Innovative Travel in Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos & Thailand with Travel Loops
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
These are the answers to many frequently asked questions. If you cannot find the answer to your question here, please feel free to send contact us, and we will reply by e-mail and update the answer here for other travelers.
Q. How fit do I have to be? A. Our trips are first and foremost fun, educational and engaging and can be undertaken by anyone in good health. All our trips are graded, thus helping you to choose a suitable trip. Bear in mind that we have a wide range of tours from easy touring to physically challenging. We also have adventure trekking, sea kayaking and mountaineering trips. If you would like a less active holiday, a special interest trip, or a family vacation, please let us know. We take pride in our tailor-made holidays that are interesting and fun.
Q.When is the best time for traveling to Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand?
The climate is tropical with two seasons. The most pleasant being the dry season from the mid of October to March when temperatures are cooler. The wet season lasts from March to the beginning of October. The monsoon season, which is both hot and humid, is from June to October. The wettest months are August and September. See Country Detail
The climate in Ho Chi Minh City and elsewhere in the south is the hottest and most humid in March and April. The dry season is from November to April, and the rainy season is from May to October. In the north, the wet season is from May to September and December to March are the driest months. See Country Detail
The rainy season lasts from May through October, and is hot and humid. The dry season begins in November with somewhat cool temperatures through March. It is hot and dry from April through May when the temperatures are very high. See Country Detail
The climate in Thailand varies with the elevation and the latitude. Temperatures are generally more moderate at higher elevations in the north of Thailand. The hottest season, from March to May, is best avoided as temperatures can climb to over 40°C. The early rainy season is in June and July. Because it is closer to the equator, temperatures are more even year-round in the south. The beaches and islands of southern Thailand are an ideal choice to relax when the rest of Thailand is sweltering. See Country Detail
Q.What level of comfort can I expect? A. That will depend on the type of trip you on. On our trekking trips we stay overnight with local families in hilly and mountainous areas. Your meals will be prepared, but clients will need to carry their own gear. We stay in comfortable local hotels whenever available. On our Beach Escape tours and touring holidays, we stay in hotels with full amenities.
Our Cycling Tours are of two types: 1. You must be fit and well trained before cycling on a real challenge trip (Adventure tours). Click here to see Sample Trip 2. You just need to know how to cycle (no need to be well trained) as the cycling will be short distances, and we stop for site tours (Premium cycling tour or Comfort cycling tour). All of you have to do is enjoy yourself. Click here to see Sample Trip
How is the accommodation?
Hotels range from budget to five-star, and you get pretty much what you pay for. While deluxe hotels are located only in the major cities, charming and quaint local family run accommodation with varying levels of private facilities can be found through out the country. Travel Loops constantly stays abreast of hotel developments in order to offer our clients the best accommodation available at the best price.
Q.How safe is it? A. Above all, the safety and well being of our clients is of paramount importance to us on all our trips. Our team and local staff constantly reviews every aspect of your adventure, and our expert tour leaders and tour guides are fully conversant with the requirements of traveling in remote and isolated regions. The general level of safety in all countries in Indochina is quite good. As long as one exercises common sense, there should be no problems beyond those one would encounter in any country .
Note: Be sure to deposit your air tickets, travel documents, passports and other important items in your hotel safe.
Q.What about travel insurance? A. Travel insurance is compulsory for all participants in any tour. It is advised that all travelers have travel insurance before departure. You will need it in case of medical emergency evacuation. Travel insurance will cover your hospital and medical expenses, due to accidents or unforeseen illnesses.
Q.Do I need to have any vaccinations before the trip? A. As a general rule, no. However, immunization against cholera, hepatitis, typhoid, tetanus, polio and Japanese encephalitis is strongly advised. Please consult your health provider for further medical advice. You should bring mosquito repellent, and wearing long-sleeved shirts and slacks from dusk, and avoiding perfume is also advised. In addition, you should bring a supply of prescription drugs you are taking (and a prescription which can be filled in case your pills go missing). You can bring medicine for: Headaches, diarrhea, constipation, insect bites, sore throats, eye drops, cuts, etc. Standards of medical facilities outside of the big cities are generally lower than those found in developed countries.
Q. What about the food and beverages? A. We are fully aware of the healthy appetites you build up when cycling, trekking, kayaking or touring, and we provide tasty and varied meals with plenty of fresh ingredients. All our food is prepared by talented cooks who ensure high standards of hygiene, and who serve a combination of local and western dishes. We also cater to vegetarians, and non-seafood individuals. At times when you have to decide on your own meals, it is advised that you eat only the well-cooked food at hotels and restaurants. While food may be offered for sale from vendors, one never knows the condition under which they were prepared or the health of the food handlers. You may want to bring dried fruit and other snacks on the bus (there is a “dining car" on the train which serves drinks and light meals). All drinking water must be sealed bottled water.
