small group tour of Vietnam

AMAZING VIETNAM
Small Group Tour

Hanoi – Mai Chau – Ninh Binh – Halong Bay – Hoi An – Danang – Saigon – Mekong Delta (optional) – Angkor Wat (optional)

MAIN TOUR without extension to Angkor Wat

14 nights/15 days: March 15 – March 29
$5,250 per person, double occupancy
$6,245 solo traveler (includes single supplement of $995)
The tour begins in Hanoi and ends in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)

ANGKOR WAT EXTENSION*

3 nights/4 day: March 29 – April 1
$1,245 per person, double occupancy
$1,445 solo traveler (includes single supplement of $200)

The cost for both the MAIN TOUR and ANGKOR WAT EXTENSION per person, double occupancy is $6,495.
The cost for both MAIN TOUR and ANGKOR WAT EXTENSION for solo travelers is $7,690.

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Registration deadline December 16, 2019

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“Vietnam among the hottest destinations for US travelers.”
~ PricewaterhouseCoopers survey conducted for US Tour Operators Association

“Vietnam is trending as the #3 destination to travel to in 2019.”
~ travel search engine Kayak Association

Luxury Tour Price Comparison – Vietnam

Tour Monkey Abercrombie & Kent Tauck Tours
Cost – Double Occupancy $5,250* $7,995 $8,290
Single Supplement $995 $3,195 $2,008
Airfare Included No No No
Airport Transfers Yes Yes Yes
Number of Days 15 13 13
All Female Yes No No
Maximum Group Size 12 18 24
Included Meals 35 25 29
5-Star Hotels (4-Star when necessary) Yes Yes Yes
Escorted by American Tour Manager Yes No Yes
All Tips Included Yes No** Add $130 No** Add $130

* $5,250 is the cost for the Main Tour and does not include the optional extension to Angkor Wat, Cambodia.
**It is customary to tip the Tour Manager. Tour Monkey founder and Tour Manager, Liz Moran, will escort the group. She will not accept a gratuity! Tips for the Tour Manager are not included in A&K and Tauck Tours.

