Vietnam Family Holiday Comfort

13 Days from $1,695

START: Hanoi

FINISH: Ho Chi Minh City

AGES: Over 5

THEME: Family

Overviewicon readmoreicon minus

Description

With its friendly locals, delicious food and incredible scenery, Vietnam is the ideal place for a family adventure. Stroll the winding streets of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, laugh yourself silly at the water puppet theatre at Hoan Kiem and see ancient temples and pagodas alongside modern houses from a cyclo. Barter with stallholders at a floating market, explore the Forbidden Purple City and eat all the pho you can handle. With 13 days to adventure from the towering limestone karsts of Halong Bay to the frenetic markets of Ho Chi Minh City, you and your gang will get all the highlights of vivacious Vietnam in one neat package.

Start: Hanoi

Finish: Ho Chi Minh City

Ages: Over 5

Theme: Family

Accommodation: Hotel (9 nights), Overnight boat (1 night), Overnight sleeper train (1 night), Homestay (1 night)

Destination: Ho Chi Minh City

Highlights

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A cyclo tour of Hanoi is an excellent introduction to bustling inner-city Vietnam, and the novelty of travelling on these three-wheeled wonders is a thrill for all ages.
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There’s a perfect balance of included activities and free time, which is ideal in atmospheric destinations like Hoi An. Tailored threads, cooking class or beach day? Your choice.
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Halong Bay is more than an amazing and unique natural wonder – it's a proper escape from the world around you. Sleep under the stars on a comfortable cruise boat and enjoy a sumptuous lunch and dinner on board.
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By dining at KOTO in Hanoi, you and your family will not only feast on delicious northern specialties, you'll be supporting a cause that helps support disadvantaged youth with careers in hospitality.
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Gain a real insight into village living with a special homestay in the Mekong Delta. You’ll access the homestay by water, and will be learning about daily life and laughing with the locals in no time.

Itineraryicon readmoreicon minus

icon check Day 1 : Hanoi

Xin chao! Welcome to Vietnam. You will be transferred from the airport to your hotel, and your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 5pm. Afterwards, enjoy a welcome dinner with your fellow families. Hanoi is famous for its beautiful lakes, shaded boulevards, verdant public parks and thriving Old Quarter. The latter is a veritable architectural museum piece that feels like a 1930s provincial French town – a great place to explore today if you have time.

icon check Day 2 : Hanoi

Embark on a full-day tour of the city. You will visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Museum, and the tranquil Temple of Literature – an oasis of calm in the heart of town. Also head to the Museum of Ethnology to learn more about the diverse heritage of Vietnam. Enjoy some lunch at the KOTO restaurant – an excellent establishment and long-time friend of Intrepid which lives by the philosophy of 'know one, teach one'. It supports underprivileged local youth by giving them a chance at making a career in hospitality. In the evening, sit down to a traditional water puppet performance. This northern tradition, dating back nearly a thousand years, is performed alongside traditional Vietnamese music that employs drums, wooden bells, horns and bamboo flutes.

icon check Day 3 : Halong Bay

Travel by minibus to the spectacular World Heritage-listed site of Halong Bay (approximately 4 hours). The bay is a breathtaking secluded harbour with some 2000 limestone islands jutting out of the waters of the Bac Bo Gulf. Board your private boat and cruise among the dramatic limestone peaks. There's an opportunity to swim in the famous Vietnam East Sea and explore caves filled with stunning stalactites and stalagmites. Spend a peaceful night on board, beneath a sky alive with stars.

icon check Day 4 : Hue

Enjoy breakfast on the boat this morning and perhaps head out for an optional early morning kayak. Return to Hanoi by bus (approximately 3.5 hours). From there you will board an overnight train bound for Hue. As the former imperial capital of Vietnam, Hue holds the treasures of Vietnam's royal past. It's a curious mix of bustling streets and tranquil settings. Although conditions are basic on your train journey, overnight trains are a classic South East Asian experience and the best way to travel long distances with the locals. Lie back and enjoy the ride! Most trains have a dining carriage serving simple food, but it's a great idea to stock up on fresh bread, cheese and fruit before you head off.

icon check Day 5 : Hue

As the former imperial capital of Vietnam, Hue holds the treasures of Vietnam's royal past. It's a curious mix of bustling streets and tranquil settings. As well as the Imperial Citadel, you will visit the Forbidden Purple City, which was almost totally destroyed during the American War's Tet Offensive. The gaping holes left by bombs give an idea of the destruction wreaked upon the country during the war. Thankfully the ruins are now World Heritage protected and being restored.

