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Hotel in HoiAn and Airport Transfers in Southeast Asia -- 2 Questions

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Nov 1st, 2009, 01:38 PM
  #1
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Hotel in HoiAn and Airport Transfers in Southeast Asia -- 2 Questions

Hi there, everyone . . . it's been a while and there have been many interuptions to my planning. Our departure date is coming up in mid-December. We are about to finalize our bookings and have two final questions regarding hotels in HoiAn and general airport transfers in Southeast Asia.

We are looking to book the Victoria HoiAn as we see that being used for most high end tour groups but the HoiAn Riverside Resort and Spa also seems to have gotten superb reviews from Travel & Leisure. There is also a property called HoiAn Life Heritage Resort which is within walking distance of town. Apart from the differences in price, which property would you recommend?

Also, is it pretty easy to get a taxi or other transport to/from the airports in Ho Chi Minh, Luang Prabang, Hanoi and HoiAn? Are there signs in English and is it pretty easy to navigate the airport and check oneself in for the flights? We are currently working with a reputable agent in Vietnam but he is expensive. If we're not in a rush and it's easy to do on our own at a fraction of the cost, I would be happy to do it this way. Comments?

I will be posting my final itinerary under a separate topic for any last minute comments. Thank you everyone for all of your help!
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Nov 1st, 2009, 01:51 PM
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I can't help on the hotel in Hoi An, but I can with airport transfers. Taxis are readily available and cheap. Most airports have a taxi desk. Sometimes the taxis are flat rate (like Hanoi), others are metered, but you can always ask at the desk how much you should expect to pay. In my experience, transfers arranged by travel agents are 10x or more the taxi fare.
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Nov 1st, 2009, 02:12 PM
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Thanks Kathie! I was hoping you'd be on here. I just posted my final itinerary and was hoping you could review it . . .
Perhaps I could have just hired you!
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Nov 1st, 2009, 09:02 PM
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It’s very easy to navigate the airports in all the cities you mention. Signage is in English and announcements are made in English (as well as local the local language). The airports are fairly small, even Ho Chi Minh. You should not need any assistance by a travel agent, and in any event ground staff of your airline can help.

With regard to taxis generally in Vietnam, in HCM and Hanoi I would recommend that you go with the green and white Mai Linh taxis if possible. They are the most reliable in my experience. Some other taxi companies have a reputation of taking the “long way” around to get to your destination.

You might also want to enquire into what your hotels would charge to send their own car for you. Sometimes it is not much more than a taxi, and the convenience of having a car ready for you when you arrive is quite nice, esp the cold towels and drinks usually provided as part of the service as well. If you are arriving late at night, in the pouring rain, or if there is a long taxi queue you will appreciate the ease of a hotel car service.

If you use a taxi, in most cities I think it would be helpful to have the name of your hotel written down in English. The driver may pronounce it differently from you and may not understand your pronunciation. Vietnamese uses Roman characters, so a driver he should be able to understand a written name. For LP or even Vietnam, to the extent you can take the address in Vietnamese or Laotian off a website an print it and bring it along, that can helpful as well. Your hotels will give you a card once you arrive which you can use for taxis from that point on.
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Nov 1st, 2009, 09:13 PM
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With regards to Luang Prabang Airport, there's a taxi kiosk/desk just outside the exit doors of arrival. It should only run about 60,000kips or about U$7 and the Grand Hotel is no more than 15 minutes away on the south west end of town,
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Nov 2nd, 2009, 12:41 PM
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Thanks for your help, everyone!!
sueblue is offline  
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Nov 3rd, 2009, 07:14 AM
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One last question . . . my friend thinks we should schedule transfers with the travel agent for each time we arrive in a new country so they can handle and provide us with our visas. Is this necessary?
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Nov 3rd, 2009, 10:24 AM
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No. The only pre-arranged vias you need in is VN, which you have already done.

In Laos and Cambodia, you'll buy your visa on arrival. Even if you arranged a transfer, not the driver, nor could a guide or even a travel agent could do it for you even if you paid them extra to come to the airport.
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