Welcome to VIETLONG TRAVEL’ s F.A.Q. We hope this page will be of service to you answering the most frequent questions our guests have raised.
1. How do I create a custom itinerary ?
In our web site we provide over hundred tour samples but if you do not find a suitable trip, and want VIETLONG TRAVEL to do all the work for you, just click on customized trip and fill up the form to tell us what you have in mind. Our travel expert will create a trip and provide your with invaluable information!
2. How do I book the trip ?
To book our trip, please select your preferred trip and click on ” Book this trip” on web page. Our booking form wizard will automatically call the trip name, and ask you to fill out some fields for information. Once completed filling the form, you just click Submit to send us your enquiry or Reset to cancel what you have filled up. After receiving your reservation request, we will immediately make all the necessary arrangements in accordance with your request. This will takes about 1-2 business days, and we will send to you our confirmation message by e-mail with all the details of hotels, flights, tours, the booking status and also payment term
3. How do I pay for the trip ?
To book our trip, please select your preferred trip and click on ” Book this trip” on web page. Our standard payment policy is to ask for a 30% deposit of the package value at the time we send you the final confirmation and the booking code for your trip. The balance of the total package tour price should be paid at least 21 days ( twenty one days) before starting date of the trip.
4. Are there any hidden cost you do not mention ? What about tipping ?
To book our trip, please select your preferred trip and click on ” Book this trip” on web page. Our booking form No, all inclusions and exclusions are mentioned at our final confirmation for your trip. Generally, tipping is not compulsory. If you are satisfied with your guides, drivers, a small gratuity is an appropriate way in which to show appreciation to them.
5. Who is my guide ?
We have a strong and multilingual guide team coming from all regions of the country. They are chosen for their professionalism, rich knowledge, commitment, personal ties with the country and region and ability to inspire and communicate with you. They will be your dedicated friends during and after your trip. Many of our customers still exchange email with them long after their trip.
6. What about transportation ?
We try our best to provide you safe and comfortable means of transportation. You can find information on meals, transportation, etc. in the “How we travel” section following the detail itinerary of each tour.
7. When is the best time to travel Laos ?
The coolest months are December through February. Air conditioning is then unnecessary. Luang Prabang and Northern Laos will have temperatures approaching freezing at night during this time, but daytime can be like spring in Europe, North America and Japan. March through May are the hottest months, sometimes exceeding 40C for a few days at a stretch. June through August are the wettest months, and high temperatures seldom exceed 28C or 29C due to extensive cloud cover. It is lush & very green then, and the sun does shine much of the day, making it excellent for photography. September through November the rains taper off and the dry season starts to dominate rural and city life. Every season in Laos has something special to offer, so there is no reason to procrastinate.
8. What is the time difference ?
Laos is twelve hours ahead of New York and seven hours ahead of London, one hour behind Perth and three hours behind Sydney.
9. Is is safe to travel ? Are there places to avoid ?
You will be welcome everywhere in Laos; the personal security issue would be far more worrisome in USA or Europe. Backpackers and families are equally secure in moving around. Travel insurance is easily purchased and the premiums are reasonable. Embassies and local travel personnel are in perfect positions to know the ins and outs what’s hot and what’s not. New destinations constantly open up throughout the year. It is always advisable to ask what’s going on when you get there.
10. Do’s and Don’ts ?
Lao culture is generally conservative, so watch the locals and try to act like them. Trying to speak a few words of Lao will always be appreciated, and will earn you big smiles and friendly interaction. If you encounter a problem, maintaining patience and poise. Unlike western countries, raising your voice will be completely counter productive. Laos is a very personal place and smiles are returned more quickly than you might expect, even when you don’t speak the local dialect.
11. What money should I take ?
Travelers checks are accepted, and just about all credit cards too. US dollars and Thai baht are equally welcome. It is unnecessary to carry around wads of the local currency the “kip”. Cash advances can be taken on major credit cards in most Vientiane banks but there are no ATM machines yet. International transfers can also be arranged-funds can be available within 48-72 hours if you are in Vientiane.
12. What are the visa requirements?
Most passport holders require a visa to enter Laos. Visas are available upon arrival at Wattay International Airport, Luang Prabang International Airport, Pakxe International Airport, and the Friendship Bridge. The price is US$30 and they are vaild for 15 days. 15-day extensions are easily granted in Vientiane at the Immigration office. Expect to spend 10-20 minutes at any of the above visa points. Also, you can get Laos visas at the Laos Embassy in your country.
13. What language will they understand ?
English is the language of tourism in Laos. Guides are available who speak European languages. English appears more and more on road and building signs. The phonebook is printed in Lao and English. You will meet many English speakers in large cities (Vientiane & Luang Prabang). Cyber cafes are sprouting up everywhere, and these are always staffed by English speakers.
14. How about my health ?
Any food that is not peeled, boiled, fried, or otherwise guaranteed to be clean should best be avoided. While sidewalk foodstalls often have clean food, that is not guaranteed. Hotel & restaurant food is however acceptable. Drink only bottled water. Hotels have doctors on call and there is an International Medical Clinic in Vientiane. If you are going on a daytrip, it is advisable to take a box lunch prepared by your hotel or guesthouse. Your guide can also provide good advice about clean eating establishments along the way. Use insect repellant liberally, as when traveling overland, sleeping or eating outdoors, there is a risk of mosquitos. This is especially important in remote areas.
15. What food will I find ?
You will find excellent international cuisine of every description, including Indian, Japanese, Italian, French, Thai, Chinese and Korean. Hotel restaurants are a good place to start and are not necessarily expensive. Then try restaurants, like Kua Lao in Vientiane that specialize in Lao dishes known to be popular with foreigners. Fish and vegetables are local and excellent. Lao beer is excellent. Locals prefer spicy food but chefs know that foreigners prefer mild spices to strong ones. Still, it is smart to remind your waitress to go light on the sauce!