Home >> Singapore to Ho Chi Minh City Tour to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam - Dossier

Enquire About This Tour Code SESH Singapore to Ho Chi Minh City

Duration: 22 Days Route: Singapore to Ho Chi Minh City Style: Adventure Tours Price: US$1,979.00

Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam

From the tightly packed skyscrapers of Singapore to the expansive tea plantations of the Cameron Highlands, the idyllic white-sand beaches and islands of Thailand and the glittering temples of Cambodia, this classic tour offers a fascinating insight into the diverse cultures and landscapes of South East Asia. Check out the hottest shopping areas of Singapore and Kuala Lumpur and explore the one of the world’s most famous temples at Angkor Wat.

The Great Adventure Sale - 15% Discount on selected departures
 

Tour Dossier Introduction

  • Dossier Last Updated: 27-06-2014
  • Tour Code: SESH
  • Duration: 21 nights / 22 days
  • Joining City: Singapore
  • Departure City: Ho Chi Minh City
  • Nearest Joining International Airport: Singapore Changi Airport (SIN)
  • Nearest Departing International Airport: Ho Chi Minh Cty Tan Son Nhat Int Airport (SGN)

Please check this document just before departing in case of last minute changes to your tour.

What's Included

  • Rickshaw City Tour of Melaka

  • Full Day Trek in the Cameron Highlands

  • Penang Heritage Walk

  • Entry and Guided Tour of the Grand Palace

  • Guided Tour of Angkor Wat

  • Entrance to the Genocide Museum & Killing Fields

  • 20 nights in hotels, hostels & guesthouses, 1 nights on overnight buses

  • 3 breakfasts

  • Travel by local public bus, train, boat, taxi, on foot

  • Tucan Travel Tour Leader, English-speaking local guide(s) on included excursions

What's not Included

  • International flights and departure taxes

  • Domestic flight taxes if applicable

  • Tips on included excursions, visas, travel insurance, personal items and single rooms.

  • Airport transfers and pre and post tour accommodation

  • Spending money – budget for meals, snacks, drinks, limited souvenirs, laundry, tips and any extras

  • Optional excursions - Please see our optional excursions guide on the dossier page for a comprehensive list of optional activities and excursions available on this tour.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 to 1 - Arrive Singapore

The first day of your tour is simply an arrival day with no pre-organised activities. In order to allow time to relax and see some of the sights you may wish to add pre tour accommodation. On arrival please ask at the reception for information on when the pre departure meeting will be held.

Singapore may be small in size, but its larger-than-life attitude and modernisation will ensure your visit here is truly unforgettable. A major international hub, the city will house travellers and business people from all over the world at any given time. You would be forgiven for thinking you should be donned in a suit clutching a briefcase as you lose yourself between the ultra-modern high rise buildings. Like any major city, the shopping is excellent here (although not always cheap). There are many historical and cultural sights to see if you are after an insight into the tradition of this fascinating country. Visit Little India and Chinatown for a glimpse into the old way of life of the city. You may want to don your best travelling garb and try a traditional Singapore Sling at the Long Bar in the famous Raffles Hotel. Steeped in history, this spectacular colonial style hotel is beautiful to see as you make your way to the bar which is more relaxed than you may think as it is a must to throw your peanut shells on the floor! Singapore restaurants are not the cheapest you will come across in South East Asia but if you hit some of the market food stalls or the hawker centres you are sure to delight in an amazing selection of fresh, scrumptious food.

Optional Excursions: Zoological Gardens – US$22 • Singapore History Museum – US$10 • Singapore Botanic Gardens and National Orchid Garden – free

Day 2 to 3 - Melaka

Melaka is one of Malaysia's most popular destinations and was an important trading port several hundred years ago. The historical city centre has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Portuguese settled here in the 16th century and their influence can be seen in much of the architecture around the city. There are many attractions in Melaka, from temples to churches, and mosques to museums. The destination is famous for its traditional Chinese Nyonya cuisine, which you can sample from one of the traditional Peranakan shop houses.

