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|Depart from Destination|
|Set Departures Southern Vietnam Experience|
Highlight: Ho Chi Minh - Cu Chi Tunnel - impressive Mekong Delta.
The Geography of Vietnam is wide and diverse. The topography of the country is marked by thick forest, lofty forested mountains and hills. Vietnam information comprises only about 20% of the plain land. This mountainous country covers about 42 % of the tropical forest. The northern part of the country is marked by highlands, while the southern part is dominated by coastal lowland. This country, in short, is a tapestry of deltas, dense forest, lofty mountains, exotic fauna and flora, waterfalls and long stretches of beaches.
The climate of Vietnam is typically tropical. This country experiences two types of seasons. A cold, humid winter dominates from November to April, while you can enjoy a warm and wet summer for the remaining year. The temperatures vary because of the diverse latitudes, altitudes and weather patterns.
Wildlife thrives in this part of the world. Vietnam boasts of having the heritage sites of Halong Bay and Phong Nha- Ke Bang National Park. Here, you can find six biosphere reserves of the world. Vietnam offers a wide range of exotic flora and fauna.
The capital city of the country is Hanoi. People of this country speak Vietnamese as their official language. Other languages that are spoken in this country include Chinese, English, French and Russian. The country use dong as the official currency. People here, follow mainly Mahayana Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.
The transportation in Vietnam is very convenient. There are large number of urban roads in the cities and town of Vietnam. Bicycles, scooters and motors ply on the roads of the country. There are seven major ports and harbors in the country.
The Culture of Vietnam is enriching and varied. Education in Vietnam is highly encouraged. The traditional garment of the Vietnamese is the Ao Dai, which are worn in special occasions and festivals. The cuisine of Vietnam comprises of rice, soy sauce, fish sauce, mint, basil and many others. Vietnamese music is also enriching and beautiful.
Southern Vietnam Experience
Itinerary in brief
DAY 1: ARRIVAL - HO CHI MINH
DAY 1: ARRIVAL - HO CHI MINH
On arrival at Tan San Nhat Airport, you are met and transferred to hotel. Ho Chi Minh City, still called Saigon by many locals, is a center of commerce, finance, culture and tourism in Vietnam. This bustling metropolis ,contradiction of its northern counterpart, is crowded with bikes and motorbikes, excited by numerous shopping area and sidewalk cafe. ( If time permits) we stroll around the down town to explore the different local ways of life. O/N in Ho Chi Minh.
DAY 2 : HO CHI MINH - CU CHI TUNNELS - HO CHI MINH
The sightseeing tour acquaints us with the city's major sights. We pass the now-demolished wartime American Embassy before exploring the Reunification Palace which was the former residence of the President of South Vietnam until end of April 1975. Close to this palace are some French colonial structures including the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Old Sai Gon Post Office. After seeing the Jade Emperor Pagoda and the War Remnant Museum, we continue our trip on to the bustling Ben Thanh Market where anything and everything is for sale. We drive out this afternoon, to explore the Cu Chi Tunnels, an incredible underground network constructed by Vietnamese fighters during the long struggle for independence. The tunnels contained hospitals, plus accommodation and schools, and were used as a military base for the Vietcong in the American war. O/N in Ho Chi Minh. (B)
DAY 3 : HO CHI MINH - MEKONG DELTA - HO CHI MINH
Heading out of the town, we travel by roads to the Mekong Delta, Vietnam's largest rice bowl. On arrival in My Tho we embark on a boat navigating around the intricate small canals in the delta region, which is a great way to observe the local lifestyle close-up. The exciting excursion will pass the lush green vegetation before arriving on an island. Here we have opportunities to visit some fascinating local industries, stroll around an orchard and taste many seasonal fruits. After feasting on a huge lunch we return to Ho Chi Minh, stopping off along the way to see the beautiful Ving Trang Pagoda and the Cho Lon, Saigon’s Chinatown, which is crammed with fascinating temples and mysterious, narrow lanes. O/N in Ho Chi Minh. (B,L)
DAY 4: HO CHI MINH - DEPARTURE
There is a free time for you to relax or further explore Ho Chi Minh City. The trip ends after your transfer to Tan San Nhat Airport for departure. (B).
Green Trail Tours - Traveller Tips for Vietnam
GEOGRAPHY: Vietnam stretches over 1600 km.along the eastern coast of the Indochina Peninsula. The S-shaped country is broad in the north and south and very narrow in the centre. Almost 80% of Vietnam consists of mountains and hills. The TruongSonMountains extend almost the length of Vietnam along the borders with Laos and Cambodia.
VISAS: All visitors are required to have a valid visa to enter Vietnam. A one-month tourist visa is usually sufficient for most visitors though it is possible to arrange 3-month and 6-month multiple entry visas for regular visitors. All visitors must obtain visa approval from the Vietnamese Immigration Department before a visa is issued.
