Craig and Jeane Off to Hanoi on Tuesday

Old Apr 10th, 2009, 03:18 PM
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RCC = Red Carpet Club

Do a search on Hanoi Kids, an organization that matches travelers with students to show you around Hanoi.
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Old Apr 10th, 2009, 05:22 PM
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Thanks, Kathie.
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Old Apr 11th, 2009, 07:32 AM
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Keep up the good reporting, and have a good time. We will be following to Vietnam later this year.

Fodor regulars spend a lot of time reading and writing reviews of our interactions with airline, train, bus, and hotel staff and guides. Ever wonder what it looks like from the other side of the coin?

Hanoi Kids write a review of every tour they give, in order to help each other learn from the good and the bad. Craig and Jeane's first tour with them has now been posted on the HNK website: http://tinyurl.com/co96mg
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Old Apr 11th, 2009, 07:47 AM
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I note that the guide found that "generally" Craig and Jeanne were good guests. This raises the question as to whether they were specifically good guests. The guide probably sensed that Craig was a Yankees fan and all was not right.
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Old Apr 11th, 2009, 08:24 AM
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"good-looking man" "ideal husband" "friendly, gentle and humorous" "wonderful husband" Maybe I was wrong, it could have been a different Craig.
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Old Apr 11th, 2009, 09:14 AM
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Danmango, thanks so much for the link to the HNK review. Priceless!
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Old Apr 11th, 2009, 09:58 AM
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OMG, that report by HNK is adorable! Usually I am the one writing so yes, it's interesting to see what they will say on the "other side".
I am hoping to be able to take a tour with them as well when we are there so I really am looking forward to hearing more about them.
Craig, how far in advance did you contact them?
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Old Apr 11th, 2009, 01:45 PM
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Dan, thanks for the link. I love the comments about Craig cooking and doing the dishes!
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Old Apr 12th, 2009, 02:08 AM
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Well, I knew HNK wrote tour reports but I didn't expect such a quick post. Autumn was a great guide with a good sense of humor.

We arranged for our guides 2 months in advance and that seemed to work well. They asked that we reconfirm one week prior to our trip.

I am not sure the next report will be as glowing. It was not a bad experience but it was a long day for all. More on this later.

Halong Bay was mostly overcast with a little rain which kept the temperature comfortable. We enjoyed the kayaking and the trip to Surprise Cave. We were switched at almost the last minute from the Valentine to a brand new ship, the Indochina Sails III. This wasn't really a big problem as they reduced the price of our suite by 1/2 and gave us a free bottle of Chilean Red to compensate. I'll write a review later.

Tomorrow we spend the day touring some of the traditional crafts villages on the outskirts of Hanoi.
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Old Apr 12th, 2009, 04:46 AM
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>>>it was a long day for all.
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Old Apr 12th, 2009, 07:20 AM
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Hanoi kids is now on my list for my trip in Nov, looking forward to hearing about Halong as i am debating this trip also.
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Old Apr 12th, 2009, 09:57 AM
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N-Muffin and poor unsuspecting children. Do the authorities know about this? This cannot turn out well. The only thing worse would be Bob with children.
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Old Apr 12th, 2009, 10:03 AM
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I am kind of hoping the authorities will never know!!

You will be pleased to know that Bob was on his best behaviour on Friday (clearly Karen had administered meds)
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Old Apr 12th, 2009, 08:18 PM
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anxious to read more...
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Old Apr 13th, 2009, 04:42 PM
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Spent the day with a guide from Tonkin visiting crafts villages and stores. The day started off well with time at one of the famous silk "factories" where Bill Clinton and George W. Bush visited. Jeane bought a ton of stuff for pillows for the waiting area in her new office. Escaped just as a huge tour bus showed up.

Then onto an obscure conical hat village and another where they make bamboo bird cages and paper fans - not a tour bus in sight and great photos. Also stopped at an interesting pagoda - details to follow later.

The rest of the day was not very productive. Drove around for quite a while - headed over to the pottery village on the other side of Hanoi but what they had there was not to our tastes.

We head to Sapa by train tonight. I do not believe there is internet at Topas Ecolodge so I'll be out of touch for a while...
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Old Apr 13th, 2009, 06:24 PM
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have fun....can't wait for the first hand report...we are off to argentina tomorrow morning...

B&K
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Old Apr 13th, 2009, 06:44 PM
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Great report! We were in Vietnam this past February. Also spent a half day with HanoiKids -- Autumn and Hien. I had no idea they posted their own reports on every encounter! I just read Autumn's report (we were her first tour!!) and it brought back great memories. She sent us a really nice email with some photos a week later. I recommend HNK to everyone going to Hanoi!
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Old Apr 14th, 2009, 02:38 AM
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Review of our second day with Hanoikids:

http://www.hanoikidsclub.org/compone...4328/catid,68/

Notice that they said we looked much younger than our age and that I used chopsticks quite well. We did not discuss our favorite baseball teams.

We went to the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology today (excellent, especially the outdoor exhibits of tribal homes) and the botanical gardens (give it a miss). Also spent a few hours shopping in the old quarter - shopping report later...

On to Sapa...
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Old Apr 14th, 2009, 02:44 AM
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Craig, would you recommend HK over a conventional tour group?
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Old Apr 14th, 2009, 07:40 AM
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Craig, these reviews by Hanoi Kids are priceless!

The Ethnographic Museum is really excellent. We also loved the traditional houses. When we were there, there was a video of a healing ceremony taped 20+ years ago, preserving a ceremony that is no longer done. It was fascinating.
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