Your tailor-made tours specialist in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar & Laos

FAQs

You have some questions or are seeking information about our company, our products, our booking process or our cancellation policy? You are at the right place to get all the answers!

1. Who are we?

Sonasia Holiday is a local travel agency, creator of tailor-made tour packages and generator of ethical emotions in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma), and Laos

Our teams have crisscrossed this region for more than 15 years. With them, you will not only discover the unmissable sites but will also and often go off the beaten track, in a responsible and enlightened tourist environment.

In a deeply humanist vision, we put people at the heart of our activities by capitalizing on their inner richness, their qualities, their skills, their ability to offer, educate and learn ... in the name of exchanging and meeting between peoples and cultures.

Particularly specialized in the western market, our trilingual English, French, and Vietnamese team is made up of people from all over the world and is divided between the head office in Hanoi (Vietnam), the operation offices in Vientiane (Laos), and representative office in Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam), Da Nang (Vietnam), Luang Prabang (Laos), Bangkok (Thailand), Siem Reap (Cambodia), and Yangon (Myanmar)

Here is more detail about Sonasia Holiday

2. Tips, how does it work?

General observation: tips are not included in the prices, and they are not compulsory. But it is customary, in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos, to give a small sum at the end of their service, to guides and drivers.

In practice, and depending on the number of travelers in the group, the scale for the guide is between 3 and 6 euros per day per traveler. Count half as much for the driver. You can give nothing if you are not happy with their service. This is a general scale, recommended by some travel guide such as TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet, or the Guide du Routard.

We do not include tips for guides and drivers in our offers. However, well aware that this could affect your experience during the trip, so that all small tips for rowers, porters, porters etc. will be paid by the guide in conjunction with Sonasia Holiday.

Some tour operators don't tell you about tips to make you feel like their deals are cheaper. Sonasia Holiday prefers to talk about it so that you don't have any unpleasant surprises.

Find out more:

3. Is travel insurance included in the rates?

In our offers, we do not offer travel insurance. This is due to the following reasons:

  • We believe that the services of insurers in your country are better than in our destinations (Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos).
  • It will be more convenient if you buy insurance directly in your country, because you will be in direct contact with the insurer and you can choose the insurance that suits you.
  • When you pay for your trip by credit card, it seems to us that certain banks automatically offer you the subscription to insurance.
  • Sonasia Holiday is committed to giving you the necessary assistance in the event of events giving rise to compensation by the insurer.

Here is how to choose the best travel insurance for our 5 destinations

4. In the event of a problem during the trip, who should I contact?

Our customer team, who takes care of you as soon as your trip is booked, will provide 24-hour follow-up during your trip. She remains present by your side, in any unforeseen event.

5. What type of vehicle is reserved for my group?

All the vehicles we use for road trips are recent, comfortable vehicles with air conditioning. You will travel privately, which is why the vehicle is reserved exclusively for you.

Our drivers are the subject of a rigorous selection. Fuel, tolls, accommodation, remuneration and catering costs for the driver are included in our offer, only tips are at your discretion.

Our quality criteria dictate that the number of seats is always higher than the number of travelers. Our standards are summarized in the following table:

No. of travelers 2 3-4 5-7 8-12 13-19 20-up
Type of vehicle Car 4-7 seats Car 7-12 seats Minivan 16 seats Coach 25 seats Bus 35 seats Bus 45 seats

 

6. What are the selection criteria for Sonasia Holiday hotels?

There are different categories of hotel in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia Myanmar, and Laos: from small unranked hotels to luxury hotels, including standard two to three star hotels. In some regions where tourism is not yet developed (the far north of Vietnam or the north of Laos, for example), the best hotels you can find are only two to three stars.

Choosing a category of hotel depends entirely on your budget and your wishes. It should be noted in this regard that a 5 star hotel can cost ten times more than a two star hotel. In addition, two hotels of the same category may not have the same price, because the quality is variable. In big cities like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, the price of a double room can vary from $20 to $200 per night.

The hotels offered in our offers have been verified by ourselves. Cleanliness, quality of welcome, location, charm and tranquility are our selection criteria. When we have the choice, we favor human-sized hotels and work less with international chains.

7. How are meals included?

In our offers, breakfast is usually taken in hotels. It can therefore be European.

For lunches and dinners, the dishes are mostly local. For meals included in our offers, the menu can be chosen in advance by Sonasia Holiday (especially in large cities) or on site by yourself using the guide.