icon check Day 6 : Hue

Enjoy a dragon boat cruise along the Perfume River to visit the royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc. The tomb is set amongst 12 hectares of parkland that has been carefully decorated with frangipani and pine trees, tranquil lakes and impressive architecture – much of which survived the ravages of time and war. While you're here, take the opportunity to learn a little more about this figure who opposed the French involvement in Vietnam. You can also try your hand at making incense sticks and see how Hue’s unique conical ‘poem’ hat is made from palm leaves. You will also visit Thien Mu Pagoda, considered by many to be the unofficial symbol of Hue. It has been an active Buddhist site since 1601.

icon check Day 7 : Hoi An

Travelling by bus (approximately 4 hours), head south through coastal rice paddies before traversing the spectacular Hai Van Pass. You'll all be treated to some stunning mountain scenery en route. After a brief visit to the beautiful China Beach, arrive at Hoi An. Recently declared a World Heritage site, Hoi An and its delicate beauty is being restored and preserved. Known as Faifo to early Western traders, it was one of South East Asia's major international ports during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Today, parts of it look exactly as they did more than a century ago – it's the sort of place that grows on you the more you explore it.

icon check Day 8 : Hoi An

After breakfast, head out to spend the morning at Cua Dai beach. This beach is known for its stunning palm-fringed white sand and views of the Cham islands. Transfer back to town for lunch, before spending the afternoon learning how to make wonton cake. This hands-on experience is one the whole family will enjoy!

icon check Day 9 : HoI An

The rest of your time is left free to relax in this beautiful area. You could take a taxi or make the easy five-kilometre bicycle ride through the rice paddies and shrimp ponds to Cua Dai beach. Alternatively, Hoi An is one of the best places to shop for souvenirs, especially if you’re looking for t-shirts, paintings or ceramics. For those interested in getting clothes tailored, this is definitely the place to shop. You might also like to speak to your leader about arranging a cooking lesson and learn about the many layers of fresh herbs and flavours that can be found in Vietnam's fresh and tasty cuisine.

icon check Day 10 : Ho Chi Minh City

Take a short flight to Ho Chi Minh City (approximately 1 hour). Formerly known as Saigon, this bustling metropolis is full of vibrant sights and sounds; a fascinating blend of old and new. Check out Ben Thanh Market and feast on a delicious lunch of local street food, and take an orientation walk. Afterwards, you're free to explore the city as you please. Your leader will have plenty of interesting ideas for you and your family. Consider scooting off on cyclos to Cholon, the Chinatown area of Ho Chi Minh City, or for a bit of temple-hopping. Otherwise, you could visit the Vietnamese version of a department store for some serious shopping.

icon check Day 11 : Mekong Delta

Head down to the Mekong Delta and visit unexplored Ben Tre where coconut is everything and anything. The journey to Ben Tre is south by private bus (approximately 2.5 hours). The fertile delta is famous for its abundant harvests of tropical fruits and flowers. On arrival, board your private boat and cruise along the maze of waterways to visit some local cottage industries. This is a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at a different part of the local economy. Then head to your overnight homestay by the water. Be invited into a family home for a true local experience – a chance to see daily life from the inside. You'll be sleeping on simple camp beds in dorm-style rooms, with all meals included. Bedding and mosquito nets are provided.

icon check Day 12 : Ho Chi Minh City

Rise early, as the locals do here on the delta. Enjoy a leisurely morning before heading back to Ho Chi Minh City on the bus. On arrival, you'll have free time to further explore the city at your own pace. This is an opportunity to do anything you might have missed the first time around. District 1 is a great place to walk around with the family. If you've fallen in love with Vietnamese food, sample some of the culinary delights you haven't got around to yet – perhaps some grilled cuttlefish or, for the adventurous, street-barbecued sea snails.

icon check Day 13 : Ho Chi Minh City

There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time, provided you comply with the hotel’s internal check-out policies.