  • Maximum 12 travelers + Tour Manager, Liz Moran
  • Professional English-speaking guides
  • Airport transfers, with an English-speaking guide. If you stay extra days in Saigon, transfer to the airport is on your own.
  • 14 nights accommodation at hand-chosen authentic hotels:
    • 3 nights in Hanoi at the Hanoi Pearl (4-star)
    • 2 nights in Mai Chau at the Mai Chau Ecolodge (4-star, rated #1 of 5 hotels in Mai Chau)
    • 1 night in Ninh Binh at the Emeralda (5-star)
    • 1 night in Halong Bay aboard Orchid Cruise (5-star)
    • 3 nights in Hoi An at the Hoi An Historic Hotel (4-star)
    • 4 nights in Saigon at The Myst (5-star)
  • Luggage porterage
  • Daily breakfast (B) at hotel + 9 lunches (L) + 11 dinners (D)
    Included meals are shared, with set menus. Lunches include a choice between a bottle of water, soda, or juice. Alcoholic beverages are at travelers’ expense. Dinners include a choice between a bottle of water, soda, juice, one glass of house wine or one bottle of local beer. Coffee and tea will also be served.
  • Intra-Vietnam flights via Business Class (pending availability)
  • Transportation via air-conditioned, 16-seat mini coach (6 travelers) or deluxe 30-seat motor coach (7 to 12 travelers), with cooled bottled water on board
  • Walking foodie tour of Hanoi
  • Motorcycle foodie tour of Saigon
  • Private cyclo tour of the Old Quarter in Hanoi and of Chinatown in Saigon
  • Sampan ride in Ninh Binh
  • Private bicycle tour in Mai Chau and Hoi An
  • Private basket boat ride in Hoi An
  • Private cooking class in Hoi An
  • First-class seating at the Water Puppet Show in Hanoi
  • Evening performance at the beautiful Saigon Opera House of the stunning Lang Toi show, Vietnam’s version of Cirque du Soleil
  • Roundtrip cable car ride at Bana Hills in Danang
  • All entry fees within the tour
  • Gratuities for local guides, drivers, and restaurant waitstaff
    • Gratuities aboard Orchid Cruise on Halong Bay is voluntary and at your discretion.
  • Option to book day trip to the Mekong Delta ($205pp) on Day 14 in Saigon. The excursion can be purchased in Saigon. A minimum of 6 travelers is needed to operate this tour.
  • Airfare to/from destination. Please do not book your flight until you receive written notification from Tour Monkey that the tour is a go!
  • Vietnam visa (http://vietnamembassy-usa.org/consular/visa-application-process). Traveler must have a valid passport and a visa (or pre-approval for a visa on arrival) to enter Vietnam. Your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond your planned stay, and must have at least one blank visa page.
  • Travel insurance is highly recommended. See FAQ for more information.
  • Pre- or post-nights at hotels in Hanoi and Saigon. Please advise Tour Monkey if you would like extra nights in Hanoi or Saigon.
  • Fee-based activities or spa services on free day at the Mai Chau Ecolodge
  • Beverages and spa services on Orchid Cruise, Halong Bay.
  • Maximum 12 travelers + tour manager
  • Professional English-speaking guides
  • Airport transfers. If you are staying extra nights in Siem Reap, transportation to the airport is on your own.
  • 3 nights in Siem Reap at the Sokha Angkor (5-star)
  • Luggage porterage
  • Daily breakfast (B) at hotel + 1 lunch (L) + 2 dinners (D)
    Included meals are shared, with set menus. Lunches include a choice between a bottle of water, soda, or juice. Alcoholic beverages are at travelers’ expense. Dinners include a choice between a bottle of water, soda, juice, one glass of house wine or one bottle of local beer. Coffee and tea will also be served.
  • Transportation via air-conditioned vehicle, with cool bottled water on board as follows:
    6 – 7 travelers: 12-seat van
    8 – 11 travelers: 25-seat coach
    12 travelers: 35-seat coach
  • All entry fees within tour
  • Gratuities for local guide, driver, and restaurant waitstaff
  • Airfare from Saigon to Siem Reap (flight time is 1 hour, 10 minutes). At the time of this writing, one-way airfare from Saigon to Siem Reap is as follows: Economy Class: $199, Business Class: $472. Airfare is subject to change. Tour Monkey will purchase and bill you for the one-way flight upon registration.
  • Airfare from Siem Reap to home city. Please do not book your flight until you receive written notification from Tour Monkey that the tour is a go!
  • Cambodian Visa https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Cambodia.html . If you are not a resident of the United States, please consult your embassy if a visa to Cambodia is required. Tourist visas are valid for one month from the date of entry into Cambodia. Cambodia offers on-line visa processing at http://evisa.gov.kh/. Tourists may also obtain a Cambodian visa at the airport in Siem Reap. Cambodian immigration officials at airports now collect fingerprints upon entry using an inkless, electronic process. You will need two passport-sized photographs and a passport valid for a minimum of six months beyond the date of entry into Cambodia.
  • Post-nights at hotel. Please advise Tour Monkey if you would like extra nights at the Sokha Angkor Resort. If you stay extra nights, transport to the airport is on your own.
  • Fee-based activities, spa services and hotel incidentals (like laundry, telephone, etc.)

MAIN TOUR

DAY 1 – ARRIVAL HANOI (D)

Tour Monkey’s tour of Amazing Vietnam officially begins at our WELCOME DINNER! We’ll meet in the hotel lobby for our roundtrip transfer to GRANDMA’S RESTAURANT at an appointed time for a sumptuous feast of Northern Vietnamese cuisine.

ACCOMMODATION: 3 nights at the 4-star Hanoi Pearl Hotel

DAY 2 – HANOI (B L D)

After breakfast, we have a fabulous full day of exploring Hanoi’s historic sites, including the MUSEUM OF ETHNOLOGY, TEMPLE OF LITERATURE, HOA LO PRISON (Hanoi Hilton), HO CHI MINH MAUSOLEUM PLAZA, HO CHI MINH’S HOUSE, and the ONE PILLAR PAGODA. Lunch is at KOTO RESTAURANT. They train and employ disadvantaged Vietnamese youth to work as chefs, bartenders, and waitstaff. Koto stands for “know one, teach one.” With our bellies full, we’ll take in the sites of the OLD QUARTER VIA a 45-MINUTE CYCLO RIDE! Our peddlers will conclude the tour at the renowned THANG LONG WATER PUPPET THEATER, where we have first-class seating for an art form that originated in Northern Vietnam. Dinner is at the always-packed local noodle joint, BUN CHA HUONG LIEN. In May 2016, chef Anthony Bourdain taped an episode of CNN’s foodie travel show Parts Unknown here. President Obama tagged along to partake in the working-class specialty: bun cha, served with a delicious fried crab roll and washed down with a cold Hanoi beer. It’s now called the Obama Combo, and that’s what we’re having, gals! The dynamic duo’s table is forever memorialized on the restaurant’s second floor, with empty beer bottles, plates, bowls, and cutlery under protective glass.

