Vietnam Laos Cambodia Tours

Grand Indochina

Number of days: 23

Price from: 00$

Tour Type: Private Tour

Departure: Daily

Start from: Hanoi or from any other city

Highlights: Hanoi, Sapa, Halong Bay, Hue, Danang, Hoian, Myson, Nhatrang, Saigon, Mekong, Phnompenh, SiemReap, Angkor Wat, Vientiane, XiengKhouang, Luang Prabang

This program combines the hidden charm of Vietnam and the mystical treasures of Angkor in Cambodia & the untouched Laos with a unique opportunity to experience the natural beauty and traditional lifestyle found throughout the Mekong Delta. The whole tour is accompanied by experienced, local, guides.

  • Overview
  • Trip Itinerary
  • Accommodations
  • Travel Info
  • Trip Map
  • Request a Quote
  • DESTINATIONS 


    * Hanoi - Exploration of this charming, historical centre and its French provincial influences 
    * Sapa – A French Hill Station nestled within the mountains high above Hanoi and is home to colorful ethnic groups.

    * Halong Bay - Vietnam’s ‘Jewel in the Crown’; the stunning beauty of the 3,000 islets of the Gulf of Tonkin
    * Hue - The country’s former imperial capital  

    * Hoi An - Discover this charming UNESCO World Heritage listed site 

    * Nha Trang – Home to tranquil beaches and has a thriving fishing industry. 

    * Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) - Vietnam’s most cosmopolitan and vibrant city 

    * Mekong Delta - ‘Rice basket of Vietnam’ and home to many living, working and travelling along the river 
    * Phnom Penh - Capital of Cambodia surrounded by the Mekong River; home to majestic palaces and pagodas 
    * Siem Reap - Gateway to the Angkor Wat temple complex  
    * Vientiane - Capital of Laos: a charming city filled with villas and boulevards.
    * Luang Prabang - Entry point into Laos and UNESCO World Heritage listed town which retains original character

    ACTIVITIES

    Cultural Tours / History & Archaeology Tours / Museums & Galleries / Caves / Music / Shopping / Walking / Trekking / Boating & Sailing


    BRIEF ITINERARY:

    Day 01: Arrive Hanoi - Transfer to Hotel

    Day 02: Hanoi city tour – Night train to Sapa

    Day 03: Sapa Discovery


    Day 04: Sapa – Hill Tribe Market – Night train back to Hanoi


    Day 05: Hanoi – Discover Halong Bay on an overnight Junk

    Day 06: Halong Bay – Hanoi – Night train to Hue

    Day 07: Hue, Visit old citadel & Boat trip on Perfume River

    Day 08: Hue – Danang – Hoian, Visit the Ancient town

    Day 09: Hoian – Myson Discovery –  Train to Nha Trang


    Day 10: Nhatrang – Relax on the beach

    Day 11: Nhatrang – Boat trip to islands – Ho Chi Minh

    Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City tour

    Day 13: Ho Chi Minh – Mekong DeltaCanTho

    Day 14: CanTho – CaiRang Floating Market – ChauDoc

    Day 15: ChauDoc – Phnom Penh by boat, City tour

    Day 16: PhnomPenh – Fly to Siem Reap, Discover Angkor Temples


    Day 17: SiemReap - Angkor Wat Discovery 


    Day 18: Siem Reap – Fly to Vientiane, City tour

    Day 19: Vientiane – Xieng Khouang 


    Day 20: Xiang Khouang – Luang Prabang

    Day 21: Luang Prabang – Pak Ou


    Day 22: Luang Prabang Tour

    Day 23: Luang Prabang – Departure

    Include:

    - Accommodation with daily breakfast bases on twin/double sharing rooms.

    - Meals as mentioned in the itinerary

    - All airport – hotel transfers, tour transportation by private car, and with escorted guides.

    - All 4 internal flights: Nhatrang – Ho Chi Minh, Phnom Penh – Siem Reap, Siem Reap – Vientiane, Vientiane - XiengKhouang (Y Class)

    - All train tickets in soft berth sharing cabin with A/C: Hanoi – Sapa – Hanoi, Hanoi – Hue,

      Dannang - Nhatrang

    - Overnight cruise 2 days/ 1 night in Halong Bay on Bai Tho Junk or similar

    - Boat trips as mentioned in the programs

    - Local English speaking tour guides

    - All entrance fees and permits where applicabl

     

    Exclude:

    - Meals that not mentioned in the program.