MONEY: The currency issued by the Vietnam State Bank is the dong (abbreviated "d" or VND) which is used informally throughout the country. Bank notes in denominations of 200d to 100,000d are presently in circulation. The exchange rate is approximately 18,000d = US$1. Australia Dollars are accepted in many hotels, restaurants. Banks are open Monday to Friday and some are open Saturday morning. Traveller's cheques can be exchanged at banks, some international hotel and some exchange bureaux but can be difficult to change outside of the major cities. Visa Card and MasterCard are now accepted in many hotels, restaurants and shops.
ELECTRICITY: Electric current in Vietnam is 220 volts and will operate all Australian appliances. Always carry a torch with fresh batteries. Recharge photographic batteries regularly.
CLOTHING: Comfortable lightweight clothing in natural fabrics such as cotton is most suitable for travelling in Vietnam. The dress code is fairly casual as in most parts of the tropics but it is advisable to cover arms and legs in the evenings against biting insects. A lightweight raincoat is a good idea in the rainy season. During the winter months warm clothing is needed for visiting the north of Vietnam. Visitors to Buddhist countries should not wear shorts, short skirts or other skimpy clothing when visiting religious buildings and shoes should be removed before entering a private home
CLIMATE / WEATHER: Vietnam’s weather conditions are pleasant for visitors throughout the year. The WINTER monsoon comes from the northeast between October and March with wet chilly conditions in the north, but dry warm temperatures to the south. From April to October the southwest monsoons bring warm, humid weather to the whole country.
LANGUAGE: Because Vietnamese has six different tones, it is a difficult language for most foreigners to speak despite the fact that the Roman alphabet is used in modern Vietnamese. The same word can have six different meanings depending on the tone used to pronounce it. In the cities and larger towns English is becoming popular and is now spoken by many younger people while some of the older generation still speak fluent French. Russian and Chinese are also spoken by some people
ACCOMMODATION: All group tour hotels have been especially selected. All have private western bathroom facilities. Laundry service can launder clothing within 24 hours. It is not customary for all hotels to have refrigerator and tea/coffee facilities.
FOOD / DRINK: The cuisine of Vietnam comes as a pleasant surprise to many visitors and is definitely a part of the Vietnam experience not to be missed. One of the characteristics of Vietnamese food is that it is always fresh being bought the same morning straight from the market. Food is usually prepared with a minimum of oil and served with the ubiquitous fish sauce called nuoc mam. Typical Vietnamese dishes you can expect to try include pho, a type of rice noodle soup eaten for breakfast, cha gio, deep-fried spring rolls and goi ngo sen, a delicious salad made with lotus stems, shrimps and peanuts. Due to the strong Buddhist influence in Vietnam, vegetarian food is widely available.
SHOPPING: Souvenirs to look out for in Vietnam include lacquerware, silk, conical hats, woodcarvings, hill tribe fabrics and handicrafts, embroidery, marble, ceramics, silver jewellery, antique watches and paintings. Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi have the best choice when it comes to shopping but Hoi An in the centre of Vietnam is also a very good place to hunt for bargains.
TOILETS: Public toilets can sometimes be difficult to find. Take every opportunity you can to use clean toilets in hotels and restaurants. Make this a habit on your stay.
HEALTH: Consult your medico or visit the Traveller Medical and Vaccination Centre for professional medical advice well in advance of your departure, Wash hands before and after eating. Carry ‘wet-ones’,anti bacterial handwash, insect repellant, band aids and emergency medicines eg. Diarrhoea. Drink plenty of water and have adequate rest. Seek medical care, if needed. Don’t take risks with health and personal hygiene.
SAFETY / SECURITY: Always maintain a high level of personal security. Cash or wallets in pockets, obvious jewellery and open bags attract unwanted attention. Beware of pickpockets in crowded places. Lock your case, Carry a hotel card so that taxis know where to take you.
LUGGAGE: All passengers are limited to TWO items of luggage each. One case with maximum weight weight of 20 kg. and maximum size of 70 litres. It is essential to lock this case. One piece of hand luggage with maximum weight of 5 kg. It is advisable that hand luggage consist of a ‘daypack’ to carry camera, water, toilet paper, umbrella, hat etc.
TIPPING: Tipping for good service is not expected but is always appreciated in these developing nations. It is customary, though not compulsory, to tip tour guides and drivers at the end of a tour. Hotel and station porters should also be tipped.
TRAVEL INSURANCE: All group tour passengers must have comprehensive travel insurance. You can complete this with Green Trail Tours if you wish. Check your Travel Insurance Policy for an Emergency number and details of services to be provided, Carry these details with you.
>> MINIMUM 02 PERSONS <<
>> MAXIMUM 10 PERSONS <<
+Transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle with driver
+ Accommodation: twin sharing room at mentioned hotels or similar one
+ English or French speaking guide
+ Entrance fee to indicated sights
+ Meals as indicated : B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner
+ Domestic flight mention in program
+ Boat trip in mention in program.
+ Other meals
+ Airport tax
+ Single room supplement
+ Personal expenses
+ Travel insurance
+ Flight in / out of Vietnam
+ Any optional additional tours
+ Activities during free time
+ Surcharge for peak season
+ Local holiday days and gala dinner.