39 independent reviews for Vietnam holidays, tailor made

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.


review 11 Nov 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

There were so many highlights, the Vespa food tour of Saigon, the hiking in the mountains near Sapa, the boat trip on Halong Bay, the exquisite hotel, Shinta Mani, in Siem Reap.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Allow the operator to plan you an exciting, thought provoking trip involving a lot of interaction with local people and cultural exchanges.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I hope so. It seemed that we were giving our money directly to the people living and working there, as accommodation, restaurants and guides.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent. A full on cultural experience. Some people might have wanted more R&R but not us! We loved and felt as if we had taken advantage of every minute!

review 6 May 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

No one particular thing. It was all fantastic and so varied it is difficult to choose one thing. Loved the people, the culture and the scenery

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be prepared for the weather. Went beginning of April and very hot and humid especially in the South. Take time to talk to local people. They are very friendly and interesting. Embrace the culture and try everything . The food is good, even the street food. A good way to pass time people watching, sitting at the side of the street with a beer and a plate of good food. Make sure you have a good guide. They are invaluable. Without one you will miss so much.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, especially the people. The company is based in Vietnam and use local people.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

This was an amazing holiday. Very varied and interesting and great fun. Loved everything and good for all ages. ( we are 6 not so young ladies and really enjoyed the motor scooters, fishing, ''clubbing' ) we felt safe in the streets and met many interesting people. Our guides were second to none and the tour company had everything well organised and went the extra mile for us. Couldn't fault them. Now is a good time to visit Vietnam as it is changing fast and I would recommend anyone who is doubtful to just go for it. You will have stories to dine out on for a very long time. Only four stars as have had other amazing holidays especially in Africa so find it very difficult to compare, but this is up there with the best.

review 11 Mar 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Halong Bay. Hoi An. The latter is a World Heritage town, and is beautiful. We also spent 2 nights at a resort nearby, and would have like an additional day on the beautiful beach (but no lifeguards, so be cautious).

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Our holiday was completely planned by our travel agents. If you have knowledge about where you would like to go, you should let your agent know. We enjoyed the trip, and felt we saw a lot. But do not be fooled that this is some kind of holiday that is not geared expressly to tourists. We are tourists and were fine with that. Halong Bay was spectacular, and was a good example of a pure tourist destination, with many junks travelling together on the bay with people like us. The northern indigenous communities that we visited have many tourists tramping through. Having said this, it was very moving and enlightening to do these visits. The tourist dollar really helps these people, at least so it seems. We were interested in the 'American War' memorials, etc, but none of these were on our itinerary. Our travel agent was very accommodating in arranging a visit to the tunnels near Saigon and also the War Remnants museum which we had read about, and adjusted our trip accordingly. We had only 9 days, and travelled from north to south. This involved 2 overnight train trips to Sapa and back. Worth the trip, but the night trains were tough on me (little sleep). Our travel agents had us booked into hotels on arrival for breakfast and to freshen up, anyways, so we still had some hotel costs to deal with. We heard about a new road, and good busses, so you might consider this alternative if you have the time, and skip the overnight trains.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

There were times on our trip that we had so many local folks taking care of our little family of 3--on the Mekong Delta, we had 2 guides, a boat captain, his assistant and a cook. Everyone treated us like royalty---quite a bizarre feeling, really. It seemed that the tourist industry does provide a lot of jobs for enthusiastic locals. Sometimes these jobs are the best paying, compared with such jobs as teaching. There were orchestrated visits to farmers and fishermen, who we 'helped' and then tipped. We did not feel exploited, and did feel we made their lives possibly a bit easier. Sometimes there was a sense of scripted frivolity ('aren't we all having fun!!') that was annoying but kind of sweet at the same time. We did not feel we supported conservation or reduced environmental impacts.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Very varied and interesting. A great way to see the country if you have little time and do not want to do the planning yourself. We were well taken care of. There were many local tour guides who would need to meet us and orient us, and every single one was on time, pleasant and professional. We were very impressed with how well organized this was.

