestigious family restaurants that have existed for centuries, operated by the whole family, with smoky walls and wooden chairs.
Even though street stalls or small restaurants seem closer to tradition and excel in taste, tourists who are not used to Vietnamese food should watch out for their health and safety. Street stalls and cheaper restaurants also take less care in food safety.
Nevertheless, try not to miss out on some of the local street-side Vietnamese dishes.

Medical precautions and vaccinations?
No vaccinations are required, except for yellow fever if you are coming from an area where the disease is present. However, visitors should be inoculated against typhoid, cholera, hepatitis A & B, tetanus and polio.
Malaria is present in most of the region and it is advisable to take precautions especially if traveling off the beaten track. Medical facilities are rather limited throughout the country and it is essential to take out a good medical insurance policy before traveling in case evacuation is needed.

First aid kits on our tours?
We recommend that you carry a small personal First Aid Kit as well as any personal medications you may require. Please be aware that for legal reasons our local tour guides are prohibited from administering any type of drug or medication including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
Travelers should be cautious when drinking non-bottled water and when using ice cubes in their drinks.  Travelers may wish to drink only bottled or canned beverages, or beverages that have been boiled (such as hot tea and coffee).
Responsible Travel: It is best to bring a refillable water bottle. Most hotels, and here at Travelo Vietnam, have a water station you can use to fill up on water.

Should we eat out in the streets of Vietnam?
Vietnam has a rich eating-out tradition and a burgeoning street food culture. Most of the dishes can be made at home, but many Vietnamese prefer to eat out. Restaurants are usually famous for one specialty dish. Many recipes have been passed down from generation to generation.
Restaurants themselves vary greatly. Some are just little stalls on the streets with a mini stove and plastic chairs. Some are prestigious family restaurants that have existed for centuries, operated by the whole family, with smoky walls and wooden chairs.
Even though street stalls or small restaurants seem closer to tradition and excel in taste, tourists who are not used to Vietnamese food should watch out for their health and safety. Street stalls and cheaper restaurants also take less care in food safety.
Nevertheless, try not to miss out on some of the local street-side Vietnamese dishes.

Medical precautions and vaccinations?
No vaccinations are required, except for yellow fever if you are coming from an area where the disease is present. However, visitors should be inoculated against typhoid, cholera, hepatitis A & B, tetanus and polio.
Malaria is present in most of the region and it is advisable to take precautions especially if traveling off the beaten track. Medical facilities are rather limited throughout the country and it is essential to take out a good medical insurance policy before traveling in case evacuation is needed.

First aid kits on our tours?
We recommend that you carry a small personal First Aid Kit as well as any personal medications you may require. Please be aware that for legal reasons our local tour guides are prohibited from administering any type of drug or medication including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

Level of physical activity (1-5)

Trekking & Cycling level
Travelo Vietnam products involved with lots of soft to tough adventures, which we’ve got to share with you so that you can choose what is best for you on your holiday.

Cycling_Level-1Fun  Cycling_Level-2Easy  Cycling_Level-3Moderate  Hard  Cycling_Level-4Tough
 Trek_Level-1Fun  Trek_Level-2Easy  Trek_Level-3Moderate  Trek_Level-4Hard  Trek_Level-5Tough

Trekking & cycling are rated on a scale from 1-5, with 1 being low and 5 being high, in the areas of physical activity. This rating scale is designed to assist you in selecting the right outdoor that is right for you.
1 is for fun, relaxing walk or ride and everyone can do it, it does not requires any effort.
2 is for easy outdoor activities, ride or trek at a comfort level.
3 is for moderate trekking or cycling trips, this has some challenges
4 is for hard adventures, the ride or trek might go up hills or through difficult trails
5 is for tough and long trek and cycle, this is not for everyone and requires lots of skills.

Do I need to train to participate in the trip?
For our level from 1-3, you do not have to train to participate but Travelo Vietnam do recommend some exercise prior to departure. For outdoor adventures level 4-5 you may want to train or be skilled enough to participate at this level.

What If I can not trek or ride all the way to the destination?
Most of the cycle trip has a supported vehicle going along with you, so you can jump on it at anytime you wish. However there are still bad trails that no vehicle can support, please consult this with Travelo Vietnam expert or our tour guide prior to your adventure.
All trekking are off the beaten track and most of them are not accessible by car or motorcycle, however, we will see your fitness, weather and suggest you a proper routes that are more suitable to you and will also have a porter to support us along.

Has Travelo Vietnam been involved in any litigation?
No, we have not! Travelo Vietnam strongly feels as though they have set industry standards in Vietnam for safety and quality. Our products and services are at the highest levels of quality control. VNAT is our government to contact if you have further concerns.

Who is in charge of Travelo Vietnam?
We are committed to support you at any time before, during and after your trip. If needed, we suggest that you make contact with your Travelo Vietnam consultant first – with whom you have been dealing with from beginning. You may also contact information is below if needed:
Note: Travelo Vietnam Operation is controlled and fully bonded by Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).

Is Travelo Vietnam a Private Company?
Travelo Vietnam is a private limited company. We are registered with the Hanoi Business and Planning Department, . As a tourism business we are also licensed by Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) – click here to see our license.
Tip: Make sure that you are on a tour with a licensed tour operator and licensed tour guide. There are several illegal travel operations in Vietnam. If caught by the local authorities while on tour, you won’t be in any trouble, but it will likely impact your valuable Vietnam holiday.

How many guides & porters are employed for the expedition?
There is usually one tour leader and one local guide for each phase of an expedition. We will recruit all of our porters from the local community. The number of porters we use will reflect the size and ability of the group, as well as the type and difficulty of the adventure.

Sufficient number of trained and experienced staff?
Yes, Travelo Vietnam has the capacity to do any tour. Our staff our well trained, with years of experience. Staff will be selected to meet the specific needs of your group.

Guides can speak English to what level?
All guides speak fluent English and have excellent knowledge of the areas we will visit. The porters and drivers may not have apt English skills, but they are selected for their vast knowledge about the areas we are traveling in, and have a proven safety record. Often we will employ local hill tribe people. All of our guides and support staff have done the treks countless times and have suburb communication skills. Nevertheless all of our staff can speak fluent Vietnamese and any communication can be translated by your personal guide / tour leader.

What training has the leader / guide received?
All of the Travelo Vietnam tour leaders and guides have graduated from a university in Vietnam (the majority have graduated from Hanoi Open University’s Faculty of Tourism). They have ample experience in the hospitality and tourism industry and University level guiding skills. The average work experience (as guides) of our tour leaders is three to five years. Further, the Travelo Vietnam team is constantly updating and improving our skills by getting involved in extra courses, workshops and activities.

Are any of the leaders guides first aid trained?
All of your tour leaders will be first aid trained and have a first aid kit with them. In some cases, such as in Halong and Bai Tu Long Bay, our guides will have also had kayak rescue training.

How long has the guide been doing similar tours?
The number of years the leaders / guides have worked in the areas vary from guide to guide and area to area. The average is about two years. We do have some guides who have gone to areas for five years or more. If you are concerned about the guide’s level of experience please inform your travel consultant and we will be happy to find a suitable guide to meet your needs.

Does the leader / guide hold any formal qualifications?
First, all of our guides have a University degree, majoring in tour guiding, more than often granted from Hanoi Open University. Further, all of our guides have successfully completed the Sustainable Tourism Training Course which was supported by WUSC (World University Support of Canada) and the Canadian Embassy, and was taught by international teachers. Other courses Travelo Vietnam guides have taken part in include an Eco-tourism training course offered by WWF-Vietnam, and responsible travel courses offered in-house. All of the guides have at minimum a basic first aid certification.

Does the leader / guide speak the local language / dialect?
The guide / leader can almost always speak the local language / dialect at least at a minimal level. Similarly the local people can speak and understand Vietnamese.

What languages can your tour guides speak?
Well that depends on what you speak; but, all can speak English. French and German are also spoken by many guides, as well as other languages. A guide will always be present that is fluent in the local language. Please contact us if you have specific language speaking requirements.

Do your local tour guides speak English well?
Yes, our guides speak English very well! They are well trained with English being a compulsory subject for five years at a University level. After graduating from University, they must also take part in a 3 month course in practical English training before they are offered a tour guide license and a position at Travelo Vietnam Travel.

