Amo Travel is formerly known as Amo Vietnam

Vietnam Travel Guide – Before the trip

INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

How to book an international flight from/to your country?

Amo Travel offer only ground service in Vietnam without international flight from/to your country. You could choose the best time to travel to Vietnam at the best flight rate then Amo Travel will book of the visa, transportation, local flights, tour guides, hotel and arrange the best itinerary to you holiday in Vietnam

– How to book your international flights?
Nowadays, there are many OTA selling tickets online and you could book easily with them. You could compare routine, stop, waiting time for connection between flights. It is certainly easier for senior travelers to book with local ticketing offices.

Here are some booking engines: Ebookers.com, Flights.comfarecomfare.com, skyscaner.com

Some International airports in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar for your reference:
In Vietnam: Noi Bai airport, Tan Son Nhat airport, Da Nang airport, Phu Bai airport, Dong Hoi airport
In Cambodia: Phnom Penh airport, SiemReap airport
In Laos: Vientiane airport, Luang Prabang airport, Pakse airport.
In Myanmar: Yangon airport, Mandalay airport,

How to book the cheapest flight to Vietnam?

Flight tickets cost is changing day by day and mainly depend on the availability for each destination. The earlier you book; the better rate you may get.

Airfare is quite cheap during low season, so if you have your free time or you are retired why you don’t take these advantages.

Low season: May, June, July, September, December from day 1 to day 15.
High season: from October to the end of April. Avoiding traveling during this period is often synonymous with saving your budget.

To plan for your trip, we suggest booking your international flight first. It will then be easier for us to adjust the program accordingly to match your flight schedule.

Tips to book cheapest flight to Vietnam:

  • Register flight booking engine and they will regularly send you promotion year round
  • Compare Skyscanner, Kayak websites to check for the cheapest flight costs according to your ravel dates
  • Check directly on Airlines’ website if they do not make any promotions on your destinations.
  • Check several departure airports. It may be cheaper from one airport than others.

Do I need to book domestic flights and international flights connecting Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar?

You do not need to book them on your own as all these flights are included in the tour quotation.

  • We are a local travel company so we can get these flights with a better rate.
  • We can easily arrange or rearrange your holiday due to flight availability between destinations

 TRAVEL VISA AND PASSPORT

Do you need a Vietnam visa to enter Vietnam?

Yes, a Vietnamese visa is required for most of countries in the world except you hold passport for the list of Visa Exemption

  • There are 3 ways to obtain Vietnamese visas:
  • Obtain a visa at the Vietnamese embassy in your country.
  • Get a visa on arrival at the airport in Vietnam. Amo Travel offers a FREE VISA APPROVAL letter to process visa on arrival
  • Get E visa at the official website of immigration department. Please check and follow the instruction: https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/en_US/trang-chu-ttdt 

How to get a Vietnam Visa on arrival?

Amo Travel generally prepare and arrange your Vietnam visa approval letter so you can get your visa on arrival easily at airport. We will only require a copy of your passports. We will send you the Vietnam visa approval letter via email.

  • You need to print this visa letter, one letter for one person.
  • Prepare 2 passport sized photos. (It’s possible to get them once you land at the airport).
  • Present your visa letter when you are boarding.
  • Upon arrival at the airport, you will see the immigration office and the visa on arrival counter. Please show your passports and visa letters at the visa on arrival counter. Fill in the visa application form and get the visa stamp on your passports. The stamp fee is 25 USD for single entry and 50 USD for multi entry. It will take around 30 – 45 minutes to process this.

How to get a Laos Visa?

Most nationalities can obtain a visa on arrival without preparing any documents in advance including: EU citizens, North Americans and Australians.
Some African and Middle Eastern nationalities must obtain a Laos Visa BEFORE arrival.
You need: one passport sized photo and 30 – 42 USD cash for the visa processing fee. 

Note: Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months on your arrival date with 1 blank page left 

How to get a Cambodia Visa?

Most nationalities can obtain a visa on arrival without preparing any documents in advance including: EU citizens, North Americans and Australians. The visa processing fee at the airport is 30 $US.
The second way: you can obtain an E visa on your own on the official government website: https://www.evisa.gov.kh/ The E-visa fee is 35 USD.

Note: Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months on your arrival date with 1 blank page left

How to get a Myanmar Visa?

There are two ways to obtain a Myanmar visa:
The easiest way is E visa. It is very easy to get an E Visa on the official Immigration website: https://evisa.moip.gov.mm/

The E visa fee is 50 $US and you can get a stamp on your passport on arrival (no more fees).
Please carefully read the notes before you apply for the E Visa https://evisa.moip.gov.mm/NoticetoTourists.aspx
The second way: you can go to the Myanmar embassy in nearby your city to submit the form and obtain the visa after a few working days.

Note: Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months on your arrival date with 1 blank page left

How long should your passports be valid to travel?

Your passport must be valid for 6 months and there must be at least 1 blank page for visa stamp.

What do I do if I forget to prepare a photo?

It is worried free as they have photo services at all airports in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. You have to pay only from 2$US to 5$US to get some photo coppies

BEST TIME TO TRAVEL?

