16 Day Gems of Southeast Asia

From

$3449

Land Only

$4599*

Air & Land

16 Day Gems of Southeast Asia

From

$3449

Land Only

$4599*

Air & Land


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Book By Mar 16, 2023 & Save!

2023 Dates & Prices Single Supplement: $700
Hotel Dates Embark Tour Starts Ship Land Only Air & Land
  Book By
Mar 16
Book After
Mar 16
Book By
Mar 16
Book After
Mar 16
$3449 $4049 $4749* $5349*
$3599 $4199 $4899* $5499*
$3599 $4199 $4999* $5599*
$3649 $4249 $5049* $5649*
$3749 $4349 $5149* $5749*
$3749 $4349 $5149* $5749*
$3749 $4349 $5149* $5749*
$3749 $4349 $5149* $5749*
$3749 $4349 $5149* $5749*
$3749 $4349 $5149* $5749*
$3749 $4349 $5149* $5749*
$3699 $4299 $5199* $5799*
$3699 $4299 $5199* $5799*
$3699 $4299 $5199* $5799*
 
2024 Dates & Prices Single Supplement: $700
Hotel Dates Embark Tour Starts Ship Land Only Air & Land
  Book By
Mar 16
Book After
Mar 16
Book By
Mar 16
Book After
Mar 16
$3749 $4349 $5249* $5849*
$3749 $4349 $5249* $5849*
$3749 $4349 $5249* $5849*
$3749 $4349 $5249* $5849*
$3749 $4349 $5249* $5849*
$3749 $4349 $5249* $5849*
$3749 $4349 $5249* $5849*
$3749 $4349 $5249* $5849*
$3749 $4349 $5249* $5849*
$3749 $4349 $5249* $5849*
$3749 $4349 $5299* $5899*
$3749 $4349 $5299* $5899*
$3749 $4349 $5299* $5899*
$3749 $4349 $5299* $5899*
$3749 $4349 $5299* $5899*
$3749 $4349 $5249* $5849*
$3749 $4349 $5249* $5849*
$3749 $4349 $5249* $5849*
$3749 $4349 $5249* $5849*
$3749 $4349 $5249* $5849*
$3749 $4349 $5249* $5849*
$3749 $4349 $5249* $5849*
$3599 $4199 $5099* $5699*
$3599 $4199 $5099* $5699*
$3599 $4199 $4749* $5349*
$3449 $4049 $4599* $5199*
$3449 $4049 $4649* $5249*

Not Included:
Optional tours and gratuities.


Additional Information:
Land only price does not include arrival/departure transfers, but does include intra-flights Phnom Penh-Siem Reap, Siem Reap-Bangkok, Bangkok-Luang Prabang & Luang Prabang-Hanoi.


Entry Requirements:
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?

This is an active trip. Our small group covers a lot of ground each day. Expect to spend four to five hours on your feet during tours. The pace is active and you will encounter some uneven surfaces, stairs, steps and significant slopes. There are 72 steps in the Angkor Wat Temple, 37 of which have a steep incline. It is recommended to wear comfortable shoes, and people who have knee problems may want to carry a walking stick. This is a Small Group program. For more information, click here.

Accommodation Details





Room 1


Additional Nights

Flight Details




Package Includes

  • Small groups of maximum 22 travelers guaranteed
  • Flights San Francisco-Phnom Penh, Hanoi-San Francisco
    Other departure cities available. Click on date of departure for selection and prices
  • Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
  • All intra-flights: Phnom Penh-Siem Reap, Siem Reap-Bangkok, Bangkok-Luang Prabang & Luang Prabang-Hanoi
  • 14 nights First Class accommodations
    • 2 nights Phnom Penh
    • 2 nights Siem Reap
    • 3 nights Bangkok
    • 2 nights Luang Prabang
    • 4 nights Hanoi
    • 1 night Halong Bay
  • Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
  • Hotel porterage
  • All transfers included only with airfare purchase on package arrival & departure dates†
  • 31 meals: 14 breakfasts, 10 lunches & 7 dinners (including a home hosted dinner)
  • Coffee and tea with all meals
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned vehicles
  • Services of local English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Services of local guides in Cambodia & Vietnam
  • Comprehensive, guided sightseeing and entrance fees per itinerary
  • Active itinerary with unique cultural features
  • Comfortable wireless earphones for enhanced touring

Tour Highlights

Thanks to our small group size, we can get to the heart of our destination, visit places that other tours miss, and get to know the locals.

  • View the impressive Silver Pagoda on the grounds of the Royal Palace complex in Phnom Penh with its floor of over 5000 shimmering silver tiles and its crystal Emerald Buddha
  • Meet a cultural historian for a discussion on Cambodia's heritage and resilient population
  • Stand in awe at the architectural masterpieces of Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat, designated as one of the "Seven Wonders of the World"
  • See the mysterious Bayon Temple, replete with over 172 giant smiling stone faces
  • Boat excursion on Tonle Sap Lake in the heart of Cambodia
  • Ride an ox-cart in the lush farmlands of Siem Reap
  • Tour Bangkok's elaborate and glittering Grand Palace complex and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha
  • Visit serene Wat Po, home of the astonishing giant Reclining Buddha, over 150 feet long
  • Cruise on the Chao Phraya River from Bangkok to Ayutthaya, the second Siamese capital
  • Visit to impressive Ayutthaya Historical Park, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Participate in a special Baci Ceremony in Luang Prabang, with prayers to bestow good fortune
  • Take part in the sacred ancient tradition of Alms-giving to Buddhist monks
  • Sail on a luxurious "junk" on fairy-tale Ha Long Bay past jagged cliffs, grottos and hidden caves
  • In Hanoi, attend the world-famous Water Puppet Show, accompanied by a Vietnamese orchestra
  • Ride a "cyclo" through the busy streets of the Old Quarter

†Transfers are available for purchase for land only or on alternative flight dates

Is This Trip Right for You?

This is an active trip. Our small group covers a lot of ground each day. Expect to spend four to five hours on your feet during tours. The pace is active and you will encounter some uneven surfaces, stairs, steps and significant slopes. There are 72 steps in the Angkor Wat Temple, 37 of which have a steep incline. It is recommended to wear comfortable shoes, and people who have knee problems may want to carry a walking stick. This is a Small Group program. For more information, click here.

Book Now!
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{{fromName}} wanted to share this vacation with you! Message: {{message}} Package Url : https://www.gate1travel.com/small-groups/small-group/2023/small-groups-southasia-16dgsas23.aspx This message was sent by {{fromEmail}} at Aug 20, 2022 at 2:26 AM

DAY 1, Monday - Depart for Cambodia
Depart for Cambodia

DAY 2, Tuesday - Arrive in Phnom Penh
Arrive in Phnom Penh on the banks of the fabled Mekong River, one of the loveliest cities built by the French in Indochina. This capital of Cambodia is a beautiful blend of glittering temples and graceful colonial buildings. Arrive at your hotel with time to rest after your journey and acclimate to the new time zone
Overnight: Phnom Penh

DAY 3, Wednesday - Explore Royal Palace Complex & National Museum
Today, begin your exploration of Phnom Penh at the Royal Palace complex, a compound of Khmer-style structures with gilded spires. These ornate buildings have served as the royal residence of the kings of Cambodia since the 1860s. Within these walls, see the glittering Silver Pagoda with its floor of over 5,000 silver tiles. Next, visit the National Museum, a masterpiece of Khmer architectural glory, home to over 14,000 historical items, including Khmer art, ceramics, and archaeological treasures. End the tour at the sobering site of the Killing Fields. The memorial here is dedicated to those who lost their lives in the late 1970s during the vicious Khmer Rouge regime. Early in the afternoon, meet a local cultural historian for an informative discussion about the country's heritage and its very resilient population. This evening, attend an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager at approximately 5:30 PM, followed by a light dinner
Overnight: Phnom Penh
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4, Thursday - Fly to Siem Reap and Enjoy Dinner & Cultural Performance
Today fly from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, gateway to the Angkor temples. Arrive at your hotel and get ready for lunch at a local restaurant. This evening, savor dinner while being entertained by female dancers performing the ancient art of Apsara dancing, a classical style of dance dating back to Angkorian era - their superb dancing has been known to mesmerize and transfix
Overnight: Siem Reap
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5, Friday - Discover Angkor Wat & Angkor Thom
Today, you'll understand why the architectural masterpieces of Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat are designated as one of the "Seven Wonders of the World." This sprawling city, built by Khmer Kings, was once home to more than one million people at the height of the empire. On the tour to the fortified city of Angkor Thom, visit the Elephants Terrace and Terrace of the Leper King, all adorned with dramatic bas-reliefs. Continue to the mysterious Bayon Temple, a highlight of Angkor Thom, replete with beautifully preserved bas-reliefs and more than 172 giant smiling stone faces. On to the monuments of Ta Keo, Prasat Kravan, and Srah Srang before arriving at Ta Prohm, where the jungle was left untouched, as it appeared to European explorers. The highpoint of the day is the visit to stunning Angkor Wat, a temple dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. World-famous for its beauty and splendor, Angkor Wat has the longest continuous bas-relief in the world, which runs along the entire outer gallery walls, narrating stories from Hindu mythology. Return to the hotel for the rest of the day at leisure
Overnight: Siem Reap
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 6, Saturday - Ox Cart Ride With Tonle Sap Cruise, Fly to Bangkok
Morning drive along the rolling hills, stopping for a ride on an ox-cart, a vehicle still being used today by local farmers. Arrive at Tonle Sap Lake in the heart of Cambodia, with its rich and diverse ecosystem. Embark on a serene boat excursion - observe the local life unfolding and the floating fishing villages that dot the shoreline. After lunch, on to the Les Artisan d'Angkor, a school for training students in local handicrafts such as silk painting, wood carving, and lacquering. Continue to the airport for the flight to Bangkok, Thailand's bustling capital
Overnight: Bangkok
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 7, Sunday - Visit Flower Market, Grand Palace & Temple of the Emerald Buddha
Awake this morning in exotic Bangkok, a fascinating mix of ancient and modern. Stop at a fragrant and colorful flower market to see the magnificent array of fresh flowers and learn about the important local flower trade. Onward to the elaborate Grand Palace, the glittering centerpiece of the city, a sprawling complex of temples, halls, and pavilions built around immaculate lawns and gardens. Its main attraction is Wat Phra Kaew, known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Visit a gem factory to watch while the gem stones are cut and set before lunch at a local restaurant. Continue on a visit to serene Wat Po, the oldest and largest temple in the city, with its astonishing giant Reclining Buddha, over 150 feet long and almost 49 feet high. Tonight, an optional Thai Dinner, Classical Dance & Cabaret Show, featuring some of Bangkok's most famous "lady-boys"
Optional: Thai Dinner & Cabaret Show (PM)
Overnight: Bangkok
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 8, Monday - Explore Ayutthaya and Visit Royal Summer Palace
Morning cruise on the Chao Phraya River, the lifeblood of Bangkok. Disembark in Ayutthaya, the second Siamese capital after Sukhothai for over 400 years. Start with a visit to Bang Pa-In Palace, a collection of beautiful buildings in various architectural styles, surrounded by a lake, once the Royal Summer Palace for the Thai Kings. Ample time to explore its preserved ruins, including the impressive Ayutthaya Historical Park, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Wat Mahathat, in the center of the city. Here, you can see the ruins of the former capital and its remaining palaces, Phra Srisanphet, Wat Mongkolbopit, monasteries, and towers - one can envision the grandeur and splendor that was once the Kingdom of Ayutthaya. Continue to the Chai Wattanaram Temple, conceived as a replica of the Angkor Temple - at this serene place one can reflect and enjoy the tranquility. Return to Bangkok for dinner and overnight
Overnight: Bangkok
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9, Tuesday - Fly to Luang Prabang, Laos, Wat Xieng Thong Temple, Royal Palace Museum
Morning flight from Bangkok to Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the heart of the mountainous region of northern Laos. According to legend, Buddha smiled when he rested here during his travels and prophesized that it would one day be the site of a rich and powerful capital city. Arrive and get ready for a great adventure! Afternoon visit to the most beautiful temple Wat Xieng Thong, built by the Lao King Setthathirath in 1559-1560, located on the banks of the Mekong river. Continue to the Royal Palace Museum to learn about the monarchy that once ruled the country. End the day with an ascent to the top of Phousi Mountain to see the extraordinary panoramic views of the city. Afterward, transfer to your hotel in Luang Prabang with time to relax. This evening, participate in a special Baci Ceremony, practiced for hundreds of years, offering prayers that bestows good fortune upon you. Dinner is at the hotel
Overnight: Luang Prabang
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 10, Wednesday - Explore Luang Prabang, Mekong River Cruise
Luang Prabang seems totally untouched by the modern world. In the morning, take part in the sacred ancient ritual of Almsgiving. Stroll through hushed streets and offer the Alms to a meditative procession of orange-robed monks. The daily ceremony is both peaceful and spiritual and gives you a wonderful opportunity to experience this ancient Lao tradition. Then, walk through the local morning market where people are shopping for their day's food. Return to the hotel for breakfast. After, visit the handicraft village of Ban Xang Khong where the inhabitants are skilled in the arts & crafts, especially in making Saa paper made from mulberry trees. Next, take a cruise upstream to visit the Pak Ou Caves ( Buddha cave ). From these cavernous altars, you'll see hundreds of Buddha images overlooking the two rivers Mekong and Ou. Afterward, cruise down on the Mekong River while enjoying lunch. After that a unique experience - stop at a local village to learn how the local people live. At the pottery making center, watch a demonstration and try your hand at making pottery. The evening is at leisure
Overnight: Luang Prabang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 11, Thursday - Fly to Hanoi, Vietnam
After breakfast visit one of the most impressive waterfalls - Kuangsi waterfall, where farmers get the water for their crops. Continue the drive to Ban Xang Hai, known as the "Whiskey Village", where they make rice wine from their abundant crop. During the visit, meet with villagers and sample some of their wonderful elixirs. After lunch, head to the airport for your flight to Hanoi, the cultural center of Vietnam. As soon as you arrive in this lovely city, you'll notice evidence of the French influence in the design and architecture; its history is tied to French colonialism. The remainder of the day is at leisure
Overnight: Hanoi
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 12, Friday - Ha Long Bay
Astonishing panoramas await you today! Depart on a long drive through the lush Vietnamese countryside with glimpses of the country's traditional way of life to Ha Long Bay. Undoubtedly one of the most breathtaking places on the planet, Ha Long Bay has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the "New Seven Wonders of the World." Upon arrival in the early afternoon, embark on a luxurious, classic junk that transports you into another world, where thousands of limestone islands rise from emerald waters. A warm welcome by the captain and crew before lunch on board. Delight in the tranquility of the fairy tale landscape as you sail past jagged cliffs, grottos and hidden caves. Explore the serene Dark and Bright Lagoon by row boat or, opt to kayak in this soothing setting before returning to the ship. Later, relax on deck, take a swim or perhaps indulge in one of the spa services. A cooking demonstration precedes tonight's remarkable culinary experience. At dusk, remain on deck to witness a spectacular sunset on these magical waters
Overnight: Ha Long Bay
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13, Saturday - Return to Hanoi, Water Puppet Performance, Home Hosted Dinner
Rise early to watch the sunrise on the peaceful waters before joining the Tai Chi lessons on deck. Sail to Surprise Cave and explore the enormous grotto, full of spectacular stalactites and stalagmites. As you head back toward the harbor, a brunch buffet will be served. Afterward, disembark the ship, and return to Hanoi. Visit the Museum of Ethnology, founded in 1997, one of the most popular museums in the country. Here, you can find a rich collection of artifacts, documents, and films depicting daily life, rituals and customs of 64 ethnic groups of Vietnam. Afterward, 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. In the evening, you'll be dinner guests of a local family in their home - a wonderful opportunity to talk to Hanoians about their daily lives
Overnight: Hanoi
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 14, Sunday - Explore Hanoi, Private Cooking Class
The day begins at the Ho Chi Minh historic complex, which includes the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (where the late president's embalmed body is displayed), historic Ba Dinh Square, the exterior of the Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh's house on stilts and the famous One-Pillar Pagoda. Afterward, learn the craft of Vietnamese cooking! Visit the local market with a Chef, followed by a private cooking class. You'll learn how to make popular Vietnamese dishes such as spring rolls (Nem), chicken salad, beef in banana leaves, and more. Sample and savor your personally cooked lunch. Then, it's time to try a "cyclo" ride through the busy streets of the Old Quarter. Visit one of the city's Tube Houses, a tall dwelling with narrow frontage, to see first-hand how residents once lived. Rest of the day is at leisure to discover Hanoi on your own. Tonight, perhaps try one of Hanoi's famous gourmet French restaurants
Overnight: Hanoi
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 15, Monday - Full Day in Hanoi
Today is at leisure in Hanoi with opportunity for sightseeing and shopping on your own. Or, join the optional tour to the Red River Delta to experience a "day in the life" of typical northern villages. Located to the west of Hanoi, the first village you visit has a history dating back over 2,000 years. Before 1945, this was once the wealthiest village in the north with many successful businesses. Today, you can still see many of the old houses and villas, over 100 years old, built before and during the colonial period. A walk through the village, followed by a visit to a local home will enrich your experience with examples of daily life and the typical structure of a village in North Vietnam. Then, on to Chuong Village, the center of conical hats, or "non la", worn by most Vietnamese. With most of the residents involved in this business, a visit to the village will be enlightening and give you an opportunity to learn about this very interesting labor intensive job. The tour includes lunch in Hanoi. Spend the rest of the day independently in Hanoi, with time to revisit some of the beautiful sights, or just walk leisurely around the lake area. Tonight at dinner, bid goodbye to your Tour Manager
Optional: Red River Delta - Typical Northern Villages (AM)
Overnight: Hanoi
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 16, Tuesday - Depart Vietnam
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 1, Thursday - Depart for Cambodia
Depart for Cambodia