What's Included?icon readmoreicon minus

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Meals

11 Breakfasts, 4 Dinners
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Transport

Boat, Minibus, Overnight sleeper train, Plane, Private Bus
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Accommodation

Hotel (9 nights), Overnight boat (1 night), Overnight sleeper train (1 night), Homestay (1 night)
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Included Activities

  • Mekong Delta - Local market visit

Important Detailsicon readmoreicon minus

icon readmoreicon minusJoining Point

May de Ville City Centre Hotel

24 Han Thuyen. Hai Ba Trung

Ba Dinh District

Hanoi

VIETNAM

Phone: +844 22229988

Fax: +844 422229956

icon readmoreicon minusFinishing Point

Huong Sen Hotel

66-70 Dong Khoi Street

District 1

Ho Chi Minh City

VIETNAM

Phone: +84 (98) 3829 1415

icon readmoreicon minusPhysical preparation

These trips are setup to involve and include all the family so no real physical preparation is necessary. The trips all have some degree of physical activity but nothing that is too strenuous. Please check the physical rating on the trip notes and if you need further explanation please contact one of our sales consultants who will provide you with more detailed information.

icon readmoreicon minusImportant information

Please note that these trips are for adults and children travelling together and there must be at least one child under 18 with you.

Minimum age for children on this trip is 5 years old.

A discount of 10% applies on this trip to children 17 years and under at time of travel.

A single supplement is available on this trip with exception of Day 3 (Halong Bay), Day 4 (Overnight Train) and Day 11 (Homestay).

icon readmoreicon minusGroup leader

All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

icon readmoreicon minusSafety

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safety-field

WATER SAFETY: Take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It is expected that anyone taking part in water activities are able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water.

TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD: Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY: While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

icon readmoreicon minusCommunications

With the modern world you may want to bring along tablets of smartphones for the children to document their adventure - there are a wide variety of apps out there which we suggest downloading before you depart. There will be opportunities to charge ( just make sure you bring the correct adapter) and there will be wi-fi available on your trip, although it will probably not be at the speeds you are used to at home and it won't be available everywhere.

icon readmoreicon minusVisas

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

VIETNAM VISA:

Most nationalities are required to obtain a tourist visa in advance to travel to Vietnam.

An eVisa is available for some nationalities including passport holders from Australia (from 2018), France, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States of America, valid for a single entry of a maximum of 30 days stay in Vietnam. For information on obtaining an eVisa visit the immigration website: https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/

Evisas take up to 3 days to be processed. You will need a clear electronic copy of your passport data page and passport photo, and to make a non-refundable payment as outlined on the immigration website.

Keep the customs and immigration form you receive on arrival, as you need it to complete exit formalities on departure.

Some nationalities are exempt from visas for a stay of a maximum of 15 days, including British, German, French, Spanish and Italian citizens travelling to Vietnam (for all purposes). This exemption period is currently effective until 30 June 2021, and is based upon meeting all conditions prescribed by Vietnamese laws. If you are planning on staying in Vietnam for longer than 15 days you will need to obtain a visa extension in advance (please contact your relevant Consulate or Embassy). Please also check requirements if you plan to re-enter Vietnam.

If you are obtaining a tourist visa in your passport from an embassy or consulate, you should allow 3 weeks for processing. The cost is approximately US$60 to US$100. Please check with your embassy or consulate for further requirements.

If your visa application asks for a point of contact, please write: Intrepid Vietnam 5th floor HiPT Building, 152 Thuy Khue Street, Thuy Khue, Tay Ho, Hanoi, Ph +84 4 3715 0996.

Most nationalities do not require a letter of invitation for Vietnam but if you do need one, please contact your sales agent for more information.

icon readmoreicon minusWhy we love it

A cyclo tour of Hanoi is an excellent introduction to bustling inner-city Vietnam, and the novelty of travelling on these three-wheeled wonders is a thrill for all ages.

There’s a perfect balance of included activities and free time, which is ideal in atmospheric destinations like Hoi An. Tailored threads, cooking class or beach day? Your choice.

Halong Bay is more than an amazing and unique natural wonder – it's a proper escape from the world around you. Sleep under the stars on a comfortable cruise boat and enjoy a sumptuous lunch and dinner on board.

By dining at KOTO in Hanoi, you and your family will not only feast on delicious northern specialties, you'll be supporting a cause that helps support disadvantaged youth with careers in hospitality.

Gain a real insight into village living with a special homestay in the Mekong Delta. You’ll access the homestay by water, and will be learning about daily life and laughing with the locals in no time.

icon readmoreicon minusIs this trip right for you

This is Vietnam, so days are hot and sticky, and nights can get quite cool! Be sure to wear layers, use adequate sun protection and drink plenty of water.

You will visit a number of temples on this trip, and it's important to respect the local custom. Arms and knees should be covered. A light scarf is a good idea for covering shoulders and arms when it’s hot.

Be prepared for basic shared facilities at your Mekong Delta homestay (Day 11). The lack of creature comforts is, of course, a small price to pay for such an authentic local experience.