Included Excursions: Rickshaw city tour
Optional Excursions: River cruise from – MYR 20

Day 4 to 5 - Kuala Lumpur

We arrive in Malaysia's lively capital, Kuala Lumpur. A major tourist hub, 'KL' (as it is usually referred) is modern, slightly congested, and it offers all the creature comforts of your average major city. High rises abound, shopping is excellent (and one of the city's major attractions) and its bustling day-to-day goings-on provide an insight into Malay business culture. There are many things to do here - both cultural and indulgent. During your time here, why not check out Berjaya Times Square in the Bukit Bintang area, the biggest mall in Asia - where the 8th floor houses a mini theme park consisting of several roller coasters and white-knuckle rides. You could also visit the tallest twin tower building in the world, the Petronas Towers. There are also many colonial buildings to visit if you feel the need to step back in time and take a break from the modern high rises.

Day 6 to 7 - Cameron Highlands

Named after William Cameron, a British colonial government surveyor who discovered the plateau during in 1885, the Cameron Highlands is a highland region around 1500 metres above sea level. There are many things to do and see here, including: a butterfly farm, strawberry farms, rose gardens, a Chinese temple and vegetable farms. You also have a jungle trek amongst the cool, refreshing forest air. The region's fertile mountain slopes make it one of the best places in the country to grow tea, and there are many tea plantations. The Cameron Highlands is also a major supplier of vegetables to Malaysia and Singapore.

Included Excursions: Full day jungle trek
Optional Excursions: Kuala Kangsar town tour – US$30

Day 8 to 9 - Penang

We make for Penang. We will stay in Georgetown, which is the island's capital. Georgetown possesses a unique charm, blending old and new cultures. Peddlers exhibit their goods surrounded by modern buildings. Old buildings stand side-by-side with new businesses. Take a rickshaw tour and introduce yourself to this lively town or perhaps visit the 65-storey Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak (KOMTAR), a prominent Penang landmark, which houses Government departments, commercial offices, department stores, shops and restaurants.

Included Excursions: Penang Heritage Walk
Optional Excursions: Hill and Temple (Kek Lok Si) – MYR 80 includes guide and train tickets

Day 10 to 10 - Langkawi

Made up of 99 islands, Lankawi is a paradise nestled in north Malaysia. Here we relax on the beach, enjoy the beautiful waters and bury our feet in the sand. Until 1986, the islands were thought to be cursed until they were developed into a poplar destination for tourists.

Day 11 to 13 - Ao Nang

The gateway to the Southern Gulf of Thailand, Ao Nang is the perfect getaway. Here you can relax on quiet deserted beaches, go snorkelling or learn how to dive. There are options for trekking or if you simply want to take in the surrounds you can go island hopping and visit many pristine beaches and natural caves.

Hire a local longtail boat and visit hidden coves and tropical beaches around neighbouring islands. If you're after something a bit more energetic, hire a speedboat to , the small uninhabited islands, which offers fantastic snorkelling and vivid turquoise waters.

Day 14 to 15 - Bangkok

Thailand's capital, Bangkok, a crazy and chaotic city! Known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon pronounced or Krung Thep "city of angels" for short, Bangkok was a small trading post at the mouth of the Chao Phraya River during the Ayutthaya Kingdom. Bangkok is now the gateway to South East Asia for most travellers and international backpackers come and go and the streets are always buzzing and full of life.

No visit to Bangkok is complete without a visit to Khao San Road, the famous strip filled with markets, stalls and neon lights. From people watching to shopping, and nightlife to food and drink, this is the place to be on a night out in Bangkok. If you're feeling adventurous you might wish to try a fried insect or two!

On a more cultural note, Bangkok also boasts hundreds of Wats (temples), with Wat Arun being the main one visited by most travellers. The Grand Palace is also a popular attraction, and for something different you can cruise along the Chao Phraya River and through the canals. Bangkok once had an elaborate network of canals and was given the nickname, 'Venice of the East', and although some of them have been filled in and converted to streets, many still exist today. Travelling through these canals you will see how the locals live along the riverside - you almost forget you are in a large, bustling city.

