Fred Bowen

    The overall trip was excellent. Especially pleased by the hotel in Hoian- SUPER! Thank you so much-


    W F Bowen




    "Thanks to you, we enjoyed our trip very much.

    Vangvieng has splendid view and is like an Utopia for us, and the hotel we stayed is very good, too.

    We also enjoyed two days' Mekong cruise in Luang Prabang.

    Anyway, Thank you very much for everything !!"



    N. Tsukahara

    Osaka, Japan




    "We are delighted to recommend Lai Phuong and Vietnam Explorer Travel. She has assisted us with dozens of travel details and travel itineraries for nearly a decade to destinations in Europe, the Middle East, USA, and all around Asia. Phuong provides truly first class service from A to Z. She is also a true expert on travel routes and accommodations throughout Vietnam. We give her our highest recommendation, 5 + stars!"


    Roger H. Ford, Ph. D.

    South China Sea Development Company, Limited (BVI)



    Ann Smith

    Dear Ms Phuong,

    Thank you. 

    We had a wonderful time in Myanmar.

    The hotels were all very good, especially the Governor's residence in Yangon.

    The guides were excellent and had good language skills and very good local knowledge.

    There was so much to see our heads were spinning!!

    We had many flights and airport connections and they all went without a single problem.

    We also had a great time in Vietnam as usual! It almost feels like home. 

    Kind regards,

    Anne & Ian Smith


    Ann Smith
    Sydney, Australia
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      Viet Nam

    [ 12 days] Mountain & Beach Explorer

    From $1,415 -

      From  VND 23,384,000/ per person( group of 2 privately)

      Price can be adjusted without prior notice.

      Board the overnight train to the charming town of Sapa where you will explore villages of the minority tribes. Continue the travel along roads snaking through high passes & fertile valleys from Sapa to DienBienPhu. Return to Hanoi by plane.  City lovers will adore Hanoi, a charming & historic must see place. Phu Quoc island is a totally relaxation  paradise waiting to indulge yourself.

    Day 1: Hanoi- Laocai

    This evening transfer to the Hanoi railway station for your overnight train to Lao Cai. Train leaves Hanoi at 20h30pm, soft sleeping train.

    Day 2: Hill tribes market- Sapa

    Arrival Laocai station at 5h00am, private car pick up & breakfast in nearby local restaurant. Visit a lively local market where ethnic people from surrounding regions gather in their colourful traditional costumes to sell their farming products and buy weekly necessities. Return Sapa before 14h00pm. Free leisure dinner.

    Day 3: Village Trek in Sapa

    Today you can visit Lao Chai- Tavan village at 12km distance from town. A light trek will take you to experience more of local custom & culture within their community. Old ladies with basket on their backs or kids welcoming guests into the village or people working on the field are common sights. A picnic lunch is served en route. Back to Sapa before 14h00pm. ( yourself activities, we suggest  HamRong mountain for town panorama view, the Church, Sapa market) for the remaining time.

    Day 4: Sapa- Laichau-Dienbienphu

    Morning ready for car transfer from Sapa to Dien Bien Phu . Lunch en route. You will arrive Dien Bien city by afternoon.

    Day 5: Dien Bien Phu

    A world well-known former battle field which confirmed the Vietnam Victory over the French in 1954.The morning starts at the Dien Bien museum which has remnants of planes and other military hardware. Then the famous A1 Hill, the command tunnels of General De Castries. After lunch, the tour continues with  Muong Thanh valley & bridge. The Laos- Vietnamese border check point is just  37km away.

    Day 6: Dien Bien Phu -Hanoi

    Enjoy the morning free at your leisure before you are transferred to Dien Bien airport for flight  Dien Bien-  Hanoi

    Day 7: Hanoi

    Tour the city this morning, visiting Ho Chi Minh Complex, where you will see Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum (closed Sep-Dec), House on Stilts and One Pillar Pagoda. Drive to the serene Temple of Literature, then a city museum and later enjoy a walking tour of the bustling Old Quarter. This evening you will watch a performance of the famous Water Puppets, which have a history dating back thousands of years.

    Day 8: Hanoi- Phu Quốc

    Take direct flight Hanoi to Phu Quoc. On arrival a shared shuttle bus will transfer guests to your hotel.