DAY 3 – HANOI (B L)

Optional early-morning pre-breakfast walk around LAKE HOAN KIEM to watch or join the locals doing tai chi, calisthenics, and dancing. After breakfast, we’ll visit the THU HUONG HANOI LACQUER WORKSHOP to learn how lacquerware is created. It’s a complicated process, y’all, and can take months to complete one piece. Then, our guide will take us on a WALKING TOUR OF THE OLD QUARTER, so named because the area of “36 streets” was once located outside the Imperial Citadel that dates back to 1010 CE. Along the way, we’ll SAMPLE DELECTABLE VIETNAMESE STREET FOOD! The rest of the day is free. Explore, shop, nap, eat. Repeat.

DAY 4 – HANOI to MAI CHAU (B D)

This morning we say goodbye to the hustle and bustle of Vietnam’s capital and transfer to the rural mountainous region of MAI CHAU VALLEY for our 2-night stay at the awesome Mai Chau Ecolodge. Its complex of traditional stilt bungalows (made entirely from natural materials) sits atop Pom Pu Hill. The panoramic view is breathtaking. In the afternoon, we’ll embark on a BICYCLE TRIP and drop in on a Thai family for tea, fruit, and a tour of their stilt house. Learn about the daily life of these tribal peoples by trying your hand at weaving, embroidering, pounding rice, and making “happy water.” Our cycling trip continues through several other TRIBAL VILLAGES before returning to our sanctuary for a rest. Dinner includes a LOCAL DANCE PERFORMANCE.

ACCOMMODATION: 2 nights at the 4-star (rated #1 of 5 hotels in Mai Chau) Mai Chau Ecolodge

DAY 5 – MAI CHAU (B D)

The day is free to do as you choose. Lounge, hike, bike, participate in a cooking class, indulge in a spa treatment. All fee-based activities are at your expense. We will meet up at dinner and share stories about our day.

DAY 6 – MAI CHAU to NINH BINH (B L D)

After breakfast, we travel off the beaten path to the countryside province of NINH BINH, one of Vietnam’s hidden gems! We’ll tour the ancient remnants of HOA LU, the capital of Vietnam’s first two imperial dynasties in the 10th and 11th centuries. After a delicious lunch at SPICE GARDEN TAM COC (they do not have a website), reviewed by many as the best restaurant in the area, we’ll walk to the dock and board small rowboats called sampans. No, we are not rowing, but part of the experience is watching the rowers steer the oars with their feet! Our CRUISE takes us through the most majestic landscape of karst limestone cliffs and caverns. The movie King Kong Skull Island (2017) was filmed here. Our hotel is a short ride away.

ACCOMMODATION: 1 night at the 5-star Emeralda Resort

DAY 7 – NINH BINH to HALONG BAY (B L D)

Having just experienced Ninh Binh, called the Halong Bay on Land, we can compare it to the seascape of towering limestone islands of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, HALONG BAY. Just before lunch, we’ll board our 5-star junk, ORCHID CRUISE, which will take us on a route less traveled by other vessels. Try your hand at kayaking, take a swim in the bay’s emerald waters, join a cooking class, book a massage, or simply relax and watch the world go by from the privacy of your own balcony. Later, enjoy happy hour on the sundeck to watch the sun set over the Gulf of Tonkin. After a sumptuous dinner, there’s night squid fishing!

DAY 8 – HALONG BAY to HANOI AIRPORT to DANANG to HOI AN (B L)

Rise early and learn tai chi on the sundeck! After a light breakfast, you have the option to paddle a canoe to explore the bay and nearby caves. Fill your belly at lunch before disembarking the vessel for our transfer to Hanoi and flight to Danang. Dinner is on your own.

