Here you are some of our latest comments and pictures
from our recent clients when they come back home:
From: Nick Maes
Sent: Sunday, December 19, 2010 12:09 PM
Subject: Good morning Vietnam
An ethereal, ghostly mist shrouds Hanoi before sun-up and the city's early morning traffic is nothing but a quiet hum. Yet there's more life on the street than you might expect at this hour. Dozens of locals gather beside the shores of West Lake in the Tay Ho area to gently practise tai chi. Fishermen wobble precariously on stepping stones as they cast their lines into the grey waters.
But it's not all tradition in this part. Tay Ho - in the north of the city - is a fashionable hot-spot. Can an old-style communist suburb be described as such? Apparently so.
A local man tells me there is at least one Ferrari in town now, that Western opera is popular, and that a decent house near West Lake would set me back $1million dollars. He is, however, an estate agent. Yet everything he says shows how times have changed in this once red city.
Tay Ho is also home to the Fraser Suites, another un-Socialist addition. I am staying in a luxurious serviced apartment with giddying views of the city; it's an economic, stylish alternative to one of the larger international hotels. I also find new restaurants and bars mushrooming.
Bobby Chinn has relocated his eponymous eatery around the corner. The red lantern-clad restaurant is so atmospheric (read dark) that magnifying glasses and torches come with the menus.
Luckily, excellent eating is still a bargain in Hanoi - £15 a head, plus booze, should cover it in a trendy restaurant; double that for a sumptuous feast.
And if you brave one of the street vendors, then budget for a few thousand dong.
The local currency takes some getting used to - the numbers involved are so huge. There's about 31,000 dong to the pound, so changing a hundred quid (sterling is easily exchanged) makes you an instant multi-millionaire.
The half a million dong I pay for a silk shirt is well shy of £20.
Of course, shopping is a prime reason to visit this fascinating place. In Tay Ho you'll find Dome, a top-drawer interiors boutique (great for lacquer-ware, soft furnishings and furniture). But I love the old quarter, Hoan Kiem district.
It's a 20-minute cab ride from Tay Ho to the city centre and oriental retail nirvana. Rich embroideries, spices, clothing and shoes, ceramics, teas, fake sunglasses, exotic lampshades, bundles of silk, ornamental birdcages and musical instruments vie for attention alongside T-shirts, antique shops, incense stalls and contemporary art galleries.
Street florists are everywhere. I take my time, soak up the atmosphere, browse and hone my bargaining skills.
This industrious show of capitalism intrigue me, and I ask my guide if the government's grip on the country has relaxed. Judging from his nervous reaction, I assume some aspects of living under one party remain firmly unchanged.
Nothing had prepared me for the anarchy on Hanoi's streets. The roads throng with bicycles and mopeds - and crossing them is hair-raising. I need refreshment to calm my nerves.
My yin and yang are restored in Wild Lotus, one of Hanoi's most glamorous restaurants in the adjacent French quarter. This is a buzzy place in a colonial art deco mansion with gilded walls and discreetly lit art works. Carrie Bradshaw and the girls would feel at home here.
Cua bay sot me (deep-fried soft shell crab in tamarind sauce) is delicious, and as none of the main dishes costs much more than a fiver, you can experiment.
But only a philistine would come to Hanoi without seeing some of the many ancient pagodas, temples and cultural sites. And no visitor should miss out on paying their respects to Ho Chi Minh.
The granite mausoleum - it looks like a huge Thirties drinks cabinet - housing his mortal remains has imbued a cult of personality around him.
Uncle Ho, as he's affectionately known, lies permanently in state like a communist Snow White in a crystal casket, preserved by the dab hands of Russian embalmers. Don't be put off by the long queues. They move quickly, and this is a chance to witness a blink of history.
Four days in the city should be enough for the casual visitor, then you'll need to explore farther afield. I head to Ha Long Bay, a three-and-a-half-hour drive to the north-east coast.
Finding a boat on which to stay for a few nights is easy - there are plenty of travel agents in Hanoi with deals. I opt for a larger luxury boat with about 30 cabins, but on reflection wish I had chosen a smaller junk.
The jostling crowds of tourists around the wharf are overwhelming. Only when my boat (the Ha Long Emotion) set sail into the bay did the beauty of the place begin to emerge. Strange-shaped islands - there are 2,000 exquisite limestone 'karsts' - rise from the flat calm waters of the Gulf of Tonkin.
