Vietnam Hike, Bike & Kayak

Valid for all trips departing January 1st, 2014 - October 17th, 2015 Last Updated: September 26, 2014
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Introduction

Perfect for the active adventurer, this trip will have you hiking, biking, and paddling through the best of Vietnam. Kayak through Halong Bay’s towering limestone karsts, trek the Mai Chau area, and cycle through small towns for an authentic taste of Vietnam. When you’re not pedalling or paddling, you'll visit the country's cultural highlights like the Cu Chi Tunnels and Emperor's Tomb, or overnight at a local family’s homestay. Whether by bike or on foot, this tour will keep you grounded in Vietnam's intriguing culture.

  • Kayak through limestone karsts in Halong Bay
  • Trek in the hills of Mai Chau
  • Cycle through unspoiled countryside
  • Enjoy the frenetic energy of Ho Chi Minh City
  • Visit the tailors and beaches of Hoi An
  • Wander the vibrant streets of Hanoi
Duration: 10 days
Start/Finish City: Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi
Service Level: Standard
  • Great value, reasonable prices, quality experiences
  • Comfortable and varied tourist-class accommodations chosen for location and character
  • Mix of public and private transport for the best overall experience
  • All the top highlights included, plus plenty of time to explore on your own
Physical Grading: 4
You might encounter a few high-altitude hikes or other more strenuous activities. Pro tip: Put down that pastry, buster.
Travel Style: Active
Hiking, biking and kayaking adventures across the world

Hungry to walk, hike, trek, bike, raft and kayak your way across the world's greatest destinations? No sweat. (Well, maybe a little.) You don't have to be a decathlete to take an Active trip, just someone with a healthy love for getting active and the outdoors.

Trip Type: Small Group
Group trips average 12 travellers per departure, depending on the adventure. The maximum is usually no more than 16, but some can be smaller or bigger, depending on the trip. Check individual trips for details.

Itinerary

Route map for Vietnam Hike, Bike & Kayak (AVHB)

Day 1 Ho Chi Minh City

Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City, the sprawling metropolis that once was the capital of South Vietnam and remains the country’s commercial center.

Today is arrival day so there are no activities planned. You are free to relax, explore the city & adjust to the frenetic pace and humid heat of Ho Chi Minh City. You will have a scheduled group meeting in the evening around 6pm. Please check at the reception desk or look for a G Adventures notice board with details of the actual meeting time. At this meeting your CEO will ask to sight your travel insurance, double check your Vietnam visa and complete some other paper work. Please note that most nationalities require a visa to enter Vietnam, please double check this with your travel agent or local Vietnamese Embassy.

After your meeting, you may choose to head out for an optional dinner to further get to know your CEO and fellow group members.

Our Saigon hotel is just outside of downtown Ho Chi Minh City, approximately 20 minutes walk to most of the highlights.

Day 2 Ho Chi Minh City/Hoi An (1B)

Making an early start, we head out of the busy Saigon traffic to some smaller, quieter roads where we cycle around the area's local villages. The people in this village are famous for their fine artistry in producing paper lamp shades as well as rice paper used to make fresh spring rolls amongst other Vietnamese delicacies. Being part of the fertile river plain, the region is also used for farming. We finish cycling this morning at the Cu Chi Tunnels where we learn about Vietnam-American War. The Cu Chi Tunnels are a complex network of tunnels that Viet Cong forces lived in to protect themselves from the opposing forces. They stored ammunition, had underground hospitals and served as a hidden base to attack the allied forces. If you are not claustrophobic you may want to crawl through some of the tunnel network to get a feel for what it must have been like during the war.

We drive back to Ho Chi Minh City where we stop briefly at a guesthouse to clean up before boarding a flight to Danang. On arrival in Danang we will board a private bus to Hoi An where we spend the next two nights.

Our hotel rooms in Hoi An are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. Free wifi and a public computer are available in the lobby. The hotel also has a swimming pool to relax beside.

Approx travel time:
Distance Cycled: 30km
Drive from Cu Chi Tunnels to Ho Chi Minh City: 1.5 hours
Drive to Ho Chi Minh Airport: 45 minutes
Flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Danang: 1 hour
Drive from Danang to Hoi An: 45 minutes.

