Is there a dress code for entering the temples and other religious sites?
Yes, the dress code is seen as a show of respect to the culture, temple and monks that often live in the temples. Men should wear long pants and no cut-off sleeves. Women should wear trousers, a long skirt, or dress that extends fully below the knees and covers their shoulders - the knees should be fully covered. Tank tops and low cut shirts should also be avoided by both genders.
Will I have access to the internet?
Yes, all of the accommodation on our tour offers wi-fi as well as most cafes and restaurants. You also have the option to purchase a 3G sim card for about £7 ($10USD) upon arrival.
This tour includes food, transport and trips yet the price is still cheap! Why?
We have spent more than two years travelling Vietnam in order to find you the best possible experience at the absolute lowest price! We also sell our tour directly to you through our website, not through a travel agency, which cuts out a major expense incurred by other tour companies.
Do I need travel insurance for the tour?
Yes! We ask that you get travel insurance for your time with us on tour. Things happen and it is always best to err on the side of caution. There are dozens of websites to use but one we suggest is www.insureandgo.com. Many banks also provide travel insurance and you should contact your bank to check if this is available with your account.
Do many people travel to Vietnam alone?
Yes, many travellers—both male and female—travel alone throughout Vietnam and Southeast Asia. Upon arrival, we will pick you up from the airport, you will meet your travel mates and the adventure begins.
Do I need any vaccinations?
Yes, please arrange an appointment with your local physician and explain your travel plans. Most hospitals have travel clinics with helpful information and vaccinations on site. We suggest doing this well before your trip is to begin to ensure there are no unexpected waiting periods during this process! Please visit here for more information: CDC
Can I wash my clothes during the tour?
Yes, please! All accommodation aside from the homestay offers the chance to do your washing at very reasonable prices. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even go for the bucket wash - the price is right.
Can I contact other people who have booked onto the same tour as me?
Of course! We encourage everyone to talk over our social networks. You can find a list of them at the bottom of this page. If you’ve joined a tour, we will send you an invite to a dedicated Facebook group made for your tour a few weeks before it starts. Your tour guide and a tour manager will also be in the group to answer any questions you may have.
How much spending money should I bring?
Not much is needed! We suggest at least £10 GBP / $15 USD (or equivalent) for spending money each day. The non-included meals are very cheap in Vietnam and all of your excursions, transport, and accommodation is included in the cost of the tour. If you plan to bring home a lot of gifts for friends or family (or yourself) or like a big night out then we suggest budgeting a bit more than the amounts listed above. You can get away with spending even less than this if you are on a tight budget but this average seems to work best for most group members.
Should I bring cash to exchange or are there ATMs?
Both! There are ATM machines throughout the tour in nearly every location we visit. There is usually a currency exchange fee and most banks will charge a processing fee. For this reason, we suggest withdrawing however much you feel you will need on tour (explained above) when using the machines. The more you use the ATMs the more fees you will pay. Vietnam has a cap on most withdrawals so we suggest using ANZ Bank Machines as they allow withdrawals of up to 5M VND per transaction. For currency exchange, there are kiosks throughout the airport when you land and also opportunities in Hanoi once you arrive at the hotel. These kiosks accept all major currencies from Western countries. You can also exchange at home before you arrive but the exchange fee is usually higher. The cheaper option is to use an ATM card but currency exchange is also readily available. Just make sure to let your bank know you plan to travel abroad so they do not lock your account when they see a sudden overseas withdrawal.
Are there any age restrictions for this tour?
We have a minimum age requirement of 18 years old to join the tour. Group members aged 16-17 years old are welcome to join the tour but only with a family member that will act as their guardian whilst on tour. Aside from that, no age requirements at all! While our target age is 18-35, we have had many 35+ year old group members join us on tour. It is more about mindset than anything else so if you are looking for a backpacking experience, with backpacker style accommodation and expectations for transportation and evening activities (always optional), then we invite you to join us for an adventure.
Daily Itinerary & Trips
Does it matter if I arrive before my starting date?
No problem at all - just make sure to arrive at the hotel for the starting date of the tour! We can arrange early night’s accommodation at the hotel and airport transfer or provide easy-to-use directions for getting from the airport in Hanoi to the Old Quarter - including our hotel - where most of the accommodation is located.
What happens once the tour is completed?
We will take you to the airport in Ho Chi Minh City or you have the choice to go back to the hotel. We will arrange this once we receive your flight itinerary. At the hotel, you have free use of the storage room if you want to spend some more time exploring the city before you depart. Or we can give you advice on what else to do in Vietnam if you plan to stay longer. Our Thailand tour is a great place to start.
Can I skip parts of the itinerary?
Yes. This is your own time to explore Vietnam as you please. If you want to stay back at the hotel to relax or want to explore a bit on your own, just let the tour guide know.
What will the accommodation be like during the tour?
Your accommodation will be clean, comfortable and offer western toilets at all times - though experiencing a squat toilet is something everyone who visits Vietnam should experience at least once! You will be sleeping in twin, triple and dormitory rooms, paired up randomly. We attempt to put people in same sex rooms as much as possible and can accommodate that in each location upon request. Couples will be always paired together. Hot showers and AC is provided on most days. You will sleep on a sleeper bus - surprisingly comfortable aside from the honking - on day 6 and 15.
Food & Accommodation
Is Vietnam suitable for vegetarians?
