Travel Ideas

Travel plan to Vietnam

Hanoi and surrounding region from Halong to Ninh Binh (Tam Coc, Hoa Lu, Van Long): around 5 - 7 days.
Hanoi and Sapa: around 3 – 5 days.
Northern Mountain traveling: Around 5 – 10 days to visit more or less the region of the ethic villages in the north. In this area, you can enjoy hiking, trekking, homestay…
Central Vietnam: Hue and Hoian: about 3 - 5 days to visit the world heritage sites in Vietnam such as Hue citadel, Nguyen Emperors’ tombs, the ancient town in Hoian or enjoy the beach in Hoian.
Southern Vietnam: Saigon and the Mekong delta: 3 – 7 days to visit the most vibrant metropolis city in Vietnam and the rest of the time to discover the Mekong delta.
Vietnam beach break: Vietnam is a tropical country and it has a long coastline, therefore, it is a great idea to enjoy a beach break in some the best beaches in the world such as: My Khe, Hoian, Quy Nhon, Nha Trang, Phan Thien and Phu Quoc. They are dream destinations. If you start your trip from the north, you can end the trip with the stunning beaches in the south. For more information about your plan, please contact our travel consultant.


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Travel plan to Cambodia

Phnom Penh and Siem Reap with famous Angkor temples are the two best destinations in Cambodia and it will take you around 3-5 days.
To discover more places such as Battambang, an old city, the beach city of Kep and Sihanoukville will take around 3- 5 days. To visit Katie and Mondulkiri- a mountainous area needs around 3-5 days.


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Travel plan to Laos

These are the best destinations: Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Xieng Khuang, Pakse – 4000 Islands.
Luang Prabang is a “must see” and you could stay there from 2 to 4 days.
Vientiane is the capital of Laos. A 2 day stay is enough.
Xieng Khuang needs 3 days to discover and Pakse – 4000 islands will take you 3 to 5 days more.

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Travel plan to Myanmar

This is a long and big nation. To discover the gorgeous landscapes and colorful culture, you will need a month. However, Authentik Travel will help you to select the best destinations and duration of stay for your reference.

In Yangon: the former capital, a modern vibrant city of Myanmar with international airport. You will need a 2 day stay. 1 first arrival day and 1 last stay day. That is sufficient time.
In Bagan: This is the “must see” area with thousands and thousands of temples and pagodas that are stretched in the big plain. A 2 night stay in Bagan will bring you to another tranquil world.

In Mandalay: also a former capital and nowadays, a modern city, you can find peace in most areas of the city. Mandalay is also the Buddha University. It takes you 2 night stay and in case you would like to extend some more days, it's possible to visit Pyinoolwin, which is a 2 hour drive from Mandalay. Then connect to Hsipaw and Lashio, mountainous areas. It is great to discover the minority villages, trekking and hiking.
In Inle Lake: This is the lake in the mountain ranges. It is cool all year round. It is famous for one leg rowers and floating gardens, and the stunning landscapes surrounded by mountain ranges.
Discover the lake, some traditional villages by the lake and time to relax will take you at least 2 days.

Beach break: Myanmar is strongly affected by monsoons so the beaches will be closed from May to September. Do not think about the beaches in Myanmar during these months.
The greatest one is Ngapali beach; you could stay there from 2 nights to a week. It is worth spending some time there.
Mrauk U: this is a special place, isolated from others. To get there, the best way is by boat. There are many old temples like Bagan but it is more tranquil and mysterious. A  4 or 5 day stay will give you time to uncover this awesome area.

There are many other beauty spots such as: Mt Popa, Monywa, Golden Rock, HpaAn, Mawlaymine, Amanda Bay. It takes from 2 days to 10 days to visit these places. For better planning, please do not hesitate to contact our travel consultant.

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Reservations, Payments and Cancellations

Am I protected when travelling with Authentik Travel?

Am I protected when travelling with Authentik Travel?
Authentik Travel –Managed by Authentik Vietnam Co, ltd is a Registered Travel Company by Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.

The registration of the company is with a capital of 1.5 Billion VND or 70 000 USD.
International Tour Operation license requires a compulsory deposit of 25 000 USD in the National Bank. This is an obligation of a professional Tour Operator.
These are 2 MUST conditions for a travel company. Without them, we would not be allowed to organize any trips for foreign tourists.