Day 3 Hoi An (1B)

Once known as Faifo, Hoi An was an important trading town with strong south Chinese influence and connections. Now a UNESCO world heritage listed town it has retained much of the beauty and character of times past. You can take a walking tour of this living museum which includes the Museum of History and Culture, the Tan Ky house, the Japanese bridge, the Fujian Assembly Hall and lunch at a riverside restaurant to sample some of the local delicacies. Hoi An is also a shopping mecca for tourists in the region. Tailors can produce virtually anything overnight, with clothing, silk lanterns, lacquer ware and many other crafts abound. For sun worshipers, Cua Dai Beach, 4kms from town makes for a great, flat bike ride.

We take a ride around the town and the surrounding countryside to get a feel for the different slower pace and to visit some local communities to learn about the life here. The afternoon is free time to further explore independently either by bike or by foot.

We overnight in a Hoi An hotel. Our hotel is located very close to the old quarter of Hoi An. All rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. Free wifi and a public computer are available in the lobby.

Day 4 Hue (1B)

After a morning relaxing at the beach or exploring the town some more, we will take a drive over the majestic Hai Van Pass with stunning views over the coast in both directions. We arrive in the former imperial city of Hue in the late afternoon and have time for a walk along the Perfume River. An iconic bridge joins the ancient city to the new city. Designed by the same architect as the Eiffel Tower, the Truong Tien Bridge is lit up at night and creates a romantic atmosphere in the midst of the hectic pace of Vietnam.

All rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. Free wifi and a public computer are available in the lobby. Our hotel is centrally located, just minutes walk away from restaurants, nightlife and the Huong (Perfume) River.

Approx travel time:
Private bus from Hoi An to Hue: 4 hours.

Day 5 Hue (1B)

We set out on bicycles first to the former Citadel. The Citadel covers an area of approximately four square kilometers and is surrounded by a moat. The Forbidden city is housed inside the walls which was the home of the Nguyen Imperial family. The Citadel was also used as a fortress during the Vietnamese -American War and as a result large portions of the site are currently under reconstruction. After learning a little about the dynasty and the Citadel itself, we cycle into the low hills behind Hue to visit Tu Duc's tomb. The last emperor of Vietnam prior to the French invasion, Tu Duc's reign was turbulent and controversial. His policies kept Vietnam isolated and under resented imperial rule which ultimately led to his demise. His tomb is a beautifully designed resting place with a small forest and lake. After some time to enjoy this we will meander back to town.

Approx travel time:
Distance Cycled: 35km

Day 6 Mai Chau (1B,1L,1D)

Upon arrival in Hanoi we drive out into the hills nearby. We reach Mai Chau in the late morning and then take a trek around this area to visit some of the Thai minority people who call this valley home. With green rice fields, punctuated by traditional brick kilns and surrounded by mountains, Mai Chau is yet another picture perfect moment in the adventure of Vietnam. We enjoy a home-cooked meal tonight and sleep in a dormitory style long house in traditional style.

Tonight we will be provided with mattresses, mosquito nets and blankets. The homestay is comfortable, but basic.

Approx travel time:
Private bus from Hanoi to Mai Chau: 3-4 hours.

Day 7 Hanoi (1B)

In the morning we transfer back to Hanoi. The political capital of Vietnam and home to the father of the unified country, Ho Chi Minh. In the afternoon we cross the River and take a ride around the quieter suburbs surrounding Hanoi, including large protective dykes with cannon mounts. We return to town and can spend the evening exploring the food options of the old quarter. Don’t miss taking a walk through Hanoi's Old Quarter – a maze of streets, each one traditionally devoted to a different product or industry. Follow this up with a walk around nearby Hoan Kiem lake and see if you can spot one of the famous 100 year old turtles which may still live within its murky waters. In the evening you have an option to attend a performance at the famous Water Puppets and sample some of Hanoi's amazing eating venues. Ask your CEO to tell you about the local Northern delicacies.

Our hotel in Hanoi is located in the Old Quarter just 5 minutes walk to Hoan Kiem Lake, the centre of Hanoi. Make sure you grab a map and hotel card before you leave the hotel. All hotel rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. Wifi is available at the hotel.

Approx travel time:
Bus from Mai Chau to Hanoi: 3-4 hours.
Distance Cycled: 25kms

Day 8 Halong Bay (1B,1L,1D)

On day 8, we drive out of Hanoi to Bai Chay harbour, our entry point to Halong Bay.

