Most visitors to Vietnam are overwhelmed by the sublime beauty of the country's natural setting: the Red River Delta in the north, the Mekong Delta in the south and almost the entire coastal strip are covered with brilliant green rice paddies.

 

There are some beautiful beaches along the coast, soaring mountains and some dense tropical forests in inlands.  Vietnam also offers an opportunity to see a country of traditional charm and rare beauty rapidly opening up to the outside world.  Vietnam has two World Natural Heritage sites: Halong Bay and Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.

 

Vietnam features a warm humid subtropical climate with plentiful precipitation.  It has typical tropical climate where summers are hot and humid, and winters are relatively cool and dry. Summers, lasting from May to September, are hot and humid, receiving the majority of the annual 1,680 millimetres (66.1 in) of rainfall.  The winters are short, relatively dry, and mild, while spring can bring light rains.

 

Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and the second largest city after Ho Chi Minh city. It has estimated population nearly 6.5 million (2009).  October 2010 officially mark 1000 years of the establishment of Hanoi.  On this occasion, Hanoi has been named by Frommer's travel guide as one of the world's "Top Destinations 2010".  Ho Chi Minh City also known as Saigon is the largest city in Vietnam.  The city center is situated on the banks of the Saigon River, 60 kilometers from the South China Sea.

 

Climate & Weather
Vietnam stretches over 1,800 km from north to south, with an area of 332,000 square km, Vietnam's topography varies from coastal plains to mountain ranges, therefore weather patterns in the principle cities are very different.
North: Winter lasts from November to April, with temperatures averaging 10 - 16C, fog and drizzle in January - March. Summer begins in May and lasts until October, with an average temperature of 30C, heavy rainfall and the occasional violent typhoon.
Center: Central Vietnamexperiences a transitional climate, with heavy rainfalls between November and December and dry, hot summer months. Typhoons are quite common in coastal areas between July and November.
South: Temperatures are fairly constant through the year; 25C - 30C. Seasons are determined by the rains - the dry season runs from November to April and the wet season from May to October. The hottest period is March and April.
Highland areas: In the hill resorts of Dalat (1,500 m), Buon Me Thuot and Sapa, nights are cool throughout the year, and in the winter months, October to March, it can be distinctly chilly with temperatures falling to 0C. Even in the hottest months of March and April the temperature rarely exceeds 26C.
More details on weather, please visit:http://www.wunderground.com


Customs and Formalities
All visitors to Vietnam must fill in declaration forms and show their luggage to customs officials on request.
Visitors can bring with them unlimited amounts of foreign currency, objects made of gold, silver, precious metals and gemstones or plated with silver or gold, all of which must be declared in detail on the customs forms. Commercial Video films and printed materials that are considered offensive are normally confiscated and sent to Ministry of Culture for inspection.
Goods prohibited to import: weapons, ammunition, explosives, military technical equipment, drugs, toxic chemicals, debauched and reactionary products, firecrackers of all kinds, toys with negative impacts on the dignity education, social security and safety, cigarettes beyond the stipulated quantity, etc.
Goods prohibited to export: weapons, ammunition, explosives, military technical equipment, antiques, drugs, toxic chemicals, wild animals, rare and precious animals and plants, documents related to the national security, etc.

 

What to bring
Bring as little as possible. Keep in mind that you can and will buy things in Vietnam, so do not burden yourself. If you do forget to bring any ‘essential’ items, it’s quite likely that they can be bought in Vietnam, at least in the cities.

Currency, Exchange and ATM
The local currency is the Dong (abbreviated "d" or VND). Bank notes are 100d, 200d, 500d, 1000d, 2,000d, 5,000d, 10,000d, 20,000d, 50,000d, 100,000d & 500,000d. Coins are 200d, 500d, 1000d, 2000d and 5000d.
Further details on exchange rate, please visit: http://www.vietcombank.com.vn/en/Exchange%20Rate.asp
Money and travelers cheques, particularly U.S. Dollars, can be exchanged at banks, hotels and authorized money- exchangers. It is advisable to carry U.S. Dollar bills in small denominations.
Credit cards are generally only accepted in major hotels, and in some up-market shops and restaurants in major cities. ATM facilities are readily available now in major cities

 

Heath Requirements
No actual vaccinations are officially required. Visitors are advised to check with their doctor or travel immunization clinic regarding the advisability of inoculation against typhoid, tetanus, hepatitis A & B and Malaria.
Those visitors taking medicine for certain conditions such as diabetes or heart problems should make sure that they carry these medications in their hand luggage at all times in case the main luggage should be delayed.
It is recommended that all travellers take out comprehensive Personal Travel Insurance to cover personal belongings, in case of accident or illness etc.

