Thank you again for helping us with our fantastic trip to Vietnam and Cambodia. We sincerely appreciate the extraordinary amount of time, energy and expertise that you invested in making our recent trip one that we will long remember. In the week since we have returned home, Jackie, Leslie, Geoff and I have not stopped thinking and talking about all of our wonderful experiences, the wonderful people we met and our concern that we’ll never have another trip as special as our trip to Vietnam and Cambodia.
We truly appreciate your willingness — and limitless patience — to tailor the trip to our interests and priorities; we know we must have driven you crazy with all of our questions and the numerous revisions to our itinerary. However, in the end, you arranged a perfect trip for us. When people ask me, “How was your trip to Vietnam and Cambodia?”, my response is, “It far exceeded our expectations!”
Among those items we would like to comment on are (in no particular order):
GUIDES: All of our guides were outstanding, and we would recommend them to all of your clients. They were friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and all of them had a good sense of humor. Not only did they teach us a lot about the sights we visited and the history, culture, politics and people, but they also shared interesting information about their life — their personal story. We enjoyed getting to know all of them.
Our guides were helpful in many ways. They made certain that our hotel check-ins and flights went smoothly and had helpful suggestions for restaurants and other activities for our free time. In addition, they also went far beyond our expectations to help us with some challenges that arose. For example, “Chhan” (our guide) and “Sam” (our driver) in Siem Reap went to great lengths to help Jackie and me find a place that would package a “spirit house” that we could ship as luggage, and they drove all over Siem Reap helping Leslie and Geoff find a “crane on the back of a turtle” (similar to the ones we saw at the Temple of Literature in Hanoi) and a "spirit house”. On that particular day, they easily spent an extra 2 hours with us!All of our guides — we can’t say enough good things about our guides! — were on-time, if not early, for every pick-up; were flexible in terms of scheduling; were willing to make adjustments in our activities and schedule as we requested; and went to great lengths to help us with our dietary restrictions. The restaurants were always happy to make the necessary accommodations.
All of our guides provided similar help that went far beyond their normal responsibilities. They were always willing and anxious to do anything they could to make our trip a memorable one.
DRIVERS: The drivers were wonderful. Their vans were clean and comfortable, and they were always on-time, helped us in and out of the vans, and provided us with cold refreshing wet towels and cold water. We very much appreciated their help.
HOTELS: All of the hotels were beautiful and provided five-star service in every way. The only hotel that we didn’t especially favor was the Alma Courtyard, in Hoi An. The hotel was very pretty and modern, but the four of us didn’t particularly care for the rooms. The beds were on a low platform which required us to step down to the floor, and the floor around the bed had “ribbing” which made it uncomfortable to walk on. In addition, the entry to the tub-shower required a very high step, which might pose a safety problem for elderly visitors.
HALONG BAY: Halong Bay was one of the highlights for Geoff. We all felt that the Dragon Legend was a beautiful boat, with gorgeous views from the bathtub. The boat also made kayaks available and our guide conducted an interesting tour of Surprise Cave, on one of the islands.
One suggestion: Travelers should be told to bring swimsuits and clothing for kayaking. Geoff and Leslie asked about this, but are told kayaking wouldn’t be available so they wouldn’t need to bring swimsuits and kayaking clothes. Also, it would be helpful to notify travelers the night before they leave for Halong Bay that they should pack an overnight bag for their stay on the boat. We had to pack an overnight bag at the restroom/souvenir stop midway between Hanoi and Halong Bay.
SOFITEL METREPOLE HOTEL: We suggest that travelers be informed of the free guided tour of the “bomb shelter” at the Sofitel Metrepole Hotel. We saw an add in the hotel for the tour, and we found it very interesting.
ART MUSEUM, HUE: We very much enjoyed going to the art museum in Hue (the sculpture.)
PHARE CIRCUS: The Phare Circus in Siem Reap was a lot of fun and supports a good cause, and we recommend it for others. However, we suggest that visitors reserve seats ahead of time, so they can sit in the front rows. The show is one hour in length.
TRANSPORTATION: We really liked the opportunity to use such a variety of modes of transportation, such as tuk-tuks, sampans, rickshaws, canoes, vans, boats, etc.
MEKONG RIVER: Every day was wonderful, but all of us especially liked our day on the Mekong River with “Tiger,” day 10.
OTHER SIGHTS AND ACTIVITIES: There isn’t sufficient time or space to comment on all the events, sights and activities that we enjoyed — we truly enjoyed all of our experiences. If others were to ask us about our itinerary, we would tell them that we wouldn’t change a thing.
Finally, I have submitted a review to Trip Advisor.
With warm regards,
Dennis and Jackie Fox
Geoff and Leslie Furman