Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions from our previous clients travelled with Travel East. If your question or comment has not been addressed, feel free to email us at
Destinations and Activities
Q: Which place you recommend for family travel in Vietnam?
A: For Vietnam tours, Vietnam travel for family, you should consider spending some time in Hoi An Ancient Town, located about 35 km southeast of Danang. It retains the original street and many of its buildings. Hoi An is also famous for its many restaurants offering both local and Vietnamese specialties. The standard is high, and the prices inexpensive. It's also a good place for shopping, especially for silk material and garments. Most of the silk shops are just outside the boundaries of the Ancient Towns – most can turn material into a tailor-made garment within 24 hours. One of its highlight is Cua Dai beach, which is 5 km out of Hoi An. Cua Dai Beach is a pleasant white sand beach and can be easily reached by bicycle from Hoi An.
Q: Can you suggest a good beach in Southern Vietnam for beach break?
A: I suggest you travel to Mui Ne which is about 200 km (5 hour-drive) to the northeast of Ho Chi Minh City. It's now one of the most popular beach resorts in the central of Vietnam with huge rolling dunes at the end of an 18km white sand beach. There is a good range of hotels on the beach, some offering accommodation in bamboo villas and bungalows. There are also plenty of restaurants along the beach road - a mixture of Vietnamese and international.
Q: We love trekking and homestay in Vietnam, can you suggest?
A: We would recommend Sapa, a beautiful mountainous area in the Northwest Vietnam, where hiking and trekking is available from easy to challenge trek. Another place of recommendation is Pu Luong National Reserve, where clean and safe homestay is also available. The homestay accommodation in Sapa is clean and located beside a spring with a good view. The hosts are very friendly and eager to please.
Q: Which is the good places for snorkeling and scuba diving in Vietnam?
A: Whale Island in Nha Trang, where has good soft and hard coral. There is only one resort on the island - accommodation is in eco-friendly bungalows. It offers free boat trips (less than 30 minutes cruising one way) to where you can snorkel. Snorkeling around the rocks at the sides of the beach in the front of the resort is also possible, but there's very little coral to be seen.
Q: Which hotel you recommend for a luxury honeymoon vacation in Vietnam?
A: We would like to recommend the Evason Nha Trang and Six Senses Spa (previously known as Ana Mandara), one of the best resorts in Nha Trang City. It's a good resort for honeymoon couples – it offers spacious bungalows with character, good restaurants, a spa complex, and colourful mature gardens. However, if your budget allows for a luxury retreat, we recommend Six Senses Hideaway Ninh Van Bay (previously known as Evason Hideaway Resort). It's located on a secluded island in Van Phong Bay, one hours drive from Nha Trang. The services and the resort design are rather special. The resort combines luxurious facilities and excellent personal service with isolated chalets tucked along a precipitous rocky peninsula that can only be reached by sea.
Q: We love the nature trails, do you have this type of tour and can we see wild animals in Vietnam?
A: Although Vietnam is rich in fauna and flora, it's difficult to see wild animals as they hide away from human paths. You can see rare Langurs in Cuc Phuong National Park and birds in Ba Be Lake in the North. In the South, we recommend Con Dao Island where you can see sea turtles nesting from April to November and Nam Cat Tien National Park where you are most likely to see some wild species such as deer, monkeys, boars and many birds. With a bit of luck you may see Siamese crocodiles. The good months to visit Nam Cat Tien are from December to May.
Q: How widely accepted are credit cards?
A: All major credit cards (Visa, American Express, MasterCard) are becoming acceptable in Vietnam, particularly in Hanoi and HCMC. Nearly all foreign and upmarket retail outlets and restaurants accept cards, as do most hotels above mid-range level. However, payments by credit cards usually incur 3% (for MasterCard or Visa) or 4% (American Express) for the bank fees. Outside the major cities and non-tourist sites you will have to rely on cash.
Q: Is it a good idea to take gifts? What would be appreciated?
