The Client’s name: Ms Elizabeth Ann Goodall and Mr. Bruce Gordon Fraser Casely
Name of the tour: Vietnam Luxury Travel 10 Days
Destinations: Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta River, Danang, Hoi An, Hanoi, Halong Bay.
1. Guide (s):
Ho Chi Minh City: Mr. Sang (in Ho Chi Minh City) Mr Sang was diligent, courteous and provided a reasonable level of information. He was also flexible, humourous and nothing was problem. There was a secondary guide who took us round Cu Chi tunnels who we felt rushed us, provided limited information and finally took us the Pho 24 for lunch – effectively a noodle style McDonald’s, which we didn’t really think was necessary – we would have been happy to find our own lunch and explore ourselves.
Hoi An: Mr. Phuoc (in Hoi An) Mr Phuoc was outstanding. His command of global events and being able to put Vietnam into international context was impressive. Very personable, knowledgeable, flexible and enthusiastic. A real ambassador for his country while also recognizing the shortcomings and opportunities facing Vietnam. He didn’t just repeat history about sights, but he actively sought our own views and then worked out what would be of interest and why. Went out of his way on many occasions including taking us to Marble Mountain (not on the schedule) and then took me (Bruce) on the back of his scooter into the country and away from the tourist hotspots. This day rates as the highlight of the trip. If we were to revisit Vietnam, or recommend a top guide, it would be Mr Phuoc. 10/10!
Hanoi: Mr. Quyen (in Hanoi) Interesting guide with a good level of knowledge, but spent most of the time with him in the car being transported from Hanoi. Similar to Mr Sang – all very positive, but neither of them were in the same league as Mr Phuoc.
Ho Chi Minh City: Caravelle Hotel (Ho Chi Minh City) Outstanding.
Hanoi: Sofitel Legend Metropole (Hanoi) Quite probably the best hotel I have ever stayed in. Even better than the Caravelle.
Danang: Fusion Maia Resort (Danang) Great service and location, good during the day but sterile at night. They run buses into Hoi An but the last leaves very early. Thu – mention this to future travelers – best to eat evening dinner at Mango Mango in Hoi An rather than stay at the resort which is pretty dull.
3. Transport (Land, water and air):
Mekong Delta River: Bassac Cruise in Mekong Delta Beautiful boat, interesting trip, learnt a lot and a very pleasant couple of days.
Halong Bay: Paradise Peak Cruise in Ha Long Bay. Amazing cabin and apparently “butler service”. This is not actually what it means – just someone to serve you. Having a shirt ironed was a bit of a problem! Boat is phenomenal. Prices are far too expensive – more than the Hotel Metropole. Primary problem is the trip itself, which has now become a motorway of over a 100 boats all mooring in the same place, going to see some cave, very polluted waters and absolutely no sense of any exclusivity. Guide books now say to go further up the bay which we would agree with – it is now too Disneyland like – tourist boats with music turned up and just too many people.
Van and driver in Ho Chi Minh City All the drivers were efficient, on time and courteous and drove reasonably sensibly. Absolutely no negative comments here. Seemed to work well as a team with the guide.
Van and driver in Hoi An As above.
Van and driver in Hanoi Again, as above, but was even more polite. Flexible and always ensured Liz had bottles of cold water without ever being asked.
4. Restaurants and food:
Ho Chi Minh City: Caravelle Hotel’s restaurant (first dinner in Ho Chi Minh City) Good, but like any standard decent hotel restaurant. Much better going out. The VIP floor for food and drink (all free) was stunning and always well worth a visit with its amazing views across the city.
Halong Bay: Food on Paradise Peak Cruise (Ha Long Bay) Very good, although lunch took over 2 hours for 2 courses to serve. Not ideal sitting on a beautiful deck watching rubbish and sewage drift past though – see above comments. And wines disgracefully expensive.
Hoi An: Secret Garden restaurant (in Hoi An): Great little place and would go back. Good food and service.
5. Places you visited:
Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta, Hoi An, Hanoi, Halong Bay Like them all apart from Halong Bay which is totally overrated. Thought Saigon was really good fun.
6. Design and management of your tour:
Excellent – better than expected, and we expected a lot! Very personalised service, with care and attention paid. We’d recommend Vietnam Luxury Travel Agency to friends visiting Vietnam.
7. Are there any recommendations or criticisms of services, restaurants, shops, visit sites and so on that you’ve visited on your own?
As above, I think Marble Mountain should be included and perhaps leaving some of the tourist areas to go into the country and explore the real culture. Service was excellent – no criticism – and everyone eager to please. Recommendations of smaller and local restaurants rather than chains always better.
8. It’s highly appreciated if you could send us some of your photos taken during your journey as we’ll need them for our new brochure and updating our website.
We’ll send separately
Communications with Tim were prompt and efficient. The whole process of getting this tour organised over the internet was simple due to Tim’s care and work…read more
The trip went without a hitch. We have no issues at all with way the trip was organized and thank you for your patience in creating 10 or more itineraries before we were happy.read more