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Hope you had a wonderful Tet Holiday!
We would like to thank you for your excellent trip planning. We had one of our best vacations touring Vietnam. Everything went so smoothly and our guides were so warm, personable and prompt. (We were especially fond of Mr. Hai in Ho Chi Minh City. If you talk to him, say hello from us).
I promised you an evaluation, and here it is:
Trip planning: Excellent with very prompt replies to questions. (We were happy that we didn't have to wait for transport back from Ha Long Bay to Hanoi. Four hours at the dock would not have been fun). We also appreciate that when something didn't go according to plan, like when the driver didn't show up to take us to the airport the last day, you were able to fix that although it was very, very early in the morning. We felt very well taken care of. All the other guides and drivers were there to meet us on time and with a smile. The trip was also very well planned in regards to how much we were able to do and see in a vey short amount of time.
Hotels: Overall very good. Location (and that's important) was always excellent and breakfasts were also overall very good. The Rex is a bit "tired" but of course it's nice to have stayed there once. There was only one night stand table in our room which was odd. The Palace Saigon room was a bit dark and stuffy, but the staff was very friendly and it has a terrific location. The Hoi An Historic Hotel and the Beach Hotel are both very nice and beautiful. We liked them very much. The Angkor-Wat hotel, REE, was OK but nothing special. The SilkPath Hotel in Hanoi was very good. The first night we got upgraded which was great. The last night we got a room with the window facing a wall ... It was OK for us because everything was clean and nice and it was only for one night, but if we would have stayed on for several nights, I would like to have changed rooms.
Food: Everyone is different, but for us it would have been better not to have the pre-paid set menus. We love to eat and take great pleasure in trying new cuisines. We understand that when you have a tight time schedule, it's helpful to have the restaurant set. What we would like is to have been able to order our own food (not having to eat from the set menu). Most of the time food was OK. Sometimes it was excellent (second day lunch in Can Tho, lunch in Hoi An, lunch in Siem Riep. Sometimes we didn't care at all (dinner in Can Tho, and 1st night dinner in Siem Riep and the second night dinner theatre in Siem Riep - that was truly terrible - the dancing was good though). We loved the Quan An Ngon restaurant that you recommended - really good food and a lot of fun!
Attractions: We loved doing everything we did, but if we would pick out some really outstanding memories it would be: The second day of Mekong Delta when we went out with the boat before sun rise and saw the river "waking up" as the sun rose - really beautiful. Ha Long Bay second day when we got to bike at the stunning Cat Ba Island and to kayak. It was so nice to get away from all the crowds and boats. The whole town of Hoi An was so beautiful - we loved it.
We hope to go back to Vietnam one day and if we do, we would call you immediately to arrange it for us. It has been a pleasure working with you and we wish you all the best for the future.
Pia and Bo Nilsson