These funds are useful for the following cases:
Reimbursement if the client(s) did not receive the services for which they paid. In the event of travel company’s closure.
Reimbursement if the client(s) has not received the services that were confirmed by agreement with a Travel Company.

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How to book a trip with Authentik Travel?

After dealings and clients confirm to use our services, we will require a small deposit to secure the services.
30% deposit of the total amount is required. The deposit can be made by bank transfer or by online payment SSL.
Reservation method: All reservations must be made at Authentik Travel by email. Once everything is confirmed, Authentik Travel will send full confirmations and invoices to our clients by email.
Outstanding balance: It will be settled before your trip. Clients can choose from the following payment methods: bank transfer, online payment or cash on arrival.

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How to pay?

Authentik Travel allows clients to pay by several methods:

-Bank transfer:
Clients can make a bank transfer to our Company’s account. The bank transfer fees will be charged to the client. This is our account:
Beneficiary’s address: To 5, Tu Dinh, Long Bien, Hanoi.
USD account number: 0011374175488
EUR account number: 0011144175499
Bank name: Bank for foreign trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank)
Bank’s address: 31-33 Ngo Quyen, Hanoi.
Swift code: B F T V V N V X 001
Note: IBAN is not required in Vietnam.

-Online Payment by cards (ONEPAY security portal)
Clients can pay by card online through the ONEPAY portal system. We accept: Visa, MasterCard, American Express and JCB card
Once we receive your confirmation, Authentik Travel will send you the” invoice for online payment” via email. You just follow the instruction by click on the secured link.
The secured fee for online payment will be charged (by bank) as following: 
Visa, master, JCB: 3.3%
Amex:  3.85%

After entering the card information, if clients do not receive any confirmation of the transaction via the online payment gateway or Authentik Travel, please DO NOT try again. Please contact us to verify the transaction and payment order.
-Card payment on site:
Payment by credit card by POS machine is possible for the outstanding balance.
Authentik Travel accepts: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB and Diners Club. Payment is made at Authentik Travel’s office in Hanoi.
The bank fee will be applied as following:
2% of the amount to be paid for the Visa card.
3% for the MasterCard
3.3% for JCB and Diners Club cards
4% for the American Express card
Note: payment by credit card on site is possible in VND only. The foreign currencies (EUR, USD) must be converted to VND according to the national bank exchange rate at the date of payment.

-Cash payment:
Cash payments are made to Authentik Travel’s office in Hanoi or directly to our local travel agents. We accept the following currencies: EUR, USD, FRANC SUISSE, CANADIAN DOLLAR, JBP.
The exchange rate is based on the official rate of the biggest bank, Vietcombank on the payment date. Unlike other payment methods, payment in cash is not subject to any fees.

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When is the best time to book a trip with Authentik Travel?

If you travel in high season from October to the end of April, we advise you to book as soon as possible.
For your information, around half of tourists travelling in the high season have booked from 3- 6 months in advance.

It is possible to book at the last minute however, be aware that there will be less choice for accommodation and the airfares are likely to be more expensive. Furthermore, it is difficult to find competent tour guides for a dozen travel days, especially in the high season.

Outside of the high season, it is less important to book the trip so early in advance. Services are more available except on national holidays.
Whatever season, we strongly recommend booking the services as soon as possible. You always save more, especially on air tickets.

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What are the cancellation fees?

Cancellation by clients:
In case of cancellation for any reason, clients must immediately notify Authentik Travel by either letter or email. Clients agree to pay the penalties according to the cancellation policy by Authentik Travel:
45 days prior to the trip: No charge
44 – 31 days prior to the trip: 5% total amount of the trip.
30 – 21 days prior to the trip: 15% total amount of the trip.
20 – 11 days prior to the trip: 30% total amount of the trip.
10 – 7 days prior to the trip: 50% total amount of the trip.
6 – 2 days prior to the trip: 75% total amount of the trip.
1 – 0 day prior to the trip: 100% total amount of the trip.
These fees are used to cover the penalties from our service suppliers such us: accommodations, flights, boats, cruises, trains, land transport…
Postponed trips are not subject to penalties. But subject to the cancellation fees which is the clients’ responsibility.

