Preparation for your trip to Vietnam

Thank you for choosing Jewel Tours to organize your travel arrangements in Vietnam. This document will give you some more information about the country and some guidelines for pre-departure preparation.

Pre-departure check list 

  • Travel insurance 
  • Passport & Visa ready (Make sure you bring the right passport, valid for at least six months from the departure date)
  • Photocopy of your passport (Keep it separately from the original one for emergency cases)
  • Return flight tickets
  • Confirmed tour program
  • Foreign currency (US$) and/or ATM/Visa/Master card (We strongly recommend you to bring at least US$ 200 in cash for emergency)
  • Camera
  • Adapter - 220V, 50Hz; 2 pin plugs (You can purchase adapter at any electric shop in big cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh...)
  • Light clothes (Between Apr - Nov in the North and year round in the South)
  • Warm clothes (Mountainous regions and Hanoi in winter)
  • Medication 
  • First-aid kit
  • Small day-pack (for day and overnight trips)


Visa on arrival

  • Check the letter to ensure information matching to the passport
  • Bring a copy of the visa approval letter to airport for departure to Vietnam
  • On arrival, show letter at immigration to get the visa stamp form
  • Fill out the visa stamp form + 01 photo 4x6 cm + US$ 25 per person in cash only (Multiple entry visa cost US$65 per person). Anyone apply for business visa will be different.

Get stamp and go, our guide/driver waiting for you after custom desk

Baggage preparation
According to policy of Vietnam airline at the moment for domestic flight (economy class of adult):

  • Hand Baggage: Each passenger can carry onboard a free baggage allowance, one piece for Economy class passenger. Each piece has a maximum weight of 7kg.
  • Checked baggage: Each passenger can carry onboard a free baggage allowance, one piece for Economy class passenger. Each piece has a maximum weight of 20kg.


For more detail information, please check at the link:  
http://www.vietnamairlines.com/en/before-you-fly/baggage-info


Things should not be missed (Depend on where you travel to) 
Vietnam has some valuable experiences that should not be skipped during your travel  

  • Sleeping out on deck on a boat in Halong Bay
  • Ordering custom-made clothes from the local tailor shop special in Hoian, Vietnam
  • Taking a slow cyclo ride through the French Quarter of old Saigon
  • Eating Pho Ga (chicken noodle soup) at a street side noodle stalls.
  • Watching the traditional water - puppet performance in Hanoi.
  • Experience the full moon festivities in the ancient town of Hoi An.
  • Drinking rice-wine in the minority villages of the north
  • Taking a boat along Hue's Huong (Perfume) River, visiting the Royal Mausoleums.
  • Overnight in a home-stay in the Mekong Delta's riverside orchards.
  • Bartering for a bargain at Saigon's largest market, Ben Thanh Market
  • Taking a stroll through Hanoi's Old Quarters.

 

Helpful Tips
Tipping is a personal matter and travellers are encouraged to tip any amount they feel is appropriate. For your convenience, we have included a suggested tipping guide below:

  • Restaurant: in smart establishments, you may find that the tip is already included in the bill. In local restaurants, tips are not expected but you may wish to leave loose change on the table.
  • Bell man: US$1 to US$2 per room
  • Boatman: About US$5 for a boat ride (There are some small boats ride may be included in the tour program)
  • Cruise crew: From US$3 to US$5 per person tips for entire crew (The captain should be the one who receive your bonus)
  • Drivers: US$2 to US$5 per day per person for group less than 20 people. US$1 to US$3 per day per person for group from 20 people and more (depending on their performance)  
  • Local tour guide: US$5 to US$10 per day per person for group less than 20 people. US$3 to US$5 per day per person for group from 20 people and more (depending on their performance) 


Price guide

  • Exchange estimate 1USD = 23,000VND
  • Things are generally cheap in Vietnam, here is a rough guide of how much things (Food, drink & other items) cost in main cities. Bear in mind that outside of the cities, things will be much cheaper.
  • Street food: from 10,000 VND
  • Restaurants: Western food: from 100,000 VND, Vietnamese dishes between 40,000 – 100,000 VN
  • Soft drinks: 8,000 – 15,000 VND
  • Beer: 8,000 – 20,000 VND
  • Fruit juice: 30,000 VND
  • Water: 10,000 VND
  • Spirit and mixer: 60,000 VND
  • Shorts/t-shirts: 80,000 – 200,000 (always haggle when buying clothes)
  • DVDs: 15,000 – 30,000 VND
  • SIM card – 50,000 VND
  • Cheap phone – 200,000 – 300,000 VND


Food and drink
Vietnamese food is fragrant, exciting and healthy. Around the country, you will find a delicious variety on offer,influenced from France,Thailand and even India.

The most popular dish is called “pho” and is often referred to as the "soul of the nation". Simpy put, it’s a noodle soup dish eaten every day, predominantly for breakfast. It is served in most Vietnamese restaurants and street food vendors. Don’t be afraid to try the street food, which is often the best food in the country. There are plenty of options, including:

  • Nem Ran or Cha Gio (fried spring roll)
  • Banh Chung (sticky rice cake)
  • Gio Lua (lean pork pie)
  • Banh Cuon (rice flour steamed rolls)
  • Banh My (pate and egg rolls)
  • Mi voi thit bo/ga (noodles with beef/chicken)

*It is not advisable to drink tap water in Vietnam. Bottled water is cheap and widely available.