review 17 Nov 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Certainly over night train from Hanoi to Danang, when for 4 hours the train was a slight embankment and all around as far as the eye could see was flooded paddy fields and swirling rivers.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Try to avoid travelling long distances by road, as their tarmacced roads have virtually continuous ribbon housing eitherside of the roads. Slow and dull, with little opportunity to see countryside.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

In the hotels and homesteads local re employed.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent organisation from Vietnam agent, with mostly very good accommodation. Downside was lack of any sunshine for two weeks in mid to north Vietnam.

review 29 Jan 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Halong Bay and Siem Reap were amazing, but there were lots of other lovely places and people.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Check local flight times before going to the airport. I think we found out we had been put on a later flight after we got to the airport about 3 times.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

All our guides agreed that Haivenu was a good company to work for and paid better. We were also able to support many restaurants training disadvantaged children or disabled people, and found crafts made by landmine victims and other disabled people.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

It was a great overview of an area new to us. We would have liked to be more active, and perhaps visit more remote areas, but having said that, I am not sure what we would have left out to achieve this!

review 2 Dec 2013

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The whole holiday was really good and I don't think one particular part was more memorable than all of them.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Maybe do some research to make sure that all of the places you are most interested I are included on the tour. We felt we could have done more in Hanoi had we per planned a bit more as there are so many varied things to do.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

by using a local travel agent Ido feel that local people benefited. I do not think we did anything which supported conservation but I am not sure that is on the priority list for Vietnam at this time as they Are very keen to promote tourism and there is a huge amount of development, especially in the south and central areas.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

It was excellent- thank you for providing us with the introduction.

review 23 Apr 2013

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Vietnamese people

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take a break from constant travel for a couple of days

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

We used all local people who were working where they live.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Very highly

review 27 Jan 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The Cu Chi tunnels and learning more in depth and hands on about the most recent Vietnam war (The American War as they call it). Really well preserved site and the history is all very fresh and astounding to see close up and personal.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

The time of December wasn't the best time of year weather wise. It was often rainy and in the North of Vietnam it was often hazy and limited the view which was disappointing such as at Ha Long Bay. But at a better time of year it could make all the difference to some ones experience.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

I feel we had minimal impact on the environment where ever we went. I think the tour had a good mix of places and cultures which often benefited local industry in the different areas respectively. We were often encouraged to 'meet the people' and you can see that a lot of their lifestyle is based around tourism so it does feel that it is important you are there.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Fantastic, no complaints whatsoever and the local tour company was magnificent and excelled beyond our expectations. The places we went to were all great and I wouldn't change much at all if I was recommending to friends, which I have constantly be doing!!

review 23 Aug 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Halong Bay - stunning, beautiful scenery. Hoi An - lovely old city, on the coast too. Vietnam in general - interesting to hear the history from a Vietnamese perspective.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

We were originally quoted very expensive hotels (mostly 4-star). We asked the company to give us a breakdown of the holiday cost (which they consistently said they couldn't do!). So we asked them to quote 3-star hotels and it was a lot cheaper - and the hotels they chose were very nice, good standard, clean. No real complaints about the hotels - though sometimes the breakfast choices were a little limited if you want Western options. Also, when coming to final payment, the travel agency give a very bad conversion rate between GBP and U$ compared to current bank rates - so the 5% discount they gave us was swallowed up completely in the bad exchange rate!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Not especially - other than the local guides who you're told expect tips (and the rates seem high!)

