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Helpful Caveats for Trip Planning, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos

Helpful Caveats for Trip Planning, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos

Mar 15th, 2013, 12:50 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 361
Thank you Sueblue for posting this info. It's very helpful. My husband and I are considering a first time trip to Southeast Asia but are finding the planning a little daunting.
Kiddo is online now  
Jun 2nd, 2013, 09:55 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 612
Interesting info, I'm also planning (!)
WWanderer is offline  
Jun 8th, 2013, 02:24 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 597
I thought this was an extremely helpful post to me even though I'm done planning and just waiting for the 14 days before I leave!

I sent emails to Tonkin, Ann Tours and Vietnam Stay. I chose Vietnam Stay because they were diligent with their responses and customized the best tour for me. I was extremely upfront about wanting to craft something very personal for myself and 3 kids, made lots of changes and additions, wanted all 5 star hotels with the best prices, personal tour guides and transfers in advance, and had loads of questions. There was usually less than 24 hours between responses and honestly, I'm still fiddling with Saigon because I can't stop reading Fodor's and finding interesting new things to ask about/add.

We are going to Saigon, Hoi An, Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Luang Prabang, and Siem Reap. We used them for all internal flights, hotel reservations (got lower prices for us than any website - even the super deluxe places), transfers, tours and guides. They even made a few restaurant reservations in advance for us.

Because I do feel planning is part of the fun and I devour this forum, TA, and books, I always have lots of off the beaten path personal requests when I travel. This company did not miss a beat with planning everything that I asked for, giving advice when it was needed, and suggesting things they thought we would love when they to know us. As for price, I have never planned anything for 3 weeks so cheaply. I was astonished at the price of the land tour when you compare it to similar travel in Europe, the US, and parts of Africa.

I will reserve anymore comments until after my trip. I will let you know if all went well and if I can truly recommend this tour operator once we are back home. But so far, so good.

I love the people who hang out here. The young, the in between (me!), the retired, and everyone else. I honestly cannot imagine planning a trip with reading trip reports, old posts like this one, and asking loads of questions. I leave June 21 and my whole trip was shaped by this forum. I would have missed LP if it wasn't for the people here and now I realize it would have been a shame.

So keep posting the good, the bad and the ugly. It's all useful stuff to us and we are the ones who have to sift through and make it work for us.

Happy travels!
Lolazahra is offline  
Jun 9th, 2013, 10:23 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 73
We travelled independently to Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Nothern Thailand in Nov 2011. We used Sandy Ferguson of Asia Desk (www.asiadesk.net) . We were extremely pleased his advice, and the quality of his guides in each place was really outstanding. I would unhesitatingly recommend using that company.
cathygreen is offline  
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