Domestic Flights
If flights are required in your itinerary they are in coach class, unless specified otherwise. Flight timings quoted are local and are subject to change. Domestic flights require a check-in, 1-hour prior to the flight departure.
Carry on luggage is limited to one piece plus a camera. In economy class air travel baggage allowance is 20kg per person.
We cannot be held responsible for the loss or damage to passenger’s belongings. Domestic flights are prone to last minute schedule changes and cancellation without ANY advance notice.

 

AirportTax
Airport departure tax for international flights currently is: US$ 14 from Hanoi & HoChiMinhCity; US$ 8 from Danang
The departure airport tax may be paid in local currency or in US Dollars. Children under 12 years are entitled to have half fare of adult.
Airport departure tax for domestic flights is included in the airfare.

Internet
Vietnam joined the global computer age and internet-service providers are currently operating in most of the Cities. You can access the internet through hotels, Cyber Cafés & Internet/Computer Service Centers. ADSL technology is widely used in major cities.

Language
Vietnamese is the official language of Vietnam. Learning foreign languages, particularly English, is currently popular among young people in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, Danang and other cities. Tourist guides are available for English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Japanese and Russian speakers.

 

Local Time and Working Hour
Local time is GMT + 7 hours.
Governmental agencies work Monday to Friday from 7.30amto 4.30pm(excluding one-hour lunch) and are closed Saturday and Sunday.
Banks are open Monday to Friday from 7.30amor 8am to 11.30amand from 1pmto 4pmand are closed Saturday and Sunday.
Private shops are open from 8 or 8.30amto 9 or 10pm.

Overland Travel
The road system in Vietnamis reasonable in the main urban cities. The drives through the countryside can be a wonderful sightseeing experience. However, it must be noted that the roads are narrow and some may be poorly paved when outside the main cities, and as a consequence the drives can be rough and difficult at times.
The journey timings described in your itinerary are based on the usual amount of time a particular journey will take. However, please appreciate that not all roads can be checked for their condition throughout the year.
Most cars used are manufactured locally by Toyota, Honda and Ford and are for the most part comfortable and ideally suited to local roads. Smoking is not permitted in any vehicle, under any conditions. There is ample opportunity to smoke during photographic, luncheon and sightseeing stops.
If you decide to leave the hotel and go out on your own, there are various means of transport that you may like to take such as taxis or “cyclos”. If taking a taxi or “cyclo”, insist on the meter being switched on before you begin your journey. Due to an effort to stop pollution, most “cyclos” are pedaled as opposed to motor. It is suggested that you carry the name of your destination or hotel written in local language in the event your driver does not understand English. The staff at your hotel can assist you in this regard.

 

Passport and Visa
Travellers to Vietnam are required to hold a passport valid for at least six (06) months beyond the completion of their visit and must contain a valid visa.
Visas are usually issued by the passengers’ home country (against the visa’s approval number), which require the original passport, and 2 photos in order to issue a visa stamp.
Visas can also be obtained upon arrival at Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh Cityand Danang airports (Visa on Arrival), in which case the stamping fee will be quoted separately.
Visas on Arrival can be requested via Vietnam Impressive Travel in connection with the booking of travel arrangements to Vietnam.
Hotels might reserve the right to keep travel documents overnight at the reception for registration purpose.

Food
Vietnam has abundant food supplies and an elaborate cuisine. Cooking is seen as an art and some Vietnamese dishes have achieved international fame, including such traditional dishes as noodle soup (pho), pork sausage (gio lua), spring rolls (nem ran), and fish balls (cha ca). In addition to Vietnamese food, the larger hotels also serve a wide variety of Continental and Chinese cuisine. In the smaller cities, when the hotels only have one restaurant, ordering a-la-carte may involve a slight wait, consequently it is advised that you take advantage of the large and diverse buffets available at these hotels to minimize any delay.
Never drink water from the hotel tap, no matter what category of hotel you are staying in. Bottled mineral water is available at all hotels throughout Vietnam. Do not have any ice in your drinks as this is often made from water that has not been purified.

