8 Day Essential Vietnam
Air & Land
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Book By Mar 16, 2023 & Save!
|2023 Dates & Prices Single Supplement: $250|
|Hotel||Dates||Embark||Tour Starts||Ship||Land Only||Air & Land|
|2024 Dates & Prices Single Supplement: $250|
|Hotel||Dates||Embark||Tour Starts||Ship||Land Only||Air & Land|
Optional tours and gratuities.
Land only price does not include arrival/departure transfers, but does include flight Ho Chi Minh-Hanoi.
Passengers should select flights that arrive no later than 3 am on Day 3.
Passengers traveling abroad require a passport valid for six months beyond their travel dates. All travelers are responsible to check if a visa is required for all countries on their itinerary. For visa information, check our Visas page.
Is This Trip Right for You?
Escorted Package Includes
- Flights Los Angeles-Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi-Los Angeles
Other departure cities available. Click on date of departure for selection and prices
- Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
- Intra-flight: Ho Chi Minh-Hanoi
- 6 nights accommodations
- 3 nights Ho Chi Minh
- 1 night Halong Bay
- 2 nights Hanoi
- Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
- Hotel porterage
- All transfers included only with airfare purchase on package arrival & departure dates†
- 7 meals: 6 breakfasts, 1 lunch
- Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned motor coach
- Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout
- Entrance fees per itinerary
- Comfortable wireless earphones for enhanced touring
- Leisure time to enjoy Hoi Chi Minh former Saigon with its magnificent French colonial architecture
- View the thousands of limestone islands rising out of the sea during the Halong Bay excursion
- Time to explore the capital city of Hanoi, a fascinating blend of East and West, at your own pace
♦ Flights from the USA may arrive on DAY 3.
†Transfers are available for purchase for land only or on alternative flight dates
Is This Trip Right for You?
This Value program provides the comfort of an escorted tour, with the freedom to explore on your own. Minimal inclusions plus a variety of optional excursions allow maximum customization. The program is minimally active, unless all optional tours are selected. If so, this moderately active program covers a good amount of ground each day. The pace is moderate, however the majority is over uneven surfaces, stairs and steps. This is a Value program. For more information, click here.
Gate 1 Travel itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently.
This first class hotel is a short walk from the Saigon Opera House.Hotel Details
This first class hotel overlooks the magnificent Halong Bay.Hotel Details
- Tours purchased while travelling may cost an extra 10% or more
- Tours often sell out. Avoid disappointment
- Save your cash. Credit card processing may not be possible locally
- Travel insurance only covers services purchased prior to departure
- Book Online or call to book these tours up to 1 week before your departure
- The day the optionals operate varies by the day of the week
The Cu Chi tunnels were part of an underground tunnel network built by the Viet Cong to control a large rural area near Saigon. These tunnels were first used during the French/Vietnamese War (1946-1954) and later used by the Viet Cong as a base of operations during the 1968 Tet offensive. The Cu Chi network includes 125 miles of tunnels with many branches connecting to underground hideouts, weapon factories, hospitals, shelters and other tunnels. The entire structure was dug out of the rock by hand tools without the use of cement. On this tour, you’ll learn about the tunnels and other aspects of the war. Opportunity for a brief view of life underground as you enter areas that have been enlarged to create easier access for visitors. The majority of the tour will be above the tunnels.
Please note: This tour is presented from a Vietnamese perspective, based on past wars with France and the United States. If you are uncomfortable with the expressed point-of-views and prefer not to hear this discussion, then we recommend that you do not participate.
Approximate tour duration is 5 hours.
|Day #3||01 Jul 2022 - 30 Jun 2024||$42.00|
Embark on a guided tour of Ho Chi Minh City and immerse yourself in its vibrant atmosphere. Admire the impressive neo-Romanesque Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office with its French style architecture, City Hall, and the magnificent French colonial façade of Saigon Opera House. From here, head to the lively Ben Thanh Market - where an unbelievable assortment of wares and crafts are sold under one roof. Continue to Dong Khoi Street, a major shopping thoroughfare in the center of the city with beautifully restored French colonial buildings.
Approximate tour duration is 4 hours.
|Day #3||01 Jul 2022 - 30 Jun 2024||$35.00|
The Mekong River is the lifeblood of Southeast Asia. It starts from Tibet, running through 5 countries before entering Vietnam and created a great basin via its 9 tributaries. Today's journey into the Mekong Delta region will take us along the newly built highway, picturesque countryside and seemingly endless paddy fields. Upon arrival at My Tho, you will board a private motor boat for a fascinating cruise along the river, observing the daily life of local people on the waterways. The tour includes a sampan ride through the winding canals, a visit to a coconut factory, handicraft workshop, honey bee farm. You will be introduced to the daily life of the local people, learning about local fruit and plants as well as an opportunity to sample some local tropical fruit in an orchard. The tour ends with a great lunch at a local restaurant by the river bank.
Return to H Chi Minh City by bus.
Approximate tour duration is 8.5 hours
|Day #4||01 Jul 2022 - 30 Jun 2024||$69.00|
Embark on a city tour of Hanoi that includes a cyclo ride around the bustling Old Quarter of Hanoi. The cyclo is a very common mode of transportation in Vietnam. Visit the Ho Chi Minh historic complex, which includes the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (entrance to the mausoleum is not included), the Presidential Palace, House on Stilts and One Pillar Pagoda. Afterward, learn the craft of Vietnamese cooking! Visit the local market with a Chef, followed by a private cooking class. Sample and savor your personally cooked lunch. In the afternoon, visit Ngoc Son Temple, Hanoi's most visited temple and one of the city's Tube Houses, a tall dwelling with narrow frontage, to see first-hand how residents once lived. Later, attend a performance of the world-famous Water Puppet Show, accompanied by a traditional Vietnamese orchestra and Cheo (a form of opera). The show depicts a series of ancient Vietnamese folktales, acted out by puppets over a pool of water.