What is the best time to travel to Vietnam?

Before explaining in detail the weather varieties during the year, we could say that there is NO RIGHT OR WRONG season to visit Vietnam. If you prefer cultural tours of the country, you can travel in Vietnam at any time, with the best balance period in the months of April, May or October or even until the mid of December.

Vietnam has a very diverse climate as its territory expanded on many latitudes and spread in various altitudes approximately 1800 km from top to toe. When a region is wet, cold or rainy, we always find another pleasantly sunny.

Located in the monsoon zone of South East Asia, Vietnam has two typical monsoon seasons. Between October and March, the north-east monsoon affects mainly the area north of Danang. It makes cool, wet winters on all areas north of Nha Trang, mild and dry weather in the south. In April-May to October, the south-west monsoon pushes its accumulated moisture-laden winds in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Siam. It provides a warm and humid weather throughout the country, except in protected mountain areas (as in low-lying coastal areas of the center or the Red River Delta).    

So here are some travel ideas for visiting Vietnam and choosing proper time

Cultural Lover: It is a nice idea to discover Vietnam during Tet, Vietnamese traditional New Year which may be in January or early February, but not ideal as the whole country is on the move so you have to plan carefully your trip.

Beach Lover: You should avoid the monsoon season in the center of Vietnam from October to December but you could enjoy wonderful weather in the southern beaches such as Phu Quoc or Mui Ne

Photography Lover: June to October is the best time for rice terraces is Vietnam

So which is the best time to visit Vietnam? We could divide the time below and please read more for details.

  • During Jan – Feb – Mar
  • During April – May
  • During June – July – August
  • During September – October
  • During November – December

ALL FAGs FOR A PERFECT HOLIDAY IN VIETNAM WITH AMO TRAVEL

Do I need any vaccination before make my Vietnam Trip?

Generally, NO VACCINATION required to visit our destinations. However, you need to check the vaccines and medicines list and visit your doctor (ideally, 4-6 weeks) before your trip to get vaccines or medicines you may need. 

You should be up to date on routine vaccinations while traveling to any destination. Some vaccines may also be required for travel. 

In case you are taking a specific medical treatment, please bring a sufficient amount of medication for the duration of your trip.

In general, in each destination, there are many kinds of medicine available in pharmacies; however, it would be better to bring your own ones. It is suggested to take: bandages, analgesic pills, antimalarial pills, anti-mosquitoes cream, sun cream and medicines against colds and angina

We suggest you protect yourself from malaria as specially you are going to take the trip to off–the-beaten-track where the health condition is not as good as in the main cities.

Do I need to make travel insurance?

Amo Travel strongly advise you to buy international health travel insurance for your holiday. It is also compulsory term and condition to book some of our adventure tour like Vietnam cycling, Vietnam motorbiking and extreme trek to remote land of Sapa, Bac Ha and Ha Giang

Firstly, travel insurances will make you feel safer during your trip and make you worried free, secondly it can cover all your healthcare costs.

Insurance with bank credit card

The insurance associates with your credit cards (Visa, Visa Premier, Master Card, Gold) are not enough. They offer different services depending on your banks.

How to protect yourself from mosquitoes?

Amo Travel mostly organize and sell private packages from 3 plus hotel. therefore, you will be WORRY FREE.

In some of our tour, you may stay in the homestay but we carefully choose good quality, good service and clean accommodation for you. So you will have mosquito nets for good sleep. Bring your mosquito repellent in case you are going out after sunset, going to the forest…

Compatibility of electrical outlets

As a French colonial country, Vietnam follow most all French system from metric, electricity. So, the voltage is 220V-50Hz and all the sockets are suitable for European electrical equipment. 
Electric power may be cut without any notice, especially in the remote areas. Therefore, do not forget to bring your power bank and flashlight.

Festival, Calendar and Vietnam Holiday in 2019

It is a good idea to check out this 2019 holiday calendar in Vietnam to make a better plan for your holiday in Vietnam as most businesses, government offices, banks and stores will be closed on the following days:

Christmas and New Year:

The expats who live and work in Vietnam or neighboring countries will come to visit Southern Vietnam and Halong bay in large numbers. Accommodation and other services are often booked well in advance. Therefore, we advise you to book your trip as soon as possible to ensure great availability and choice of accommodation.

Lunar New Year: From 4 February to 8 February 2019:

This is the most important festival in Vietnamese. Amo Travel doesn’t suggest you to travel during TET from the 27th January 2019 to 12th February for these reasons.

  • Millions of peoples on the move: All of Vietnam would be closed at this time for over 40 million people going home for TET make it much more difficult to book trains or domestic flight tickets.
  • The majority of restaurants in the north stop their business during these days therefore it is difficult to book restaurant for the trip
  • The price is twice as high than usual.
  • Some tourist attractions are closed such as markets and tourist sites
  • Services are no longer ensured: catering, tour guides, transportation and accommodation may not be available due to the lack of manpower.

Hung King’s Temple Festival: 14 April 2019.

There are no disruptions during this holiday.