This rule is applied to all services reserved by clients via Authentik Travel.  In the case that Authentik Travel has to refund clients, the refund will be made by bank transfer. The bank fee will be paid by the clients.
In cases of force majeure, clients may in principle appoint other people to replace them on the trip under the same conditions. The new clients have to pay a deposit for the trip. Also, the service providers (Hotels, airlines, train, boat, cruise…) must accept this change

In case of cancellations by clients due to some major causes (sickness, death, accidents, natural disasters…), we will try our best to negotiate with service providers (accommodations, trains, flight, transportation…) to get the cancellation fees as low as possible. In this case, Authentik travel agrees to reimburse the outstanding amount.

Cancellation by Authentik Travel
The travel contract with Authentik Travel may be canceled due to force majeure: Unpredictable things such as war, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, bad weather, epidemic disease, fire, etc. In this case, clients will get fully reimbursed. If the force majeure interrupts the clients’ journey, Authentik Travel will reimburse the unused services. Claim for damages are excluded.
Possible to change the program during the trip and is it free?

Modification by clients:
Clients may require to modify the program at any time. If the new services cost extra, then pay the generated expenses directly to Authentik Travel. Authentik Travel will respond to this type of request at our most carefulness, within the availability of requested services.

Modification by Authentik Travel:
Authentik Travel has a right to modify the services including the final confirmation proposal in the following cases:
Force majeure (war, natural disaster, terrorist attacks). In such a case, the modification may occur more or less cost to the clients. For less cost, Authentik Travel will reimburse the clients.
Modification is necessary for clients’ safety and/or quality of the trip. In such cases, any additional costs will be charged to Authentik Travel.

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Possible to change the program during the trip and is it free?

Modification by clients:
Clients may require to modify the program at any time. If the new services cost extra, then pay the generated expenses directly to Authentik Travel. Authentik Travel will respond to this type of request at our most carefulness, within the availability of requested services.

Modification by Authentik Travel:
Authentik Travel has a right to modify the services included the final confirmation proposal in the following cases:
Force majeure ( war, natural disaster, terrorist…) in such a case, the modification may occur more or less cost to the clients. For less cost, Authentik Travel will reimburse to clients.
Modification is necessary for clients’ safety and/or quality of the trip. In such cases, any additional costs will be charged to Authentik Travel.

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What rates are applied for children?

Authentik Travel offers discount rate for children under 12 years old. Please contact us for more information.

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Benefits of travelling with Authentik Travel

Transportation vehicles are included during the free days?

Our quotations are not included the transportation vehicles during the free days. Our clients will be responsible for themselves. The free day will be showed “FREE DAY” or “NO GUIDE, NO CAR”.

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What is a private trip with Authentik Travel?

Authentik Travel offers private tours not only for groups but also for couples, families, friends or even a solo traveler. The whole trip is entirely private with our guide, driver and vehicle. Our guide and driver are flexible to match our clients’ desires. The journeys are only between client(s), our guide and driver.

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How are hotels planned in the trip?

In big cities, we select hotels of all comfort levels. In smaller cities or in remote areas, we find quality hotels.
Authentik Travel chooses hotels for each trip following our client’s budget, desires, and their specific demands. We always select the most comfortable hotel possible. Our knowledge of the land and our commercial partners allow us the find hotels which offer the best value for money.

In the spirit of Authentik Travel, all hotels are chosen according to the specific criteria below:
Excellent location in the city center to allow clients easy access to the restaurants and walking.

Hospitality and a friendly atmosphere are in each hotel. Big hotel buildings and big hotel chains are avoided.
Hotels are from at least 3 stars to ensure the comfort of our clients.
The hotels in the small towns or remote areas are basic quality with air conditioners and hot water.

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What the level of comfort be expected for Homestay?

Logically, the level of comfort is lower than that of hotel. However, you will get authentic experiences and you can experience the friendliness from the hosts. In the spirit of sharing and searching for authenticity, we recommend using this type of accommodation as much as possible.
Authentik Travel creates programs that mix the type of accommodation; some nights in very comfortable hotels and some nights at a homestay will offer experiences closer to the authentic lifestyles of the locals.

Many adventure tours included the tours in the mountain of Northern Vietnam, this type of accommodation is the only choice. Please bear in mind that the equipment of the homestay is sometimes very basic. However, this is a part of the interest of the trip.
In all cases, the houses are equipped with mattresses and hot water and they must be sanitary.
Our experiences show that these kinds of experiences have always been highly appreciated by our travelers.

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Travelers should bring their own sleeping bags for homestay?