 

Post and Telecommunications
A regular international post service is available. In addition Express Mail Service (EMS) is available to more than 50 countries worldwide with a delivery time of 2 to 10 days.
Vietnam has high international telephone charges. It is important to check the exact amount with the hotel before making a call, as hotel surcharges are often imposed.
VOIP calls which help reduce call charges (for most of International calls from any destination within Vietnam and for domestic calls between the main cities of the country) are now available as well pre-paid internet & mobile card can be bought in the major cities.
Service providers for mobile phone network are GSM of Vinaphone, MobilePhone and Viettel while CDMA are EVNTelecom and S-Phone. Numbers begin with 091, 090, 098, 095, 096

Electricity
Electricity in Vietnam mostly runs at 220 V (50 Hz), but often you will find 110V (also at 50Hz). In the south, most outlets are US-style flat pins. In the north, most outlets are the Russian-inspired round pins, which usually carry 220V. Electrical sockets are two and three-prong.

 

Shopping
Foreign visitors to Vietnam have the opportunity to buy souvenirs made of rattan, gold, silver and stone. There is a diverse range of products, from woodenwares such as wooden buttons or sindora beds to lacquer paintings, bowls and chopsticks, bamboo screens and stone tea sets. Woven tapestries, “tho cam” handbags and other handicrafts are produced by the traditional skills of the women of ethnic minorities in such rural regions in the north as Sapa, Mai Chau and Dien Bien.

Bargaining & Tipping
Bargaining is advised to do when visit Vietnam. You should ask the taxi driver or motortaxi (xe om) driver for the price of your travel distance made. The same when you go shopping. When you are surrounded by street sellers, it is better to say no and mind your way.
Tipping is widely practiced and expected
Porters : VND 5.000 – 10.000 per bag
Waiters in restaurants: 5-10% of total bill
Taxi drivers : 10% of total bill
Tour guides :
VND 40.000 per person/per day
Drivers : VND 20.000 per person/per day


All of the above information is accurate at the time of publication.

Saigon Excursions & Daily Tours
 

Private tour, daily departure
English/French speaking guide
(Indicate the Tour code when booking a Day Tour) 

 

 


In this, the largest of Vietnam’s cities, you will see the hustle and bustle of Vietnamese life everywhere, and there is something invigorating about it all. Constrasting images of the exotic and mundane abound. There are the street markets, where bargains are struck and deals are done; the pavement cafes, where stereo speakers fill the surrounding streets with a melodious thumping beat; and the sleek new cafes and pubs, where tourists chat over beer, pretzels, coffee and croissants. A young office worker manoeuvres her Honda Dream through rush-hour traffic, long hair flowing, high heel working the break pedal. The sweating Chinese businessman chats on his cellular phone, cursing his necktie in the tropical heat.

Hi Bustling Saigon – 1 day (Tour code VI-1601)
 

Although it is a big and chaotic metropolis, but this make your discovering the city are unique. Nice colonial center, with broad promenades and squares, and some French influence buildings that should not be missed. There are also many nice temples and pagodas. Another of the things visitors should not miss are its popular markets - a great place to taste the local food specialties. Our stops in this city tour inclusive Reunification Palace, War Museum, Jade Emperor Pagoda, Notre Dame Cathedral, Binh Tay Market, Thien Hau Pagoda, on the way back we visit bustling China Town, and Ben Thanh Market.

 

 

Valid from 01-Apr-2013 to 30-Sep-2014

All prices are per person

 

Single

Twin

 

Private

$110

$70

 

Seat in Coach (what's this?) basis (joint tour)

$65 per person



Inclusive
Transportation
Mineral water and wet wipe
Private English/French speaking guide
Entrance fees



Cu Chi tunnels – Cao Dai religion – 1 day (Tour code VI-1602)
 

Cao Daism is an mixture of Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism and Confucianism. In this religious, Buddha and the Christian God are believed to both exist as deities, but Cao Dai is the third, highest deity. First found by Ngo Van Chieu in 1923, by 1930 there were half a million followers and over 2 million now.

In the morning, we are drive forward Tay Ninh, to see the ornate temple of Cao Dai and attend the fantastic mid-day service when the followers fill the hall wearing colored robes, a symbol of the curious combination of the Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism. After lunch, we drive back, with stopover Cu Chi Tunnels. The trip ends after arrival in Ho Chi Minh City.