    Day 9: Southern Phu Quoc Loof

    This morning starts your tour to explore  the South of island . Tour highlights include pearl farm, coconut prison (other name of Phu Quoc prison- a historical vestige. A swim and  lunch will be at stunningly beautiful Sao beach  place. ).  Next is to An Thoi pier  of pristine scenery and an abundance of colourful reef fish at all different types.  Return hotel at around 16h00pm

    Day 10: Phu Quoc free leisure day

    Day 11: Phu Quoc free leisure day

    Day 12: Phu Quoc departure

    Hotel shared shuttle bus will drop you off at airport for your flight return either Hanoi (or HCMC).

    Book now


    • All set meals at local restaurants where mentioned
    • All entrance fees as itinerary
    • English speaking guide ( on day tour only)
    • Shared or private transfers where mentioned
    • Overnight train tickets Hanoi to Laocai/ 1 way/ sharing compartment
    • A twin shared room at mentioned hotels or similar with breakfast
    • Boat trips ( along ChayRiver –Sapa trip) &  Phu Quoc island day tour


    • Other meals, drinks, tips, personal expenses and extras.
    • Any service not clearly mentioned in the program.
    • International tickets to/from Vietnam
    • Vietnam visa authorization letter & fee ( agency can assist with visa letter)
    • Domestic flights as mentioned per itinerary/ Economy Class ( DienBien- Hanoi-Hanoi- Phu Quoc-HCMC) 

    Travel Info

    Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum( Hanoi): to be closed all Mondays/Fridays & from September to November yearly for maintenance

    Muong Khuong market ( only Sundays): It locates inside a small border town ( 50Km from Laocai & 87Km from Sapa) which is frequented by Flower Hmong, Tu Di, Tay and Giay ethnic minorities. They come to buy and sell local products such as food and material for agriculture and fabric. After lunch,take a visit to village of Tay people, where you can explore their daily life. You can make a stop nearby a waterfall before riding back Sapa town

    Bac Ha market ( only Sundays): Some76 km from Laocai. The ethnic minorities from the surrounding villages and hills come here by foot, by motorscooter, by horse, and by water buffalos for their chance to socialize, eat, drink, smoke, get a haircut, and buy produce and meat for the next week. It is very colorful place for any photographers.

    Can Cau market ( only Sartudays): Some 20km from Bac Ha and just 9km south of the Chinese border. Almost every Saturday around 8 different minorities from highland villages are represented at the market. Travel is often made by horseback as a way of carrying the heavy loads to and from market. A type of highland market which dated hundred years ago with exchange trade system.

    Cao Son market (only Wednesdays): A small ethnic market which is 30km far away from Cocly market. Coming to this market, you can see the scene of goods exchange of ethnic people, local products that are sold in here. After , you can easily walk to some villages near this market to explore this area. Mild weather, ethnic authentic culture, spectacular views towards lush valleys & the mighty Chay river…are all its highlights.

    Coc Ly market  ( only Tuesdays): A small market which often gathers about five ethnic minorities to come. The ride passes the rice paddies, green tea and manioc hills. It’s about 60Km from Laocai & nearby the Chay river. This visit can combine boat trip and village walk to Trung Do village of Tay minority to taste a cup of tea ( or local wine made from rice)

    Country Info

    Viet Nam
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  • Country Info

    Vietnam stretches south from the Chinese border along the east coast of the Indochina Peninsula. The country has a complex geography with soaring mountains, fertile delta plains, winding rivers and long sandy tropical beaches. In reality Vietnam is a country of outstanding natural beauty; some of the best beaches in Southeast Asia can be found along the coastline of Vietnam.