Are your tour guides / leaders licensed?
Yes, they all must have a Tour Guide License before they are selected to become a Travelo Vietanm guide. We now have 30 guides working for us at a national and local level, and are proud to say that they are all licensed by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).
What is an on-site tour guide, tour guide and tour escort / leader?
An on-site tour guide is the one who is working at a selected site. For example: the guide assigned to work at the historical site of Cu Chi Tunnels or the Imperial Citadel of Hue, or on some cruise trips in Halong and Bai Tu Long Bay (join-in tours).
A tour guide will take you on an excursion from one to a few days, away from the main cities. For example, a 2 day trip to Halong Bay or a three-day trip to Mai Chau. This tour guide will meet you at your hotel, often in Hanoi or Saigon, and be with you the whole trip till you finish your trip back safetly at your city hotel.
The role of a tour escort or tour leader, is to meet and greet you at the airport, and to travel with you during your whole trip (in many cases this is a package tour). This is convenient for you because he / she will be with you at all times, helping you with translations, tips and answering questions. This type of guide is covered in the cost of your tour / package with Travelo Vietnam.

How does tipping work in Vietnam? Do you tip in Vietnam?
Through the time, tipping is now becoming a part of tourism culture and it is enormously appreciated. You should consider tipping tour guides, drivers, hotel staff, boat crews, etc. There is no standard amount for tipping, but if you do find reason to tip someone, a tip from $3 – 10 USD should be okay for a day trip. You might want to tip more if you found your tour or services beyond your expectation or your tour guide, driver and other staff are exceptional.

How long do I need to travel Vietnam?
Vietnam has so much to offer. It could take someone 3 months to see and experience everything. Here are some suggestions that have worked for our clients in the past:

One Week
Just the the North: from Hanoi, make a two-day trip to Halong Bay and / or Mai Chau followed by a day trip to the Perfume Pagoda and /or Tam Coc. Spend the remaining time exploring the delights, foods and culture in the Hanoi capital.
OR,
Just the South: from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), it is possible to do a day trip to the Cu Chi tunnels and / or a two to three-day tour of the Mekong Delta (include some cycling for added adventure). The rest of the time can be spent sightseeing, eating, shopping and carousing meandering in the city.

Two Weeks
Note that highlights of the following two options can also be combined; a typical whirlwind tour means flying into Hanoi, exploring the area (including Halong Bay and / or Sapa) then making a beeline to Hue or Hoi An before heading south to Ho Chi Minh City (or vice versa). Excursion airline tickets allowing such a routing are common, and recommended to avoid backtracking.
Just the North: follow the above one-week itinerary for the north adding a day or two here and there, then take a spin into the northwest mountains (especially Sapa & Bac Ha) and / or a trip to Cuc Phuong, Ba Be or Cat Ba National parks.
Just the South: a two-week visit to the south will allow for the one-week itinerary above adding a day or two here and there, followed by a loop up to Dalat, and back down to the beaches in and around Nha Trang and / or Mui Ne. Time permitting, you could then head to Hoi An and fly back to HCM city from Da Nang or Hue.

One Month
A month is enough time to take in most of Vietnam’s major sights. Starting in the South (this itinerary can also be followed in reverse from Hanoi), follow the two-week itinerary as far as Hoi An or Da Nang before pressing on to Hue. Take a DMZ tour out of Hue, then travel on to Ha Noi. Either fly out of Hanoi or continue overland to China or beyond.

Two Months
Two months will allow ample time to see everything in more detail. In addition to our other suggested itineraries, explore the Mekong Delta more thoroughly, with a side trip to lovely Phu Quoc Island. You could spend a few extra days lingering on the giant sand dunes at Mui Ne Beach (near Phan Thiet), south of Nha Trang. A trip to the western part of the central highlands should include a visit to Dalat. Don’t forget Phong Nha and Paradise Cave to the north of the DMZ. In the north and far north, you can explore remote areas such as Dien Bien Phu, Ha Giang, Cao Bang and Bai Tu Long Bay.
Tip: Arrange a vacation to Vietnam lasting at least 3 weeks so that you will have chance to discover most of the highlights.

Process of planning / booking a tour?
Travelo Vietnam is an expert in custom-made tours, we listen to your needs and travel wishes, then plan a tour to perfectly suit you. A normal plan for a trip would go through the steps below:
1. Take a look at some information about Vietnam, our tours and services offered.
2. Identify your travel needs and travel wishes and then send them to Travelo Vietnam via email. Go to the Trip Planner to make this step easy.
3. One of our travel consultants will take care of you. It will take about a day to process. Then we will send you an email with a draft travel itinerary developed from your ideas.
4. We wait for your approval and / or revisions. Any changes that might need to be worked on will be done between you and your Travelo Vietnam consultant. You will email back and forth until your trip is absolutely perfect.
5. Next is booking. We would need all the information related for your travel in Vietnam: full name, nationality, sex, age, passport & visa numbers, arrival & departures dates, etc.
6. By submitting your booking with us, you have agreed to our terms and conditions. This is like a contract signed between the you (the clients) and Travelo Vietnam (the company).
7. A Travelo Vietnam consultant will then check the services and confirm with you the availability, (please think of the alternatives if one or more of your tour services are fully booked). However, this happens very rarely.
8. Payment and reconfirmation of the booking with you by us.
9. Last, tour services on operation by us. Now you will need to relax and we take care of the rest!
Tip: It is the best that you plan your own trip with us 3 to 4 months beforehand so that you will not have to deal with unavailability.

What are set tours and custom tours?
A set tour is more like a ready-made tour or package tour, where you just book and get the instant confirmation. However, if you wish to tailor-make a tour program to suite your travel needs that’s ok too. It is actually what we at Travelo Vietnam specialize in. Please talk to one of our travel consultants and start planning your trip today!
Tip: Look at the sample tours on our website before planning your custom tours to Vietnam. It will give you all kinds of information, ideas, and routes, as well as some suggested places to visit with descriptions. Then get creative and dream up something extra special with your Travelo Vietnam consultant.

What does ‘Vietnam Package Tour’ mean?
Package tours or all-inclusive tours are those that are pre-designed and pre-arranged for you to holiday with ease. Not only will you travel hassle-free with these package tours, you will save time dealing with the details before and during your trip. They have also been designed to save you money for your next holiday.
Our package tours normally include: all local tour guides, transfers, ground transportations and transfers, hotels and accommodations, entrance’s fees, travel permits and most of the meals.
Tip: Leave some free-days in your package tour so that you can try something different on your own that you might have missed when planning your trip. We will always be there to help you along your way if need be.

Does Travelo Vietnam offer group tours or just private tours? So group size will be normally small?
We are an expert in designing custom, private tours for individuals, small groups of friends, families, schools, businesses, and organizations. They are all private tours just for you or your own group. In other words, its just you and your guide (where applicable).
We do however, have some join-in group tours, like many of our Halong Bay cruising & kayaking trips. Sometimes this makes the tours a little bit cheaper. There might be some other tours available at times, please contact one of our travel consultant to get more details.
Tip: If you travel alone it is suggested to book a join-in group tour to Halong or Bai Tu Long Bay. It will be more fun! You will probably be in a small group of about 10 persons.

Are meals inclusive in our tour programs? What does “(B,L,D)” mean?
We offer meals on our trips and tour packages for you to holiday and travel with ease. Although, at some sites, we leave it open to flexibility. At these times we will let you find your own restaurants or places to eat. Not to worry, we will give you a list of recommendations, and help you on your way if needed.
B stands for Breakfast, L is for Lunch, and D works for Dinner.
Tip: Check with our travel consultants or your local guides as they know the best spots to go and eat during your free time and / or your free days.

Please explain what you mean by NET on your tour price?
Net price is the selling price. It is the amount that you will have to pay to Travelo Vietnam for our service. There will be no commissions added to, nor discounts taken from this price.
If you pay by credit card or traveler’s cheque, there will be a surcharge on this net price.
Tip: Pay us some deposit by Credit Card and the rest in Cash when you are here. You can save some money on bank transfers and credit card charges this way.

What do you mean by a ‘Private Tour’?
Private tours are taken by one or more passengers (all in the same party) on the date of their choice, subject to schedules and availability. In other words, private tours are just you (or your group) and your Travelo Vietnam guide (and driver) – no join-in travelers. Private tours offer the following benefits:

Travel at your own pace
Private tours are very flexible, allowing you to start your sightseeing excursions whenever you choose and set your own pace while traveling. However, we have listed recommended times on the itineraries to start your days.