ACCOMMODATION: 3 nights at the 4-star Hoi An Historical Hotel, located 1 block away from Hoi An’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ancient Town

DAY 9 – HOI AN (B L D)

After breakfast, we’ll walk to the ferry for our short ride to a TRADITIONAL FISHING VILLAGE, where BICYCLES will be waiting for us. The ride is flat and easy, gals. We’ll cycle around the area, passing dwellings, rice paddies, sweet potato and reed fields, fishing boats, and schools. We’ll make several stops along the way, and maybe even visit an elementary school! (If a school visit is possible, please prepare in advance with small gifts of crayons, coloring books, and the like.) If local fishermen cross our paths, they may give us a ride in their hand-woven BASKET BOATS. For lunch, our guide will help us PREPARE MY QUANG—a noodle soup—and VIETNAMESE COFFEE. Then, with bicycles in tow, we’ll sail back to Ancient Town and cycle to a SILKWORM FACTORY. So interesting! Where there’s silkworms, there’s silk! Hoi An has long been a hub for Vietnam’s silk industry. You’ll have an opportunity to browse bolts of fine fabric, and even have a dress or skirt tailor-made. In the evening, we’ll walk back into Ancient Town to see other historic sites, like the JAPANESE COVERED BRIDGE, the FUKIENESE ASSEMBLY HALL, and the TAN KY ANCIENT HOUSE. Dinner is at the quaint TAM TAM CAFÉ. On our menu is a dish Hoi An is famous for—white rose dumplings!

DAY 10 – HOI AN (B L D)

In the morning, we venture to MY SON for a guided tour of the partially intact complex of Hindu temples constructed by the Cham peoples. From the 4th to 14th centuries CE, My Son was used by Cham royalty. It’s regarded as one of Southeast Asia’s foremost temple complexes, on a par with Borobudur in Indonesia, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Bagan in Myanmar (formerly Burma), and Ayutthaya in Thailand. My Son is quite impressive, and gained UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1999. For lunch, we’ll introduce you to BANH XEO (sizzling pancakes)! The afternoon is free to relax by the pool, book a spa treatment, or walk around Ancient Town. In the evening, we’ll stroll over to HAI CAFÉ, known for its BBQ.

DAY 11 – HOI AN to DANANG AIRPORT to SAIGON (B L)

On our way to Danang Airport, we’ll squeeze every last ounce of goodness out of Central Vietnam with a visit to BANA HILLS for a ride on the CABLE CAR. Opened in 2013, the network of cable cars holds several Guinness World Records, including the heaviest cable, and the longest and highest nonstop cable car in the world. If you aren’t completely awestruck by the 15-minute ride and 360-degree views, wait until you see the GOLDEN BRIDGE footbridge at the top. Soaring 3,280 feet above sea level, the 500-foot-long expanse is cradled by two massive hands! We’ll lunch at the MERCURE HOTEL before riding the cable car down the hill. Then, we’ll visit the DANANG MUSEUM OF CHAM SCULPTURE for a deeper understanding of this minority culture. Our evening flight takes us to the last leg of our adventure—Saigon, known as the Paris of the Orient.

ACCOMMODATION: 4 nights at the 5-star The Myst on the 5th Avenue of Saigon, Dong Khoi Street

Golden Bridge at Bana Hills in Danang, Vietnam

DAY 12 – SAIGON (B L D)

After breakfast, we embark on a HALF DAY DRIVING TOUR of Saigon’s (also called Ho Chi Minh City) landmark sites. We’ll stroll through the shopper’s paradise BEN THANH MARKET and take a guided tour of INDEPENDENCE PALACE, the home and office of the U.S.-backed president of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Lunch is at PHO HOA PASTEUR, the best pho place in Saigon, if not the whole wide world! The afternoon is at your leisure. Something truly special is in store for you this evening. We have tickets to the multi-award-winning cultural show, Lang Toi (My Village) —Vietnam’s version of Cirque du Soleil, at the SAIGON OPERA HOUSE. The building itself is a “show” inside and out, with its exquisite French Colonial architecture. We can recall our favorite moments over dinner at VIETNAM HOUSE, founded by Australian-born Vietnamese celebrity chef, Luke Nguyen.