Approximate tour duration is 7 hours.
|Day #7||01 Jul 2022 - 30 Jun 2024||$83.00|
|Know Before You Go|
|Although most of the planning and preparation is taken care of for you, there are still a few things you should know and some details you should take care of to ensure your comfort, safety and peace of mind. Please review the following information before your departure to ensure that any surprises along the way will only be pleasant ones.|
|Getting Ready to Go|
|Passports and Visas|
|It is each traveler's responsibility to have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the dates of travel and a visa if required. Please check the information at www.gate1travel.com/visas.aspx for the specific country/region you are visiting for more details. IMPORTANT: Passengers who are not U.S. citizens must check with the respective consulate or a visa agency to determine what personal identification is required. Passengers who enter, leave and then re-enter the same country on their itinerary should check if they require a double-entry visa. Passport applications are available at most U.S. Post Offices, as well as at regional Passport Agencies. Passengers requiring visas, whether obtained in advance or locally upon arrival, should ensure that their passport has blank pages.
|Traveling with Friends or Family?|
|If you are traveling with friends or family who are booked on another reservation, please make sure that we are aware. On occasion, we may operate more than one vehicle on your tour departure in which case we will ensure that guests will be assigned together. This is achieved by connecting your reservations before your departure. Once you arrive in your destination, it may not be possible to make assignment changes. To check that your reservations are linked, log into https://www.gate1travel.com/res with your email and password, select your reservation number, and check to see that your reservations are indicated as "Traveling With" at the top right side of the display. |
|A little pre-planning can make your trip go a lot smoother. Several weeks before your trip, make a list of what you will need to take with you. Make sure your personal documents (passports, visas, driver's license) are in order. Make sure also that you have enough prescription medications to last through the trip and carry them with you in case your luggage is delayed. Bring a change of clothes in your carry-on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost. Lost luggage is common. We strongly urge you to consider carry-ons instead of checked bags when possible, and when checking a bag is necessary, choose a bag color and identification that stands out. We suggest that you make photocopies of passports, visas, personal ID and any other important travel documents and pack them separately from the originals. You may also make a digital copy of your passport to keep a clear picture with the important details in your cell phone or digital camera photos. If you lose the originals while traveling, you'll have copies for easier reporting and replacement. Pack a list of medications including dosage and generic names. You may consider bringing a small supply of over the counter medications for headaches and/or anti-diarrhea pills (especially when traveling outside of the USA and Western Europe). We recommend that you pack a portable alarm clock. Due to security reasons, many museums have restrictions on the size of bags that can be taken inside and backpacks, carry-on bags or large purses may not be permitted. It is recommended to bring a small shoulder bag or purse to use in these situations instead. Avoid placing valuables such as cameras in your checked luggage. Airplane pressure can cause similar pressure in your body, most notably in ears, as well as liquid tubes and bottles. Your physician can suggest medication for decongestion. We suggest that you place liquid containers into Ziploc bags to catch any leaks. |
|Travel Safety Advice: The safety of our guests is Gate 1’s #1 concern. Before making the decision to reserve your vacation, we want you to be aware of potential situations which may impact your holiday. While most of the time our programs run precisely according to plans, on rare occasion force majeure events including weather, transportation mechanical issues, or uninhabitable accommodation, civil unrest and even criminal or terrorist activities will present themselves unexpectedly and with little or no notice. Gate 1 will make the decision to cancel a tour only after receiving verifiable government issued information. We are otherwise obliged to comply with contractual airline and vendor agreements and carry out the tour until or unless we are advised otherwise. In the event of such an occurrence anytime after your date of departure, Gate 1 and the local destination ground staff, in coordination with government advisories, airlines, hotels, cruise ships and other vendors, will make decisions with regard to your safety first. We strongly recommend that tour participants review the destination country's specific information at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html. |
|Even the best-planned trips can be impacted by the unexpected. And that is why we recommend that you help protect yourself and your investment by purchasing Travel Protection for your Gate 1 trip. Travel Protection can help with medical coverage for illness or injury, trip cancellation and/or interruption, baggage loss, medical evacuation, and more. At any time before you complete Final Payment, you may choose to purchase Travel Protection. The protection plan premium is non-refundable after a 10-day review period. In addition, you must be medically able to travel at the time the premium is paid. For a summary of the plan details on coverages, benefits, limitations and exclusions, please refer to the Description of Coverage by visiting www.gate1travel.com/insurance/. |
Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit (CFAR) is a non-insurance feature that allows you to cancel up to 72 hours before your scheduled departure for any reason not otherwise covered in the Travel Protection Plan. CFAR must be purchased at the same time as the Travel Protection Plan as well as within 21 days of the original booking date. Independent or escorted tour reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to the full cost of your trip, less the cost of initial deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. Sea or river cruise reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to 50% of the cost of your trip, less the cost of initial trip deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. All CFAR credits are valid for a period of two years from the original date of travel. CFAR Credits have no cash value and are not transferrable. Airline-assessed fees are generally $300 per person, but may be as much as fully non-refundable. Some non-refundable airline tickets may retain value, less airline-assessed fees. Your future air credit must be used to book with the same airline. Deadlines to rebook and complete travel vary by airline and may be as early as 12 months from when the tickets were originally issued (not the date of travel). For details, www.gate1travel.com/insurance/.
This program does not apply to custom groups and Antarctica cruises. Residents of New York, Missouri & Minnesota may purchase this Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit separate from Travel Protection. Call to speak with a reservation agent for details. This Cancel for any Reason Wavier Benefit is not insurance and is provided by Gate 1 Travel.
