3 independent reviews for Family holiday in Vietnam

Reviews for Family holiday in Vietnam

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review 26 Aug 2016

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

We all enjoyed the overnight train journey and the overnight at Halong Bay. We felt that we got a really good insight into the country thanks to our guide, Nam, who is a star.

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

Donīt overpack. You really can get stuff washed along the way for next to nothing. Be prepared to get stuck in and let the kids off the leash a bit to make their own friends amongst the group. Go with the flow and try everything, whether itīs new food or swimming in a lagoon. You donīt need malaria tablets! I took a previous travellerīs advice and booked a few days in a resort to chill out after the trip. So glad we did!

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

To some extent, yes., as in benefiting local people. Too many small plastic bottles of water given out, though.

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

It was very insightful into the country and a lot of fun, thanks to Nam, who has endless patience and is always smiling. It was quite full-on and packed which is good. Iīd recommend it.

review 11 Aug 2013

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

the trip to Halong bay ,the wonderful meal on the boat and sleeping on the boat in the bay overnight. I also enjoyed the overnight train journey,what an adventure ,and arriving in Hue railway station was an experience. We did three cycle rides all of which were a wonderful experience ,not only of the traffic but a lovely way to see the countryside.

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

definately to get some clothes made in Hoi an and experience as many of the optional trips as possible. There wern't any mosquitos which was a joy! Enjoy every minute it was fantastic.

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

I hope so,as I dont know or understand a lot about the infastructure of Vietnam I dont know how my visit will have helped to improve the lives of local people apart from we gave our laundry to a local buisness instead of the hotels. We did eat at KOTO twice which is community based and helps improve the lives of disavantaged children.

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

Our guide Hai was fantastic, he had lots of knowledge, had a great sence of humour and looked after us well. He really helped make the holiday as fantastic as it was. Thankyou

review 1 Jan 2012

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

When you've hiked in the Himalayas and the Andes, communed with the Bhutanese and the Mozambicans, you can't quite imagine that you could be stunned by something as simple as a Good Morning Vietnam trip. We were immersed in this really poor country, with the hint of past traumatic occupation and wars, and received the most generous opening of hearts from this 80% buddhist country. From the arts to economics, farmlands and the intensity of a 5-million motorcycle strong Saigon, this country is vibrant with enterprise and everyone is busy at something. I am amazed at the intensity of life, such a small tract of land, home to so many millions of people, peacefully coexisting and working so hard to attain middle class status. My children wore pollution masks for the first three days, such was the intrigue of their small little noses, light hair, large eyes, that they were continually being touched and offered food ... such a compliment and yet surprising that we seem so unusual to them.

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

This trip is busy. We rode motorcycles into the mountains to visit a nursery and eat at a female monastery; we cycled for four hours through farmland, learning the watering and planting techniques; we kayaked in the magnificent Halong Bay and stayed overnight on a local boat; we experienced the rather precarious reunification express; we manoeuvred down the Mekong Delta and stayed with a local family; we learned to master crossing a street in Hanoi and Saigon - not for the faint hearted; we immersed ourselves in the dance and music and the water puppet show, the pagodas and Emperor dynasties ... we tested food in a restaurant run by orphans, and a kitchen where Bill Clinton enjoyed a meal - we even had a cooking class to make our Christmas dinner; we haggled and bargained and shopped and had immaculate suits tailored .... and we could do all of this with the incredible management of our guide who dextrously directed us through a very full schedule (sometimes five different venues to visit before lunch), and a very diverse group who wanted to discuss the national economic and political policies, home life and intergenerational development ... all so completely different to our Western experience. Our guide was exemplary and we would host him in any of our homes should he wish to visit.

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

Vietnam is overpopulated and so one can do little about impact on the environment. People need a place to live and to farm, and so natural habitat will take a knocking. Sanitation is also an issue, so be prepared for your environment not being as clean and perfumed as you would hope. In terms of your money going to the local economy, I couldn't have imagined that our tour would support so many small business providers. We experienced about five different boat journeys, we hired 12 motorcycles and rickshaws which came with their own drivers, bicycles and doormen and cooks and laundry people. Our guide brilliantly asked for Ģ30 upfront, and he distributed the money in terms of tips and contributions accordingly, from a nursery and monastery, to a boatman, other guides and a chef. There were additional experiences we had to pay for, but the group were happy to participate as they were so unusual, and our guide assessed our willingness to delve deeper into cultural life. However, you are given the option of taking an afternoon off or not joining some activity - and you are accommodated accordingly, as one mother had to be when her son was sick for 2 days. I was most impressed with all service we received. Early on in our cycle ride, one of my children's brakes were faulty, and as we pulled up to a traffic light a few minutes later, three repairmen were waiting to adjust the bicycle so that we could continue safely.

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

This is an excerpt of a letter I sent to the CEO of the operator: "Laki managed our definitive group with such dextrous skill, humour and sensitivity, that we felt that we’d lost an anchor when we said goodbye on our departure from Vietnam. He facilitated in-depth conversation about the national economic structures, technological development, local politics and social development initiatives, the communist/socialist/capitalist mileage that makes up Vietnam’s growth, the nuances of home and inter-generational life, the horrors of the wars, the dynasties of generations of leaders … and also offered us long periods of silence to absorb and review all that we observed and felt. Our cups were filled to the brim each day with Vietnam life so diverse and complex, colourful and different from our own lives, and shared with such generosity of spirit."

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