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YOU ARE HERE: HOMEKNOWINFO & TIPS  TOURS - WITH TOUR COMPANY OR BY ...
Tours - with tour company or by do-it-yourself travelling?

Is your time budget tight and do you want to have peace of mind without worrying about transportation, accommodation and other bothersome details? If so, book your Vietnam tour with a travel company in your country. Unless it has its own organization on the ground, which is hardly the case, it will subcontract its tours to Vietnamese tour operators. It is supposed to work only with reputable Vietnamese tour companies which are regulated by the Vietnamese government and which have to follow the governmental quality and safety standards. Such tour companies will bring you, for example, to restaurants with clean food to prevent you from getting ill or travel with you on boats that are safe and do not capsize.

If you have more time and do not worry about the occasional logistical hiccups - keep in mind Vietnam is still a developing country - travel to Vietnam and book your tours here. The biggest advantage is that you can save the substantial mark-up that the tour company in your country is adding to the cost of the Vietnamese tour operator. You may ask your hotel which will recommend you a tour company - check if it's a reputable one - from which it gets a commission or go to the tourist districts in Nha Trang and in other large cities where tour companies have their sales offices to ask around and compare. Tour companies can assist you in booking your air, bus and rail rickets, local sights and for other services.

Do-it-yourself (DIY) travel is the right thing for the adventurous traveler with a more generous time budget. It is, at first glance, cheaper than tours organized by tour companies. If you know Vietnam inside out and if you even speak some Vietnamese, we do recommend it as it is feasible, more enjoyable because you don't have to follow the strict itinerary and tour time table of the tour operator and as it can be cost-saving, too. And you are not exposed to the moods of a group, the sometimes loud and boisterous "know-it-all" or somebody else doing his best to spoil the tour for the rest of the group. But if you don't know Vietnam very well DIY-travelling can become a more costly trial and error exercise as you have yet to discover where to go and how to get there. The language barrier is making it all the more difficult. You will face additional expenses such as taxis to travel to places where there is no bus, the many hidden costs, and the surcharges you have to pay as a newcomer and as a foreigner who doesn't understand the language. And don't forget that tour companies get large discounts from hotels, bus operators and other service providers due to their bargaining power, which you don't have, and pass on some of it to the travelers.

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