I just happened upon the Zicasso site when we were toying with the idea of a trip to Vietnam. They put me in touch with this travel planner in Ho Chi Ming City. And from there our wonderful adventure to Vietnam started. Our travel planner was extraordinarily helpful, flexible and responsive in creating an itinerary for 4 for us that suited us perfectly. He started us off with a plan that we could adjust based on our preferences. He was responsive to our need for a couple of days free from excursions. The trip he planned for us was not cookie cutter.
Our trip included excellent guides in all the cities as well as all the transportation - very important especially in the cities. Our drivers always managed to get us to our destinations on time, even in the chaotic traffic. There was a choice of accommodation and most meals were included. Pre-trip, our travel planner was always available to answer our questions and prepare us for eventualities such as visas and tipping policies. An during our trip, when weather prevented us from going to the Pu Luong Retreat, our travel planner and our local guide seamlessly reworked our accommodation to another resort.
One is always a bit apprehensive in today's world about committing and wiring money overseas to an unknown vendor. But our travel planner restored our faith in humanity and came through with the BEST adventure we could have hoped for.
We were the only visitors we saw on our visit to Ben Tre in the Mekong Delta, which included cycling through the jungle, a small boat ride to an incense "factory" in a private home and an exquisite lunch on the river bank.
"Cooking School" in Hoi An was on a remote island where we created a 4 course meal of Vietnamese specialties.
Likewise, the Art Tour in Ho Chi Ming City was an absolute delight giving an in-depth background not only to Vietnamese art history but to the history of the country as well.
Ha Long Bay is well known and beautiful and we were lucky enough to see it on a beautiful small junk before a typhoon blew in and shut down sailing. We also visited Ninh Binh, a beautiful province outside Hanoi where we cycled, climbed and rowed in an extraordinary landscape.
Of course, the food was fantastic everywhere. The recommendations of our guides for meals not included were always spot on.
I would spend more time...everywhere.
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