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Good Morning Vietnam! QVN
2 reviews for this tour
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What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?
Kayaking in Halong Bay
How was your Explore Tour Leader?
What tips would you give to someone else booking this tour?
Take sheet sleeping bag for overnight trains - provided with only 1 sheet on train.
We did this tour on land only as wanted to spend some extra time in Thailand before and after. Good job we did because 20 minutes after landing in Bangkok my sister lost her passport, credit cards, and about $1000. (her own fault she put her neck bag on top of the taxi as we were leaving whilst taking off her sweater, and then just left it there on top by the time we realised it we were halfway down town and after retracing our steps it was no where to be found).
Anyway we had fun.. managed to get a temporary passport for her after getting a police report first... and even got the Vietnam visas on time too.. ready for the start of the tour. 8 of us set off for Cambodia in a squashy mini bus, confusion at the border, as all the big bus had gone, and the Guide, (Nak) was phoning everyone in sight to try and get transportation. We had to hang around for three hours, ended up getting three taxis into Siem Reap. Hotel was ok, altho would have been better further into town. Nak was a good guide, stayed with us alot of the time and very informative.
In Cambodia what stands out most, (apart from the Angkor Wat and Thom temples) for me was the seven hour boat trip to Battenbang which was great, watching the river people fishing and going about there everyday lives as we drifted by, amazing how people can exist on so little.The Prison and Killing Fields were terribly sad, but everyone needs to go and hear the story if only to make sure that this doesn't happen again. The brutality of man to man is sometimes quite unbearable. Vietnam was different to what I had imagined HCM was very modern and old mixed together.
CRAZY CRAZY traffic 4,000,000 motor scooters make it impossible to cross the road, so you close your eyes and just walk, and they will avoid you.. (hopefully!!!) The noise is constant, not agressive noise, just NOISE! Loved the Mekong and the little trip down there was enjoyable. Was sick for the Cho Chi tunnels altho the group seemed to enjoy it, I thought it really bad taste to be able to shoot a machine gun down there at whatever the cost. The tunnels have been widened to fit Westerners these days. Nha Grang was a nice beach stop for Christmas, even tho we had to do an overnight bus Christmas Eve (would't recommend it!!!) Marble Mountain was interesting, getting accosted by 200 vendors in the village below wasn't!!! Some one should tell these people that Westerners shop better if left to their own devises, rather than being harrassed into buying. Most of the group liked Hoi An, though for us it was too tourisy. Hue was a waste of time, boring old place, although did enjoy the manderin night, where we all dressed up as King Queen and Court and were entertained by minstrels whislt we ate!!!!
The highlight was definately halong Bay absolutely beautiful, the 'junk' was lovely too, food good, and our gala dinner in the cave for New Year was brilliant. Hanoi was rather spooky, and we only spent a couple of days there, saw Ho Chi Minhs body lying in state, doesn't look too bad for being dead 42 years|!!! also went around the infamous Hanoi Hilton prison. Spent the remainder of our vacation on an island in Thailand doing NOTHING! Advice for anyone doing this tour...?? Get a course of anti biotics from your Doc to take a long with you, cos sooner or later you will need them..also a sleep sheet for the trains would be useful, (I bought one in Hoi An in the end...)
Advice to EXPLORE...PLease find something else to see besides following other groups around the country. We were even staying at the same hotels at some points...With a name like EXPLORE you really should be doing a different itineray to 100 other companies. On the whole, altho I enjoyed the trip, because I belive in making the most of what you have.I was very disappointed with this trip, and feel it needs alot more work..More time in Cambodia for a start..perhaps a beach stop there as well, it was all so rushed. More comfortable buses and trains, standard just needs to be upped abit. Also ONE guide through out would be great., we had a total of FOUR, and you can't get to know one person particularly during that time..... (15th December 2010)