Included Excursions: Grand Palace
Optional Excursions: Thai Massage per hour from – THB 200 • Wat Phra Kaew – from THB 500 • Thai cookery course – from THB 1200 • Bangkok canal tour – from THB 750

Day 16 to 18 - Siem Reap

Siem Reap is our base for exploring the famous temples of the Angkor area. The name Siem Reap means 'Defeat of Siam' - today's Thailand - and refers to a century-old bloodbath which you can see commemorated in stone in the celebrated bas relief carvings of the monuments around the area.

Our first day we head out on our included excursion to the most famous temple, Angkor Wat, with a guide to give us an overview of the history and layout of the temple. Our remaining time in Siem Reap can be spent at our own leisure exploring this expansive site armed with our cameras and the knowledge from our guide.

There are over one thousand temples here which attract over one million visitors annually. The temples range from small ruins to the famous Angkor Wat, and the site is said to be the world's largest single religious monument.

Angkor Wat, a UNESCO world heritage site, pays homage to the Hindu god Vishnu and has a dazzling array of beautiful ornate carvings. The many ceremonial structures and temples here were built between the 9th and 13th centuries by the Khmer Empire that spanned a period of approximately 600 years. These temples are some of the most famous in the world and take up an area of approximately 160 square kilometres.

There are superb photographic opportunities here at most times of the day so make sure your camera batteries are fully charged and your memory card is ready to go! Tuk-tuks provide a convenient form of transport around the area here, and you can hire a tuk-tuk and driver for the day if you wish. The Angkor area (in and around the Ta Prohm temple) was the site where the film Tomb Raider starring Angelina Jolie was filmed.

Included Excursions: Guided Tour of Angkor Wat
Optional Excursions: Tonle Sap Lake entrance including boat ride – from US$7 (depending on group size) • Landmine Museum entrance – US$3 (US$7 including transport)

Day 19 to 20 - Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh is Cambodia's bustling capital city with a turbulent past. Located on the banks of the Mekong River, Phnom Penh has been the national capital since the French colonised Cambodia during the 19th century. The city has grown from a small fishing village to what is now the industrial, commercial, cultural and historical centre of Cambodia.

Take a visit to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (a former torture centre) and the Choueng Ek Memorial at the site of the Killing Fields, to learn about one aspect of this country's turbulent past.

Phnom Penh has many other attractions including the Russian Market and National Museum. You could also take a stroll along the river's famous Sisowath Quay and enjoy a coffee or cocktail at one of the many cafes while observing the bustling river traffic. You may wish to take a tuk-tuk ride around Phnom Penh (a tuk-tuk is a motorbike-taxi with an enclosed passenger cabin that can fit around 4 people).

Included Excursions: Transport & Entrance to Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and Killing Fields
Optional Excursions: Royal Palace – US$6.50 • National Museum – US$5 • The Silver Pagoda – US$3 • Wat Phnom – US$1

Day 21 to 21 - Ho Chi Minh City

Today you will cross your final border in to Vietnam. It is a full day's drive and the perfect opportunity to marvel out the window at the beautiful scenery that passes by. Arriving in to Ho Chi Minh in the early evening, there is time for a final meal with your group.

Ho Chi Minh City was known as Saigon until the end of the Vietnam War (around 1975). Originally a small fishing village, it is now the most important economic centre in Vietnam and is the largest city in the country.

Traffic in the city is fairly hectic at the best of times but getting around is suprisingly easy by taxi or motorbike taxi, although drivers may not always speak English. Bus is the only form of public transport and motorbikes rule the road; there are around 3 million motorbikes cruising around the streets of Ho Chi Minh City.

If you're interested in the history of the Vietnam War make sure you visit the War Remnants Museum and the Reunification Hall before you leave the city. If you're less of a history buff and more in the mood to haggle for a bargain, don't miss Ho Chi Minh's largest market, the Ben Thanh Market. You can buy everything from cosmetics to live ducks here. There are also numerous food stalls at this market, and at the popular night market nearby. The food in Ho Chi Minh is some of the best and most diverse in all of Vietnam so make sure you eat well during your stay. There are also many bars and clubs to spend your evening in.

