General

  • What if I have special needs for the tour?

    If you have special requirements - for example, if you have young children, or you have infants or the olds in your group, or if you are handicapped or have physical limitations, if you have special transportation needs, or if you are vegetarian or have other food allergies - please let us know. We can work with both you and the service provider ( restaurant, hotels, transportation ...) to ensure that we can meet your needs.

  • What about travel insurance?

    We strongly recommend that all travelers should have travel insurance covered before the departure. Travel insurance is a cost effective way of protecting yourself and your equipment should any problems occur such as cancelled trips, delays, medical emergencies, baggage loss or damage. It also gives you peace of mind. Please also make sure your travel insurance covers all activities planned on your trip.

  • Do I need to have some vaccine shots before the trip?

    No vaccinations are officially required by the Vietnam authorities; however immunization against malaria, cholera, hepatitis, typhoid, tetanus, polio and Japanese encephalitis is advised. Please consult your doctors for further medical advice. Also plan to bring mosquito repellent. Wearing long-sleeved shirts and slacks from dusk onward and avoiding perfume is also recommended. In addition to an ample supply of any prescription drugs you are taking, bring medicines for: Headaches, diarrhea, constipation, insect bites, sore throats, eye drops, cuts, etc.

  • Electricity

    • Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos operate on 230 volts.
    • Vietnam uses Types A, E, or F plugs with two flat pins, two round pins, or three round pins, respectively.
    • Cambodia uses Types A, C, or G plugs with two flat pins, two round pins, or three flat pins, respectively.
    • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter.
    • Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.

Before Your Trip To Vietnam

  • Do I need visa to enter Vietnam?

    Vietnam visa online:

    E-visa Online System is currently only available to tourists for tourism purpose only. Please visit the Vietnam official government website for more information https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/khai-thi-thuc-dien-tu/cap-thi-thuc-dien-tu

    Vietnam visa

    Unlike Cambodia or Laos, before entry into Vietnam, you must have a Vietnam visa stamp or a Vietnam visa approval letter. S Vietnam Travel can help you to arrange this letter to get a visa upon arrival at Tan Son Nhat Airport (Ho Chi Minh City), at Danang airport or Noi Bai international airport (Hanoi). Please provide the following information for us to apply for your visa.

    • Full name on passport.
    • Passport number.
    • Date of birth.
    • Nationality.
    • Date of arrival.
    • Flight number and time.
    • Fax number where we can fax you or your email address forward to you.

    We will process the visa within 3 working days. After approval, we will fax or email you a Vietnam visa Approval Letter as an attachment. You can receive your visa at the visa desk of the arrival airport for Vietnam visa on arrival or receive your visa at Embassy or Consulate in your country for Vietnam Visa Approval Code.

  • Do I need to have some vaccine shots before the trip?

    No vaccinations are officially required by the Vietnam authorities; however immunization against malaria, cholera, hepatitis, typhoid, tetanus, polio and Japanese encephalitis is advised. Please consult your doctors for further medical advice. Also plan to bring mosquito repellent. Wearing long-sleeved shirts and slacks from dusk onward and avoiding perfume is also recommended. In addition to an ample supply of any prescription drugs you are taking, bring medicines for: Headaches, diarrhea, constipation, insect bites, sore throats, eye drops, cuts, etc.

  • Do you have e-tickets in Vietnam?

    Almost airlines in Vietnam offer electronic ticket. We will issue an electronic ticket through email or fax to you.

  • Electricity in Vietnam

    Vietnam uses Types A, E, or F plugs with two flat pins, two round pins, or three round pins, respectively. The usual voltage is between 220V and 240V, 50 Hertz; but sometimes you encounter 110V, also at 50 Hertz, just to confuse things. Two-pin (ungrounded) plug is more popular than three-pin one. If you have any devices needing a special outlet, please bring its adapter kit. The best investment is a universal AC adapter, which will enable you to plug it in anywhere without frying the innards.

Local Time & Climate

  • What is the time difference in Vietnam?

    Vietnam is fifteen hours ahead of Los Angeles, twelve hours ahead of New York and seven hours ahead of London, one hour behind Perth and three hours behind Sydney (give or take an hour during daylight saving time).

  • What is the climate like in Vietnam?

