Travel Tips & Frequently Ask Questions (FAQs)

Passion Indochina Travel is a leading International tour company based in Southeast Asia. We specialize in designing flexible and customised tours throughout Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar (Burma). In order to offer each one of our guests a unique travel experience in Southeast Asia, our team has extensively traveled to every corner of the region, discovering the most authentic locations and exciting activities to suit a variety of travel styles and interests.

We strongly recommend that our guests invest in a comprehensive travel insurance policy, with good medical coverage. We feel it is better to be safe than sorry and there are many situations where you be grateful that you spent that bit extra. It is important to be aware that in many of the countries that you will be traveling to, they will not have as good a health-care system as to might be used to. There are excellent international hospitals in South-East Asia, but they are very expensive, so it's best to have insurance in place just in case.  

Our main goal is to make sure you have the best possible time during your trip and get the most out of this experience. Please consider the tours we have on our website as a basis from which you can build your perfect trip. If you have read about something else available in the area you are visiting, we will do our best to arrange it for you. Just send us an inquiry with what you would like to do and we will prepare a revised itinerary and quotation as soon as possible. 

In some places, there will be people begging for money or food. It is your choice if you would like to support these people; many sell books or souvenirs and you should feel free to buy from them if you wish. If you do not want to, just stay a firm 'No, sorry' or 'No, Thank you' and then turn away. 

With regards to street children, we strongly discourage you from giving them any money or even buying them food. There are many NGOs (Non-Government Organisations) working hard to keep these children off the streets, where they are extremely vulnerable to any number of dangers. If you would like to help, we recommend asking at your hotel which NGOs are supporting them and make a direct donation to those projects.

Should you or someone in your group have any special needs, please inform us as soon as you can, so we can make any necessary arrangements to facilitate you. If you are handicapped or have any physical limitations, we will make sure to prepare an itinerary that you will be happy with and provide accommodation that will make your stay as comfortable as possible. We also need to be aware of any allergies (food or otherwise) or dietary requirements you may have. 

You shouldn't worry about communicating; in most of the places you are going they will have a good grasp of English and of course, most of the time you will be with a English-Speaking guide who will be able to help you. It's always nice to learn a few words in the local language; just ask your guide or a member of staff and they will help you. Local people always appreciate it if you make that effort, but it is by no means expected. 

With a private tour, you have a flexible itinerary designed around your interests, needs, and budget. You have the power to decide where you want to go, when you want to go, and where to stay on your trip. You will have personal tour guides who can focus on and accommodate to your specific needs. You will not be forced to travel in a large group with strangers, or have a set-in-stone itinerary which is not adjustable to your individual requests.

As you see on our site, we do have many sample itineraries created, however these are only suggestions to give you ideas about the kind of journey you may take. Once you have come up with a general idea of the adventure you would like to embark on, send us a message and we will be happy to create a personalized itinerary for you and your perfect dream holiday.

It is always best to book ahead of time for the greatest deals, however, we are dedicated to providing our guests with the best service, and would be happy to plan a trip for you as last minute as necessary!

There are many reasons which make booking with Passion Indochina Travel better than merely booking a trip online. First of all, we are regional experts. In order to offer each one of our guests a unique travel experience in Southeast Asia, our team has extensively traveled to every corner of Southeast Asia, discovering the most authentic locations and exciting activities to suit a variety of travel styles and interests. Our knowledgeable insights and special itineraries created by our highly-experienced travel professionals will provide you with an unforgettable adventure in Southeast Asia. Secondly, we have phenomenal guides who are locals to the region. We have handpicked the best guides who truly love their countries, hoping that they will spread this genuine love to you. Another reason to not book online is that websites do not always tell the truth. Many hotels do not look as they appear online, reviews could be biased or fake, and hidden fees could be everywhere. We have tested all of our hotels, eaten at our suggested restaurants, and visited all of the local villages. When you book with us, you will know exactly what you are paying for and will be introduced to new and exciting places that aren't necessarily available to the general public. This is the best place to come for an authentic off-the-beaten-track travel experience in an amazing part of the world. 