DAY 2, Friday - Arrive in Phnom Penh
Arrive in Phnom Penh on the banks of the fabled Mekong River, one of the loveliest cities built by the French in Indochina. This capital of Cambodia is a beautiful blend of glittering temples and graceful colonial buildings. Arrive at your hotel with time to rest after your journey and acclimate to the new time zone
Overnight: Phnom Penh

DAY 3, Saturday - Explore Royal Palace Complex & National Museum
Today, begin your exploration of Phnom Penh at the Royal Palace complex, a compound of Khmer-style structures with gilded spires. These ornate buildings have served as the royal residence of the kings of Cambodia since the 1860s. Within these walls, see the glittering Silver Pagoda with its floor of over 5,000 silver tiles. Next, visit the National Museum, a masterpiece of Khmer architectural glory, home to over 14,000 historical items, including Khmer art, ceramics, and archaeological treasures. End the tour at the sobering site of the Killing Fields. The memorial here is dedicated to those who lost their lives in the late 1970s during the vicious Khmer Rouge regime. Early in the afternoon, meet a local cultural historian for an informative discussion about the country's heritage and its very resilient population. This evening, attend an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager at approximately 5:30 PM, followed by a light dinner
Overnight: Phnom Penh
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4, Sunday - Fly to Siem Reap and Enjoy Dinner & Cultural Performance
Today fly from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, gateway to the Angkor temples. Arrive at your hotel and get ready for lunch at a local restaurant. This evening, savor dinner while being entertained by female dancers performing the ancient art of Apsara dancing, a classical style of dance dating back to Angkorian era - their superb dancing has been known to mesmerize and transfix
Overnight: Siem Reap
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5, Monday - Discover Angkor Wat & Angkor Thom
Today, you'll understand why the architectural masterpieces of Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat are designated as one of the "Seven Wonders of the World." This sprawling city, built by Khmer Kings, was once home to more than one million people at the height of the empire. On the tour to the fortified city of Angkor Thom, visit the Elephants Terrace and Terrace of the Leper King, all adorned with dramatic bas-reliefs. Continue to the mysterious Bayon Temple, a highlight of Angkor Thom, replete with beautifully preserved bas-reliefs and more than 172 giant smiling stone faces. On to the monuments of Ta Keo, Prasat Kravan, and Srah Srang before arriving at Ta Prohm, where the jungle was left untouched, as it appeared to European explorers. The highpoint of the day is the visit to stunning Angkor Wat, a temple dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. World-famous for its beauty and splendor, Angkor Wat has the longest continuous bas-relief in the world, which runs along the entire outer gallery walls, narrating stories from Hindu mythology. Return to the hotel for the rest of the day at leisure
Overnight: Siem Reap
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 6, Tuesday - Ox Cart Ride With Tonle Sap Cruise, Fly to Bangkok
Morning drive along the rolling hills, stopping for a ride on an ox-cart, a vehicle still being used today by local farmers. Arrive at Tonle Sap Lake in the heart of Cambodia, with its rich and diverse ecosystem. Embark on a serene boat excursion - observe the local life unfolding and the floating fishing villages that dot the shoreline. After lunch, on to the Les Artisan d'Angkor, a school for training students in local handicrafts such as silk painting, wood carving, and lacquering. Continue to the airport for the flight to Bangkok, Thailand's bustling capital
Overnight: Bangkok
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 7, Wednesday - Visit Flower Market, Grand Palace & Temple of the Emerald Buddha
Awake this morning in exotic Bangkok, a fascinating mix of ancient and modern. Stop at a fragrant and colorful flower market to see the magnificent array of fresh flowers and learn about the important local flower trade. Onward to the elaborate Grand Palace, the glittering centerpiece of the city, a sprawling complex of temples, halls, and pavilions built around immaculate lawns and gardens. Its main attraction is Wat Phra Kaew, known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Visit a gem factory to watch while the gem stones are cut and set before lunch at a local restaurant. Continue on a visit to serene Wat Po, the oldest and largest temple in the city, with its astonishing giant Reclining Buddha, over 150 feet long and almost 49 feet high. Tonight, an optional Thai Dinner, Classical Dance & Cabaret Show, featuring some of Bangkok's most famous "lady-boys"
Optional: Thai Dinner & Cabaret Show (PM)
Overnight: Bangkok
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 8, Thursday - Explore Ayutthaya and Visit Royal Summer Palace
Morning cruise on the Chao Phraya River, the lifeblood of Bangkok. Disembark in Ayutthaya, the second Siamese capital after Sukhothai for over 400 years. Start with a visit to Bang Pa-In Palace, a collection of beautiful buildings in various architectural styles, surrounded by a lake, once the Royal Summer Palace for the Thai Kings. Ample time to explore its preserved ruins, including the impressive Ayutthaya Historical Park, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Wat Mahathat, in the center of the city. Here, you can see the ruins of the former capital and its remaining palaces, Phra Srisanphet, Wat Mongkolbopit, monasteries, and towers - one can envision the grandeur and splendor that was once the Kingdom of Ayutthaya. Continue to the Chai Wattanaram Temple, conceived as a replica of the Angkor Temple - at this serene place one can reflect and enjoy the tranquility. Return to Bangkok for dinner and overnight
Overnight: Bangkok
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9, Friday - Fly to Luang Prabang, Laos, Wat Xieng Thong Temple, Royal Palace Museum
Morning flight from Bangkok to Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the heart of the mountainous region of northern Laos. According to legend, Buddha smiled when he rested here during his travels and prophesized that it would one day be the site of a rich and powerful capital city. Arrive and get ready for a great adventure! Afternoon visit to the most beautiful temple Wat Xieng Thong, built by the Lao King Setthathirath in 1559-1560, located on the banks of the Mekong river. Continue to the Royal Palace Museum to learn about the monarchy that once ruled the country. End the day with an ascent to the top of Phousi Mountain to see the extraordinary panoramic views of the city. Afterward, transfer to your hotel in Luang Prabang with time to relax. This evening, participate in a special Baci Ceremony, practiced for hundreds of years, offering prayers that bestows good fortune upon you. Dinner is at the hotel
Overnight: Luang Prabang
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 10, Saturday - Explore Luang Prabang, Mekong River Cruise
Luang Prabang seems totally untouched by the modern world. In the morning, take part in the sacred ancient ritual of Almsgiving. Stroll through hushed streets and offer the Alms to a meditative procession of orange-robed monks. The daily ceremony is both peaceful and spiritual and gives you a wonderful opportunity to experience this ancient Lao tradition. Then, walk through the local morning market where people are shopping for their day's food. Return to the hotel for breakfast. After, visit the handicraft village of Ban Xang Khong where the inhabitants are skilled in the arts & crafts, especially in making Saa paper made from mulberry trees. Next, take a cruise upstream to visit the Pak Ou Caves ( Buddha cave ). From these cavernous altars, you'll see hundreds of Buddha images overlooking the two rivers Mekong and Ou. Afterward, cruise down on the Mekong River while enjoying lunch. After that a unique experience - stop at a local village to learn how the local people live. At the pottery making center, watch a demonstration and try your hand at making pottery. The evening is at leisure
Overnight: Luang Prabang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 11, Sunday - Fly to Hanoi, Vietnam
After breakfast visit one of the most impressive waterfalls - Kuangsi waterfall, where farmers get the water for their crops. Continue the drive to Ban Xang Hai, known as the "Whiskey Village", where they make rice wine from their abundant crop. During the visit, meet with villagers and sample some of their wonderful elixirs. After lunch, head to the airport for your flight to Hanoi, the cultural center of Vietnam. As soon as you arrive in this lovely city, you'll notice evidence of the French influence in the design and architecture; its history is tied to French colonialism. The remainder of the day is at leisure
Overnight: Hanoi
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 12, Monday - Ha Long Bay
Astonishing panoramas await you today! Depart on a long drive through the lush Vietnamese countryside with glimpses of the country's traditional way of life to Ha Long Bay. Undoubtedly one of the most breathtaking places on the planet, Ha Long Bay has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the "New Seven Wonders of the World." Upon arrival in the early afternoon, embark on a luxurious, classic junk that transports you into another world, where thousands of limestone islands rise from emerald waters. A warm welcome by the captain and crew before lunch on board. Delight in the tranquility of the fairy tale landscape as you sail past jagged cliffs, grottos and hidden caves. Explore the serene Dark and Bright Lagoon by row boat or, opt to kayak in this soothing setting before returning to the ship. Later, relax on deck, take a swim or perhaps indulge in one of the spa services. A cooking demonstration precedes tonight's remarkable culinary experience. At dusk, remain on deck to witness a spectacular sunset on these magical waters
Overnight: Ha Long Bay
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13, Tuesday - Return to Hanoi, Water Puppet Performance, Home Hosted Dinner
Rise early to watch the sunrise on the peaceful waters before joining the Tai Chi lessons on deck. Sail to Surprise Cave and explore the enormous grotto, full of spectacular stalactites and stalagmites. As you head back toward the harbor, a brunch buffet will be served. Afterward, disembark the ship, and return to Hanoi. Visit the Museum of Ethnology, founded in 1997, one of the most popular museums in the country. Here, you can find a rich collection of artifacts, documents, and films depicting daily life, rituals and customs of 64 ethnic groups of Vietnam. Afterward, 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. In the evening, you'll be dinner guests of a local family in their home - a wonderful opportunity to talk to Hanoians about their daily lives
Overnight: Hanoi
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 14, Wednesday - Explore Hanoi, Private Cooking Class
The day begins at the Ho Chi Minh historic complex, which includes the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (where the late president's embalmed body is displayed), historic Ba Dinh Square, the exterior of the Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh's house on stilts and the famous One-Pillar Pagoda. Afterward, learn the craft of Vietnamese cooking! Visit the local market with a Chef, followed by a private cooking class. You'll learn how to make popular Vietnamese dishes such as spring rolls (Nem), chicken salad, beef in banana leaves, and more. Sample and savor your personally cooked lunch. Then, it's time to try a "cyclo" ride through the busy streets of the Old Quarter. Visit one of the city's Tube Houses, a tall dwelling with narrow frontage, to see first-hand how residents once lived. Rest of the day is at leisure to discover Hanoi on your own. Tonight, perhaps try one of Hanoi's famous gourmet French restaurants
Overnight: Hanoi
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 15, Thursday - Full Day in Hanoi
Today is at leisure in Hanoi with opportunity for sightseeing and shopping on your own. Or, join the optional tour to the Red River Delta to experience a "day in the life" of typical northern villages. Located to the west of Hanoi, the first village you visit has a history dating back over 2,000 years. Before 1945, this was once the wealthiest village in the north with many successful businesses. Today, you can still see many of the old houses and villas, over 100 years old, built before and during the colonial period. A walk through the village, followed by a visit to a local home will enrich your experience with examples of daily life and the typical structure of a village in North Vietnam. Then, on to Chuong Village, the center of conical hats, or "non la", worn by most Vietnamese. With most of the residents involved in this business, a visit to the village will be enlightening and give you an opportunity to learn about this very interesting labor intensive job. The tour includes lunch in Hanoi. Spend the rest of the day independently in Hanoi, with time to revisit some of the beautiful sights, or just walk leisurely around the lake area. Tonight at dinner, bid goodbye to your Tour Manager
Optional: Red River Delta - Typical Northern Villages (AM)
Overnight: Hanoi
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 16, Friday - Depart Vietnam
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 1, Saturday - Depart for Cambodia
Depart for Cambodia

DAY 2, Sunday - Arrive in Phnom Penh
Arrive in Phnom Penh on the banks of the fabled Mekong River, one of the loveliest cities built by the French in Indochina. This capital of Cambodia is a beautiful blend of glittering temples and graceful colonial buildings. Arrive at your hotel with time to rest after your journey and acclimate to the new time zone
Overnight: Phnom Penh