You have your own tour guide
Our local guides are waiting to show you their countryside and places of interest. All sightseeing excursions are accompanied with your own private English-speaking local guide. This means that you can ask as many or as few questions as you like and take sightseeing trips at your own pace, with the emphasis on your own interests.

Enjoy your private transfers, boats, etc.
Get what you pay for at huge value for your money. For the road transfers, boat trips in Halong Bay, you’ll have your own air-conditioned private car and private driver, air-conditioned boat with helpful captains and crews, catering to only you. This allows you to travel in comfort and to stop off along the way if you see something of interest, want to take photographs, or stop for a break.

You will have flexibility in your accommodation
With your Travelo Vietnam consultant / sales, we design our private tours from high-end to economy hotels, which allows you to easily manage your budget at the level you wish. If you would like to stay in any other hotel other than those featured in the tour itinerary, or if you would like to update the standard of your room, just notify your travel consultant at Travelo Vietnam. Anything can be easily arranged. You will be informed the difference in price.

What are differences on tour prices between Standard, Superior, Deluxe?
The two main differences are the hotel classes and type of boats / junks in Halong Bay. Everything else will be at great international quality.

For hotels:
Standard means a tour is priced with lower priced rooms at hotels. Normally with economy class or 2 star hotels. Please do not expect too much in the way of amenities and service at the 2 star hotels in Vietnam.
Superior means inclusion of hotels ranging from 3 – 4 stars. This is a good quality hotel with a range of facilities, amenities and good service.
Deluxe price is often inclusive with high quality four and five-star Vietnam hotels. These are equipped with the highest quality amenities and international standards of service. With your trip to Vietnam equipped with these hotels you will ensure a fantastic holiday.
Travelo Vietnam suggests using Superior hotels. We have had much feedback from our past clients from the hotels that we have chosen and the feedback has been great. These Superior packages will also save you money. Further the greater majority of the Superior hotels are Vietnamese owned, providing greater benefits to the Vietnamese community.

For boats / junks:
There are some main differences on the boat / junk types:
Space on the boat: with the standard option you would have to expect a small sized boat, and a smaller bedroom with an average sized sun deck. The Superior & Deluxe classes will have a larger sized dining area that is warm and cozy on cooler nights, and more importantly, increased comfort in your cabins (larger bed, bigger window) as well as a sun-deck (with comfortable chairs).
Toilet & shower: if you wish to have comfort and added privacy, the Standard boat will not be a good choice as the toilet is normally outside (shared bathrooms). However, the Superior class will offer a private bathroom in your cabin. Standards are even better in Deluxe class.
Facilities on the Superior and Deluxe boats are up-to-date and at an international standard. There is good air-conditioning in the cabins, fine toilet facilities whilst there is normally just a fan in the cabin on the standard boats.
Well trained, devoted and courteous staff will always make your stay unforgettable on the Superior and Deluxe junks / boats.
Tip: Halong and Bai Tu Long Bay is beautiful and we suggest you enjoy it on the Superior or Deluxe Junks. Paying a bit more will be worth every added cent you pay on this once in a lifetime experience.

What to do if I need to change my booking or booking details?
We suggest you contact us immediately if you decide to change your booking details. You can send us an email with your name, your booking code and all other information you would like to let us know. We will try our very best to accommodate your change or request.

Do I pay a change fee?
In most cases, early changes will not result in a fee, but each travel supplier or service provider will have different contractual terms with us. Please inquire directly for the change or cancellation policy for any particular tour
If we charge you a fee, in all cases, it is to pay back to hotels and other service suppliers of your bookings as we have to cancel your service arrangement with them; and, we have already been charged by them when we made the booking.
Please note that we understand that things do happen and changes need to be made. We, at Travelo Vietnam, do our utmost to make things work.
Tip: Read our terms and conditions and check with our travel consultants when you are planning a trip with us about the deadline of no-charges for changes and cancellations.

Do you accept paying by credit card over the internet?
We accept paying by credit card both via fax or online. For your protection, we use a very secure online payment, that has never caused us or our clients any trouble. Upon finalizing your tour and travel arrangements with your Travelo Vietnam consultant, we will send you an authorized form to fill out. Once completed fax or email it to us. Alternatively you can just fill out the necessary information on the payment link we can provide in an email. Then you just pay online.
Local banks here charge 3% on credit card and 2% on travelers’ cheque.
Tip: If you are planning to pay for anything in Vietnam on credit card, contact your credit card company before you leave, let them know you are coming to Vietnam, and ensure that there are no security concerns you need to know about.

How does the payment work and what are the cancellation fees
At Travelo Vietnam, as soon as you agree on your booking with us, you are required to make a deposit: normally 35% of the total tour cost. This can be via bank transfer or credit card payment online.
Tip: Online payment is safe, we will send you a secure link for your payment, however, this will cost you a small extra charge as the banks take a small percentage. If you do not like giving your credit card online, you can wire money to our bank account.

Deposit and full payment? Terms and conditions?
Travelo Vietnam requires a deposit of about 35% of the total cost before the trip. You can transfer this amount to our company bank account or you can authorize our local bank here to charge your credit card. We will notify you as soon as the payment arrives to our bank account and inform you the balance.
Balance is to be made upon your arrival to Vietnam in cash or credit card.
Tip: If your payment amount is less than $US 500.00, we would suggest you to pay us in full before you arrive

What Does Single Supplement Surcharge Means?
In our tour costs, you will always see S.S or ‘Single Supplement’. This means a surcharge added to the cost per person when he/she wants to stay in her/his own room. Solo travellers, this is the price you should be looking at. Even if you are traveling in a group, if you want to stay in your own room, this charge will be applied.

Who will meet us at the airport? What procedure should we do when we arrive?
As pre-planned with you, a Travelo Vietnam local guide will meet and greet you at the airport with your driver. As soon as you get out of the arrival gate, you will see a sign with your name and / or our Travelo Vietnam logo and “Travelo Vietnam”.
Airport procedure is the same in Vietnam as everywhere else.  You will have to go though attain your visa, go through immigration, get your luggage, then pass through customs. If you have not yet been granted a visa, then bring your invitation letter to the immigration office. You will be ‘welcomed’ by the officers here. It normally takes about 30 minutes to get the visa, but please do not be surprised if this takes you a bit longer.
Don’t worry how long it takes you as we will wait for you. If you miss your flight or if things take extra long call us, we will do everything we can to help.
Tip: If your flight is delayed, please try to reach our guide by phone so that we do not have to spend hours at the airport to wait for you. You could also send us an email, tweet, or facebook message. This will help us know that you are okay, and just running behind schedule.

Is that easy to take a taxi? How far is from airports into town?
Yes, taxis are everywhere outside the airport but be careful with the meter-taxis. We would recommend that you get Travelo Vietnam to welcome you at the airport and drive you straight to your pre-arranged hotel, rather than being driven around the town in a taxi. There have been reports on Trip Advisor of fraudulent meters and cheating taxis. Not a great way to start your trip.
Noi Bai Airport (Hanoi) to Hanoi centre is about 40 km and takes about 45 minutes to an hour.
Tan Son Nhat Airport (Saigon) to Saigon centre is only 8 km away but may take up to 45 minutes to get to your hotel because of traffic.
Danang Airport (Danang) is located right at the city centre. It is 30 km away from Hoi An town taking about 40 minutes to get there.
Tip: You might wish to call your Travelo Vietnam travel consultant if you feel you are being ‘driven around the town’ by the taxi driver. Keep our number stored in your phone, just in case.

