Jonathan M
Jonathan M
Summit, NJ

Fantastic Trip, Surpassed our Expectations

February 20, 2024

My husband and I (early 60’s) spent 3 weeks in Vietnam in November. We found Indochina Voyages by reading forums on tripadvisor, and saw they were highly rated. Nevertheless, it was a complete leap of faith for us to book our trip through them, and they far surpassed our expectations.

We contacted Minh and told him about ourselves, what we like, and a few places we thought we should see, and asked him to create an itinerary for us, with lots of activities (walking tours, food tours, some biking, some boating, museums, etc.) He sent a very detailed proposal and we proceeded to go back and forth with emails for about a month, until we felt we had a really good trip lined up, with lots of activities, but also some good relaxation built in (a necessity, especially after the very hot and humid days touring around.) At that point, we still had no idea how much the trip would cost, and were pleasantly surprised that even with staying at 4 and 5 star hotels, with a private guide and a private driver (do NOT plan to drive yourselves, there are thousands of locals on motorbikes and it’s extremely chaotic in the cities) the trip was quite reasonable.

Since my husband was scuba diving in Indonesia first, I planned to arrive in Hanoi a few days before him, so I could get over jetlag by the time he arrived. I’d never been to Asia and spoke not a word of Vietnamese, so was a bit nervous about arriving on my own. But, as promised, I was met at the airport by Snow, our private English speaking guide, (a lovely, knowledgeable, young woman and a delight to spend time with) and a driver, in a nice air conditioned SUV, replete with water bottles. I stayed at the Sinfonia del Rey solo, which was a lovely small hotel right in the heart of Hanoi’s old quarter, by the turtle lake. there After a few days of sightseeing with Snow, my husband arrived and we moved to the even nicer hotel, Peridot Grand, so we could experience a different part of the Old Quarter.

Every single one of the hotels that Minh chose for us was terrific — very comfortable, each more beautiful than the next, lovely staff, and really terrific food (breakfast was always included). We had been tempted to skip Halong Bay (it was a 3 -4 hour drive from Hanoi) but Minh insisted we should not miss it, and it ended up being one of the real highlights of the trip. We spent one night on a private junk (wooden boat) with a private chef, a captain, and an English speaking guide. Including the gourmet meals, the one night was about $700 and we are so glad Minh convinced us the splurge was worth it.

Minh also advised us to skip Sapa and to instead visit the less touristy Ninh Binh and Pu Luong, again excellent suggestions. And when we decided we did not want to visit Hoi An, since it was the height of rainy season there, Minh suggested we visit the island of Phu Quoc (we’d never heard of it) for some good weather and relaxation. The Salinda resort there was fantastic — gorgeous spacious room, lovely warm pool looking out over the ocean and the best breakfast spread we’ve ever seen. Plus good poolside restaurant for dinner and an excellent spa for massages.

In terms of practical advice: bring linen clothes, as cotton gets soaked and sweaty due to the humidity. Since my husband had a dive trip planned, we had to visit at that time of year, but if I return, we’ll try to go when it’s a bit cooler. Tell Minh what you like — we told him we’re not super early risers, and we don’t like to move hotels every night, we prefer to spend 2 -3 nights at each. We also don’t like to have every single minute of every day planned, so Minh built in plenty of time for us to explore on our own or chill at the hotel.

In conclusion: Minh was fantastic. When we decided during the trip that we didn’t want to do something, Minh came up with great alternatives. He also booked our internal flights and when the airline for one flight went bankrupt right before our trip, Minh quickly scrambled and booked another flight so our itinerary did not get messed up.He was communicative and available during the trip to make last minute changes, and could not have been more helpful or accomodating.

We are Mekong Experts

With over 20 years’ experience in the field of travel and cruise industry, combined with authentic local insights, we will help you make the best of your Mekong cruise.

Make an Enquiry

© Copyright 2008 - 2024 Luxury Cruise Mekong - All rights reserved