Authentik Travel ensures that all the homestay families respect the level of hygiene, especially, for sleeping. The homestays are registered by local authorizations.  However, if our clients would like to bring their own sleeping bags, it is always ok. Clients can buy them in any big city. They are light and easy to carry every day.

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Are there hair dryers in the hotel rooms?

Normally, hair dryers are available in the hotel rooms from 3 star hotels and some 2 star hotels in the big cities.
However, it will be not popular in local hotels and homestays, especially in the small towns in the mountainous northern area.

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What types of vehicle for group?

Depending on the group size, we arrange the different type of vehicles. For your reference:
Group of 1-2 persons:  sedan 5 – 7 seat car: Toyota Vios, Altis, Innova, Fortuner…
Group of 3-6 persons: Minivan 16 seats: Ford transit, Mercedes Sprinter.
Group of 7- 14 persons: Minibus 30 seats.
Group of 15 – 18 persons: bus 35 seats.
Group from 18 – 30 persons: bus 45 seats.
These kinds of vehicles will offer the most comfort for you to enjoy the trip and have enough space to load all your luggage as well.

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Can clients book accommodation by themselves?

Authentik Travel is a tailor-made travel company. Our team can adapt to all our clients’ desires and wishes. Therefore, it is possible for our clients to book accommodation by themselves. Authentik Travel will take care of the other services such as: transportation, tour guides, cruises, restaurants, domestic flights etc.
In these cases, clients should plan their itinerary with our travel consultants. They will then be able to find the best destination for their trip. They can receive all the best advice from our travel consultants while keeping the choice of accommodation their own.
If clients wish to stay in an accommodation which is not included in our list of services, please ensure to inform our travel consultant.

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Can rent a car without driver?

In principle, it is possible to rent a car without a driver. However, it is very strongly discouraged. Firstly, foreign licenses are not valid in our country. In case of an accident, nothing will protect the foreign driver and other passengers in car. In case of dispute, the foreign driver will be subject to heavy fines or even prison sentences. Secondly, the road infrastructure and local traffic is extremely different from yours. This will greatly destabilize the driver.

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How are the guide chosen?

Tour guides play a very important role in the success of the trips. Beware of this predominant role; Authentik Travel is particularly demanding in our tour guide selections.

Here are some the criteria used to choose our tour guides:
University graduation
Fluent in English or French.
International tour guide license approved by the Administration of Tourism.
Excellent general knowledge.
Passion of Traveling.
Responsible and useful.

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How many tour guides are there in the trip?

If the group is less than 15 people, there will be a local station tour guide in each destination.
Our clients are autonomous in each flight or train. Our local tour guide will welcome them at the airport or train station in each destination. 
If the group is more than 15 people, a tour guide will accompany you throughout the trip in each country. However, it also depends on your requirement to save your budget.


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Can we make the trip without tour guides?

Yes, it is possible. Clients can travel with only our drivers. By the way, there is no guide on the private transfer from Hanoi to Halong, unless you request one.
It is important to note that our drivers are limited with English or French. The journey may lack of the interactions, since there is no interpreter between clients and locals.

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How are the meals during the trips?

Authentik Travel puts our clients’ health at the highest priority. Therefore, we are careful to ensure all the included meals are healthy and tasty. All dishes are prepared by our local talented cooks who take care of cooking based on the local fresh products and strictly follow the hygiene guidelines. We also ensure the balance between traditional local cuisine and western cuisine.
For people who have specific dietary requirements (Allergies, Diabetes…), meals can be adapted. Please notify Authentik Travel beforehand.
Clients should be careful when using raw vegetables which may cause intestinal discomfort. 
Feel free to stop in food shops during the journey.
There is a restaurant carriage on the night train.

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How is the budget for a meal?

Authentik Travel offer all breakfast included in the accommodations for small group. For a large group, we will offer full board. Some meals will be included such as in cruise trips, remote areas… or wherever could not arrange meals on arrival or lack of restaurants.

Price for meal is variety. From traditional restaurants and “street food” to more chic restaurants, the price range is from 1.5 USD to 10 USD.
This is some examples:
A good soup is  around 1.5 USD
A bottle of water is ( 500ml) around 0.5 USD
One local beer is around 1 USD.
The average budget for meals will be from 5 – 15 USD/day.

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What is the comfort level in train in Vietnam?