We often include half the meals in our quotes, not to make you feel like the trip is cheaper, but to give you more freedom. We understand that it is sometimes difficult to live completely disconnected from your eating habits and it would be good for you to eat the way you want.

If you are on a diet or if you are allergic to any food, please let us know so that we can tailor our services to you.

8. Does Sonasia Holiday handle the visas?

For Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos, obtaining a visa is very easy. You just need to have your valid passport, two photos and a few tens of dollars, the visa will be issued to you at the border gate.

For Vietnam, you must either obtain the visa before departure or request a prior authorization of entry to be able to obtain the visa on arrival.

If you opt for the visa on arrival formula (with the exception of a few land border crossings), Amica Travel will take care of all the administrative formalities to obtain this prior authorization and cover the associated costs. All you need to do is prepare two photos, your passport and pay the stamp fee at customs.

Visa exemption for Vietnam: For citizens of 5 countries: France, Spain, England, Germany and Italy, if your stay in Vietnam does not exceed 15 days until June 30 2021, you just need a valid passport to enter the country. This exemption is only valid for a single entry visa.

For Myanmar, you can either obtain the visa via an online system (e-Visa) or via an oversea embassy. At the moment, the citizen of 8 countries can apply for visa on arrival ($50/visa), and 12 countries can have free visa (visa exempt) on arrival. 

For more details :

9. Does Sonasia Holiday handle international flights?

We do not sell international flights primarily for economic reasons. Sonasia Holiday is a local receptive. However, it is cheaper to buy international tickets in the country of departure (your country) than in the country of arrival.

However, should you require assistance for your international flights, we can give you some recommendation if needed.

Don't hesitate to call or send us an email. We will be happy to answer you, help you search for flights or discuss your wishes and your travel plan with you.

We have include the detailed guide on how to find the cheapest flight to:

10. How can I pay the reservation deposit?

You can pay the reservation deposit by credit card or by international bank-to-bank transfer.

If you are paying by bank transfer, ask your contact person to send you the Sonasia Holiday bank account. Bank charges, determined by your bank, including charges levied by the receiving bank, are your responsibility.

If you pay by credit card, Sonasia Holiday will send you an electronic invoice and the link to our bank's secure site. Payment can be made from your computer in minutes. Bank charges, up to 3% of the amount of the deposit (for Visa, Master cards, etc.) or up to 4% of the amount of the deposit (for AMEX cards), are your responsibility.

The advantage of paying by card and online is that you can have travel insurance (to be confirmed with the bank issuing your card) and that you do not have to go to your bank.

1. Who are we?

Sonasia Holiday is a local travel agency, creator of tailor-made tour packages and generator of ethical emotions in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma), and Laos

Our teams have crisscrossed this region for more than 15 years. With them, you will not only discover the unmissable sites but will also and often go off the beaten track, in a responsible and enlightened tourist environment.

In a deeply humanist vision, we put people at the heart of our activities by capitalizing on their inner richness, their qualities, their skills, their ability to offer, educate and learn ... in the name of exchanging and meeting between peoples and cultures.

Particularly specialized in the western market, our trilingual English, French, and Vietnamese team is made up of people from all over the world and is divided between the head office in Hanoi (Vietnam), the operation offices in Vientiane (Laos), and representative office in Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam), Da Nang (Vietnam), Luang Prabang (Laos), Bangkok (Thailand), Siem Reap (Cambodia), and Yangon (Myanmar)

Here is more detail about Sonasia Holiday

2. Does Sonasia Holiday hold a professional insurance?

Vietnamese, Thailand, Cambodian, Burmese, and Laotian laws impose on all travel agencies a special license, the obtaining of which is subject to the subscription to professional insurance. This legal requirement aims to ensure that the travel agency has the professional competence and sufficient financial guarantees to properly organize the trips and to be able to assume its responsibilities to the traveler in the event of default.

In Vietnam, our approval was issued by the General Directorate of Tourism of Vietnam which now reports to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Our branches in Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos also hold national licenses.

Traveling with Sonasia Holiday is therefore traveling with a legally recognized professional.

3. Where to find the offices of Sonasia Holiday?

To offer the best support possible to our customers, Not only does Sonasia Holiday have its head office in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, but also regional offices in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), and Vientiane in Laos.