What means of transportation is available for traveling in Vietnam?
Travel in Vietnam is easier than it used to be. Routine travel in Vietnam between major cities and tour destinations is generally comfortable and hassle free. Independent travelers will sometimes be required to have some local knowledge to ensure a decent level of comfort.
By air: You can get almost anywhere while visiting Vietnam, but scheduled flights to some Vietnam travel destinations are few and late changes in aircraft type can sometimes impact travel plans. There are also many low-cost airlines worth checking out.
By train:  Rail is generally slower than air or road, however they are great value for money. Lines run between Hanoi – Saigon, Hanoi – Lao Cai – Hekou (China) – Kunming (China), and Hanoi – Langson – Beijing (China). The train to China departs from Hanoi train station. You can join the train to Kunming at the Lao Cai station, but you can only join the train to Beijing from Hanoi. The train stations for some Vietnam travel destinations can be literally in the middle of nowhere. Travelo Vietnam generally recommends AC soft-sleepers to their clients.
By local bus: Bus travel used to be available as only packed, sardine-style, into a hot and stuffy, smoke belching reject Russian 40-seater, with bicycles, motorbikes and maybe the odd pig strapped to the roof. For the true adventurer only! These buses are still around and popular with the locals as tickets are dirt cheap.
However, there is now a system of privately owned buses, open-tour buses, minivans (usually 12 to 16-seaters) connecting most sizeable cities with neighboring towns and cities. Alternatively you sk your travel consultants at Travelo Vietnam how to get to your next travel destination by minivan.
In most of the cities you can find cyclo or xe om for transferring around, negotiate for prices before you jump on is a must.
Bicycle or motorbike rentals can be found in major cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh Hue, or Hoi An, but make sure that you understand the traffic rules before riding.
On Foot: You may need to learn how to cross city streets, especially in Saigon and Hanoi, but generally foot travel is a great experience.

How is train travel in Vietnam?
Traveling by train is a good option to see the whole of Vietnam. There is a direct line from North (Hanoi) to South (Saigon). We can not compare trains here in Vietnam with trains in Europe, but the trains are in good condition, with the newer trains equipped with modern air-conditioned coaches and sleeper cabins for the popular overnight routes. Running not faster than the bus, but much safer, Travelo Vietnam suggests, whenever there is an option with the train, take it!
The major routes is the North to South train that links Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, serving most popular destinations along the way, and the Northern line from Hanoi to Sapa. There are also trains that go beyond to Beijing and China.

Travel between Hanoi and Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
Vietnam’s Reunification Express (Thong Nhat) is the main train line running between North and South, connecting Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and stopping at many destinations along the coast, including Hue, Danang, and Nha Trang.  The train trip from Hanoi to HCMC is 1,726 km (1,070 miles), taking more than 30 hours, although few people do it in one long journey without stopping along the way.
The two major types of trains are the: SE (SE1-SE6) and TN (TN3-TN10).  In general, the SE trains are the better trains with modern air-conditioned coaches and larger windows, as well as a restaurant car.
Travel between Hanoi and Lao Cai (Sapa), and beyond
From Hanoi, there are also trains that run northwest or northeast with border crossings into China (please click here for more information on trains to and from China).
A popular route is between Hanoi and Lao Cai, which is the closest train station to the tourist destination of Sapa. The trip from Hanoi to Lao Cai takes about 10 hours, with most choosing to do an overnight trip. There is a number of tourist trains that run daily from Hanoi to Lao Cai and back, including Viet Royal, Tulico, Ratraco, all with air-conditioned soft sleeper cabins which are comfortable, although not luxurious. For a luxury option, the Victoria Sapa has its own luxury cabins on the train for those that will stay at their hotel.

Which are the international airports in Vietnam? Airport taxes in Vietnam?
Noi Bai International Airport, Hanoi (in the North), Vietnam
Location: The airport is situated 28 miles (45km) north of Hanoi.
Time: GMT +7.
Transfer to the city: Airport minibuses and metered taxis are available outside arrivals for transport to the city centre. Make sure the taxi driver is wearing an official name badge and that the meter is on. Cost of a taxi is about $18 USD.

Departure tax: none, but this could change without notice.
Tan Son Nhat International Airport, Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon (in the South), Vietnam
Location:  The airport is situated four miles (7km) from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).
Time: GMT +7.
Transfer to the city: Minibuses and metered taxis are available for transport to the city centre. Make sure the driver is wearing an official name badge and that the metre is on. Most hotels can arrange transport for arriving passengers, but visitors should organize this in advance. Cost is usually about $15 USD.

Departure tax: none, but this could change without notice.
There are also major airports in Danang (Central Vietnam), Nha Trang (Central Vietanm), and Cat Bi (Hai Phong, near Halong Bay in Northern Vietnam). Check with your Travelo Vietnam consultant for more information about other domestic airports (Dong Hoi, Can Tho, Phu Quoc, to name a few).

How many domestic airports are there in Vietnam?
Here are the list of all the domestic airports in Vietnam:
Ban Me ThuotAirport
Da Nang Airport
Haiphong Airport
Hanoi – Noi-Bai Airport
Ho Chi Minh City – Tan Son Nhat Airport
Hue Airport
Nha-Trang Airport
Phuquoc Airport
Nha-Trang Airport
Phuquoc Airport
Pleiku Airport
Quinhon Airport
Rachgia Airport
Son-La Airport
Tuyhoa Airport
Vinh City Airport

Can we travel by local bus?
If you plan to get more of a local experience then you can travel by local bus. There are public bus stations in all Vietnam cities and towns, but we do not recommend traveling on these buses.
There are many reasons for this. The safety is not to a standard that we feel is sufficient for our guests, and the standard of the bus alone is one that is almost always in dire need of attention. Finally, safe driving sense is one that is not practiced by the drivers of these buses.

What about the Open Bus?
Same as the train from North to South and vise versa, the open bus is often a good choice for budget travelers. The open-tour buses cover most of the popular destinations between the North and South, and travelers can jump on and off whenever they want, for as long as they want, in each destination along the way.

How can I get visa upon arrival?
There are 2 ways to get your Vietnam visa:
1. Get your visa in the country where you are living by contacting the visa department at the Vietnam Embassy or Consulate there.
Documents needed: Passport of 6 months’ validity; visa application forms; and probably some others required by the embassy or consulate. Visa forms are available directly from the Vietnamese embassy or consulate in your country.
Fees: vary from embassy to embassy.
Duration: It will take between 4 to 10 days depending on your country of origin.

2. Get your visa upon arrival in Vietnam with pre-approved entry visa letter. 
Relax and we will handle everything from here for you.* Travelo Vietnam, as your sponsor, will email you the Visa Approval Letter issued by the Vietnam Immigration Office here. When you enter Vietnam by air** you will, fill out a short form, and give the issuing officer two passport photos and a fee. He/she will give you  the all important visa and stamp on your passport.
How long does it take? Normally it takes 2-3 days to complete from when we receive all your information.
How much does it cost? This depends on the typr of visa you require (Tourist or Business, 1 or 3 months, Single or Multiple Entry). Please get this information from our Travelo Vietnam consultant.
How long can I stay? The regular Tourist visa are valid for 30 days. You can extend it here if needed.
Documents needed: Please send us a complete copy of your passport via email including your full name as it appears on your passport, date of birth, gender, nationality, passport numbers, passport expiry date, and your arrival date to Vietnam or flight information.
Attention please:
(*) We can only obtain the visa for you once you have decided to book a tour with us. This is set by the Vietnam Immigration Department.
(**) Visa upon arrival can only be arranged when you enter Vietnam by air (Hanoi, Danang, Saigon).

What if I wish to extend my visit while I’m in Vietnam?
No problem, you can always extend your visit in Vietnam!
You are normally given a one month single entry travel visa, which lasts 30 days. If you plan on extending You should need to make your decision at least 7 days before your visa is expired as it normally takes about 2 working days to get your visa extended. Extensions are usually for another one month period. For longer stay visas or extensions, it may take about 7 to 15 days to get.
There are also 3 month tourist visas available at a reasonable cost when you enter Vietnam. Ask your visa provider about this option before coming to Vietnam when you are applying for your pre-approved entry visa letter. Then you do not have to worry about extending your visa when you here.

What kind of hotels do you recommend?
This really depends on your budget for your vacations in Vietnam. It is nice to be at the 4 to 5 stars hotels where standards are up to an international level, but please note that these are often fully booked (in high season). It has been estimated for a number of years that Vietnam does not have enough 4 and 5 star hotel rooms to satisfy demand. Thus expect a suitable alternative.
Hotels that are 2 – 3 star are recommended to save money for your next holiday and to avoid the unavailability in the high season. Many of the 3 stars are quite good. You can easily check on Trip Advisor to see a recent rating and what people have been saying about any particular hotel.