    - Travel insurance

    - Vietnam visa (Visa permit: 15 US$/Person + Stamp fee: 25 US$/Person at airport)

    - Cambodia visa (get at airport on arrival at 30 US$/Person)

    - Laos visa (get at airport on arrival at 30 US$/Person)

    - International flight and departure tax

    - Tipping, drinks and other personal expenses


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I want to thank you for a wonderful trip you have planned and organized for us.

    Your prompt answers along the way, with so much patients. You are very professional and your answers were helpful.

    During the trip itself everything worked out just fine.

    The guides and the drivers were always there to meet us and did a good job.

    Thanks a lot. We had a great time.

    You are more than welcome to put my remarks where ever you want for promotion.

    All the best

    Naomi Doron

    Israel

  • Day 01: Arrive Hanoi - Transfer to Hotel

    Arrive at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi, you will be met by your tour guide o­n the other side of Immigration/Baggage check. A brief orientation drive is given o­n the way to your hotel.
    Enjoy a few hours of rest or explore the surroundings on your own. Overnight in Hanoi.

    Meals: No included.

     


    Day 02: Hanoi city tour – Night train to Sapa

    For the early risers, may we suggest a stroll along the picturesque Hoan Kiem Lake where each morning around 6am, groups of locals gather to do their exercises along the lovely tree lined promenade. You may cross over the red bridge at the north end to Ngoc Son Temple and the Tortoise Tower which are o­n a small island.
    After breakfast, you will have a full day to see the city so good walking shoes are a must. The visit includes:
    - Temple of Literature, built in 11th Century and the country’s first University
    - Ho Chi Minh’s (HCM) Mausoleum and Presidential Palace
    - HCM’s Stilt House
    - O­ne Pillar Pagoda
    - Ethnology Museum
    - Opera House
    - Hoa Lo prison which is also known as the “Hanoi Hilton” 
    - West Lake & Pagoda,
    Take a Cyclo ride through the Old Town before attending a Water Puppet show this evening and have a leisure dinner on your own while waiting for the night train departing at around 9.15pm to Lao Cai. Overnight o­n the train in an air conditioned sharing 4 soft berths cabin.

    Note: If you wish to have a private cabin for 2 people, please add additional 65 US$/person for the round trip. 
    Meals: Breakfast

    Day 03: Sapa Discovery

    The train will arrive around 6:00AM at Lao Cai station, near the border of China, and you will be met by your local guide & driver for the 38 mile drive to Sapa, the premier destination of northwest Vietnam.
    Enjoy your breakfast while waiting for hotel check-in, catch a few hours of rest or venture out to discover the charming town and ethic minority groups of Sapa.

    Then take a guided trip to discover the nature as well as different culture of hill tribal people. Up and down hill from village to villages around Lao Chai and Ta Van area which is decorated by terraced-fields and the house of H'mong, Red Zao and Zay people.
    Great opportunity for taking photos of breathtaking landscapes, meeting friendly hill-tribe people at home and work...and get to understand their tradition and customs.

    Enjoy the lunch prepared by the guide in a local family.

    Late afternoon, return to Sapa by private car/jeep. Overnight in Sapa.
    Meals: Breakfast & Lunch (we will include breakfast at the hotel this morning to make it easier).

     

    Day 04: Sapa Discovery – Night train back to Hanoi

    Today you will begin with a walking tour of Sapa market, then down the valley to the nearest picturesque village of Cat Cat.
    You need to be back to the hotel for the noon time check –out. Leave your luggage with the porter until time to depart for Lao Cai for the night train back to Hanoi.
    Afternoon, explore the surrounding o­n your own or take an excursion to the Silver Waterfall or “Thac Bac”, a little further beyond the waterfall is the beautiful mountain range known as “Heaven’s Gate.”

    We will include a room at a guest house or mini hotel in late afternoon in Laocai town for your to have a shower or refreshment and you will have time for your own dinner before getting on the night train back to Hanoi. Overnight o­n train in an air conditioned cabin.
    Meals: Breakfast.