Happily there are no crowds on the islands of Cat Ba national park, and the beauty of the place is dizzying. I paddle a kayak around isolated lagoons accessed through watery grottoes. You don't have to be super-fit - I take to it like a duck to hoisin sauce.
Nearby is Fairy Story Lake Cave. Squeezing through narrow tunnels in the pitch dark, we pop out into a stupendous cavern riddled with stalactites and stalagmites - and a resident spider the size of my hand.
But it's the small water villages that really entrance me. Like brightly coloured garden sheds floating on blue oil drums they house whole communities of fishermen and pearl fishers, and even have schools and floating shops. The entire village is towed into a sheltered lagoon during the typhoon season.
Back on my own floating home I settle down, beer in hand, and watch the sunset. Deep red dramatically fading to pink... just like the politics of Vietnam.
"Terri Hendrick" <email@example.com>
To: <Vietnam Adventure Tour >
Sent: Saturday, May 26, 2007 8:28 PM
Subject: Tran Thanh Hieu - Vietnam Adventure trip
Greetings from the U.S. So sorry it has taken so long to send
you an E-Mail, but we have all been
getting back to normal here...working and enjoying our beautiful
Ron and I went to visit Lynn and Pat and Weibe and Teri last week.
We looked the pictures of our
trip to Viet Nam and remembered all of the wonderful times we
had there. Thank you so much for everything
you did to make our trip so fantastic. We will never forget you
or your kindness.
Wiebe is trying to get all of our pictures on a CD disc. If he
is successful, we will try to send
some of them to you. We have many good ones of you! I am not very
good at working on the computer, so I will have to wait for someone
else to do it.
Teri(dark hair) lost her camera in Cambodia and we are all sad.
With her artists eye I am sure she had some wonderful shots. Luckily,
the rest of us has some good ones,too. I hope you are busy giving
many tours. We miss you and Nhi. We are hoping to arrange for
Nhi to come here and visit us some day soon. It is hard to make
the arrangements, but we would love for her to see where we live
and to have the chance to visit Jessnga for a while. Yesterday
I went to visit Jessnga at her new nail shop. It is very beautiful
and she seems to have a lot of business. I think she will be very
successful Again, thank you, Hieu, for making our trip to
Viet Nam such a great one. We will always think of
"Patricia Cranston" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2007 12:23 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: Fw: Vietnam Highlights 9 days/8 nights
I just wanted to say thank you so much for a wonderful Vietnam
Rick and I enjoyed it immensely!! It was an incredible trip with
memories. I will totally recommend this to my friends. I will
let you know if anyone is planning to go so you can set an itinerary
a few things....
Hien was great!! He is such an amazing guy! He really looked after
us and catered the trip to our needs. Rick really enjoyed his
Thong was ok too. We found him a bit too serious than what we
were used to with Hien. We recommend that he becomes more relaxed
with clients to make the trip more enjoyable. All-in-all, he was
good. Minh was awesome too!! He has that young spirit that really
shines thru to the guests!! He too was very good at accommodating
us with all our needs. He was wonderful!!
The drivers were excellent too!! (especially our last driver in
Ho Chi > Minh). Very safe and reliable!!
Thanh I just want to say the trip was an absolute success! The
hotels were great too (especially Palm Garden Resort!!). I would
recommend the itinerary in the future to have more time in the
Hoi An Region as it is sooo beautiful! Tourists love the beach...another
day beach front would
have been ideal!
Take care and I will totally recommend you to future clients!!
"Ken Grant" <email@example.com>
Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2007 7:41 AM
: Giang Nam Nguyen
I would like to thant you for a wonderful trip to Vietnam. WE
out of Hanoi on April 23 after 14 wonderful days.
stop along the way we were met by excellent guides who were
efficient and helpful. Your drivers were truly excellent and need
congratulated. The hotels were also of the highest quality. And
tour encorporated all the many and varied wonders that make Vietnam
interesting place to visit.
is only one suggestion. Perhaps the train trip from Hue to Hanoi
could be optional . Travellers could chose to either take the
train or to
fly. The hygiene on the train was a worry.
small suggestion. Perhaps each tour guide could carry some water
the car for the travellers to purchase as sometimes we were too
busy to buy
again many thanks for an outstanding tour. Our elderly friends
delighted with their experience and I know thay are going to tell
about you and your tour.