Optional Excursions: War Remnants Museum – VND 15,000 • The Reunification Palace – VND 20,000 • Cu Chi Tunnels – VND 90,000 (plus transport)

Day 22 to 22 - Depart Ho Chi Minh City

Your adventure of a lifetime comes to an end today. If you have a late flight or have lengthened your stay by adding post tour accommodation you will have more time to explore the sights.

Day by Day Itinerary

Day Activity Country Meals Single Room
Day 1 Singapore Singapore
Day 2 Melaka Malaysia
Day 3 Melaka
Day 4 Kuala Lumpur
Day 5 Kuala Lumpur
Day 6 Cameron Highlands
Day 7 Cameron Highlands
Day 8 Penang
Day 9 Penang B
Day 10 Langkawi Thailand B
Day 11 Ao Nang
Day 12 Ao Nang
Day 13 Overnight bus/train to Bangkok
Day 14 Bangkok
Day 15 Bangkok
Day 16 Siem Reap Cambodia
Day 17 Siem Reap
Day 18 Siem Reap
Day 19 Phnom Penh
Day 20 Phnom Penh
Day 21 Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
Day 22 Ho Chi Minh City B

(B - Breakfast, L - Lunch, D - Dinner included)

For tours that include the option of a single supplement, a ✔ will indicate in which destinations single rooms are available.

The detailed and day by day itineraries above are provided in good faith and it is our intention to adhere to the published route. Changes may be made before or during your tour for operational or safety reasons or to incorporate improvements. Impromptu changes may also occur whilst you are travelling as a result of one-off circumstances such as an excursion being closed on a particular day, weather conditions or transport. Delays are rare but occur occasionally and for this reason and the reasons above this itinerary should be considered as a guide only. Published transport times are approximations and may vary depending on local conditions.

Travel Style

This is an Adventure Tour, we see a destination from the locals' perspective using a variety of transport and staying in small locally owned accommodation. There is a maximum of 16 travellers with an average group size of 8-12. All our Adventure Tours are priced per person on a shared room basis meaning there is no compulsory extra payment for those travelling on their own. Please read the Adventure Tour travel style dossier to ensure you understand the style of travel you are undertaking: http://www.tucantravel.com/travel-styles/dossier/adventure-tours

I'd like my own room

If you are a solo traveller, a single room is available on most occasions at an extra cost. Price information can be found on the price page of each tour. This must be booked in advance.

Joining your tour

Your joining location is:

Hangout Hotel@Mt Emily
10A Upper Wilke Road
Singapore

Tel: (+65) 6438 5588
Email: enquiries@hanmgouthotels.com
Website: www.hangouthotels.com

There are safe deposit boxes for your use (you will get an itemised receipt). Please leave all of your important documents, money and travellers cheques here when you go out but remember to carry some form of ID and a photocopy of your passport with you.

It is advisable not to wear chains or expensive looking watches or jewellery while in major cities. You should also keep your camera concealed when not in use and carry daypacks on your front for extra safety.

Arriving in Singapore

When arriving at Singapore’s Changi International Airport we recommend that you obtain some Singaporean dollars (SGD) upon arrival. There are numerous international ATMs inside the airports, as well as money exchange offices. The rate will always vary slightly depending on where you go, it may be worth changing a small amount of money at the airport for your transport, and then finding a bank or money exchange within the town centre.

Making your own way

A taxi from the airport to the hotel will cost roughly S$25. Taxis are reliable and remember to insist to always go by meter.

The Metro runs from a station between T2 and T3, but you'll need to change trains at Tanah Merah to a city-bound train: just exit through the left hand side door and cross the platform. The 30-minute ride to City Hall station costs S$1.90 plus a refundable S$1 deposit.