DAY 13 – SAIGON (B D)

Today, we explore CHOLON (Chinatown) by CYCLO! Our peddlers will make several stops along the way, including visits to a traditional CHINESE MEDICINE HERBALIST, a WHOLESALE MARKET where chemicals for making faux designer perfumes are made, and the FRANCIS XAVIER CATHOLIC CHURCH. At THIEN HAU TEMPLE, you’ll have an opportunity to write a wish on a red tag that is affixed to a giant incense coil. As the coil burns, your wish is sent up to heaven. Lunch is on your own. Eat lightly, because tonight we have another rip-roaring fun activity—a FOODIE MOTORCYCLE TOUR of Saigon! Riding behind your driver, you’ll experience firsthand the adrenaline rush of being at one with the kaleidoscope of the city’s nine million motorcycles. So. Much. Fun!

DAY 14 – SAIGON (B D)

Saigon is so fabulous that you have a full day at leisure to explore its sites, like the War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, or the observation deck at Bitexco Tower. Or, you can choose to go on an optional full-day tour to the Mekong Delta. A minimum 6 travelers is needed to operate this excursion. We’ll convene in the evening for our FAREWELL DINNER at CHOPSTICKS, once the home of the president of South Vietnam prior to its surrender to the communist North.

Mekong Delta tributary, Vietnam

DAY 15 – DEPART SAIGON

Our tour of Amazing Vietnam ends with a transfer to the airport. Tour Monkey hopes you had a terrific time, and that you will join us on more adventures!

Note: Although it rarely happens, sometimes the itinerary may have to be adjusted or changed due to unforeseen circumstances. Tour Monkey will make every effort to provide a comparable alternative should any changes need to be made.

Cruising the Mekong Delta, Vietnam

ANGKOR WAT EXTENSION

DAY 15 – SAIGON TO SIEM REAP (D)

Depart Saigon for Siem Reap, the gateway to the ruins of Angkor, the seat of the Khmer kingdom from the 9th–15th centuries. We will be met by our guide and transferred to our gorgeous resort. Relax before our included dinner at PALATE ANGKOR RESTAURANT.

DAY 16 – ANGKOR ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK (B L)

We begin our day watching the SUN RISE OVER ANGKOR WAT, the single largest religious complex in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992. As the sun rises from behind the iconic towers, a silhouette is cast on the still waters of the reflecting pond in front of the temple. Simply stunning! After breakfast at our hotel, we begin our guided tour of the ANGKOR ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK with a visit to the former capital city of Cambodia, ANGKOR THOM (“Great City”). In its heyday during the late 12th century, the Khmer Empire was protected by a moat that surrounded a fortified 26-foot-high wall that spanned 8 miles around. Five gates lead into this magnificent city. Four gates face each of the cardinal directions, with an extra one on the east side. The four cardinal gates are adorned with giant smiling stone faces. We will enter through the best-preserved and impressive, SOUTH GATE, to explore the ruins within, including the BAYON TEMPLE, the TERRACE OF THE LEPER KING and TERRACE OF ELEPHANTS. The artistic sophistication of the intricate carvings and bas-reliefs are beyond extraordinary. We’ll continue on to explore the ruins of a former Buddhist monastery, TA PROHM (“Ancestor of Brahma”). Be prepared to wait in line to take photographs of the giant banyan trees that cover the structure. You might recognize the site from Angelina Jolie’s 2001 film, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. After an included LUNCH, we’ll return to ANGKOR WAT (“Temple City”). The temple was designed to represent the five peaks of Mount Meru, a mythical place where ancient gods live beyond the Himalayas. The evening and dinner are at your leisure.

DAY 17 – ANGKOR ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK (B D)

This morning we’ll visit the three pre-Angkorian temples of PREAH KO, BAKONG, and LOLEI that are located in the small town of Roluos. Collectively, the temples are known as the ROLUOS GROUP. The temples are all that remain of the ancient first capital of Khmer, Hariharalaya. Lunch is on your own at SREY KULEN RESTAURANT (they do not have a website) before touring BANTEAY SREI (“Citadel of Women”), a 10th-century temple dedicated to the Hindu god of destruction, Shiva. Constructed mostly of red sandstone, the temple is known for its exquisite intricate carvings depicting scenes from the Hindu epic, Ramayana. Like watching the sun rise over Angkor Wat, watching the sun set over PRE RUP temple is a must! Meaning, “Turn the Body,” it is believed funerals were conducted at the temple, with the ashes of the body rotated during the cremation ceremony. Our dinner-show at ASPARA THEATRE AND RESTAURANT features Aspara dancers. Aspara are female spirits of clouds and water in Hindu and Buddhist mythology.