  • Head office: Rockland Building, No. 6, Alley 102, Khuat Duy Tien street, Nhan Chinh ward, Thanh Xuan District, Hanoi 120415, Vietnam
  • Operation office in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon): 87 Truong Chinh, Ward 12, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • Operation office in Vientiane (Laos): Ruelle 1, Ban Si Muang, Sisatanak Dist., Vientiane, Laos
  • Operation office in Luang Prabang (Laos): 74/4 Ban Aham village, Luangprabang.Laos PDR
  • Operation office in Bangkok (Thailand): No. 1032/1 – 5, 4th Floor, Rama 4, Tungmahamek, Sathorn, Bangkok, 10120 THAILAND
  • Operation office in Siem Reap (Cambodia): #7A (Borey Seang Nam 2), Red Cross Road Thom, Sror Ngae, Siem Reap
  • Operation office in Yangon (Myanmar): 561 Merchant street (8th floor), Kyauktada Tsp, Yangon 11182, Myanmar

4. What are Sonasia's working hours?

Our offices are open from 8 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday to Friday & from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays, except public holidays.

1. What are the steps to follow to book the trip?

After planning your trip with one of our advisers by email and / or phone, here are the steps to follow to finalize the reservation.

  1. Confirm by email your purchase decision to your advisor.
  2. Fill in & return the reservation form, as well as the scan of your passport to your advisor.
  3. Sonasia Holiday reservation procedure for all the services provided for in the program. In the event of unavailability of a service (hotel, domestic flight), a replacement solution will be offered to you for validation. It will take about 1 week.
  4. Receive the final program and contract for your trip if all services are confirmed by Sonasia Holiday.
  5. Pay the deposit for final validation of your trip.

Here are our 3-C Booking Steps for your reference.

2. How can I pay the reservation deposit?

You can pay the reservation deposit by credit card or by international bank-to-bank transfer.

If you are paying by bank transfer, ask your contact person to send you the Sonasia Holiday bank account. Bank charges, determined by your bank, including charges levied by the receiving bank, are your responsibility.

If you pay by credit card, Sonasia Holiday will send you an electronic invoice and the link to our bank's secure site. Payment can be made from your computer in minutes. Bank charges, up to 3% of the amount of the deposit (for Visa, Master cards, etc.) or up to 4% of the amount of the deposit (for AMEX cards), are your responsibility.

The advantage of paying by card and online is that you can have travel insurance (to be confirmed with the bank issuing your card) and that you do not have to go to your bank.

3. In which currency (s) can I pay for my trip?

When you pay by credit card, we will receive the amount in VND and your account will be debited in local currency (ex: USD, EUR, CAD, CHF), according to your bank's exchange rate.

When you pay in cash, we convert the amount only in USD, EUR, or VND, using the exchange rate closest to the day of payment, published by the European Central Bank or the Foreign Trade Bank of Vietnam.

1. Can I cancel my trip?

Yes, you can cancel your trip at any time but will have to pay penalties in the amount of:

  • 5% of the total price of the trip, if the cancellation reaches Sonasia Holiday within 45 days or more before the start of the trip;
  • 10% of the total price of the trip, if the cancellation reaches Sonasia Holiday within 45 days before the start of the trip;

In the event of cancellation of a trip which had been subject to postponement, the penalties are 10% of the total price of the trip, regardless of the cancellation period.

In case of cancellation of a trip that requires a larger deposit, you must pay penalties equal to 50% of the total price of the trip.

If the cancellation is made prior to payment of the deposit, an invoice is sent to you which is required to pay the penalties under the aforementioned conditions, also indicated on the final estimate.

If the cancellation is made after payment of the deposit, Sonasia Holiday will deduct the amount of these penalties from the deposit paid and reimburse you the remaining amount, if applicable, by bank transfer. You bear all bank charges.

For more information, please refer to the General Booking Conditions or contact us.

1. In the event of a problem during the trip, who should I contact?

Our customer team, who takes care of you as soon as your trip is booked, will provide 24-hour follow-up during your trip. She remains present by your side, in any unforeseen event.

2. Can I make changes to the proposed tour?

Yes, you can make as many changes as you want before the booking is firm. When the circuit has been fixed as well as during the trip, modifications are always possible but they may entail additional costs.

3. Can I change the departure date?

Yes, you can change the departure date from the date entered in our tour proposal. We have no difficulty in adapting the circuit programming according to your departure date.