The railway in Vietnam is underdeveloped as the infrastructure has changed little from the colonial era. There is the major railway line that is about 2000km. It connects Saigon in the south to Hanoi and Lao Cai in the north. The average speed of the train is only 60 km/h.

There are two daily night trains that connect Hanoi and Lao Cai. One is equipped with basic 2 berths and the others are with more comfortable berths. Authentik Travel recommends the trains for long 12 hour journeys such as Hanoi to Lao Cai, Hanoi to Hue, Nha Trang to Saigon or vice versa.

The trains in Vietnam are much different from the trains in Europe or America. They are much noisier and vibrant. Authentik Travel selects top class sleeping cabins on train for our clients. They are 4 berth-sharing cabins with A/C. It is clean and quite comfortable.


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What is the difficulty level of Bike and Motorcycle on tour?

We organize bikes and/or motorcycles for the trip. This is the great way to discover the rural areas as there is less traffic so it is easier for our clients to ride.
The distance is never too long. Normally, it is about 20 – 40km/day for motorcycles and 5-10km for a bike.
In case, our clients are having difficulty riding, there are some alternatives depending on the location: motorcycle taxi, rickshaw, or our even our private car.

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Is it possible to rent a motorcycle or a bike?

Yes, it is possible to rent a motorcycle or a bike in most of the big cities. (Except Yangon city – Myanmar, bike and motorcycle are forbidden)

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Which domestic airlines are used for the trip?

In Vietnam, there are some domestic airline companies such as:  Vietnam airlines, Vietjetair, Jetstars Pacific airlines. Vietnam Airlines is the biggest and best one. The 2 others often have delays or cancellations. To ensure the trip quality, Authentik Travel only chooses Vietnam Airlines.
In Cambodia, we use Angkor Air and Bayon Airlines.
In Laos, we use Lao Airlines and Lao skyway.
In Myanmar, there are many air companies. All of them use ATR 72 Air crafts. We use some of the best ones such as: KBZ airlines, Mann Yadanarpon airlines, Asia Wings and Air Bagan.

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What is the baggage weight limit for domestic flights?

For economy class, the check in baggage is 20kg and the dimension of your luggage must not exceed 203 cm of height + Length + Width. For business class, the check-in baggage is 30kg and the same dimensions. There will be some small surcharges for the excess baggage. (About 1 USD/1 kg)
A handbag is permitted to be up to 7kg.

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Other Questions and Answers

What are the souvenir gifts?

Here are some suggestions for souvenirs:
Green tea: Vietnam is well known for green tea from the northern region of the country. Nowadays, tea has become the daily drink for all Vietnamese.
Coffee: It is planted in the plateau of central Vietnam. Vietnam is the second largest producer of coffee after Brazil.
Tea Mix: It is very famous in Myanmar and it also became the daily drink for all Burmese. Every morning, people will enjoy it with breakfast at teashops.
Vietnamese rice alcohol (Nep Moi brand), Myanmar, Laos local whisky…
Crafts: there are many handicraft products that you can find in the cities or even in the remote areas. Some suggestions are Lacquerware, Embroideries, brocades of ethnic groups, silks, ceramic products, heath tiger balm.


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Is it possible to take photos of the locals?

Of course, it is possible. We advise you to take photos of the locals from afar when in the street or in the markets. If clients would like to take the portraits of locals at homes, villages, or elsewhere, please ask our tour guide for help to get their permission.
For better contact with local people, do not hesitate to say “Xin Chao”, HELLO in Vietnamese, with a big smile!

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Can I take photos freely during road trips?

One of the highlights of the trip offered by Authentik Travel is the flexibility and freedom for our clients to make stops en route to take great photos and meet the locals. Whether in pagodas, museums or historical sites, photography is permitted.

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Things should not be missed!

Street restaurants are a great place for meeting people and enjoying the atmosphere. They are present on the sidewalks of all the cities and eating there will allow you to taste the traditional local foods, use chopsticks, and sit on a tiny chair in the middle of sidewalk.

”Xe Oms” in Vietnam are motorbike taxis. They can take you anywhere (for a short distance) and are the perfect way to avoid the traffic jams while enjoying the scenery.
Do not hesitate to enjoy the lifestyle as locals. Foreign travelers often go to the same places as the local people. Also, do not hesitate to practice the local language. Hearing you try some local words will always put a smile on the face of the locals.

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