Pre-Departure Meeting

When you arrive on day one of your trip, you should find some local information at the hotel lobby. Your tour leader will be staying in the hotel and should have put up a welcome note to let you know what room they are in. A pre-departure meeting is usually held in the afternoon or early evening of day one. You will need to bring the following important items to the meeting with your tour leader:

  • Your passport, including any necessary visas and at least one photocopy to give to your tour leader
  • Vaccination certificates if relevant to any destinations on your tour
  • Travel insurance policy and a photocopy to give to your tour leader
  • Your travel voucher
  • Your local payment in US$ cash (Budget Expeditions only)

Missing the tour departure

If you miss the start of your tour, please ask at the reception of the hotel for a message from your tour leader which will give you instructions on how to catch up with the group. Any associated costs will be at your own expense (although, depending on the reason, you may be able to claim these from your travel insurance so ensure you keep all receipts).

If you know in advance that you are unlikely to arrive on time, please contact Tucan Travel immediately so we can inform the tour leader. Tucan Travel cannot be held responsible should your airline/boat/coach be delayed and we are unable to refund any unused portion of your tour.

Time Keeping

Punctuality is very important and throughout the tour your tour leader will give you the time to meet in reception. Tour leaders will often post notes at reception with meeting times, so remember to always look out for these.

Although rare, delays can occur and we therefore advise you not to arrange your onward travel too close to the end of the tour. We take no responsibility for any missed flights or additional expenses If the group arrives late into the departure city at the end of the tour.

Emergency Contact Details

In the unlikely event of an emergency, please contact our Asia Destinations Manager on +44 (0)203 129 3763

Emergency contact details are a service for emergency calls only. We respectfully request that you consider the urgency of your enquiry. Non-urgent enquiries should be made during office hours. Visit contact us page for office hours.

Keeping in Touch

Your tour leader will point out internet cafes in all major cities and towns and Wi-Fi may be available in some hotels. Mobile phones may not work locally depending on your network. If you have an unlocked phone you may be able to purchase a local SIM card. Hotel details, apart from the joining hotel, are not given in advance and are subject to change, so if someone needs to contact you urgently during your tour the best method is to contact our office who can pass a message on to the tour leader.

Money

For personal spending money we recommend bringing US dollars, Pounds Sterling or Euros to exchange for or use alongside local currency. Travellers cheques are not accepted everywhere and can be expensive to exchange, but offer a more secure way of transporting funds. While bank cards provide a very good way to access funds overall, it is not recommended to rely on them as your sole source of funds as cash machines do not always work and may not be available in remote locations. Carry a mix of cards and cash with you, including notes in small denominations.

ATMs are fairly commonplace and pay out in local currency, except in Cambodia where US dollars is the main form of currency. If the ATM doesn’t work after the first two attempts, find another machine as it may retain your card the third time. Always make sure no one else sees your PIN number when using ATMs.

Your spending money should cover some meals, optional excursions, souvenirs, drinks, laundry, border and airport taxes and any visas obtained locally. We provide guideline prices for optional excursions in the itinerary to help you budget, but ultimately the amount you will need to budget for your trip very much depends on your individual requirements. We recommend bringing extra money to cover emergencies or unexpected situations.

Tipping

Tipping is a part of the life in Asia, but you should not feel obliged or pressured to tip if you have not received good service. A gratuity of 10% of the total bill is recommended in restaurants. Gratuities are usually expected for local guides on included and optional excursions. Tips are also appreciated by Tucan Travel tour leaders at the end of your tour and we recommend an average of $2-$4 per person per day for the duration of your tour. This is only if you feel that their service was up to standard and is completely at your own discretion.

Packing List

The best advice when packing is to travel light and leave space for souvenirs in your bag.

Luggage

It is important to bring luggage you can carry and lift comfortably, potentially up several flights of stairs in hotels where elevators are not available and between bus/train stations and hotels. There may be times when you have to get your luggage through crowded streets which may be cobbled or store your luggage in lockers. Luggage too large for lockers will have to be left insecurely or carried for the duration of the day.

We recommend a frameless backpack or a sports type shoulder bag which fits comfortably on your shoulders, as they are less bulky and easier to handle than rigid suitcases or framed backpacks. Suitcases are not suitable for our tours and are not recommended. Tucan Travel takes no responsibility for damage to your luggage while on tour.