DAY 3, Monday - Explore Royal Palace Complex & National Museum
Today, begin your exploration of Phnom Penh at the Royal Palace complex, a compound of Khmer-style structures with gilded spires. These ornate buildings have served as the royal residence of the kings of Cambodia since the 1860s. Within these walls, see the glittering Silver Pagoda with its floor of over 5,000 silver tiles. Next, visit the National Museum, a masterpiece of Khmer architectural glory, home to over 14,000 historical items, including Khmer art, ceramics, and archaeological treasures. End the tour at the sobering site of the Killing Fields. The memorial here is dedicated to those who lost their lives in the late 1970s during the vicious Khmer Rouge regime. Early in the afternoon, meet a local cultural historian for an informative discussion about the country's heritage and its very resilient population. This evening, attend an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager at approximately 5:30 PM, followed by a light dinner
Overnight: Phnom Penh
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4, Tuesday - Fly to Siem Reap and Enjoy Dinner & Cultural Performance
Today fly from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, gateway to the Angkor temples. Arrive at your hotel and get ready for lunch at a local restaurant. This evening, savor dinner while being entertained by female dancers performing the ancient art of Apsara dancing, a classical style of dance dating back to Angkorian era - their superb dancing has been known to mesmerize and transfix
Overnight: Siem Reap
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5, Wednesday - Discover Angkor Wat & Angkor Thom
Today, you'll understand why the architectural masterpieces of Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat are designated as one of the "Seven Wonders of the World." This sprawling city, built by Khmer Kings, was once home to more than one million people at the height of the empire. On the tour to the fortified city of Angkor Thom, visit the Elephants Terrace and Terrace of the Leper King, all adorned with dramatic bas-reliefs. Continue to the mysterious Bayon Temple, a highlight of Angkor Thom, replete with beautifully preserved bas-reliefs and more than 172 giant smiling stone faces. On to the monuments of Ta Keo, Prasat Kravan, and Srah Srang before arriving at Ta Prohm, where the jungle was left untouched, as it appeared to European explorers. The highpoint of the day is the visit to stunning Angkor Wat, a temple dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. World-famous for its beauty and splendor, Angkor Wat has the longest continuous bas-relief in the world, which runs along the entire outer gallery walls, narrating stories from Hindu mythology. Return to the hotel for the rest of the day at leisure
Overnight: Siem Reap
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 6, Thursday - Ox Cart Ride With Tonle Sap Cruise, Fly to Bangkok
Morning drive along the rolling hills, stopping for a ride on an ox-cart, a vehicle still being used today by local farmers. Arrive at Tonle Sap Lake in the heart of Cambodia, with its rich and diverse ecosystem. Embark on a serene boat excursion - observe the local life unfolding and the floating fishing villages that dot the shoreline. After lunch, on to the Les Artisan d'Angkor, a school for training students in local handicrafts such as silk painting, wood carving, and lacquering. Continue to the airport for the flight to Bangkok, Thailand's bustling capital
Overnight: Bangkok
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 7, Friday - Visit Flower Market, Grand Palace & Temple of the Emerald Buddha
Awake this morning in exotic Bangkok, a fascinating mix of ancient and modern. Stop at a fragrant and colorful flower market to see the magnificent array of fresh flowers and learn about the important local flower trade. Onward to the elaborate Grand Palace, the glittering centerpiece of the city, a sprawling complex of temples, halls, and pavilions built around immaculate lawns and gardens. Its main attraction is Wat Phra Kaew, known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Visit a gem factory to watch while the gem stones are cut and set before lunch at a local restaurant. Continue on a visit to serene Wat Po, the oldest and largest temple in the city, with its astonishing giant Reclining Buddha, over 150 feet long and almost 49 feet high. Tonight, an optional Thai Dinner, Classical Dance & Cabaret Show, featuring some of Bangkok's most famous "lady-boys"
Optional: Thai Dinner & Cabaret Show (PM)
Overnight: Bangkok
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 8, Saturday - Explore Ayutthaya and Visit Royal Summer Palace
Morning cruise on the Chao Phraya River, the lifeblood of Bangkok. Disembark in Ayutthaya, the second Siamese capital after Sukhothai for over 400 years. Start with a visit to Bang Pa-In Palace, a collection of beautiful buildings in various architectural styles, surrounded by a lake, once the Royal Summer Palace for the Thai Kings. Ample time to explore its preserved ruins, including the impressive Ayutthaya Historical Park, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Wat Mahathat, in the center of the city. Here, you can see the ruins of the former capital and its remaining palaces, Phra Srisanphet, Wat Mongkolbopit, monasteries, and towers - one can envision the grandeur and splendor that was once the Kingdom of Ayutthaya. Continue to the Chai Wattanaram Temple, conceived as a replica of the Angkor Temple - at this serene place one can reflect and enjoy the tranquility. Return to Bangkok for dinner and overnight
Overnight: Bangkok
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9, Sunday - Fly to Luang Prabang, Laos, Wat Xieng Thong Temple, Royal Palace Museum
Morning flight from Bangkok to Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the heart of the mountainous region of northern Laos. According to legend, Buddha smiled when he rested here during his travels and prophesized that it would one day be the site of a rich and powerful capital city. Arrive and get ready for a great adventure! Afternoon visit to the most beautiful temple Wat Xieng Thong, built by the Lao King Setthathirath in 1559-1560, located on the banks of the Mekong river. Continue to the Royal Palace Museum to learn about the monarchy that once ruled the country. End the day with an ascent to the top of Phousi Mountain to see the extraordinary panoramic views of the city. Afterward, transfer to your hotel in Luang Prabang with time to relax. This evening, participate in a special Baci Ceremony, practiced for hundreds of years, offering prayers that bestows good fortune upon you. Dinner is at the hotel
Overnight: Luang Prabang
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 10, Monday - Explore Luang Prabang, Mekong River Cruise
Luang Prabang seems totally untouched by the modern world. In the morning, take part in the sacred ancient ritual of Almsgiving. Stroll through hushed streets and offer the Alms to a meditative procession of orange-robed monks. The daily ceremony is both peaceful and spiritual and gives you a wonderful opportunity to experience this ancient Lao tradition. Then, walk through the local morning market where people are shopping for their day's food. Return to the hotel for breakfast. After, visit the handicraft village of Ban Xang Khong where the inhabitants are skilled in the arts & crafts, especially in making Saa paper made from mulberry trees. Next, take a cruise upstream to visit the Pak Ou Caves ( Buddha cave ). From these cavernous altars, you'll see hundreds of Buddha images overlooking the two rivers Mekong and Ou. Afterward, cruise down on the Mekong River while enjoying lunch. After that a unique experience - stop at a local village to learn how the local people live. At the pottery making center, watch a demonstration and try your hand at making pottery. The evening is at leisure
Overnight: Luang Prabang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 11, Tuesday - Fly to Hanoi, Vietnam
After breakfast visit one of the most impressive waterfalls - Kuangsi waterfall, where farmers get the water for their crops. Continue the drive to Ban Xang Hai, known as the "Whiskey Village", where they make rice wine from their abundant crop. During the visit, meet with villagers and sample some of their wonderful elixirs. After lunch, head to the airport for your flight to Hanoi, the cultural center of Vietnam. As soon as you arrive in this lovely city, you'll notice evidence of the French influence in the design and architecture; its history is tied to French colonialism. The remainder of the day is at leisure
Overnight: Hanoi
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 12, Wednesday - Ha Long Bay
Astonishing panoramas await you today! Depart on a long drive through the lush Vietnamese countryside with glimpses of the country's traditional way of life to Ha Long Bay. Undoubtedly one of the most breathtaking places on the planet, Ha Long Bay has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the "New Seven Wonders of the World." Upon arrival in the early afternoon, embark on a luxurious, classic junk that transports you into another world, where thousands of limestone islands rise from emerald waters. A warm welcome by the captain and crew before lunch on board. Delight in the tranquility of the fairy tale landscape as you sail past jagged cliffs, grottos and hidden caves. Explore the serene Dark and Bright Lagoon by row boat or, opt to kayak in this soothing setting before returning to the ship. Later, relax on deck, take a swim or perhaps indulge in one of the spa services. A cooking demonstration precedes tonight's remarkable culinary experience. At dusk, remain on deck to witness a spectacular sunset on these magical waters
Overnight: Ha Long Bay
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13, Thursday - Return to Hanoi, Water Puppet Performance, Home Hosted Dinner
Rise early to watch the sunrise on the peaceful waters before joining the Tai Chi lessons on deck. Sail to Surprise Cave and explore the enormous grotto, full of spectacular stalactites and stalagmites. As you head back toward the harbor, a brunch buffet will be served. Afterward, disembark the ship, and return to Hanoi. Visit the Museum of Ethnology, founded in 1997, one of the most popular museums in the country. Here, you can find a rich collection of artifacts, documents, and films depicting daily life, rituals and customs of 64 ethnic groups of Vietnam. Afterward, 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. In the evening, you'll be dinner guests of a local family in their home - a wonderful opportunity to talk to Hanoians about their daily lives
Overnight: Hanoi
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 14, Friday - Explore Hanoi, Private Cooking Class
The day begins at the Ho Chi Minh historic complex, which includes the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (where the late president's embalmed body is displayed), historic Ba Dinh Square, the exterior of the Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh's house on stilts and the famous One-Pillar Pagoda. Afterward, learn the craft of Vietnamese cooking! Visit the local market with a Chef, followed by a private cooking class. You'll learn how to make popular Vietnamese dishes such as spring rolls (Nem), chicken salad, beef in banana leaves, and more. Sample and savor your personally cooked lunch. Then, it's time to try a "cyclo" ride through the busy streets of the Old Quarter. Visit one of the city's Tube Houses, a tall dwelling with narrow frontage, to see first-hand how residents once lived. Rest of the day is at leisure to discover Hanoi on your own. Tonight, perhaps try one of Hanoi's famous gourmet French restaurants
Overnight: Hanoi
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 15, Saturday - Full Day in Hanoi
Today is at leisure in Hanoi with opportunity for sightseeing and shopping on your own. Or, join the optional tour to the Red River Delta to experience a "day in the life" of typical northern villages. Located to the west of Hanoi, the first village you visit has a history dating back over 2,000 years. Before 1945, this was once the wealthiest village in the north with many successful businesses. Today, you can still see many of the old houses and villas, over 100 years old, built before and during the colonial period. A walk through the village, followed by a visit to a local home will enrich your experience with examples of daily life and the typical structure of a village in North Vietnam. Then, on to Chuong Village, the center of conical hats, or "non la", worn by most Vietnamese. With most of the residents involved in this business, a visit to the village will be enlightening and give you an opportunity to learn about this very interesting labor intensive job. The tour includes lunch in Hanoi. Spend the rest of the day independently in Hanoi, with time to revisit some of the beautiful sights, or just walk leisurely around the lake area. Tonight at dinner, bid goodbye to your Tour Manager
Optional: Red River Delta - Typical Northern Villages (AM)
Overnight: Hanoi
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 16, Sunday - Depart Vietnam
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast

Book Now!
Discovery Tours 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.
Book your Optional Tours before you travel. See more, save time, save money.
  • 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
Thai Dinner & Cabaret Show

After a delicious traditional Thai Dinner, along with a Classical Dance performance, the evening continues with a Cabaret Show at a nearby theatre. The show is a fun way to get to know more about the “lady-boy” scene in Bangkok. You’ll be welcomed warmly in many different languages. Thailand is well known for “lady-boys” and this show features them doing what they love the most -- dressing up to the hilt and miming to Cher’s music. Some of these ‘ladies’ have features that would make women jealous but this is an attractive illusion as they were all born men. The performers are anxious to entertain and put on a good show that you will enjoy.

Approximate tour duration is 4.5 hours.

Day #7 01 Jul 2021 - 30 Jun 2024 $64.00
Thai Dinner & Cabaret Show Thumbnail
Red River Delta - Typical Northern Villages

Drive to the Red River Delta to experience a “day in the life” of typical northern villages. Located to the west of Hanoi, the first village we visit has a history dating back over 2000 years. Before 1945, this was once the wealthiest village in the north with many successful businesses. Today, you can still see many of the old houses and villas, over 100 years old, built before and during the colonial period. A walk through the village, followed by a visit to a local home will enrich your experience with examples of daily life and the typical structure of a village in North Vietnam. Then, on to Chuong Village, the center of conical hats, or “non la”, worn by most Vietnamese. With most of the residents involved in this business, a visit to the village will be enlightening and give you an opportunity to learn about this very interesting labor-intensive job. The tour includes lunch in Hanoi.

Approximate tour duration is 6 hours.

Day #15 01 Jul 2022 - 30 Jun 2024 $58.00
Red River Delta - Typical Northern Villages Thumbnail
Thai Dinner & Cabaret Show

After a delicious traditional Thai Dinner, along with a Classical Dance performance, the evening continues with a Cabaret Show at a nearby theatre. The show is a fun way to get to know more about the “lady-boy” scene in Bangkok. You’ll be welcomed warmly in many different languages. Thailand is well known for “lady-boys” and this show features them doing what they love the most -- dressing up to the hilt and miming to Cher’s music. Some of these ‘ladies’ have features that would make women jealous but this is an attractive illusion as they were all born men. The performers are anxious to entertain and put on a good show that you will enjoy.

Approximate tour duration is 4.5 hours.

Day #7 01 Jul 2021 - 30 Jun 2024 $64.00
Thai Dinner & Cabaret Show Thumbnail
Red River Delta - Typical Northern Villages

Drive to the Red River Delta to experience a “day in the life” of typical northern villages. Located to the west of Hanoi, the first village we visit has a history dating back over 2000 years. Before 1945, this was once the wealthiest village in the north with many successful businesses. Today, you can still see many of the old houses and villas, over 100 years old, built before and during the colonial period. A walk through the village, followed by a visit to a local home will enrich your experience with examples of daily life and the typical structure of a village in North Vietnam. Then, on to Chuong Village, the center of conical hats, or “non la”, worn by most Vietnamese. With most of the residents involved in this business, a visit to the village will be enlightening and give you an opportunity to learn about this very interesting labor-intensive job. The tour includes lunch in Hanoi.

Approximate tour duration is 6 hours.

Day #15 01 Jul 2022 - 30 Jun 2024 $58.00
Red River Delta - Typical Northern Villages Thumbnail
Thai Dinner & Cabaret Show

After a delicious traditional Thai Dinner, along with a Classical Dance performance, the evening continues with a Cabaret Show at a nearby theatre. The show is a fun way to get to know more about the “lady-boy” scene in Bangkok. You’ll be welcomed warmly in many different languages. Thailand is well known for “lady-boys” and this show features them doing what they love the most -- dressing up to the hilt and miming to Cher’s music. Some of these ‘ladies’ have features that would make women jealous but this is an attractive illusion as they were all born men. The performers are anxious to entertain and put on a good show that you will enjoy.

Approximate tour duration is 4.5 hours.

Day #7 01 Jul 2021 - 30 Jun 2024 $64.00
Thai Dinner & Cabaret Show Thumbnail
Red River Delta - Typical Northern Villages

Drive to the Red River Delta to experience a “day in the life” of typical northern villages. Located to the west of Hanoi, the first village we visit has a history dating back over 2000 years. Before 1945, this was once the wealthiest village in the north with many successful businesses. Today, you can still see many of the old houses and villas, over 100 years old, built before and during the colonial period. A walk through the village, followed by a visit to a local home will enrich your experience with examples of daily life and the typical structure of a village in North Vietnam. Then, on to Chuong Village, the center of conical hats, or “non la”, worn by most Vietnamese. With most of the residents involved in this business, a visit to the village will be enlightening and give you an opportunity to learn about this very interesting labor-intensive job. The tour includes lunch in Hanoi.

Approximate tour duration is 6 hours.

Day #15 01 Jul 2022 - 30 Jun 2024 $58.00
Red River Delta - Typical Northern Villages Thumbnail

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.

Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos
Visas required for Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos
Trip Preparation
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. 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.

Travel Protection
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).

Example:
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
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.

  • Watch what you eat. Try new foods in modest quantities, and depending upon your destination, you may want to avoid street foods, salad bars, raw vegetables and fruits, unless they have thick peels like bananas or grapefruit.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink bottled water and avoid consuming ice cubes made with tap water.
  • If you have allergies to foods, medications or insect bites, or have any other unique medical issues, consider a medical alert bracelet and/or a physician’s note detailing required treatment should you become ill.
  • Wash your hands regularly and carry hand sanitizer.
  • Where appropriate, pack sunscreen and insect repellent (for both active and warm destinations).
  • You may also want to bring a small first-aid kit with bandaids, antibiotic cream, pain killers, bug bite cream, digestive aids like antidiarrheal or anti-bloat medications, antacids, and cold medicine. This is in addition to any prescription medications which should be adequate for the entire trip.


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: http://www.dot.gov/office-policy/aviation-policy/aircraft-disinsection-requirements.

Cambodia - No inoculations are required. However, some inoculations are recommended. Please consult your physician before traveling to Cambodia.

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:
  • Refrain from wearing colognes, perfumes and/or personal products containing excessive fragrance in respect for other guests who may be allergic
  • Avoid smoking cigarettes, e-cigarettes or cigars in the vicinity of other tour members, including in outdoor areas where smoking may be permitted but may still affect other tour participants
  • Avoid attire with political or religious messages that may offend other travelers
  • Respect your fellow passengers. Guests come from all walks of life and varied lifestyles. Please refrain from topics of conversation which might cause offense, such as religion and politics
  • Refrain from conversation or talking on mobile phones while commentary is in progress
  • Respect the mandatory seat rotation policy on the coach
  • Make use of the available hand sanitizer on the coach to support a healthy environment
  • Seek approval before taking photographs of other tour participants
  • Respect tour departures times to avoid delay and loss of sightseeing opportunities

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

Cambodia - Cambodia has three seasons. The dry season is from November to March. The hot season is from March to June. The wet season is from July to October. Comfortable walking shoes, clothes you can layer and an all-weather jacket are recommended. A hat and sunscreen lotion are especially recommended during the hot season. 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.

Cambodia Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/asia-pacific/default.aspx#southeast-asia-weather

Thailand - The rainy season is June through October. Bring comfortable walking shoes, lightweight clothes you can layer and a waterproof windbreaker. 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.

Thailand Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/asia-pacific/default.aspx#thailand-weather

Laos - Laos has a tropical monsoon climate, with a pronounced rainy season from May-October, a cool dry season from November-February, and a hot dry season from March-April. Lightweight clothing is advised throughout the year, with an umbrella or raincoat for sudden cloudbursts. Be prepared for high temperatures and humidity. A sweater is advised for cooler evenings. 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. Shoes will need to be removed when entering Temples.

Laos Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/asia-pacific/default.aspx#southeast-asia-weather

About Drones
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.

THAILAND: Books
Presenting Thailand: A Journey through the Kingdom by John Hoskin
Thailand: A Short History by David K. Wyatt
A History of Thailand by Chris Baker
Thailand – Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Custums & Culture by Roger Jones
Thailand: The Lotus Kingdom by Alistair Shearer
Fascinating Thailand by John Hoskin

THAILAND: Films
Ong Bak (2003)
Citizen Dog (2004)
Fan Chan (2003)

VIETNAM: Books
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

VIETNAM: Films
Indochine (1992)
Three Seasons (1999)

CAMBODIA: Books
Khmer: The Lost Empire of Cambodia by Thierry Zephir
Enchanting Cambodia by Mick Shippen
Cambodia: Report from A Stricken Land by Henry Kamm

LAOS: Books
The Rough Guide to Laos by Jeff Cranmer & Steven Martin
Another Quiet American: Stories of Life in Laos by Brett Dakin
Stalking the Elephant Kings: In Search of Laos by Christopher Kremmer

Preparing for Your Trip
Reconfirming Flights
It is not necessary to call your airline to reconfirm your flights. However, we do recommend that you check your airline’s website 24 hours prior to your flight to ensure that your flights remain on schedule and that flight times are unchanged.

Seat Assignments
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.

