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Public Holidays: ICS Travel Group offices will be closed on the following public holidays in 2018: Click here

Destination News

VIETNAM : Closures for TET holiday 2018

Please note that the following sightseeing highlights will be temporarily closed during the 2018 TET holiday.

  • Museum of Ethnology : Closed 15 – 18 Feb
  • Vietnam National Museum of History : Closed 14 – 18 Feb 2018
  • Fine Arts Museum : Closed 14 – 17 Feb 2018
  • Vietnam Military History Museum : Closed 14 – 17 Feb 2018
  • Ngoc Son temple : Closed after 10:00am 15 Feb 2018
  • Temple of Literature : Closed afternoon 15 Feb 2018
  • Thang Long imperial citadel : Closed 14 – 16 Feb 2018
  • Vietnam Women’s Museum : Closed 14 – 20 Feb 2018
  • Dong Xuan Electric car : Closed afternoon 15 Feb 2018
  • Ho Tay Electric car : Closed 15 Feb 2018
  • Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum : open as normal
  • Ho Chi Minh Stilt House : open as normal


Vietnam, Ha Long Bay authorities now require passports in advance of cruise bookings

Due to a recent change of regulations, the Ha Long Bay Port Authority has advised that it is now mandatory for us to receive scanned copies of the passports of the individual guests who are booking with us.

Although we still appreciate passport information (such as Name, Nationality, DOB, etc) being typed out, a scanned photocopy alongside the information will now be required. Without the scanned copy we will not be able to register the passengers with the Bay Authority. Local authorities cross check information from the guests’ passport with information provided by the cruise company, and if any incorrect information is found, the client cannot check in.

We thank very much for your understanding and cooperation. Should you have any questions please feel free to contact us.


Yangon, Myanmar – Shwedagon Pagoda temporary closure

The Myanmar Travel Association has announced that foreign travellers will not be allowed to visit Shwedagon Pagoda from 7:00am, 30 December 2017 to 12:00pm, 1 January 2018.

The site will be closed for a Buddhist ceremony involving 18,000 monks. The ceremony will include offerings of rice to the monks, and the consecration of Buddha images and pagodas.

Our team in Yangon is currently contacting all affected bookings and will provide advise to both guides and clients regarding the most convenient alternative times.


Vietnam expands e-Visa eligibility to 6 additional countries

In a bid to boost tourism further, Vietnam has officially confirmed that it has added six countries to the list of nationalities which are eligible for its convenient e-Visa program. The new additions are Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, The Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates. The number of eligible nationalities is now 46. Click here to see the complete list of eligible countries.

Travellers with approved visa applications can enter the country at 8 international airports, 13 international overland border crossings or 7 sea ports. Visitors can apply online for a 30-day, single-entry visa by paying a non-refundable application fee. The process for verifying the visa request will take 3-7 working days.

For more information about e-Visa applications, please visit https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/


Bali – Indonesia

Earlier this morning, the Mount Agung volcano in Bali experienced an eruption consisting of magma, smoke and ash.

Volcanic ash rain occurred in some areas including the air space of the Bali airport (DPS). Therefore for the sake of security and flight safety, the airport has temporarily paused operations from 07:15am local time on Monday 27 Nov 2017 until 24 hours later or until 07:00am tomorrow morning (Tuesday 28 Nov). Due to the closure, all flights both arriving and departing from Bali airport will be cancelled until further notice.

We are actively contacting all clients who are scheduled to arrive or depart Bali regarding alternative arrangements.

For other clients on the ground, scheduled tours are operating normally.

Tourism in most other parts of Indonesia, such as Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, etc are unaffected.

Our team in Bali will continue to closely monitor the situation and will notify you of any important changes..


Lombok – Indonesia

Please note that Lombok International Airport (LOP) has re-opened today.


Angkor to Bagan direct-air link will start in April 2018

Myanmar National Airlines will operate a direct air-link between Siem Reap and Bagan as the part of the Cambodia-Myanmar “two countries, one destination” campaign to be implemented in April 2018.


Laos – Vientiane

The National Museum in Vientiane, Laos is closed until further notice in preparation for the exhibitions to move to the new National Museum Location. Our team is in contact with any affected bookings to recommend alternatives.



Bali Volcano Warning Increased to Highest Level
Evacuation within 9km radius

The status of Mount Agung has been elevated to the highest level, Level IV (Watchout).