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Overall - amazing. We had a great time, and it was organised well. The guides and connections worked fine, and all the bookings worked out. Everything mentioned on the itinerary actually happened with no significant changes.

review 9 May 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

This is a late review as our trip was in January but it deserves this highly positive review. The whole trip was excellent. I have previously emailed the operator with our review. The ethnic markets, the train trips, the hotels and staff, our guides, the high quality, safe, late model 4 wheel drives and excellent drivers (since we went on some steep and slippery roads), meeting local people and seeing the beautiful country, people and amazing Hanoi were all memorable.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

The weather in Sapa was misty with low visibility until the morning we left. We did expect that. Because the weather through out Vietnam varies a lot it is difficult to experience optimal weather if travelling from north to south and in the northwest as well. Just be aware of the weather in the parts you plan to visit. It didn't spoil our trip though.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

I think it did through employment of guides, drivers, hotel accommodation, and the hotel staff and our various purchases and using this operator as our travel company.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

I would rate the holiday very highly. I cannot think of any complaints about it. The operator was excellent to deal with. It is the first tailor made trip I have organized and it was totally successful. I would highly recommend this operator. They included everything we wanted into our very short 4 day trip and included a day hotel on 2 occasions (The Asean, the staff were so polite and helpful) which was a great idea.

review 3 May 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Not one but many memories - Vietnam is a wonderful destination to go to.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

What are you waiting for - book it! March/April best time to go.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes.

review 11 Jan 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Walking and kayaking with Tiger Trails in the countryside outside Luang Prabang, Laos. We were also in Hoi An, central Vietnam, for the full moon celebration: candle boats on the river and paper lanterns every where, magic.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

In Vietnam, chose Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city unless you are and absolute city junkie....we preferred Hanoi, a mad city but almost manageable and a great insight into how people are flourishing under capitalism. I almost 4 weeks, we regretted not spending more time in the mountains.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes to the first, to an extent...the tour organiser was local and all our guides were local and pretty good. There was a bit too much emphasis, in Vietnam, on a standard route to pottery villages/weavers/lantern makers: so the cash benefit was stitched up between a very few recipients. Walking in Laos, the same thing: the one school was clearly doing well from the numerous tourists....might be better to spread the benefits more equally. We were also surprised that we weren't more often pointed towards fair trade/priority employment restos and shops: we found them ourselves [Streets resto in Hoi An, and a great craft shop run by/for people with disabilities] and they were news to our guides. No to the second: we were a bit surprised by the luxurious accomm [eg Hoi An Beach resort] with no mitigation of its massive environmental impact: only one hotel [Zen Nam Khan in Laos] had a clue about environmental impact

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Pretty good once we'd accepted that we were not in fact responsible travellers, or only slightly so. We greatly enjoyed Both Vietnam and Laos but especially Laos, which could, just, develop green tourism if it had the will.

review 15 Feb 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Visiting and trekking in the Nam Cat Tien National Park.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Exactly as we did, to arrange a relaxing few days after all activities, to reflect and recharge before retuyrning home.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Most certainly.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Quite honestly, the best holiday of my life (so far) - and there have been many.

review 18 Apr 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

A trip to the mekong delta with a local guide. the delta is beautiful, the village and cottage industries we visited were fascinating and the lunch was spectacular. But all made possible by our guide for the day who spoke great English, knew a great deal and was just enchanting!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take advice from the travel agent - they know what they are doing and they are very trustworthy.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Definitely benefitted local people. Not sure about the environment since Vietnam is such a long country that flying is the only way to get from one way to the other in a short space of time, but aside from flights, we did our best to minimise environmental costs.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent trip and really interesting.

review 10 Jan 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The stay in Hoi An, excellent hotel, superb tour with local guide, sea, river, exquisite food (as per local guide's recommendations). We wanted to extend the stay there.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be sure to want to bring back loads of presents. Take locally organised tours - they are the best.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

We did hope so, having shopped more with locals instead of government owned stores (that are cheaper but bring income to the communist government instead of locals.)