Frequent Flier Programs
Passengers are responsible to contact their airline directly regarding mileage eligibility and accrual. Airline frequent flier programs determine whether to award miles in part or total based on their own rules which are updated frequently. Some discounted or promotional airfares as well as some code-share flights are not eligible for mileage accrual. Some private airfares, such as a “Gate 1 Travel Airfare”, are not eligible for mileage or may qualify for reduced mileage, even if the same airline class of service is eligible for full mileage when sold as an “Instant Purchase” published airfare. Not all published airfares are eligible for mileage. Gate 1 Travel will record frequent flier numbers when provided by the passenger prior to travel documents being issued. However, the addition of frequent flier numbers to airline records does not guarantee mileage eligibility which is at the sole discretion of each airline. Airline schedule changes may result in flights which were originally eligible for mileage accrual no longer being eligible. We highly recommend passengers to provide their frequent flier account information whenever checking in online and/or at the airport check-in desk. After travel has commenced, it is often not possible to apply for frequent mileage credit. Passengers are also responsible to determine whether previously earned mileage may be applied to flights to secure upgrades.

Known Traveler Number (KTN)
If you have a KTN number, you are normally able to join the TSA security line for expedited processing at the airport. Prior to check in, you should go online or call your airline and add your KTN number to your reservation record. In most cases, you will then see the letters "TSA PRE" printed on your boarding pass. If these letters are not printed, you will not be permitted on the TSA line. Please be aware that some airlines do not participate in the program and therefore even if there is a TSA line at the airport, you will not be given TSA PRE status. Sometimes you may not be selected by TSA (even if you entered a KTN number) and even a minor name discrepancy can result in TSA PRE being denied. It is your responsibility to register your KTN number with your airline and Gate 1 cannot be held responsible for denial of expedited security. Note: KTNs are issued by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) after completing a background check through TSA's PreCheck® program. Global Entry members may also enjoy expedited customs processing.

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.

Carry on Luggage
Missed connections and lost luggage are more common than ever. We strongly suggest you use your carry on bag for those necessities you would miss if your checked bags went astray. Items to consider, but not limited to, are prescription medicines, eyeglasses, a change of clothes, mobile phone and charger, valuables (including jewelry and cash), passport, keys, insurance cards, local contact information. Refer to the TSA website for a complete list of items and their sizes which may be carried on board. We also recommend you bring a change of clothes in your carry on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost.

Thailand - Intra-Thailand 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 Thailand.

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.

Cambodia - Intra-Cambodia 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 Cambodia.

Laos - Intra-Laos 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 Laos.

E-Tickets & Advance Check-In
Review the flight itinerary included in your documents. Print and carry a copy of the air itinerary which contains the 6-digit airline "Record Locator" and e-ticket numbers. Advance online check-in is available on some airlines. If available, you may enter your name and 6-digit Record Locator or Flight Ticket Number at the airline's website, and print the boarding pass on your home printer within twenty-four hours of departure. You may check-in online, even if you plan to check luggage at the airport. Airlines without advance online check-in require you to present your identification and e-ticket numbers at the airport self-service kiosk or check-in counter. Paper tickets will be provided in the rare instance when e-tickets cannot be issued.

Day of Departure
Arrive On Time
Due to increased security measures, you should plan to check in at least three hours prior to the scheduled departure time for international flights and two hours prior for domestic flights. Many airlines do not permit check-in less than one hour prior to the scheduled departure time. It is your responsibility to arrive on time for all scheduled flights. Enhanced security procedures, including passenger screening, canine inspection, and inspection of personal electronic devices, have been implemented for all flights into the United States, and therefore security procedures may take longer than normal.

Check-In
If your flight itinerary displays a flight as “Operated By” another carrier, you should check-in at the desk of the “Operated By” airline. When you arrive at the airport, check the airport monitors for updated check-in desk listings. At check-in, be prepared to provide your government issued identification (valid passport required when traveling internationally) and your e-ticket itinerary/ticket numbers to the agent. Once you've checked in and received your boarding passes and luggage claim tickets, proceed directly to the security check. Security lines are often backed up and can take time to get through. Once you've completed security check, proceed directly to your gate and check the large electronic flight screens for your flight time and departure gate for schedule and gate changes. Airport desk clerks will assist with unexpected changes. Once you are in the gate area you can relax, shop or buy a snack before your flight.

Connecting Passengers
Passengers connecting from another point within the USA should check their luggage through to their final destination. Although problems with lost luggage have been minimal, it is a possibility. Certain carriers do not allow baggage “interlining,” and luggage must be checked separately for each flight. When you check your luggage, please verify where your luggage is being sent. When connecting between flights in major airports, you may need to pass through multiple security checkpoints. Therefore, we recommend that you proceed immediately to the gate area for your connecting flight to avoid any unexpected delays which may cause you to be late. Passengers returning to the USA may need to collect their luggage at the first airport of entry and recheck their luggage for their connecting flight.

Flight Services
Avoiding Jet Lag
In order to minimize fatigue and general restlessness caused by jet lag, there are a few steps you may take including switching to your destination time zone when you board the plane, by sleeping and eating according to the new schedule, avoiding heavy eating, caffeine or alcoholic beverages before or during your flight, and by drinking plenty of water and/or fruit juice while flying. Try to sleep on overnight flights and then, upon arrival, avoid the temptation to nap until nighttime.

Airline Food
Unless you are a first or business class passenger, you will likely be treated to a pretty mediocre culinary experience. Reasons for this range from airline budget constraints to the logistics of high altitudes, low humidity and air pressure which tend to desensitize taste buds. Small galleys, tiny ovens and precooked food, plus previously mentioned cost-cuts in order to keep airfares as low as possible, add to some often pretty poor fare. Our suggestion is to stick to simple options, carry a few granola bars, and don't expect this to be your best dining experience.

Premium Economy or Business Class
Service may not be available on all flights or aircraft types, and therefore some flights within an itinerary may not include Premium Economy or Business Class seating. This includes, for example, some US domestic connections and/or short haul flights abroad. When service is not available, you will be accommodated in the best alternative class of service and seating. Please check your operating airline to determine the extra services you may receive.

US Customs & Immigration for Return Flights
In most cases, passengers with return flights that include a connection in the US will need to complete customs and immigration formalities in their first port of entry, requiring them to collect their luggage and check-in for their onward flight. However, there are some exceptions: certain airports in Canada and Ireland (Dublin), allow US Immigration formalities to be completed in the overseas airport at the gate area.

Foreign Domestic Flights
If your tour program includes foreign domestic flights, and those tickets are not included together with the e-ticket itinerary in your travel documents, you will receive those tickets at your destination from our local representative.

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.

Emergency Assistance
The Gate 1 emergency line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call: 800 682-3333 or 215 572-7676. From overseas, call: 001 215 572-7676. Outside office hours, listen to the prompts, then press 3. You will speak immediately with a representative, or you may be asked to leave a detailed message including your name, your booking number, and most importantly the telephone number where you can be reached. Your message will be forwarded immediately to a representative who will contact you at the telephone number provided.

Last Minute Schedule Changes & Flight Delays
On the day of travel, check the flight schedule and advise Gate 1 by phone, 800 682-3333 or 215 572-7676, of any significant changes that might affect your arrival transfer or hotel reservation. Gate 1 cannot be held responsible for affected land services, including arrival and/or departure transfers should flights be changed without our knowledge. Gate 1 will make every effort to inform passengers of schedule changes and cannot be held responsible for changes in routing and/or the number of stops in the itinerary. Nor will Gate 1 provide compensation for changes or cancellations implemented by an airline.

Missed Flights
In the event that you miss your flight which departs as scheduled, for any reason, your airline will consider you a "no-show” and may resell your seat(s) to other customers. This will also result in the cancellation of any later flights in your itinerary. Similarly, if you voluntarily decide not to use any of the flights on your itinerary, the airline will consider you a “no show” and cancel remaining flights on your itinerary. In this case, please contact your airline immediately for assistance in getting you to your destination. Missed flights are typically fully non-refundable and you may be required to purchase new flights from the airline at your own expense. Once your alternative arrangements have been confirmed, please contact Gate 1 with your new flight details.

Missed Connection
If you are connecting from a domestic flight which is delayed for any reason, causing you to miss your international flight, ask the airline for assistance in getting you to your destination. Since all airline tickets are issued on special fares which carry restrictions and penalties if changed, it's the airline's responsibility to make alternate arrangements on your behalf as Gate 1 has no authority or control over airline activities and policies. Do not leave the airline check-in desk until an alternative itinerary has been confirmed.

Lost Luggage
If your luggage is lost or damaged by the airlines, a baggage claim form must be filed with the carrier before leaving the airport. Any cost to retrieve luggage will be your responsibility and you should retain receipts to submit to your insurance provider. You may be required to return to an airport to retrieve your luggage personally.

Arrival & Departure
Arrival Procedures
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.

Departure Procedures
If your program includes departure transfers, instructions will be stated on your voucher or provided locally.

Transfers
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
Hotels
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.

Gratuities
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, Indonesia & Malaysia

Tour Manager (Coordinator; may or may not act as a guide): US $8 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
Hotel porters and wait staff: Included

Cambodia - Tipping is not customary in Cambodia, except in upmarket restaurants where 10% of the bill is appreciated - but only if a service charge has not already been added.

Laos - Tipping is not customary in Laos, except in upmarket restaurants where 10% of the bill is appreciated - but only if a service charge has not already been added.

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

Currency
We suggest getting a small amount of currency for the first country you're visiting before you depart (except India). It is a good idea to carry a chart with you to help you convert dollars to the local currency. It's also a good idea not to carry too much money. Many countries have ATM machines that accept most ATM cards, but be sure you know your ATM password in numbers-the keypads on foreign ATMs don't always have letters. ATM machines will only dispense cash in local currency. Check with respective consulates to learn current currency allowances and requirements. Use your credit card whenever possible. Should you decide to carry cash, please note that exchange at banks is typically more favorable than at hotels or exchange bureaus. However, bank hours are limited to Mondays through Fridays and sometimes only morning hours on those days. Please note that many banks and most vendors will not accept or exchange $100 bills. We suggest to carry $20 bills or smaller. In many destinations (except Western Europe), we suggest to bring between $50 to $100 in $1 bills which may be used to pay gratuities.

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.

Cambodia - The Cambodian Riel is the local currency.

In tourist areas U.S. currency in widely accepted in cities. It is best to carry both Cambodian and U.S. currency in small denominations. Credit cards can generally be used at hotels, but smaller business may not accept them or may charge a service fee for their use. 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.

Thailand - The Thai Baht is the currency of Thailand.

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.

Laos - The Lao Kip is the local currency

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.

Credit Cards
While credit cards are accepted in most destinations, it is advisable to carry local currency. Inform your credit card company that you are traveling to avoid your card being blocked for security reasons.
While most US-issued credit cards have the embedded microprocessor chip, there are still some that have the magnetic-strip technology. The “chip-and-PIN” cards require users to punch in a personal identification number (PIN) instead of signing for a purchase. For example, many automated ticket kiosks, such as those commonly found at train stations, gas pumps and parking garages, don’t accept cards without a chip and PIN. Most cash registers are equipped to handle American cards but if you encounter difficulties, offer an alternative credit card or politely insist that the cashier keep trying to swipe the credit card. ATMs typically recognize and accept US issued debit cards. For travel to Europe, should you anticipate using ticket kiosks or purchasing train tickets locally, you may consider buying tickets and other basic purchases prior to departure.

Shopping
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.

Cambodia - Local handicrafts, silks, and replicas of ancient statues and artifacts are among the most popular items.

Thailand - Among the most sought after goods are Thai silk and cotton embroidery, pearls, objects inlaid with precious and semi-precious stones, and leather wares.

Laos - Local markets provide great handcrafted items such as Hill tribe silk, couture-quality textiles, carvings, and jewelry.

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:

  • Be aware of potentially dangerous places and situations as you would be at home. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry and carry your valuables concealed in inside pockets or hidden pouches. Your objective is to avoid drawing attention and to blend in with the crowd
  • Don't put all your valuables (money, credit cards, passports, etc.) in the same place (in case one wallet is stolen, you should have other valuables and identification in another safe place)
  • Do not leave valuables laying loose in your room or on the bus as Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for any loss. Use the hotel safe. Keep copies of your passports, credit card numbers and travelers checks numbers in the hotel safe
  • When possible we suggest traveling in pairs or groups when moving about independently
  • Do not pack valuables (cameras, computers, jewelry, etc.) in your checked luggage. Keep hard to replace valuables with you in your carry-on bag
  • Keep wallets safely tucked into front trouser pockets and/or wear a money pouch inside your clothing
  • Carry handbags close to your body, shoulder bags the cross-body method with the bag in front of your body
  • Credit cards are generally accepted everywhere and are safer than traveling with large amounts of cash

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:

  • Remain alert and cautious. Be wary of any unusual contact or commotion in crowded public places, including train stations, markets, subways and tourist sites;
  • Be especially careful when traveling independently, or leaving your tour group to explore on your own. Try not to travel alone, especially at night. Avoid narrow alleys and poorly lit streets;
  • Use only official taxis and check the change you receive from all taxi drivers and vendors;
  • Beware of pickpockets often working with an accomplice who will distract you by spilling something on you, dropping a wallet or other seemingly valuable object, or tripping and falling down in front of you;
  • Beware of aggressive street vendors who may approach you offering a demonstration which may end with you being pressured to purchase an item or act as a distraction for another pickpocket;
  • Don’t tip beggars;
  • Wear the shoulder strap of your bag across your chest;
  • Carry modest amounts of cash (US dollars) in small denominations so that you can avoid flashing large bills when paying for small items;
  • ATM machines can be a convenient way to carry less currency. However those machines too can be used for robbery. Be wary of anyone who can look over your shoulder when inputting PINs. Another scam involves rigging the machine with a plastic insert which makes your card retrieval difficult; the thief then removes your card after you walk away;
  • If you are confronted, do not fight back - give up your valuables. If your possessions are lost or stolen, report the loss immediately to the local police and keep a copy of the official report for insurance claims.


Local Emergency Phone Numbers
Vietnam
  • Ambulance: 115
  • Fire: 114
  • Police: 113

Cambodia
  • Ambulance: 119
  • Fire: 118
  • Police: 117

Thailand
  • Ambulance/Police: 191
  • Fire: 199

Laos
  • Police: 191
  • Fire: 190
  • Ambulance: 195

Languages
Vietnam - Vietnamese is the local language. English is generally spoken in tourist areas.

Cambodia - Khmer is the local language. English is generally spoken in tourist areas.

Thailand - Thai is the local language. English is generally spoken in tourist areas.

Laos - The official language is Lao.

Electricity
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.

Cambodia - The voltage used is 230 volts.

Thailand - The voltage used is 220 volts.

Laos - 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.

Cambodia - While men often shake hands in greeting, woman tend to use the more traditional Som Pas greeting, with palms pressed together at chest level followed by a slight bow. Simple, modest clothing is appropriate. Footwear should be removed upon entering a Buddhist temple. Statues of the Buddha are considered sacred and should not be touched.

Thailand - In Thailand, there is a very sharp distinction between what is appropriate in public life versus private life. Expressing anger or physical affection in public is a faux pas. The Royal Family is treated with utmost respect and reverence, so if you are handling any object bearing the image of the King, treat it with respect. Casual dress is generally appropriate.
Laos - When greeting anyone for the first time, it is polite to hold your hands to your chin in a prayer position and slightly bow. Handshakes are generally not exchanged. Lao are embarrassed by public displays of affection - even hand-holding - especially in sacred places such as temples. Another Buddhist custom is related to the belief that the head is the most sacred part of the body and the feet the most impure. Likewise, putting one’s feet up onto furniture, or using them to point at something, are very rude gestures.

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.

Cambodia - 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.

Thailand - 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.

Laos - 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.

Holidays
On public holidays, there may be reduced public transportation, as well as limited hours or closures of attractions, shops and restaurants.

