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Vietnam FAQs

Welcome to Vietnam F.A.Q. Page of Asia Spirit Travel about Vietnam Tours information

 

 Hope this page will be of service to you answering the most frequent questions our guests have raised.

1. How do I create a custom itinerary?

In our web site Asia Spirit Travel provide over hundred tour samples but if you do not find a suitable trip, and want Asia Spirit Travel to do all the work for you, just click on customized trip and fill up the form to tell us what you have in mind. Our travel expert will create a trip and provide you’re with invaluable information!

 

2. How do I book the trip?

To book our trip, please select your preferred trip and click on “Book this trip" on web page. Asia Spirit Travel booking form wizard will automatically call the trip name, and ask you to fill out some fields for information. Once completed filling the form, you just click Submit to send us your enquiry or Reset to cancel what you have filled up. After receiving your reservation request, we will immediately make all the necessary arrangements in accordance with your request. This will takes about 1-2 business days, and we will send to you our confirmation message by e-mail with all the details of hotels, flights, tours, the booking status and also payment term

 

3. How do I pay for the trip?

To book our trip, please select your preferred trip and click on “Book this trip" on web page. Our standard payment policy is to ask for a 3% deposit of the package value at the time we send you the final confirmation and the booking code for your trip. The balance of the total package tour price should be paid at least 21 days (twenty one days) before starting date of the trip.

 

4. Are there any hidden costs you do not mention? What about tipping?

To book our trip, please select your preferred trip and click on “Book this trip" on web page. Asia Spirit Travel booking form No, all inclusions and exclusions are mentioned at our final confirmation for your trip. Generally, tipping is not compulsory. If you are satisfied with your guides, drivers, a small gratuity is an appropriate way in which to show appreciation to them.

 

5. Who is my guide?

Go Asia Travel have a strong and multilingual guide team coming from all regions of the country. They are chosen for their professionalism, rich knowledge, and commitment, personal ties with the country and region and ability to inspire and communicate with you. They will be your dedicated friends during and after your trip. Many of our customers still exchange email with them long after their trip.

 

6. What about transportation?

We try our best to provide you safe and comfortable means of transportation. You can find information on meals, transportation, etc. in the “How we travel” section following the detail itinerary of each tour.

 

7. When is the best time to travel Vietnam?

The climate and temperature of Vietnam are varied and different between regions so you could travel Vietnam all year round. At any time of the year, climate is good in some regions while not so good in some other regions. You can always select a suitable tour

 

8. What is the time difference?

Vietnam is twelve hours ahead of New York and seven hours ahead of London, one hour behind Perth and three hours behind Sydney.

 

9. What do I need to know regarding Vietnam visa?

The most important thing is to make sure your Vietnam visa is stamped with the correct dates. The standard tourist visa is valid for a period of up to 3 days. If you’re going for less than 3 days you can either specify the exact dates, but it is probably best to ask for the maximum period to give yourself more flexibility. Processing normally takes between a week and ten days , but longer for overseas Vietnamese

 

1. How I can extend my Vietnam visa?

If you need to extend your stay for any reason, it is relatively easy to apply for a visa renewal at present. Again this is handled by tour agents. The first renewal costs around $25-3 (including a handling fee) and takes three working days to process (please note that government offices are only open Monday to Friday). The maximum period you can ask for is 3 days and it costs the same whether you ask for 1 day or 3 days. A second 1-day extension is possible at a cost of around $35-4. For this second extension you will be asked to show an air ticket dated after the expiry of your visa.

 

11. How I can get Vietnam visa on arrival?

For those who travel with Asia Spirit Travel, we can arrange the visa approval letter allowing them to obtain visa on arrival at Noibai Airport in Hanoi, Danang Airport in Danang, Tan San Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh. To apply for visa, you are required to provide us such information as full name, gender, date of birth, home address, passport number, expiry date of passport, nationality, and date in & out of Vietnam, arrival flight number, and place of getting visa. After 3 or 4 working days, we will send you the visa approval letter. At this time, we charge US$ 5 for visa on arrival at the airport. This fee is subject to change without prior notice.

 

12. How safe is Vietnam?

Vietnam is a relatively safe country to visit but there are increasing instances of theft, especially in HCMC where pickpockets and snatch thieves on motorbikes are the worst menace. The best tip is to be vigilant at all times. Often cute kids or old grannies have deft fingers. Leave all valuables (expensive watches, jewellery, glasses, etc.) at home, and don’t even wear flash costume jewellery. Make sure you have a firm grip on cameras and shoulder bags at all times and never leave anything you value lying around unattended. I would also not advise taking cyclos late at night, especially in HCMC. our guides will advise you what is “do and don’t” case by case.

