Useful information for travel in Vietnam
What’s the difference between 3, 4, and 5 -star hotels?
We usually arrange centrally-located and Western-standard hotels. Five-star hotels are usually palatial with huge lobbies and comfortable rooms, their standards not quite matching the best of Paris or New York, but very close. Four-star hotels have quality facilities, but not as luxurious as five-star hotels. Three-star hotels meet the needs of most Westerners, but breakfasts have less choice. We also recommend some courtyard hotels or Vietnamese-style hotels with local features and architecture. These hotels have a good ranking, or positive feedback from our customers, and TripAdvisor. Usually, hotels in big cities, small cities, and rural areas are a bit different, even if they have the same star level. We try to use the best available hotel in each place.
Passport & Visa Requirements
You may be required for visa to Vietnam. Please check the list of countries which need visa to Vietnam in this links: Who need visa to Vietnam? Vietnam Visa is issued by Vietnam Embassy in your country or “Visa on arrival”. Travel Sense Asia will offer free visa to Vietnam for you (except some difficult countries). You will need one clear page (per visa) in a full passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your departure from Vietnam.
As currency exchange rates in Vietnam fluctuate, we suggest you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com or www.vietcombank.com In 2015 the USD & VND has been around 22.500VND per USD. There are many ATM machines that accept both Visa and Master card, but these are limited to cities. We also recommend the use of cash and travelers checks in USD currency. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops, but they may charge a 2–4% transaction fee.
It is customary to tip service providers in the travel industry in Asia, depending on the service. Tipping is expected — though not compulsory — and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Recommendations for tipping drivers (3 USD per person per day as a guideline) and local guides (8 USD per person per day as a guideline) would depend on the quality and length of the service. In additionally, you will sometimes use rolling boat, cyclo riding, porter which you should give a small tip to these local people.
Eating is an important part of your Vietnam experience. Generally, breakfasts are included in the itinerary and offered by hotels. Travel Sense Asia recommend local Vietnam restaurants that are popular with local people for lunch. You can order dishes with the help of your guide. We usually leave dinner for your own choice — Western food can be found in most large cities. If you are vegetarian or you are looking for e.g. halal food, please feel free to inform your travel advisor, who can arrange a restaurant to fit your needs.
We use comfortable sedans or vans with air-conditioning. The comfort and safety of our customers is of utmost importance, so we ensure that all of the vehicles that we use are well maintained and always very clean. Our drivers take pride in their vehicles. Our car and van are always available space for a comfortable trip. Luggage – All clients are limited to two items of luggage each; a suitcase with a maximum weight of 20kg and one piece of hand luggage with a maximum weight of 7kg. It is essential that your luggage is lockable. Please note that authorities will only allow bottles onto the aircraft if they have been checked in as main baggage. Bottles in hand luggage may be confiscated.
What are train conditions like in Vietnam?
A soft sleeper is recommended for overnight and long-distance travel. Each soft sleeper compartment is enclosed, and contains four bunks, two on each side. The bunks are wider and more comfortable than hard sleepers, with decent bedding. Soft sleeper compartments may vary between trains. For route Hanoi – Laocai – Hanoi, it also has VIP cabin with 2 soft sleeper beds, please make quest if you prefer a private cabin. You may have both over-head storage and under-bed storage, or just under-bed storage. Fastest train is about 70kph. The railways is small here and it’s not as comfortable as train in developed countries.
In Vietnam the standard voltage is 220 V. The standard frequency is 50 Hz. The power sockets that are used are of type A / C / G. Below you find pictures of these power sockets and corresponding plugs. And we provide more information about the voltage and frequency. Climate – You will find a complete packing list and a helpful climate chart in the ‘Suggested Packing List’, which is included in the pre-departure information link sent within your deposit documentation. Seasonal weather patterns can be quite unpredictable. Up to the minute information on worldwide weather can be found on www.weather.com.