4. What type of vehicle is reserved for my group?

All the vehicles we use for road trips are recent, comfortable vehicles with air conditioning. You will travel privately, which is why the vehicle is reserved exclusively for you.

Our drivers are the subject of a rigorous selection. Fuel, tolls, accommodation, remuneration and catering costs for the driver are included in our offer, only tips are at your discretion.

Our quality criteria dictate that the number of seats is always higher than the number of travelers. Our standards are summarized in the following table:

No. of travelers 2 3-4 5-7 8-12 13-19 20-up
Type of vehicle Car 4-7 seats Car 7-12 seats Minivan 16 seats Coach 25 seats Bus 35 seats Bus 45 seats

 

5. The flights planned in my program will be carried out by which company?

This depends on the route that you take and the timetable of the flight. The name of the flight, the company, and the flight schedule are usually included in our detailed quotation sent to you. For reference, below is some information.

  • For internal air transport in Vietnam, we use the services of Vietnam Airlines, the largest and most reliable airline in the country. The fleet consists of Airbus and Boeing, all very recent. On certain short trips, this company operates ATR 72s and some Fokkers.
  • In Thailand, we will have Thai Airways, Thai Smiles, or AirAsia.
  • On inter-Indochina routes, we use the services of Vietnam Airlines, Cambodia Angkor Air (Cambodian company) and Laos Airlines (Laotian company which mainly operates ATR 72s) and sometimes Thai Airways.

Please note: flight schedules can sometimes be subject to change at the last minute by the airline. Sonasia Holiday undertakes in this case to adapt the travel program to maintain its content and spirit.

6. Is it possible to take the train instead of the plane for long journeys?

In Vietnam, some long journeys can be made by train, in particular: Hanoi - Lao Cai; Hanoi - Hue; Danang - Ho Chi Minh city.

With the exception of the Hanoi - Lao Cai route, we rarely or do not recommend the train. Indeed, on these other journeys, the train is slow (50 km per hour), noisy and uncomfortable. These are in addition to the night trains and it is difficult to sleep well.

Some tour operators can offer you the Hanoi - Hue train in order to reduce the cost of the trip. But if you can put in a little effort, we highly recommend flying to save time and avoid fatigue.

Specifically on the Hanoi - Lao Cai route: The train travels at an average speed of 60 km / hour, on rails 1.2 meters wide. It is therefore impossible to compare it to the TGV. However, you will travel in cabins with soft berths (small beds 80 centimeters wide) with air conditioning.

7. What are the selection criteria for Sonasia Holiday hotels?

There are different categories of hotel in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia Myanmar, and Laos: from small unranked hotels to luxury hotels, including standard two to three star hotels. In some regions where tourism is not yet developed (the far north of Vietnam or the north of Laos, for example), the best hotels you can find are only two to three stars.

Choosing a category of hotel depends entirely on your budget and your wishes. It should be noted in this regard that a 5 star hotel can cost ten times more than a two star hotel. In addition, two hotels of the same category may not have the same price, because the quality is variable. In big cities like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, the price of a double room can vary from $20 to $200 per night.

The hotels offered in our offers have been verified by ourselves. Cleanliness, quality of welcome, location, charm and tranquility are our selection criteria. When we have the choice, we favor human-sized hotels and work less with international chains.

8. How will we be accommodated with the locals (homestay)?

In your program, you will have one or more nights at a homestay. The house is well equipped: a mattress, a blanket, a sheet, a mosquito net for each client. In all cases, we advise you to bring basic hygiene products: toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, towels, comb. If your suitcase is loaded enough, you can easily buy it on the spot.

9. How are meals included?

In our offers, breakfast is usually taken in hotels. It can therefore be European.

For lunches and dinners, the dishes are mostly local. For meals included in our offers, the menu can be chosen in advance by Sonasia Holiday (especially in large cities) or on site by yourself using the guide.

We often include half the meals in our quotes, not to make you feel like the trip is cheaper, but to give you more freedom. We understand that it is sometimes difficult to live completely disconnected from your eating habits and it would be good for you to eat the way you want.

If you are on a diet or if you are allergic to any food, please let us know so that we can tailor our services to you.

10. Does Sonasia Holiday handle the visas?

For Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos, obtaining a visa is very easy. You just need to have your valid passport, two photos and a few tens of dollars, the visa will be issued to you at the border gate.

For Vietnam, you must either obtain the visa before departure or request a prior authorization of entry to be able to obtain the visa on arrival.