    Day 05: Hanoi – Discover Halong Bay on an overnight Junk

    You will be met by your guide early this morning at Hanoi’s railway station. After breakfast you will have a 3 hour car ride along the country side of the Red River Delta to the UNESCO world’s heritage site of Halong Bay. 
    An old style Vietnamese junk cruise is waiting your arrival and will set sail at noon today. Lunch will be served o­n board amidst spectacular views of the bay.
    Today you will visit o­ne of the largest caves in Halong Bay and included is a beach stop where perhaps you may want to take a swim or dip in the water of the South China Sea. 
    Tonight enjoy a fresh seafood dinner o­n board your junk. Overnight o­n junk on the bay.
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner



    Day 06: Halong Bay Discovery – Return to Hanoi & Night train to Hue

    Participate in Tai Chi o­n the top deck or simply watch the sunrise over the magnificent bay. Enjoy your morning cup of coffee or juice before setting out to a near- by cave by row boat. After the cave trip you return back to the junk, and have breakfast, while sailing around Bay Tu Long bay where the movie “Indochine” was filmed.
    Your cruise will end at noon after having lunch on board and you will be met by your guide & driver for the trip back to Hanoi. There is a short stop en-route to visit Dong Chieu Ceramic Factory.  

    After arrival to your hotel, you may do more sightseeing, catch up o­n your shopping or just relax until the transfer to the train station for the night train to Hue. Overnight o­n the train in an air conditioned sharing 4 soft berths cabin.
    Meals: Breakfast & Lunch.
    Note: You can replace the appro. one hour flight to Hue instead of the night train. 

     

    Day 07: Hue, Visit old citadel & Boat trip on Perfume River

    Hue is the former capital city of Vietnam in the 17th & 18th century. Hue has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
    Upon arrival, you will be met by your guide for the hotel transfer and breakfast.

    After few hours to refreshment, there will be a short drive to the Imperial City for a visit to the Royal Palace and beautiful Royal Buildings.
    Have your own lunch at a restaurant that serves local treats.
    After lunch, you will embark o­n a drive to the countryside, through scenic villages and green rice fields to reach the Emperor Ming Mang’s tomb. It is o­ne of the most beautiful of all Emperors tombs, in a complex of pavilions, temple, courtyards and lakes. 
    From here you will take a boat trip o­n the peaceful Perfume River to get back to Hue City. 
    Overnight in Hue.
    Meals: Breakfast.



    Day 08: Hue – Danang – Hoian, Visit the Ancient town

    After breakfast, you will have a four hour drive over the scenic Hai Van pass along the coast to the small & beautiful ancient town of Hoi An, by the bank of Thu Bon River. You will have a short stop in Lang Co beach for refreshment and visit Cham Sculpture museum, China beach and Marble Mountain in Danang before continue the drive to Hoian.   
    Hotel check-in upon arrival in Hoi An, then o­n to your own lunch at a local restaurant.
    In the afternoon, you will have a guided tour to see the interesting sights of this ancient city. Some hundreds years ago, this town thrived o­n trading with the Chinese, Japanese and Spanish. You will visit a historical Old House, Japanese Covered Bridge, Old Temple and Silk Factory.
    Overnight in Hoian
    Meals: Breakfast.



    Day 09: Hoian – Myson Discovery – Day train to Nhatrang

    Morning, take a discovery trip to Myson, 40km from Hoian, for admiring great architectural and art works of the Cham people & the Towers. Having a brief understanding of the history, culture for which Myson was recognized the World Cultural Heritage.
    After the visit to Myson, drive directly to the train station in Danang city for the early afternoon train to Nhatrang. It will be a great experience to see the spectacular view of the coastal lines, countryside and the local life of the centre Vietnam from the train windows. 
    Arrive in Nhatrang at around 22.pm; you will be met by the guide at the train station for the transfer to the hotel and for the check-in. Overnight in Nhatrang.

    Meal: Breakfast.
    Note: The appro. one hour flight from Danang to Nha Trang is available instead of the day train on request. 

     

    Day 10: Nhatrang – Relax on the beach

    Nha Trang has o­ne of the most popular beaches in all of Vietnam, with clear turquoise water and a backdrop of mountains. The coconut palms provide shelter along most of the 6 km beachfront. Enjoy your free time on the beach. Overnight in Nhatrang.