Vegetarians will be happy to know that Vietnam is very accommodating for vegetarians. Your tour guide can instruct any kitchen to create a Vietnamese dish without meat which they will often substitute with freshly-made tofu.
What are the meals like on the tour?
You will eat mostly Vietnamese food, which is usually rice or noodle-based dishes. They also happen to be some of our favorite meal selections on the planet! Breakfasts are typically Western dishes. If you just need to satisfy that craving for a pizza or burger, we get that! Western food is usually available everywhere on the tour. As the tour explores different areas of Vietnam, you will have the opportunity to taste the various styles of cuisine from around the country - such as the Hoi An speciality Cao lầu! Vegetarian and non-vegetarian options will also be provided.
I have read a lot about the “street food”. Is it safe to eat?
Yes and so delicious! If you see Vietnamese eating it then that’s the best indication that the food is safe. Tip: Eat where the locals eat; the longer the queue the more delicious you can assume the food will be. Sharing a meal is a celebrated part of Vietnamese culture and we recommend giving it a try with your new mates. Bahn-mi which you will find on nearly every street corner in the country will likely become one of your go-to meals. But as with anything, use caution. If something looks or smells suspect, better to leave it alone. And never drink from the tap! We thought we had to mention this in case the idea ever crosses your mind!
Flights & Visas
Must my flight arrive at a certain time?
We recommend arriving before 4 pm on day 1 of your tour. Check in at the hotel on day 1 is at 2 pm with early check in available subject to hotel vacancy. You are free to use the hotel facilities and leave your bags in a secure place if you arrive early before checking in. On departure, we suggest leaving after 10 am in order to enjoy a final breakfast with the group but if you can find a cheaper flight early in the day, that's no problem at all! Just let us know your flight details in the ‘Login’ area. If your flight arrives before the starting date, we can arrange extra accommodation which includes hotel transfer and breakfast.
Which airport should I book my flights to?
Please book your arriving flights into Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi! You have a couple options for your departing flights. We break down the options in this short article.
I see that the tour begins in Hanoi and ends in Ho Chi Minh City. How does this work with my return flight home?
Vietnam is an very long country. In order to see all that this incredible place has to offer, the tour travels over 1,500 km from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. When booking a flight, you can often change the arrival and departure locations. There are also very affordable domestic flights that you can book to fly back out of Hanoi when the tour finishes. Again, don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions about the best way to go about booking your flights!
How does the airport transfer work?
After you have booked your tour and received confirmation from us, you can begin searching for flights. When you have booked your flight, please login to your account and enter your flight details under Flight Details. Please note that airport transfer is included in the cost of the tour but is only available from 4 am on day 1 and until midnight on day 23. The price of one night extra accommodation (must be booked per person, per night) includes the airport transfer to our hotel and breakfast the next morning - whereas if you decide to book separate accommodation then airport transfer is restricted to days 1 and 23 of your trip within the timeframe listed above.
Do I need a visa to enter Vietnam?
Yes, you will need a pre-arranged visa to enter Vietnam before your arrival. There is no visa-on-arrival that will grant entry for longer than 14 days. There are three options for getting your visa for Vietnam with the evisa being the most convenient and affordable of the three options. We explain your options in more detail here. If you have any questions about the process, we’re always here to help!
When can I book my flights?
Once your tour has been confirmed, you can arrange your flights. Please enter your flight information in the ‘Login’ area so we can arrange transfer from the Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi to the hotel when you arrive.
Can I change my tour date after I have booked?
Yes, just give us at least 28 days' notice in order to allow another traveller to take your spot.
How does the payment system work?
Your deposit secures your place on the tour. This holds your spot on the tour up until 28 days before your tour is set to begin when the remaining balance is due. If payment is not received by this point, your spot on the tour will be cancelled and the spot will be offered to another potential group member. Several reminders will go out before this date to remind you of when your payment is due.
Can I pay off my tour in installments?
We do not yet accept monthly payment installments but do plan to add this option in the future.
Must I pay for the tour in full to confirm my place?
Not at all! A small deposit will confirm your place on the tour. We ask that you please provide the remaining balance no less than 28 days before your tour begins.
When will the tour be confirmed?
Your place will be confirmed when 5 or more people have signed up for your tour and at least 28 days prior to the start of your tour. We will email you to confirm and we will refund you the full amount if the tour is cancelled. Typically, tours are confirmed six months before departure.
What To Bring
What type of backpack do you recommend I take?
Backpacks are preferred and will be more convenient for you for when we are catching a sleeper bus but suitcases work, too. You’ll never have to carry your luggage for too long at any one time. Try to find something that’s easily accessible and waterproof if possible. Bring a smaller daypack for short trips throughout the tour.
What do I need to bring with me?
We recommend the following:
- 1 pair of long trousers
- 1 light but waterproof jacket (Nothing too thick!)
- Simple padlock to lock up your belongings
- 1 long sleeved top
- 1 electrical converter (to avoid blowing out that hairdryer or beard trimmer)
- Shoes that are suitable for hiking
- Waterproof shoes if you have them
- Shoes that are easily removed. (Upon entering temples and many buildings you will be expected to remove your shoes as a sign of respect. The easier, the better.)
- A camera is highly suggested to remember your experience!
- Insect repellent
- Sunscreen. Lots of sunscreen