Christine Lee review 26 Mar 2023
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Motorcycle trip in Hanoi and lovely people
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
If you want your hand held then this is for you but if you want off the beaten track authentic independent travel with real
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
No .it may have benefits for the local guides but beyond that there was nothing specific about environment or these factors and nothing really off the beaten track as we had hoped for and. Had experience of from your previous recommendations. So a bit disappointed. No emphasis at all on these factors.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
We had a great trip but we were disappointed that we assumed we were doing activities that were special and local and not just those we could do on large bus and group trips. For example when we read we were doing 2 km trek through the jungle we didn’t expect to be walking with hoards of people from a. Bus trip along a paved path and so we did not need a guide and as independent travelers felt a bit embarrassed.this happened several times. The team were lovely people don’t get us wrong. But compared to the experiences we had in Sri Lanka this did not offer offer anything more or different then. We could have booked through air band b or equivalent.
Read the operator's response here:
Dear Ms. Christine Lee,
I wanted to follow up on your comment posted in Responsible Travel a while ago for your trip in Vietnam on March 2023 with us.
First of all, I would like to thank you for your time and appreciate your feedback regarding both the good and negative experiences. We always strive to provide the best experience for my clients and take negative comments seriously.
I wanted to let you know that I did check throughout with all the details emails for this deal with Ms. Trang, your Tour Operator of this trip. Please be advised as follow:
We are specialized in private tailor tour, so the program is built up basing on the desire of the customers. So after many emails back and forth, changes of the program until the 9th draft, we have finally get the agreement from you and deposit. Saying that just to make clear that we have followed the customer’s request closely, details by details.
I also understand that Trang also sent you a lot of information regarding the trip like accommodation in Bach Ma National Park/Tam Coc/ Hanoi, vehicles, the sites of visiting…. for your comparison and consideration each time you had any questions about these. So we believed that we have offered you all the necessary details for your final decision on the trip.
As for the Caves exploring in Phong Nha, sorry for making you feel like this is a tourist trap. Paradise Cave is one of the best caves in not only Vietnam but also in the World so there are many people visiting this caves daily. To avoid the busy from the group tour, we did arrange the private tour for you. Since it’s a unique tour with the strictly timing to explore each day so we cannot avoid the crowded when all the tourists have to get on the same timing for the adventure. So, we are sorry for this unexpected crowd by the time you get there. Of course, we have other options of less touristy caves but most of these tour need a lot of fitness and heath requirements.
Sorry for the feeling that the trip does not make the benefit to locals people, environment or anything at all, just benefit to the guide. Well, perhaps this is what it is look like to you but only by traveling, you helped a lot of people in the travel industry like hotels, restaurants.. who did suffer during the pandemic. As for the locals, for example in the Cham Island Diving tour in Hoi An (which you skipped in the last minutes), the Cham island is so far away from the mainland so the people on this island can only earn money for living by cooking meals for tourists, rent the tent/chair on the beach, selling souvenirs. By the present of the tourists, young people do not have to leave their own home to another far away city to earn the money and , they can take care of their parents and children..
Maybe our mistake was not taking carefully of the “off beaten track” requirements from you but to be honest, it was also confused us from what you expected. You wish something off beaten track but want to have a comfortable stay and not too much activities.
Anyhow, this is just for your kind sympathy and understanding on this circumstance and to know more from our perspective.
Again, thank you for traveling with us and your review. We wish you all the best and having many good trips in the future!
With best wishes,
Thanh Ha (Mrs.)