In addition to your main bag, you will need a small daypack for your everyday excursions. Try to keep this bag as light as possible and make sure that all main sections of your bags can be padlocked. This daypack should have enough room to carry food and snacks for long hikes and treks and space to carry belongings for overnight excursions.

Sleeping Sheet

Sleeping bags are not required on this tour, but a sleeping bag liner/sleep sheet is optional if you wish to bring one along. Some passengers like to use them on long bus journeys and overnight trains.

Clothing and Footwear

We recommend packing lightweight and durable clothes. Nights can be cold at higher altitude, so it is a good idea to bring at least one pair of warm trousers plus several thinner sweaters / fleeces which you can layer. Please avoid military or camouflage-patterned clothing as it can cause problems and in some countries may be illegal. In some sacred and religious areas you will be required to cover your shoulders and knees as a sign of respect (this often applies to men as well as women). A sarong or light scarf can be very useful in these scenarios.

Good, comfortable walking shoes are essential. These do not need to be expensive boots, but they should have good ankle support and grip, be worn in and ideally waterproof.

Essential items:

  • A lightweight water/windproof jacket with hood
  • East to pack wide-brimmed hat of cap
  • Towel - you will need a towel for most overnight excursions
  • Swimwear
  • Sandals or thongs/jandals/flip flops

Suggested items:

  • Money belt
  • Sunglasses
  • Small calculator
  • Small collapsible umbrella
  • Universal washbasin plug
  • Head torch or flashlight
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Lip balm, sun block with high UV factor
  • Wet wipes
  • Cheap plastic watch
  • Plenty of spare memory cards for your camera
  • Spare rechargeable batteries for camera
  • Writing materials, address book and diary
  • Travel games, cards and a couple of paperbacks
  • Toilet paper (best to carry a roll with you at all times and/or tissues)
  • Small medical kit with diarrhoea remedy, rehydration salts, antiseptic cream, sterile dressings, plasters, bandages, pain-killers, safety pins etc.
  • Plastic bags for waterproofing
  • Inflatable pillow
  • Swiss army type penknife
  • Binoculars
  • Travel plug adaptor with a USB port
  • Small sewing kit
  • Insect repellent (DEET 35% min) and bite cream
  • Antibactarial hand clensing gel
  • Ear plugs and sleep mask
  • Travel sickness tablets
  • Spare pair of spectacles or contact lenses and solution
  • Hard drive or USB stick to back up your photos
  • Pocket size phrasebook
  • Pegless washing line & travel laundry detergent (bio-degradable preferable)
  • As gifts for local children - pens, coloured pencils, small notepads. To discourage a begging mentality we recommend that you try to give these gifts at schools or childcare centres rather than on the street.

Laundry

There are usually laundromats or laundry services in or near most of our hotels. Hotel services can be pretty costly however your tour leader will be able to recommend cheaper options. If you wash clothes yourself take care not to be too obvious where you hang them as most hotels do not like guests washing and drying their clothes in the hotel rooms.

Electricity Supply

The power supply in Asia differs not only from country to country but sometimes from region to region within a country.

  • Vietnam, Thailand & Laos require a European plug with two circular metal pins
  • Singapore and Malaysia requires a three square pin power sockets as in the UK.
  • Japan requires a plug with two flat parallel prongs similar to those used in North and Central America. However, the Japanese plug has two identical flat prongs.
  • China use a Japanese-style plug with two parallel flat blades; Australian-style plug with two flat angled blades and one vertical grounding blade; British-style plug with two flat blades and one flat grounding blade; South African/Indian-style plug with two circular metal pins above a large circular
  • Cambodia uses a European plug with two circular metal pins or Japanese-style plug with two parallel flat blades.
  • Nepal uses 2 or 3 round prongs as found in the US. You will also need a voltage converter.
  • India use South African/Indian-style plug with two circular metal pins above a large circular grounding pin.
  • Central Asia, Indonesia, Russia and Mongolia use a European plug with two circular metal pins.

We recommend bringing a universal plug adaptor with you.