    Hanoi and northern Vietnam have a distinct winter and summer season. A dryer winter lasts from November to April with average temperatures of 18 - 20ºC. Summer lasts from May to October and is hot and humid with temperatures around 30 - 35ºC. In areas like Sapa, prepare accordingly for the winter months as it has been known to snow on occasion. Hue and Danang, in the center of the country, have very hot, dry weather from February to August with temperatures reaching over 35ºC. The region can experience quite heavy rainfall between September and January. Ho Chi Minh City and the south have a hot, dry season from December till April with average temperatures around 28ºC. The rainy season lasts from May through till November. It rarely rains for long periods, even in the rainy season, with most rain coming in short, heavy bursts.

Local Money & Expense

  • Where can I find current exchange rates for Vietnamese money?

    Current dong exchange rates are available on the internet. Please try one of the links (www.xe.com, www.vietcombank.com.vn). Note: You can not buy or exchange dong outside Vietnam.

  • Can I get cash on my credit card in Vietnam?

    Cash advances on credit cards are available at the central Vietcombank in Hanoi, HCMC and other major cities, for which you will be charged around 4%. Hanoi and HCMC also boast 24hr ATMs where you can withdraw cash on MasterCard, Visa and other cards in the Cirrus/Plus networks. In Hanoi, go to the ANZ Bank beside Hoan Kiem Lake; in HCMC both ANZ Bank and HKSB have ATMs.

  • Is it better to use American dollars or Vietnamese dong for daily expenses in Vietnam?

    For everyday expenses, I recommend carrying a mix of US$ cash and dong. For larger items (hotel bills, train tickets, etc.) or when the exchange rate works in your favour, use dollars. For cyclos, local food stalls and small purchases, it's best to use dong. In either case, make sure you always have a stock of small notes so that you don't have to worry about change.

Useful Tips For Traveling To Vietnam

  • What to buy in Vietnam

    1. Ao Dai

    Ao Dai is a Vietnamese national costume which most wore by local women. You can buy it in a local store or customize one in a tailor shop.

    2. Cotton Products

    High-quality cotton products, such as bed linen, pillows, shirts and T-shirt, are available everywhere in Vietnam. The cotton products are colorful and natural with relatively lower prices which become these products sell well for foreign visitors.

    3. Vietnamese Silk

    When you tour in Vietnam, an original home of silk and a country has decades-old tradition of manufacturing high-quality silk products, it is a must for you to purchase some silk products. In many specialty shops and souvenir shops, silk products are available for you to choose.

    4. Porcelain / Pottery

    In many traditional arts villages around Hanoi and many specialty shops in Vietnam, porcelain, hand-made ceramics, pottery with unique decorations, tea plates and cups are easy to find.

    5. Lacquer Products

    In producing high-quality lacquer products, Vietnamese artists are the most capable in Asia. Beautiful lacquer paintings, furniture, accessories, table dishes and many other exquisite products can be find in many stores in Vietnam.

    6. Jewellery and Pearls

    Another popular shopping item in Vietnam is jewellery which are made of local gemstones. You can purchase amethyst, ruby, aquamarine, jade, sapphire and other precious stones in Vietnam.

    7. Vietnamese Art Paintings

    Oil and lacquer paintings made in Vietnam are not only beautiful, but also inexpensive. Naturally gifted and well-trained, local artists can make many high-quality and fine paintings for visitors.

  • Tipping in Vietnam

    Suggestions for the sum

    - For a trekking guide in North Vietnam or cultural guide: USD 10 / day
    - For a driver: USD 5 / day
    - For a carrier: USD 5 / day

    These people are at your disposal throughout your trip and they also expect you to doing the best for your satisfaction. The working timing is huge, from 06:00 am to 23:00 at night, sometimes more. These guides leave home for a week, 15 days or 3 weeks depending on the tour. For private tours in Vietnam (2 to 4 people per group) the guide can receive at least 10 USD / day based on customer satisfaction.

    In restaurants and bars maybe leave 5 – 10% tip if you have received good service. Remember that 20,000 Dong is less than US$1. Not much for you but maybe a whole meal for the staff member that served you. If you have spent 400,000 Dong (around US$18) for a nice meal then 40,000 Vietnamese Dong (10%) is not alot more to give as a tip.

    One place that people don’t even think about tipping are the hotel staff that you probably never see – the housekeeping service staff that come to clean your room. I generally leave 10,000 – 20,000 Vietnam Dong (~1usd) in the bathroom with a note saying thank you to the staff so they know it is a tip.

  • What to wear in Vietnam

    Vietnam is a country with a tropical monsoon climate, so it is very different from the climate in Europe and America. Because the area of Vietnam is long and divided by the Truong Son mountain range, the climate is divided into three different regions of North, Central and South and has clear characteristics of each region...Click to read more What to wear in Vietnam

Before Your Trip To Cambodia

  • Do I need visa to enter Cambodia?