Monday, April 14, 2008 5:59 PM
Thank you for your tour!
Dear Mr. Le Thuc,
We would like to say thank you for your tour, we have had very
good time in Vietnam.
We will inform to our friends about your tour, we were very
satisfied with the itinerary.
We however had a bit of trouble each time we joined with
a new group as they all had a ticket or receipt and we were
the only ones without a ticket, but Ms Thu Hong(Asia Pacific
Tour) helped us with this situation.
Once again, we thank you and Ms Thu Hong too..
Lisda & Graham Speight-
From: Lars Larsson
Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2006 4:18 PM
Subject: "private e-mail address"
weeks ago I and my wife visited Vietnam and it was your company
that arrange the trip for us.
was grate, and I should appreciate if you can send me the owners
of the company (or some of the owners deputies) “private
for this special requirement is that we want to send some short
lines and comments from our trip.
from Lars and Mariella
& Mariella Larsson
To: 'Adventure Tours Vietnam '
Sent: Sunday, August 13, 2006 2:37 PM
Subject: RE: Vietnam Tour
wanted to let you know how wonderful our visit was to Vietnam.
Hung our guide really made our trip perfect! He was so knowledgeable
about your country, perfect gentleman, fantastic personality &
looked after us so well! You are a very fortunate to have him!
I would also like to say that the driver who took us around Hanoi
was terrific too! Our driver also who took us to Laichau - Laocai
- Bacha –Sapa etc was excellent, and made a very exciting
trip! Here are a few photos of our trip! I would also like to
say that the guide & driver for Hue & Hoian were very
you see Hung please give him our best regards, we do miss him
very much, & hope one day we will see his smiling face again!
& Hayley WoodroffWoodroff
Original Message -----
From: William Wessel
Sent: Monday, June 04, 2007 4:54 PM
Subject: Vietnam Itinerary & Contact Details
the name of the Vietnamese travel company who supplied our tour,
our guides and our drivers.
a brilliant 20 days and we are very happy to recommend them to
below were for an all expense 20 day tour. We used frequent flyer
points to pay for our airfare.
extras were personal expenses & tips which were much appreciated.
contact details are at the end of the email.
Sent: Monday, April 30, 2007 9:04 AM
Subject: Vietnam Tour
Dear Mr Giang Nam,
thanks for your organisation during our recent tour. The itinerary,
guides and drivers were very good. Overall, the accommodation
with the exception of the Empress Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City where
rooms were sub-standard. We would have been better off paying
more for a
better, more central hotel.
Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, April 21, 2007 1:15 PM
Hi ms Hoang ngan and Giang nam
just to thank you for arranging a wonderful trip for us from hanoi
to HCMC, my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Vietnam,
the food was good and accommodation convenient and comfortable
and itinerary not to exhausting and have already recommended your
company to a colleague
high hope that vietnam will do even better in a couple of years
21 burghley ave
surrey kt3 4sw
Sent: Friday, April 11, 2008
Subject: Holiday snaps
Dear Mr Le Thuc
Life at work is back to normal and we (all 3 of us) has a wonderful
trip. We are going to put a letter together to say just that…
but so far no one has taken the lead in doing it.
However I thought you may like to see and/or use
our happy snaps………… it was all wonderful and our guide and driver
were fantastic. The accomodation was great and the food tremendous…..
Thank you for helping put Vietnam onto my travel
agenda…. I intend to return… and maybe do the east coast and/or
OUR TRIP WAS WITH MR THAI AND MR
TREE (sorry I don’t know how to spell those.):
day Mekong cycling tours for 3 people.
1, 3/March, Hochiminh city - VinhLong - Tra On 40 km [L,D]
Transfer to VinhLong, Crossing the ferry. Ride from Tra On
An Binh islands. along tree lined roads. Overnight at home stay
4/March, VinhLong - Tra Vinh – Can Tho 90 km [B,L,D]
to Tieu Can to visit old Khmer temple and lotus pond. Then continue
to Cantho. Ride across Hau Giang River to Can Tho. Overnight at
hotel in Cantho.