When you book with Passion Indochina Travel, a 30% deposit is due at time of booking and the full payment is due by the end of your trip. All payments are made through Payway. If your tour takes you to Siem Reap, you are welcome to visit our Cambodia office to make your payment in person.

If you wish to change your itinerary after full payment has been made we will try our best to accommodate any changes but it depends on each individual supplier. We therefore take it case by case, but will do everything we can to make your holiday a dream come true! We insist that all our clients have adequate travel insurance that covers them for cancellations and any other unexpected problems.

Although we take as many precautions as possible to make sure your belongings are safe, we are travelling to some exciting destinations that are home to very skilled pick-pockets and theives. Fortunately, the majority of tourist-related crimes in this region are non-violent, so, as traveling anywhere else, just be careful! Travel insurance is always suggested and a lockable bag or money belt will make you better safe than sorry! 

We recommend having access to money from a variety of different sources such as cash, bank cards and travel money cards. It is suggested to split your cards and money up and do not bring everything out at once, as you would be out of luck for the remainder of your journey if your things were to be lost or stolen!

Yes, many countries in this region do require a tourist visa.  However, for your convenience, these visa fees will be included in our final quotation for your tour. We will help you to obtain these visas and organize everything to make it as simple as possible.

Prior to departure, check with your service provider to see if they have any agreements with the countries you will be traveling through.  If not, it is always possible to buy an international plan if you are in need of phone access during your trip. However, wifi is available around every corner. Almost every restaurant, cafe, and bar provides free wifi, so you don't need to worry about any difficulties accessing the internet!

It is not too difficult to communicate in Southeast Asia, as many people do speak a basic amount of English. However, this depends greatly on where you are. In a place like Bangkok, many people will be able to speak to you. In somewhere like rural Cambodia, it will be much more difficult to communicate with the locals. In most major cities, streets will be swarming with tuk tuk drivers who speak enough English to take you to where you need to go and people who work in hotels and restaurants may know even more. Luckily, with Passion Indochina Travel, this is not an issue you need to worry about. Included in your tour, we will provide you with local guides who will be able to aid you every step of the way, giving you somebody to communicate any problems or concerns with, should they arise. It is always helpful to learn key phrases such as "hello" and "thank you" in the language of any country that you are about to visit. 

Although it is advised to not eat street food in Southeast Asia, it is where you can find some of the cheapest and tastiest dishes. If street food is something you would like to try, just make sure to be aware of a few things. Firstly, your food should always be served hot. Watch them cook it in front of you. Boiling point kills germs and bacteria, so if it is not steaming hot, then it may be unsafe to eat. Beware of anything with ice products in it. Water from the tap is unsafe to drink in these countries, and you do not know where their ice came from. Also, pay attention to the time of day. If you go to a street cart for lunch after 1pm then you are probably just buying bad leftovers. Go to busy food carts. This is an indicator that food is tasty and/or inexpensive, and therefore probably freshly cooked. Enjoy!

Tipping is very much the norm in Cambodia, especially in the service industry and you should be prepared to tip guides, drivers and porters who assist you during your stay.

As a guideline if you are travelling alone we would recommend that you tip your guide $8 per day. If travelling in a couple you should offer $10 per couple per day. If you are travelling in a group of 3-4 then tipping between $10-15 per group per day is about right. For groups larger than four allow an increase roughly equating to 10% more for each additional person in the group. For your driver please tip around half of the total tip given to your guide. If your itinerary is more intensive and incorporates more specialised elements such as trekking then increase these guidelines by 20% or more depending on your satisfaction level. Higher tips are very welcome for exceptional guides.

For porters a tip of $1 per person per bag is appropriate and it is useful to have several dollar bill notes to hand for your convenience, alternatively an equivalent amount in local currency will suffice.

Bargaining is the rule in markets, and when negotiating rates with taxi drivers (always agree a price before your journey begins), but you won't need to be as forceful as you would in Thailand or Vietnam.