DAY 18 – SIEM REAP (B)

We’ll spend our last day in Cambodia at the prestigious ANGKOR NATIONAL MUSEUM, dedicated to the collection, preservation and presentation of Angkorian and Khmer artifacts. The museum also houses one of the most immense collections of Buddha Statues and Relics assembled in one gallery. Before heading to the airport, we’ll visit ARTISANS ANGKOR. Since 1992, the organization has been providing job opportunities for young people in rural areas by reviving traditional Khmer craftsmanship. We’ll watch these artisans carve wood and stone, paint, weave silk, and lacquer. Artisans Angkor also produces some of the finest silk in Cambodia! The organization has earned Awards of Excellence for Handicrafts in South and Southeast Asia, including by UNESCO.

FAQ

WHEN DOES THE TOUR BEGIN AND END EXACTLY?

The 15 night/14 day MAIN TOUR begins on Sunday, March 15, in Hanoi. We suggest you arrive a day early to ease jet lag. The tour ends on departure day, Sunday, March 29, in Saigon. Please let us know if you require extra pre- or post-tour nights in Saigon.

The 3 night/4 day EXTENSTION to ANGKOR WAT begins on Sunday, March 29, with a one-way flight from Saigon to Siem Reap. The tour ends on departure day, Wednesday, April 1 in Siem Reap. Please let us know if you require extra post-tour nights in Siem Reap.

HOW DO I REGISTER FOR THIS TRIP?

Please click the Book Now button! You will need to fill out a registration page before securing your spot with a deposit (see below).

BOOK NOW

WHEN DO I NEED TO PAY FOR MY TRIP?

You will need to secure your spot with a deposit, with the balance due 90 days before the trip begins as follows:

MAIN TOUR: A $750 deposit of the total payment $5,250 per person, double occupancy ($6,245 for solo travelers includes the single supplement fee of $995) is needed to secure your spot on the tour. $250 is non-refundable. The balance of $4,500 ($5,495 for solo travelers) is due on December 16, 90 days before the trip begins. If you book within 90 days of the trip, full payment is due at the time you reserve your spot. Please be advised that a 2.9% (3.9% for American Express) credit card processing fee will be added to your bill. To avoid this fee, a draw can be taken from your checking account at no charge.

ANGKOR WAT EXTENSION: The cost for the extension to Angkor Wat is $1,245 per person, double occupancy or $1,445 for solo travelers (includes single supplement fee of $200). The cost for both the MAIN TOUR and ANGKOR WAT EXTENSION per person, double occupancy is $6,495 ($7,690 for solo travelers). A $750 deposit of the total payment is needed to secure your spot on the tour. The balance of $5,745 ($6,940 for solo travelers) is due on December 16, 90 days before the trip begins. If you book within 90 days of the trip, full payment is due at the time you reserve your spot. Please be advised that a 2.9% (3.9% for American Express) credit card processing fee will be added to your bill. To avoid this fee, a draw can be taken from your checking account at no charge.

WILL TOUR MONKEY BOOK MY FLIGHTS?

No. You are responsible for purchasing roundtrip airfare to/from Vietnam (MAIN TOUR) or to Vietnam and from Cambodia (ANGKOR WAT EXTENSION). Please DO NOT book your flights until you receive written notification from Tour Monkey that the trip is a go! The tour officially begins on Sunday, March 15, in Hanoi. We suggest you arrive a day early to ease jet lag. The MAIN TOUR ends on Sunday, March 29, in Saigon. If you are booking the ANGKOR WAT EXTENSION, the extension begins with a one-way flight from Saigon to Siem Reap on Sunday, March 29. The ANGKOR WAT EXTENSION ends in Siem Reap on departure day, Wednesday, April 1. At the time of this writing, one-way airfare from Saigon to Siem Reap is as follows: Economy Class: $199, Business Class: $472. Airfare must be purchased at time of registration. Tour Monkey will purchase the ticket for you. If a price increase has been imposed by the airline, the balance (if any), will be added to your balance due.

WHY IS THERE A SINGLE SUPPLEMENT FEE FOR SOLO TRAVELERS?

The single supplement fee has been imposed by the hotel industry and cannot be waived.

WILL I GET A REFUND IF I NEED TO CANCEL MY TRIP?

In the event that it is necessary for you to cancel, here is the refund table. Please see the Terms & Conditions clause Tour Monkey sent you for a more detailed explanation.

