|Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam||Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam|
The fertile region known as 'Cuu Long', or the Mekong Delta, is the ricebowl of Vietnam. It is here that the mighty Mekong River finishes a journey that began in the high Tibetan Plateau. The Delta was once part of the Khmer kingdom and became the last region to be settled by the Vietnamese. The area offers much to the traveller. Its incredible scenery, fascinating rural lifestyles and friendly people can be best seen and experienced from the waterways and small canals that serve as the region's main 'highway' for transportation.
Locals in their shallow wooden boats, stacked high with mountains of vegetables, fruit, rice and fish ply their wares on the river, making this section spectacular for culture and scenery. Lush local paddies beside the delta make it a veritable cornucopia, justly renowned as the ‘rice basket’ of Vietnam. Cruising the delta gives you a real sense of the river’s significance to South East Asia and is one of the most enjoyable ways of taking Indochina’s lively pulse.
Accommodation: Asian Ruby Hotel or similar, HCMC
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
Accommodation: Local island village homestay or similar
Meals included: 1 breakfast
Accommodation: Asian Ruby Hotel or similar, HCMC
Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Please talk to your doctor about the up-to-date information for this region. We're travel experts, not doctors and defer to the medicos when it comes to inoculations.Visas and Permits
Please ensure that you have all required visas for your trip – this is your responsibility. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.
Visas 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. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay. We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent. VIETNAM: Australia: Yes - in advance Belgium: Yes - in advance Canada: Yes - in advance Germany Yes - in advance Ireland: Yes - in advance Netherlands: Yes - in advance New Zealand: Yes - in advance South Africa: Yes - in advance Switzerland: Yes - in advance United Kingdom: Yes - in advance USA: Yes - in advance When obtaining your visa you should allow 3 weeks for processing, the cost is approximately US$60 to US$100. Check with your embassy or consulate for further details. Some nationalities are exempt from requiring a visa if their stay is less than 15 days, but if you are planning on staying in Vietnam for longer than 15 days you will need to obtain a visa extension in advance. Keep the customs and immigration form you receive on arrival, as you need it to complete exit formalities on departure. If your visa application asks for a point of contact, please write: Intrepid Vietnam 57A Nguyen Khac Hieu St, Hanoi, Vietnam Ph +84 4 3715 0996. Most nationalities do not require a letter of invitation for Vietnam but if you do need one, please contact your sales agent for more information.
You are required to have travel insurance before heading off on a Peregrine trip. Insurance can be organised by your Peregrine representative or your travel agent.Responsible Travel
Our Responsible Travel ethos is at the heart of everything we do, from getting the basics right like respecting local cultures and the environment, to initiating projects that make positive contributions to communities, to our staff’s fundraising efforts and offsetting our carbon emissions.
Please visit our Responsible Travel (http://www.peregrineadventures.com/rt) page for more information.
Our Pre Departure Information or Travel Dossier (provided upon booking a trip) provides tips on how you can show respect for the local customs and culture in the country you are travelling in. Your leader will also help steer you though the complexities of local cultural norms.
Pre Departure Information
The information listed above is a brief description of some things you may need to consider when booking a trip. Once a tour is booked you will be provided with a link to your Travel Dossier which will contain detailed Pre Departure information.
There are a number of books which make interesting reading and provide insight in the history, politics and culture of the country. Suggestions are: The Quiet American- Graham Greene The Sacred Willow-Duong Van Mai Elliot Paradise of the Blind-Duong Thu Huong Vietnam: Yesterday & Today -Ellen Hammer One Crowded Hour- Tim Bowden Catfish and Mandala-Andrew X Pham Hitchhiking Vietnam-Karin Muller Vietnam- Lonely Planet A Bright Shining Lie-Neil Sheehan (on the Vietnam-American War)
Local Tour Leaders
By employing and training local guides to lead our group holidays, there is a two-fold benefit. Firstly, we provide employment opportunities for the local community. Just as importantly is the benefit to you, the traveller. Your tour leader’s friendship, humour, passion and intimate knowledge of the region will be key factors in making your holiday a success.
Infrastructure and Tet Holiday Period
Please note that Vietnam is a developing country whose infrastructure may differ from what you expect in your homeland. Expect poor road conditions and be prepared for some inconveniences due to such things as restaurants or tourist sites being closed and our regular transport services not always being available, especially so during the Tet holiday period (Vietnamese New Year).
During Tet, most businesses will be closed as Vietnamese people usually spend this period returning to their homes and celebrating with their families. This will involve a major burden on all forms of transport, and despite booking in advance, tickets for planes and trains especially are extremely difficult to obtain. Even if bookings are obtained, transport services during this period will be overcrowded and heavy delays are to be expected, so you will need to make sure that you pack your sense of humour.
This is an 'adventure' trip and we hope to expose you to all aspects of Vietnamese culture. Please be open-minded.
Local Emergency Contacts
In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, the Peregrine Vietnam office can be reached on Tel: +84 903 117 770
The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
16 April 2014