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Good Morning Vietnam! QVN
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Each departure date has it's own dedicated tour note, detailing all you need to know about that tour. Whether you've already booked, or weighing up your options, please choose carefully the relevant itinerary for you.
We have the following different versions of the Good Morning Vietnam! tour available at present.
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What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?
The historic quarter in Hoi AnRead more
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My husband and I have just come back from this tour (started 22 April 2014). The country and the food were fantastic however this tour is not what either of us had come to expect from Explore; we couldn't have done anything more tourist driven if we had tried, all except one tour cost extra on the trip and because we were a small group (7 people) we were repeatedly told that if some people didn't go on a trip it would cost more. Not something you want to hear about 10 times on a holiday. I know it was a budget trip but if you actually wanted to do something, it cost money (either with Explore or another tour company in the country) so really not sure who was benefiting from this arrangement. Our guide was ok but didn't look out for us as much as we would have liked, didn't come on meals with us very much which meant that the language barrier made things tricky at times. We were pretty much left on our own for the first 2 days in Ho Chi Minh City, luckily we'd both been to SE Asia several times before but if I hadn't and was travelling on my own it would have been a major issue.
Could not fault the country - amazing food, great scenery and fascinating culture but not the imaginative sort of tour we had come to expect of Explore. Please do better!
Thank you for your feedback. As this is one of our ‘Simply’ tours (those designated with an initial ‘Q’), very little is included – they are designed, as indicated in our literature and on the website, to provide the logistics of transport, tour leader services and accommodation, leaving customers free to make their own choices of activities. Our tour leaders will offer those options listed on the Tour Notes, because these are the ones that have been checked by our local agents or by ourselves, but of course any customer on such a tour has every right to choose which ones to do, or whether to make their own arrangements with other service providers – although we can’t assist with the latter, as we cannot guarantee their quality, value or safety. It is unacceptable for a tour leader, or indeed other group members, to put pressure on anyone to join a particular activity on the grounds that it makes it more expensive for others if they don’t. We are sorry about this, and all our Vietnamese tour leaders are aware that they must not do this, nor permit other customers to do so.
What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?
Kayaking in Halong Bay
How was your Explore Tour Leader?
What tips would you give to someone else booking this tour?
Take sheet sleeping bag for overnight trains - provided with only 1 sheet on train.
We did this tour on land only as wanted to spend some extra time in Thailand before and after. Good job we did because 20 minutes after landing in Bangkok my sister lost her passport, credit cards, and about $1000. (her own fault she put her neck bag on top of the taxi as we were leaving whilst taking off her sweater, and then just left it there on top by the time we realised it we were halfway down town and after retracing our steps it was no where to be found).
Anyway we had fun.. managed to get a temporary passport for her after getting a police report first... and even got the Vietnam visas on time too.. ready for the start of the tour. 8 of us set off for Cambodia in a squashy mini bus, confusion at the border, as all the big bus had gone, and the Guide, (Nak) was phoning everyone in sight to try and get transportation. We had to hang around for three hours, ended up getting three taxis into Siem Reap. Hotel was ok, altho would have been better further into town. Nak was a good guide, stayed with us alot of the time and very informative.
In Cambodia what stands out most, (apart from the Angkor Wat and Thom temples) for me was the seven hour boat trip to Battenbang which was great, watching the river people fishing and going about there everyday lives as we drifted by, amazing how people can exist on so little.The Prison and Killing Fields were terribly sad, but everyone needs to go and hear the story if only to make sure that this doesn't happen again. The brutality of man to man is sometimes quite unbearable. Vietnam was different to what I had imagined HCM was very modern and old mixed together.
CRAZY CRAZY traffic 4,000,000 motor scooters make it impossible to cross the road, so you close your eyes and just walk, and they will avoid you.. (hopefully!!!) The noise is constant, not agressive noise, just NOISE! Loved the Mekong and the little trip down there was enjoyable. Was sick for the Cho Chi tunnels altho the group seemed to enjoy it, I thought it really bad taste to be able to shoot a machine gun down there at whatever the cost. The tunnels have been widened to fit Westerners these days. Nha Grang was a nice beach stop for Christmas, even tho we had to do an overnight bus Christmas Eve (would't recommend it!!!) Marble Mountain was interesting, getting accosted by 200 vendors in the village below wasn't!!! Some one should tell these people that Westerners shop better if left to their own devises, rather than being harrassed into buying. Most of the group liked Hoi An, though for us it was too tourisy. Hue was a waste of time, boring old place, although did enjoy the manderin night, where we all dressed up as King Queen and Court and were entertained by minstrels whislt we ate!!!!
The highlight was definately halong Bay absolutely beautiful, the 'junk' was lovely too, food good, and our gala dinner in the cave for New Year was brilliant. Hanoi was rather spooky, and we only spent a couple of days there, saw Ho Chi Minhs body lying in state, doesn't look too bad for being dead 42 years|!!! also went around the infamous Hanoi Hilton prison. Spent the remainder of our vacation on an island in Thailand doing NOTHING! Advice for anyone doing this tour...?? Get a course of anti biotics from your Doc to take a long with you, cos sooner or later you will need them..also a sleep sheet for the trains would be useful, (I bought one in Hoi An in the end...)
Advice to EXPLORE...PLease find something else to see besides following other groups around the country. We were even staying at the same hotels at some points...With a name like EXPLORE you really should be doing a different itineray to 100 other companies. On the whole, altho I enjoyed the trip, because I belive in making the most of what you have.I was very disappointed with this trip, and feel it needs alot more work..More time in Cambodia for a start..perhaps a beach stop there as well, it was all so rushed. More comfortable buses and trains, standard just needs to be upped abit. Also ONE guide through out would be great., we had a total of FOUR, and you can't get to know one person particularly during that time..... (15th December 2010)