|Cell Phones & Calling Cards|
|You may wish to carry a cell phone while traveling. Check with your cell phone provider if your phone will work in the destination(s) you are visiting. If you can access the Internet as you travel, you can take advantage of email or a Skype Internet telephone (VOIP) account for the best value. Additionally, if your phone can connect to WiFi you may be able to make voice and video calls free of charge. Please contact your cell phone provider for further details. Alternatively, you may investigate renting a cell phone before you leave or buying an inexpensive phone locally. When calling the U.S. from a foreign country, you may also use a prepaid calling card; normally, the only additional charge (besides the prepaid long distance charges) is a local fee of a few cents and possibly a connection fee if you are using your card at your hotel. It is best to check with the hotel's reception desk prior to making phone calls to avoid unexpected charges. Please note that we are unable to provide compensation for phone calls regardless of reason. |
|Making Telephone Calls from One Country to Another|
|When dialing a number from one country to another, you should proceed as follows: dial your country's Exit Code (often indicated with a “+” sign), then the destination Country Code, then the Phone Number. For most countries, the exit code is 00. Exceptions include the USA and Canada (011), Hong Kong and Cambodia (001), Australia (0011), and Russia (8 Pause 10*). For Brazil, please consult with the local telephone company. If you are dialing from a mobile phone, you can enter a “+” instead of the international Exit Code (011, 001, 0011 or 00) by pressing and holding the 0 key. For most countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and South Pacific, if you are calling from a local phone to a number within the same country, you should drop both the exit and country codes and then add a leading 0 (zero). Exceptions include Spain, Italy, Hungary and Malta (no additional zero needed to dial locally). |
To dial the following number in Germany (as listed on your voucher): +(49) 0555-555
From USA or your US cell phone: 011-49-555-555
From another country in Europe: 00-49-555-555
From a German phone within Germany: 0555-555
|WiFi access has improved. Free or inexpensive WiFi internet is accessible at coffee shops, airports, restaurants, libraries and on some trains and buses. WiFi access in hotels and cruise lines often involves a fee, determined by that property. Signal strength is subject to local conditions and not guaranteed. Availability on cruises is also dependent upon its location while sailing through multiple countries. Please note that WiFi can be extremely slow, unreliable and sometimes nonexistent in developing countries or, on moving conveyances such as buses and cruise ships. |
|Staying Healthy While Traveling|
|All travelers should familiarize themselves with local conditions, such as high altitude or required immunizations, which could affect their health. We recommend you consult with your personal healthcare provider, the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) and/or the World Health Organization (http://www.who.int/en/) for their recommendations. |
There are several easy steps you can take to stay healthy while traveling which may help prevent contracting an illness while away from home.
|Notice on Aircraft Cabin Insecticide Treatment - Please note that some countries may require aircraft cabin insecticide treatment for in-bound foreign flights. A list of such countries is available at:
|Consideration for Tour Participants (Escorted Tours)|
For the benefit of all tour participants, we ask tour members to be considerate of their fellow travelers in the following ways: |
|Climate & Clothing|
|Vietnam - Southern Vietnam has two seasons, the wet season from May to November and the dry season from December to April. Northern regions also have two seasons with cool and damp conditions from November to April and generally hot, dry conditions from May through October. Bring appropriate clothing depending on the season during which you are traveling. Comfortable walking shoes, clothes you can layer and an all-weather jacket are recommended. Some religious sites may require modest dress to enter: No shorts or short skirts, knees must be covered by long pants or a long skirt. No sleeveless tops, shoulders must be covered and a shawl or scarf is frequently not accepted as a cover. |
Vietnam Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/asia-pacific/default.aspx#southeast-asia-weather
|Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or “drone” technology has quickly become affordable and is increasingly popular with recreational users. While some countries have clear, established drone laws, others do not, or existing regulations are undergoing review and change. Travelers who wish to bring a drone on their trip are responsible to research and abide by the laws and regulations of the countries they are visiting, as well as to check with their airline(s) regarding their rules for transporting drones. Please note that tours are unable to extend the length of scheduled visits and stops to accommodate use of drones. |
|Book & Film Recommendations|
|Many of our guests enjoy reading about their destination - either in advance of their trip or while traveling - as a way of adding context to their visit. Whether reading a traditional guide book, learning about the history and culture, or simply enjoying a fictional novel set in the destination, a good book can add greatly to your experience. Similarly, a good movie set in your destination helps set the mood before you travel. We asked our Tour Managers and staff to recommend books and films which past guests may have enjoyed. The following does not constitute an endorsement of any authors, books or films listed, it is merely a collection of guests' recommendations. |
Destination Saigon by Walter Mason
Fields of Fire by James H. Webb
When Heaven and Earth Changed Places: A Vietnamese Woman's Journey from War to Peace by Le Ly Hayslip & Jay Wurts
The Unwanted: A Memoir by Kien Nguyen
Dumb Luck by Vu Trong Phung; Translated by Peter Zinoman & Nguyen Nguyet Cam
Three Seasons (1999)
|Preparing for Your Trip|
| As a courtesy service, complimentary airline seat assignments are requested on your behalf and, when available, are displayed in order of Passenger #1, #2 and so on. Assignments reflect the best available seats at the time of booking. Some airlines and/or fare types do not allow for pre-seating and require this be done at airport check-in only; in which case the display shows “N/A”. Seats are subject to change by your airline(s) including, for example, when there is a schedule change or equipment change after your initial booking; this may cause seat assignments to be changed or even cancelled. Some airlines offer preferred seating for an additional fee; these seats may only be purchased directly from the airline. You will need your family name and the 6-digit airline “Record Locator” which is displayed with the flight details on your reservation. In the event that you change seat assignments directly with your airline, changes will not be reflected on your invoice or documents. At the time that Gate 1 travel documents are issued, the currently assigned seats will be listed based on the assignments stored in your airline reservation at that time. Should you have questions regarding your assignments, please write to us at www.gate1travel.com/contactus. |