If you opt for the visa on arrival formula (with the exception of a few land border crossings), Amica Travel will take care of all the administrative formalities to obtain this prior authorization and cover the associated costs. All you need to do is prepare two photos, your passport and pay the stamp fee at customs.

Visa exemption for Vietnam: For citizens of 5 countries: France, Spain, England, Germany and Italy, if your stay in Vietnam does not exceed 15 days until June 30 2021, you just need a valid passport to enter the country. This exemption is only valid for a single entry visa.

For Myanmar, you can either obtain the visa via an online system (e-Visa) or via an oversea embassy. At the moment, the citizen of 8 countries can apply for visa on arrival ($50/visa), and 12 countries can have free visa (visa exempt) on arrival. 

For more details :

11. Does Sonasia Holiday handle international flights?

We do not sell international flights primarily for economic reasons. Sonasia Holiday is a local receptive. However, it is cheaper to buy international tickets in the country of departure (your country) than in the country of arrival.

However, should you require assistance for your international flights, we can give you some recommendation if needed.

Don't hesitate to call or send us an email. We will be happy to answer you, help you search for flights or discuss your wishes and your travel plan with you.

We have include the detailed guide on how to find the cheapest flight to:

1. What does the price of the trip include?

The price we give for each offer is a flat rate and includes all taxes. At the end of each offer, we always specify its scope. Please refer to it for details.

Unless you request otherwise, our price normally includes these below services:

  • All travel during the trip (by plane, car, train, boat, etc.), except international flights from and back to your country.
  • Accommodation throughout the trip. This element is important and varies depending on the hotels chosen.
  • The accompaniment of a guide and a driver according to the program (their accommodation, daily maintenance, tolls, fuel are all included).
  • All entrance fees to sites to visit: museums, parks, temples, historical monuments, natural sites….
  • The meals indicated in the program (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch and D = Dinner).
  • All the other ancillary services indicated in the program: rental of boats, bicycles, porters during trekking days, massage….
  • The administrative costs (that is to say our profit margin).
  • State taxes (value added taxes)
  • All small tips for rowers, porters, porters etc ... These will be paid by your guides.

2. Tips, how does it work?

General observation: tips are not included in the prices, and they are not compulsory. But it is customary, in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos, to give a small sum at the end of their service, to guides and drivers.

In practice, and depending on the number of travelers in the group, the scale for the guide is between 3 and 6 euros per day per traveler. Count half as much for the driver. You can give nothing if you are not happy with their service. This is a general scale, recommended by some travel guide such as TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet, or the Guide du Routard.

We do not include tips for guides and drivers in our offers. However, well aware that this could affect your experience during the trip, so that all small tips for rowers, porters, porters etc. will be paid by the guide in conjunction with Sonasia Holiday.

Some tour operators don't tell you about tips to make you feel like their deals are cheaper. Sonasia Holiday prefers to talk about it so that you don't have any unpleasant surprises.

Find out more:

3. Is travel insurance included in the rates?

In our offers, we do not offer travel insurance. This is due to the following reasons:

  • We believe that the services of insurers in your country are better than in our destinations (Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos).
  • It will be more convenient if you buy insurance directly in your country, because you will be in direct contact with the insurer and you can choose the insurance that suits you.
  • When you pay for your trip by credit card, it seems to us that certain banks automatically offer you the subscription to insurance.
  • Sonasia Holiday is committed to giving you the necessary assistance in the event of events giving rise to compensation by the insurer.

Here is how to choose the best travel insurance for our 5 destinations

1. How are my personal data managed?

Sonasia Holiday is aware of the importance of respecting personal information that remains processed by our website and we are committed to protecting (and securing) the data that you entrust to us. More details on this page.

2. How to unsubscribe from the newsletter?

To unsubscribe from the newsletter, there are 2 solutions:

  1. Contact us or write to us directly at this address: [email protected] specifying your email address. Our team will take care of it as soon as it has read your message.
  2. You can also click on "To unsubscribe from the newsletter" at the bottom of our newsletters at any time.

1. What are the conditions & benefits of the Travelers' Club?

The only condition for automatic access to the club is to have made one or more trips with Sonasia Holiday.

