South Vietnam Tours

Saigon Highlights with Mekong Delta

Number of days: 3

Price from: 00$

Tour type: private tour
Departure: daily
Start from: Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon)
Highlights: Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta

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  • BRIEF ITINERARY:

    Day 1: Arrive Ho Chi Minh City (D)

    Day 2: Ho Chi Minh - Mekong Delta (B/L)

    Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City - Departure (B) 

    Include:

    - Transportation by private car with A/C

    - Local English speaking tour guide
    - Boat trips as per program

    - All entrance fees and permits where applicable

    - All meals as indicated in the program (B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner)

    - Mineral water in car

     

    Exclude:

    - Travel insurance

    - Vietnam visa

    - International flight and departure tax

    - Tipping, drinks and other personal expenses 



  • DETAIL ITINERARY:

    Day 1: Arrival - Ho Chi Minh City (D)
    You are welcomed by our guide at Tan Son Nhat airport and then be transferred to your hotel in the center of city. Half day city tour visit Reunification Palace, War Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral with the passing Ben Thanh market.
    Evening, enjoy the dinner cruise with Vietnamese folk music on Saigon River. 
    Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

    Day 2: Mekong Delta (B/L)
    Our car will pick up at your hotel in early morning. Upon arrival at Cai Be, embark a private boat to cruise around Cai Be Floating Market to see local people being selling, buying, and exchanging goods from their boats. Visit local garden and house to see orchard, rice crisped producing process, etc. After lunch cruising 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 Market, walking around to explore Vinh Long Market. Drive back to Ho Chi Minh for overnight. 

    Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City - Departure (B)
    At leisure for shopping until transfer to Tan Son Nhat Airport for next destination. 

  • ACCOMMODATION

    Class

    Cost/Person

    3* hotels

    On request

    4* hotels

    On request

    5* hotels

    On request


    Include:

    - Transportation by private car with A/C

    - Local English speaking tour guide
    - Boat trips as per program

    - All entrance fees and permits where applicable

    - All meals as indicated in the program (B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner)

    - Mineral water in car

     

    Exclude:

    - Travel insurance

    - Vietnam visa

    - International flight and departure tax

    - Tipping, drinks and other personal expenses 


  • 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 Southern Climate 
    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.

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