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Trip Report 3 weeks with 10 year old girl - trip report

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June/July 2012
21 days

Air: American Airlines frequent flier miles
New York to Hanoi via Tokyo, Japan Airlines
Hanoi to New York via Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific

Local travel arrangements:
Happy Voyage Travel

Ms. Moon, Mr. Zung. – husband/wife team, had helped me in 2002.
Excellent, personal service. Met my budget. Customized itinerary. Private driver and guide. Met with me personally several times including both airport trips as well as visit to the orphanage. Took us to dinner our last night so that my daughter could meet and speak English with their 10 year old daughter. Modifed things as necessary.

Hanoi: 5 nights. Army Hotel
Halong Bay: 1 night cruise Bai Tho Junk
Cat Ba Island: 2 nights. Hung Long Hotel Great beach. Biking around town.
Ninh Binh: 1 night Anh Dung Hotel Biking through town and countryside.
Mai Chau: home stay 1 night. Wonderful biking through rice paddies. Performance by Thai people at homestay.
Hanoi: 1 night Army Hotel
Overnight train to Sapa
Sapa – 2 nights Royal View Hotel
Visit to several villages of minority people. Marketplace. Paddleboat ride on Swan Lake.
Viet Emotion – good restaurant.
Overnight train to Hanoi
Hanoi – 4 nights Army Hotel

Activities in Hanoi
- Pool at Army Hotel: this is where we spent most of the time. It was brutally hot and after one activity we went to the hotel and spent the day at the pool. We met kids there for my daughter to play with and some Vietnamese who spoke English.
- Water puppet show
- Water Park
- Ho Chi Minh Complex
- Temple of Literature
- Tour with Hanoi Kids
- Prison Museum: my daughter did not like this and we had to leave (too creepy)
- Orphanage visit
- Shopping in Old Quarter
-We also went to the Museum Of Fine Arts and the Military History Museum with friends but my daughter did not pay much attention to them.

- I highly recommend Happy Voyage Travel.
- Choosing the Army Hotel was the best decision I could have made. I had reservations about selecting it due to the mixed reviews I had read, but it was perfectly fine. The pool was wonderful - large, clean, food and beverage service, trees for shade. Good location. Lovely warm service. Fine breakfast. Adequate room. Balcony. Mini-fridge. TV. Free internet in the lobby