Below are some of the most frequently asked questions, asked by our clients. We also know that everyone has different requirements, so don’t be shy – if you have a question that we haven’t covered, just fill out the form on this page and we’ll give you a straight and honest answer – whatever the question!
Understood – and that is a concern that affects us all. We now know FLEXIBILITY is the key.
We here at VOT looked carefully at this and have changed our booking policy so that costs for changes and cancellations are minimal.
Our deposit terms are now just US$100 per person to secure a tour and the balance is due 35 days prior to arrival.
But that’s not all – you can change your date up to 10 days prior to arrival WITHOUT PENALTY. We will rebook you for any date in the same travel season for up to 12 months in the future.
We’ve taken a holistic approach because we know that things won’t really be the same again – perhaps for ever.
So we’ve looked at all of our business activity to see where we could enhance your experience and give you the confidence in this new era….
We’ve audited all the hotels we use and ensure that individual properties are not only well-managed, but also have defined long-term policies in place for health and safety.
We’ve audited the transport companies we work with, again so that we’re confident that they have implemented health-related procedures for cleanliness (outside and especially inside) their vehicles. Hand-sanitizer is of course a must now on all vehicles.
We’ve looked carefully at our activities and itinerary ideas. We’ve always been into supporting local initatives and community projects. These are by their nature not ‘touristic’ and therefore unlikely to have crowds of people. You can feel safe in your own ‘family and friends’ bubble. That’s not to say you’ll miss out on ‘must-see’ locations and sights – but we might do these earlier or later in the day, when crowds are fewer. We’ll reduce the amount of indoor markets and especially wet markets.
In a nutshell – it’s a tour exclusively for you and your party (eg couples, friends, family etc). We detail and plan this with you so that you can enjoy the complete tour, that is designed to suit your travel style, wants and needs.
You have your own guides and private transport to visit places and experience things at your own pace. It’s more personal and enjoyable for all.
We include any internal flights that are part of the itinerary if they are required. For international flights (ie from your home country), experience tells us that these are almost always lower cost, when booked in your country of departure.
We do have good knowledge of all international routes and regional hubs, so will always be happy to make recommendations on the best flights.
TIP: Booking ‘multi-city’ (or open-jaw as the industry calls it). is normally no more expensive than a point-to-point round trip ticket. This allows to to fly into say Hanoi and return from say Ho Chi Minh City – therefore saving the time and cost of returning to Hanoi.
Almost certainly YES !!
The first thing to know that there is no ‘visa on arrival’ service. Depending on your nationality, you might be allowed to visit visa-free for a couple of weeks or so.
Some nationalities may also apply for e-visas avaiable direct from the Vietnamese government.
There are some exceptions though, which are mainly for regional neighboring countries (ASEAN) that are also visa-free.
The rules are liable to change and non-compliance will most likely result in you being denied boarding in your own country, or refused entry on arrival.
Our Hints and Tips guide shows the current policy for each nationality. Apply for it from our home page or email us and we’ll send you details.
Whatever the time of day or night that you arrive, you will have your own vehicle with driver and guide to meet you. Your guide will generally be waiting at the public meeting point at your arrival terminal. The guide will have a ‘welcome’ sigh with your name printed on it.
We’ll advise you prior of the guide’s name and mobile contact number prior to you leaving home.
Our office will also check your inbound flight details, so that we’re aware of any delay – or indeed, early arrival, so that your welcome to Vietnam is stress-free and easy.
The same princple applies if you are arriving by ship or by road.
No you don’t – we include admission fees to all listed sites in your itinerary.
Of course, there may be a circumstance you see somewhere you’d like to visit that wasn’t on your itinerary. In this case your guide will let you know about available time and any admission fees that would have to be paid on entry.
We’ll discuss meals with you prior to you booking. Some people want to do their ‘own thing’ others like to have all (or most) meals included. We’re fine with whatever you prefer.
WE THINK – a good combination is to have breakfast included at your hotel – this is standard for us. For lunch, pay-as-you-go can be a good thing for most days, so that you can decide on a meal – or just maybe snacks along the way. Evening dinners are your own choice (unless on our amazing street-food trips). We – and our guides, can always make recommendations for you.
This is a great question actually!
When planning a trip with you – we ask how you like to do things. Some people are on the go all day, others like a few hours and then time to themselves. Again, we’re flexible and will advise depening on your preference and the actual locations.
OUR TIP: The heat and humidity can be tiring. Try and start early and back to your hotel late morning for some pool-time and lunch etc. Then we’ll meet you again mid-afternoon and have an additional 2 or 3 hours. In this way you miss the hottest part of the day.
Again, because your tour is private – you’re not fixed to a timetable, as when in a big group. So it’s all at your pace and preference.
Vietnam has 3 climate zones (north, central and south) and differing seasons.
If you’re visiting a single region it’ll be easy for us to advise on what to expect, for the time of year. If you’re visiting the whole country – as we say, there will always be great weather somewhere along the way!
Of course things are become less predictable in these days of climenat change, so nothing is precice anymore.