    Meals: Breakfast.

     


    Day 11: Nhatrang – Boat trip to islands – Ho Chi Minh

    You will have one day boat trip. Firstly we will go to Mun Island, the best site for snorkeling where you will see lots of live colorful corals and fish. Relax, sunbath and swim at Tam island.

    Have lunch on the island, and then visit Tri Nguyen Aquarium on Mieu Island where you will have chance to see the life of the many sea species of Nhatrang Ocean in this aquarium. Return to the hotel in at about 16.00, take the luggage and drive to the airport for the late afternoon flight to Ho Chi Minh. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh.

    Meals: Breakfast & Lunch.

     

    Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City tour

    Although Ho Chi Minh (formerly Saigon) is a big and chaotic metropolis, but this makes your discovering the city are unique. Nice colonial center, with broad promenades and squares, and some French influence buildings that should not be missed. There are also many nice temples and pagodas. Another of the things visitors should not miss is popular markets - a great place to taste the local food specialties. Our stops in this city tour inclusive Reunification Palace, War Museum, Jade Emperor Pagoda, Notre Dame Cathedral, Binh Tay Market, Thien Hau Pagoda, on the way back we visit bustling China Town, and Ben Thanh Market.

    Overnight in Ho Chi Minh.

    Meal: Breakfast

     


    Day 13: Ho Chi Minh – Mekong Delta Tour – CanTho

    After breakfast in the hotel, we depart for Caibe in the Mekong delta passing the lush countryside. Upon arrival at Caibe, embark a private boat to cruise around Caibe Floating Market to see local people selling, buying, exchanging goods from their boats. Visit local garden and house to see orchard, rice crisped producing process... After lunch at a local family taking a cruise along river to see peaceful tranquil life of villagers, admire marvelous natural setting of Mekong Delta region. About 3 pm, the boat will arrive at Vinh Long, walking around to explore Vinh Long Market. Then transfer to Can Tho City, the heart of Mekong delta for overnight.

    Meals: Breakfast & Lunch.

     


    Day 14: CanTho – Visit CaiRang Floating Market – ChauDoc

    Leave the hotel in early morning to catch the famous CaiRang Floating Market in its busiest time. Cruising along the small and picturesque tributaries by boat, we will see market (the nicest one with heaps of rowing boats). Take in the beautiful scenery and the daily activities of the locals who lives along the Mekong canals and you will roam through the village to visit a rice-husking mill and a rice noodles making shop. Then continue traveling to ChauDoc, the border with Cambodia. Check in hotel on arrival. Late afternoon, visit the Sam Mountain to enjoy the breath-taking view on the Vietnamese-Cambodian border with flat rice fields and nice canals, visit caved pagoda. Overnight in ChauDoc.

    Meal: Breakfast.

     

    Day 15: ChauDoc to Phnom Penh by speed boat, City tour

    After breakfast, get on speed boat to Phnom Penh which will take around 5 hours, going back one of the arms of the Mekong. Arrival and have your own lunch.

    In the afternoon, visits of the city, in particular of the National Museum, rich art of Khmer, of the Silver Pagoda, inserted in the fencing of the Royal Palace, Preahkeo Morokot and Central Market. Overnight in Phnom Penh.

    Meals: Breakfast.

     


    Day 16: Phnom Penh – Fly to SiemReap, Discover Angkor Wat

    Depart Phnom Penh to Siem Reap on a 40 minute flight in the morning.

    We will discover the Angkor complex, luminous understood them of the great reign Khmer, is one of more important testimonies that the human genius knew to create in the field of the limbs, the architecture and the urban planning. We visit Banteay Srey (40km from Siem Reap town), means "citadel of the women". But is appellation refers to the delicate beauty of the caving. It displays some of the finest examples of classical Khmer art. Overnight in Siem Reap.

     

    Day 17: SiemReap - Angkor Wat Discovery

    Breakfast at hotel, then visit the Angkor Thom: South Gate, Bayon, Baphoun, Terrace of Elephants, Terrace of Leper King and Phimean Akas temple. Hav your own lunch at local restaurant.