120 days: 100% refunded, less $250 administration fee
119 – 60 days: 50% refunded, less $250 administration fee
Less than 60 days: No refund

I RESERVED MY SPOT, WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

You will also be sent via email a MEDICAL FORM that must be completed and returned. We know this information is personal; however, please be assured that it is only for Tour Monkey and will not be shared with anyone else. In the unlikely event that you are injured during the trip, your medical information may be needed by medical professionals.

Tour Monkey highly recommends that you purchase TRAVEL INSURANCE. We recommend you consult with a travel insurance broker at Travel Insurance Center. They can compare over 100 plans from more than 20 companies, finding a policy that best suits your needs.

DO I NEED A VISA TO ENTER VIETNAM?

Americans are required to obtain a visa to Vietnam. Please copy and paste this link http://vietnamembassy-usa.org/consular/visa-application-process into your browser and follow the directions accordingly. You can also obtain a visa to Vietnam upon arrival in Hanoi: https://govietnamvisa.com/page/vietnam-visa-on-arrival. You will need two passport-sized photographs and a passport valid for a minimum of six months beyond the date of entry into Vietnam. Please do not wait until the last minute to secure a visa! If you are a citizen of a country other than the United States, please check with your embassy if a visa to enter Vietnam is needed.

DO I NEED A VISA TO ENTER CAMBODIA?

Americans are required to obtain a visa to Cambodia. Cambodia offers on-line visa processing at http://evisa.gov.kh/. Tourists may also obtain a Cambodian visa at the airport in Siem Reap. Cambodian immigration officials at airports now collect fingerprints upon entry using an inkless, electronic process. You will need two passport-sized photographs and a passport valid for a minimum of six months beyond the date of entry into Cambodia. If you are a citizen of a country other than the United States, please check with your embassy if a visa is required.

DO YOU PROVIDE AIRPORT TRANSFERS?

Airport transfers, with an English-speaking guide, are included in the price of your tour. If you stay extra days in Saigon (MAIN TOUR) or Siem Reap (ANGKOR WAT EXTENSION), transport to the airport is on your own.

CAN A SOLO TRAVELER BE MATCHED WITH A ROOMMATE?

If solo travelers wish to be matched, Tour Monkey will provide traveler contact information. Tour Monkey suggests you meet in person or video chat to determine if you are compatible.

WHAT WILL THE WEATHER BE LIKE IN VIETNAM?

There is no perfect time to visit Vietnam. This is because weather conditions are vastly different in the northern, central, and southern parts of the country. The trick is to pick the sweet spot!

Generally, the best months to visit the North (Hanoi, Mai Chau, Halong Bay) is October, November, and December, and March and April. During the fall and spring, temperatures are cooler, with occasional light rains. In November, the average high is 78F. The average low is 66F. In March, the average high is 74F. The average low is 65F.

Central (Danang and Hoi An) Vietnam is hot and dry from March until September, and wet from October to February. In November, the average high is 81F. The average low is 71F. In March, the average high is 83F. The average low is 71F.

The best months to visit Southern Vietnam (Saigon) is November to April. In November, the average high is 89F. The average low is 74F. In March, the average high is 93F. The average low is 75F.

Note: Although these represent historical averages, with climate change affecting worldwide weather patterns, be prepared for any type of weather conditions!

WHAT WILL THE WEATHER BE LIKE IN CAMBODIA?

Hot and humid!

WHAT IS THE MONEY SITUATION IN VIETNAM? CAN I USE U.S. DOLLARS?

The simple answer is yes! But there will be instances where local currency is needed; for example, buying postage stamps at the post office or a beverage at a restaurant.

Several days before you leave, visit your local bank. I always have on hand $100 in $1 bills, $50 in $5 dollar bills, and a few $10 bills. At the teller, check the front and back sides of every bill. Vietnamese vendors will not accept bills that are worn, faded, torn, or taped, or bills that have any markings. Find bills that are new or are less than 5 years old. The bank may have to order more bills, so going to the bank several days before your departure will allow you time to sort this out! Know, too, that if you purchase something for, say, $8 and you pay with a $20 bill, you will receive change in local currency.

You can also visit a currency exchange service to obtain the official currency of Vietnam, the Dong. Other than buying euros in advance, for countries in Southeast Asia, I use my ATM to obtain local currency. Remember to notify your bank of your travel plans!