Thousands of islands rise dramatically from the waters of Halong Bay and, to further their beauty, intricate cave systems naturally exist throughout these limestone karst formations. Our sailing junk will take you to visit some of the islands and caves. You could enjoy an evening drink on the deck beneath the stars.

Our accommodation tonight is a truly special experience – sleeping on a boat surrounded by high limestone karsts. All cabins are double or twin share with air-conditioning and en suite bathroom.

Approx travel time:
Private bus Hanoi to Halong Bay: 4 hours

Day 9 Halong Bay/Hanoi (1B,1L)

On the morning of day 9 we get into kayaks to see Halong Bay from a different perspective. In kayaks we are able to get into smaller channels and explore some of the lesser seen areas of the bay between the limestone karsts.

We then head back to dry land where we embark on our private bus to Hanoi. This afternoon you can delve deeper into the site of Hanoi and explore the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the resting place of the father of Vietnam's unification. You could head out to Hoa Lo Prison, popularly known as the Hanoi Hilton - where John McCain spent his time as a Prisoner of War. However you chose to spend your afternoon, we will meet tonight to celebrate our final night with an included dinner.

We overnight in the city center of Hanoi. Our hotel is located in the Old Quarter. All rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. Free wifi and a computer are available at the lobby.

Approx travel time:
Private bus from Halong Bay to Hanoi: 4 hours.

Day 10 Hanoi (1B)

You are free to depart at any time today. Please note that hotel check out time is 12pm.

We look forward to receiving your evaluation regarding this tour itinerary and your CEO's performance. We value your input into what we could improve to make this trip even better and of course love hearing about what we are already doing well! You will be sent a post tour email on your return with details on how to go on line and fill in this simple form. Thank you so much in advance.

What's Included

Cu Chi Tunnels entrance and tour (Ho Chi Minh City). Escorted cycling trips. Entrance to the Emperor's Tomb and Citadel (Hue). Trekking with local meals (Mai Chau). Halong Bay overnight boat trip with seafood meals. Sea-kayaking and cave visit.

Highlights

Kayak through limestone karsts in Halong Bay, trek in the hills of Mai Chau, cycle through unspoiled countryside, enjoy the frenetic energy of Ho Chi Minh City, visit the tailors and beaches of Hoi An, wander the vibrant streets of Hanoi

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

Bikes
We provide well maintained Trek 3900 mountain bikes in sizes 13"-22" and will be responsible for any maintenance required during the trip for these bikes. For added comfort you should consider bringing your own seat and pedals which we can easily fit to your rental bike.

Helmets
For safe cycling we highly recommend wearing a helmet whilst cycling on our trips. We highly recommend that you bring your own helmet with you.
You can hire helmets locally or purchase in Hanoi at the start of the trip (approx cost $30 US), but please note that the quality of helmet may not be of the standard you prefer.

Your Own Bike
We do discourage the bringing of your own bike, however the following applies should you wish to bring your own. Most international airlines consider bicycles as part of your regular luggage weight allowance, so you will need to pack light to allow for the weight of the bike. The best way to transport a bicycle is to package it in a bike box. You will need to remove the front wheel (and sometimes the rear wheel), handle bars, pedals and seat post. Tape any loose parts to the bike frame and pack a few extras in the box such as your helmet. You would need to arrange another packing box at the end of the trip as it cannot be relocated from Hoi An to Hanoi. Vietnam Domestic flight charges for the flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Hoi An (Da Nang) are around 2 US$/1kg over weight, normal limit is 20kg, and you must register to take bikes on the flight 1 day in advance. This is payable to your CEO on Day 2.

Support vehicle
For the cycling days we will have the backup support of a small bus that will carry our luggage and anybody not cycling.

Days Cycling: 4
Distance Cycled: 100km

Group Leader Description

All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it's the best of both worlds.

Group Size Notes

Max 15, avg 10

Meals Included

9 breakfast, 2 lunches, 2 dinners.

Meals

Eating is a big part of traveling. G Adventures understands the importance of breakfast to start your day, we strive to include a basic breakfast wherever possible. A typical breakfast may include toast, coffee and tea, however this may vary depending on the city. Should breakfast not be included, your CEO can suggest some local options.

Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. While trekking in remote regions etc. food is included, plentiful and made of fresh local ingredients.

For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Meal Budget

Allow USD300-375 for meals not included.