|Luggage & Packing|
|Checked bags are typically limited to a total dimension of 62 inches by adding length + width + height (example: 26"+26"+10" = 62”), and a maximum weight of 50 lbs (23kg). Smart Bags with a USB charging port, GPS tracking device and other high-tech features are prohibited as checked or carry-on baggage unless the bag is made with removable batteries and the batteries are removed and stored separately. Many airlines charge for checked bags including flights which begin and end within the USA. The most inexpensive airfare options commonly known as Basic Economy airfares do not include any checked bags nor seat assignments before the day of departure. However, for some airlines, other airfare categories also do not include checked baggage. This will be clearly displayed in our airfare selection and on your invoice. Where available, we highly recommend selecting airfares which include at least 1 piece of checked baggage. Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for checked bag fees, excess luggage or weight charges levied by an airline. Checked baggage allowances displayed on reservation details and invoices reflect the applicable allowance at the time of booking but are subject to change by your airline(s). For your airline’s requirements and fees, visit www.gate1travel.com/baggagefees.aspx. For important baggage information, visit www.gate1travel.com/luggage.aspx. Avoid placing valuables in your checked luggage. Federal law forbids the carriage of hazardous materials aboard the aircraft in your luggage, your carry-on or on your person. A violation can result in five years’ imprisonment and penalties of $250,000 or more (49 U.S.C. 5124). Hazardous materials include explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids and solids, oxidizers, poisons, corrosives and radioactive materials. Examples: Paints, lighter fluid, fireworks, tear gases, oxygen bottles, and radio-pharmaceuticals. There are special exceptions for small quantities (up to 70 ounces total) of medicinal and toilet articles carried in your luggage and certain smoking materials carried on your person. Check the Transportation and Safety Administration (TSA) website www.tsa.gov to find out the current list of acceptable items you may bring on a plane before packing. We recommend that you use brightly colored luggage tags, straps or other identifiers to help you locate you luggage upon arrival or to describe it in the event that it is lost. |
|Vietnam - Intra-Vietnam flights have a weight restriction for luggage of 44 lbs. per piece of luggage with a limit of one piece of checked luggage per person. This differs from international flight luggage limits and should be taken into account when preparing for your trip. A lock is recommended for checked luggage while traveling within Vietnam. |
|Day of Departure|
|What to do if You Need Assistance|
Whether you purchased your airfare from Gate 1 Travel or from the airline directly, please bear in mind that Gate 1 Travel does not own nor operate the airline(s), nor the airport facilities where they operate. At times, flying can be a frustrating experience, especially when things do not go exactly as planned, and airline explanations can be confusing or even misleading. Should you face a problem, remain calm and seek assistance either from the airline directly or from Gate 1. Please be aware that in most cases, on the day of your flight(s), airlines pass responsibility for your reservation to their staff at the airport and it is not always possible for Gate 1 Travel to intervene on your behalf, either through our reservations system or directly with your airline.
|Arrival & Departure|
|Upon arrival, please complete immigration formalities if necessary and claim your luggage. If your program includes airport arrival transfers, check your voucher for specific instructions, as they vary with every destination. In most cases, you will be met after collecting your luggage or passing through Customs by the local representative who will be holding a Gate 1 Travel sign and/or a sign with your name on it. In some instances you will be instructed to walk a short distance to a transportation counter. The company's name and location will be printed on your voucher. If for any reason you do not connect with the Gate 1 transfer personnel, go to the Tourist Information Desk and ask them to page the Gate 1 Travel representative or phone the number on your voucher. If you are delayed due to lost luggage, phone the number on the voucher or have a companion exit the Customs Area to advise the transfer representative. |
|What To Do When Your Flight Is Delayed|
|Airlines do not share flight manifest information. Therefore, the only way we may learn of a delay or schedule change while you are traveling is from you, the traveler. The sooner you are able to contact one of our offices, the better we can respond. Please refer to the Emergency Assistance instructions on this same document. Gate 1 Travel is only able to guarantee pre-reserved arrival transfers for up to one hour from the scheduled time, no matter the cause. In case you are delayed for any reason, and are unable to follow the instructions on your voucher, please make independent transfer arrangements and retain your receipts. Unused tour services, including transfers and hotel nights are not refundable. Upon you return home you will need to contact your airline and/or insurance carrier to investigate the possibility of reimbursement for any unused tour services. |
|If your program includes departure transfers, instructions will be stated on your voucher or provided locally. |
|Due to local traffic and other extenuating circumstances, we ask that you allow 30 minutes from your scheduled transfer time for our representative to arrive. This includes hotel, airport and cruise transfers. Such possible delays are taken into consideration in scheduling transfers and you should therefore have no concerns about arriving late for your tour, flight or cruise. For transfers from a hotel, let the hotel reception desk or concierge know that you are waiting for a transfer. In the case of a missed transfer, reimbursement for your out-of-pocket expenses will be considered provided you obtain a written statement from the hotel's front desk verifying the length of time you waited, and the time you left the hotel, and a receipt for your transportation with time and date. |
The cost of a transfer is more expensive than hiring a taxi, as a Gate 1 transfer necessarily includes round trip service, or 'dead-leg'. Often the places of call (airports, seaports, hotels) demand entrance and parking fees, where drivers may have to wait for up to an hour. Passengers comfortable hiring a taxi on their own and do not require assistance will save money.
