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Mrs. Vicki  Anderson and family from New Zealand

  1. Guide (s):

Mr. Son (North of Vietnam): very good and knowledgeable

 

Ms. Manh (In Sapa): Mike was an excellent guide, he shared much information about the region and the minority peoples. The younger members of our party enjoyed the trekking because he was someone of their own age.

 

Mr. Quoc (Centre of Vietnam):  very Knowlegeable but as we didn’t require a guide in Hoi An  we missed out on his expertise.

 

Ms. Khoa (South of Vietnam): A very good guide – patient in waiting for us when we were slow. I would have enjoyed a bit more detail at the Cu Chi tunnels and the opportunity to buy some fruit at the floating market.

 

  1. Accommodation:

Homestay (In Sapa): Very hospitable people who made us very welcome and cooked delicious food.. We enjoyed our stay there. A point to note – we would have liked a fresh, clean towel each, we suspected the towels had been used by others and the next group that arrived were going to use them as well.

 

Thuy Duong 3 Hotel (In Hoi An): Excellent hotel, lovely rooms with an oriental decor. The hotel had an excellent breakfast buffet. We all appreciated the swimming pool. The spa was nice but the girls couldn’t speak English and some didn’t appear to know what to do as they kept running into one of the rooms to ask questions. Prices were a bit high at $35 each treatment. We 3 girls had treatments at the same time so

 

Gia Linh Hotel (In Ho Chi Minh City): This hotel was the least suitable . On checking our itinerary we were booked into a standard room which was NOT suitable. Westerners are bigger people and need a bit more space  to move around in. The rooms offered were small and dark and had been slept in previously, possibly by other staff( hairs on the pillows and on the sheets) YUCK!  the staff were unhelpful until I rang you. they would not put us into a triple room, after much discussion and talking to you the best they would offer was a queen bed and a single bed for 3.. the bedroom was very small. Also the breakfast was more suited to Asians. We would have liked more fruit and baguettes, hot tea and coffee.. We would not stay there again.

 

Kim Tho Hotel (In Can Tho): A Lovely spacious hotel and charming staff. The hotel was new, we were greeted on arrival with hot towels and watermelon juice. There was complementary water and fruit in the room, a view over the river and tea making facilities. Also the bathroom was fantastic – plenty of bench space for toiletries, the correct number of towels, hairdryer etc.

 

 

  1. Transport (Land, water and air):

 

Very good. it was wonderful being collected from the hotel and not having to worry about how to get to locations. Generally the vans were very comfortable and the commentaries from the guides were very helpful.

The planes were very efficient and the boat rides were lots of fun and quite a restful. Way to travel..

The overnight train to Lai Cao was a good experience.

 

 

  1. Restaurants:

In Sapa: Nice food

In the Centre:  The food was very good

 

In the South: An excellent restaurant was suggested by Mr Kuoc

 

  1. Places you visited:

Trekking in Sapa – fantastic Visiting minority villages and people.

The Eco Tour in Hoi An was a highlight, we had a wonderful day 8am-3pm cycling among the rice fields, gardening with the old lady on her organic farm, sitting on the water buffalo, meeting the fisherman and doing activities with them- different types of fishing and enjoying tea with the villagers- such lovely people.

We really liked the interactive parts of our holiday where we were doing things rather than just sightseeing. The Mekong Delta was good but we would have enjoyed doing a bit more..

 

 

  1. Design and management of your tour:

 

Gia Linh has done a superb job of organising our tour; meeting Ha and having her ring every few days to check that all was well.

The guides and drivers took the stress out of moving around the different places and wherever we went our guides rang ahead so that meals and accommodation was ready for us – great attention to detail. The guides were very knowledgeable about the history and area we were visiting.

We would have liked longer in Vietnam

I also think that a city tour the day after you arrive is helpful in getting your bearings and I wish we had done so. A city map included in the package for the areas to be visited would be helpful before arriving.

 

PS the best fabrics were found in the Ben Thank market in Ho Chi Minh city.

Perhaps you could find out what people are looking for and give them some guidance by providing a sheet.

 

  1. Are there any recommendations or criticisms of services, restaurants, shops, visit sites and so on that you’ve visited on your own?

Stall holders in  Ben Thank Market in Saigon were very pushy but the market has everything you might want to buy- even goods from Sapa.

Hoi An shop owners were reluctant to bargain and their prices seemed high. The town itself is very picturesque.

The Gai Linh hotel was a disappointment and we wouldn’t recommend it.

 

  1. If our customers in New Zealand need comments of Gia Linh Travel, will you help?

Yes we would happily recommend Gia Linh as a fantastic tour operator.

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