The evacuation radius has been increased to 9km from the peak. Government and local crisis teams continue to evacuate people to safe zones in anticipation of a potential eruption.

Mount Agung is located in East Bali. This stratovolcano is the highest point on the island and dominates the surrounding area, even influencing the climate. The “Mother Temple” of Bali, Besakih Temple, is located nearly 1000 meters up slopes of Mount Agung. Bali’s airport (DPS) is located in southern Bali, about 80km from the slope of Mount Agung, and Candidasa – the tourist resort area in East Bali – is about 25km south of the Volcano.

ICS has no guests inside the radius area. Any program including Besakih Temple or in the east Bali area will be monitored closely and rerouted/adjusted as required.




Reminder: Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand Closed 1 – 29 October
Reopens 30 OCT

Please note that the Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha will be closed from 1 – 29 October 2017.

The Royal Cremation Ceremony for the former King, Bumibhol Adulyadej (Rama IX), will take place from 23-29 October. The ceremony is a very important event for the Thai people, and we expect significant traffic around the Grand Palace during this time.

Both the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha will reopen on Monday, 30 October 2017.




Regarding the ongoing Rohingya conflict in Northern Rakhine State, near the border with Bangladesh, we would like to inform you that Myanmar continues to be a very safe country for foreign tourists.

All tourist sites including sunny Ngapali Beach, Bagan, Mandalay, Yangon, Inle Lake and Mrauk U continue to be safe to travel.


Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s annual Water Festival can attract up to 1 million people for the festival and boat races. This year’s festival will take place 2 – 4 November 2017.

These roads are blocked starting from around 1 or 2pm until evening during all 3 days Festival organisers typically block roads starting at Norodom all the way to the river. ICS Travel Group can obtain passes which allow our vehicles to enter the area but traffic is so congested that walking may still be faster.

In Siem Reap, hotels along the river and in the area of Daun Penh may have limited access and clients might have to walk a few meters to get in their vehicle. Traffic in general is affected mostly in the late afternoon and evening when visitors come back from the temples. At that time there will be traffic jams on roads leading into town.

Please reference the map below. Blocked roads are marked in blue colour.

Indonesia News

Indonesia Operations Hotline and Inbound Hotline now available on WhatsApp

– We are pleased to announce that our hotline for Indonesia Operations and Inbound departments are now available on WhatsApp. You can use our existing hotline numbers to reach our team anytime with the WhatsApp mobile app on your phone.

Thailand News

Change of Arrival Exit Door in Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport and Phuket International Airport

– To ensure smooth welcoming of the customers arriving at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport the meeting point will be changed to exit door 6 effective immediately.
– Phuket International Airport has changed the exit door for international passengers arriving in Terminal 1. It was moved from Exit Door 2 to Exit Doors 3 & 4 effective immediately.

Completion of Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) renovation in Bangkok

– The renovations to Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) in Bangkok have been completed, however entrance to the second and third floors remain restricted.

Company News

Bali, Indonesia: Our office will be closed Thursday, 17 August for Indonesian Independence Day. Please call our dedicated hotline for assistance:
+62 81337888344  ( Inbound )
+62 8113977800  ( Inbound Asia )
+62 8113833800 or 081558002800  ( Operations )

Bangkok, Thailand: Our team will be out of the office Friday, 18 August for their annual company outing. Please contact our Standby staff at standby@is-intl.com and CC your regular contact.

Luang Prabang, Laos: Our office will be closed for Monday 21 August for Boun Hor Khao Pa Dab Din (Rice Growing Festival) and Tuesday, 22 August for Boun Suang Huea (Boat Racing Festival)


Kayaking in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam has resumed, but with some changes/limitations. According to the decision from the Quang Ninh People’s Committee on 27 April 2017, kayaking activities will be permitted within the following areas: Ba Hang, Luon Cave (Hang Luon), Tung Sau, Cua Van floating village, Virgin Cave (Hang Trinh Nu), Cong Do, and Hang Co.

From 1 – 5 May 2017, all cruise-owned kayaks are required to register for an inspection to ensure safety standards. Huong Hai and Halong Sails cruises have already received confirmation for their kayaks and will resume normal operations. Other companies are still going through the process of registering kayaks and will not receive an official notice about itineraries and/or kayaks until 15 May.

Our Ops team is working with each supplier to determine the status of their operations


Please note that APEC 2017 will be held in Vietnam. During certain times of the year we will have more difficulty finding rooms and significant price increases may occur suddenly.
Click below to see the APEC calendar for specific cities within Vietnam. Please try to be flexible as much as possible and avoid periods with APEC activities.