 

13. What medical precautions I need to take?

At the time of writing, no vaccinations are required for Vietnam (with the exception of yellow fever if you are travelling directly from an area where the disease is endemic). However, typhoid and hepatitis A vaccinations are normally recommended, and it’s worth checking that you are up to date with boosters for tetanus, polio etc. Other injections to consider, depending on the season and risk of exposure, are hepatitis B, Japanese encephalitis, meningitis and rabies. It is best to discuss these with your doctor. Malaria is present in Vietnam. However, at the time of writing both Hanoi and HCMC have very low incidences, while the northern delta and coastal regions of the south and centre are also considered relatively safe. The main danger areas are the highlands and the rural areas, where Plasmodium falciparum, the most dangerous strain of malaria, is prevalent. Your doctor will advise on which, if any, anti-malaria tablets you should take. If you do fall ill, pharmacies in Hanoi and HCMC stock a decent range of imported medicines (check they are not past their “use-by” date). Both these cities also now have good, international-class medical facilities. Elsewhere, local hospitals will be able to treat minor ailments, but for anything more serious head back to Hanoi or HCMC.

 

14. What about medical insurance?

It is advised that travelers should have some form of medical insurance before arriving in Vietnam. Although there are several international medical clinics in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, generally the country still lacks adequate medical care for serious illnesses and injuries, especially in other areas. Therefore, we advise that travelers have sufficient cover for emergency medical care as a precautionary measure.

Should I take my money in cash or travellers'cheques?

The official currency of Vietnam is the dong, which cannot be purchased outside Vietnam. The main banks in Hanoi and HCMC can handle a fairly broad range of currencies nowadays, but the dollar is still the most widely accepted. I therefore recommend taking a combination of US$ cash and US$ travellers’ cheques, with the bulk in travellers’ cheques for safety. American Express, Visa and Thomas Cook cheques are the most recognized brands.

 

15. What recommendations do you have about eating in Vietnam?

Go Asia Travel strongly recommend you try the small local restaurants, especially the street kitchens which consist of a few tables and a stove in an open-fronted dining area. Most of expensive restaurants usually price their menus in local currency. In the middle of the range it could be in either dollars or dong, but at this level prices are often not indicated at all, which makes for tedious ordering as you go through each dish. When it comes to eating, the most important thing is to choose places that are busy and look well-scrubbed, and to stick to fresh, thoroughly cooked foods. Despite appearances, often the small local restaurants with a high turnover of just one or two dishes are safer than expensive, Western-style places. Restaurants where the food is cooked in front of you - for example, steaming bowls of pho soup at a street stall - are usually a good bet, as well as being lots of fun. However, steer clear of shellfish, peeled fruit, salads and raw vegetables. On the other hand, yoghurt and ice cream from reputable outlets in the main cities shouldn’t cause problems.

 

16. Should I take my money in cash or travellers'cheques?

The official currency of Vietnam is the dong, which cannot be purchased outside Vietnam. The main banks in Hanoi and HCMC can handle a fairly broad range of currencies nowadays, but the dollar is still the most widely accepted. I therefore recommend taking a combination of US$ cash and US$ travellers’ cheques, with the bulk in travellers’ cheques for safety. American Express, Visa and Thomas Cook cheques are the most recognized brands.

 

17. What recommendations do you have about eating in Vietnam?

Go Asia strongly recommend you try the small local restaurants, especially the street kitchens which consist of a few tables and a stove in an open-fronted dining area. Most of expensive restaurants usually price their menus in local currency. In the middle of the range it could be in either dollars or dong, but at this level prices are often not indicated at all, which makes for tedious ordering as you go through each dish. When it comes to eating, the most important thing is to choose places that are busy and look well-scrubbed, and to stick to fresh, thoroughly cooked foods. Despite appearances, often the small local restaurants with a high turnover of just one or two dishes are safer than expensive, Western-style places. Restaurants where the food is cooked in front of you - for example, steaming bowls of pho soup at a street stall - are usually a good bet, as well as being lots of fun. However, steer clear of shellfish, peeled fruit, salads and raw vegetables. On the other hand, yoghurt and ice cream from reputable outlets in the main cities shouldn’t cause problems.

 

18. Where can I change money?

You can change cash and travellers’ cheques at exchange desks in big hotels and at authorized foreign exchange banks in the main cities. Among the banks, Vietcombank usually offers the best exchange rates and charges the lowest commission (around 1-2%). Note that commission rates are slightly lower if changing travellers’ cheques into dong rather than dollars. Vietcombank does not levy commission when changing dollars cash into dong, though some other banks do. It’s worth bearing in mind that you get a slightly better exchange rate for $1 and $5 notes than for smaller denominations. When cashing travellers’ cheques you may be asked for your passport, though this practice seems to be dying out. Outside the main cities and tourist areas, authorised foreign exchange banks are few and far between. So if you’re heading off the beaten path, stock up with enough cash (dollars and dong) to last the trip. Wherever you are, you’ll always find someone willing to change dollars cash into dong, though rates will vary. When receiving dong, you’ll be presented with a huge pile of notes. The largest bill is 1,d (, so bear this in mind when changing $1! Refuse any badly torn notes and ask for a mix of denominations so that you always have a few low-value notes in hand.

 

19. Is it better to use dollars or dong for daily expenses?

Despite government attempts to outlaw the practice, the US Dollars still acts as an alternative currency which is almost completely interchangeable with the dong. Many prices, especially for hotels, tours and expensive restaurants, are still quoted in $, though you can pay in dong if you’d rather - just check what exchange rate they’re using.

For everyday expenses, I recommend carrying a mix of US Dollars cash and dong. For larger items 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.

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