Health, Fitness & Safety

Vaccinations

It is important to consult your doctor or travel clinic in good time before your tour departs to determine what vaccinations you require. You may need several vaccinations and/or malaria tablets and you should be aware that some inoculations require more than one visit and can take several weeks to administer. Always carry your International Certificate of Vaccination with your passport.

Malaria can be found in some parts of Asia. The risk is greater in rainforests or other areas at sea level. If required make sure you pack sufficient prophylactics for the duration of your tour and the incubation period after. You should take a good insect repellent (with DEET) and apply liberally and regularly. Flying-insect spray or mosquito coils (containing a pyrethroid insecticide) can help clear rooms of mosquitoes and may be worth bringing.

Pack a Medical Kit

A medical kit is handy for minor wounds and ailments. In areas with limited or dubious medical facilities, an emergency medical kit containing sterile syringes is also advisable. By law our staff are not allowed to administer first aid or give drugs to travellers, so please be prepared with your own supplies.

If you are taking medication, please ensure you bring an adequate supply and a letter from your doctor to avoid potential issues at border crossings.

Fitness & Suitability

This is a public transport-based tour so it is essential that you be able to carry your bags over distances between bus and train stations and hotels, generally for up to 20 minutes. Disruptions happen and while your tour leader will make every effort to ensure your trip runs smoothly, patience, a sense of humour and willingness to get involved and help your tour leader are essential ingredients for a successful and happy group.

If you have any pre-existing medical conditions please let us know at the time you book or as early before departure as possible. Depending on the severity of the condition, you may be asked to produce a medical certificate from your doctor approving your participation in this tour. While this would only happen in very exceptional circumstances, if we consider you incapable completing this tour or you have concealed an existing medical condition which is affecting your ability to participate in the tour of Tucan Travel reserve the right to turn you away without reimbursement.

Safety & Security

Asia is generally safe, even more so in a group. Reasonable precaution is advised; do not bring valuable jewellery or watches (even fakes can catch the eye of a thief), do not walk by yourself at night, heed your tour leader’s advice and always keep an eye and a hand on your camera and bags in public places. Tucan Travel cannot accept responsibility for any valuables left in safe deposits in hotels or on public transport.

Travel Guides

If you would like to discover more about your destination, including history, geography, climate and language, please have a read of our country travel guides available here: http://www.tucantravel.com/destination-travel-guides/asia-travel-guides.

Documents

Passport

Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months after you have finished your tour with sufficient blank pages for visas and immigration stamps. Photocopy your passport, leaving one copy at home and taking one with you on tour. If you lose your passport while on tour, you will be responsible for any expenses incurred such as extra accommodation and transport while replacing your passport and will not be entitled to a refund of any unused portion of your tour.

Tour Documents

Before you depart you will be issued with a voucher for your tour and separate vouchers for any extra services such as airport transfers and pre/post tour accommodation. Please print these out and bring them with you. This dossier is updated regularly, so we recommend checking our website for the latest version just prior to the start of your tour.

Final Balance

The balance for your tour is due no later than 60 days prior to the start of your tour and no tour vouchers will be issued until this is received. In addition please send the following details at least 60 days before you depart:

  • Passport number, date of issue, date of expiry, nationality and place of issue
  • Your full name and date of birth
  • Flight arrival details in your starting city
  • Special requirements, e.g. special dietary requirements or allergies

Please let us know if you are travelling with another person on the tour but have made separate bookings and we will endeavour to make suitable rooming arrangements.

Visas

All countries have visa requirements that are subject to change at short notice. A general guideline for visa requirements is available here: http://www.tucantravel.com/before-you-go/visa-guide, but you must check with your local embassy or consulate for the very latest visa requirement information based on your nationality. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have all necessary visas for your tour. If you would like help applying for visas, we have recommended visa agencies on our visa page that we work with regularly.