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent! Looking at the next question - I would not say it was the best holiday, but I have been on quite a few and this was definitely one of the best.

review 26 Dec 2009

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Thoroughly enjoyed all of it, although Halong Bay was not the ultimate highlight for us as it seems to have been in many other traveller reviews. We were 3 adults travelling together on a private tailor made itinerary during the first 2 weeks of December 2009. The tour company originally suggested we went on one of the larger boats in Halong Bay but we opted for a smaller 5 cabin boat. With hindsight we may have been better going with the tour operator's choice, as I would imagine on a larger boat it's easier to escape from those people you don't want to mix with. The good thing about the smaller boat though was that it avoided the busier areas of the bay and it was lovely & peaceful. I would suggest you go now if you want to see it as already there are lots of boats. The traffic in Hanoi & Saigon is unbelievable. There are more motorbikes than you can ever imagine and what you can't move on a motorbike isn't worth having! The tour operator actually gave us instructions on how to walk out slowly into the traffic to cross the roads. If you don't walk out into the traffic you'll never get anywhere. It's a bit scary at first but you do get quite used to it after a couple of days. Just remember not to do it when you return home!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

As with all travel anywhere in the world go with an open mind & a sense of humour. We ate in local restaurants & the food was very good. None of us suffered any illness the whole time we were there. The French left an excellent legacy - the cake shops are to die for. Foreign hotel chains are building more hotels there but please stay in Vietnamese owned hotels. We stayed in 3 & 4 star hotels on a bed & breakfast basis. The 4* hotels were larger & had swimming pools etc and were very good but the smaller 3* hotels were in our view much nicer. The breakfasts at each hotel were excellent (western tastes were well catered for) and the best thing about all the hotels was the fabulous showers. Use local currency rather than US dollars as prices are cheaper in Dongs.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

We felt that by staying in locally owned hotels, eating in local restaurants & using local guides & drivers we were in a small way contributing to the Vietnamese economy. As we were only there a short time though we did take some internal flights.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

We thoroughly enjoyed the holiday. The tour operator we used was excellent both before we left the UK & during the time we were there. They kept in touch with our local guides & spoke to us 4 times whilst we were there to make sure everything was ok. I'm sure if it hadn't been ok it would have been sorted out instantly as nothing was too much trouble for them. If we were to visit Vietnam again we would definitely use this operator again and friends of ours have already booked a trip with this particular operator. We have used Responsible Travel before who put us in touch with an excellent tour operator in India & would use Responsible Travel again.

review 9 Dec 2009

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

It was all wonderful but the highlights for us were Ha Long Bay, the Mekong Delta (particularly the floating market at Cai Rang) and a last night dinner cruise on the Saigon River in HCMC. Highlights of highlights were the wonderfully cooked dinners on the Price 2 Junk and a barbecue on a secluded beach in Ha Long Bay. Crossing the road in Hanoi and HCMC is a trip into the unknown!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Whatever else you do make sure that you do the 3 day cruise (2 nights) on Ha long Bay. This takes you to the much quieter parts of the bay and you have time for kayaking, swimming and a beach barbecue.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes. Many people told us that the recession had affected the tourist industry badly so our very small contribution was welcomed. A visit to a lacquer workshop in HCMC staffed almost entirely by handicapped people was fascinating as were the craft markets in the Mekong Delta. Not too sure about our impact on the environment - the pollution in Hanoi and Saigon is already fierce some!

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Wonderful. Up there with the very best. We didn't really know what to expect but our trip far exceeded our expectations

review 2 Sep 2009

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

All of it was memorable but we particularly enjoyed Halong bay and the Mekong delta.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Trust the tour company who were always helpful, reliable and punctual. The mid range hotels were more than adequate for our needs. We would have liked to have visited Sapa, with maybe one day less in Hanoi instead.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes - it felt very local, supporting local employees and industries.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

First class, very difficult to fault in any way.

review 11 Mar 2009

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

From start to finish was enjoyable. One of the most memorable moments has to be the overnight stay on Halong Bay - what an experience. The junk we stayed on was excellent and the food was just superb. Such a relaxing time!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

If any other travellers out there are considering visiting Vietnam and do not want to be part of a larger group then put your faith in this tour operator. We talked via e-mail for a couple of months until we were happy with the itinerary and then finalised the trip with them. I really cannot praise the tour operator enough. Also, considering we designed the tour and then had the luxury of our own guide and driver, the whole holiday was not expensive and excellent value for money. Once in Vietnam you were not forgotten – the tour operator made regular contact to ensure all was going OK .

