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Advice Needed for SE Asia Trip for First-Timers!

Advice Needed for SE Asia Trip for First-Timers!

Old Nov 13th, 2012, 07:42 AM
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We used Vietnam Stay to make our hotel reservations (and change them, and change them again!) and they were great. Very very responsive, and a little less expensive for each hotel than we could get on our own).
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Old Nov 13th, 2012, 09:06 AM
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SF- That is great to hear about Vietnam Stay. I will contact them with the last itinerary and let you guys know what happens.

Take care.
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Old Nov 17th, 2012, 04:32 PM
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I think you have made a huge mistake in taking the advice that suggested cutting the World heritage city of Luang Prabang. I suspect you will regret this. Exotissimo and Diethelm are excellent agents to use.
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Old Nov 18th, 2012, 02:16 AM
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LP is a horrible place to make a cut as it is a fantastic place, BUT given time constraints and 3 young kids it makes tons of sense, imho
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Old Nov 18th, 2012, 05:43 AM
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LP is wonderful, but I agree that adding it into the OP trip is just too much esp with 3 kids.

We used Tonkin for booking with hotels and drivers and they were fabulous -- very responsive and always helpful. They consistently got lower prices than we could on the hotels. Their drivers were prompt, courteous and often added much as they provided guiding services though not being guides.
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Old Nov 20th, 2012, 05:26 AM
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I do regret taking out LP as the more I read the more I want to experience. However, I feel confident that I will fall in love with this continent as I did Africa and come back again and again. I really think I need to give my kids those last days on the beach just chilling out after the trek through Vietnam and to Siem Reap.

I am now in receipt of proposals from Tonkin, Ann Tours, and Aurora. Will be going over content and making notes today.

Thanks for all the advice!
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Old Nov 24th, 2012, 08:56 AM
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Hi all.

Just had to let you guys know that taking out LP nagged at me. Also having only 2 nights in Hanoi did too. So I took out the beach in Thailand -- told the kids yesterday -- and switched the itinerary around a bit. I made myself feel better by reminding them we are spending 12 nights in St. Martin in the Caribbean over The Christmas holidays!

Anyway, the new itinerary is:

HCMC - 3 nights

Hoi An - 4 nights (added a day for more beach)

Hanoi - 2 nights

Halong Bay - 1 night

Hanoi - 1 night

Luang Prabang - 3 nights

Siem Reap - 3 nights

I just sent these changes to the agent and called the airline to change departing flight from Bangkok to HCMC.

Now I will return to focusing on the cultural activities. Just wanted to say thank you to all of you here and on TA who thought missing out on LP would be a shame. It worked!

Enjoy the weekend.
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Old Nov 25th, 2012, 12:35 AM
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Good move.
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Old Dec 9th, 2012, 05:10 AM
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Hi all.

I am happily completing the above trip. I did make one more slight change and took out the night in Hanoi after Halong Bay and am now going straight to LP. This now gives us 4 nights in LP and 3 full days. Also happy to have 4 nights in two locations now. The pace seems just right now.

My question is about all of the Junk choices on Halong Bay. Looking them all up could give you a headache! I am thinking of the Red Dragon as its small and folks say it takes a less crowded course. Has anyone gone on it to offer a review? Any others I should be considering for comfort, great food and unique experience?

Thanks as always. Happy Sunday.
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Old Dec 9th, 2012, 06:23 AM
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We went on the Dragon Pearl which was booked for us by Tonkin. We liked it. I believe it is the same company as the Red Dragon with the Red Dragon being smaller and having fewer passengers. We had maybe 20 people on our junk and it was a nice a amount. Trip was well run, food good. you can read the specifics of our time on HB in our TR. Sounds like you've got a wonderful trip planned. enjoy yourself.
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Old Dec 9th, 2012, 07:05 AM
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Lola-- I will be waiting for your trip report when you return since we'll be following in your footsteps soon. Enjoy the rest of your trip.
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Old Dec 9th, 2012, 07:33 AM
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We went on Red Dragon in March 2011 and really enjoyed it. There were just five cabins, so a very small group. Food was good. We have a trip report on here somewhere with more detail. Photos:
http://onelittleworld.zenfolio.com/p117716538
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Old Dec 9th, 2012, 09:04 AM
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we are headed to BKK in 2 weeks. However, I personally don't want to be in an airplane beyond the time it takes to get there.
I think at this point in the game, our orinal idea of getting to know BKK and hanging out there will be the best idea for this trip. (next time, def phuket!)

So much fun to share!
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Old Dec 9th, 2012, 02:58 PM
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Thanks guys and I will do a trip report. I promise to do it as there is really no way I would have planned as good a trip without your input and advice. Ms_go, your photos are stunning! Thanks for sharing.
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Old Jan 25th, 2013, 06:38 PM
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We did the 2 day/1 night Dragon Pearl III cruise with Indochina Junks (booked through Tonkin Travel). I loved it. The cabins were really nice and the food was great...and so plentiful! There were 20 people on the boat, which actually felt small. The smaller boat - the Red Dragon - was right alongside us the whole time, so really the only difference that I can see between the larger and smaller boats is the number of people on board.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 10:32 AM
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Bookmarking
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 02:23 AM
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Hai Lola, my name is Lili and I am from Romania. Just came back from our Vietnam&Cambodia trip ( 25 days ) I just want to recommend you our travel agency wich was above all our expectation : www.absolutevietnamtravel.com/, Mr. Hai Tran Xuan.You will not be disappointed ! Good luck !
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