    Cambodia visa

    You can get a Cambodia visa stamp upon arrival without pre-arrangements. You only need to pay a USD$25 fee (this fee maybe differ depending on the nationality of passport holder) and 2 pictures for each traveler. You can then expect about 15 minutes for processing at the airport.

  • Electricity in Cambodia

    The electricity system in Cambodia is 220 VAC and 50Hz. If you travel to Cambodia with a device that does not accept 220 Volts at 50 Hertz, you will need a voltage converter. There are some nifty universal travel adapters for sale within your own country. If you find yourself stuck without, markets in Cambodia sell cheap and cheerful adapters. Most sockets accommodate plugs with two flat pins.

Useful Tips For Traveling To Cambodia

  • What to buy in Cambodia

    Khmer Silk

    The soft and beautifully designed Khmer silk is sold like hot cakes across the country. There are two kinds of Khmer silks: the old silk made years ago and the new silk produced in nowadays. They share the same quality but not the price.

    T-shirts

    Of course this item is the favorite souvenirs in any tourist destination. Bringing home a t-shirt featuring the famous Angkor Wat or other Khmer symbols is kind of cool. Price ranges from $2~5 depending on the quality and where you get.

    Paintings

    Cambodia has never lack outstanding artists. You don’t have to go to galleries to get great paintings because the one you find in the streets is also a stunning work. It’s also good to support the local artists who don’t have the privilege of specific galleries.

    Handicraft, Statues and Gemstones

    The Cambodians are endowed with genuine skill of making handicraft and the ancient traditions were handed down from generation to generation. Delicate carvings, Buddha statues bas-reliefs (just as those you find at the enclosure of Banteay Srei) are available in both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

    Most retail shops both large and small accept credit cards now. Prices are in US Dollars, and there are now ATMs in many locations across the city dispensing US dollars. It is best to exchange money at banks, especially large amounts but after banking hours, you can change money at moneychangers. Traveller's cheques can be exchanged at banks, although there is a fee. In most shops where prices are marked, you cannot bargain. But at the local markets, and at some smaller shops, you can bargain the price. Always be very careful when purchasing expensive jewellery and gemstones.

  • Tipping in Cambodia

    When traveling, tipping etiquette can be a real mystery, but stress not. In Cambodia, there is no fixed amount; tipping is all up to the individual. No one will frown even if you don’t leave anything on the tray.

    Tipping has never been part of Cambodia culture. Like most Asian countries, they get paid for their service by their employer, not by the customer.

    However, although it is not necessary to tip, a dollar or two is the norm and this applies to any form of service rendered across the board. The receiver, the service provider, is usually very appreciative and you can tell the gratitude for your gratitude from the sweet smile on the face.

    Use our tipping guide below and only tip if the service is good, as you don’t want to encourage bad service.

    Airport – Porter/Skycap: US$1 per bag.
    Bartender: round up the bill or add US$1 per round.
    Hair Salon: not expected but 5-10% is appreciated.
    Hotel – Housekeeping or Room Attendant: US$1-2 per night; left on the pillow.
    Hotel – Porter/Bellhop: US$1 per bag.
    Massage: optional, 10%.
    Museum Guide: small donation (US$1) at end of tour.
    Restaurant (General): 10% for good service, 5% for average.
    Spa: fancy spas and ones in hotels usually include a service charge; if not included, 15%.
    Taxi: round up the fare or add US$1, a little more if they were extra helpful.
    Tour – Guide, Driver: US$1-2 per day for the driver and US$2-4 per day per traveler for the guide. You might also buy them lunch or a snack.

  • What to wear in Cambodia

    The weather in Cambodia generally falls under two categories: the wet season (May to October) and the dry season (November to April). Lightweight, loose-fitting, cotton clothing is recommended for the dry season, when the weather is hot and humid. Visitors may wish to pack long pants and long-sleeved shirts for hiking, trekking, or outdoor activities. A hat and sunglasses may be useful for when walking around under the sun.

    During the rainy season, visitors may want to bring a light rain poncho (plastic ponchos can be purchased cheaply in Cambodia) or a sturdy umbrella. A light jacket or cardigan will come in handy during the months of December and January, when temperatures are at their coolest.

    When visiting outdoor temples, including those: Angkor Wat, shorts and T-shirts are acceptable. Shoes and hats are generally removed at the entrance to pagodas. The Silver Pagoda, which is within the Royal Palace grounds. visitors are asked to dress more formally. Gentlemen are required to wear long trousers and ladies should wear long trousers or long skirts and keep their shoulders covered.