- The Cambodia section was excellent and our tour guide Sitar was wonderful: he was very caring and empathetic, and took very good care of us. Also we liked Cambodia as a country, especially Angkor Wat, a real highlight. All the accommodation was very good, all with air con and ensuite, and good sized rooms. The food in Cambodia was lovely, and everything was quite cheap.
We much appreciated the skills of the guide in showing us the key sites, and timing our presence at the bat cave, another memorable sight. Sitar also made sure he showed us the different foods including barbequed rat!
By contrast our guides at Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City were pretty hopeless.
Us two arrived at Bangkok airport at 9am and were met by someone who took us to the hotel. There were no messages from Explore, and we didn't see our guide till about 3pm. We went looking for a meal and couldn't find anywhere local, so bought lunch at the hotel which wasn't cheap. We met some other Explore tourists, and we all spent wasted time hanging around in the hotel with no guide. Eventually the guide appeared and took us out, but then arranged for us to eat in the hotel in the evening (without asking us) so we had no Thai street food. We suspected the guide had been persuaded by the hotel for us to eat there, as they had few customers.
Then Cambodia was great.
When we met our Vietnam guide he was equally uninterested in us, and was attached to his phone, hunting Pokemon! There was nearly an incident crossing the road when he just walked over and expected us to follow and two women just missed a car. We barely saw him on the second day.
I am mentioning this as it felt like the guides for 1-2 days were not at all interested and didn't provide the service we normally get from Explore.
Ho Chi Minh City had a great market, and the trip to the Mekong Delta showed us a different dimension of Vietnam.
It's a great area to visit and we will do more Explore trips to this area.
Published on: 10 October 2016