A: Anything from your local area, such as cakes, sweets, chinaware or photo books or calendars, is a good idea. For children, small toys such as inflatable playground balls and skipping ropes are popular and easy to transport. Drawing books, pads of paper, pencils or crayons, erasers and other stationary go down well with children. Boys are keen on model cars, small-size T-shirts and other clothes. Girls like books, magazines and simple accessories such as bangles, hair bands and so on.
Q: We have a disabled in our group. He really wants to take the tour with us, but we're afraid of problems he might have during the tour. Should he go?
A: Thanks for your questions. For disabled people, we've designed the itinerary to include places to visit and modes of transport that take account of your friend's disability. For the accommodation, we've chosen suitable hotels wherever possible. Facilities for the disabled in Vietnam are still limited, so your friend may face obstacles in some places. For example, dropped kerbs, modified toilets, ramped steps and similar aids are uncommon. However, I will ensure that your guides, drivers, boat crews, hotel staff and so on will be fully briefed about how to assist you. Please don't worry about this! You're welcome!
Q: What about the electricity supply in Vietnam?
A: Electricity in Vietnam is supplied as 220 volt, 50 Hertz as standard, but 110 volt, 50 hertz outlets are still in use in some places. The standard socket accepts an Asian two round pin plug without an earth pin, but non-standard two flat blade or two rectangular blade sockets and plugs are still in use. Some modern hotels and office blocks have Asian three pin round or UK three pin square sockets. Consequently, a fully international adaptor is advisable. In cheaper hotels and restaurants, electricity connections can sometimes be dangerous. If you see frayed cable or bare wires sockets, ask the management to fix it or move you to a better room.
Q: Can I use a mobile phone service in Vietnam?
A: In Vietnam, there are many mobile phone networks as Vinaphone, Mobifone, Viettel, Beeline, Vietnam Mobile...so your mobile phone can be used for roaming. They do have many options for Pre-Paid Card service. If your phone can't be used abroad, the best way to use a mobile phone in Vietnam is buy a pre-paid card. We're willing to help you rent one during your stay. If you intend to bring your mobile phone, please remember to bring the charger and an international adapter.
Q: We have a baby travelling with us, do you recommend any tour that suits our family? Do hotels have baby cot? Is napkin available in Vietnam? Is it Ok for you or you think we should wait until he gets older?
A: We understand your concern. However, there needn't be a problem – Vietnamese people are very 'child-friendly' in comparison with most other countries. We suggest you follow our typical itinerary from the north to the south of Vietnam, spending at least two nights in each location and more free time each day. We will design your itinerary to take advantage of hotels (don't worry, most of them have baby cot available and free of charge) and destinations that cater for children wherever possible. We are fully aware that the quality of your holiday is heavily contingent upon your children enjoying themselves – it's our job to make sure that they have a good time so you can enjoy your holiday to the full.
Q: Do you arrange our Vietnam visa and what is the cost?
A: Yes, we do arrange Vietnam visa for our clients who booked the tours with us only. Sorry that we cannot process visas for casual visitors. We have some options as below. Please let me know which one you'd prefer.
Option 1: visa in advance
We send you a form requesting basic information (full name, passport details and so on). You fill in one for each person and send them to us. We will then apply for the visas at the Immigration Office in Hanoi. About some working days later, we'll receive the approval paper and will fax it to the Vietnamese Embassy in your country. We'll then notify you to send your passports to the Embassy by post with a cheque to pay the visa stamp. Alternatively, you can pick up your visas in person. Please ring the Embassy for their opening hours, cost of visa stamps and for other arrangements. The cost for this is US$ 20.00 per person.
Option 2: visa on arrival
We will apply for visas upon arrival for you. For this, we will send the approval document direct to you by fax or by a scanned attached file. Upon your arrival at the airport, the approval document will be sufficient proof of your visa status. Please ensure that you pick up the visa form near the custom check points and fill in the details before you queue for immigration. You'll need a colour passport photo for each. The fee for the visa stamp is about $25 (at present) and should be paid for the Immigration clerk directly.