    Area:331,210 km2 
            128,565 sq mi

    Capital: Hanoi

    Official language: Vietnamese

    Calling code: +84

    National Airlines: Vietnam Airlines ( wwww.vietnamairlines.com)

    National Flowers: Lotus

    National Dress: " Áo Dài"  

    National Flag: red background with yellow star at the center

    National (Main) Religion: Buddhism 

    National Day: 2nd September 

    Ethnic minority Groups: 54

    Country Population: 91,949,482 citizents ( statistic 2014)

    Biggest City: Ho Chi Minh City ( formerly known as Saigon)

    Three biggest telephone service providers: MOBIFONE, VINAPHONE,VIETEL

    International Airports:  TanSonNhatAirport (Ho Chi Minh City), NoiBaiAirport (Hanoi) and DanangAirport( Danang)


    To enter Vietnam you will require a passport (with at least 7 months remaining validity after trip completion) and a tourist visa for most foreigners arrival the country except certain visa exemption cases thanks to state agreements. Obtaining a single entry or multiple entries visa for 30-day validity is easy. (Please inform us at the start if you wish a longer stay and multiple entries.)
    Visa extensions can usually be obtained once in Vietnam. Please scan or show us your original visa page. Rates vary, as does the official policy regarding extensions. Before you travel, check your passport to ensure that there is room for a visa and entry/exit stamps (at least three pages). Please check Service section for visa information.


    It makes sense that the healthier you are, the more you will enjoy your holiday in general. A reasonably good level of fitness is required for almost of our classic packages and you should be in good health. Any physical preparation will always be to your advantage. Please seek advice from a travel clinic at least 6 weeks before departure on your holiday regarding the relevant vaccinations and jabs required.  Anyone with respiratory or cardiac problems, or over the age of 70, should fully consult their medical adviser prior to booking and we may require full medical clearance/insurance plan. There is a sufficient standard of health care in the cities for treating minor injuries but more complicated treatment may require evacuation to another, nearby countries like Thailand or Singapore. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance  and accessible funds to over the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation. 

    It is also important to note that brand names of various medicines vary from country to country and some products, which may be readily available back home, may not be in Vietnam. Please include the basic first aid kit pack: plasters, dressings or bandages, calamine or after-sun lotion, oral dehydration treatment (in case of bouts of diarrhea and dehydration), insect repellent and sting relief, antiseptic cream and antiseptic wet-wipes. Better safe than nothing!


    The currency in Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong (VND) which is in notes. Currently, about 21,000 VND is equal to 1 USD. All foreigners can exchange foreign currency into Dong, but not vice versa. Credit cards ( visa, master, amex, JCB…) are accepted in most three star hotels up and some restaurants. Please bear in mind that a surcharge usually applies for credit card purchases. Visa/Master and JCB have same 3% as bank center charge but a higher fee for holders of American Express. Banks are open Monday to Friday and some open on Saturday morning. Most ATMs have an English language version.

    Vietnam can be visited year-round. Average temperatures year round range from 20 to 35 degrees Celsius. In southern Vietnam tropical conditions prevail, and there are two seasons – the wet season lasts from May to November and the dry season from December to April. Central Vietnam is usually dry from May to October and wet from December to February. October and November may experience unstable weather conditions and flooding. Northern Vietnam also experiences two seasons though conditions can change dramatically throughout the day. The winter months from November to April are usually cold and humid. The months of December and January can be particularly cool with temperatures as low as 8 degrees Celsius. Temperatures can drop to 0 degrees Celsius in Sapa (in the highlands near the Chinese border) in winter. Summer, from May to October, can be quite hot and wet with regular downpours and occasional typhoons. The hottest months are June and July in Hanoi. 


    Vietnam is still quite a conservative country. In rural areas and especially temples, overly-revealing clothing may be considered offensive. You should make an effort to dress more conservatively in these situations. Walking around a village in bike shorts is not appropriate so if you wish to cycle in just bike shorts you should have something with you on the bike to put on over the top (long loose shorts or a skirt/sarong). When visiting temples, shorts are acceptable providing they cover the knees. Singlet or sleeveless shirts are not acceptable in temples.


    Vietnam’s network is GSM compatible and will work with most carriers. In the cities, you will be able to access email, phone, fax and post offices. In big cities, most hotels from 2 star category can offer Internet cable service. Elsewhere out in the countryside, there may have Internet limitation access and the main communication will be phone. Cheap sim cards of local mobile  service providers ( Viettel, Vinafone, Mobilefone ) are readily available in the cities and pay-as-you-go recharge cards and call rates are cheap. Plus 3G service is easily available in the metropolitan centers and prepaid data package rates are affordable and reasonable. Ask our staff about getting a local phone card and number. 






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