What do you mean by “homestay” and “camping”?
Homestay is an overnight in the home of one of the local ethnic minorities, in a local home of a Vietnamese person living in the destination you are staying. For the ethnic minority homestays, they have been set up in a way that the community benefits from the added tourism income and not just a single entity.
There are not many tours that we do that involve camping. We now include camping on our hike to the summit of Mount Fansipan, Bach Ma National Park and at some sites on our trekking tours in Dalat. Camping means we will be staying outside in tents. Consider that we will welcome all weather conditions during these tours.

Twin shared room is set in all Travelo Vietnam?
All tours that Travelo Vietnam offers will based on twin shared rooms. This means two persons sharing one room that has two single beds.
If you need a double bed or an extra bed, please inform this to your Travelo Vietnam consultant before your booking is confirmed. We can normally arrange this quite easily with no extra charge.
If you need a different room just on your own, please see our S.S (Single Supplement) surcharge.

What if we have small children traveling with us?
If you are planning to bring your children to Vietnam, not to worry, Vietnam is one of the most baby-friendly places you may ever travel to. All of our Travelo Vietnam consultants are moms and will be able to answer any of your questions from a mom’s point of view.
For shared rooms with parents, normally a child under 5 years old is free of charge. If an extra bed for your child is needed it would result in an additional cost.
We recommend you to arrange a private tour just for your family, thus giving you and your family more room and comfort during van transportation and flexibility in your tour itinerary.
It is the best to consult with your doctors before you bring your newborns or infants traveling to Vietnam.
Before traveling, please talk with Travelo Vietnam consultants to figure out how you will manage all the needed baby gear / supplies to all the sites.

Disabled people traveling with wheel chair?
For people with wheelchairs, we will need to consider some special care, especially with transportation. Some of the sites are not well-suited for wheelchairs. Normally, Travelo Vietnam considers arranging private transport, and at some sites a porter.
Please contact our travel consultants for more detailed information. We have had some experience with the elderly, and those in wheelchairs. With a little creativity those trips have been great, not missing a thing!

Do you stay open over the Tet holiday?
We will close our office during Tet holidays. Please see the time we are off here.

Can my holiday be arranged by Travelo Vietnam over the Tet holiday?
Yes, but it is advised to please contact us long before your vacation. Our office will be closed during Tet holiday

Equipment provided by Travelo Vietnam on a camping trip?
Travelo Vietnam will provide tents, cooking equipment and any other necessities needed for sleeping and cooking outdoors. Please check with your travel consultant to get a specific list of what is supplied, and what you have to bring with you on your trip to Vietnam.

What equipment is recommended to bring on our trip to Vietnam?
When adventuring in Vietnam with Travelo Vietnam you need very little equipment. Travelo Vietnam knows that much of the stuff you may need would be difficult to carry while you travel so we will supply everything for you. This applies for trekking, hiking, kayaking, canyoning, and climbing.
Please see the “what to bring list” at the bottom of all the detailed itineraries or ask your Travelo Vietnam consultant.

Do I need a First Aid Kit for my trip?
We suggest that each traveler brings their own small first-aid kit. For some tough adventures we will need to have a group safety kit brought along with us. This is supplied by Travelo Vietnam.

Is it possible to buy/ hire mobile phones in Vietnam?
Yes, it’s very easy to hire or buy cell phones here in Vietnam. There are many new and used mobile phone shops. Prices are extremely cheap and buying a SIM card is very easy. If you are traveling for an extended period of time we recommend that you have a phone number for safety, and for sharing your number with friends that you meet along the way.

How much of my route will have mobile coverage?
The coverage is fine in all major city centers, towns and townlettes. Once you are trekking far into the jungle or in the remote areas (such as Pu Luong, Cuc Phuong, or Ha Giang) service begins to fade away.
Tip: Get your phone unlocked before leaving. By getting your phone unlocked you can get and use Vietnam carrier SIM cards. Most phones that have been provided to you by your cell phone carrier in your home country are locked.

What is the best source of mapping for the area?
Similar questions: What maps does Travelo Vietnam have? Would it be possible to obtain maps for each of the clients?
We have many standard travelers’ maps of Vietnam with us, and at each trekking site, we will have a more detailed map that shows the routes we are going to travel. It is easy to obtain maps for everyone in your group, but this is on your request! If you would like more detailed maps for your journey, the book stores carry all detailed maps and map books for all destinations in Vietnam.

Travelo Vietnam Contacts in case of Emergency?
There are always at least two persons you can call in case of emergency. One is your Travelo Vietnam consultant you will be working with, and the other is the tour operator who has been in co-operation with this travel consultant for the booking and service logistics.
Those names and numbers will be provided to you at the time of your booking. Find these contacts at the bottom of the confirmed program.
Tip: Share these numbers with your loved ones at home, so that they have a way to contact you in case of emergency.

How will the outside world be able to make contact with us?
If you are in remote areas that will be quite difficult. The best way would be to give family members the contact at Travelo Vietnam. If the situation arises that someone needs to get a hold of you, Travelo Vietnam will get a hold of a nearby local and have them reach your group by foot. This may sound a little far-fetched, but we have worked in the areas we visit for a long time, and will get you in contact with your loved ones if needed!

What vaccinations and malarial prophylaxis do you recommend?

Before leaving for Vietnam, all clients should make sure they have received the appropriate vaccinations especially against Typhoid, Malaria and Hepatitis A. Please ask your doctor for their recommendations as their advice will be better than ours.

What are the principle risks to the clients during an expedition?

Here is severity and potential of risks matrix to help you:

sk Severity (1-5) Potential (1-5)
Road Traffic Accident 3.5 4
Local Flora and Fauna 4 1
Leeches 2 1
Disease / Epedemic 4 1
Malaria 3 1
Drowning 5 1.5
Heat Related Problems 2.5 3
Altitude Sickness 1 1
Climate / Weather conditions 1 3
Polluted Water 2 2
Contaminated Food 2 3.5
Equipment Faiure 4 1

The above list is taking into account many possible situations. And is only to help give you an idea of the possible risks in Vietnam and not during your tour. Travelo Vietnam takes evey precaution to make sure you will have a safe trip. Please do the same. If you are going to be going on a major expedition or adventure please be well prepared, mentally and physically.

What measures are in place to minimize these risks?
All of our guides are well trained and have been briefed in what to do in an emergency. When necessary, we will be taking extra resources (porter, emergency provisions, extra equipment). Further, all of our clients will be briefed before the trip of any dangers. When a situation occurs where there is danger, all clients will be warned, and the safest option will be used.

What arrangements (including communications) are in place for an evacuation of a client in the event of an emergency?
Depending on the situation, emergency, injury and environment, we will have the best solution for an evacuation. If we are in a remote area, the local people (porters, local guides, villagers) will help us effectively take the client to a meeting point or the nearest clinic.
We will almost always have the ability to communicate by phone. If there is no reception, it is not far away, and a motorcycle will always be nearby to get us to reception in an emergency.

What emergency assistance (e.g. air rescue) is available, how are they contacted, and what are the estimated response times?
In cities, town and tourist destinations, there are hospitals / clinics and ambulance services relatively close by, and very easy to contact. Throughout Vietnam the number to call is 115.
In remote and mountainous areas, an emaergency may become more difficult to deal with due to poor communication and bad roads. In many of the National Parks where the majority of our adventures take place, there has been first aid and evacuation training. Aid in these areas is, at the most, a half-day by foot away. Worst-case scenario, the group would have to walk the patient out ourselves. There are many resources to do this effectively, such as a number of local villages that are never far away from where we travel.
In Vietnam, air service is very hard to come by for military and resource reasons. Because the areas we adventure to are so close to tourist centers and main roads, it would not warrant air evacuation.

How long will it take to evacuate an incapacitated client?
In the major cities, in rush hour, a patient would be in a clinic in under an hour. All evacuations depend on the situation and it is very hard to determine the length of time to get a patient or patients out. In the wilderness, depending on the difficulty and resources, it could take up to one day to have a patient evacuated to a place where transport could be waiting.
The major tekking centers in Vietnam are Mai Chau and Sapa. The hospitals emergency contacts and addresses are as follows. These hospitals are equipped to handle emergencies.
In Sapa: Sapa Medical Clinic, Cau May Street, Sapa Town (Xom 3 Thi Tran Sapa). Phone: 020-871237
In Mai Chau: Mai Chau Town Hospital. Phone: 018-867244

How will we be able to make contact with the outside world?
There is moderately good cell phone coverage on all our treks, and especially in Sapa. In case of emergency, there is usually a fixed phone in the Peoples’ Committee Office in the nearest village. If you are still concerned, it is recommended that you rent a satellite phone in your country before coming to Vietnam. Please make sure that you know how to use it and that you show your guide how to use it as well.