Transport

Hike, kayak, bicycle, bus, train, plane, junk boat

About our Transportation

Train travel in Vietnam is very basic and train cleanliness is often not a priority for train staff. Sleeper trains normally have 4 seats per compartment, which convert into sleeping bunks (two upper and two lower). A sheet, pillow and blanket are provided, although many people prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet. At times, passengers of different genders may be required to share a sleeper train berth and/or share a compartment with people not travelling in your group.

Simple food is available on the train but many people like to stock up on freshly baked bread, cheese and fruit prior to departure. Water should also be bought before the journey.

Train journeys in Vietnam are an experience and allow you to get a real taste of Vietnam.

Local Flights

All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Hotels (6 nts), sleeper train (1 nt), junk boat (1 nt), homestay (1 nt).

My Own Room Exceptions

Night 5, Sleeper Train, Night 6, Local Village Homestay, Night 8, Overnight Boat.

About Accommodation

Hotel (6 nts), Sleeper train (1 nt), overnight boat (1nt), homestay (1 nt)

Joining Hotel

Tan Hai Long 4 Hotel
Address : 81 Hai Ba Trung Street, District 1.
Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam
Phone +84838227888

Joining Instructions

When arriving at Tan Son Nhat Intl Airport in Saigon you can get a metered taxi from just outside of the arrival hall. The taxis are lined up outside in an orderly queue and the fare is roughly 100,000 Dong (approx 7 USD) to get to your starting point hotel. DO NOT GO WITH TAXI TOUTS AS THEY WILL TRY TO RIP YOU OFF. The airport is only 7km from the downtown District 1 so taking taxis is easy and cheap if the meter is on. If you have paid for an arrival transfer when you booked your trip our driver will be waiting for you with a G Adventures sign with your name on it. Please check carefully once you exit the baggage hall as it can be busy outside the arrival area.

Unfortunately there have been cases in Vietnam of people misrepresenting themselves as G Adventures representatives at both Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh airports.
We recommend that you do not take advantage of any offers of "help" at the airport, and rather just organise a meter taxi for yourself to our Starting Point Hotel.

If you have a pre-booked transfer, please look for the G Adventures representative, who will be holding a G Adventures sign at the arrival halls. Please check carefully once you exit the baggage hall as there seem to be hundreds of people waiting outside in the arrival area.
Please check that your driver knows your name and the hotel you are going to. If in doubt ask them to ring their manager to confirm your transfer.
If you are unable to locate our G Adventures representative, please wait up to 30 minutes, call our local staff on our emergency number, or take a taxi to the joining point hotel.

Arrival Complications

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER 
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:

Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel. 

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Bangkok, Thailand
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time)
From outside Thailand: +66 2 381 5574
From within Thailand: 02 381 5574

After hours emergency number
From outside Thailand: +66 87 049 6074
From within Thailand: 087 049 6074

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 01805 70 90 30 00
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

What to Take

What you need to bring depends on the trip you have chosen and the countries or regions you are planning to visit. We suggest that you pack as lightly as possible as your are expected to carry your own luggage. As a rule we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 mintues with your bags which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 10-15kg/22-30lb. Suitcases are not recommended for G Adventures trips! Most travellers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size (no XXL ones please!) as they need to fit with you in buses or on trains. You will also need a day pack/bag to carry water, cameras and other electronics like ipods and mobile phones. If your trip involves overnights in homestays, villages or camping then you usually have the opportunity to rent sleeping bags if need be instead of bringing them with you.

Checklist

Passport (with photocopies)
Travel insurance (with photocopies)
Airline tickets (with photocopies)
USD cash
Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
Alarm clock
Flashlight
Sun-hat, sunblock, sunglasses
Insect repellent
Water bottle
Small towel and swim wear
Toiletries (biodegradable)
Sturdy walking shoes/sport sandals
Moneybelt
Shorts
Long trousers
Hiking pants/track pants
Shirts/T-shirts
Warm clothes for Nov-Feb. Hat, gloves, fleece, windproof/waterproof jacket
Waterproof clothes for wet season May-Oct. Umbrella or waterproof jacket.
Cover for backpack or plastic bags to keep clothes dry
Clothes for temples – long pants or sarongs
Camera and film
Reading/writing material
Pocketknife
First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, aspirin, band aids, anti-histamine, imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Visas

Please note that visas for Vietnam are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. For the most up to date information please check your governments foreign ministry website or with you travel agent as rules do change. It is important that you check for yourself. For most travellers there will probably be an embassy or consulate in the country that you live in. VIETNAM - Visas for Vietnam need to be arranged ahead of time as the processing time varies. Vietnam visas are NOT available upon arrival at any entry point.