    In the afternoon, continue to visit famous temple of Angkor Wat with enjoying sunset from top of Bakheng Hill. Dinner at local restaurant with Apsaras show and overnight in Siem Reap.

    Meals: Breakfast & Dinner.

     


    Day 18: Siem Reap – Fly to Vientiane, City tour

    After breakfast, the driver will take you to the airport for the morning flight to Vientiane.

    On arrival at the airport in Vientiane, you are met and transferred to our centrally located hotel. After a short rest, we start to visit the major sights of the capital; including the oldest Wat Sisaket with thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat PraKeo previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. On the way to the famous and sacred structure of That Luang stupa, we stop to take some pictures of the imposing Patouxai which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triomphe. Overnight in Vientiane.

    Meal: Breakfast.

     


    Day 19: Vientiane – Xieng Khouang

    A short morning flight to XiengKhouang, which was devastated by American bombing between 1964 and 1973. Upon arrival, we transfer out to visit the “Plan of Jars “an impressive archeological site where hundreds of large stone jars are littered all over the plateau. We also have time, this afternoon seeing the nearby villages, home to the Hmong hill tribe people. They have an interesting local culture and a colorful history. Overnight in Phonesavanh.

    Meal: Breakfast.    

     

    Day 20: Xiang Khouang – Luang Prabang

    Visit the market before leaving XiengKhouang to Luang Prabang by road 262km, the world heritage city. It is the good road, mountainous and beautiful nature. Some stops in the villages of Hmong along the road. Up arrival visit the Mont Phousi, the beautiful view of the city and surrounded by the NamKhan and the Mekong River. Enjoy the sunset and overnight in Luang Prabang. 

    Meal: Breakfast.

     


    Day 21: Luang Prabang – Pak Ou Cave

    Today, we enjoy a short guided tour seeing the city’s oldest temple and the magnificent Wat XiengThong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground. Which represent the classical architecture of LuangPrabang temple. We then embark on a cruise upstream on the Mekong River which also gives us a beautiful view of the tranquil countryside as well as an interesting visit to the mysterious of Pak Ou caves, crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes. Along the way, we stop at the village of Ban Xang Hai, where they make the local rice wine. On return, we take a short drive to Ban Phanom, well known for its hand weaving. Overnight in LuangPrabang.

    Meal: Breakfast.

     

    Day 22: Luang Prabang tour

    Visit the National Museum at the former royal palace, which displays a lovely collection of the artifacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through the last sovereign. Visit wat Mai, wat Visoun, wat Phoutthabat and the handicraft of Posa paper at Ban SanKhong. Overnight in Luang Prabang.

    Meal: Breakfast.

     


    Day 23: Luang Prabang – Departure

    Drive 28Km from the city, visit Kuangsi water falls and visit the Villages surrounding: Ban ThaPene and then transfer to airport for your departure flight for Bangkok for your next destination. 

  • Categories of Accommodation


    Value:

    With basic hotels and simple accommodation, this is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel. We would normally accommodate your in these in remote areas.


    Standard:

    Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant. Sometimes these are a good affordable choice in cities where accommodation is very expensive, but where being centrally located is a prime consideration.


    Superior:

    Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre. This is the 'classic' hotel standard we use on most of our group based tours.


    Deluxe:

    Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care. India and Southeast Asia have a fabulous array of top notch 5-star properties.


    Luxury:

    Luxury accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!


  • VIETNAM:

    Visa and Passport
    Except for a number of ASEAN countries a visa is required to visit Vietnam. If your itinerary requires two
    entries into Vietnam then a double entry visa must be obtained. If your trip is postponed or delayed it may be necessary to obtain another visa if your original visa is not valid for your new dates of travel.

    Tourist Visa
    A Vietnam Tourist Visa is valid for the period of 30-days and for a single entry (unless endorsed for a double entry at additional cost). The cost charged by the Vietnamese embassy is $65 for a single entry visa and $130 for a double entry visa. Your passport must be sent to the embassy along with payment with prepaid shipping arrangements with Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation, FedEx, etc., two completed visa applications and two passport photos. Allow five-business days for processing.

    Visa-on-Arrival
    A Visa-on-Arrival is available if you are pre-approved for the visa. In lieu of a stamped visa in your passport prior to departure a fax from the Department of Immigration is issued and used as your travel document for boarding your international flight to Vietnam. This system has been working for a number of years now and is extremely reliable. Visa-on-Arrival processing charges are normally $25 and a $45 fee is payable directly to Vietnamese Immigration upon arrival.