|About Your Accommodations|
|Gate 1 Travel has carefully selected each hotel based on overall quality, location, price, food, service, and cleanliness. All rooms are standard twin-bedded (two single beds) rooms with private facilities. Special requests such as bed types, smoking preference and connecting rooms are subject to availability. Room selection in all cases, unless otherwise reserved, is strictly at the discretion of the hotel's management on a run-of-house basis. Triple rooms consist of standard twin beds or one double bed plus a sofa/folding bed or cot for third person except in the U.S. and Canada, where triple rooms often consist of two double/queen beds for three persons; where available, a fee may be charged by the hotel for the addition of a cot/rollaway. The number of persons accommodated does not dictate the room size. Although available at most 4 and 5 star hotels, the use of air-conditioning abroad differs greatly from the United States, and is often shut down at night and from the end until the start of the summer months. Some lodges and accommodations in remote regions may not have all of the amenities, such as hairdryer, alarm clock and room service, that you might find in a larger hotel located in a city center. |
|Hotel Check-in/ Check-out|
|Hotel check-in time is generally not before 4:00 p.m. and check-out time is prior to noon. If you will be arriving early in the day or departing in the evening, hotels will usually allow you to store your luggage in their luggage room. Ask at the front desk if the hotel can check you in earlier, or let you stay later. |
|At Your Destination|
|Eco & Sustainable Tourism|
|We support global efforts to create a more eco-friendly world, intolerant of any forms of cruelty, abuse and intentional environmental destruction. To that end we ask that our clients maintain a watchful eye as they travel, and report any abuses they may encounter. One of the many benefits of tourism is the shared cultural knowledge and ultimate elimination of negative behavior through education. We rely on your good feedback to enable this element of symbiosis. As you travel and learn about foreign cultures, we ask first and foremost that you practice tolerance and respect for local customs. |
|Tipping is always a matter of personal discretion. For your convenience, please use the summary below as a guideline for recommended gratuity amounts. Gratuities may be paid in local currency or US dollar equivalent where accepted. Please be aware that tipping is considered by many locals to be a part of their normal remuneration and some may approach you for additional "compensation." There is no need to be intimidated by the request, nor should you feel pressured to pay more than recommended. If you become uncomfortable by any behavior you encounter, please advise your tour manager or phone our local office. Numbers are provided in your documents for your convenience. |
|Suggested Tipping: Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos & Malaysia|
Tour Manager (Coordinator; may or may not act as a guide): US $5 per person per day
Driver (Provides chauffeur services and limited assistance with luggage): US $2 per person per day, US $1 per half day
Local Guide (Offers in-depth information at specific locations. There may be one or many guides along a tour program): US $2 per person per day of sightseeing, US $1 per half day
Southeast Asia River Cruise: Crew $8 per person per day; Cruise Director $8 per person per day; Local Guides & Drivers $6 per person per day
Hotel porters and wait staff: Included
|About Your Sightseeing|
|To ensure a pleasant and fair experience for passengers on our escorted tours, there is a mandatory seat rotation policy on our motor coaches which will be organized by your Tour Manager. Some buses are equipped with toilet facility, however they are strictly intended for emergency use only and often require the vehicle to stop for safety reasons before use. When travel dates coincide with religious holidays and national celebrations, some monuments and sites may be closed, sometimes without prior notice. On these occasions, escorted touring itineraries may be amended to reflect these closures. Occasionally, during holidays and certain periods, and/or due to other unforeseen circumstances including weather conditions, there may be last-minute changes, sometimes after arrival, which may affect the sequence of the tour and locations visited. National monuments and tourist sites regularly undergo renovations, which can obscure the monument's view. No tour will be canceled due to renovations, however Gate 1 will decide based on the conditions whether to amend an itinerary. To respect the privacy of all tour participants, your tour manager will not organize a group photo or collect passenger email addresses for a group list. |
|Land Only Passengers (Escorted Tours)|
|Your tour manager will contact you after your arrival at your hotel. Passengers who have not purchased arrival transfers from Gate 1 Travel should proceed directly to the hotel for check-in. The details of the hotel can be found in your documents. |
|Purchasing Tours Locally|
| On escorted tours, the guides will generally sell optional tours to passengers who have not pre-purchased them. Payment can be made by cash or credit card, unless otherwise noted below. This does not apply to Independent packages. Please see Gate 1 Terms & Conditions for more information. https://www.gate1travel.com/terms.aspx#optional |
|Independent Activities - Gate 1 itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently and with due consideration. Gate 1 is not responsible for any activities not expressly included in its programs. Caution should be exercised when selecting certain activities that may require physical strength, coordination or exertion. Particular care should be taken when considering animal rides, such as on camels, mules or horses |
|Vietnam - The Vietnamese Dong is the currency of Vietnam. |
It is recommended to carry cash in small denominations in local currency or in US $1 bills to make tipping and minor expenses easier. It is recommended to carry new or like new banknotes as older, torn or poor condition notes may not be accepted locally.
|Most people enjoy bringing home at least one souvenir from the countries they visit. However, some find any amount of shopping to be too much while others never find enough opportunities. |
We have built into our Escorted itineraries a few shopping stops at recommended spots. These stops are designed to enhance your experience by providing an opportunity to see first-hand quality locally crafted merchandise which you may not be able to find on your own. Shops are checked to ensure the quality and authenticity of the products they offer, and we limit guides from visiting other locations. In some cases, we plan these stops to provide an opportunity to use clean bathrooms and to stretch your legs. All shops want your satisfaction, and therefore in case of any misunderstanding they ask that you kindly submit your claim to us within one week of the item's receipt. Claims submitted later will be subject to each store’s policies.
While shopping independently, we advise you to exercise care and common sense when making any purchase. Always get a formal receipt. And remember that, just like in this country, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is!
About Tax-Free Shopping
Tax-Free Shopping allows shoppers to reclaim the VAT (Value-Added Tax) or GST (Goods and Services Tax) they have paid on their purchases in some foreign countries in accordance with restrictions and procedures as dictated by each country. Refund eligibility varies by country, but may require presenting a scanned copy of your passport at the time of purchase, a minimum amount spent, or providing original store receipts. For more details, check the respective country’s online website, with the shop salesperson, with your tour manager or at www.globalblue.com for specific country regulations and airport operation hours. Please keep in mind that you must apply for VAT refund in the airport of the country the items were purchased and allow enough time prior to your flight for the application.
U.S. Customs & Shipping Charges
You may carry items with a fair retail value totaling $800 into the U.S. Taxes may be applied to the next $1,000 worth of merchandise. U.S. Customs determines the value of your items, often honoring a genuine sales receipt. Items which are shipped home are always subject to duty when received in the U.S. (in addition to shipping charges). Some shops may offer to include shipping and duties in the price but this typically means shipping only to the customs facility closest to you and payment only of the export duties; you would still need to collect the item and pay U.S. import duties. Please be aware that it is illegal to import products made from endangered animal species. U.S. Customs & Border Protection will seize these items, as well as most furs, coral, tortoise shell, reptile skins, feathers, plants, and items made from animal skins.
|Vietnam - Religious carvings, fine laquerware, and textiles are the most popular items to shop for. Bargaining is widely practiced. |
|Your Safety is Very Important|
Prior to your trip, if you are traveling overseas, we strongly recommend that you visit the website of the U.S. Department of State at www.travel.state.gov, specifically the section which addresses International Travel. You should read the tips for foreign travel and travel warnings for the country or countries that you plan to visit. |
It is also important that you do not allow your common sense to take a vacation while on your trip. Here are several tips which, if followed, will save much potential hardship:
If you've purchased an escorted tour program, your travel documents will include telephone numbers of local Gate 1 Travel representatives who will do their utmost to assist you in the event of an emergency. The numbers are printed on your Gate 1 Travel vouchers. Please copy the numbers. Once you relinquish the voucher, you will not have this information. Passengers traveling independently should employ the services of hotel concierges and local authorities.