Reunification and May Day: 30 April and 1 May 2019:

It is also the beginning of summer. This is the high season for local tourists. They will take the opportunity to enjoy a beach break. Therefore, we advise avoiding some beaches such as Cat Ba, Hoian, Nha Trang, Phu Quoc Island…. These places are full of Vietnamese tourists so it will be very difficult to find accommodation or domestic flights. This also applies to all weekends in the summer season for any beaches and Sapa.

Vietnam National Day: 2 Sept 2019:

This year, it will fall on Sunday so there is a compensation day. Therefore, the holiday will last at least 2- 3 days. Local people will take these opportunities to enjoy the beaches or Sapa. It is less busy than at the beginning of summer. However, we still suggest booking everything in advance to avoid the fully booked services.

Tipping and gratuities

It is not compulsory. It depends on your satisfaction and your budget. It is advisable not to give a too small tip. It is better to give nothing than give a small tip. According to Vietnamese’s customs, tipping is usually given to tour guides, drivers, porters and rowers. It is better to tip guides around 10 – 20 USD/day for tour guide and less for drivers, if you are satisfied with their services. Rowing boat or Rickshaw is 1 USD/person

Jet Lag

The difference in time is normally 4-6 hours from Europe and 10 – 12 hours from America and 3 hours from Australia compared to Asian time.

Safety Matter: Snatch, Pocket Picker

This is rare. However, it is the same as the rest of the world. Please be aware when walking in the very touristic sites.  Avoid carrying jewelry, as it may make you a target. It is better to leave your precious belongings in the safety box in your hotels.
In recent years, there have been some bag snatches from scooters in some big cities, particularly in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Therefore, you have to be careful with your personal belongings when you are in big cities.

Currency Exchange and what is the best payment method?

Local currencies:

Vietnam: Vietnam Dong (VND). 1 USD = 23300 VND. 1 Euro = 26800 VND
Cambodia: Riel (KHR). 1 USD = 4000 KHR. 1 Euro = 4888 KHR
Laos: Kips (LAK). 1 USD = 8300LAK, 1 Euro = 10 000 LAK
Myanmar: Kyat (MMK). 1 USD = 1355 MMK.    1 Euro = 1633 MMK
You can change money at airports, banks, hotels or any currency exchange shop.

Credit cards:

Credit cards are accepted in most hotels, big restaurants and modern stores, although it is common to pay in cash.
In Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar, you should change to their local currency for your personal expenses.
In Cambodia, they accept both local currency and USD.

ATMs:

You can withdraw local currencies at ATMs in the cities with limited amounts and an exchange rate following their bank. Therefore, we do not recommend using this other than for urgent cases. 

Telecommunications, Internet access

How to make a call home or to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar?

From your country:
Vietnam: dial 00+84+city code and number ( country code: 0084)
Laos: dial 00+856+city code and number ( country code: 00856)
Cambodia: dial 00+855+city code and number ( country code:00855)
Myanmar: dial 00+95+city code and number( country code: 0095)
Note: make a call to cellphone number: just dial 00+country code + number ( No city code)

To your country:

Dial: 00 + your country code + city code and number

Internet:

Mobile network, Wi-Fi, 4G interner is more and more popular and cover most areas and territories in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. So Amo Travel strongly advise you to stop the data roaming or data connection of your smartphones once you arrive in our country. Otherwise, the expensive roaming fee will be charged on your bill at home.

This does not mean you are not able to contact someone in your country or lose internet connections.

As most hotels, restaurants and homestays offer free internet access and willing to share with you. You could also buy local sim-card easily with 4G internet to nevigate for information. It is certainly that you can use your apps such as: Skype, Whatsapp, Messager, Facetime, Facebook…

Life culture: Respect is our rule of life

In Rome do as Romans do. So we share quickly some tips to avoid harassment.

  • Keep a distance with Buddhist monks in the bus, public area etc.
  • Do not kiss, handshaking is enough or just simply 2 palms pressed together and slightly bow like PRAYER POSSITION for countries like Thai, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar.
  • During meals, do not put your chopsticks in the rice bowl vertically. It is a sign of death as it looks like the incense sticks in a funeral.
  • Wear suitable outfits when entering pagodas
  • Avoid raising your voice tone or pointing your finger when you are angry. Discussions or contradictions must be done with gentleness, reciprocal respect and calmness. The criticism must be solved with a humorous attitude to avoid confrontation. If you are worried, just ask our guides and drivers for help.

Outfits for travelling

You are travelling to tropical countries. Only the north of Vietnam is cold (around 10°C), misty and humid in the winter from November to February. Other destinations are warm. So if you travel to Northern Vietnam in the winter, please bring your light, warm, and waterproof clothing.
The summer (from May to September) is hot in all of these countries. You can wear shorts but it is necessary to make sure that you wear suitable outfits while visiting monuments or sacred places.

Gift from your country

In case you would like to bring some small gifts from home, we advise bringing some typical styles of your country such as perfume, lipsticks, T-shirts, pens, and local traditional souvenirs…
Please note that the remote or poor places such as the ethnic minority villages, school equipment and clothing are much appreciated.