Homestay in Northern Vietnam

Travelo Vietnam regularly runs trekking and homestay trips to the hill tribe communities in Northern Vietnam. From that time much has changed in the colourful hilltribe village, although successful trips continue to happen. Listening to our past clients who have gone on our 3 and 4 day trekking tour in this mountainous region, we have heard that to make the trips that much better, we need to be more diligent in providing information on ‘what to expect’ when visiting the homestays.

So, when visiting the homestays, what should you expect?

Well, the trekking to the villages can be varied from a beginner to an intermediate level. If it is raining then the treks do become slippery and muddy, but doable. The rubber boots available in the region for $5 are highly recommended.

The homestays are at tradition houses of ethnic minority families which are quite large and built from wood. There is very little natural light in the houses as they are not often built with many windows. The bed rooms for guests are built as an addition to the house and offer very simple, rustic amenities such as a bed, straw mattress, small pillow and blankets. Mosquito nets are provided as well. One should not expect any form of luxury. To stress how basic the rooms are, these are as authentic as it gets! The design and construction of the hilltribe homes and beds have changed very little in nearly 100 years. Rest assured, you will be protected from the elements as the homes are very safe and sturdy.

To walk around the house, it is best to take off your boots and slide into a pair of the plastic sandals.

What are the bathrooms like?

The bathrooms are almost always squat toilets. They are clean and flushable and do offer privacy. The is aways running water, however sinks are a luxury. The water comes from the mountains, and although it is not safe to drink, it is often used by guests to brush their teeth with.

Very few of the home stays have showers, bucket showers are the norm. However, hill tribes do offer herbal baths (between $3 – 6) that are excellent. A must-do! They take a couple of hours to prepare so be sure to take the time into consideration. Best to take one before or after dinner.

How is the food? 

The food is a mix of traditional hill tribe food, Vietnamese food, and some Western comfort options. Hill tribe food is traditionally smoked pork, or ginger spiced chicken. There are also a range of local vegetables that are often available depending on the season (less options occurring in the winter). Stir fried meat and veggies, spring rolls, tofu and tomatoes are also usually on the menu. As well, some of the best french fries, (yes, french fries!) you may ever have are often freshly cut and fried with garlic. The set menu changes frequently with the season just so you are aware. Pancakes, noodle soup, fruit, and / or eggs are the usual options for breakfast. Rice wine is also traditionally served at ever meal, but beer, water, coffee, tea, and soda can be purchased at the homestay or local store (water, tea and coffee are provided on Travelo Vietnam!).

Are there any dangers or annoyances? 

Like every destination there are a few dangers and annoyances. The traditional way of cooking is over open flame. This is still true to this day. At dinner time, with all the cooking that goes on, the house does get quite smokey. There are covered areas outside if you need to seek refuge.

Mosquitos will bug you, but they are not terrible (just being bug repellant and use the mosquito net provided); and dogs will bark at you, but your Travelo Vietnam guide will protect you; and the roosters will cockle-doodle-doo very early in the morning, but its just the signal that you should get up and see what’s going on in the village!

If at any time you are uncomfortable, feeling ill, or annoyed please let your Travelo Vietnam guide know! It is our duty to ensure that you have the best experience possible!

Can people speak English in hill tribe villages in Northern Vietnam?

Five years ago, very few people could speak English, and even very little Vietnamese was spoken in the villages. Today that is changing due to tourism and the projects that have delivered training here. Some of the homestay’s hosts and locals can speak English, not a lot, but enough that you can become acquainted.

Anything else I should know?

Yes, the hilltribe culture could be described as welcoming but shy. Do your best to humbly initiate things like helping with the cooking, working in the fields, and dressing up in the local costumes. The more you participate the richer the experience. Just remember to ask politely.

Finally, there is cultural etiquette that should be followed. Notably, do not wear all white into the villages, and do not touch peoples heads. Also, do not take pictures, especially close-ups of the infants in the village – even if they locals say its okay, it’s really not. For others, just ask you guide, or ask your local homestay owner. Learning about the culture is an important part of these types of tours!

We, at Travelo Vietnam know that there are so many questions that you may about the homestays. Please feel free to comment below and we will try and get to your comments as soon as we can! You can also email us at info @ travelo.com.vn  if you like!

Travelo Vietnam appreciates your kindness and generosity. Gift giving is appropriate all over Vietnam. Good small gifts that are appropriate include: something special from your country (for example: a pin, calendar, small trinket, small t-shirts, a baseball cap, or a picture book); school supplies (for example: notebooks, pens, calculator); something fun for the kids (for example: a kite, board game, or a soccer ball); or something for the adults (for example: a tea set, tools, picture frame, or a bottle of special wine).

Feel free to ask your Travelo Vietnam consultant any questions regarding what to give, tips, etc. so you can best prepare for your Vietnam tour with us.

The average temperature in Sapa during the winter months (November to March) is about 10 degrees celsius. During this time it would be wise to bring a good jacket and be well-layered. It is highly recommended to not bring cotton clothes in the winter months if possible.

Travelo Vietnam has experienced Sapa even with snow during the winter time. This is quite rare, however global climate change is making it harder for us to predict the weather. In recent years, the coldest temperature we have experienced has been 3 degrees celsius. These cold days never last long. Usually in about 2 – 3 days the sun comes out and the temperature begins to rise.

If you are trekking to the remote villages, please note that the temperature in the village is always warmer than in Sapa, about 3 – 7 degrees different.

The best time to visit Sapa is from April to September. Although, each season has its own special qualities and surprises.

During this period the temperature ranges from 15 – 25 degree Celsius. It is not rainy season in Sapa so the trekking routes are dry and bear which means added opportunity to do longer treks, and possibly conquer Mount Fansipan.  During the winter months, the temperature is much cooler and it is advised to bring a some warmer clothing (good waterproof jacket, sweater, wool socks). Also, during the winter months there are periods of light rain and heavy fog. This puts Sapa in the clouds and allows for some fantastic photo opportunities.

Tip: If you can’t visit Sapa during the optimum months, Travelo Vietnam does have some alternatives near Hanoi, such as our trekking and homestay tours in Mai Chau, offering the same excellent value.

There is one train that journies from Hanoi to Lao Cai and vise-versa in the day, but there is no sleeper train during the day. It only has seats and no air-conditioning. We recommend to not take this train.

Tip: We highly recommend taking the night train as it will save you time better spent visiting more places in Sapa.

The best mean of transport to Lao Cai and Sapa is still the train, however, a car or van is also good option to reach this beautiful mountain town.

It will take about 10 hours (not including possible traffic jams) covering a distance of 400 km from Hanoi. Unfortunately, there is not much in the way of sightseeing we can make en route.

We strongly recommend to travel by train, but for some reasons, if you wish to travel to Sapa by car, please check with one of our Travelo Vietnam consultants to see the road conditions since it sometimes is under construction making your journey to Sapa longer than 10 hours. Also, road travel should be at day time.

Tip: We hardly see people traveling by road to Sapa, night train simply is the best option.

It is 38 km from Lao Cai to Sapa. The road constantly zigzgs its way uphill as soon as you leave Lao Cai. We gain about 1000 m in elevation and reach Sapa town at 1600 m. On route the views are spectacular.

The entire journey is comfortable by AC van or car. Our driver will have you in Sapa in about one hour.

Your guide will be waiting outside the train station to pick you up. Look for the Travelo Vietnam sign with your name on it.

Tip: Please remember to get the guide’s name and cell phone number from our tour operator or travel consultant in Hanoi.

Yes, your guide will be waiting outside the train station with a Travelo Vietnam sign with your name on it. Together with your driver they will take you safely to Sapa. The guide that we use is a local guide from the Sapa area.

We provide telephone numbers of our local guides and tour operators in advance, just in case.

Tip: There will be so many people outside the Lao Cai train station when you get arrive. Please make sure you look for the Travelo Vietnam sign and our local guide welcoming you.

Also asked: Where to leave our bags so that we can travel light in Sapa?