|Tourist Street Scams|
Pickpockets and thieves can destroy an otherwise wonderful holiday. Be mindful of these precautions to help avoid being scammed or robbed: |
|Local Emergency Phone Numbers|
|Vietnam - Vietnamese is the local language. English is generally spoken in tourist areas. |
|Please note: The U.S. uses 120 volts and you can purchase a converter and transformer at most hardware stores for your 120V appliances. |
|Vietnam - The voltage used is 220 volts. |
|Code of Conduct|
|Vietnam - Shaking hands is the standard greeting. Simple, modest clothing is appropriate. Footwear should be removed upon entering a Buddhist temple. Common courtesies should be observed. Avoid the topic of the American / Vietnamese conflict. |
|Food and Meals|
|As specified in each itinerary. Meals are based on the hotel's or restaurant's buffet or set menu. In general, beverages are not included, unless specifically stated. Although Gate 1 cannot make guarantees, every effort will be made to honor special dietary requests submitted in writing at least 72 hours prior to departure at www.gate1travel.com/contactus. Terminology for dietary requests can vary from country to country and options may be limited. Therefore we recommend that you make your wishes known to your tour manager upon arrival, and at each hotel/restaurant. |
|Vietnam - While it is generally safe to eat fully cooked meats and vegetables, care should be taken to avoid undercooked meat and uncooked fruits and vegetables. Because tap water is not potable, visitors should only drink bottled water or water that has been boiled and filtered. Avoid ice, as it is usually made from tap water. |
|On public holidays, there may be reduced public transportation, as well as limited hours or closures of attractions, shops and restaurants. |
|Holidays - Vietnam|
Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 3: New Year's Day observed
Jan 31: Lunar New Year's Eve
Feb 1: Lunar New Year
Feb 2-5: Tet, Vietnamese and Lunar New Year's
Apr 10: Hung Kings Celebration
Apr 30: Vietnamese Unification Day
May 1: Labor Day
May 2: Vietnamese Unification Day observed
May 3: Labor Day observed
Sep 2: National Day
Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 2: New Year's Day observed
Jan 21-22: Vietnamese New Year's Eve
Jan 23-26: Tet Holiday
Apr 29: Hung Kings Celebration
Apr 30: Vietnamese Unification Day
May 1: Labor Day
May 2: Vietnamese Unification Day observed
Sep 2: National Day
Sep 4: National Day observed
We had a great time. All of our Gate 1 Guides were good and we enjoyed seeing and learning about Bangkok, Siem Reap and the country of Vietnam. We especially enjoyed Tran Nghia, the Gate 1 guide in Vietnam. He is wonderful.Dave F. Minneapolis, MN
Enjoyed my trip to Bangkok, Cambodia & Vietnam. The tour managers were excellent guides. Kept us safe & gave history info & necessary information about the specific place we were staying.Cristina A. Tyngsborough, MA
Our trip was great and we all enjoyed it very much. The itinerary was well-planned, interesting and informative. What we liked most is the Tour Manager, Tho, because he's so kind, organized, detail-oriented, caring, good sense of humor and likable. He's the best Tour Manager we've ever had with Gate-1 or any other tours.Shaun T. Cypress, CA
We just got home from our 17 day trip to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam and cannot stop raving about this experience! Gate 1, you did a sensational job of organizing and executing this trip! Everything we saw and did was planned meticulously and went off without a hitch. The itinerary was fabulous! The combination of big cities, countrysides and small villages gave us a good taste of each country. The included activities were all beyond fabulous and we learned so much. We also had free time to explore on our own which we enjoyed and for which we were well prepared. The food choices offered in all countries were wonderful and I tried things I had never had before . Vietnamese food is now a favorite of mine! The hotels were all lovely and conveniently located and the breakfasts at each one were incredible! We chose to do all of the offered optional tours and were ecstatic that we did! Every one of them was outstanding and varied and we loved all the experiences offered. What a trip!! 17 days flew and gave us memories to last a lifetime! Our group of 20 was the perfect size. We were different ages and backgrounds and got along so beautifully which added to the enjoyment of the trip. I’d like to particularly let you know how exceptional all our guides were. Each of them was extremely knowledgeable, organized, enthusiastic and well prepared. They all spoke English so well and were easily understood. I always felt well cared for and safe in every environment. Tuk met us at the airport in Thailand and started off our trip in such a wonderful way. She carefully guided us through so many amazing sights and made everything interesting, fascinating and enjoyable. I fell in love with Sarnak in Cambodia. What a personable, charming and bright young man! His stories, both personal and educational, added such depth to our understanding and compassion for Cambodia. He deserves special recognition! We spent the most time with Tho in Vietnam. I can’t say enough great things about him! He was amazing and we were fortunate to have him with us. Efficient, bright, caring and organized, he thought of everything to make our trip safe, interesting, educational and fun. His recommendations for our free time were so helpful. I was so pleased that he gave us written instructions and recommendations everyday because there was so much going on and having a piece of paper to refer to was extremely helpful. He was the tour guide for all the optional tours we went on and his knowledge and experience made each day extra special. Tho was an exceptional guide in every way! I guess you can see that we loved this magical trip! Thank you Gate 1 for the trip of a lifetime!Beth & Sheldon W. New Rochelle, NY
I just wanted to reach out and say that Yo is the absolute best guide I’ve had out of 7 Gate 1 trips. She went above and beyond for everyone, and all of the little ‘extras’ and recommendations for free time were incredible. I’d go back on a tour to SE Asia just to have her as a guide again.Lana B. Sylva, NC
The trip was absolutely wonderful! Our tour guide was so informative, my daughter who had been in Vietnam already for the past year learned so much information from him regarding the history and customs of this lovely country. He was most professional and patient with all questions and requests. The hotels were clean and conveniently located. The staff were so friendly and welcoming. The local tour guide for Cambodia was also a delight! We just had an absolutely relaxing and informative vacation.Sheryl H. El Segundo, CA