 

 

Valid from 01-Apr-2013 to 30-Sep-2014

All prices are per person

 

Single

Twin

 

Private

$165

$105

 

Seat in Coach (what's this?) basis (joint tour)

$70 per person



Inclusive
Transportation
Mineral water and wet wipe
Private English/French speaking guide
Entrance fees
Lunch at local restaurant

 

Good Morning Saigon – early morning (Tour code VI-1603)
 

Pick up at hotel and drive to the Park opposite to The New World hotel to see and to join Tai Chi with local people. After that morning exercise visit the north entrance of Ben Thanh Market to see the sellers start their business (fish, meat, vegetables, fruits, flowers).

We start to discover the Saigon behind the scenes by taking the local ferry from Bach Dang Quay across the Saigon River to Thu Thiem area for leisurely walking along small streets to observe the daily life and the morning activities of local people. Passing markets, a local school as well as many shops where there owners are preparing for the new day. Experience the two faces of Saigon, the bustling modern metropolis and the unspoiled and simple life just across the river.

07.45 hrs: Take the local ferry boat back to the Saigon pier and enjoy the famous PHO for breakfast as well a traditional Vietnamese Coffee.   Go back to hotel – morning for leisure

 

Valid from 01-Apr-2013 to 30-Sep-2014

All prices are per person

 

Single

Twin

 

Private

$100

$65

 



Inclusive
Transportation
Mineral water and wet wipe
Private English/French speaking guide
Entrance fees
Coffee, breakfast (Pho, street soup)

 

Halfday Cu Chi tunnels, Halfday Saigon – 1 day (Tour code VI-1604)
 

Drive from your hotel to Hoc Mon District to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, which is 70 kilometers North West of down town Ho Chi Minh City. The Cu Chi Tunnel system had been created long time back, from 1948 to assist Viet Minh in the combat with French. And it was continuing built over 25 years later. It was an underground city with living areas, kitchens, storage, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centers. In places, it was housed up to 10,000 people who virtually lived underground for years.... getting married, giving birth. During the American War the entire area of Cu Chi was designated a free fire zone and was heavily bombarded. From 1988, two sections of tunnels have been open for visitors. Be back at your hotel after 4 hours travel & visit
Continue to visit Thien Hau pagoda, Notre Dame Cathedral, Former  Presidential Palace, War Museum and  Ben Thanh market
Drop off at your hotel

 

Valid from 01-Apr-2013 to 30-Sep-2014

All prices are per person

 

Single

Twin

 

Private

$135

$85

 



Inclusive
Transportation
Mineral water and wet wipe
Private English/French speaking guide
Entrance fees

 


Halfday Cu Chi tunnels - 1/2 day (Tour code VI-1605)
 

Drive from your hotel in Saigon to Hoc Mon District to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, which is 70 kilometers North West of down town Ho Chi Minh City. The Cu Chi Tunnel system had been created long time back, from 1948 to assist Viet Minh in the combat with French. And it was continuing built over 25 years later. It was an underground city with living areas, kitchens, storage, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centers. In places, it was housed up to 10,000 people who virtually lived underground for years.... getting married, giving birth. During the American War the entire area of Cu Chi was designated a free fire zone and was heavily bombarded. From 1988, two sections of tunnels have been open for visitors.
Be back at your hotel after 4 hours travel & visit

Optional extra visit if you have a wish and time permits: Located close to the Cu Chi Tunnels is the Wildlife at Risk (WAR) rescue centre. The centre is the first multi-species wildlife hospital and holding facility in southern Vietnam and its main purpose is to help stop the endangered wildlife trade in Vietnam. You'll be taken on a guided tour through the centre where educational displays and information about the country's biodiversity can be seen as well as some of the animals themselves (though no contact with the animals will be made).

 

Valid from 01-Apr-2013 to 30-Sep-2014

All prices are per person

 

Single

Twin

 

Private

$105

$65

 

Inclusive
Transportation by private car with air-conditioned
Mineral water and wet wipe
Private English/French speaking guide
Entrance fees



 
A:Available - This tour is available for booking.
R:On Request - This tour is on request only
All prices are per person.
If you are interested, please contact your local agent to make the booking or alternatively email us at reservations@toursite.com.au