Holidays - Vietnam

Holidays 2022

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

Holidays 2023

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

Holidays - Cambodia

Holidays 2022

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 7: Victory Day
Mar 8: International Women's Day
Apr 14-16: Khmer New Year
May 1: Labour Day
May 2: Labour Day Holiday
May 14: King Norodom Sihamoni's Birthday
May 15-18: Visak Bochea Day
May 19: Royal Ploughing Day Ceremony
May 20: National Day of Remembrance
Jun 1: Children's Day
Jun 18: Queen Mother's Birthday
Sep 24: Constitution Day
Sep 24-26: Pchum Ben
Oct 15: Commemoration of Late King Father
Oct 24: Paris Peace Agreements Day
Oct 29: King Norodom Sihamoni's Coronation Day
Nov 7-9: Bon Om Touk (Water Festival)
Nov 9: Independence Day
Dec 10: Human Rights Day

Holidays 2023

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 7: Victory Day
Mar 8: International Women's Day
Apr 14-16: Khmer New Year
May 1: Labour Day
May 4: Visak Bochea Day
May 8: Royal Ploughing Day Ceremony
May 14: King Norodom Sihamoni's Birthday
May 20: National Day of Remembrance
Jun 1: Children's Day
Jun 19: Queen Mother's Birthday
Sep 24: Constitution Day
Oct 15: Commemoration of Late King Father
Oct 24: Paris Peace Agreements Day
Oct 29: King Norodom Sihamoni's Coronation Day
Nov 9: Independence Day
Nov 26-28: Bon Om Touk (Water Festival)
Dec 10: Human Rights Day

Holidays - Thailand

Holidays 2022

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 3: New Year's Day (Observed)
Feb 1: Chinese New Year
Feb 16: Magha Puja: veneration of Buddha
Apr 6: Chakri Memorial Day
Apr 13-15: Thai New Year
May 1: Labor Day
May 2: Labor Day (Observed)
May 4: Coronation Day
May 15: Visakha Bucha, Buddha Day
Jun 3: Queens Suthida's Birthday
Jul 14: Asalha Puja, Buddhist Lent
Jul 28: H.M. King's Birthday
Aug 12: Mother's Day (Celebrated on the Queen's Birthday)
Oct 13: Anniversary of the death of King Bhumibol
Oct 23: Chulalongkorn Memorial Day
Oct 24: Chulalongkorn Memorial Day (Observed)
Dec 15: King Bhumibol's Birthday
Dec 10: Constitution Day
Dec 12: Constitution Day (Observed)
Dec 31: New Year's Eve

Holidays 2023

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 2: New Year's Day (Observed)
Jan 22: Chinese New Year
Mar 6: Magha Puja: veneration of Buddha
Apr 6: Chakri Memorial Day
Apr 13-15: Thai New Year
May 1: Labor Day
May 4: Coronation Day
May 5: Visakha Bucha, Buddha Day
Jun 3: Queens Suthida's Birthday
Jun 5: Queens Suthida's Birthday (Observed)
Jul 28: H.M. King's Birthday
Aug 2: Asalha Puja, Buddhist Lent
Aug 11: Mother's Day (Celebrated on the Queen's Birthday) (Observed)
Aug 12: Mother's Day (Celebrated on the Queen's Birthday)
Oct 13: Anniversary of the death of King Bhumibol
Oct 23: Chulalongkorn Memorial Day
Dec 15: King Bhumibol's Birthday/Father's Day
Dec 10: Constitution Day
Dec 11: Constitution Day (Observed)
Dec 31: New Year's Eve

Songkran Festival is celebrated the second week of April each year by splashing one another with water in the streets to mark the end of the dry season. You may get wet while in the city for the festival as locals will often toss water on strangers as a show of blessings and good wishes.

Holidays - Laos

Holidays 2022

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 6: Pathet Lao Day
Jan 20: Army Day
Mar 8: Women's Day
Apr 14-16: Lao New Year
May 1: Labor Day
Jun 1: Children's Day
Dec 2: National Day

Holidays 2023

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 6: Pathet Lao Day
Jan 20: Army Day
Mar 8: Women's Day
Apr 14-16: Lao New Year
May 1: Labor Day
Jun 1: Children's Day
Dec 2: National Day

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.

Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos
Visas required for Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos
Trip Preparation
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. 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.

Travel Protection
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).

Example:
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
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.

  • Watch what you eat. Try new foods in modest quantities, and depending upon your destination, you may want to avoid street foods, salad bars, raw vegetables and fruits, unless they have thick peels like bananas or grapefruit.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink bottled water and avoid consuming ice cubes made with tap water.
  • If you have allergies to foods, medications or insect bites, or have any other unique medical issues, consider a medical alert bracelet and/or a physician’s note detailing required treatment should you become ill.
  • Wash your hands regularly and carry hand sanitizer.
  • Where appropriate, pack sunscreen and insect repellent (for both active and warm destinations).
  • You may also want to bring a small first-aid kit with bandaids, antibiotic cream, pain killers, bug bite cream, digestive aids like antidiarrheal or anti-bloat medications, antacids, and cold medicine. This is in addition to any prescription medications which should be adequate for the entire trip.


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: http://www.dot.gov/office-policy/aviation-policy/aircraft-disinsection-requirements.

Cambodia - No inoculations are required. However, some inoculations are recommended. Please consult your physician before traveling to Cambodia.

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:
  • Refrain from wearing colognes, perfumes and/or personal products containing excessive fragrance in respect for other guests who may be allergic
  • Avoid smoking cigarettes, e-cigarettes or cigars in the vicinity of other tour members, including in outdoor areas where smoking may be permitted but may still affect other tour participants
  • Avoid attire with political or religious messages that may offend other travelers
  • Respect your fellow passengers. Guests come from all walks of life and varied lifestyles. Please refrain from topics of conversation which might cause offense, such as religion and politics
  • Refrain from conversation or talking on mobile phones while commentary is in progress
  • Respect the mandatory seat rotation policy on the coach
  • Make use of the available hand sanitizer on the coach to support a healthy environment
  • Seek approval before taking photographs of other tour participants
  • Respect tour departures times to avoid delay and loss of sightseeing opportunities

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

Cambodia - Cambodia has three seasons. The dry season is from November to March. The hot season is from March to June. The wet season is from July to October. Comfortable walking shoes, clothes you can layer and an all-weather jacket are recommended. A hat and sunscreen lotion are especially recommended during the hot season. 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.

Cambodia Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/asia-pacific/default.aspx#southeast-asia-weather

Thailand - The rainy season is June through October. Bring comfortable walking shoes, lightweight clothes you can layer and a waterproof windbreaker. 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.

Thailand Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/asia-pacific/default.aspx#thailand-weather

Laos - Laos has a tropical monsoon climate, with a pronounced rainy season from May-October, a cool dry season from November-February, and a hot dry season from March-April. Lightweight clothing is advised throughout the year, with an umbrella or raincoat for sudden cloudbursts. Be prepared for high temperatures and humidity. A sweater is advised for cooler evenings. 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. Shoes will need to be removed when entering Temples.

Laos Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/asia-pacific/default.aspx#southeast-asia-weather

About Drones
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.

THAILAND: Books
Presenting Thailand: A Journey through the Kingdom by John Hoskin
Thailand: A Short History by David K. Wyatt
A History of Thailand by Chris Baker
Thailand – Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Custums & Culture by Roger Jones
Thailand: The Lotus Kingdom by Alistair Shearer
Fascinating Thailand by John Hoskin

THAILAND: Films
Ong Bak (2003)
Citizen Dog (2004)
Fan Chan (2003)

VIETNAM: Books
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

VIETNAM: Films
Indochine (1992)
Three Seasons (1999)

CAMBODIA: Books
Khmer: The Lost Empire of Cambodia by Thierry Zephir
Enchanting Cambodia by Mick Shippen
Cambodia: Report from A Stricken Land by Henry Kamm

LAOS: Books
The Rough Guide to Laos by Jeff Cranmer & Steven Martin
Another Quiet American: Stories of Life in Laos by Brett Dakin
Stalking the Elephant Kings: In Search of Laos by Christopher Kremmer

Preparing for Your Trip
Reconfirming Flights
It is not necessary to call your airline to reconfirm your flights. However, we do recommend that you check your airline’s website 24 hours prior to your flight to ensure that your flights remain on schedule and that flight times are unchanged.

Seat Assignments
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.

Frequent Flier Programs
Passengers are responsible to contact their airline directly regarding mileage eligibility and accrual. Airline frequent flier programs determine whether to award miles in part or total based on their own rules which are updated frequently. Some discounted or promotional airfares as well as some code-share flights are not eligible for mileage accrual. Some private airfares, such as a “Gate 1 Travel Airfare”, are not eligible for mileage or may qualify for reduced mileage, even if the same airline class of service is eligible for full mileage when sold as an “Instant Purchase” published airfare. Not all published airfares are eligible for mileage. Gate 1 Travel will record frequent flier numbers when provided by the passenger prior to travel documents being issued. However, the addition of frequent flier numbers to airline records does not guarantee mileage eligibility which is at the sole discretion of each airline. Airline schedule changes may result in flights which were originally eligible for mileage accrual no longer being eligible. We highly recommend passengers to provide their frequent flier account information whenever checking in online and/or at the airport check-in desk. After travel has commenced, it is often not possible to apply for frequent mileage credit. Passengers are also responsible to determine whether previously earned mileage may be applied to flights to secure upgrades.

Known Traveler Number (KTN)
If you have a KTN number, you are normally able to join the TSA security line for expedited processing at the airport. Prior to check in, you should go online or call your airline and add your KTN number to your reservation record. In most cases, you will then see the letters "TSA PRE" printed on your boarding pass. If these letters are not printed, you will not be permitted on the TSA line. Please be aware that some airlines do not participate in the program and therefore even if there is a TSA line at the airport, you will not be given TSA PRE status. Sometimes you may not be selected by TSA (even if you entered a KTN number) and even a minor name discrepancy can result in TSA PRE being denied. It is your responsibility to register your KTN number with your airline and Gate 1 cannot be held responsible for denial of expedited security. Note: KTNs are issued by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) after completing a background check through TSA's PreCheck® program. Global Entry members may also enjoy expedited customs processing.

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.

Carry on Luggage
Missed connections and lost luggage are more common than ever. We strongly suggest you use your carry on bag for those necessities you would miss if your checked bags went astray. Items to consider, but not limited to, are prescription medicines, eyeglasses, a change of clothes, mobile phone and charger, valuables (including jewelry and cash), passport, keys, insurance cards, local contact information. Refer to the TSA website for a complete list of items and their sizes which may be carried on board. We also recommend you bring a change of clothes in your carry on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost.

Thailand - Intra-Thailand 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 Thailand.

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.

Cambodia - Intra-Cambodia 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 Cambodia.

Laos - Intra-Laos 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 Laos.

E-Tickets & Advance Check-In
Review the flight itinerary included in your documents. Print and carry a copy of the air itinerary which contains the 6-digit airline "Record Locator" and e-ticket numbers. Advance online check-in is available on some airlines. If available, you may enter your name and 6-digit Record Locator or Flight Ticket Number at the airline's website, and print the boarding pass on your home printer within twenty-four hours of departure. You may check-in online, even if you plan to check luggage at the airport. Airlines without advance online check-in require you to present your identification and e-ticket numbers at the airport self-service kiosk or check-in counter. Paper tickets will be provided in the rare instance when e-tickets cannot be issued.

Day of Departure
Arrive On Time
Due to increased security measures, you should plan to check in at least three hours prior to the scheduled departure time for international flights and two hours prior for domestic flights. Many airlines do not permit check-in less than one hour prior to the scheduled departure time. It is your responsibility to arrive on time for all scheduled flights. Enhanced security procedures, including passenger screening, canine inspection, and inspection of personal electronic devices, have been implemented for all flights into the United States, and therefore security procedures may take longer than normal.

Check-In
If your flight itinerary displays a flight as “Operated By” another carrier, you should check-in at the desk of the “Operated By” airline. When you arrive at the airport, check the airport monitors for updated check-in desk listings. At check-in, be prepared to provide your government issued identification (valid passport required when traveling internationally) and your e-ticket itinerary/ticket numbers to the agent. Once you've checked in and received your boarding passes and luggage claim tickets, proceed directly to the security check. Security lines are often backed up and can take time to get through. Once you've completed security check, proceed directly to your gate and check the large electronic flight screens for your flight time and departure gate for schedule and gate changes. Airport desk clerks will assist with unexpected changes. Once you are in the gate area you can relax, shop or buy a snack before your flight.

Connecting Passengers
Passengers connecting from another point within the USA should check their luggage through to their final destination. Although problems with lost luggage have been minimal, it is a possibility. Certain carriers do not allow baggage “interlining,” and luggage must be checked separately for each flight. When you check your luggage, please verify where your luggage is being sent. When connecting between flights in major airports, you may need to pass through multiple security checkpoints. Therefore, we recommend that you proceed immediately to the gate area for your connecting flight to avoid any unexpected delays which may cause you to be late. Passengers returning to the USA may need to collect their luggage at the first airport of entry and recheck their luggage for their connecting flight.

Flight Services
Avoiding Jet Lag
In order to minimize fatigue and general restlessness caused by jet lag, there are a few steps you may take including switching to your destination time zone when you board the plane, by sleeping and eating according to the new schedule, avoiding heavy eating, caffeine or alcoholic beverages before or during your flight, and by drinking plenty of water and/or fruit juice while flying. Try to sleep on overnight flights and then, upon arrival, avoid the temptation to nap until nighttime.

Airline Food
Unless you are a first or business class passenger, you will likely be treated to a pretty mediocre culinary experience. Reasons for this range from airline budget constraints to the logistics of high altitudes, low humidity and air pressure which tend to desensitize taste buds. Small galleys, tiny ovens and precooked food, plus previously mentioned cost-cuts in order to keep airfares as low as possible, add to some often pretty poor fare. Our suggestion is to stick to simple options, carry a few granola bars, and don't expect this to be your best dining experience.

Premium Economy or Business Class
Service may not be available on all flights or aircraft types, and therefore some flights within an itinerary may not include Premium Economy or Business Class seating. This includes, for example, some US domestic connections and/or short haul flights abroad. When service is not available, you will be accommodated in the best alternative class of service and seating. Please check your operating airline to determine the extra services you may receive.

US Customs & Immigration for Return Flights
In most cases, passengers with return flights that include a connection in the US will need to complete customs and immigration formalities in their first port of entry, requiring them to collect their luggage and check-in for their onward flight. However, there are some exceptions: certain airports in Canada and Ireland (Dublin), allow US Immigration formalities to be completed in the overseas airport at the gate area.

Foreign Domestic Flights
If your tour program includes foreign domestic flights, and those tickets are not included together with the e-ticket itinerary in your travel documents, you will receive those tickets at your destination from our local representative.

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.

Emergency Assistance
The Gate 1 emergency line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call: 800 682-3333 or 215 572-7676. From overseas, call: 001 215 572-7676. Outside office hours, listen to the prompts, then press 3. You will speak immediately with a representative, or you may be asked to leave a detailed message including your name, your booking number, and most importantly the telephone number where you can be reached. Your message will be forwarded immediately to a representative who will contact you at the telephone number provided.

Last Minute Schedule Changes & Flight Delays
On the day of travel, check the flight schedule and advise Gate 1 by phone, 800 682-3333 or 215 572-7676, of any significant changes that might affect your arrival transfer or hotel reservation. Gate 1 cannot be held responsible for affected land services, including arrival and/or departure transfers should flights be changed without our knowledge. Gate 1 will make every effort to inform passengers of schedule changes and cannot be held responsible for changes in routing and/or the number of stops in the itinerary. Nor will Gate 1 provide compensation for changes or cancellations implemented by an airline.

Missed Flights
In the event that you miss your flight which departs as scheduled, for any reason, your airline will consider you a "no-show” and may resell your seat(s) to other customers. This will also result in the cancellation of any later flights in your itinerary. Similarly, if you voluntarily decide not to use any of the flights on your itinerary, the airline will consider you a “no show” and cancel remaining flights on your itinerary. In this case, please contact your airline immediately for assistance in getting you to your destination. Missed flights are typically fully non-refundable and you may be required to purchase new flights from the airline at your own expense. Once your alternative arrangements have been confirmed, please contact Gate 1 with your new flight details.

Missed Connection
If you are connecting from a domestic flight which is delayed for any reason, causing you to miss your international flight, ask the airline for assistance in getting you to your destination. Since all airline tickets are issued on special fares which carry restrictions and penalties if changed, it's the airline's responsibility to make alternate arrangements on your behalf as Gate 1 has no authority or control over airline activities and policies. Do not leave the airline check-in desk until an alternative itinerary has been confirmed.

Lost Luggage
If your luggage is lost or damaged by the airlines, a baggage claim form must be filed with the carrier before leaving the airport. Any cost to retrieve luggage will be your responsibility and you should retain receipts to submit to your insurance provider. You may be required to return to an airport to retrieve your luggage personally.

Arrival & Departure
Arrival Procedures
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.

Departure Procedures
If your program includes departure transfers, instructions will be stated on your voucher or provided locally.

Transfers
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
Hotels
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.

Gratuities
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, Indonesia & Malaysia

Tour Manager (Coordinator; may or may not act as a guide): US $8 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
Hotel porters and wait staff: Included

Cambodia - Tipping is not customary in Cambodia, except in upmarket restaurants where 10% of the bill is appreciated - but only if a service charge has not already been added.