Benefits for former Sonasia Holiday travelers

  1. All former travelers and people who travel with them benefit from either:
    • an immediate 5% discount on the total price of their next trip with Sonasia Holiday;
    • a range of exclusive services to be chosen according to certain criteria and a table provided for this purpose.
  2. Benefit from a referral interlocutor.
  3. Making a 100% local, responsible and original gift for the most loyal former travelers.
  4. Benefits for referrals

Enjoy the same benefits as former travelers from their first stay with Sonasia Holiday.

For more details, see the Travelers Club page.

2. How can I use the accumulated credits?

The accumulated credits can be used as a reduction in the price of your trip. The terms of application are:

The trip concerned must be of a duration equal to or greater than 5 days including at least 2 of these services: accommodation, transport, guide.

It must be a tourist trip and not professional, associative, humanitarian or event.

Application on a group of maximum 12 people.

Unless expressly stated otherwise by Sonasia Holiday, Sonasia Club benefits cannot be combined with other promotional offers.

Credits can be transferred to a third party subject to acceptance by Sonasia Holiday

For more details, see the Conditions of the Travelers Club

NOT READY YET?

We believe you have the right to arm yourselves with as much information as possible before making any decision.

Check below the detailed information for our different destinations, our plans by travel theme or time frame to learn more before moving forward...

OUR DESTINATIONS
Vietnam
bee-white Vietnam

A land of staggering natural beauty and cultural complexities, of dynamic megacities and hill-tribe villages, Vietnam is both exotic and compelling.

Thailand
bee-white Thailand

Friendly and food-obsessed, hedonistic and historic, cultured and curious, Thailand tempts visitors with a smile as golden as the country's glittering temples and tropical beaches.

Cambodia
bee-white Cambodia

There's a magic about this charming yet confounding kingdom that casts a spell on visitors. In Cambodia, ancient and modern worlds collide to create an authentic adventure.

Myanmar
bee-white Myanmar

It's a new era for this extraordinary and complex land, where the landscape is scattered with gilded pagodas and the traditional ways of Asia endure.

Laos
bee-white Laos

Vivid nature, voluptuous landscapes and a vibrant culture collide with a painful past and optimistic future to make Laos an enigmatic experience for the adventurous.

PLANS BY TRAVEL THEME
Must-see
Honeymoon
Trek & Hike
Wellness & Leisure
bee-white Wellness & Leisure
PLANS BY TIME FRAME
white-icon About 1 week
white-icon About 2 weeks
white-icon About 3 weeks
white-icon About 4 weeks
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Already got a plan? REQUEST A FREE QUOTE
TRAVEL TIPS & GUIDE

Either are you wondering about best time to visit, visa policy, or how to get the cheapest flight, we have your back!

WHAT MORE? Choose the country you plan to visit, then search for your nationality below to see our special travel tips & advice for your country. CONTACT US if you cannot find yours.

Destinations

Best Time to Visit
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Tourist Visa Policy
bee-white Tourist Visa Policy
Getting Flight There
bee-white Getting Flight There
Getting Around
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bee-white Internet & Phone
Packing List
Budget & Currency
bee-white Budget & Currency
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bee-white Safety & Precautions
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LATEST BLOG ARTICLES

On June 7th, 2012, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has eased travel recommendations for more than a hundred countries and territories, including Vietnam and Laos in the list of "safest to travel".

Time to travel now? We do not think so! Let's check more detail below.

...more

As some of you may have seen in the news, Thailand is gearing up for a ‘soft reopening’ to vaccinated travellers a month from now on July 1.

It is official, sort of. After months of kicking sand around debating if it will really happen, the Centre for Economic Situation Administration (CESA) has officially approved the Phuket Sandbox plan, an important step forward. The announcement, made late this afternoon, June, 4th, appears to answer the often-posed question if the sandbox plan would ever happen after the much more intense and deadly third wave of Covid-19 swept through Thailand.
Then, the island will be opening Phuket International Airport to foreign travellers as proposed by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

The trial will be the first of its kind in the country, and if successful, may be rolled out across other parts of Thailand. The Thailand Authority of Tourism (TAT) has already earmarked Krabi, Pattaya, Bangkok, Buriram, Cha-am, Koh Samui, Phang-nga and Hua Hin as possible destinations to try out the scheme.

Each model will be slightly different, depending on geography, and international visitors will still have to get a visa in advance and fill out some paperwork (see details below). Nevertheless, this will come as promising news to those travellers desperate to visit Thailand!

