Our group (3 families) wanted to visit Vietnam and Cambodia in Dec 2017 therefore reached out to Zicasso who connected us with two tour operators in Vietnam.
We decided to work with this travel agent to set an active itinerary for the 10 of us - 6 adults and 4 adolescents (ages 17-23). We shared our overall goal of the trip, activity level, accommodation preferences (# stars), and desire to balance our time between cities & rural villages. Our travel agent delivered beautifully.
Our agent's first proposal was 90% right on and we only needed to adjust a few minor things such as hotel in HoiAn (I wanted a hotel in old town but with shuttle to the beach), and added a boat ride on Tonle Sap Lake in Siem Reap to see the fishing village on stilts. Our itinerary included 9 days in Vietnam (North and Central) and 4 days in Siem Reap, Cambodia. We loved every min of each day. The accommodations were beautiful and activities were all memorable. We also built in down-time to allow free roaming or just relaxing by the pool.
We really enjoyed working with this travel agent. He was very responsive; he seemed to be working around the clock as the time difference between US and Vietnam didn't create noticeable delay in responses.
All our local guides were friendly and knowledgeable; they kept us on schedule but were also flexible to change things up to meet the group's needs. They all spoke good English so communication was never an issue. Our agent arranged a 29-passenger bus which gave us ample room to spread out! It made some long bus rides more enjoyable.
Each family had different departure plans after the group tour, and our agent worked tirelessly to ensure we each wrapped up our vacation exactly the way we wanted. Overall everyone had a fantastic time!
It is hard to name one or two most enjoyable parts of our trip because everyday was different and exciting. On our final evening together, we went around the table to pick our favorite thing and almost everyone had a different favorite activity. Some thought kayaking in Ha Long Bay was the highlight, or bicycling in Tam Coc, and some loved riding through the forest on the back of a motorbike in Seam Reap. I personally fell in love with our 4.2 mile hike through the rural villages and rice terraces in Pu Luong Nature Reserve; the scenery was more beautiful than imagined and the Pu Luong Resort was Vietnamese Shangri La - a must visit!
Some other highlights were biking through the Angkor World Heritage site to visit the different temples, cruising the Tonle Sap Lake to see the fishing village at sunset, and exploring nightlife in Hoi An (must check out the Tiger Tiger bar, but the drinks are overpriced!). Our 13-day trip went by very fast and it was hard to bid farewell to Vietnam and Cambodia. We greatly appreciate our agent's detail organization so we didn't have to worry about any logistics. One of the families spent an eve in Ho Chi Minh before flying back to Europe, and our agent visited the family at their hotel. It was very nice to meet the master behind the perfect vacation plan!
Nothing really. If I must pick one thing, perhaps request a newer bus in Hanoi. Our bus was adequate; it was a bit dated but clean, roomy and good AC, and the driver always had cold bottled water for us.
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