Hoi An FAQ

How are your tours in Hoi An different than your Ho Chi Minh City Tours?

Hoi An, in comparison to Ho Chi Minh City, is a much smaller city with fewer people and motorbikes. And because it is also a much older city, travelers are fascinated by Hoi An’s culture and long heritage. We wanted our tours to reflect the differences between the 2 contrasting cities, so our Hoi An Tours will focus more on culture and people, but we feel they are just as fun as our Ho Chi Minh City Tours.

Are your Hoi An tour guides all female?

We were the first tour operator in Vietnam to only hire female drivers on our motorbike tours, because we wanted to offer more Vietnamese women opportunities to work in the tourism industry. Our Hoi An tours will continue this tradition, so all our tour guides and drivers in Hoi An are women.

If I went on "The Foodie" tour in Ho Chi Minh City should I still book your walking food tour? Are the dishes different?

Our Hoi An tours offer a completely different experience to our famous tours in Saigon. The dishes we serve in Hoi An are also different.

Are there any reasons I shouldn't book with XO?

Although we are very proud of the acclaim our tours have received over the years, we realize that they are not suitable for everyone. These are the 2 main reasons we think some guests should NOT book our tours:

  1. If you’re looking for a typical food tour – All the dishes and stops on our food tours are carefully curated to offer you the most unique experience possible. We are not trying to serve you the most popular dishes in Vietnam or even the dishes we think are the most delicious (although most people LOVE the food!). We want you to eat the exact same dishes that the locals eat every day, so those are the types of dishes we offer on the tour.
  2. If you want the cheapest tour – At XO Tours we want to provide you with a boutique experience that you cannot find anywhere else, combined with the best customer service in Vietnam. We hire the best possible staff and train them to be great ambassadors for Vietnam. We believe the time, effort and attention to detail we put into creating our tours is reflected in the high quality of the tours. Everything we do to make our tours special increases our costs which makes our tours a bit more expensive than our competitors. We accept this fact however because we believe that majority of our guests are willing to pay a little more for a superior experience.

If you are like the majority of the 70,000 + guests that have gone on our tours however, we think you will love your time with us!

Do you offer your tours in any other city in Vietnam besides Ho Chi Minh City & Hoi An?

No. We currently only offer our tours in Ho Chi Minh City and Hoi An. There are many unreputable tour companies that have tried to make a quick profit by using our name and reputation however, so please beware of these copycats. These tour companies are very poorly managed and are not safe in our opinion. If you are not booking a tour with us through “xotours.vn” then you are not going with the real XO Tours.

Are your tours kid friendly?

Yes! We design our Hoi An tours to be suitable for guests of all ages, and take children on our tours regularly.

For our “Dinner with the Nguyens” tour we charge 30% of the adult rate for children between 3-5 years of age; and 70% of the adult rate for children between 6 – 11 years old. There is no charge for children under the age of 3.

For our “Riding with the Nguyens” tour we charge $30 per child for children 7 years and under. Children 8 years and older are charge the same rate as adults.

Is it safe to eat street food?

As with food in any country, we cannot guarantee that you won’t get sick while eating street food in Vietnam, but we do not believe that the risk is any greater than eating at a restaurant. At least with street food you can see how the food is prepared in front of you, whereas in a restaurant you never know the sanitary conditions in the back kitchen.

At XO Tours, we choose our food venues very carefully and make sure that they adhere to strict sanitary standards. Gratefully, very very few of our guests have ever told us they have had any ill affects after going on our tours.

Can you cater to my food allergies/restrictions?

If given prior notice, we can adjust the dishes on our tours to accommodate almost any food restriction. Don’t like seafood – no problem. Vegetarians/Vegans we’ve also got you covered. We can also deal with gluten allergies, nut allergies, shellfish allergies, etc.

If you are allergic to fish however, we do not recommend booking our food tour as most dishes in Vietnam are marinated with generous amounts of fish sauce. If you’re allergic to fish sauce then the only safe dishes for you to eat are the vegetarian dishes.

Please let us know about your food restrictions, at the time you book your tour, so that we can prepare alternative options.

What is your cancellation policy?

If you provide us with at least 5 days notice, there is no penalty for cancelling your tour. Cancellations made between 1 to 4 days of your tour date will be charged a 20% cancellation fee. If you cancel on the day of your tour, there will be a 50% late cancellation charge.

No shows on the day of the tour due to flight delays, flight cancellations, or late arrival from other tours will also incur a 50% late cancellation charge.

If we cancel a tour due to bad weather, and you have already paid for the tour in full or placed a tour deposit; we will refund you your payment in full.