If the Phuket Sandbox Scheme goes ahead, from June to September 2021, Thailand is expecting to receive up to 129,000 international visitors – will you be one of them? In this article, we’ll attempt to answer all of the questions you might have about the Phuket Sandbox and more!

Disclaimer – Information regarding the Phuket Sandbox Program is changing literally every day and is dependent on the COVID-19 situation across Thailand. While we update this article regularly to the best of our ability, we cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions.

Learn more about our travel guide for Phuket island here

...more

A playground for locals, Phnom Kulen (literally Mountain of the Lychees) is a gorgeous day out. The main attraction is the waterfalls at the top of Kulen Mountain and it’s also a great picnic spot; well set up in Cambodian style with hammocks and shelters to keep you shaded from the sun. It’s around 1.5-2 hours drive from Siem Reap and if you go all the way to the top by van or car, you need to get there early, as the road is one-way traffic only.

The birthplace of the ancient Khmer empire, it is said that it was at Phnom Kulen that King Jayavarman II proclaimed Cambodia’s independence from Java.

Additionally, it is a very sacred site with multiple temples easily accessible. Two sites most noted are the Thousand Lingas at Kbal Spean, within the Kulen National Park site and Preah Ang Thom pagoda with its giant reclining Buddha. The area is a magnet to “kru khmer” (natural medicine doctors), and attracts people seeking blessings from its holy waters, particularly the potent life-giving waters at Kbal Spean, that are said to help couples conceive.

You may be interested in Khmer Empire & Jayavarman II

...more

Preah Vihear Temple (Prasat Preah Vihear) is an ancient Hindu temple built during the period of the Khmer Empire, that is situated atop a 525-metre (1,722 ft) cliff in the Dângrêk Mountains, in the Preah Vihear province, Cambodia. In 1962, following a lengthy dispute between Cambodia and Thailand over ownership, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague ruled that the temple is in Cambodia.

Affording a view for many kilometers across a plain, Prasat Preah Vihear has the most spectacular setting of all the temples built during the six-century-long Khmer Empire. As a key edifice of the empire's spiritual life, it was supported and modified by successive kings and so bears elements of several architectural styles.

Preah Vihear is unusual among Khmer temples in being constructed along a long north–south axis, rather than having the conventional rectangular plan with orientation toward the east. The temple gives its name to Cambodia's Preah Vihear province, in which it is now located, as well as the Khao Phra Wihan National Park which borders it in Thailand's Sisaket province, though it is no longer accessible from Thailand.

On July 7, 2008, Preah Vihear was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Deep in the forests of Cambodia’s Siem Reap province, the elegant spires of an ancient stone city soar skyward above the sprawling complex of Angkor Archaeological Park.

The Khmer Empire’s various capitals thrived here from the 9th to 15th centuries, while their rulers presided over an empire that stretched from Myanmar (Burma) to Vietnam. Including forested areas and newly discovered “suburbs” Angkor covers more than 400 square kilometers.

Though just one of hundreds of surviving temples and structures, the massive Angkor Wat is the most famed of all Cambodia’s temples - it appears on the nation’s flag - and it is revered for good reason. The 12th century “temple-mountain” was built as a spiritual home for the Hindu god Vishnu. The temple is an architectural triumph laden with artistic treasures like the bas-relief galleries that line many walls and tell enduring tales of Cambodian history and legend.

In other parts of Angkor such art depicts scenes of daily life - offering scholars a precious window into the past.

Reading the below epic guide for Angkor Archaeological Park, you will have all the information you need from its history, maps, best time to visit and so on to have the best out of your Angkor tours

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Banteay Kdei Temple (Prasat Banteay Kdei), meaning "A Citadel of Chambers", also known as "Citadel of Monks' cells", is a Buddhist temple in Angkor, Cambodia. It is located southeast of Ta Prohm and east of Angkor Thom. 

Built in the mid-12th to early 13th centuries AD during the reign of Jayavarman VII (who was posthumously given the title "Maha paramasangata pada"), it is in the Bayon architectural style, similar in plan to Ta Prohm and Preah Khan, but less complex and smaller. Its structures are contained within two successive enclosure walls and consist of two concentric galleries from which emerge towers, preceded to the east by a cloister.

This Buddhist monastic complex is currently dilapidated due to faulty construction and poor quality of sandstone used in its buildings and is now undergoing renovation. Banteay Kdei had been occupied by monks at various intervals over the centuries till 1960s.

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