Laos - Tipping is not customary in Laos, except in upmarket restaurants where 10% of the bill is appreciated - but only if a service charge has not already been added.

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

Currency
We suggest getting a small amount of currency for the first country you're visiting before you depart (except India). It is a good idea to carry a chart with you to help you convert dollars to the local currency. It's also a good idea not to carry too much money. Many countries have ATM machines that accept most ATM cards, but be sure you know your ATM password in numbers-the keypads on foreign ATMs don't always have letters. ATM machines will only dispense cash in local currency. Check with respective consulates to learn current currency allowances and requirements. Use your credit card whenever possible. Should you decide to carry cash, please note that exchange at banks is typically more favorable than at hotels or exchange bureaus. However, bank hours are limited to Mondays through Fridays and sometimes only morning hours on those days. Please note that many banks and most vendors will not accept or exchange $100 bills. We suggest to carry $20 bills or smaller. In many destinations (except Western Europe), we suggest to bring between $50 to $100 in $1 bills which may be used to pay gratuities.

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.

Cambodia - The Cambodian Riel is the local currency.

In tourist areas U.S. currency in widely accepted in cities. It is best to carry both Cambodian and U.S. currency in small denominations. Credit cards can generally be used at hotels, but smaller business may not accept them or may charge a service fee for their use. 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.

Thailand - The Thai Baht is the currency of Thailand.

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.

Laos - The Lao Kip is the local currency

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.

Credit Cards
While credit cards are accepted in most destinations, it is advisable to carry local currency. Inform your credit card company that you are traveling to avoid your card being blocked for security reasons.
While most US-issued credit cards have the embedded microprocessor chip, there are still some that have the magnetic-strip technology. The “chip-and-PIN” cards require users to punch in a personal identification number (PIN) instead of signing for a purchase. For example, many automated ticket kiosks, such as those commonly found at train stations, gas pumps and parking garages, don’t accept cards without a chip and PIN. Most cash registers are equipped to handle American cards but if you encounter difficulties, offer an alternative credit card or politely insist that the cashier keep trying to swipe the credit card. ATMs typically recognize and accept US issued debit cards. For travel to Europe, should you anticipate using ticket kiosks or purchasing train tickets locally, you may consider buying tickets and other basic purchases prior to departure.

Shopping
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.

Cambodia - Local handicrafts, silks, and replicas of ancient statues and artifacts are among the most popular items.

Thailand - Among the most sought after goods are Thai silk and cotton embroidery, pearls, objects inlaid with precious and semi-precious stones, and leather wares.

Laos - Local markets provide great handcrafted items such as Hill tribe silk, couture-quality textiles, carvings, and jewelry.

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:

  • Be aware of potentially dangerous places and situations as you would be at home. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry and carry your valuables concealed in inside pockets or hidden pouches. Your objective is to avoid drawing attention and to blend in with the crowd
  • Don't put all your valuables (money, credit cards, passports, etc.) in the same place (in case one wallet is stolen, you should have other valuables and identification in another safe place)
  • Do not leave valuables laying loose in your room or on the bus as Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for any loss. Use the hotel safe. Keep copies of your passports, credit card numbers and travelers checks numbers in the hotel safe
  • When possible we suggest traveling in pairs or groups when moving about independently
  • Do not pack valuables (cameras, computers, jewelry, etc.) in your checked luggage. Keep hard to replace valuables with you in your carry-on bag
  • Keep wallets safely tucked into front trouser pockets and/or wear a money pouch inside your clothing
  • Carry handbags close to your body, shoulder bags the cross-body method with the bag in front of your body
  • Credit cards are generally accepted everywhere and are safer than traveling with large amounts of cash

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:

  • Remain alert and cautious. Be wary of any unusual contact or commotion in crowded public places, including train stations, markets, subways and tourist sites;
  • Be especially careful when traveling independently, or leaving your tour group to explore on your own. Try not to travel alone, especially at night. Avoid narrow alleys and poorly lit streets;
  • Use only official taxis and check the change you receive from all taxi drivers and vendors;
  • Beware of pickpockets often working with an accomplice who will distract you by spilling something on you, dropping a wallet or other seemingly valuable object, or tripping and falling down in front of you;
  • Beware of aggressive street vendors who may approach you offering a demonstration which may end with you being pressured to purchase an item or act as a distraction for another pickpocket;
  • Don’t tip beggars;
  • Wear the shoulder strap of your bag across your chest;
  • Carry modest amounts of cash (US dollars) in small denominations so that you can avoid flashing large bills when paying for small items;
  • ATM machines can be a convenient way to carry less currency. However those machines too can be used for robbery. Be wary of anyone who can look over your shoulder when inputting PINs. Another scam involves rigging the machine with a plastic insert which makes your card retrieval difficult; the thief then removes your card after you walk away;
  • If you are confronted, do not fight back - give up your valuables. If your possessions are lost or stolen, report the loss immediately to the local police and keep a copy of the official report for insurance claims.


Local Emergency Phone Numbers
Vietnam
  • Ambulance: 115
  • Fire: 114
  • Police: 113

Cambodia
  • Ambulance: 119
  • Fire: 118
  • Police: 117

Thailand
  • Ambulance/Police: 191
  • Fire: 199

Laos
  • Police: 191
  • Fire: 190
  • Ambulance: 195

Languages
Vietnam - Vietnamese is the local language. English is generally spoken in tourist areas.

Cambodia - Khmer is the local language. English is generally spoken in tourist areas.

Thailand - Thai is the local language. English is generally spoken in tourist areas.

Laos - The official language is Lao.

Electricity
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.

Cambodia - The voltage used is 230 volts.

Thailand - The voltage used is 220 volts.

Laos - 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.

Cambodia - While men often shake hands in greeting, woman tend to use the more traditional Som Pas greeting, with palms pressed together at chest level followed by a slight bow. Simple, modest clothing is appropriate. Footwear should be removed upon entering a Buddhist temple. Statues of the Buddha are considered sacred and should not be touched.

Thailand - In Thailand, there is a very sharp distinction between what is appropriate in public life versus private life. Expressing anger or physical affection in public is a faux pas. The Royal Family is treated with utmost respect and reverence, so if you are handling any object bearing the image of the King, treat it with respect. Casual dress is generally appropriate.
Laos - When greeting anyone for the first time, it is polite to hold your hands to your chin in a prayer position and slightly bow. Handshakes are generally not exchanged. Lao are embarrassed by public displays of affection - even hand-holding - especially in sacred places such as temples. Another Buddhist custom is related to the belief that the head is the most sacred part of the body and the feet the most impure. Likewise, putting one’s feet up onto furniture, or using them to point at something, are very rude gestures.

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.

Cambodia - 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.

Thailand - 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.

Laos - 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.

Holidays
On public holidays, there may be reduced public transportation, as well as limited hours or closures of attractions, shops and restaurants.

Holidays - Vietnam

Holidays 2022

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

Holidays 2023

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

Holidays - Cambodia

Holidays 2022

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 7: Victory Day
Mar 8: International Women's Day
Apr 14-16: Khmer New Year
May 1: Labour Day
May 2: Labour Day Holiday
May 14: King Norodom Sihamoni's Birthday
May 15-18: Visak Bochea Day
May 19: Royal Ploughing Day Ceremony
May 20: National Day of Remembrance
Jun 1: Children's Day
Jun 18: Queen Mother's Birthday
Sep 24: Constitution Day
Sep 24-26: Pchum Ben
Oct 15: Commemoration of Late King Father
Oct 24: Paris Peace Agreements Day
Oct 29: King Norodom Sihamoni's Coronation Day
Nov 7-9: Bon Om Touk (Water Festival)
Nov 9: Independence Day
Dec 10: Human Rights Day

Holidays 2023

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 7: Victory Day
Mar 8: International Women's Day
Apr 14-16: Khmer New Year
May 1: Labour Day
May 4: Visak Bochea Day
May 8: Royal Ploughing Day Ceremony
May 14: King Norodom Sihamoni's Birthday
May 20: National Day of Remembrance
Jun 1: Children's Day
Jun 19: Queen Mother's Birthday
Sep 24: Constitution Day
Oct 15: Commemoration of Late King Father
Oct 24: Paris Peace Agreements Day
Oct 29: King Norodom Sihamoni's Coronation Day
Nov 9: Independence Day
Nov 26-28: Bon Om Touk (Water Festival)
Dec 10: Human Rights Day

Holidays - Thailand

Holidays 2022

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 3: New Year's Day (Observed)
Feb 1: Chinese New Year
Feb 16: Magha Puja: veneration of Buddha
Apr 6: Chakri Memorial Day
Apr 13-15: Thai New Year
May 1: Labor Day
May 2: Labor Day (Observed)
May 4: Coronation Day
May 15: Visakha Bucha, Buddha Day
Jun 3: Queens Suthida's Birthday
Jul 14: Asalha Puja, Buddhist Lent
Jul 28: H.M. King's Birthday
Aug 12: Mother's Day (Celebrated on the Queen's Birthday)
Oct 13: Anniversary of the death of King Bhumibol
Oct 23: Chulalongkorn Memorial Day
Oct 24: Chulalongkorn Memorial Day (Observed)
Dec 15: King Bhumibol's Birthday
Dec 10: Constitution Day
Dec 12: Constitution Day (Observed)
Dec 31: New Year's Eve

Holidays 2023

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 2: New Year's Day (Observed)
Jan 22: Chinese New Year
Mar 6: Magha Puja: veneration of Buddha
Apr 6: Chakri Memorial Day
Apr 13-15: Thai New Year
May 1: Labor Day
May 4: Coronation Day
May 5: Visakha Bucha, Buddha Day
Jun 3: Queens Suthida's Birthday
Jun 5: Queens Suthida's Birthday (Observed)
Jul 28: H.M. King's Birthday
Aug 2: Asalha Puja, Buddhist Lent
Aug 11: Mother's Day (Celebrated on the Queen's Birthday) (Observed)
Aug 12: Mother's Day (Celebrated on the Queen's Birthday)
Oct 13: Anniversary of the death of King Bhumibol
Oct 23: Chulalongkorn Memorial Day
Dec 15: King Bhumibol's Birthday/Father's Day
Dec 10: Constitution Day
Dec 11: Constitution Day (Observed)
Dec 31: New Year's Eve

Songkran Festival is celebrated the second week of April each year by splashing one another with water in the streets to mark the end of the dry season. You may get wet while in the city for the festival as locals will often toss water on strangers as a show of blessings and good wishes.

Holidays - Laos

Holidays 2022

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 6: Pathet Lao Day
Jan 20: Army Day
Mar 8: Women's Day
Apr 14-16: Lao New Year
May 1: Labor Day
Jun 1: Children's Day
Dec 2: National Day

Holidays 2023

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 6: Pathet Lao Day
Jan 20: Army Day
Mar 8: Women's Day
Apr 14-16: Lao New Year
May 1: Labor Day
Jun 1: Children's Day
Dec 2: National Day

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.

Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos
Visas required for Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos
Trip Preparation
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. 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.

Travel Protection
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).

Example:
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
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.

  • Watch what you eat. Try new foods in modest quantities, and depending upon your destination, you may want to avoid street foods, salad bars, raw vegetables and fruits, unless they have thick peels like bananas or grapefruit.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink bottled water and avoid consuming ice cubes made with tap water.
  • If you have allergies to foods, medications or insect bites, or have any other unique medical issues, consider a medical alert bracelet and/or a physician’s note detailing required treatment should you become ill.
  • Wash your hands regularly and carry hand sanitizer.
  • Where appropriate, pack sunscreen and insect repellent (for both active and warm destinations).
  • You may also want to bring a small first-aid kit with bandaids, antibiotic cream, pain killers, bug bite cream, digestive aids like antidiarrheal or anti-bloat medications, antacids, and cold medicine. This is in addition to any prescription medications which should be adequate for the entire trip.


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: http://www.dot.gov/office-policy/aviation-policy/aircraft-disinsection-requirements.

Cambodia - No inoculations are required. However, some inoculations are recommended. Please consult your physician before traveling to Cambodia.

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:
  • Refrain from wearing colognes, perfumes and/or personal products containing excessive fragrance in respect for other guests who may be allergic
  • Avoid smoking cigarettes, e-cigarettes or cigars in the vicinity of other tour members, including in outdoor areas where smoking may be permitted but may still affect other tour participants
  • Avoid attire with political or religious messages that may offend other travelers
  • Respect your fellow passengers. Guests come from all walks of life and varied lifestyles. Please refrain from topics of conversation which might cause offense, such as religion and politics
  • Refrain from conversation or talking on mobile phones while commentary is in progress
  • Respect the mandatory seat rotation policy on the coach
  • Make use of the available hand sanitizer on the coach to support a healthy environment
  • Seek approval before taking photographs of other tour participants
  • Respect tour departures times to avoid delay and loss of sightseeing opportunities

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

Cambodia - Cambodia has three seasons. The dry season is from November to March. The hot season is from March to June. The wet season is from July to October. Comfortable walking shoes, clothes you can layer and an all-weather jacket are recommended. A hat and sunscreen lotion are especially recommended during the hot season. 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.

Cambodia Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/asia-pacific/default.aspx#southeast-asia-weather

Thailand - The rainy season is June through October. Bring comfortable walking shoes, lightweight clothes you can layer and a waterproof windbreaker. 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.

Thailand Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/asia-pacific/default.aspx#thailand-weather

Laos - Laos has a tropical monsoon climate, with a pronounced rainy season from May-October, a cool dry season from November-February, and a hot dry season from March-April. Lightweight clothing is advised throughout the year, with an umbrella or raincoat for sudden cloudbursts. Be prepared for high temperatures and humidity. A sweater is advised for cooler evenings. 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. Shoes will need to be removed when entering Temples.

Laos Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/asia-pacific/default.aspx#southeast-asia-weather

About Drones
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.

THAILAND: Books
Presenting Thailand: A Journey through the Kingdom by John Hoskin
Thailand: A Short History by David K. Wyatt
A History of Thailand by Chris Baker
Thailand – Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Custums & Culture by Roger Jones
Thailand: The Lotus Kingdom by Alistair Shearer
Fascinating Thailand by John Hoskin

THAILAND: Films
Ong Bak (2003)
Citizen Dog (2004)
Fan Chan (2003)

VIETNAM: Books
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

VIETNAM: Films
Indochine (1992)
Three Seasons (1999)

CAMBODIA: Books
Khmer: The Lost Empire of Cambodia by Thierry Zephir
Enchanting Cambodia by Mick Shippen
Cambodia: Report from A Stricken Land by Henry Kamm

LAOS: Books
The Rough Guide to Laos by Jeff Cranmer & Steven Martin
Another Quiet American: Stories of Life in Laos by Brett Dakin
Stalking the Elephant Kings: In Search of Laos by Christopher Kremmer

Preparing for Your Trip
Reconfirming Flights
It is not necessary to call your airline to reconfirm your flights. However, we do recommend that you check your airline’s website 24 hours prior to your flight to ensure that your flights remain on schedule and that flight times are unchanged.

Seat Assignments
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.

Frequent Flier Programs
Passengers are responsible to contact their airline directly regarding mileage eligibility and accrual. Airline frequent flier programs determine whether to award miles in part or total based on their own rules which are updated frequently. Some discounted or promotional airfares as well as some code-share flights are not eligible for mileage accrual. Some private airfares, such as a “Gate 1 Travel Airfare”, are not eligible for mileage or may qualify for reduced mileage, even if the same airline class of service is eligible for full mileage when sold as an “Instant Purchase” published airfare. Not all published airfares are eligible for mileage. Gate 1 Travel will record frequent flier numbers when provided by the passenger prior to travel documents being issued. However, the addition of frequent flier numbers to airline records does not guarantee mileage eligibility which is at the sole discretion of each airline. Airline schedule changes may result in flights which were originally eligible for mileage accrual no longer being eligible. We highly recommend passengers to provide their frequent flier account information whenever checking in online and/or at the airport check-in desk. After travel has commenced, it is often not possible to apply for frequent mileage credit. Passengers are also responsible to determine whether previously earned mileage may be applied to flights to secure upgrades.

Known Traveler Number (KTN)
If you have a KTN number, you are normally able to join the TSA security line for expedited processing at the airport. Prior to check in, you should go online or call your airline and add your KTN number to your reservation record. In most cases, you will then see the letters "TSA PRE" printed on your boarding pass. If these letters are not printed, you will not be permitted on the TSA line. Please be aware that some airlines do not participate in the program and therefore even if there is a TSA line at the airport, you will not be given TSA PRE status. Sometimes you may not be selected by TSA (even if you entered a KTN number) and even a minor name discrepancy can result in TSA PRE being denied. It is your responsibility to register your KTN number with your airline and Gate 1 cannot be held responsible for denial of expedited security. Note: KTNs are issued by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) after completing a background check through TSA's PreCheck® program. Global Entry members may also enjoy expedited customs processing.

