These full and frank independent reviews are from travellers who have booked directly through Responsible Travel. They are not edited by us or any of the companies we work with. Find the real story, from real travellers below.
Tamsin Wheeler review 2 May 2007Vietnam was amazing. The trip really opened my eyes to a totally different culture. I have been to South East Asia before but I had not seen such poverty as that of Vietnam. Yet, the Vietnamese people were so happy & friendly and such hard workers.
What struck and shocked me the most was the evident effects of war on this country. I was amazed that the Vietnamese people were not in any way bitter and just carried on regardless of the attacks on their country & people. They are extremely hard working people
Highlights of the trip for me were the Cu Chi tunnels - awesome & totally fascinating; the Hoi Ann orphanage - quite disturbing (the deformaties and disabilities were horrific) but SO rewarding. Playing and feeding with the young abled and feeding the disabled children are memories that will stay with me forever. The children took my camera & took pictures which are brilliant & a lasting memory. I will print these and send them to the orphanage. Koto restaurant was brilliant - brilliant concept, great service & delicious food. The Reunification Express was fun & interesting experience - certainly one to tell the grandchildren about!!! Duck embryon? NO THANK YOU!!! Lunch at the monastery and motorbiking around Hue was a massive adventure/memory too.
Van Phuc Lee was a fantastic, patient, kind, carign, considerate and informative guide.
My only criticism is that at times we seemed to follow the tourist trail (stopping off at places to buy local wares along with a million other tourists which we were not, we were backpackers wanting to see the real Vietnam) and Halong Bay which was not as beautiful as we were lead to believe. Ok, the weather was not great but the emerald waters were polluted (by all the other boats & tourists) when I swam off the boat.
Thank you for an amazing experience
Safann Mac Carthy review 2 Oct 2007
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Countryside, Scenery, Weather, Food, Company
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Try and find out the average age of the group - I was disappointed to find that there was only one other person under the age of 55 on the group with me.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?
In some ways yes - it was great to use the local guides and the local transport - it really gave you a great feel for the place.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
It was a great holiday. The age of the group was a bit of an upset to be honest and I do think that both myself (32yrs) and my room mate (25 yrs) should have been advised that the rest of the group were all between 55 and 70. It makes a huge difference when you have a group that have more in common. The trip itinerary was great and our guide - Lam - was fab!
Read the operator's response here:
Thanks for your feedback Safann and I'm glad you had a great trip. The age of the group is a tough one, as all our trips are open aged and usually the young and old mix and find they are there for the same reasons. If age is more important for you then I recommend choosing one of our Basix trips as (despite being open aged) they do attract a younger traveller.