Vietnam Shore Excursions often gets asked many questions about travelling through Vietnam. Below are some of our most frequently asked questions. If your question is not answered here, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BOOKING & ARRIVAL
1. Do you offer any pre-made packages?
We offer both pre-made packages based off our sample itineraries, and customised tours catered to individual interests. Tour prices vary depending on the chosen activities, level of accommodation and time of booking.
2. How to cancel the booking I have made?
If for any reason you need to cancel and have booked directly with Vietnam Shore Excursions, please contact us. Our booking terms and conditions, and additional terms and conditions, may apply. If you have booked through a travel agent, please contact your travel agent for any cancellations.
3. How can I transfer payments to you? Do you require a deposit for booking?
We require a deposit of 30% of the booking total to confirm the services for your trip. Payment can be made by credit card or bank transfer in the currencies of USD or AUD.
Please note: We will charge extra 3% for bank services if you pay your deposit or the total of payment via Paypal, Credit cards, Debit Card.
HEALTH, SAFETY AND TRAVEL INSURANCE
1. What medical precautions do I need to take before the trip?
It is important to visit your travel medical doctor or specialist travel clinic several months before you travel to allow time for the accurate recommended courses of vaccinations (if necessary). You should advise your doctor which countries you will be visiting and at what time of the year. This is particularly important if you suffer from any medical conditions and/or are travelling with young children.
2. Why should I consider travel insurance?
Illness, an accident, or a death in the family is often a source of great contention between travellers and their travel agents for cancellation, refunds and compensation on their travel packages. While we can’t eliminate travel risks, travel insurance can protect you against such financial loss. Travel insurance is not compulsory, although it is highly recommended to take out a travel insurance policy before your departure. This will be very helpful in case of medical emergency evacuation. Travel insurance will likely cover against hospital and medical expenses as a consequence of an accident occurring to the bearer during the period of insurance and/or unforeseen illnesses which could arise during that period.
3. How many days in advance should I apply for travel insurance for my trip?
We suggest you purchase travel insurance as soon as your itinerary is confirmed. It is good to note that trip cancellation coverage is not automatic on all travel insurance policies and often carries an extra premium. Please carefully read over your policy to ensure you understand your coverage.
TRANSPORTATION & AIRLINES
1. What standard of vehicles can I expect?
2. What is the limit for luggage on domestic and regional flights?
Each airline has its own luggage allowance policy meaning the luggage limit varies between airlines. Generally, however, the limit is 20kgs or 44lbs for economy and 30kgs or 66lbs for business class. Excess baggage is charged at a specific rate depending on the individual route.
FOOD & DRINKS
1. What general food and water precautions should be followed in Vietnam?
We typically advise guests that if you cannot peel it, boil it or cook it – do not eat it. Generally, try to avoid fresh salads or raw vegetables as they may have been washed with contaminated water. We also advise against eating raw shellfish, raw crab and cold cooked meats.
2. I have a special diet. Can I order special dishes?
Special diets can be well-accommodated in Vietnam. Most allergies can regularly be dealt with. Halal and Kosher food can also be found across Vietnam. For specific requirements, please contact us in advance.
3. Is food spicy in Vietnam?
In some cases, food in Vietnam can be very spicy, for example, Hue food. However, most of the time, guests in restaurants are able to order food according to their desired level of spiciness. In even more cases, food is not spicy at all and is served with spicy condiments, which you can mix with your food as much or as little as you like.
4. What about taking ice in my drinks?
Beware that ground up ice, although manufactured with clean water, is open to contamination during transport as the large blocks may come into contact with the ground. Ice cubes are generally considered safe.
5. Is it safe to drink the water in Vietnam?
Across Vietnam, regardless of where you are staying, we recommend drinking bottled water, making sure the seal is not broken. Many hotels and established foreign restaurants will have water purification systems. If you are in a more remote area, or at a boutique property, brushing your teeth with bottled water may be advisable. If you are unsure, please ask your dining establishment if the water is purified.
MONEY MATTERS & SHOPPING
1. Where can I find current exchange rates for local currency?
One currency website we recommend is www.xe.com. On arrival at your destination, you can find current local exchange rates easily at airport exchange counters, hotel reception desks or at most local banks. The rates offered by the hotels are often favourable to the bank rate as they do not charge commission.
2. Should I use credit cards, debit cards and/or traveller’s cheques?
Credit Cards: In all major tourist destinations, credit cards are widely accepted at most hotels and established restaurants and shops. In smaller towns, at local restaurants and local markets, credit cards will likely not be accepted. Bear in mind that a surcharge usually applies for credit card purchases, typically ranging from 3-5%.
3. Should I use USD, Euro or the local currency?
In Vietnam, both local currency and USD dollar are accepted. If shopping in the market or in a shop where you might bargain, you will probably get a better price in the local currency.
4. What is a reasonable amount to tip a tour guide or driver if I am happy with their service?
While tipping is not compulsory, it is greatly appreciated throughout Vietnam, especially in the service industry. How much shoud you tip? It depends on how happy about your servcies.
5. How do I bargain when buying things in Vietnam?
Bargaining is acceptable and common in small local shops, as well as with vendors in the market as they often do not have fixed prices. We recommend that you start by offering to pay 50% of the suggested price and slowly bargain upwards, negotiating a price you feel comfortable paying. It is good to note that many international shops and department stores will feature fixed prices.