Your overnight train journey from Hanoi to Hue (Day 4) is quite long. The upside is, you'll wake up in a thrilling new destination and experience travelling like a local. While bedding is supplied some families opt to bring their own sleep sheets.

icon readmoreicon minusHealth

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

Kids bellies are delicate and standards of hygiene you may experience while travelling in this region can be less than what you are accustomed to at home. There are a few simple precautions you can take that will keep the family travelling in good health.

DRINKING WATER:

Make sure you always travel with plenty of water so you do not risk dehydration.

FOOD:

With all the exotic tastes available it would be a shame to avoid this great experience of trying new foods for the first time- both kids and parents! In most cases food is fresh and tasty and perfectly fine to eat, however it can contain ingredients that you are not used to. Any change in diet (no matter where in the world you travel) can result in an upset stomach. Usually this is the only side-effect and it can last a few days. We don´t want you to miss out savouring new flavours, but be wary of what you choose to eat - especially what your kids eat.

HYGIENE:

Keep your hands clean- and the kids'. It is important to remember to do this before eating especially if you will be eating with your hands as may be the custom. Antiseptic wipes or antiseptic hand gel (which you can use without water) are fabulous inventions - made with travelling families in mind.

CONTACT WITH ANIMALS:

In new and exciting destinations we often come across different animals such as camels, donkeys and elephants. There are also a lot of stray cats and dogs in some destinations. Keep an eye on children in these situations as aggravated animals can bite and may transmit diseases including rabies.

DENGUE FEVER:

Rare instances of dengue fever have been reported in this region. This virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. There is no vaccination against it, but there are preventative measures that you can take such as wearing long clothing and always using repellent. Please note that this mosquito is most active during daylight hours however care should be taken at all times.

icon readmoreicon minusFood and dietary requirements

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

icon readmoreicon minusMoney matters

SPENDING MONEY:

When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document).

VIETNAM:

The official currency of Vietnam is Dong (VND).

US dollars are also accepted for some payments. It is almost impossible to change VND into US dollars without a flight ticket showing your onward destination.

Only change money at official money exchange counters with a clear sign showing this status. Illegal exchange places like gold shops may offer a higher rate you may risk losing your money.

Credit cards are becoming more widely accepted, but outside main centres you may find cash the only acceptable currency. It may be difficult to cash travellers’ cheques.

ATMs are widely available in major cities and tourist areas.

You can have funds transferred to Vietnam via international money transfer companies like Western Union or Moneygram.

CONTINGENCY FUNDS:

We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved.

The recommended amounts are listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers, however the local currency is needed in the countries you are visiting.

TIPPING

If you're happy with the services provided, a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. Carrying small notes of local currency will make tipping easier. It is best to avoid tipping with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes, as this can be regarded as an insult.

OPTIONAL TIPPING KITTY

On Day 1 your tour leader will discuss with you the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips for drivers, local guides, and hotel staff (excludes restaurant tips). The leader will keep a running record of all monies spent which can be checked at any time, and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This is often the easiest way to avoid the hassles of needing small change and knowing when and what is an appropriate amount to tip. Participation in this kitty is at your own discretion, and you are welcome to manage your own tipping separately if you prefer. Please note the tipping kitty excludes tips for your tour leader.

Optional tipping kitty for this trip: USD 25 per person (can be paid in VND).

YOUR TOUR LEADER

You may consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline US$2-US$4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

DEPARTURE TAX

All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.

VIETNAM:

You can use your credit/debit card in ATMs, which are common throughout Vietnam. These machines dispense cash in VND (Vietnamese dong). Credit/debit cards aren’t accepted for small payments in Vietnam so please ensure you have VND cash to cover daily expenses. Clean banknotes in small denominations are most useful. There is no need to bring lots of cash with you unless you prefer not to use ATMs. You can obtain VND cash prior to arriving in Vietnam, through normal outlets such as banks and currency exchange offices. 

icon readmoreicon minusWhat to take

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage, although you won't be required to walk long distances with it (max 30 minutes). Many travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are also convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips. Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:

https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list

WATER BOTTLE: Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.

icon readmoreicon minusClimate and seasonal

TET (20-24 January 2020, 11-16 February 2021):

Tet is Vietnam’s New Year festival which takes place in late January/early February based on the lunar calendar and is the most important celebration of the year. While this can be a fascinating time to be in Vietnam, you do need to be prepared for some businesses to be closed, tourist sites to be very busy and for transport to be packed as many Vietnamese are travelling around the country. Although we do our best to run trips during Tet as per the scheduled itinerary, it is likely that there will be some changes to transport, accommodation or order of destinations visited. Due to the high demand on tickets at this time, flights and overnight trains may on occasion need to be replaced with day buses. We will aim to communicate any known changes prior to your departure.