    Double Entry Visa
    A Double Entry Visa is a Tourist Visa endorsed for a double entry. If your itinerary requires a double entry be sure and obtain the Double Entry Visa.

    Re-Entry Visa
    Re-entry Visas, prior to departing Vietnam, are possible to obtain in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City through authorized agencies for a fee of approximately $25, however it requires one-to-two days and the deposit of your passport. This is not advisable unless your itinerary allows ample time and you remain in the city where the application was filed until the visa is issued. It is strongly advised to obtain a Double Entry Visa prior entering Vietnam.

    Passport Validity Dates
    Your passport must have a validity date of at least six-months remaining after your visit to Vietnam is completed.

    Travel Document Companies
    Unless you live nearby a Vietnamese embassy or consulate or are experienced in dealing with embassies by mail or telephone, it is advised that you use a travel document company to obtain your visa.
    Notes: You can email us at info@privateasiatours.com for more advice on Vietnam Visa information. The service is free of charge. All the emails will be replied within 24h.

    Entry Procedures
    Arrival and Departure Cards are required to be completed upon entry into Vietnam; they will be provided by the airline or at the border gate. The yellow copy of the card will be returned to you and must be submitted when you depart Vietnam; keep it in a safe place. Making a photocopy of it is a good idea and keeping it with your other photocopies.
    If you have been pre-approved for a Visa-on-Arrival simply process though the Visa-on-Arrival lane at immigration.
    Once your visa formalities have been completed claim your baggage and process through customs.

    Duty Free
    One-carton of cigarettes and one bottle of liquor.

    Exit Procedures
    Complete the customs declaration and process through customs then complete the immigration processing where you will be required to return the yellow copy of your Arrival and Departure Card.

    Airport Departure Taxes
    Domestic Departure Taxes are included in the price of the airline ticket. International Airport Departure taxes are $14 (Hanoi) and $12 (Ho Chi Minh City). First check-in for your flight and then obtain the receipt for the payment of your departure tax to present upon clearing customs.

    Tendering Passports
    Vietnamese law requires that passports be tendered to the hotel each evening. This may appear odd to Western travelers but until the 1960's a number of European countries required that passports be tendered to the hotel each evening.

    Travel Insurance
    Traveler's Insurance is strongly recommended. A number of companies sell competing policies and it is a good idea to read the fine print and ask questions if you are in doubt. Note : some insurance companies cover travel insurance in their existing policies; check, you may already be covered. Policies have differing benefits for trip cancellation, trip interruption, emergency medical and dental coverage, emergency medical transportation, lost baggage, missed connections, and accidents.
    Of special note is the emergency medical transportation. This is extremely costly; if you any health condition which may require medical evacuation you should check to see if you are currently covered and if not purchase the insurance. Medical treatment, if required, can be costly and the pay is usually in cash.

    Climate
    Vietnam is an elongated country which reaches from the sub-tropics in the north to the tropics in the south. The weather differs greatly in Vietnam from the north to the south, from four-mild seasons in northern Vietnam to sub-equatorial warmth in the Mekong Delta. 
    Geography also plays a role in Vietnam's weather: approximately one-third of the country is above 500-meters in elevation and those areas enjoy a sub-tropical climate; the areas above 2,000 enjoy a temperate climate. 
    Vietnam's climate is moderated by two-monsoons which create a lower than average temperature compared to other countries located in the equatorial regions: 

    Northeast Monsoon 
    The Northeast-Asian Monsoon, from late October and March, brings wet and chilly weather from the northeast to all areas from Nha Trang north, and dry and warm temperatures to all areas south of Nha Trang (Saigon and the Mekong Delta). 

    Southwest Monsoon 
    The South-Western Monsoon, from April/May through October, laden with moisture from its northeast movement across the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Siam, brings warm and humid weather to the entire country except for the Red River Delta (the greater Hanoi area) and Vietnam's Central Coastal Littoral. 