Credit cards are widely accepted in Vietnam. However, only use credit cards at reputable places (hotels, restaurants, shops)—NEVER at small market vendors! If your credit card has a chip, you no longer need to notify the credit card provider about your travel plans. If you are unsure, give them a call.

It fluctuates, but here’s an idea of the exchange rate:

DONG USD

20000 .90

50000 $2.20

100000 $4.30

200000 $8.65

500000 $21.60

WHAT IS THE MONEY SITUATION IN CAMBODIA? CAN I USE U.S. DOLLARS?

United States dollars (banknotes) are the unofficial official currency of Cambodia! ATMs dispense USD as well. There is no need to obtain the country’s official currency, the Riel. Credit cards are widely accepted in Cambodia. However, only use credit cards at reputable places (hotels, restaurants, shops)—NEVER at small market vendors! If your credit card has a chip, you no longer need to notify the credit card provider about your travel plans. If you are unsure, give them a call. The Vietnamese Dong is not accepted in Cambodia.

CAN I DRINK THE WATER IN VIETNAM AND CAMBODIA?

Drinking tap water (including drinks that have ice cubes) in Vietnam and Cambodia is not advisable. On our tour days, Tour Monkey will provide one bottle of water per person per day. The hotels usually have complimentary bottled water in the rooms, and you can purchase bottled water just about anywhere!

CAN I EAT UNCOOKED FOOD IN VIETNAM AND CAMBODIA?

The cuisine in Vietnam and Cambodia is very fragrant, with a lot of fresh herbs and raw vegetables. In all the years I have been traveling—and eating—in Southeast Asia, I have never had an issue. That said, you know your own constitution! Eating in moderation is the best bet.

WHAT IS THE LUGGAGE ALLOWANCE?

Please call or visit the website of the airline you booked with.

WHAT KIND OF AMENITIES DO OUR HOTELS HAVE?

Generally, hotel rooms have a hair dryer, coffee maker, snacks (for purchase), safe, and TV.

WHAT ELECTRICAL PLUGS ARE USED IN VIETNAM?

Plug type A, type C, and type F fit most electrical outlets in Vietnam. The electricity supply in Vietnam is 220V at 50Hz. To compare, the U.S. uses plug types A and B, with 220V at 60Hz. For a better understanding of the plugs you’ll need in Vietnam, see this webpage: https://whatplug.info/from/usa/to/vietnam. You can purchase any country-appropriate plugs on amazon.com or at travel stores.

I always carry a travel power strip with outlets and USB plugs to charge my devices.

WHAT ELECTRICAL PLUGS ARE USED IN CAMBODIA?

Plug type A, type C, and type G fit most electrical outlets in Cambodia. The electricity supply in Cambodia is 230V at 50Hz. To compare, the U.S. uses plug types A and B, with 220V at 60Hz. For a better understanding of the plugs you’ll need in Vietnam, see this webpage: https://whatplug.info/from/cambodia. You can purchase any country-appropriate plugs on amazon.com or at travel stores.

I always carry a travel power strip with outlets and USB plugs to charge my devices.

DO THE HOTELS IN VIETNAM AND CAMBODIA HAVE WI-FI?

Yes! Wi-Fi is free all over the hotels. The exception is aboard Orchid Cruise in Halong Bay, Vietnam.

WHAT KIND OF CLOTHES SHOULD I BRING?

Dress in layers and don’t overpack! It ain’t free, but take advantage of the hotel’s laundry service. Please refer to the Tour Monkey Packing List and Travel Tips that you received upon registration.

Please know on Day 12 we have tickets to the Lang Toi show at the Saigon Opera House, followed by dinner at the swanky Vietnam House. The restaurant asks guests to dress in business casual attire.

If you booked the extension to Angkor Wat, please know it is respectful to wear a calf- or full-length skirt, dress or pants, along with tops with a short or long sleeve. Shorts and leggings are not permitted, nor are sleeveless tops, spaghetti-strap tops, and tops showing cleavage. Any type of footwear is acceptable. You are not required to remove your shoes upon entering temples.

WHAT KIND OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IS REQUIRED?

The tour is designed for active travelers, who can easily walk a minimum of 3 to 5 miles per day.

WHAT IS THE TOILET SITUATION?

Western-style toilets are the norm in Vietnam and Cambodia.

I HAVE ANOTHER QUESTION!

Please email liz@tour-monkey.com.