Some nationalities don't require a Visa for Vietnam for shorter stays - please contact your Foreign Ministry for up to date entry/exit requirements.

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

During this tour the local currency you will use is the Vietnamese Dong. As currency exchange rates in South East Asia do fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for the most up to date daily exchange rates: www.xe.com for each of the above mentioned currencies. The best way to carry your money is in debit cards, withdrawing cash in local currencies from ATM machines. ATMs are found throughout South East Asia and will generally accept cards on the Visa and Mastercard networks. It is a great idea to travel with both a Visa and Mastercard if at all possible in case of loss or problems with one card, you will have a back up. Please note, your bank will charge a fee for overseas withdrawals. USD Cash is recommended for times when ATMs are not accessible. You should bring some cash with you for emergency situations (please refer to our trip dossier) but carrying only cash is a high safety risk. ATM card/s and some cash is the ideal mix. Travellers cheques can be tricky, timely and expensive to exchange. While we do not recommend that you bring them as your primary source of funds, it is great to have one or two cheques in case of emergency. Thomas Cook or American Express travellers' cheques in US currency are the easiest to exchange. Cash advances can also be made with some banks but are time consuming and tend to have high fees attached.Credit cards can be used at some upmarket restaurants, and at some larger stores if shopping for big items. If you are bringing US Dollars, please make sure that the notes are new and in good condition. Notes older than 2003, or with any tears or blemishes may not be accepted. Be fussy with your bank when buying cash!

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $250 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Departure Tax

Departure Tax is included in all International and Domestic tickets in China, Thailand & Vietnam.

Tipping

It is customary in Asia to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected - though not compulsory - and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $1.5-$3.5 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.

Optional Activities

We suggest you bring along USD150 for additional sightseeing.

Approximate costs (per person) for popular optional activities taken in free time are:

**Please note that most museums in Hanoi are closed on Mondays**
Hoa Lao Prison- aka ‘Hanoi Hilton’ (Hanoi)- USD1
Museum of Ethnology (Hanoi)- USD1 plus transport
Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum (Hanoi) - free entrance (Please note that Mausoleum is only open in the mornings on Tue-Thu & Sat-Sun. Closed Mondays, Fridays and full months of October & November. Please check ahead as Mausoleum may be periodically closed at other times also.)
Temple of Literature (Hanoi)- USD1
Fine Arts Museum (Hanoi) - USD1
Women's Museum (Hanoi) - USD1
Army Museum (Hanoi)- USD1
Taxi to each museum - approx USD2
Bicycle Hire (Hue) - USD1
Cooking Class (Hoi An)- USD25 for Half Day
My Son Cham Ruins including car transport (Hoi An) - USD24
Tu Bon River Boat Trip (Hoi An)- USD5
Cyclo tour (Ho Chi Minh City)- USD4
War Crimes museum (Ho Chi Minh City)- USD1
The Reunification Palace (Ho Chi Minh City) - USD2
Saigon Water Park (Ho Chi Minh City) - USD4


All prices are per person (unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.

Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. In Asia pharmacies tend to stock the same western drugs as you get at home but they are usually produced locally so please bring the full drug name with you when trying to purchase a prescription drug. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

Trip Specific Safety

We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

Be aware that petty theft can be an issue in some Vietnamese towns and cities especially late at night. A common tactic is opportunists on motorbikes that drive by and snatch bags. Please always leave valuables and passports etc in your hotel,in safety boxes if available,and only carry with you enough cash to spend for the day. Bags should always be carried over the neck and not left to sit on your shoulder.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

A Word of Warning

As Vietnam embraces capitalism with open arms it is also falling victim to some of the problems of the West. Some parts of city centres are now a favourite hangout for pickpockets. If doing some exploring on your own carry only the necessary minimum with you and use a well-hidden money belt. Valuables, including your passport, should be left in the hotel safe - organize this at reception. There is no need to get paranoid, just be cautious.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org

Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our Planeterra projects.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)

Local Dress

In Asia the dress standard is more conservative than it is back home. When packing try to pick loose, lightweight, long clothing that will keep you cool in the usually hot and humid climate of Asian summers. In predominately Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim countries we ask that you dress respectfully and avoid very short shorts/skirts and singlets/tanktops when visiting temples or mosques or other holy sites.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Newsletter

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.