    The Northern Climate 
    The areas from Hue north experience a two-season a year: the winter and the summer. August through November is the rainy season in the north. Winter is usually from November through April and is cool during the day and crisp, and sometimes quite chilly, during the evenings. February and March are noticeable for their persistent drizzling rain ("crachin") while hot summers dominate months May through October. 

    The Central Climate 
    The Central Coastal Littoral does not receive the rainfall from the Southwest Monsoon rains which are stopped by the Central Highlands which are affected by these seasonal rains. Most of the rainfall received along the Central Coastal Littoral is during the Northeast Monsoon, from October and March, but especially in the months of October-December; overland travel during October-December can be interrupted by flooding. 

     
    The sub-equatorial climate of the south has two-seasons: the wet and dry seasons. The wet season lasts from May to November with June and August being the wettest months which bring heavy, albeit short lasting, downpours usually in the mid-afternoons. The dry season begins in November and ends in April with late February to May being hot and humid. The average temperatures in the south are relatively constant year-around: 25-35 Celsius (76-95 Fahrenheit). 

    Travel Tips:

    TET Travel (Vietnamese New Year) Considerations
    TET (the Vietnamese New Year) is not a good period to visit Vietnam for several reasons: the streets are near empty on the first day of TET and remain so for up to 4-days; Vietnamese want to be with their families, not working; airline tickets to and from Vietnam during the TET period are difficult to obtain and are offered at a premium price.
    While the days leading up to TET are joyous days, at midnight on the commencement of TET, the country goes silent. Only very gradually over the next week does it return to normal.
    Also taking into account the below tips before traveling to Vietnam

    Photocopies
    A photocopy of the information page of your passport along with a photocopy of your visa (or visas if you are traveling to more than one country) should be made and kept at a different place from your passport; it serves no purpose to loose your passport and the photocopies at the same time. In the event of loss these will speed the re-issuance of your passport and visas.

    Clothing
    One rarely needs a coat in Ho Chi Minh City but one nearly always needs a coat in Sapa in the winter. Vietnam reaches nearly from the Tropic of Cancer to the Equator and its climates range from tropical to temperate. Winter gets chilly in Hanoi and even moreso in the mountainous regions in the north and especially in the northern highlands. The Central Highlands in the center, as far down as Dalat, also get cold in the winter and chilly on summer evenings. The best strategy is "layering": a T-shirt, a long sleeved shirt along with a light coat will often suffice for chilly evenings. For colder climates and times of the year appropriate gloves, hats and even scarves are desirable. Hats, umbrellas and sunscreen work well to protect the skin.

    Food
    Three things to avoid: buffets where it is obvious the food has sat for a period of time; anything which has or could have a water residue on it (lettuce, tomatoes, unpeeled fruit); and mayonnaise which has a tendency to rapidly spoil in tropical climates and can cause food poisoning. Other than this Vietnamese food is a culinary delight: light, flavorful, delicate and filling but not "laden" as many Chinese dishes are. In the countryside, as well as in the cities, the many and varied soups of Vietnam are a delight with the ubiquitous "pho" being the national favorite.
    In the major cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City a rainbow of culinary delights from all corners of the world awaits the traveler.

    Bargaining
    Rarely is the first price or the posted price the real price: bargaining is expected, however unrealistic offers to purchase should be avoided as they are considered insulting.

    Tipping
    Tipping, until Vietnam opened its doors to the outside world, was never expected in Vietnam. With the advent of tourism the times have changed but still tipping is not nearly as routine as it is in some Western countries. For services, a 10% tip is gracious. For guides (for one or two people) for extraordinary service, $10 per day (or more depending on the service) tip is good; for adequate service $5; for so-so service: nothing. Driver's do not expect tips but welcome them.

    Laundry
    All good hotels provide laundry services. Laundries in Vietnam offer the quality at bargain prices.

    Maps
    A good map always places time and space in a far more understandable sphere. There are numerous maps available in Vietnam at bookstores and good city maps of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City available at good hotels (sometimes for free), but the best country maps as well as the best city maps are ITMB Maps from Vancouver, Canada. For years Jack Joyce, in conjunction with geographic institutes in Vietnam, has been making the best maps available. These maps can be purchased at most good map stores and online.

    Taxis
    Vietnam has perhaps the best taxi services in the world. Always take metered taxis which are plentiful in the major cities.

