I do apologize for the delay in completing your survey. I do hope the information is helpful and if anything is unclear or you would like further information, please don’t hesitate to ask. Wehave already recommended your travel service and Son to people planning a visit to Vietnam. What would be involved in being a reference for you in Australia? Thanks again for planning and providing a wonderful holiday in your country. We greatly appreciated your excellent service and attention to detail.
- Guide (s):
Mr. Son (North of Vietnam): Outstanding! Son made our time in North Vietnam very special. He provided an informed and intelligent tour of the various places we visited. He was flexible, patient, well organised, reliable and trustworthy. We appreciated that he quietly made alternate arrangements when the typhoon hit Halong Bay and also when our 7 year old son was unwell at the end of the train trip to Lao Cai. We found Son to be thoughtful and fun and he ensured we had a wonderful experience in north Vietnam. He is a great communicator, has the ability to understand the needs of the particular people he is working with and his command of English is terrific.
Ms. Suong (Centre of Vietnam):Suong worked with us in less than ideal conditions as we experienced the impact of our second typhoon in Hue! We felt Suong appeared bored with the job of showing us around, we felt we were rushed through much of the itinerary, a couple of visits were omitted (Dong Ba market and Minh Mang tombs – the boat trip along the Perfume River was not possible due to flooding). We didn’t learn a great deal from Soung, however, she was polite and punctual.
Duxton Hotel (In Saigon): Very good location, very comfortable and clean room, great breakfast
Majestic Salute Hotel (In Hanoi): great location, comfortable and clean room, very friendly and helpful staff, good breakfast
Bai Tho Boat (In Ha Long): comfortable and clean cabins, great food but perhaps a little too much! We seemed to be eating forever!
Sapa Hotel (In Sapa): Large, clean room with lovely view over lake. Breakfast OK and limited service from staff. As we unfortunately do not speak Vietnamese, it was difficult to communicate with staff
Church Hotel (In Hanoi): great location and beautiful, clean room. This hotel had a great feel to it. Good breakfast
Huong Giang Hotel (In Hue): Great to be upgraded to a suite with two bathrooms. The only hotel not to have the extra bed for our 7 year old son in place when we checked in but they were quick to fix things once they checked the booking details. The hotel staff were having to deal with some serious flooding during our stay. We feel the hotel lacks a relaxed coffee shop /bar type area. Breakfast was good but on our second morning (about 8.15am) quite a few foods had run out and were not replaced. Perhaps this was a result of the rain?
Life Resort (In Hoi An): Great rooms, terrific location and excellent service. We loved the breakfast and enjoyed two excellent dinners in the restaurant. A very pleasant hotel.
- Transport (Land, water and air):
Vietnam Airlines – reliable flights and excellent aero planes and in flight service
Train to Lao Cai – I believe we would have had access to more comfortable cabins had we booked earlier. The cabins we travelled in were dirty and the toilet facilities inadequate for travelling with a child. Bed linen appeared clean.
All vehicles we travelled in were very comfortable, reliable and clean. We found all but one driver to be excellent. We found the trip to Bac Ha markets was hurried and uncomfortable because our driver drove aggressively and appeared to be in a great hurry.
Bai Tho boat – very comfortable. Our only criticism would be the need to clamber over other boats to disembark at the end of the trip. We felt this was a little unsafe.
In the North: All restaurants booked as part of our tour were excellent – clean, terrific service and great food. We felt quite spoilt!
In the Centre: We loved the garden house restaurant in Hue
- Places you visited:
The itinerary provided us with a terrific range of experiences and great exposure to many aspects of Vietnamese life in the city and country. Some highlights were the family home we visited in Tho Ha village, the private concert given by the Quan Ho singers and the walk through three ethnic minority villages near Sapa.
We were taken into an old family house (Chinese communal house ) in Hoi An where we felt quite uncomfortable with the pressure to buy embroidered tablecloths.
- Design and management of your tour:
Very impressive service from beginning to end. You patiently accommodated all requests for itinerary and accommodation changes in the planning stages. The entire tour then ran like clockwork. Even when the storms in Halong Bay required a change to the schedule, plans were made efficiently and with little impact to our tour. I must admit I was a little nervous booking with a travel agent I found on the internet, without personal recommendation from someone who had used Gia Linh Travel, and was most relieved to find tour guide and driver waiting on arrival in HCMC! Your choice of drivers was excellent and our guide in the north was outstanding. Thank you.
I must apologize for not speaking longer on the phone when we were at Danang airport. Your kind call came just as we were at the check in counter.
- Are there any recommendations or criticisms of services, restaurants, shops, visit sites and so on that you’ve visited on your own?
We found the Temple of Literature in Hanoi very interesting and loved exploring Hoi An.