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Good Morning Vietnam! - Family Holiday

Trip type: 
Family - Cultural
Adventure level: 
2. Gentle
Max group size: 
16
Avg user rating: 
5
Asia, Vietnam | 15 days
Trip code: 
TVFA
Family Holidays | Min age 5yrs
What's included: 

Transport - Boats, in country flight, sleeper train, cyclo (cycle rickshaw), minibus

Accommodation - Hotels (10nts), sleeper train (1nt), boat (1nt)

Meals - 11 breakfasts, 4 lunches & 1 dinner

Trip Highlights: 
Cruise in Halong Bay
Discover the Mekong Delta
Take a cyclo ride
See the water puppet show
see full itinerary >>

Reviews

Don't take our word for it - read through our customer reviews. All of these have been published without any editing.

I had seen pictures of Halong Bay, but nothing prepares you for how stunning it really is. The two days we spent in Mekong Delta were a fantaastic end to the trip and gave us a real insight into a way of life outside the main tourist areas. My children so miss Vietnam.

Suzanne Roberts, Mum

Customer Reviews
5th Sep 2012
I rate this trip
5
The guide Vuong was outstanding.

The guide Vuong was outstanding. He took us to excellent restaurants in all different price categories and was extremely resourceful. He added in little extras to itineraries to make it more interesting and on one occasion  sorted out a taxi so we could visit a temple on a day when pretty much everyone in Vietnam had commandeered them for weddings. He was also very good with the teenagers - on their wavelength. The homestay in the Mekong was very nice indeed

[Least enjoyed] I think I would have liked to have the option (before departure) of rooms with a better view or slightly more room. Or even the odd night away from our teenage son to give everyone a bit of space/privacy.

[Accommodation] It was clean and well located but not inspiring or especially interesting. we knew we would have to share with our son but it was never spacious (apart from final night in Saigon) The homestay was excellent - Ut Trinh

He was exceptional

Mrs K - Travelled in July 2012

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Customer Reviews
24th Apr 2012
I rate this trip
5
There were no low points from Vietnam or Cambodia!

One of the highlights for me was the Mekong Delta homestay, the day was very full but great fun and really interesting - travelling in our own boat seeing the local crafts still practiced.  The accomadation was very simple but all you could want, while the evening meal was excellent the "Elephant fish" was delicious!
I also enjoyed the stay in Hoi An, it was good to have a bit of a break in the hectic schedule and have time off to cycle to the beach and do some shopping.  The trip to the orphanage was great fun.

There were no low points from Vietnam or Cambodia!

However I would like to feedback that we had our flights changed on return to the UK and had to stay over in Bangkok for the night - which was fine, but on arrival at the airport the person meeting us was not at the right exit.  We did find her eventually, but she had our name spelt wrong which did not help.  She then kept asking us for the address of the hotel that we were booked into.  Luckily we had the name from you (although she did not seem to know where it was), so it would be useful to have an address in future as well.  When we finally got to the hotel, they told us the rooms were not booked.  Luckily, they did have space and we were able to contact PEAK Thialand who confirmed that they would pay!

The trip itinerary worked well, it was good to start in Hanoi and move south as it meant we became a bit more used to the heat! 

We went on the extension to Cambodia and it was great that we had pools with both the swimming pools (which wasn't mentioned in information) 

The group leader that we had in Vietnam, Tuyen Vu, was exceptional - professional, friendly, and organised, he had first hand experience of living and working in the country which gave a personal dimension to any information.
The group leader for Cambodia was very knowledgeable and interesting.

 

Mrs B - Travelled in March 2012

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Customer Reviews
24th Apr 2012
I rate this trip
5
an excellent tour leader.

Crossing the road in. Hanoi - strangely addictive! Visitng the local market and orphanage at Hue. Hoi An - cycling, the Beach, shopping and restaurants. Seeing the countryside and rural scenes around Hue and Hoi An. Interacting with the local people and seeing something of their way of life.. Our tour leader Tuyen who was fantastic.

Tuyen was an excellent tour leader. We have been on 3 previous family adventure holidays (with a different company) and Tuyen is definitely the best tour leader we have had. He is a credit to the Adventure Company.
His organisation was excellent. The information he provided about Vietnamese culture and way of life really enhanced our holiday experience. But most of all he is a lovely guy who worked extremely hard to make sure everyone was enjoying themselves and was looked after. 
My husband needed a gluten free diet and Tuyen ensured this was provided throughout our trip giving us peace of mind.
All the kids loved him and he was the highlight of the trip for my 13 year old son (and probably for us all actually!)