APEC calendar

Join us at TravellerMade Essence of Luxury Travel, 27 Feb – 3 Mar

Please click here for more details.

Vietnam Changes Telephone Area Codes

Please be informed that Vietnam has changed telephone area codes of 59 provinces/cities. You may need this information to update your travel documents, vouchers, etc. Kindly find the new area code for ICS Vietnam offices and stations:

Effective 11 FEB 2017
Old telephone: (+84) (511) 3699 697 Old fax number: (+84) (511) 3699 695
New telephone: (+84) (236) 3699 697 New fax number: (+84) (236) 3699 695

Effective 17 JUN 2017
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
Old telephone: (+84) (8) 3846 8104 Old fax number: (+84) (8) 3846 8105
New telephone: (+84) (28) 3846 8104 New fax number: (+84) (28) 3846 8105

Old telephone: (+84) (4) 3944 5925 Old fax number: (+84) (4) 3944 5926
New telephone: (+84) (24) 3944 5925 New fax number: (+84) (24) 3944 5926

Phan Thiet
Old telephone: (+84) (62) 3741 380 Old fax number: (+84) (62) 3741 381
New telephone: (+84) (252) 3741 380 New fax number: (+84) (252) 3741 381

e-Visa for Vietnam now available

Beginning 1 Feb 2017, the Vietnamese government implemented an electronic visa system for foreign tourists visiting the country. Under a government directive released in late January, citizens from 40 countries will be eligible to apply for the e-visas. Please refer to our blog post for full details.

Tigerair Australia ceases flights to Bali

Low-cost carrier Tigerair Australia has announced that it would permanently stop flying to Bali. Tigerair will work with Virgin Australia to support passengers still in Bali and needing to travel home to Australia.

Vietnam Visas for U.S. Citizens

Beginning 22 Dec 2016, the Vietnam Immigration Dept. will resume issuing invitation letters for US citizens to receive a visa on arrival.

Prices and procedures will be the same as before.  1-month single-entry is US$25/pax. 1-month multiple-entry is US$50/pax.

Visa on arrival one year multiple entries for US citizens is still issued case by case.

Vietnam prepares for e-visas

Vietnam has recently approved a resolution on a pilot project that will offer electronic visas for foreigners starting from 1 February next year.

Vientiane, Laos upgrades airport

A terminal expansion project at Wattaya International Airport which includes constructions of new hangers, a new taxiway, renovation of the runway and aircraft parking areas should be completed by 2018.

Pattaya-Hua Hin ferry to begin on New Year’s Day

A privately-run ferry service from Pattaya to Hua Hin is expected to start operations on Jan 1, the Marine Department says, but the ride will be initially limited to a daily round-trip and cater only to passengers, not vehicles.

Temporary, floating bridge at Angkor Wat

The Apsara Authority in Cambodia has announced the use of a temporary, floating bridge at Angkor Wat as the ancient sandstone bridge is closed for repairs. The temporary, floating bridge will be in use from end of November 2016 until end of May 2017. The ancient sandstone bridge will re-open to the public in June 2017.

AirAsia creates new Luang Prabang to Kuala Lumpur route

The first direct flight between Luang Prabang and Kuala Lumpur, the new route will complement AirAsia’s existing Bangkok-Luang Prabang flights, and the direct services connecting KL and Bangkok with Vientiane.

VietJet launches Bangkok to Haiphong flight

Vietjet launched its first flight from Bangkok to Haiphong, Vietnam last week. Haiphong is a northern port city and is Vietnam’s third biggest. . . known for national heritage sites, charming landscapes and colonial buildings. Haiphong is next to Ha Long Bay, a Unesco World Heritage Site.

The airline flies from Bangkok to Haiphong every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The flight departs from Suvarnabhumi International Airport. The return trip from Haiphong is at 5.40pm. The travel time is one hour and 50 minutes.

Vietnam Visa Update

Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam ninhbinh Vietnam has extended the visa exemption to residents of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Travelers from these countries will not be required to obtain a visa for traveling up to 15 days in Vietnam.

The change will be effective from 01 July 2016 until 30 June 2017.

Citizens of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Japan, South Korea and Russia are also exempt from visa requirements until December 31st, 2019.

Travelers must have a passport with at least 6 month validity. Only single entries will be granted; guests entering multiple times will need to apply for a visa each time.