The trip was absolutely amazing. Everything about the tour was fulfilling: Our FABULOUS tour guide, Buffalo, imparting his knowledge, humor, and sensitivity, addressing all our needs throughout the 12 days we were together - Our Cambodian guide, who enabled us to learn so much about the country and historic monuments, the above average hotel accommodations, comfortable travel vehicles, pace of the trip and all the unbelievable sights we were introduced to. So happy to travel with Gate 1.Nola S. Pompton Lakes, NJ
The trip was great! We had a memorable experience. The 3 guides in each area of Bangkok, Cambodia and Vietnam were so helpful and informative. As we were in Vietnam the longest we want to sing the praises of Duc. He was fantastic. From helping us for our Vietnam visa to sharing his knowledge and insights of Vietnam, providing us tastings of Vietnamese food and experiencing unique aspects of Vietnamese culture, going into some of their homes and meeting the local people.Doris B. Guam, Guatemala
It was great! Very fascinating country. And our tour director Tom was the best tour director I have ever had on any trip that I’ve ever taken. And I’ve been on a lot of trips. He was amazing. He had such attention to every detail and he was so kind and caring and informative and funny. We enjoyed everything we saw along the way and the people there are awesome.JoAnn R. Pompano Beach, FL
The trip was absolutely amazing. Our tour guide Tho was probably the best guide I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. His knowledge and passion for his culture and his professionalism is impeccable which made the trip unforgettable. I also, want to thank the folks who assisted with the flight changes due to Hurricane Dorian to ensure I made it to Vietnam. They were patient, understanding and very accommodating. I cannot wait to book my next trip through Gate 1.Jessica S. Palm Beach Gardens, FL
This was our first time with Gate 1 and we were all very happy with the trip. The hotels were all nice with great locations. Our days were filled with interesting and educational tours. Our tour guide, Bee, could not have been better. Navigating Vietnam was a little daunting but Bee made it easy for us. He guided us morning, noon, and night. In addition to the guided tours, he advised us where to eat and what to see in our free time. He gave us an overview of the people and customs of Vietnam. Bee is an amazing representative for Gate 1! Our group of 6 was so satisfied with this trip that we all decided we would do another Gate 1 trip in the future.Joyce G. Perkasie, PA
The trip was fantastic, the organization of the the tour was excellent as were the tour guides, especially Rex, who went above and beyond in his job. We can't speak highly enough of him. The one downside was the excessive heat, which of course you cannot control, but we were provided with plenty of water and every attempt was made to make things easier.Kevin O. New South Wales, Australia
My wife and I had a GREAT trip from the time we arrived in Bangkok, Thailand to the departure from Hanoi, Vietnam. We used to plan a lot of our trips which required a extensive amount of research and planning to get everything to flow smoothly. With Gate 1 I let the planning and research to them.....They did such a great job of taking care of the little things that most often get forgotten. We just pack our bags and enjoy the tour!Walter and Marion S. Fort Lauderdale, FL
What a wonderful trip! Gate 1 and the local coordinator, Tom, fit a number of sights and activities into 15 days! Gate 1’s customer service was also exceptional in assisting with logistics during our flights to Cambodia. Thank you for a terrific time!Sarah B. Wilmington, NC
Just wonderful. Buffalo was the best guide I've had on all my 7 or 8 Gate 1 trips. Favorite events were the rickshaw ride, the limestone cave in Halong Bay, all the boat trips, pagodas, Cu Chi tunnels. I'm getting ready to plan something for next March!!Kathleen D. Hillburn, NY
The trip to Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia with the opportunity to visit a border town in Myamar was excellent. The Tour Manager, POK, was the best of the 9 tours I have taken with GATE 1 over the years. He was knowledgeable, funny, and treated everyone individually which was a challenging task since our group consisted of 34 people. The temples of Cambodia, Angor Wat, etc. were beyond my expectations. The White Temple in Thailand was unique and a special treat to see. The use of Le Meridian properties on the trip was an excellent choice. An unforgettable, enjoyable experience.Wes W. Stephenson, VA
It was fabulous! Gate 1 always does top notch trips!! Everything was first class...tour guides, hotels, food, buses and driver's, and all the beautiful sites!Teresa H. San Diego, CA
My husband and I were delighted with our trip. Everything went very smoothly from our pickup at Saigon airport to our transfer to the airport from Hanoi. The hotels we stayed in were all very nice, clean, with good breakfasts and pleasant staff. Our tour guide Duc was EXCELLENT he went above and beyond to ensure his guests every need was attended too. I inadvertently left my Bose ear phones on the final Air China flight from Beijing to Saigon and he helped me to recover them, for which I shall be forever grateful. He was knowledgeable and also compassionate ... All the trips we did offered us the opportunity to learn more about the country and were reasonably priced ... The support staff, drivers and assistants were also very pleasant. I am happy to highly recommend Gate 1 and look forward to our next trip.David K. Marietta, GA
It was marvelous! Udom, our guide, made the trip. He was considerate, efficient, and informative. Without his knowledge and experience, we wouldn’t have gotten nearly as much from the tour. We learned about the history and culture of Thailand and of Buddhism, and he told personal stories that brought the facts and places to life. I especially enjoyed the school visit, and we both really appreciated the visit to the farms ... We must mention our extremely skilled drivers who handled large vehicles with calm and care. We’re in awe! Thanks to all who put these trips together and especially to Udom.Janyce E. Loves Park, IL
Our tours were wonderful. Our guides on both tours were superb and each made our experience so much more enjoyable. Monish on the Triangle tour is a 10+++++ And, Pok on the Thailand tour was equally talented!!! They both shared much of themselves with us while doing the impossible task of managing our groups. I can’t express how much they both enhanced our experience!!!!!!! The sights and the cultural experiences were sooooo much more enjoyable with those two as our guides. Our hotels and meals were also very well chosen!Dean W. Lone Pine, CA
The trip was fantastic! I enjoyed it tremendously. I learned so much about Singapore and Malaysia, had amazing tour guides, great food and a fun group of co-travelers. I am so glad I went. I'm looking forward to more Gate 1 trips.Mojirade J. Philadelphia, PA
