I have a lot of notes. I keep a journal as we travel and this being a 6 week trip I have a lot of information. First of all I want to comment on the ease with which we were able to travel through our trip. We were escorted carefully and professionally every step of the way. Even when there were delays due to air travel someone was always there to greet us with a smile and a warm welcome. The hotels were all very good with some being exceptional. I can't say enough about the hotel in Hanoi. It was our first stop and every hotel after that was compared to them. The service and the comfort there was beyond anything we have ever experienced. However, the guides were a little bit inconsistent. We definitely believe that the female guides were superior. They showed a level of care, knowledge and overall understanding of what a tourist may like or need was exceptional. We also noticed that the level of English was much better in Vietnam than the other countries. There was one guide that we could hardly understand and could not understand us therefore we were unable to ask questions and we were with him for 3 days. It might be a good idea to vet the guides a little better to make sure their English is understandable and conversational. The excursions were also fantastic. We mostly enjoyed the ones that put us in touch with local people as in Hue where we visited some homes and had very meaningful experiences. Those are the moments what will stay with us forever. I might suggest that an excursion where you get to meet a classroom of children and really get to interact with them would be wonderful. On our river cruise, our tour company had such an experience. It was a highlight as well. Again, this 6 week trip was so well done by this travel company and our agent was outstanding. I would recommend them to anyone without reservation.
The people we got to meet. The chance to really get to know something about another culture.
I would skip Ho Chi Min City, I would request female guides whenever possible. I would pay the extra money and fly Business Class to get there and back. I would ask for more excursions to meet the local people and less touring of buildings.
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