 

Mrs S - Travelled in March 2012

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Customer Reviews
19th Apr 2012
I rate this trip
5
Our trip was really good

Our trip was really good, we were well looked after by our guide Tuyen who was engaging and knowledgeable as well as a great hit with the children.
Our particular highlights were the trip to Halong Bay and the Mekong delta homestay along with the fortune teller in the village near Hue and the bicycle rides in the countryside near Hoi An.  
Hue and Hoi an - for myself
Mekong, Halong Bay and Chu Chi tunnels and cycle rides - for our daughter

The flight to Hanoi and the return journey were of course very long and tiring. 

The itinerary was packed with so many interesting experiences and activities that it did not seem tiring. We would have liked an extra day or two in Hoi An for R&R

The hotels were all clean and in good locations. Breakfast varied from hotel to hotel but in general was of a good standard. Staff were efficient and polite

Tuyen was hard working, organised and knowledgeable about the localities. We felt safe in the knowledge that he had everything under control. We found him to be sociable and engaging with both children and adults. He was the best tour leader or equivalent we have ever met on holiday. We are sure we got more out of this trip than we would have because of his skills and knowledge.

Tuyen did a great job in giving advice and pointing out specific local projects that benefited local communities, the disabled and locally owned businesses. This meant we spent our holiday money for the benefit of local communities.

Ms T - Travelled in March 2012

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Customer Reviews
17th Jan 2012
I rate this trip
5
Fantastic guide

cycle rides, unplanned local visits eg xmas service at church in Hoi An. Tunnels in Ho Chi Min city.
The theatre in Hoi An.

[Least enjoyed] Not enough time in one hotel, two of the four hotels were interupted with other overnight trips and late arrival at hotel. The so called "cooking lessons at a local vietnameese house "were really comercial ventures in a non residential area. The water puppet show in Hanoi

The quide was very well informed, had the needs of the group well judged and was extremely efficient at organizing transport pick up etc.

Our guide was called luki, from Cambodia and could not have been better, he was extremely knowlegable and organised. He did need to be a bit careful with regards to recomending restaurants that were not upfront about charges and his description and subsequent recommendation of the cooking class and overnight stay at a veitnameese home. Over all Fanatastic

Mr and Mrs L - Travelled in December 2011

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Customer Reviews
10th Jan 2012
I rate this trip
4
Great action packed trip in an extraordinary country

Great action packed trip in an extraordinary country full of delightful people. We thoroughly enjoyed the diverse places that we visited, although with the benefit of hindsight, we would have preferred more countryside and less city time. Some of the excursions and restaurants were more expensive than necessary, (cookery lesson was more commercial and expensive than we expected, the bikes we hired for the children at Hoi An were in poor condition and expensive, and we would have liked to experience more authentic and less expensive food more often). The motor bike ride in Hue was fabulous, a particular highlight, as was the visit to the market, the kindergarten and nunnery. Boat at Ha Long bay was shabby and the deckchairs falling to bits, poor show! The generator running below our cabin all night, meant we had no sleep. Followed by a sleepless night on the "sleeper" reunification express. Both important elements of the trip and very enjoyable otherwise. Our guide Laki was very good, although not as good as Vinnie in Costa Rica who was a hard act to follow. His English was difficult to understand at times, especially when presenting at the Chu Chi tunnels, so we missed key bits of information. He also rushed us through Chu Chi  to avoid the crowds, which was unnecessary and spoilt the experience a bit. However, he was very flexible, always cheerful despite being messed around once or twice by some members of the group changing their minds at the last minute.

Laki was lovely and a real asset to the trip. Not the best we have experienced but very good nonetheless.

Miss J - Travelled in December 2011

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Customer Reviews
9th Jan 2012
I rate this trip
5
The diversity of cultural experience was extraordinary.

Halong Kayaking, Christmas day rural cycle ... and our guide was extraordinary. Every day ran like clockwork - lots of knowledge about local economy, politics and cultural insights. Can't understate what an extraordinary time I had. I am writing to the CEO or Buffalo Tours to tell him.

The diversity of cultural experience was extraordinary. As a social development practitioner, I was so impressed by the depth and breadth of the tour itinerary. Not for the faint hearted however - up at 8.30 and five different visits before lunch ... long rides on a motorcycle and bicycle and a few hours to catch your breath per day.

Understandably, we visited challenging environments and considering the poverty levels and existing political regime, we could hardly expect more updated accommodation, which did add to the authenticity of the experience.

My only concern was the state of the train tracks for the reunification express. All adults in the group agreed that they were nervous of this particular mode of transport.

We had a fairly diverse group from a professional POV - banker, internet security, social worker, government employee, artists ... and our guide dealt with us with such nuanced understanding and sophistication we felt quite bereft having to say goodbye to him last night. We have all invited him to stay with us should he visit the UK. We count him as a friend.

Mrs M - Travelled in December 2011.

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