Our travel agency was great. Some of the things that stick out in our minds:
- Our agent was very flexible in arranging the itinerary. We are typically independent travelers so wanted to book some of the flights and hotels on our own, and she was fine with that.
- When she did pick hotels for us, they were very good. The transfers they arranged for us (to/from the airport and between cities) were absolutely reliable, the guides spoke English well, and it was great not to have to worry about transportation given we don't speak any of the local languages. The private tours were all top notch.
- One thing that stood out was our agent's availability when we were in country. If we ever had an issue or question, we could call or text and she would get back promptly, even outside working hours. It really felt like we had a 'lifeline' available, and that was very reassuring!
- Our agency also helped arrange our visas to Vietnam; some of the other travel agents who approached us did not offer that service.
- One word of warning: I think this company focuses on 'high end' services; I'm not sure if they would be as good for budget travelers. However if you are on a budget, I would still say it's worth giving them a shot, since the service they provide is very professional and they really do take good care of you while you are overseas.
Generally speaking the private tours provided by our agency were very good.
- In Ho Chi Minh City, the boat ride & tour of Cu Chi tunnels was excellent.
- The private car ride from HCM to Can Tho also included an excellent excursion on the Mekong.
- In Thailand, we had one guide through the two days. The tour of the Grand Palace was a bit grueling due to the heat and the crowds, but we knew it was a busy travel time (Lunar New Year) and the sites were amazing. The tour to Ayuthaya got a bit rushed, which was too bad, and the long boat ride back to Bangkok was okay but a little boring at times. Still it was probably better than going by bus, and the ruins are totally worth the trip.
We were also impressed by that local folks that we met in the south of Vietnam; they are some of the friendliest we have ever encountered.
After Bangkok, we spent a few days in Ko Lanta at a phenomenal resort in a beautiful location. This was not arranged by our agency but was definitely a highlight of the trip.
1. Allocate more time to explore Vietnam. It's a large diverse country; we wish we had more time to spend touring the northern part of the country.
2. Make time to visit Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand.
3. Give ourselves more time to get over the jet lag on returning from HCM to NYC. It really takes a few days to come back to yourself.
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"Our travel agency was very responsive and accommodating during the planning process and while we were in Vietnam."
"We had a great experience. Our guides were helpful and tried to please us. No issues with the arrangements or connections."...
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