2 independent reviews for Vietnam heritage tour

Reviews for Vietnam heritage tour

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review 11 Feb 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

It was all excellent - we visited Hanoi, Halong Bay, Sapa, Hue and Hoi-An. all 3 guides really knew their stuff and really enhanced the vacation namely Mr Thang in Hanoi, Mr Son in Sapa and Ms Ngoc in hue/Hoi-An. Don't eat western food as they do such a wonderful variety and some of the best meals we ate were the ones arranged as part of the trip. However none of this would happen without the very responsive and helpful Ms Linh who arranged and changed the itinerary to suit our needs and ensured everything ran smoothly.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

In Hanoi, don't be phased by the traffic - if you walk slowly and in a straight line they will work around you! Halong Bay was lovely but one night on board was sufficient. It is busy so don't expect that lovely shot of an empty bay. Sapa - don't worry if you feel that you are not fit as the guide will accommodate this in where you walk. Be firm with the local tribes people if you don't intend to buy else they will follow you for hours. The homestays are pretty basic but are a lovely thing to do but if its cold there are plenty of gaps for the cold to come in as they are single skinned. Hue - we can definitely recommend the cookery course and going to market to buy the ingredients was an added bonus. Hoi-An - If you can cycle then do it! There are so many paddy fields and lovely to explore and if you love cats do visit Jack's cat Cafe where they rescue cats from the illegal meat trade.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

A fabulous time which we would recommend to anyone. This was our second visit to Vietnam so if you are only going for a couple of weeks don't try to do the entire country. Perhaps do the north and central on one occasion, and the south the next.

review 6 Jul 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

There were many memorable moments but as a family (with 3 children ages 9,12,14) the trip to Halong Bay and spending a night on the boat with the fabulous meals and activities exploring the bay, swimming, kayaking, and squid fishing was very relaxing and enjoyable. We enjoyed seeing the sites in Hanoi, Hue and Hoi An. The accommodations and food, especially in Hue and Hoi An, were great.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

If you are traveling with children, build in a few more down days in the middle. We were not able to spend the 2 nights (just 1) on the boat that we had originally wanted to, due to the weather, so we spent a bit more time on the road than we would have, and that was tiring. In Vietnam there is a constant barrage of sales people who are not afraid to approach foreigners and ask them to buy their goods. Some of them are quite ingenious in their methods to get you to buy something, so bring extra pocket money. Know what you want to get out of the trip before you set your itinerary. The weather was VERY hot and humid (37 to 39 C) throughout the trip, not completely atypical of the season, with the exception of the full day and a half of rain when we were scheduled to go to Halong Bay. (The weather was to drop 7-8 degrees the day after we left.) Although there are not many things I would have opted out of on our trip, because we wanted to learn more about the history and culture of Vietnam, traveling with kids we should have had a few more days with less travel in a car. Getting anywhere in Vietnam takes longer due to the traffic and road conditions.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The vacation definitely benefited local people. I can't say that we really reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation other than in supporting historical preservation. We spent more money on souvenirs than we intended, partly because there is a constant barrage of street/beach sales people when you travel in Vietnam. The places that we visited to learn about lacquer, silk and stone carving were very interesting and educational, but the products were more expensive than one could buy in smaller shops in the cities. The quality was likely better though, and to know that the product was made in that workshop, which hopefully paid more of a living wage to the workers, was definitely worth something more.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Our guides and drivers were excellent: very professional, and adept at putting together a Plan B when circumstances beyond their control (such as weather) prevent doing something on the itinerary. We had a wonderful time and felt that we accomplished what we set out to do, which was to give our 14 year old daughter a taste of the sites, history and culture of the country in which she was born.

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