5 independent reviews for Vietnam Reunification Express4 star rating

These full and frank independent reviews are from travellers who have booked directly through responsibletravel.com. They are not edited by us or any of the companies we work with. Find the real story, from real travellers below.

Faye T review 26 May 20124 star rating

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


Hoi An was an absolutely stunning town, I loved the walking tour we did round this area. The hotel here was fantastic too. Though possibly the most memorable experiences were the night trains, where you had a great chance to get to know your fellow travellers with the time spent together on them.

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


I would definitely recommend this trip, though I would suggest allowing an extra day in Saigon and at least two for tagging on a Halong Bay boat trip.

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


Yes, we always ensured we used local guides, drivers, etc. It's also the policy with this tour company to use a guide from that country, so if you were to do a longer trip into Cambodia your guide would change at the border.

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


Excellent! A great introduction to Vietnam with the right mix of planned and free time. Great local transport and an amazing guide in Giang.

Mary Bowden review 6 Oct 20094 star rating

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


Too many to mention! Saigon was our first stop and it was a crazy but brilliant place. The Chi Chu tunnels and the war museum were sobering and a real eye opener - though really worth seeing. The Imperial City of Hue was gobsmacking... the citadel is mostly in ruins but you get a real sense of the size, complexity, and grandeur of the place. Unlike in Western countries the health and safety zealots had not got involved and you can fully explore the ruins and watch as they work hard to restore it.

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


Be prepared for over mental stimulation! The two weeks are ram packed with things to do, see and learn. The extra trips are good although sometimes its good to explore by yourself without it being organised. In Hue me and my brother chose to miss out on the motor bike trip (which everyone said was amazing) to explore the citadel. Personally, I think we won as it blew us away and we spent hours exploring it. Plus we'd already done similar trips where you wizz from one site to another.

Other tips: Eat the food! Its very tasty though not as spicy as Thai. Pho is great. A sleeping bag liner for the trains though don't expect a particular good nights sleep :) A good sense of humour, an open mind, and a willingness to join in and make friends. Understanding for your fellow travellers and the people whose country that you are visiting. A sense of curiosity and a big smile!

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


I was expecting the holiday to be more basic in terms of hotel and transport so at times I did feel a little bit of a rich tourist rather than a traveller making a contribution. However, we ate locally and all the trips were paid for in local currency.

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


Amazing! If you have limited time, don't want to spend your holidays in plush hotels doing things you can do at home, or want to meet new people and have new experiences then these types of trips are for you. Vietnam was stunning, the people kind and open, the food was lush and the traffic just crazy :)

Natalie Whitworth review 25 Aug 20075 star rating

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


The whole holiday exceeded our expectations, although the 2 extra days we gained by hiring a bus meant we had the opportunity to visit My Son and the Mekon Delta which was fantastic.

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


I would fully recommend this holiday to anyone considering an alternative destination. Vietnam was an amazing place, and our tour guide Mr Hai had such an amazing knowledge of his country. As for tips... I would perhaps suggest to travellers that they arrive 1-2 days before the trip starts to climatise and start to take everything in. This also gives the opportunity to see more of the sights not included on the trip, or sights that are closed during the trip. Another tip would be to remember that the tour is not set in stone, the flexibility gained us 2 extra days to see more of the country and see more of the lesser-visited places which was fantastic!

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


Yes I do. We took full advantage of what the local people had to offer, and used local transport where necessary. Our tour guide took us to local restaurants, local shops, and we visited out of the way villages and purchased their produce.

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


10 out of 10!
The holiday was more than we ever could hope for and more!

Sarah Jacobson review 27 Aug 20065 star rating

I went on the 10 day "Reunification Express" trip in Vietnam and had a truly fantastic time. The tour was well organised - the pre-tour information was extremely helpful and the tour itself ran incredibly smoothly.

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


The itinerary was great - full of interesting and exciting activities. To be honest it is quite difficult to pick out just one exciting moment - amongst the highlights were the two days shopping in Hoi An, the cooking lesson in Vietnamese cuisine, the trip to the local mud bath and whizzing around the countryside, off the beaten track, on the back of a motorbike taxi. The most memorable thing about the whole trip is probably the people - a fantastic group of people; I have made some really good friends.

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


The biggest tips I would give other travellers considering this trip are to firstly pack light - there is so much to collect along the way they'll need room in their backpack! Secondly, take a really good camera - Vietnam is such a beautiful country they'll want to capture it on film. Lastly, make sure they take a sense of humour with them - the train is a rather "epic" experience and the time will pass a lot quicker if they can have a laugh... a pack of cards and an arsenal of banal games will come in quite handy. Oh... and remember to take the diaralyte and imodium - the heat and change of diet will get the better of them otherwise!

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


Yes, I felt that the holiday did benefit local people, and minimize the impacts on the environment. That was one of the things I really liked about this tour. Our guide was very knowledgeable and aware, and he really helped us to support local people - by taking us to restaurants that train, employ and raise money for street kids and by seeking out local people for services such as laundry, and by visiting small businesses and cottage industries.

4. Any other comments?


I think I would definitely rate this as a five star holiday... I'm already thinking about my next trip with the same company (maybe with some of the friends I have made on this one!!). I really can't recommend this trip highly enough... although the trip was only 10 days long, and we were away in Vietnam for 2 weeks in total it felt like a much longer break as we crammed so much into it. Amazing.

James May and Lyndsey Beveridge review 10 Dec 20064 star rating

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


So many to pick from; can't choose just one! e.g. the old quarter of Hanoi and trying to cross the roads, getting tailoring in Hanoi, many many great places to eat, vodka parties on the sleeper train ...

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


  • Take/buy in hanoi a silk sleeping bag inner for the sleeper train.
  • Accomodation was better than expected, even for an 'easy' rated tour.
  • Food and drink is very cheap.
  • Chat to locals whenever you can, they're generally really really friendly and its interesting to hear their stories or even just practice their English / our Vietnamese. Make the effort to learn a few words / phrases of Vietnamese, they appreciate 'thank you' etc.
  • When buying and tipping, be generous. Don't haggle for ages over what amounts to pennies to you, but may be significant to the seller.


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


    Sometimes but perhaps more could be done. It was good that the tour guide was Vietnamese, and that hotels were all Vietnamese-owned, not international chains.

    Holiday Reviews

    You can trust responsibletravel.com reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays. In addition, we don't run these holidays ourselves - our only interest is giving you the best independent advice.

    Read our review policy

    Unedited reviews from other travellers

    5 stars
    I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
    4 stars
    Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
    3 stars
    Very enjoyable
    2 stars
    It was OK
    1 star
    A bit disappointing really
    Convert currencies