ATTENTION: Please note that Paypal is changing their refund policy as of October 11th, 2019. The new policy states that Paypal will now keep the full transaction fee they charge a business, even if the original transaction is later cancelled and refunded by the business. That means that starting on October 11th, 2019 any refunds to guests that pay via Paypal  will be the total amount paid minus the transaction fee (up to 4.5% in Vietnam). If you want to learn more about Paypal’s new refund policy, please read the following article from The Verge:


Please keep in mind that the 2.9% fee mentioned in the article applies only to to Paypal accounts based in the United States. The transaction fees Paypal charges in other countries like Vietnam varies and can go up to 4.5%. Additionally, any Paypal refunds made 6 months after a payment will also incur a $4.99 service charge because Paypal does not allow us to issue refunds directly to a payment beyond that time, which means we have to refund via the “Send Money” function which incurs a $4.99 service charge.

What happens if it rains before/during our tour?

Please note that our rain policy for our Hoi An Tours is different than the rain policy for our Ho Chi Minh City Tours. Please visit our HCMC FAQ to see the rain policy for our HCMC Tours.

If it is raining heavily before the start of your tour, we will delay the start time by up to 1 hour [one of our employees will try to contact you at your hotel and update you on the tour status. If you are not staying at a hotel, then please call us at +84 93308 3727]. If it is not raining heavily, then we will continue the tour as planned. In case of rain, we will provide free high quality rain ponchos for all our guests.

Please keep in mind that the walking distance on our food tours is only around 3km, so light rain shouldn’t have a big effect the experience. Additionally many of the stops on both tours are located indoors.

Is there anything I should not wear or bring when I go on a tour?

You should consider bringing sunscreen and wearing a hat or cap, as some days it can get very hot. We would also suggest wearing comfortable closed toe shoes that are good for moderate walking.

Are the stops the same on your day and night tours?

Our morning and evening tours offer completely different experiences.

What payment methods do you accept?

We currently only accept cash payment in either Vietnamese Dong or US Dollars on the day of the tour. If you you want to prepay for your tour(s) by credit card and you didn’t choose the online payment option at the time of booking, you can request a Paypal invoice from us. Payment using this method can only be accepted if payment is received at least 1 day before your tour date.

If you choose to pay in cash, please make sure that your bills are in good condition, without any tears or markings on them. It is very difficult to exchange bills in Vietnam unless they are in near perfect condition.

Currently we use the conversion rate of 1 US Dollar = 23,000 Vietnamese Dong, which is lower than the official rate, and makes it less expensive for our guests to pay in Vietnamese Dong. Here are the current prices (per person) for all our tours in both US Dollars and Vietnamese Dong.

  1. Riding with the Nguyens morning tour – $59 USD or 1,357,000 VND
  2. Dinner with the Nguyens evening tour – $48 USD or 1,104,000 VND

How far ahead of time do I need to book a tour?

Although we welcome last minute bookings (subject to availability), we recommend that you book your tour(s) at least 2 weeks ahead of your desired tour date as our tours often fill up quickly.

For last minute bookings please email or call us at +84 93308 3727 to check on availability.

Do I need to put down a deposit/prepay to book a tour?

For parties of 2 people or less, you do not have to put down a deposit to book a tour. For groups of 3 people and up, private tours, and guests that do not have a confirmed hotel reservation, we require a 20% deposit in order to reserve a booking.

**** If you break up a larger group in order to avoid paying the deposit, we will not be able to guarantee that everyone in your party will be put in the same tour group. Thank you for understanding. ****

I am a solo traveler. Can I still book your tours?

We welcome bookings for solo travelers on all our tours except for private tours, which require a minimum of 2 pax.

Our regular tours are offered on a “join-in basis” so there will usually be multiple guests going together on any given tour.

Do you offer pickup/drop-off service at my hotel/apartment/condo or the airport?

We offer free pick-up and drop-off service within 5km of the Japanese Bridge in Ancient Town. If you are staying at Dien Ban, Ha My Beach and Cua Dai Beach areas,please confirm that you can meet us at Hoi An Theatre located at 548 Hai Ba Trung Street, Cam Pho, Hoi An City and we will inform you of the pick-up time once your booking is confirmed.

I emailed you/booked a tour over 24 hrs ago. Why did I not receive a reply?

We usually reply to all emails and booking requests within 12 hours. Our emails are often mistakenly reported as SPAM however, so if you have not heard back from us within 24 hours, please check your SPAM folder before sending us another email.

What is the maximum group size for your tours?

The maximum group size for our “Dinner with the Nguyens” tour is 10 people. The maximum size for the “Riding with the Nguyens” tour is 8 people.

**** We do make exceptions for single large parties or corporate (MICE) groups, so please contact us if you want to book a group larger than the sizes listed above. ****