Q.Who will my leader/guide be? A. Positive feedback from our clients validates our policy of employing local people as guides. Our guides are open-minded, qualified and enthusiastic people who can accommodate your travel needs. They provide the traveler with a first-hand knowledge of local history and culture. They are curious about foreign culture, and are keen to engage in cultural exchanges with visitors. They are there to assist you and to make your trip a success.
Q.What about Responsible Travel? A. We are committed to an environment friendly operation to reduce CO2. Our style of travel is environmentally, culturally and socially responsible. We call this 'Responsible Travel'. It involves working closely with local people and, where possible, training local people as tour guides and helping them to learn about how to protect the environment and decisions that affect their future. Our mission is to conserve the areas we visit, and keep them intact and unspoiled by tourism, and thus bring positive benefits to local communities.
Q. What is included in my trip? A. Depending on your specific trip, inclusions will vary from one tour to another. However, we always provide accommodation in clean, friendly hotels and with local character where possible. The tour price is based on double/ twin sharing with daily breakfast and all transfers & transportation including boat ride, train journey if any are included. Tours are with an experienced English speaking guide or leader; domestic flights where specified in the itinerary, food as stated in the trip are included.
On Cycling Tours; snacks, bottled water and a follow truck (for groups of 6 or more persons) are provided. There will be an extra charge for a follow truck for cycling groups of 5 persons or less.
Q.Are children charged the full room rate? A. Normally a reduced rate is charged for children under the age of 12 years.
Q.Are there any hidden costs or extra charges? A. No, there are no hidden costs. Most of our tours include all transport, meals, and accommodation. Please read what is included and what is excluded for each tour. You will see that the prices for our holidays offer good value for money.
Q. What is the local money called? A. Cambodia = Riel, Vietnam = Dong, Laos = Kip, Thailand = Baht
Q.Can I use credit cards and travelers checks? A. In Cambodia you can use credit cards at most hotels, and ATMs in the city are in most locations. When you withdraw money from an ATM, you will receive US$ or local currency depending on which you prefer.
In Vietnam credit cards are accepted at most hotels and at better restaurants and shops. When you withdraw from an ATM you will receive Vietnamese Dong.
In Laos you can use credit cards at most hotels in large cities. From the ATM you can withdraw cash in Laos currency. Lao credit cards are accepted in major hotels.
For Thailand, credit cards are widely accepted and can be used in most parts of the country. ATMs are also widely available.
Q. Travelers Checks
A. Travelers checks are accept in large cities. However, it is better to exchange them at the bank. You need to show your passport, and there will most likely be a service charge!
Q.How can I make a booking? A. Bookings can be made online. Once you have decided on a tour, you can sign up for the tour by sending us by submitting the completed reservation form. You may also print out the form, and send it to us by FAX. When we receive your reservation form, we will process your booking.
If you don't find the tour you want, or you want to create your own itinerary, please fill out the customized trip form and send it to us. We will design and tailor your trip to your requirements. See Booking Condition or Booking Here!
Q. How can I apply for a visa?
A. For Cambodia: You can apply at immigration for a visa on your arrival at any international airport or border crossing. You will need one passport size photo, and the cost is USD$20 per person for a tourist visa. You can also apply online for an E- visa
For Vietnam: Most visitors must obtain a visa prior to entry. We offer a visa approval service. The procedure is as follows:
1. Passport details and arrival, departure dates need to be sent to us no later than 14 day prior to your departure. (You can send by email, fax or snail mail) We need your full name as shown in your passport, gender, date of birth, passport number, expiry date, nationality, the arrival & departure dates, and the location of the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate where your want to get your visa stamped.
2. We will then submit these details to the Vietnamese Immigration Department.
3. The Immigration Department will confirm us of the visa approval, and send the approval fax/telex to the Embassy or Consulate in the country of your residence.
4. We will send you the approval document via email.
5. Take your passport & 2 passport sized photos to the Vietnam embassy to get the visa stamped (you will have to pay the stamping fee).
Q. How do I cancel a trip?
As a general rule, unless otherwise stated, our policy is that all cancellations must be made in writing either by e-mail or fax.
Cancellations will be charged at the following rates:
* More than 60 days prior to trip departure. No charge, however the 100$US deposit is non-refundable.
* 14 days before arrival: 10% charge
* 13-7 days before arrival: 60% charge
* 7 days or less before arrival: 100% charge. See detail of our booking condition and payment .