Testimonials

    Fred Bowen

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

     

    W F Bowen

    wfredb@yahoo.com

    [more]

    N.Tsukahara

    "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

    rmpdq010@ybb.ne.jp
    Osaka, Japan

     

    [more]

    R.Ford

    "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.

    ford@southchinaseadev.com
    South China Sea Development Company, Limited (BVI)

     

    [more]

    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
    fallsgall@pnc.com.au
    Sydney, Australia
    [more]
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      Travel Tips
    Travel TIPS
    Saturday, 19/10/2018 11:18

    WHAT TO TAKE

    What you need to bring depends on the trip you have chosen and the countries or regions you are planning to visit. We suggest that you pack as lightly as possible as you are expected to carry your own luggage. Suitcases are not recommended for  Adventures trips! Most travelers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size (no XXL ones please!) as they need to fit under the beds when traveling on sleeper trains. You will also need a day pack/bag to carry water, cameras and other electronics like iPods and mobile phones. If your trip involves overnights in home stay, tribal villages or camping then we can provide you silk sleeping bags once.
    For travelers who take low cost airlines, please be noted that your hand bag should not exceed 7 kgs and checked luggage should not over 15 kgs each person. Extra fee incurs for any over-weighted luggage. For many low cost airlines, you are not allowed to take on plane your own drinks, foods. Metal dangerous items which may be considered to make harmful to other passengers like scissors, small knives etc or exceeded liquid amount will be requested to drop at disposal boxes at airports if you keep it with your hand bags during X-ray checks. 


    CHECK LIST 

    • Valid Passport (at least 7 months remaining validity after trip completion)
    • Travel Insurance if you already have, or we can offer you a policy that suits you, at very competitive rates.
    • Vaccination Certificates( if required in prior)
    • Valid Visas
    • Airline tickets,Tour Vouchers, Pre Departure’s Fact Sheets and Final Confirmation
    • USD cash and Travelers Cheques ( especially important while you travel in cash society like Indochina regions or in remote areas with limited access to the bank)
    • Credit or Debit Card
    • Alarm clock, electric converter or adaptor ( Vietnam uses 220V devices)
    • Flashlight (optional)
    • Wide Brim Sunhat, Sun Screen, Sun Glasses, Insect Repellent
    • Small towel and swimming wears, Toiletries (biodegradable)
    • Sturdy walking shoes, Sport sandals, Money Belt
    • Proper Clothes for seasons of travel, or adventure trips.
    • Cover for backpack or plastic bags to keep clothes dry.
    • Sleep Sheet for trekking or sea safari trips.
    • Thermarest or sleeping mat and travel pillow for trekking or sea safari trips.
    • Camera and Film, Binoculars, Pocket Knife
    • Medication (eg. cold tablets, headache tablets, sleeping tablets)
    • First-Aid Kit ( antiseptic wipes & creams, medicine for pain relief- cold-allergies constipation- diarrhea-travel sickness- water purification, bandages, plasters, scissors, tweezers- safety pins, syringes - needles, thermometer & latex gloves)
    • If you join our cycling & adventure tours: we will guide you additional preparations

     

    SHOPPING

    Vietnam is fast becoming known as a “shopper’s paradise”. Ceramics, lacquer ware, bamboo, silk and embroidery are just some of the many good buys. Enjoy your bargain over the valuable items or on large quantity.

    PUBLIC WATER

    Unlike in some developed countries where you can just fill the bottle and drink. Here, you should not. Please buy sealed bottles from supermarkets or selling places.

    PHRASE BOOK

    Some of the most lasting memories of your travels to Vietnam will be engaging with the local culture, i.e. the people you come in contact with. While some locals may speak some English, especially in the tourist areas, not all do. It's well-advised to learn a few stock phrases as Vietnamese people respond well to tourists who go to the extra effort of learning even just a smattering of their language. So it is best to bring along a phrase book if you really want to interact with the local people.

    DONATIONS

    All too often we've seen how a kind-hearted gesture of giving can turn into a culture of expectation and dependence. While it's always generous and a well-intended thought to bring along pens, old clothes, sweets or books for children and families who are less well-off, unfortunately, foreigners often come to be seen as “providers of freebies”. This can sour the interaction with the local communities, who can come to expect give aways. Our suggestion to make sure the donations reach the intended recipients is to pass any items to us and we, in turn, will give them to the relevant development organizations , or directly to schools or the whole community. This ensures that items are distributed to those most in need.While no commitment is required, there are numerous charities and developmental organizations which you can support in various ways. Our tour guide will inform you about these upon request.

    PHOTOS

    Even most Vietnamese people enjoy the photos taking, as a courtesy gesture, please always ask permission when taking portraits as local cultures may find it offensive if they are photographed without being asked. This is especially true of older people. That said, we're always on the lookout for lasting memories so if you managed to snap some good shots during your trip, we'd love to see them. 

    TIPPING

    The locals you meet on your trip will surely be one of the highlights of your tour, but of course the other locals which will make it just as special are our guide and driver. These guys have been especially selected for their enthusiasm, professionalism and hard work-ethic. We realise that service is earned and that there are large disparities between wages in developed countries and developing nations. In Vietnam, guides and others in the tourism/hospitality industry earn most of their livelihood from tips as opposed to their fixed income. We ask that if you are satisfied with the provided services please tip. As an indication, we suggest a tip of around $10/day for the guide and $7/day for good driver.

    RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL

    One of the most fulfilling parts of travelling in a new country, especially a developing one, is giving back. At Vietnam Explorer Travel, we ensure you have a  positive impact on the communities you visit wherever possible. Be it eating at local restaurants, visiting local markets or spending a few precious hours at a local orphanage or charity, small acts of kindness have rippling  repercussions and we strive to create them.

    CULTURE SHOCKS...

    Oh yes, it do happens for various reasons even if you well prepared. Once you get out of the tourist areas you will get a better sense of Vietnam, its people and culture. Vietnamese people are very patriotic and it is best not to mention the Vietnam War. You may also find it helpful to learn a little about the national history and national holidays.
    The very first sight that you will sense from landing, is street noises. Life among the touts, vendors, travellers and motorbikes can be noisy, but exhilarating. You will find yourself the focus of unwanted attention, be it from touts or curious bystanders. The very first questions of your family members, of your job, of the Yes-No marriage or even the ages… that can be very popular quests from any ordinary Vietnamese you first knowing. Learning Vietnamese is tricky but it will help in your every day interactions, particularly when pronouncing names and places. Cities in Vietnam are incredibly crowded, especially on the roads during peak hour traffic. Learning how to cross a Vietnamese road crowded with motorbikes, cars, bicycles and cyclos is vital. It is best to envision the traffic as a school of fish, if you cross the road slowly and make no sudden movements, the drivers will then be able to predict your movements and alter theirs accordingly and the traffic will simply flow around you. This calm outlook is indicative of how all transactions in Vietnam should be approached. Vietnamese people will be far more respectful of you and your space if you show interest in their culture, stay calm and treat others with respect.

     

    OTHER NEWS

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