Yes, for your comfort, we have arranged a clean place at a Sapa hotel for you to shower and take a short rest. Breakfast is at the restaurant in the same place. For your convienience you may also store your bags at the hotel. We will check out of the room you use to shower the same day – unless otherwise planned in your itinerary.

There is also a good place in Lao Cai for a shower and breakfast in case you have decided to not travel to Sapa that day (e.g. travel to Bac Ha Sunday market).

Tip: The place for shower and changing is not for sleeping the whole day, it’s just available for a short rest and shower before you start your trek.

(How hard is the trek with your Sapa tours? About the condition of the Sapa trails. Are they dry or wet, steep or flat?)

Trekking: Is a category of adventure travel, typically involving visits to remote areas, with overnight lodging in tents or other minimal accommodation. It is less strenuous than hiking but more strenuous then walking.

In comparison to trekking in Nepal or India, the trekking in Sapa is easy. But, because of the rapid weather changes, and the severe ups and downs on some of the trails; we have to classify the trekking as moderate. Please be aware of the time it takes to reach each destination so that you can confirm that it will suit your abilities.

Easy trekking: Harder than walking, trekking trail is not steep, has some ups and downs, often in a short time.

Moderate trekking: Trekking trail has ups and downs, but not so steep. Trail will become more difficult in poor weather.

Intermediate to Hard trekking: Trekking route has a  steep incline and often is off road in remote areas, very difficult during periods of rain.

Every situation depends on weather, especially in Sapa.

Tip: We can always tailor the trek to adapt to the weather changes, sometimes you would like to hire the support jeep / vehicle to bring you from point to point, and this is possible at Travelo Vietnam too at a reasonable extra.

There are different types of trekking in Sapa and its surrounding mountains, so when booking Sapa tours or Vietnam tours including Sapa, you will need to check with our travel consultants to see which kind of shoes will work best.

For the light or easy trek, we recommend using good sandals or walking shoes, but for intermediate and hard trekking trips, we have to use really good shoes or sport shoes which must have really strong grips for hiking up and down. Many of our past clients use their expert hiking boots which often become very muddy in rainy weather. The best footwear during periods of rain are definitely the local rubber boots bought at the local market for about 60 000 VND or $4 USD. They grip in mud and do not cause blisters. Although, these boots do not breath at all.

As Travelo Vietnam continues to promote responsible travel, we strive to do our best in supporting CBT (Community Based Tourism) Products. A CBT Homestay is an overnight in the home of one of the local ethnic minorities. They have been set up in a way that the community benefits from the added tourism income and not just a single entity.

Travelo Vietnam is trying to promote community based tourism and homestay is one of the local products of the communities we work with them to offer you.

When talking about homestay, we all mean to experience the life of the locals rather than a stay of comfort, so if you were looking for something comfortable with soft bed and good shower, homestay isn’t the place for you.

The family will welcome you with the best with simple bed with mattress, pillow, mosquito net and blanket. They are basic but clean and located right inside the house of the host, you mostly share the same very big room with the family, however, you will stay at one of the corner while the host is staying quite away from your bed.

Local meals are also experience we wish to offer you to you can see more part of their life, they can be cooked by the host or with our guide’s support. Please experience them and let us know how you like it.

Toilet is available, it’s also simple, local style but clean. Though some families invested a very nice western toilets to its guests.

Some of the local hosts will have very good shower, however most of the remote homestay do not have shower, but they certainly have a place for you to bath, clean water and a basket, enough of the basic for you to bath after a long day trekking.

If you like to have a bath with warm water, please ask your host for a kettle boiled for you, they will be willing to do so without extra charge.

Travelo Vietnam loves to hear your experience, please send us your feedback after the trip.

Yes we will stay with the family in the same house providing we are a group of less less than 4. If we are more than four we will divide into smaller groups and stay with multiple neighboring families with homestays.

We will normally enjoy dinner and sleep with one family, but sometimes, the neighbors want to share the tourism benefits equally, then cooking and eating is at one house but sleeping is at another.

There is a wide range of activities that we have participated in. Some of our guests have gone out in the fields and actually got into the mud and planted rice. Others, have befriended one of the young women and was taken to her house to have tea. Sometimes the guest are up for some more trekking and we go for a short walk in the mountains. And, others prefer to just sit and relax. Helping out with the cooking and some of the chores is encouraged so that you can get a better understanding of local life.

The people at the homestay are quite shy. Especially with their English. They can speak a little English and actually it is enough to have a conversation. Although, they do need some encouragement. We ask you to be active in communicating with the family, askin them questions about their lives. They are always happy to answer, often showing you and getting you involved in order for you to better understand.

There will be a range of food at the homestay. For dinner there will be a mix of traditional Dao and Vietnamese. We bring a lot of food in from Sapa to share with the family and everyone gets a chance to share in the cooking. For breakfast, pancakes and bananas have become very poplular amongst the trekkers and homestays, although if you wish to have a traditional Dao breakfast that can be arranged. It is ususlaly rice, and an egg and some vegetables.

First off, you should go for a few walks before going trekking as it will help you get your legs back.

For the homestay, there is not much preparation. Making sure that you have packed everything you need to make your stay more confortamble is most important. Bring a small bag with the clothes change of clothes. You should bring something warm, as the nights will cool off, sometimes dropping as mush as ten degrees. Other things you might want to bring with you are a mirror, toilet paper, your favorite tea or snack, flashlight, and a book.

Further preparations to make your stay even more special would include learning a short song to sing after dinner. It is a cultural tradition to sing after dinner, and if you start off by saying you would like to sing a song, then all the better. You can bring gifts for the homestay owner, things like pens, pencils, and books. Other great things to bring with you to the homestay, and all over asia, are pictures of your home, you and your family. The pictures always become a great conversation piece.

Most of the family goes to bed early although one will stay up until everyone goes to bed. Having your flashlight close to your bed is a good a idea as the light switches are sometimes in odd place, Expect roosters to begin the day at about five o’clcok in the morning. By 5:30 a fire has already been lit to boil water.

Most hotels will offer a place for you to keep you luggage. If this is not available to you, you can safely leave your luggage at the Travelo Vietnam office.

It is recommended that you also extend you stay at your hotel for the day that you leave to Sapa. It is great to have a little rest and a shower before getting on the night train!

Tip: If you are heading to Sapa for trekking, we suggest that you travel light for an enjoyable time.

Yes, there is a night train to Sapa. The train offers a range of seating types but we at Travelo Vietnam only use the air-conditioned soft sleepers for our guests. There are four berths in each cabin, two lower and two upper. The beds are soft, clean and come with a blanket and pillow. The beds are sometimes a bit small for some Westerners, but all of our guests have managed fine.

Each cabin locks on the inside for security and has a fair amount of room for luggage storage under the beds and above the door.

This cabin is standard level and used for 4 people sharing. If you would like to splurge and go first class, the Victoria Train is available. Please ask your Travelo Vietnam consultant for more details.

The train itself does not go fast and takes about 9 hours from Hanoi to Lao Cai (about 330 km). In comparison to other trains it is not too noisy, although some people bring earplugs, especially if they are in the hard-sleeper class. Toilets are available on each coach. It is advised to bring your own toilet paper.

About half the time there is a dining car on the train. Just recently we have noticed that they have replaced the dining car with another passenger coach. Thus, it is advised to bring water, snacks, or anything else you may want to eat for the journey.

Tip: If you are two persons traveling and you would like to book the whole cabin just for the two of you, Travelo Vietnam can make this possible.

Note: Please be aware that Vietnamese train is just standard level; it can never be compared with Western trains.

Will it be cold in Halong Bay?

It can be quite cool from November to March in Halong Bay, there are some days during December and January can be very cold (about 10 DC) but this does not last very long. If you are planning to travel to Sapa during this time too then it would be good to bring along some good jackets with you!

if you look on Vietnam map, you will see Halong lies on the Tonkin Gulf with lots of island that made up Halong Bay. With its calm water, Halong Bay really acts as a shield that stops all the violent wave, so it’s hard to get sea sick in Halong Bay.

Only some of the routes that the junks cruise can be close to open sea that the junk was swinging up and down. But once the junk was surrounded by Halong Bay unique limestone islands, it became stable again.

Tip: When the junk gets swinging, do not walk around on boat to avoid seasick.

