Tour operator recommendations?

Old Mar 16th, 2008, 10:51 AM
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Tour operator recommendations?

My husband and I want to plan a trip to Vietnam, but we're not sure we want to go on our own. I'd love some recommendations from travelers who have done Vietnam with a tour group. We're in our 50's, very active, and have traveled solo throughout Europe, but I think a group would be more comfortable for us for this trip. Used Ritz for our China trip and were very pleased with that, not sure if their Vietnam trip is as well done. Also, any help picking the best month or months to travel would be welcomed. most books say oct through march, comments?
Thanks for your help, I love this board.
Thanks
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Old Mar 16th, 2008, 11:48 AM
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I'm an independent traveler, so I can't help you with tour operators. I would say to consider whether you want a group tour or a customized individual tour, both are available.

In terms of when to go, it depends on where you want to go in VN and what you want to do. Different parts of VN are impacted by different monsoon systems. Take a look at www.weatherbase.com and check each city you would like to visit. For instance, we planned a trip for November, but opted not to go to Hue/Hoi An because of the rains and flooding at that time of the year. But Hanoi was lovely at that time of the year - sunny but not hot.
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Old Mar 19th, 2008, 01:37 PM
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About five years ago I went on a 3 week tour of Vietnam with Sivali Tour. I would travel with Juergen Polte again if I had the chance! The group was only 6 or 7 people and we went in January which was really great weather. I just checked and he has a current website www.sivalitour.com
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Old Mar 19th, 2008, 01:43 PM
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Gregg at Innovasian.com can organize a private tour of Vietnam. He did one for us in Thailand at a very reasonable cost. Feel free to use my name, Andy Levine.
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Old Mar 19th, 2008, 02:11 PM
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Tell Gregg, too, that Ekscrunchy sent you!
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Old Mar 30th, 2008, 11:50 AM
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We used Pacific Delight Tours for BKK, Vietnam and SiemReap. For a little bit extra (I think it was $200 a person) we had a private tour and it was wonderful.
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Old Mar 30th, 2008, 02:31 PM
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I'm 60, and did Vietnam and Cambodia both as a soloist and part of a group.

The first 8 days I was with the group, and took the magnificent Pandaw 7 night cruise from the Mekong delta to Siem Reap. This cruise was astonishingly good with great food, excellent accommodation, and outstanding on-shore tours each day. It was one of the best trips I have ever done, and I have been to about 35 countries. This would rate in the top three. You can get cruise details from www.pandaw.com while you can see my photos at http://jmprphotography.com

The second 12 or so night I did solo, and used www.vietnamestay.com which was extremely efficient and good. I booked all my accommodation through them including airport pick-ups. They never let me down.

I have a trip report here, so search for it if you like.

Feel free to email me on [email protected] for further information.
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Old Apr 6th, 2008, 12:26 AM
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We, too, are planning a Vietnam oliday for March 2009 with two other friends. We had almost decided on a Wendy Wu tour with a Sapa side trip. Unsure if ths is the right company for us and can't find too many comments on them. Can anyone help in this regard? Also, comments on Sapa make us wonder whether it is worth going - "touristy" etc.
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 03:38 PM
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i've been looking at Ritz Tours, as we went with them to China two years ago and thought they did a fabulous job for the price (which was quite reasonable). Has anyone done their Indochina tour? Would love to hear your thoughts. Also picked up a brochure from Isramworld, their so called Orient Flex Pass tours to Vietnam. Seems similar to Ritz, but much more expensive (they don't include international air and Ritz does). Any experience with this outfit? I think we're thinking of January or February next year. Thanks for any input.
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Old Apr 24th, 2008, 02:52 PM
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We recently travelled to Vietnam with our two children. We used Handspan travel - a local Vietnamese agency based in Hanoi (www.handspan.com). We found them really good, emails answered rapidly, good choice of tours, and it was cheaper dealing with them than through an agency here in Australia. We only had one small hitch, and that was rapidly sorted. We did tours with them to Halong Bay, Sapa, the Mekong Delta and to the Cu Chi tunnels. Would definitely recommend them.
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Old Apr 24th, 2008, 02:55 PM
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And, to "lovetogowandering" - Sapa was the absolute highlight of our trip. We went out to the Can Cau markets, where the Flower Hmong people do their shopping and it was absolutely fantastic. It was an adventure getting there (overnight train, van with no seatbelts, crazy Vietnam driving) but we loved it. Don't miss it.
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Old Apr 24th, 2008, 05:37 PM
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Sapa was the most enjoyable part of my trip to Vietnam.

I loved Can Cau market too!
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Old Apr 24th, 2008, 10:46 PM
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we spent 12 days touring Vietnam in December and we used Exotissimo - probably the largest company there, and they were brilliant. The cars with driver and guide they supplied were excellent, and they really helped us plan the trip in detail.
Take a look at our trip report on this site

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...7&tid=35095113

Also have a look at the Exotissimo web site
http://www.exotissimo.com/travel-asia/vietnam.html

If you do decide to go with Exotissimo, I would highly recommend you deal with Thu Thuy for the planning and quotes - a very efficient woman
[email protected]

good luck and happy planning



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