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.

Carry on Luggage
Missed connections and lost luggage are more common than ever. We strongly suggest you use your carry on bag for those necessities you would miss if your checked bags went astray. Items to consider, but not limited to, are prescription medicines, eyeglasses, a change of clothes, mobile phone and charger, valuables (including jewelry and cash), passport, keys, insurance cards, local contact information. Refer to the TSA website for a complete list of items and their sizes which may be carried on board. We also recommend you bring a change of clothes in your carry on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost.

Thailand - Intra-Thailand 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 Thailand.

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.

Cambodia - Intra-Cambodia 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 Cambodia.

Laos - Intra-Laos 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 Laos.

E-Tickets & Advance Check-In
Review the flight itinerary included in your documents. Print and carry a copy of the air itinerary which contains the 6-digit airline "Record Locator" and e-ticket numbers. Advance online check-in is available on some airlines. If available, you may enter your name and 6-digit Record Locator or Flight Ticket Number at the airline's website, and print the boarding pass on your home printer within twenty-four hours of departure. You may check-in online, even if you plan to check luggage at the airport. Airlines without advance online check-in require you to present your identification and e-ticket numbers at the airport self-service kiosk or check-in counter. Paper tickets will be provided in the rare instance when e-tickets cannot be issued.

Day of Departure
Arrive On Time
Due to increased security measures, you should plan to check in at least three hours prior to the scheduled departure time for international flights and two hours prior for domestic flights. Many airlines do not permit check-in less than one hour prior to the scheduled departure time. It is your responsibility to arrive on time for all scheduled flights. Enhanced security procedures, including passenger screening, canine inspection, and inspection of personal electronic devices, have been implemented for all flights into the United States, and therefore security procedures may take longer than normal.

Check-In
If your flight itinerary displays a flight as “Operated By” another carrier, you should check-in at the desk of the “Operated By” airline. When you arrive at the airport, check the airport monitors for updated check-in desk listings. At check-in, be prepared to provide your government issued identification (valid passport required when traveling internationally) and your e-ticket itinerary/ticket numbers to the agent. Once you've checked in and received your boarding passes and luggage claim tickets, proceed directly to the security check. Security lines are often backed up and can take time to get through. Once you've completed security check, proceed directly to your gate and check the large electronic flight screens for your flight time and departure gate for schedule and gate changes. Airport desk clerks will assist with unexpected changes. Once you are in the gate area you can relax, shop or buy a snack before your flight.

Connecting Passengers
Passengers connecting from another point within the USA should check their luggage through to their final destination. Although problems with lost luggage have been minimal, it is a possibility. Certain carriers do not allow baggage “interlining,” and luggage must be checked separately for each flight. When you check your luggage, please verify where your luggage is being sent. When connecting between flights in major airports, you may need to pass through multiple security checkpoints. Therefore, we recommend that you proceed immediately to the gate area for your connecting flight to avoid any unexpected delays which may cause you to be late. Passengers returning to the USA may need to collect their luggage at the first airport of entry and recheck their luggage for their connecting flight.

Flight Services
Avoiding Jet Lag
In order to minimize fatigue and general restlessness caused by jet lag, there are a few steps you may take including switching to your destination time zone when you board the plane, by sleeping and eating according to the new schedule, avoiding heavy eating, caffeine or alcoholic beverages before or during your flight, and by drinking plenty of water and/or fruit juice while flying. Try to sleep on overnight flights and then, upon arrival, avoid the temptation to nap until nighttime.

Airline Food
Unless you are a first or business class passenger, you will likely be treated to a pretty mediocre culinary experience. Reasons for this range from airline budget constraints to the logistics of high altitudes, low humidity and air pressure which tend to desensitize taste buds. Small galleys, tiny ovens and precooked food, plus previously mentioned cost-cuts in order to keep airfares as low as possible, add to some often pretty poor fare. Our suggestion is to stick to simple options, carry a few granola bars, and don't expect this to be your best dining experience.

Premium Economy or Business Class
Service may not be available on all flights or aircraft types, and therefore some flights within an itinerary may not include Premium Economy or Business Class seating. This includes, for example, some US domestic connections and/or short haul flights abroad. When service is not available, you will be accommodated in the best alternative class of service and seating. Please check your operating airline to determine the extra services you may receive.

US Customs & Immigration for Return Flights
In most cases, passengers with return flights that include a connection in the US will need to complete customs and immigration formalities in their first port of entry, requiring them to collect their luggage and check-in for their onward flight. However, there are some exceptions: certain airports in Canada and Ireland (Dublin), allow US Immigration formalities to be completed in the overseas airport at the gate area.

Foreign Domestic Flights
If your tour program includes foreign domestic flights, and those tickets are not included together with the e-ticket itinerary in your travel documents, you will receive those tickets at your destination from our local representative.

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.

Emergency Assistance
The Gate 1 emergency line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call: 800 682-3333 or 215 572-7676. From overseas, call: 001 215 572-7676. Outside office hours, listen to the prompts, then press 3. You will speak immediately with a representative, or you may be asked to leave a detailed message including your name, your booking number, and most importantly the telephone number where you can be reached. Your message will be forwarded immediately to a representative who will contact you at the telephone number provided.

Last Minute Schedule Changes & Flight Delays
On the day of travel, check the flight schedule and advise Gate 1 by phone, 800 682-3333 or 215 572-7676, of any significant changes that might affect your arrival transfer or hotel reservation. Gate 1 cannot be held responsible for affected land services, including arrival and/or departure transfers should flights be changed without our knowledge. Gate 1 will make every effort to inform passengers of schedule changes and cannot be held responsible for changes in routing and/or the number of stops in the itinerary. Nor will Gate 1 provide compensation for changes or cancellations implemented by an airline.

Missed Flights
In the event that you miss your flight which departs as scheduled, for any reason, your airline will consider you a "no-show” and may resell your seat(s) to other customers. This will also result in the cancellation of any later flights in your itinerary. Similarly, if you voluntarily decide not to use any of the flights on your itinerary, the airline will consider you a “no show” and cancel remaining flights on your itinerary. In this case, please contact your airline immediately for assistance in getting you to your destination. Missed flights are typically fully non-refundable and you may be required to purchase new flights from the airline at your own expense. Once your alternative arrangements have been confirmed, please contact Gate 1 with your new flight details.

Missed Connection
If you are connecting from a domestic flight which is delayed for any reason, causing you to miss your international flight, ask the airline for assistance in getting you to your destination. Since all airline tickets are issued on special fares which carry restrictions and penalties if changed, it's the airline's responsibility to make alternate arrangements on your behalf as Gate 1 has no authority or control over airline activities and policies. Do not leave the airline check-in desk until an alternative itinerary has been confirmed.

Lost Luggage
If your luggage is lost or damaged by the airlines, a baggage claim form must be filed with the carrier before leaving the airport. Any cost to retrieve luggage will be your responsibility and you should retain receipts to submit to your insurance provider. You may be required to return to an airport to retrieve your luggage personally.

Arrival & Departure
Arrival Procedures
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.

Departure Procedures
If your program includes departure transfers, instructions will be stated on your voucher or provided locally.

Transfers
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
Hotels
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.

Gratuities
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, Indonesia & Malaysia

Tour Manager (Coordinator; may or may not act as a guide): US $8 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
Hotel porters and wait staff: Included

Cambodia - Tipping is not customary in Cambodia, except in upmarket restaurants where 10% of the bill is appreciated - but only if a service charge has not already been added.

Laos - Tipping is not customary in Laos, except in upmarket restaurants where 10% of the bill is appreciated - but only if a service charge has not already been added.

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

Currency
We suggest getting a small amount of currency for the first country you're visiting before you depart (except India). It is a good idea to carry a chart with you to help you convert dollars to the local currency. It's also a good idea not to carry too much money. Many countries have ATM machines that accept most ATM cards, but be sure you know your ATM password in numbers-the keypads on foreign ATMs don't always have letters. ATM machines will only dispense cash in local currency. Check with respective consulates to learn current currency allowances and requirements. Use your credit card whenever possible. Should you decide to carry cash, please note that exchange at banks is typically more favorable than at hotels or exchange bureaus. However, bank hours are limited to Mondays through Fridays and sometimes only morning hours on those days. Please note that many banks and most vendors will not accept or exchange $100 bills. We suggest to carry $20 bills or smaller. In many destinations (except Western Europe), we suggest to bring between $50 to $100 in $1 bills which may be used to pay gratuities.

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.

Cambodia - The Cambodian Riel is the local currency.

In tourist areas U.S. currency in widely accepted in cities. It is best to carry both Cambodian and U.S. currency in small denominations. Credit cards can generally be used at hotels, but smaller business may not accept them or may charge a service fee for their use. 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.

Thailand - The Thai Baht is the currency of Thailand.

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.

Laos - The Lao Kip is the local currency

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.

Credit Cards
While credit cards are accepted in most destinations, it is advisable to carry local currency. Inform your credit card company that you are traveling to avoid your card being blocked for security reasons.
While most US-issued credit cards have the embedded microprocessor chip, there are still some that have the magnetic-strip technology. The “chip-and-PIN” cards require users to punch in a personal identification number (PIN) instead of signing for a purchase. For example, many automated ticket kiosks, such as those commonly found at train stations, gas pumps and parking garages, don’t accept cards without a chip and PIN. Most cash registers are equipped to handle American cards but if you encounter difficulties, offer an alternative credit card or politely insist that the cashier keep trying to swipe the credit card. ATMs typically recognize and accept US issued debit cards. For travel to Europe, should you anticipate using ticket kiosks or purchasing train tickets locally, you may consider buying tickets and other basic purchases prior to departure.

Shopping
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.

Cambodia - Local handicrafts, silks, and replicas of ancient statues and artifacts are among the most popular items.

Thailand - Among the most sought after goods are Thai silk and cotton embroidery, pearls, objects inlaid with precious and semi-precious stones, and leather wares.

Laos - Local markets provide great handcrafted items such as Hill tribe silk, couture-quality textiles, carvings, and jewelry.

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:

  • Be aware of potentially dangerous places and situations as you would be at home. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry and carry your valuables concealed in inside pockets or hidden pouches. Your objective is to avoid drawing attention and to blend in with the crowd
  • Don't put all your valuables (money, credit cards, passports, etc.) in the same place (in case one wallet is stolen, you should have other valuables and identification in another safe place)
  • Do not leave valuables laying loose in your room or on the bus as Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for any loss. Use the hotel safe. Keep copies of your passports, credit card numbers and travelers checks numbers in the hotel safe
  • When possible we suggest traveling in pairs or groups when moving about independently
  • Do not pack valuables (cameras, computers, jewelry, etc.) in your checked luggage. Keep hard to replace valuables with you in your carry-on bag
  • Keep wallets safely tucked into front trouser pockets and/or wear a money pouch inside your clothing
  • Carry handbags close to your body, shoulder bags the cross-body method with the bag in front of your body
  • Credit cards are generally accepted everywhere and are safer than traveling with large amounts of cash

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:

  • Remain alert and cautious. Be wary of any unusual contact or commotion in crowded public places, including train stations, markets, subways and tourist sites;
  • Be especially careful when traveling independently, or leaving your tour group to explore on your own. Try not to travel alone, especially at night. Avoid narrow alleys and poorly lit streets;
  • Use only official taxis and check the change you receive from all taxi drivers and vendors;
  • Beware of pickpockets often working with an accomplice who will distract you by spilling something on you, dropping a wallet or other seemingly valuable object, or tripping and falling down in front of you;
  • Beware of aggressive street vendors who may approach you offering a demonstration which may end with you being pressured to purchase an item or act as a distraction for another pickpocket;
  • Don’t tip beggars;
  • Wear the shoulder strap of your bag across your chest;
  • Carry modest amounts of cash (US dollars) in small denominations so that you can avoid flashing large bills when paying for small items;
  • ATM machines can be a convenient way to carry less currency. However those machines too can be used for robbery. Be wary of anyone who can look over your shoulder when inputting PINs. Another scam involves rigging the machine with a plastic insert which makes your card retrieval difficult; the thief then removes your card after you walk away;
  • If you are confronted, do not fight back - give up your valuables. If your possessions are lost or stolen, report the loss immediately to the local police and keep a copy of the official report for insurance claims.


Local Emergency Phone Numbers
Vietnam
  • Ambulance: 115
  • Fire: 114
  • Police: 113

Cambodia
  • Ambulance: 119
  • Fire: 118
  • Police: 117

Thailand
  • Ambulance/Police: 191
  • Fire: 199

Laos
  • Police: 191
  • Fire: 190
  • Ambulance: 195

Languages
Vietnam - Vietnamese is the local language. English is generally spoken in tourist areas.

Cambodia - Khmer is the local language. English is generally spoken in tourist areas.

Thailand - Thai is the local language. English is generally spoken in tourist areas.

Laos - The official language is Lao.

Electricity
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.

Cambodia - The voltage used is 230 volts.

Thailand - The voltage used is 220 volts.

Laos - 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.

Cambodia - While men often shake hands in greeting, woman tend to use the more traditional Som Pas greeting, with palms pressed together at chest level followed by a slight bow. Simple, modest clothing is appropriate. Footwear should be removed upon entering a Buddhist temple. Statues of the Buddha are considered sacred and should not be touched.

Thailand - In Thailand, there is a very sharp distinction between what is appropriate in public life versus private life. Expressing anger or physical affection in public is a faux pas. The Royal Family is treated with utmost respect and reverence, so if you are handling any object bearing the image of the King, treat it with respect. Casual dress is generally appropriate.
Laos - When greeting anyone for the first time, it is polite to hold your hands to your chin in a prayer position and slightly bow. Handshakes are generally not exchanged. Lao are embarrassed by public displays of affection - even hand-holding - especially in sacred places such as temples. Another Buddhist custom is related to the belief that the head is the most sacred part of the body and the feet the most impure. Likewise, putting one’s feet up onto furniture, or using them to point at something, are very rude gestures.

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.

Cambodia - 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.

Thailand - 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.

Laos - 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.

Holidays
On public holidays, there may be reduced public transportation, as well as limited hours or closures of attractions, shops and restaurants.

Holidays - Vietnam

Holidays 2022

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

Holidays 2023

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

Holidays - Cambodia

Holidays 2022

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 7: Victory Day
Mar 8: International Women's Day
Apr 14-16: Khmer New Year
May 1: Labour Day
May 2: Labour Day Holiday
May 14: King Norodom Sihamoni's Birthday
May 15-18: Visak Bochea Day
May 19: Royal Ploughing Day Ceremony
May 20: National Day of Remembrance
Jun 1: Children's Day
Jun 18: Queen Mother's Birthday
Sep 24: Constitution Day
Sep 24-26: Pchum Ben
Oct 15: Commemoration of Late King Father
Oct 24: Paris Peace Agreements Day
Oct 29: King Norodom Sihamoni's Coronation Day
Nov 7-9: Bon Om Touk (Water Festival)
Nov 9: Independence Day
Dec 10: Human Rights Day

Holidays 2023

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 7: Victory Day
Mar 8: International Women's Day
Apr 14-16: Khmer New Year
May 1: Labour Day
May 4: Visak Bochea Day
May 8: Royal Ploughing Day Ceremony
May 14: King Norodom Sihamoni's Birthday
May 20: National Day of Remembrance
Jun 1: Children's Day
Jun 19: Queen Mother's Birthday
Sep 24: Constitution Day
Oct 15: Commemoration of Late King Father
Oct 24: Paris Peace Agreements Day
Oct 29: King Norodom Sihamoni's Coronation Day
Nov 9: Independence Day
Nov 26-28: Bon Om Touk (Water Festival)
Dec 10: Human Rights Day

Holidays - Thailand

Holidays 2022

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 3: New Year's Day (Observed)
Feb 1: Chinese New Year
Feb 16: Magha Puja: veneration of Buddha
Apr 6: Chakri Memorial Day
Apr 13-15: Thai New Year
May 1: Labor Day
May 2: Labor Day (Observed)
May 4: Coronation Day
May 15: Visakha Bucha, Buddha Day
Jun 3: Queens Suthida's Birthday
Jul 14: Asalha Puja, Buddhist Lent
Jul 28: H.M. King's Birthday
Aug 12: Mother's Day (Celebrated on the Queen's Birthday)
Oct 13: Anniversary of the death of King Bhumibol
Oct 23: Chulalongkorn Memorial Day
Oct 24: Chulalongkorn Memorial Day (Observed)
Dec 15: King Bhumibol's Birthday
Dec 10: Constitution Day
Dec 12: Constitution Day (Observed)
Dec 31: New Year's Eve

Holidays 2023

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 2: New Year's Day (Observed)
Jan 22: Chinese New Year
Mar 6: Magha Puja: veneration of Buddha
Apr 6: Chakri Memorial Day
Apr 13-15: Thai New Year
May 1: Labor Day
May 4: Coronation Day
May 5: Visakha Bucha, Buddha Day
Jun 3: Queens Suthida's Birthday
Jun 5: Queens Suthida's Birthday (Observed)
Jul 28: H.M. King's Birthday
Aug 2: Asalha Puja, Buddhist Lent
Aug 11: Mother's Day (Celebrated on the Queen's Birthday) (Observed)
Aug 12: Mother's Day (Celebrated on the Queen's Birthday)
Oct 13: Anniversary of the death of King Bhumibol
Oct 23: Chulalongkorn Memorial Day
Dec 15: King Bhumibol's Birthday/Father's Day
Dec 10: Constitution Day
Dec 11: Constitution Day (Observed)
Dec 31: New Year's Eve

Songkran Festival is celebrated the second week of April each year by splashing one another with water in the streets to mark the end of the dry season. You may get wet while in the city for the festival as locals will often toss water on strangers as a show of blessings and good wishes.

