Vietnam Tours

Sep 19th, 2006, 08:47 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 4
Vietnam Tours

We are planning on visiting Vietnam in January. We have never been on a tour before and have always travelled independently. What tours are reasonable in price and allow sometime to be on your own.
haztok is offline  
Sep 19th, 2006, 09:37 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 458
You might check with asianventure.com.
We have used them a few times for custom (just the two of us) tours. We feel lucky to have found them as they are very knowledgable, honest and efficient. I was trying to work with an American company recommended on this board. After waiting and waiting I decided to look around and found asianventure on Frommers board.

They literally responded the same night I emailed them. It had been about 2 weeks waiting for the other company. We emailed back and forth literally about 50 times and came up with a suitable itinerary. We had our ideas of what we wanted, but they also had very good suggestions. Their website will certainly help you get started, but a custom tour will not cost you any more. The American company finally got back with us and they were almost double of what we paid. We did look at some group tours, even though that was not what we wanted and we paid less for our custom tour than even the economical group tours. I priced hotels myself compared to what we paid thru them and they were comparable and often less.

I cannot explain why, in fact the American company could not believe they were "low-balling" as they put it. I really think they work on commission as wholesalers. By time the other company puts a mark-up of what they think they should make - and the wholesaler they buy it from gets commission - it becomes really costly.

We have now done this in Argentina, Costa Rica, China and Peru with the same results. It is a bit scary at first - to be sending money to other countries - but each time we got references. We are in fact using Asianventure again in about 6 weeks.
connette is offline  
Sep 20th, 2006, 01:50 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 85
Hi
Some destination in Vietnam, I think you'd not to skip: Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta Tour, Da Lat, Nha Trang, Mui ne in the south
The centre: Hue, Hoi An-ancient tonw
The North: Hanoi capital, Ha Long, Sapa
Have a good trip
greenvietnam is offline  
Sep 20th, 2006, 06:51 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 135
I have friends who took the OAT tour of Vietnam and were very pleased. I don't know about the free time, but you could check the itinerary on their web site.
PIPERPAT is offline  
Sep 20th, 2006, 07:41 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,018
Do you want to go on a tour our would you rather do it independently? VN is easy to manage independently. I've done it and so have many, many others on this board. If you want a tour, fine, but if you feel you "should" have a tour and would prefer to do it independently ask for recommendations about how to manage it independently.
Kathie is offline  
Sep 20th, 2006, 09:18 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 458
Let me elaborate a bit by what I mean in saying custom tour. Someone to tell you things to do that don't necessarily make the guide books. Someone to provide airport transfers, visa info, discount hotel reservations and guiding to places like My Son, Perfume Pagoda. Great seats pre-arranged to the water puppets.

At each hotel we just handed our transfer guide our passport, we given a cold drink and waited while they checked us in. Never a problem with them saying what we booked was not available, different than what we were told, etc. The first time we did this was Argentina. We mostly did it because we heard of problems with getting there and having no reservation, even though you had something in writing.

We spoke with others as well as priced hotels on discount sites. We seemed to always get a great deal. Some times much less. OAT, which is highly discount, was one I compared prices with. We stayed in 4-5 star hotels throughout for the same as their very budget hotels. Had tours for 2 people, doing what we wanting - no shopping stops. I often read of folks paying around $100.00 a day for a tour guide. We paid a bit over $100.00 per day per person, which included our hotel, all entrances, guides, visas, some food, domestic airfare (5 flights I believe it was) and it was really nice to have almost a friend waiting for us at each arrival.

We are also very independent travelers, but I must say we really enjoy this type of decedance when traveling to countries where it is a bit more difficult than say Europe. Just my thoughts...

We did not have a guide every day (we choose free days), and not always for a full day. Many times it was just transportation from city to city or airport to hotel. We had really never thought this could be affordable, but it turns out to me more so than even cheap tours. The one thing I would really have to say about asianventure in particular, is you must tell them you want free time. They think you should go too "non-stop" in our opinion. Once we told them that, we got along just fine.
connette is offline  
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