Fantastic!!! Our trip manager Thang, was the BEST!! Most organized, kindest, informative man. He made the trip.Gillian B. Tucson, AZ
My trip was amazing. The tours arranged for the group were great. Our tour manager Nok provided us with so much information and the organization of everything went well. I enjoyed the sights of Thailand and I can't wait to return again. All the hotels were beautiful.Messina W. Middletown, NY
Very excellent trip, I would say the best among the seven trips with Gate 1 travel. The tour guides in Thailand and Vietnam ( Née, and Tom) were super. The breakfast in all hotels were far superior. The food in Thailand was great, that’s one reason it gets the most tourists ... The river trips and the boat to Halong Bay was very enjoyable. The people in both countries were very friendly! ...Manickam B. South Pasadena, CA
My trip to Thailand was WONDERFUL! Our tour guide was the best! Knowledgeable, fun and happy, and willing to show us everything we wanted to see and more! She went above and beyond her job making sure our trip was perfect! She made sure each one of our group members was taken care of! We could not have had a better tour guide than Busabong!Catherine B. East China, MI
We had a great time on our trip to Vietnam!! It was even better than we expected. Our guide was Trong who did an excellent job making sure we all had a great experience and learned about the Vietnamese people and culture. We would highly recommend this trip to friends!!Scott D. Westbrook, ME
Our trip was great. Our guide - Oh- was very efficient and knowledgeable. Very patient as well. He made sure we had water and bathroom breaks; he said good bye to each of us and saw us off when we left Bangkok. He gets an A+ for his effort and efficiency. Job well done.Flora W. Modesto, CA
Our trip was fabulous! We have been taking international trips for the past 10 year (some with Gate 1) and this trip was excellent. Vit, our tour guide was so friendly, and knowledgeable. The pace of the trip was appropriate. We saw many aspects of Thailand but did not feel rushed. All the accommodations were excellent ... The bus was clean and comfortable. We had no negative incident of any nature. Just an overall great trip that we would recommend to friends and family ... Looking forward to traveling with Gate 1 in the future.Tom C. Elk Grove, CA
We had a great time ... Our tour manager, Mike, was outstanding…a dear man who was knowledgeable and took good care of us. The tour was well planned and enabled us to get a real feel for Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, as well as the culture, architecture, food and history of the region. The hotels were outstanding. We were amazed at the quality! Cruising on the Mekong River, riding in ox carts, seeing Angkor Wat and the hill people of Thailand were special treats. There were so many special events that it is difficult to list them all ...Jeanine D. Phoenix, AZ
This was my first trip with Gate 1 and it was fantastic! It was better than I imagined. Our tour guide was so thorough, thoughtful and funny, he made the trip. Every detail was taken care of, so the trip was stress free. I learned so much about the country, people and customs of Vietnam. All members of the tour got along, were on time and shared their past trips and experiences with Gate 1 as well. Deciding on where to next!Patricia C. Valencia, CA
It was outstanding. Our guides, especially Tom in Vietnam and Weet in Cambodia were great leaders and very knowledgeable. They had a deep understanding of the culture and history of their respective nation. In addition they were sensitive to group dynamics and the needs of the travelers. Linda and I could not believe the depth and breadth of our tour for the price that we paid which was the equivalent of the airline tickets and hotels alone. We will carry the memories of this tour with us for a long time. Thanks Gate 1!Steven W. Lady Lake, FL
The trip was amazing, very successful and highly enjoyable. I specially want to share my appreciation for Steven, our tour manager and guide. His broad knowledge, friendliness and professionalism had significant contribution to the success of the trip. Our overall experience was extremely positive.Jacob L. Agoura Hills, CA
Everything was wonderful, we had a great time, everyone in our group was great. Peter was an excellent tour guide and was very personable , knowledgeable and most of all very professional. All of the hotels were great, as was the bus. Hope to tour again in the future with Gate 1.Zahira R. Kissimmee, FL
Thailand is an amazing country! Our Gate 1 tour guide, Pong, was very knowledgeable and informative. We visited many temples and landmarks. One nice thing is that I didn't realize we were staying at a beautiful resort called Mida in Kanchanaburi. And, unbelievably, we had only one day of rain when we went to see the floating market. The weather really cooperated. We visited a school en route to Bangkok and found out that Gate 1 supports a lot of local schools throughout the world. My friend and I also went to see the Siam Niramit Show & Dinner. It was just fantastic. The cost was reasonable and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Thank you, Gate 1, for a wonderful tour experience.Josie M. Albuquerque, NM
It was wonderful could not have asked for anything better ... I always brag about Gate 1's service. The water in the rooms and in the bus may seem trivial to you but was such an important perk during the trip. It was great and I could go on and on. Both of our tour guides were marvelous. They were so knowledgeable and shared it with us. Thank you and am looking forward to our next trip.Gloria G. Adams, MA
It was great and made even better by our guide, Thin, who was over the top in looking out for all of us. He was outgoing, funny and knowledgeable in all things Vietnam.Edson M. Fort Myers, FL
Well done. Our expectations were exceeded throughout the trip. Great hotels and a very knowledgeable, helpful, friendly, guide. He made the trip very interesting and comfortable and went above and beyond in arranging activities and giving us inside information on how, where to go, what to do, etc. We will definitely consider Gate 1 for future travel.Mark H. Colorado Springs, CO
Thank you for a wonderful trip to Cambodia and Vietnam. Jan, our tour guide, had a good personality, was well organized, very knowledgeable and spoke good English. This was our first time to travel with Gate 1. We plan to travel with with Gate 1 in the future. Great food, clean hotels and good service all at a bargain price.Joseph S. The Dalles, OR
It was fantastic! We had the best tour guide, Tho, who was amazing with his knowledge of Vietnam and his organizational skills in making the many pieces fall in place so smoothly!Denise C. Philadelphia, PA