5/March, Can Tho – Long Xuyen 50 km [B, L, D]
Ride to Phong Dien floating market and visit it . Pick up
from PhongDien. Continue to cycle to Vam Cong ferry station in
afternoon on tranquil back roads . Cross river by small local
ferry to Long Xuyen.
6/March, Long Xuyen – Hatien 80 km [B,L,D]
Afterbreakfast. Cycle to discover Long Xuyen town then transfer
to Hatien town ( belongs to Kien Giang province), free time to
ride around Hatien town. Overnight at Hotel
7/March, Hatien - Xa Xia Border Gate in Kien Giang Province (
B)( Loacted 70km from Ha Tien Town, Xa Xia Border Gate connects
Am : Cycle to the ThachDong and the beach Muinai, closed to the
border with Cambodia. Then cycle to KienLuong , stop at fishing
village, then transfer to Xa Xia Border Gate. End service
Senior Hospital Scientist
St George Hospital Kogarah 2217
To: Asia Pacific Travel
Sent: Monday, April 16, 2007 6:04 PM
Subject: Thank you
I just wanted to wish you a big thank you for arranging all of
us such a fantastic holiday.
had a great time, it was the first time we had been o/s with the
children and they really enjoyed the time away especially Hoi
very impressed with the efficiency of your whole team, we could
always get an answer when it was needed and the arranged transportation
was alway on time and
02 9969 5051
0403 050 569
21 Wunda Rd
Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2007 12:31 PM
Subject: Re: Holiday
Dear Giang Nam
Just a letter to say thank you very much for the
fantastic holiday you organised for us- it was a truly amazing
experience. Please pass our thanks on to our brilliant guides,
Nhien in HoChiMInh City, Than in Hoi An and Quan in Hanoi and
their wonderful drivers, who between them entertained us aswell
as taught us so much about life and culture in Vietnam.
We shall certainly recommend your services to anyone thinking
about making a trip to Vietnam.
Thank you once again.
Peter and Claire Costello
From: Anh Nguyen
To: Vietnam Adventure Tour
Cc: sheila nguyen
Sent: Friday, August 18, 2006 1:48 AM
Subject: Thank you! We really enjoyed our VN tour!
Hi Giang Nam:
came back to CA from our VN tour.. It's a great experience for
all of us. We're happy with the service your company provided
to us (transportation, van, tour guide, driver, and the program).
We will definitely recommend VietnamOpentour to our friends and
relatives as we have a chance to do so.
again for all your help and coordination for our trip! Christine
and Diana really enjoyed the trip and have a very good impression
about our country and her people, especially they were not born
in VN. From now on, VN is no longer a vague image, but a beautiful
place with lasting memories.
To: Vietnam Adventure Tour
Sent: Monday, January 02, 2006 10:44 AM
Subject: Attention Mr Thanh Do - Report on Service
Dear Mr Thanh Do
in Vietnam is over. My group went back to Australia yesterday
and I stay in Vietnam for two more weeks.
like to tell you that your company provided the best guide, the
best driver and the best service to our group. I used a different
company in Hoi An and a different company in Ho Chi Minh City.
We travelled all over Vietnam and Cambodia and of all the companies
used, yours was the best.
is a very professional guide and all my clients enjoyed being
taken around by him. Mr Van was a very good driver and all my
group felt safe with him.
be happy to do business with you again in the future.
Happy new year to you.
To: <Adventure Tour>
Sent: Tuesday, July 25, 2006 10:58 PM
Subject: Vietnam tour
Dear Mr. Thanh Tung
Just a few words to tell you that we were really satisfied with
in Vietnam. The organisation, the tour guides and all was perfect.
enyoyed very much our trip in Vietnam. It is a country we really
landscapes, the people, the temples.... . You should have some
Spain as I am sure Vietnan is an unknown country for a lot of
people that can discover in the future
Thank you very much and best regards
PS: It is a pity I was not able to meet you in Hanoi
From: nathan firstname.lastname@example.org
To: VietnamAdventureTour Asia Pacific Travel
Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2006 5:27 PM
Dear Mr. Tung
On behalf of my group and me I would like to thank you and your
company for the wondreful tour that you arranged for us in Vietnam
The service, the transpotations, the guides and the acommodations
were excellent and we enjoyed the trip very much.
We will recommend you to our friends who wish to travel to the
far east by no hesitations.
Dr. Nathan Gover\