Travelo Vietnam often see the weather forecast, if the weather turns bad, we have to call our clients to inform the situation whether it’s safe to go. Same with Halong Bay, we work closely with our captains and will inform you before you leave Hanoi to Halong Bay so that you do not waste the day traveling on road.
If the weather turns bad while you are cruising, we could anchor our junk at the hidden places, this is normally safe and Travelo Vietnam has not witnessed any bad weather that we have to hide in a cave.

Yes, that is one requirement for any boat/junk in Halong Bay.

Tip: If you do not see this when boarding the junk, please ask for the instruction from the crew member or our captain.

Halong Bay is so beautiful that one could not miss; though 3 hours drive each way is a bit long for somebody. You will get about 4 hours on Travelo Vietnam cruise, which is just enough for you to get an overview of what is Halong. We suggest that you drive to Halong city and sleep in the hotel the night before, so you would have a longer time on the Bay, more cruise, more caves, and more swimming.

Tip: To see Halong and its all, you should plan a 2 day trip with Travelo Vietnam. Please contact one of Travelo Vietnam consultants to know more about this.

We will embark on the boat for a cruise amongst the islands and islets of this stunning Halong bay. We will visit ONE cave on our 1 or 2 day trip, however, if you wish to visit more than one cave, we have to plan this well prior to departure so that our captain know where to go and please be informed an extra fee for each additional cave you plan to see.

Note: If the weather turns bad, we all have to follow the captain’s instruction, cave visit or extra cruise can be canceled without prior notice.

There are many types of boats/junks in Halong Bay, we often use the small Chinese wooden junks for your private tours that combine classic beauty with modern comfort. These junks for overnight trip is often with very fine cabins, one restaurant and a very spacious top deck area with reclining chairs for you to enjoy Halong and the sound of silence.

Tip: Halong Bay is beautiful so enjoy it with Travelo Vietnam Indochina Junk since our attention to detail has been put into all aspects of comfort and viewing pleasure.

Yes, it is very nice to sleep outside there on the top-deck but please check this with our tour guide or the junk’s captain if the weather is fine to sleep outside. To note that we have very fine cabins designed with comforts of everything needed for a good sleep: natural rubber mattress, blanket, feather pillows and mosquito net and we can not bring this outside for you.

Tip: That night we all stayed up drinking talking about home and watching the shooting stars from the top deck. It was a wonderful time!

Afternoon cruise to see the hidden wonders of Halong Bay, Travelo Vietnam captain will find a suitable place (within the allowance areas) to anchor for the night, this place is normally inside the very calm bay surrounded by the islands.

Tip: Before we drop the anchor for the night, you will probably see the sunset so get your camera ready to take these wonderful moments.

Yes you do have to bring it with you on boat and please provide us your full names, gender, passport number, visa expire date before your departure to Halong Bay.

Tip: Each boat/junk has it own safety box, please do leave your valuable belongings in this safety box so that you can have more fun visiting cave, swimming…

Passport
Sun cream, insect repellent
Small changes for buying drinks on boat
Swim-suit and changes
Your own towels (though we have towels available)
Good camera with lots of films or memory space
A sense of adventures

Most of the meals offered with seafood as Halong Bay specialty is seafood; there is lots of sea dishes combined with traditional Vietnamese food, I’m sure you will like the food on boat, if you are allergic with seafood, please inform your meal preference to our tour operator before your departure to Halong Bay.

Summer is a good time to cruise on Halong Bay but the best time of year is during the spring or fall. Because the bay is situated in the northern part of the country, it can get colder in the fall and winter, and though you won’t see extremes such as blizzards, it’s still a lousy place to be when it gets cold.

Tip: You should bring a swim suit with you, night’s swim in the phosphorescent water is also very nice (must be before your drinks)

HaLong Bay is located 170 km away from Hanoi, this would take you about 3 – 3.5 hours on bus transfer to Halong city, bus trip normally leaves Hanoi by 8.30 am.

We will be hitting the road for Halong Bay through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta and the scenery of rice fields, water buffalo and everyday Vietnamese village life.

Yes, you can! If you are already there in Hai Phong, you can call Travelo Vietnam to have a car and guide pick you up from there and drive to , which should be less than 1,5 hours.
Or you can plan a trip with Travelo Vietnam from Hanoi to Hai Phong city, do the sightseeing, spend the night there then move onto Halong on the next morning.
Tip: There is a good road linking Hai Phong and Cat Ba island (South of Halong Bay), you could also travel with Travelo Vietnam via this way, then have our junk welcome you on Cat Ba port to visit Cat Ba bay and Halong Bay.

The best time to visit the Mekong Delta?

Travelo Vietnam takes visitors to the Mekong year round but the best time to visit is during the dry season. As Mekong has  a pleasant tropical climate with two alternate seasons: dry and rainy, the dry season runs from November through until April, with average temperatures around 28°C, while the rainy season occurs from May to October. The rain, however, does not last too long with sun shining but not too hot.

To Travelo Vietnam knowledge incidents of malaria in remote areas of the Mekong Delta are rare. There have been no reports of any malaria cases in the places where our cruises go. However, we still recommend that you seek medical advice from your doctor before your travel to vietnam.

It’s absolutely safe on the board that Travelo Vietnam chooses. The boat is totally stable in the very calm water. Life jackets are available on board as well.

It is open from 5am to 5pm, but the best time will be around 8 to 10 am. Wholesalers on big boats moor here, with each specialising in one or a few types of fruit or vegetables. Customers cruise the market in smaller boats and can easily find what they’re looking for, as the larger boats hang samples of their goods from tall wooden poles. Travelo Vietnam suggests taking a good camera with lots of memory space available.

The trip provided by Travelo Vietnam is normally all inclusive, apart from drinks and personal expenses that you will take.

Travelo Vietnam supports local homestay owner, all of the homestay we choose are all clean and comfortable, but the standard varies depending on the area you are traveling to. The homestay can be a local farm house. Another is located on an island near Vinh Long, comprising a shared room with fans and bath room. There is an eco-guesthouse on Binh Phuoc Island. While another homestay in Cai Be town has private air-con rooms is available

Cycling shorts and loose shirt, sturdy shoes or sandals with sunglasses, suntan lotion and of course a helmet. A sweat band or bandana under your helmet & cycling gloves will add to your comfort. Travelo Vietnam recommends that women do not wear skimpy crop top style clothing when cycling to avoid causing offence. We will provide all necessary equipment for your trip including well maintained professional bikes, helmets, etc… So you won’t really need to make your luggage heavier with extra stuff.

Travelo Vietnam uses mountain bikes fitted with fatter road & dirt (hybrid) tires and a handlebar bag. Although if you are accustomed to touring with your own road bike, you will have a few more punctures but you can enjoy the extra speed. Most local bike shops will pack your bicycle for a small fee and bicycles fly free internationally. Travelo Vietnam is very pleased to handle transport and assembly once your bike arrives and pack it back up ready for departure. Please make sure your bike has been serviced and is in good working order prior to the trip. Spare parts are difficult, and even impossible to find in Vietnam.

All the roads we cycle on are sealed, although there will be some rougher sections with potholes etc. The Vietnamese are rapidly improving their road infrastructures so you may encounter some construction. Although Travelo Vietnam choose off-the-beaten track with quieter roads for our tours but it is hard to get away from people, & you will still encounter some traffic. This traffic will include bicycles, motor bikes, rickshaws, buffalo carts & motorized vehicles and buses/trucks – this is we think interesting for you to see. Traffic is heavier in the towns & cities, and in certain sections on days one & two. However, the tour is designed so that if you are uncomfortable about biking in the urban areas or on busier sections of the road you can use Travelo Vietnam’s support vehicle.

Yes, during this period in the Mekong Delta the rain usually only lasts for a maximum of an hour or so. So you can enjoy cycling trips all year round.

Yes, we do. To help us to select the bike most suitable for you, Travelo Vietnam requires that you inform us your height before your trip.

Perhaps 10 and onwards, Travelo Vietnam has a range of bicycles catering for different ages and heights from 1.2m. Your kids can cycle along with you, and we always have a car or mini van supporting you during your journey.

It’s normally 2-3 hours in the morning and so in the afternoon, but it really depends on different factors like how strong the cyclist are, how busy with the local traffic of our transfer from the city to the countryside. We will always have a private car or minivan to support you.