Useful information for travel in Vietnam and Cambodia
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 and Cambodia. Please check the list of countries which need visa to Vietnam and Cambodia 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). Cambodia visa can be issued upon arrival at the airport or border gate. 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 or Cambodia.
Vietnam – The Vietnamese Dong is the local currency.
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.
Cambodia – The Cambodian Riel is the local currency.
In tourist areas U.S. currency in widely accepted in cities. It is best to carry both Cambodian and U.S. currency in small denominations. Credit cards can generally be used at hotels, but smaller business may not accept them or may charge a service fee for their use. It is recommended to carry cash in small denominations in local currency or in US $1 bills to make tipping and minor expenses easier. It is recommended to carry new or like new banknotes as older, torn or poor condition notes may not be accepted locally.
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.
While it is generally safe to eat fully cooked meats and vegetables, care should be taken to avoid undercooked meat and uncooked fruits and vegetables. Because tap water is not potable, visitors should only drink bottled water or water that has been boiled and filtered. Avoid ice, as it is usually made from tap water.
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.
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. In Cambodia – The voltage used is 230 volts. 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.
- Vietnam – Southern Vietnam has two seasons, the wet season from May to November and the dry season from December to April. Northern regions also have two seasons with cool and damp conditions from November to April and generally hot, dry conditions from May through October. Bring appropriate clothing depending on the season during which you are traveling. Comfortable walking shoes, clothes you can layer and an all-weather jacket are recommended. Some religious sites may require modest dress to enter (no shorts, short skirts, or sleeveless tops).
- Cambodia – Cambodia has three seasons. The dry season is from November to March. The hot season is from March to June. The wet season is from July to October. Comfortable walking shoes, clothes you can layer and an all-weather jacket are recommended. A hat and sunscreen lotion are especially recommended during the hot season. Some religious sites may require modest dress to enter (no shorts, short skirts, or sleeveless tops).