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, Myanmar and Thailand?

A. The best time for travel as bellow countries details:

1. Cambodia
The climate is tropical with two seasons. The most pleasant being the dry season from the mid of October to end of 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

2. Vietnam

Undoubtedly, weather is one of the determining factors for your traveling decisions. If you are heading to Vietnam, then, take it easy to make up your mind. Vietnam’s climate is not just steamy hot as what you are frequently exposed to on movies. All year round here, there is always a perfect place where it is pleasant to stay. Basically, the whole country falls into the tropic and subtropics but its stretching length and diverse topography allow it to span several different climate zones. The weather thus, tends to vary considerably from season to season and also from region to region.

Northern Part
The North of Vietnam is generally cooler than other South East Asian regions in the same longitude. It experiences two main distinct seasons. In winter months, the weather gets colder and colder from November to March and considerably warmer in April (a leap into summer). This is also time to observe much cloud and frequent drizzle. The average winter temperature is 17.2°C (62.9°F). Particularly, the mountainous areas (Northwest) are often much colder, temperature may keep below 10°C (50°F) for long period. Ice and snow even cover Hoang Lien Son Mountains and nearby Sapa town for some times with the lowest record of -3°C (26.6°F) in Feb 2008.

In the summer (from May to October), the whole region is quite hot. Temperature may rise to 37°C (98.6 °F) in the peaks of June and July. Hanoi and coastal provinces around the Red River Delta generally enjoy equitable weather with high average humidity (80%) all year round though they may occasionally be subjected to typhoons and heavy rain in late summers (September to November). Vietnamese people even identify four seasons in the Northern provinces (from Hai Van Pass toward the north) with their distinct features: pleasant spring (typically March-April) and autumn (October-December), a chilly winter (December- February) and a hot summer (June – July).

Central Part
The Central Vietnam with two sub-regions, coastal lowlands and central highlands, can be seen as an in-between climatic area of the North and the South. The coastal strip is usually dry and hotter than the rest in the summer, as the Truong Son Mountains do not allow it to enjoy most rainfall of south-western monsoon (from April to October). Unprotected coasts in their turn, however, make it wet and colder than the rest in winter-monsoon season (from November to March). Also, storms and typhoons strike this area more frequently than the northern coasts in summer months (from July to November). The Central Highlands in particular enjoys nearly double the average rainfall of the country. Two biggest towns in this plateau, Dalat and Pleiku, are ideally cool throughout the year. Near-the-south coastal cities, Quy Nhon, Nha Trang and Phan Thiet, on the contrary, experiences steamy hot weather (21°C-32°C / 70°F-90°F) all year round.

Southern Part
The South of Vietnam, merely 8 degrees north of the Equator, is typical of humid tropical climate which is excellent for growing rice. The region’s temperatures experience little variations in a year (around 27-32°C/80-90°F). There are two main seasons: the rainy and the dry. During the rainy/monsoon season (from May to November), downpours are expected to happen nearly every afternoon, resulting in occasional street flooding in and around Saigon. In the dry season, it is hot from late February to April then slightly cooler when first downpours come. Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) enjoys rather equitable tropical climate with high humidity all year round. December to March is said to be the most pleasant time to hit this region’s center.

Note: In all, Vietnam climate is so diverse that there is almost no definition of an average temperature for the whole country. Thanks to these regional variations in weather, generally, you can drop in Vietnam at any time of year. Commonly, based on the duration of your stay, you should plan to catch the good weather and places by either dropping in Saigon in February or March then following the coast to north or hitting Hanoi in October-November then tracing southward.

3. Laos
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

4. Myanmar
Pleasant time to visit Myanmar is between November and February. During these months it rains least (if at all in places) and it is not so hot. March to May brings intense heat. At this time, the daily temperatures in Yangon (Rangoon) often reach 40ºC (104ºF), while areas around Bagan and Mandalay go a few digits higher. The cool hill towns of Shan State offer relief from the heat, though.

The southwest monsoon starts between mid-May and mid-June, bringing frequent rains that dunk the country through till October, peaking from July to September. The dry zone (between Mandalay and Pyay) gets the least rain, though roads anywhere (and particularly in the delta region) can become impassable. Rakhaing State bears the full force of the rains.

5. Thailand
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 or Active trips).

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. All of you have to do is enjoy yourself as we have the backup vehicle.

Q. How is the accommodation?

A. 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 throughout 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 levels of safety in all countries are 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. We suggest purchasing the travel insurance from your home country.

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 as well as Halal (Halal food is depend on the availability). 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 tour 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, Myanmar = Kyat; and Thailand = Baht

Q. Can I use credit cards and traveler cheques?

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 (Kip). Lao credit cards are accepted in major hotels.

In Myanmar is only just starting to introduce ATMs, and even then only in Yangon and major tourist hubs. Currently these should not be relied upon, and travellers should bring enough US dollars to cover their entire trip when they enter Myanmar. Travellers should ensure they arrive in Myanmar with their entire travel budget in US dollars, as ATMs are still very hard to come. The bills should be unmarked and in excellent condition, as money changers are reluctant to deal with damaged notes. US dollars can be changed at Yangon airport and others, banks (which give the best exchange rates) and some hotels (which charge more but can be handy at a pinch). Black market money changers are prolific on the streets of major tourist hubs, but generally give a much worse price for Kyat.

For Thailand, credit cards are widely accepted and can be used in most parts of the country. ATMs are also widely available.

A. Travelers cheques are accepted in large cities of Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. 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!

Note: Travelers Cheques do not accept in Myanmar.

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. When we receive your reservation, we will process your booking.

If you don't find the tour you want, or you want to create your own itinerary, please click “customized trip” button and send it to us. We will design and tailor your trip to your requirements.
Click here to review the Booking and Payment Guideline

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 sized 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 letter,

4. We will send you the approval document via email that you could enter Vietnam with the arrival visa application.

Q. How do I amend the Confirmed booking?

A. Booking Amendment: Flexibility is our strongest point. You can amend your booking even after it is confirmed. Just contact our sales person or contact us at sales@travelloops.com with your booking number. Our sales/reservations team will be happy to change your booking wherever possible. Please note you will be responsible for any additional payments, should there be a price increase caused by your request to change your booking.

Q. How do I cancel the Confirmed booking?

A. Cancellations will be charged as follows:
. More than 46 days before arrival: No cancellation charge.
. 14-45 days before arrival: 10% of the total amount.
. 8-13 days before arrival: 50% of the total amount.
. Less than 7 days before arrival: 100 % of the total amount.

Please note that some suppliers (airlines, hotels, cruise companies) have cancellation policies that are different from Travel Loops which we may have to enforce depending on the individual suppliers contract.

Q. How do I Claims and Refunds for Unused Services?
A. Claims and Refunds for Unused Services:
. No refunds will be made in respect of accommodation, meals, sightseeing tours, transport or any other services which are included in the tour prices but not utilized by the tour member.
. For exceptional claims to be considered, they must be received in writing by Travel Loops within 30 days of the termination of the program, and be accompanied by supporting documentation.