Important things to check when applying for visas:

  • Does the validity of the visa cover the duration of your time spent in the country?
  • Do you require a single or multiple entry visa(s) for your tour?
  • Are you required to show additional documentation when you arrive in a country? (Examples include proof of onward travel and travel itinerary)

Some visas are only valid for entry within three months of the date of issue which means on some of our longer tours the visa would expire before you are scheduled to enter the country. In these cases you must obtain the relevant visa during your tour. If it is necessary for you to obtain any visas en-route, please contact Tucan Travel or your travel consultant and inform your tour leader at the start of the tour. If you do not have the appropriate visas, Tucan Travel will not reimburse any expenses incurred in acquiring visas or any unused portion of the tour.

It is best to apply for visas in your home country if possible. If applying for visas by post, please allow plenty of time before departure and send your application by registered mail. Postal applications tend to be given a lower priority than in person applications and can take longer to process.

Special Note: If you have dual nationality it is advised not to obtain different visas in different passports. Although this may sometimes be cheaper, you may encounter problems at border crossings if your exit stamps from one country are not the same as your visa for the next.

Travel Insurance Policy

Travel insurance is compulsory for all tours. You must be adequately insured for medical, hospital, baggage and personal expenses, any necessary extra travel (rejoining tour or repatriation) as well as curtailment and cancellation.

We strongly recommend that all clients carry a copy of their full policy document with them at all times, together with any certificate showing the policy number and emergency contact details. Your tour leader will also ask for a photocopy of your insurance document, so please take this to the pre-departure meeting at the start of your tour. You will not be able to commence your tour unless you can provide proof of insurance to your tour leader.

Document Checklist

  • Tour Voucher & Vouchers for extra services
  • Passport (with photocopies of information pages and visas)
  • Tour Dossier
  • Cash & credit/debit cards (best to take a mixture and more than one card in case one does not work)
  • Travel Insurance Certificate and photocopy for tour leader
  • Travel consultant's phone number and email address
  • Proof of onward travel, ie airline ticket

Optional Excursions

Optional excursions are not operated by Tucan Travel and while every effort is made prices may not be up-to-date and are intended as a general guide to help you budget for your trip. Prices for vehicle-based excursions such as game drives are approximate based on the optimum number of participants and the actual price may vary depending on group size.

Sufficient safety equipment such as helmets and life jackets are sometimes not available and Tucan Travel is unable to provide this equipment. If you intend to participate in an optional excursion you may like to consider bringing your own safety gear.

Excursions are run by a local operator or third party with both Tucan Travel and the Tour Leader acting as a booking agent only. Optional activities are not part of the tour and Tucan Travel’s booking conditions do not apply to them. It is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct travel insurance for the excursions you intend to take part in and Tucan Travel is not liable for any injuries incurred.

Responsible Travel

We work hard to ensure our tours are sustainably and ethically run. You can read our responsible travel policy and advice on how you can travel responsibly here: http://www.tucantravel.com/about-us/responsible-travel.

Meet Up

Our free Meet Up app, available on Facebook, on iTunes and Google Play is an opportunity to chat with others passengers before you depart or keep in touch when you arrive back from tour. Information on the app is available here: http://www.tucantravel.com/before-you-go/meet-up

Add-ons & Extras

On many of our Group Tours, we spend one night in our arrival and departure cities. If you want to explore these cities more we can book pre and post tour accommodation, city tours and airport transfers for you. Price information can be found on the price page of each tour. We also have Add-ons - short packages that can be booked alongside a tour or on their own and have been carefully designed to ensure you don't miss out on popular highlights.

Illegal Drugs

The possession or use of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our tours. When overseas you are subject to local laws and the penalties for breaking these laws can be harsh. In order to safeguard the interests of the group as a whole, our tour leaders have been instructed to insist that any person found with illegal drugs leave the tour immediately – without refund. The tour leader’s decision on this matter is final. If you need to carry certain drugs with you for purposes of medication, please inform your tour leader and ensure that you carry a copy of your prescription or letter from your doctor.

Customer Reviews

Elizabeth

"One of the best ways to do South America! Stunning sights, unbelievably knowledge tour and local guides and time well spent with lifelong friends. An experience like no other."

Received March 2014

Click here to read more Reviews

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