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Jewels Of Indochina HIC

Visiting: Vietnam
Trip Duration 27 Days
 

Reviews for Jewels Of Indochina

Travellers were asked to provide a review of the trip, including highlights and tips.

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Jewels Of Indochina reviews verified by Reevoo

4 reviews

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Jewels Of IndochinaScores 8.5 out of 10 based on 4 reviews
(9 out of 10)

Jennifer

Sanderstead, South Croydon
In many ways, the holiday fulfilled our expectations. The tranquillity of Laos (no car horns!) contrasted with the sometimes frenetic hassle of parts of Vietnam and Cambodia. The insight given to us by the enthusiastic and knowledgeable tour leaders in each country opened our eyes to that part of the world, with Angkor Wat being the highlight. We experienced unseasonable weather, both cold and hot, so a warm layer is needed for Halong Bay. A sleeping sheet is a useful option for the overnight train journey and the Mekong Delta homestay. Your description of some hotels proved rather arbitrary. While we enjoyed the comfort of Thanh Lich hotel in Hue (a small, basic property!) and the Vinh Hang 2 City hotel in Hoi An, the Claremont Boutique hotel in Siem Reap was neither comfortable nor boutique - noisy, ineffective air-conditioning in humid 40 c and poor maintenance generally. Clearer directions were needed for the border crossing between Vietnam (Moc Bai) and Cambodia (Bavet) - not the place to get lost!
Confirmed traveller: 19 March 2016
Published on: 03 April 2016
(10 out of 10)

Confirmed traveller

A really great overview of this part of south-east Asia. Highlights - Laos, such an unexpectedly great country. Vietnam - places that were just names in newspapers came alive as we visited them. Cambodia - some great sights, some terrible history.Hoa was the leader for the Vietnam leg, the longest part of the trip. Can't fault him, he did everything he should have done as a good tour leader, and loads more besides. He was personable, amusing, efficient, knowledgeable - everything you'd want from a tour leader. Our guides in Laos - Phonsi and Si (?) were also very good. Due to the way the Cambodian government operates, we only had guides in Cambodia, never a proper tour leader. If you and your fellow tour operators are able to lobby for change, I would recommend you do so.
Confirmed traveller: 15 April 2015
Published on: 07 November 2015
(6 out of 10)

Helen

Sydney
Laos and Cambodia were excellent; the guides were excited to recount their history. went out of the ir way to ensure that they were understood and answered endless questions and were excellent advertisments for Explore.

Vietnam on the other hand was a huge disappointment mainly because of the attitude of the guide who refused to engage in any historical discussion about the war which he kept referring to as the "American War". Only 2 people did the whole tour- and we both felt hugely let down by the guide who didn't want to discuss Vietnam post 1975; didn't want to discuss Buddhism or ancestral worship; didn't want to engage in any recognition on the Vietnam War being a Civil War; and most importantly, redesigned some of the optional tours so that they kept the group to one tour, rather than encouraging diversity. I missed out on seeing the best of the tombs as a result of this.

He never acknowledged that the Vietcong were fighting with the North and the visit to the tunnels is an insult to any western nation who participated in the war. This was like a sideshow- "oh let's show you all the horrible ways we killed the Westerners".
The introductory film, made in, I think from memory 1968 was a piece of propaganda- as westerners, we were asked to listen to a diatribe on the nasty west; this was the ONLY information provided the whole tour outside of the guide.

The coup de grace was the opportunity of people being able to fire a rifle!

This is an area where countless people- both Vietnamese and westerners were killed and it was horrific.

I contrast that to the way that the killing fields are presented by the Cambodians.

I tested the attitudes of our guide with a number of other guides that I engaged in Vietnam on free days and indeed on days where we were staying for more than 1 night to see if this was a widespread view- it was not. After Hoi Ann I gave up and sought my own guides in Hoi An and Saigon. I was then able to spend the time I wanted, where I wanted to go.

Every other guide was willing to discuss the war in historical rather than political terms.

As an Australian, and also on behalf of the only other person on the tour who wasn't English- in her case, an American, I found this really unprofessional. Your guide is the Explore representative and really, you have to question his motivations.

I am also hugely disappointed that a tour I took in March only now merits an email from Explore.

Very disappointing from Explore as I know a number of my fellow travellers have already been invited to comment months ago.

Wow- well done guys.
Confirmed traveller: 27 March 2015
Published on: 04 October 2015