    CAMBODIA:

    Passports
    Passport valid for at least six months after date of return from Cambodia required by all nationals.

    Visas
    Visitors arriving by air can obtain a visa for stays of up to 30 days on arrival at Phnom Penh International Airport, Phnom Penh or Siem Reap International Airport, Angkor. Visas are also available from Immigration at the border posts of Bavet, Poi Pet and Koh Kong. Visitors are advised to check current situation before traveling. E-Visas are only valid for entry via Phnom Penh International Airport, Siem Reap International Airport, Cham Yeam land border, Poi Pet land border and Bavet land border.
    Visa Note
    Applications by post will only be accepted through a recognized visa courier. For further details, contact the nearest consulate (or consular section of embassy). 
    Nationals flying in to Phnom Penh or Siem Reap International Airport will be able to apply for a 30-day visa on arrival in Cambodia. 

    Validity
    All visas are valid for a one month period, and visas issued by the embassy must be used within three months of date of issue. Extensions of up to one extra month for Tourist visas or six or 12 months for Business visas (which can be multiple) may be granted by the Ministry of the Interior at the Immigration Office in Phnom Penh.

    Climate: 
    Cambodia has a tropical monsoon climate. The monsoon season runs from May to November. The most pleasant season is the dry season, from November/December to April. In the north, winters can be colder, while throughout most of the country temperatures remain fairly constant. There is often seasonal flooding in Phnom Penh and the rest of Cambodia in late July and early August, and travel may be disrupted at these times.

    Required Clothing
    Lightweight clothing is worn all year. Rainwear is essential during the monsoon season.

    Travel Tips: 
    Most visits to Cambodia are trouble-free, however public order is fragile. Travelers should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners. The greatest risks to travelers are from road traffic accidents, armed robbery after dark, landmines and unexploded ordnance in rural areas.

    Travelers should be aware of the risk of robbery and other crime (including sexual offences) in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Siem Reap, particularly after dark, and take sensible precautions. Travelers should be on their guard against pickpockets and bag snatchers, especially when traveling around the cities.

    Outbreaks of avian influenza (bird flu) in Cambodia have resulted in a small number of human fatalities. As a precaution, travelers should avoid live animal markets, poultry farms and other places where they may come into close contact with domestic, caged or wild birds; and ensure poultry and egg dishes are thoroughly cooked.

    LAOS: 

    Passports
    Passport with at least six months remaining validity required by all nationals.

    Visas
    (a) A 15-day visa on arrival is now available for nationals arriving at Vientiane International Airport, Luang Prabang International Airport or Friendship Bridge; visas are not extendable. 
    (b) A one-month visit visa is available from the Laos embassy provided the applicant has a guarantor in Laos; visas can be extended by up to a further two months. 
    (c) A one-month business visa is available from the Laos embassy; applicants require authorization from the organization they will be visiting in Laos before applying for a visa; visas can be extended until the completion of business. 
    (d) A five-day transit visa is available for nationals transiting through Vientiane International Airport; nationals require proof of onward journey within five days. 
    (e) Multiple-entry visas are only available from the ministry of foreign affairs in Laos.

    Climate: 
    Throughout most of the country, the climate is hot and tropical, with the rainy season between May and October when temperatures are at their highest. The dry season runs from November to April.

    Required Clothing
    Lightweights and rainwear, with warmer layers from October to March and upland areas.

    Travel Tips: 
    Most visits are trouble free.
    The threat from terrorism in Laos is low. However, travellers should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be in public areas, including places frequented by foreigners.
    Travellers should be aware of and respect local conventions at all times.
    Unexploded ordnance in rural areas is an ongoing danger.
    Outbreaks of Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) in Laos have resulted in human fatalities, the last one of which was in 2007. As a precaution, travellers should avoid live animal markets, poultry farms and other places where close contact with domestic, caged or wild birds is likely; and ensure poultry and egg dishes are thoroughly cooked. 
    The Lao government prohibits sexual relationships between foreign citizens and Lao nationals except when the two parties have been married in accordance with Lao family law. Penalties for breaking these regulations can range from fines to imprisonment.
    Penalties for illegal drug importation and use are severe and can include the death penalty.
    It is illegal not to carry an ID document, and fines for not having one for presentation are high.

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