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes to a certain extent it did benefit local people but unsure as to whether it minimized impacts on the environment.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Extremely good. It achieved all that we set out to achieve, it has given us an insight into Vietnam and I am sure we will return.

review 8 Aug 2008

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Halong Bay and all the markets are the most memorable, but the overall country and people are fascinating.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Don't go at the peak domestic tourist time as it can get very crowded. Do eat in all the local restaurants. Sapa is probably more worth seeing than Dalat. Nha Trang is only worth doing if you are very interested in diving. Otherwise the beaches are not clean and the town is pretty uninspiring. It should be pointed out that the boat trip round the islands with drinks etc is not everyone’s cup of tea... the scenery is nice, but the island you get off on are full of rubbish.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes definitely.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

A fantastic holiday, definitely recommend it to anyone interested in Vietnam. Although if you are affected by seeing a lot of rubbish, best not to got here!

review 3 Sep 2007

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

We loved everything but in particular Halong Bay and the Mekong Delta.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

If you travel with this operator, follow the guides’ advices. They made suggestions along the way to modify slightly our trip, and all of their advices turned out to be a great idea. Also, visit the North, the Centre and the South of Viet Nam. Each part has is own beauty.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Everything was excellent

review 6 Nov 2007

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

So many memorable parts of the holiday. Here are a few: admiring the stunning beauty of Halong Bay, trying to cross the road in Hanoi without being mown down by a motorcycle and bartering for the excellent goods which can be purchased at the markets.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Use this operator - they have been absolutely brilliant. I was a bit apprehensive when I was booking this holiday especially when transferring large amounts of money. They quashed my fears when we arrived in Hanoi and was greeted by Hung and the driver. They have given us a professional and very personal service which has resulted in an extremely enjoyable relaxing and educational holiday

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes.

review 3 Nov 2007

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Discovering Vietnamese history, society and culture at its best and local interaction with our guides. Halong Bay and the Mekong Delta were the best sights.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

To be ready for a little bit of seeing things out of the ordinary from local culture and a lot of fun mattresses on motorbikes etc is something else to watch.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes it did - however it did not have a great impact on environment taking cars and internal flights - we are becoming so accustomed to our western comforts.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

It was a fantastic holiday and everything went well and it was relaxing because everything was so well organised with great attention to detail. We have to say that the choice of guides by Thao was excellent and they gave us their full attention at all times.

review 25 Mar 2007

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The whole holiday was so fantastic it is difficult to pinpoint a specific memorable occasion. We really enjoyed our "rural" experience and meeting the local people in their home and making Hoi An Lanterns. The whole trip was unforgettable.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take a waterproof as it can rain any time - but it is still warm. Definitely make the effort to travel to as many parts of Vietnam as time allows as it is so varied. Take US$ but change to Vietnamese Dong asap. The locals prefer their own currency - not the dollar as we were led to believe.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes - we ate in local restaurants and stayed in local hotels so hopefully our input will benefit the economy and the people.

4. Any other comments?

As a final note, I will be in touch with you again as I felt re-assured having Responsible Travel as the "middle man" when booking the holiday with a foreign company.

review 10 Jan 2007

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The whole experience, the weather, the people, the food, the environment. Particular highlights were the cooking classes - we did three of them, Halong Bay and Mekong Delta.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Travel lightly as you only spend a few nights at each place and lugging lots of luggage would be a pain. Also laundry in the hotels is cheap. The guides are a wealth of information so ask lots of questions. Leave your shopping until the end or buy things that are easy to carry for example in Hoi An silk scarfs etc.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, I believe our holiday benefited local people. I don't think we minimized our impact on the environment cause we took a big plane to get there, two further domestic flights and private vehicles to get around and we stayed at hotels where linen was changed daily.