Holidays - Laos

Holidays 2022

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 6: Pathet Lao Day
Jan 20: Army Day
Mar 8: Women's Day
Apr 14-16: Lao New Year
May 1: Labor Day
Jun 1: Children's Day
Dec 2: National Day

Holidays 2023

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 6: Pathet Lao Day
Jan 20: Army Day
Mar 8: Women's Day
Apr 14-16: Lao New Year
May 1: Labor Day
Jun 1: Children's Day
Dec 2: National Day

13 Day Sweden & Norway, Scandinavian Culture & Fjords, July 2022
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Amazing! Sweden and Norway were beautiful and the weather cooperated for the most part. Our first Gate 1 trip in the books! Hotels, guides, activities were great. Will definitely use Gate1 again.

Sharon M.
13 Day Sweden & Norway, Scandinavian Culture & Fjords, July 2022
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This was our first Gate 1 trip and we were very impressed. The itinerary was great. A good variety of big cities, small towns and beautiful scenery. Daniel our tour director was wonderful as was our bus driver Werner. We will definitely do another Gate 1 trip.

Jill H.
16 Day Deluxe Israel with Jordan, May 2022
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Although I never received a request from you for a personal review for a recent trip (reservation 1797814 16 Day Deluxe Israel and Jordan), I feel compelled to write regarding the superb guides and bus drivers in both countries as well as the outstanding Gate 1 service and planning, beginning with pick up at the Tel Aviv airport and ending with Gate 1 support at the Amman airport. The hotels were superb, the meals delicious, and the travel arrangements between hotels, between tourist sites and between countries, were seamless. Kudos to the Gate 1 planning team, from initial reservation in 2019 and due to Covid, rescheduled twice! In Israel, Gabriella (Gabi) , our tour manager and guide, was a font of information regarding history- both historical/archaeological and the history of the state of Israel. She is extremely knowledgeable regarding the culture, religion and food ways of her country. Gabi is a master planner and facilitator, shepherding us daily through a rich itinerary, coordinating departures, entry times, lunch and dinner reservations, leaving us each day with rich memories of Roman cities, natural wonders, Christian holy sites and Jewish religious/cultural experiences. Gabi's ability to communicate her love and passion for Israel coupled with her empathy, understanding, concern, and care for the 20 tourists under her care made for wonderful traveling. Our Israeli bus driver, Aman, was outstanding, maneuvering a large bus in crowded cities with skill and humor. And across the border we were met by our Jordanian driver Mohammed, equally skillful and engaging. In Jordan, we were welcomed at the Israeli border by Ali , our charming and exceptional tour manager and guide. Ali's extensive knowledge of history, archaeology, Islam, and Jordanian culture, coupled with his engaging manner, ability to communicate and involve his audience, made our experience especially memorable and enjoyable. Our itinerary was was filled from sunrise until nighttime. Ali delivered wonderful lectures on the tour bus as we traveled from site to site and seamlessly planned and timed our visits and meals. Ali's concern for us, his wealth of information, ability to engage his audience, and the spectacular sites in Jordan all contributed to an exciting week of travel.

Deborah S.
Gems of Southeast Asia, February 2020
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It was wonderful! We loved every bit of it! Great tour manager ( Ya), great local guides, great itinerary and great accommodations and wonderful foods. We couldn't be happier with our tour. Thanks for your help in arranging this Gate 1.

Mary Beth & Tom B. Burlington, VT
Discover Myanmar, January 2020
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I had a great time! Myanmar is a great destination. Flights, food, accommodations were ALL SUPER!

Maurice M. East Stroudsburg, PA
Gems of Southeast Asia, January 2020
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Our trip with Gate 1 through Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam was excellent. The accommodations were great and our tour guide was outstanding.

Ralph G. Jacksonville, FL
Gems of Southeast Asia, January 2020
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Great! – we had excellent facilities, Tim was great tour manager and local guides were all good. The group blended well. It is a long haul (flights) but worth every hour of travel needed to get there and back.

Gordon & Karen S. Venice, FL
Gems of Southeast Asia, November 2019
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Our trip was fantastic. We can’t express enough how well this trip was organized and executed. Our tour guide Tim was fantastic. She handled all problems with ease and a smile on her face. The itinerary was beyond fabulous, we had so many opportunities to met the locals and learn about their daily lives. We will be traveling with you again.

Cynthia J. Bountiful, UT
Gems of Southeast Asia, November 2019
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It was my 1st trip with Gate 1 and it did not disappoint. The itinerary was a great blend of activity. The accommodations were wonderful especially the hotel in Luang Prabang, Laos. And last but not least was Tick, our tour guide, was packed with knowledge, patient, kind and a pleasure. We all felt lucky to have him as our guide through the entire trip. It was and will be a trip I will cherish.

Jeanne F. Chicago, IL
Gems of Southeast Asia, November 2019
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Fantastic. Ray, our tour manager throughout could not have been any more well organized informative and pleasant. In addition to the amazing local agents. I would highly recommend Gate 1 to all and will visit your trip in near future. Job well done

Catherine S. Southern Pines, NC
Indonesia: Java & Bali, August 2019
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OMGosh! Where do I start?! I have traveled the world but this was the BEST trip ever! Small group (10) of us Fabulous Tour Director Wonderful history of Indonesia Lovely hotels Great drivers Beautiful fun cities to experience the culture After 2 visits 30 years ago the changes in Indonesia are many. The best was the friendliness!!! I felt welcome! Yet very much loved our visit to the family temple/compound where we were able to cook and eat! Also “grandpa” giving us a blessing. This was extremely potent considering that day was 5 years of the passing of my husband and his presence was with me! I experienced a Gate 1 trip in June to Kenya and that was fabulous but this trip beat Grand Circle and numerous other tour companies by leaps and bounds! I think I’m putting up my travel shoes but if I change my mind Gate 1 will be priority #1!!! Thanking you for scheduling these amazing journeys!!!

MerrieAnn M. Hot Springs, CA
Indonesia: Java & Bali, May 2019
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The trip was great. Indonesia is a beautiful and interesting country. The trip offered a variety of experiences - sightseeing (temples, palaces, rice terraces, etc.), village visit, school visit, cultural performances, dinner with the prince at the royal palace, shopping, etc. - and the accommodations were very nice. We were blessed with good weather, i.e., no rain. The heat and humidity can’t be avoided so appreciated the air-conditioned hotels and restaurants. We had a good harmonious group. Edy, our tour manager, was very caring, diligent, and flexible as needed. He had to deal with a variety of issues. The local tour guides were knowledgeable. Thank you Gate 1 for a well planned trip.

Angelica M. Rowland Heights, CA
Gems of Southeast Asia, February 2019
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We are still talking about our wonderful Gate 1 trip, the things we learned, the people we met, and the fun we had. The more I think about this trip, the more I understand how difficult it is to plan an itinerary that pleases all on the trip. I must say that there was something for everyone ... we have no complaints. Our guides were all wonderful, especially Usa, our tour manager. She was efficient, pleasant, knowledgeable, and friendly for TWO WEEKS, and that is hard to do! I will have more thoughts once we get back to Houston, but at this point, I think we made a great decision to go with Gate 1.

Dinah M. Houston, TX
Gems of Southeast Asia, January 2019
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I was very happy with this trip. We had a good group and our tour manager and local guides were all excellent. Food, hotels and activities exceeded my modest expectations.

Bob A. Columbus, OH
Gems of Southeast Asia, January 2019
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Our trip was wonderful. The guides were terrific, the sites and experiences were outstanding and the pace of activities was perfect. The tour was extremely well organized and the details and directions throughout were very clear. We especially enjoyed engaging in hands on experiences with residents in some of the countries. In addition to being very informative about the places we were visiting and the life and history in each of the countries we visited, our guides were instrumental in making suggestions and helping us navigate our way around cities on our own leisure time.

Elaine C. Stamford, CT
Gems of Southeast Asia, January 2019
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This was our first Gate 1 Tour. We normally travel independently. We had a fabulous time doing the “Gems of South East Asia." We loved the small group (there were only 14 of us) and everyone got along really well. Panya did an outstanding job as our main tour guide. He went out of his way to accommodate everyone’s wishes and was very friendly, knowledgeable, thoughtful and compassionate. We had two vegans + a vegetarian + a non-fish eater in our group and he made sure everyone’s needs were taken care of at each restaurant. All the local tour guides were awesome too. We hope to use Gate 1 again in the future.

Lynda G. San Jose, CA
Discover Myanmar, September 2018
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I have taken several Gate 1 trips and am one of your cheerleaders- and the Myanmar trip was one of my favorites. To begin with, Mojo was a fabulous tour leader. We all loved him. He was fun- has a great sense of humor- and patient. He was interested in getting to know each of us, was interested in our purchases and impressions. He always made sure that our meals were served perfectly ..... It was clear that people he worked with also enjoyed him- even the cattle remembered and responded to him! There were several of us who are older and have minor challenges with ambulation. Mojo bent over backwards to make experiences comfortable, to help us off and on buses and boats, and to discuss with us in great detail what was coming up, how long it would take to walk to a certain point, how best to dress, etc. When people decided not to do certain activities, he would chase after them to see if he could accommodate them in some way. He could not have been more dedicated to our comfort, safety, participation and enjoyment. I really loved all the craft work on this tour. We were given great demonstrations on how things were made, as people actually made the products in front of us. They were all gracious with our fascinated observation and generously allowed us to take pictures. Often it was Mojo himself giving the explanation- I think he can do all those crafts! I really enjoyed bringing home some lacquerware afterward. I loved every stop, but Bagan was so beautiful - the sunset was spectacular. .....I was so moved by the organization that was teaching young people to be chefs, and the cooking (and eating!) was fun and interesting- including bringing the apron and recipes home! Thank you again for a wonderful experience!

Constance S. Santa Rosa, CA
Borneo, Nature, Diversity & Grace, April 2018
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The trip to Borneo was totally amazing! Our guide, Jerome, did an outstanding job keeping the groups’ attention and interest throughout the whole trip. I enjoyed everything, in particular, the visit to the Mengkak Longhouse and the visit with the native Iban people, the various caves we entered at Mulu National Park, the beautiful Mountain Gardens and orchids we saw in Kinabalu Park, and the visit to Mari Mari village and seeing how the different Sabah tribes lived in the rainforest. The main highlight, however, was the visit to the Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, and, not to exclude, the playful Sun Bears at their Sanctuary.

Kathleen S. Homestead, FL
Discover Burma, April 2018
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The trip was so much more than I ever expected. It was nothing but fabulous! Our guide Kyaw was outstanding. He took great care and gave attention to all matters. That was so reassuring and made the trip a secure comfortable experience...What a remarkable man, and Gate 1 is so fortunate to have him working for them. I could go on and on about each fascinating sight, but I would have to write an essay ... Looking forward to discover more of the world with Gate 1. I would urge anyone who ever considered going to Burma, to go. They would be amazed at the great hotels, gentle friendly people, sights to behold, and wonderful food.

Phyllis A. Houston, TX
Gems of Southeast Asia, April 2018
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Our trip was so amazing. I cannot even come up with enough words to describe it. This was my first trip with gate 1 and it will NOT be my last. The organization was impeccable from start to finish. I could not believe how smooth everything went and the hotels were amazing. Ray our guide was the best throughout helping with any questions we had with our flights and anything else. I am so impressed with everything.

Kelly D. Riverview, FL
Discover Burma (Myanmar), December 2017
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We had an excellent time. It was a "life experience" as we didn't know what to expect and were amazed at the poverty but beauty in Myanmar. I wanted to give a shout-out for our guide - Mojo. He was fantastic. He never stopped helping us out and kept things organized. We have been on a few Gate1 trips and in most cases there is a lead and a local guide. Mojo did both. In addition, he also ensured that at restaurants that the staff were informed as to what to do. He told me that the staff at restaurants don't always get the right training, so he took charge and made sure we were taken care of. I just wanted to make sure he was recognized because without him, the trip would not have been as enjoyable. We will definitely keep traveling with Gate1 as this is a great organization and the trips are fantastic!!!

Heidi L. Austin, TX
Gems of Southeast Asia, December 2017
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We had a great trip! We had a very good tour manager, very knowledgeable local guides and a great group of people to travel with. We were thrilled at the opportunity to learn about and experience the rich history and culture of the places we visited. We enjoyed the hotels we stayed at, the accommodation at Luang Prabang was particularly impressive. We liked the experience of trying many different kinds of food with the exception of a few dishes. All in all, it was a very memorable trip.

Soham D. San Carlos, CA
Discover Burma (Myanmar), November 2017
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Burma was all that Kipling wrote about and more. Each day was an adventure, that will be a memory forever. Our guide "MoJo" was a bonus for us all, as his fountain of knowledge, pride in his country, was shared with a warm smile, and contagious laugh. The hotels in Myanmar were each special, and the Lotte will soon become a Grand Hotel like those in Banff & Jasper, Canada. Still recovering from 27 hour flight home...but wonderful memories dance in our heads.

Earl M. Minneapolis, MN
Indonesia: Java & Bali, October 2017
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It was fantastic! Indonesia is a fascinating country culturally, historically, geographically, gastronomically, and above all in hospitality. Gate 1 exceeded our expectations--our tour director Cika was a 15 on a 1 to 10 scale--what a resource for Indonesian cultural, historic, religious, political, and social/local customs. He takes great pride in his country and in representing Gate 1. Hotel in Ubud sat in the middle of rice patties and was the most beautiful and exotic place I've ever stayed. The group was very culturally diverse which added to the overall experience too. Gate 1 Discovery Tour experience set a new standard of excellence for us and we are hoping to visit Ireland in the Fall with a DT.

Sue D. Stockton, CA
Gems of Southeast Asia, February 2017
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I cannot stop talking about how fabulous this trip was! Every morning we had an incredible day planned for us. I had expected to see a lot but was not prepared for all the amazing experiences we had. I travel with 3 girlfriends every other year as our schedules permit, we each have a chance to pick out a dream trip with all our inputs so everyone is happy. As this was my friends choice, I hadn't done any research other than wanting to see Halong Bay, but I knew from previous travels with Gate 1 that we would be pleased. Pleased? I was dazzled everyday! I could not have been any happier with the itinerary, the program director, the guides, the hotels, meals, and the experiences of local transportation and the local people we met. Thank you Gate 1 for providing such a wonderful travel memory for me.

Elizabeth A. Seattle, WA
Discover Burma (Myanmar), January 2017
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One of the best trips ever!!!!! I am planning on returning with my granddaughter. I want to mention our tour manager Mojo who was always on top of everything. I have only praises regarding this magic adventure, thank you Gate 1!

Ana H. Coral Gables, FL
Discover Burma (Myanmar), January 2017
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Excellent, in both Thailand and, especially, in Myanmar-Burma. Messrs. Mu and Mojo, our tour guides were superb and were great credits to Gate1/Discovery.

Robert B. Tucson, AZ
Gems of Southeast Asia, December 2016
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We've been raving about our trip to friends since we got back - the itinerary was outstanding, our tour manager Udom was quite excellent and the four local guides were wonderful. We especially love the Discovery tours.

Robert C. New York, NY
Discover Burma (Myanmar), November 2016
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The trip was wonderful, exciting and better than what we expected. You have an outstanding team who took excellent care of us and our fellow group members. We plan to take another Gate 1 trip next year.

Ved V. Centennial, CO