WET SEASON:

During the rainy months (approx. June to October), our mode of transport can be changed at short notice due to weather conditions.

VISA UPDATE:

Effective from 1st July 2015 - 30 June 2016 exempt visa nationalities will also include British, German, French, Spanish and Italian citizens travelling to Viet Nam (for all purposes) for a period of up to 15 days, and on the basis of meeting all conditions prescribed by Vietnamese laws. If you are planning on staying in Vietnam for longer than 15 days you will need to obtain a visa extension in advance (please contact your relevant Consulate or Embassy).

http://vietnamembassy.org.uk/index.php?action=p&ct=Notice2

icon readmoreicon minusA couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden.

Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption.

The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips.

By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund.

If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

icon readmoreicon minusFeedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

icon readmoreicon minusEmergency contact

For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist. For further contact details please use the following page:

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

GENERAL ISSUES ON YOUR TRIP

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

Vietnam Ops: +84 903 117 770

icon readmoreicon minusResponsible travel

Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers and staff are trained on these principles, and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel.

Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting:

https://www.intrepidtravel.com/responsible-travel

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative and you should dress accordingly. To respect the local culture and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. As a guideline, shoulders and knees at the minimum (and everything in between including midriff and cleavage) should be covered at all times. Wearing shorts and singlet tops is not appropriate and may well restrict your entry into sites of a religious nature, family homes, and will limit your local interaction opportunities in general. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly warm climate.

Intrepid and Playground Ideas.

Playground ideas was started in response for a worldwide need for more playgrounds. Using largely locally found materials means these playgrounds are cheap and can be put together by local people. Children provided with the opportunity for stimulating play in early childhood have improved ability and desire to learn leading to long term outcomes such as higher rates of employment and increased wages. Research has proven play interventions to be powerful, cost effective poverty reduction tools with sustained impact.

We are also proud to have Playground Ideas as a partner of The Intrepid Foundation, where our financial support will go directly towards building playgrounds. Every donation to The Intrepid Foundation from our travellers is matched by us dollar for dollar. To find out more or to make a donation, visit The Intrepid Foundation website https://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/playground-ideas

icon readmoreicon minusAccommodation notes

GENERAL ROOMING CONFIGURATIONS:

Family of two - All family groupings of two will be put into a twin room.

Family of three - Wherever possible we will put you in a triple room. Please be aware that in some places triple rooms are in short supply. This means that, in practice, a triple room will often simply be a twin room with a mattress on the floor or a further bed squashed in. Where it is impossible to provide a triple room, you will have to decide which of your party takes the single room.

Family of four or more - You will most likely stay in two twin rooms. If and wherever possible we will aim put you in a quadruple room. Whilst we will do our very best to ensure that families are roomed close together (in some cases, we can arrange adjoining rooms), we can’t guarantee this. Most family holidays occur during peak season and we sometimes have little to no control over where you will be put. You need to come prepared for this.

Accommodation is clean and simple. You'll mainly stay in small, locally-run, 2-3 star hotels and guesthouses, which reflect the character of the area,generally these will be a twin room with private facilities. Sometimes you'll stay in larger, more comfortable hotels or occasionally rustic accommodation with basic facilities. We use a variety of accommodation on most trips; chosen for their value for money, location and atmosphere. We also try and incorporate unique accommodation experiences, such as a night with a local tribe, or sleeping under the stars in the desert.

icon readmoreicon minusTravel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

icon readmoreicon minusYour fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

icon readmoreicon minusItinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES:

Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:

A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and may be on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist.

Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:

A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only and are subject to availabilities. For our families we have priced an all inclusive package including entrance fees, transport and local guide where relevant to assist you with budgeting the exact amount required on tour. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. The optional activities listed in your itinerary are activities that are available to you as a guideline and have been checked locally.

The decision to partake in any activity not listed above is entirely at your own discretion and risk. If you do have any complaint about or problem with, any such optional activity your claim should be directed to the activity provider and not to Intrepid Travel.

icon readmoreicon minusAccommodation

Hotel (9 nights),Overnight boat (1 night),Overnight sleeper train (1 night),Homestay (1 night)

Kenya Safari!

Win a Classic African Adventure Tour to Kenya Overland Safari. Every NOVICA product purchased through the end of the year qualifies as an entry. Let the journey begin!
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