review 20 Nov 2007

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The most memorable part of our holiday was chartering our own boat for 5 nights and 4 days visiting Halong Bay area and staying at areas where there were no other boats.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Just enjoy yourselves, the agency was brilliant and everything was arranged as we wanted.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes.

review 17 Aug 2006

We went in August to Vietnam. We spent 2 weeks there travelling from Hanoi to Saigon using a variety of methods of transport; overnight trains, internal flights and tour mini buses. The intinery was tailor made for our family of six persons. Our children range in age from 5 to 16 years. The travel company was excellent, local guides very knowledgable, country and culture fascinating, food superb and all this lead to a family holiday that is going to be exceptionally difficult to beat.

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

It is difficult to pinpint the highlights. For each of us it was different. Variety of modes of transport, understanding Vietnam's long and troubled occupations and history, and the most recent Vietnam war including museum and Viet Cong Cu Chi tunnels were very memorable.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

By using the advice of the travel agent when arranging the itinery and knowing your limits where long distance travel is concerned you can suit yourselves and get the most out of the time there.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, I do think our visit benefited the local economy, however the trip to Halong Bay possibly had a detrimental effect on the environment. There are simply too many boats operating in the beautiful area.

4. Any other comments?

We would readily recommend this company and give our holiday 5 stars. Thank you very much.

review 22 Jul 2006

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Most memorable experience - the trip from the airport to our hotel, the chaos of the traffic in Saigon meant our mouths were open and we didn't hear a word our guide said as we tried to absorb the sights and sounds unlike anything we had experienced before.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be adventurous when eating in Vietnam and don't stick to the 'tourist' restaurants. Although we avoided the pavement pho cafes we found places where the locals eat which were unbelievably cheap, the food and atmosphere was great and we suffered no ill effects!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

We are fairly certain the money spent in the hotels, restaurants and shops went into the local economy of the country rather than to multinational hotel chains etc. Flying to the other side of the world isn't really environmentally friendly, but hey...

4. Any other comments?

An unconditional 5 stars for our Vietnam trip! Go soon, the country is changing fast, but I am sure the Vietnamese will stay the same; surely some of the loveliest people in the world.

review 19 Nov 2006

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Cruising round Ha Long Bay, walking round My Son seeing the ruins of the Champa Kingdom (Thank you Uncle Sam), seeing the Citadel in Hue, haggling in Hoi An, the millions of motorbikes in Saigon and sailing through the floating market around the Mekong Delta!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Avoid the water puppets - too touristy! Go to the Cu Chi tunnels and the markets in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City all very interesting.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes.

review 30 Sep 2006

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Most memorable was Sapa and Bac Ha markets and Mekong Delta

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Book with Hang at this operator. She is tops

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

No environmental impact yet but will with more tourists

4. Any other comments?

Vietnam is fast changing to the impact of the dollar and people are quickly gearing to that change

review 1 May 2006

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Impossible to distinguish.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Avoid too many markets. Do not forget to tip drivers.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

I hope so.

4. Any other comments?

The fortnight was mostly marvellous and one of the best trips that I have had anywhere over a period of 40 years of overseas excursions. The tour organizers, the guides and the car drivers varied between good and excellent.

review 27 Feb 2006

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Endlessly smiling faces and kind and helpful people.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Spend as much time as possible with the "locals" and smile with them.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes.

4. Any other comments?

This operator is an excellent organisation which we have already recommended to friends. Highly efficient, knowledgeable and helpful staff at all levels, and very good organisers. 4---because we honestly can't say it was THE best--but certainly one of them. This operator is definitely one of the best we have ever come across in many years of travel around the globe. We can't praise them too highly.

review 11 Feb 2006

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Kayaking in Ha Long Bay and visiting the local people to celebrate Tet, Cu Chi Tunnels, Royal Tombs in Hue, getting our clothes made in Hoi An, and visiting the temples in Siem Riep including a balloon ride to watch the sunrise over Angkor Wat (in Cambodia).

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Do not go during the Tet holidays as so many of the museums and restaurants were closed and the temples were very very busy!!! We went for 2 1/2 weeks including Cambodia, we wished we went for 3 weeks!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, we only had local guides and drivers.

4. Any other comments?

We would definitely recommend this operator. The service was spot on and professional at all time. Nothing was too much for them including changing our intinerary more than 10 times!!! It was the first time we went on a tailor made holiday and we're not sure we can go back to small group holidays now! It gave us so much flexibility and allowed us to interact more with the local people. Using the local guides allowed us to 'see' the country from their own eyes and it was interesting to hear their experiences of the war.

review 1 Nov 2005

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Truly every single day was a new high - there were so many highlights from relaxing on the beach to hiking in the Tonkinese Alps to shopping in the busy city markets to cruising the Mekong Delta to... it's hard to finish the sentence.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Understand weight limitations on luggage with the Domestic airlines, and understand any size limitations on luggage.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

We really hope so...

4. Any other comments?

5 stars for sure - the tour company was excellent.

review 6 Aug 2005

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Ha Long bay overnight boat trip. Ha Long is deservedly a Unesco World heritage site indeed! Also the Cu Chi tunnels are well worth seeing and crawling around in to gain an insight into the 'American war'.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Make sure that you spend more than a day in the Mekong Delta. It is fascinating and can't be appreciated in a day.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes. All guides used were local and restaurants were locally (rather than internationally) run.

review 15 Jul 2005

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Would have to be the scenery and the people. They were both fabulous. Highlights of the scenery would have to be Halong Bay, Cu Chi Tunnels, Mekong Delta, Hoi An, Endangered Primate Rescue Centre, Cuc Phuong National Park, Markets.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

If deciding on what tour company to use, go with this operator! They were absolutely fabulous. I was so impressed with all the guides we had and the local knowledge was spot on. They were all so open and friendly and really showed us the very best of Indochina.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Most definitely. I only saw one place that was a restaurant on our way to Vinh Long that made me cry because of the horrendous conditions the primates were kept in. That was very disappointing but I am taking steps through the Humane Society and the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre to have something done about it. Local people definitely benefited from our tour. We used local guides and bought local produce wherever we could.

4. Any other comments?

We loved Indochina and we recommend it to everyone. Thanks Responsibletravel.com for recommending such a reputable company such as this one. They were absolutely fantastic, especially Ngoc who went out of her way to make sure we had the best holiday possible. We can't wait to go back!!!! Thanks again. I look forward to using your help again when we're booking our Africa tour next year.

review 7 Jul 2005

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The most memorable - everything.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

If you ever go to Vietnam - use this operator to help with your planning.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes.

4. Any other comments?

This tour operator did a great job and nothing went wrong.

review 15 Nov 2005

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Probably time spent informally in the Mekong Delta.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Best tip is probably a) to go with this operator and b) to use our packing list attached as a basis.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, our holiday definitely benefited local people, but I am not sure about minimising the impact on the environment. (We had one large vehicle for just the three of us - plus guide and driver. No complaint, though)

4. Any other comments?

We have no hesitation in recommending friends to search for holidays through you.

review 13 Nov 2005

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The whole trip was extremely memorable. They worked hard to ensure we enjoyed the historic sights, scenery, and shopping while staying in luxurious hotels. The people in Vietnam are extremely friendly and welcoming and our guides and this operator could not have done more for us.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

This operator provided excellent advice on the design of the trip and I would not hesitate in advising people to use them. It is nice to have a bespoke trip so you can do what you want when you want.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

They ensured we visited fair-trade or agent orange victims workshops so we had the option to purchase items there. All our guides were clear they felt tourism provided income that would not have been available. The trip used boats that did not dump waste in Halong bay.

Holiday Reviews

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Unedited reviews from other travellers

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really
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