I wanted to thank you again for the wonderful tour in Vietnam in June. The organization was really excellent:
– Friendly, prudent and reliable driver. He also respected the timing of each arrangement closely.
– Smooth organization of the accommodation and meals.
– Great service to take the various transportation (i.e. taxi from the airport, bus to Sapa and train to Hanoi).
I also like to give you some feedback on the activities, which might be useful for you if you arrange similar trips for other tourists:
– Cuc Phuong National Park: wonderful nature suited for trekking (i.e. if you don’t like to carry your own luggage). The guide was kind, yet his knowledge of nature and English was basic. Overall we enjoyed, but with the right guide it can be a truly exceptional experience.
– Muong village: the stay in the family was nice, particularly as this was a non-touristic place and therefor very much authentic. The accommodation was basic, yet included all we needed. We keep a very good memory of our stay.
– Mai Chau Valley: very pretty area to walk. Good quality accommodation and restaurant. Friendly people, but… The lady in charge doesn’t dare to say things straight.
As a consequence we got stuck twice:
1/ the traditional dance was confirmed several times, including before diner. Then after diner she said it wasn’t possible. Obviously too late for us to arrange anything else.
2/ we asked for breakfast take-away. It was confirmed to the driver, then nothing in the morning. Obviously we couldn’t shop at 4 am, while we could easily buy things at the market the previous day. Thus here, the home-stay should understand that Western people like clear arrangements, and not a yes that really means no…
Don’t misunderstand me; I’m not writing to complain as again we had a great tour. I just like to give you some feedback for future tours you organize for tourists.
As mentioned in my previous email, we aim to visit Lee about every 2 years. We discovered Vietnam in 2009 and met Lee on that occasion. After we came back in 2010 and 2012 to visit Lee. We will be very glad to contact you again when we want to make the next trip. I will avoid the many email exchanges we had and to which you kindly replied, by giving you more freedom in the overall organization next time.
Thanks again for making this a successful tour for us and Lee.
Group of : Mr. KURT JANSSENS e Mrs. PASCALE
Travel date : 23/6/2012 – 1/7/2012
Here are some photos of this trip:
Mrs. Pascale in Cuc Phuong National Park
Mr. Kurt with Lee Hang Thi
Traditional Muong bamboo dancing
Day 1: SAPA / NIGHT TRAIN TO HANOI (-/-/-)
Day 2: HANOI ARRIVAL / CUC PHUONG (-/-/D)
Arrive at Hanoi with flight: flight MH752 from Kuala Lumpur (with Malaysia Airlines) arrival time 12h15 (noon), pick-up by Amovietnam Travel driver and transfer to Hanoi to meet the girl and transfer to Cuc Phuong Park
Arrive in the late afternoon, check-in at hotel and dinners in the local restaurants nearby the park.
Day 3: CUC PHUONG / TREKKING (B/L/D)
Morning: After breakfast (and maybe a short car/bus drive) we start our visit in Cuc Phuong at around 10:00 am. We meet our guide. Our guide will accompany you to visit the Visitor Center where you can learn more about the park from the pictures and models on display; visit the Endangered Primate Rescue Center -one of the highlights of a visit to Cuc Phuong, where you can observe some of the rarest primate species in the world, turtle conservation center. Afterwards, have lunch in a local restaurant at park headquarters.
Afternoon: Drive 7km to visit the cave of prehistoric man, where human skeletons and stone tools dated to some 7.500 years old have been found. After leaving the cave, the car will bring you to the park center where you begin hiking a 7km loop trail to see the 1000 year old tree. On this trail you will have a chance to discover the secrets of nature. Settle into your room, have an excellent dinner, and sleep to the sounds of the jungle.
Day 4: CUC PHUONG / TREKKING TO BAN KHANH (B/L/D)
Breakfast at hotel in the park
Driver will transfer to the centre of the park and take a whole day of adventure, trek 16km through the forest, passing some rocky slopes with breathtaking scenery, to reach the Muong village (Khanh village). In this village the hospitable people will offer you a great meal, musical performance and a wonderful night’s sleep in a traditional stilt house. Note: Homestay is very basic, just a mattress on bamboo floor with mosquitoes net
Farewell to the tour-guide of the park.
Evening time, you could enjoy the evening dance of Muong Peoples 30$US/show. You could book with the guide from the Park.
Day 5: BAN KHANH / MAI CHAU (B/-/D)
Breakfast at homestay and trek to the appointment point.
One of Village from Khanh village would lead the group to the Pick-up Point and start your trip without tour-guide to Mai Chau.
After 1 hour drive along the Ho Chi Minh road, you will join the road 6 and take the road to Mai Chau.
Arrive at noon time, lunch on your own and break until afternoon.
Free time to discover Mai Chau. Walking distance 6km to 7 km around Lac, Pomcong, Market in the town.
Evening time, you could enjoy the evening dance of Thai Peoples (optional and cost 4$US – 5$US/persons). You could book with Homestay’s Owner.
Day 6: MAI CHAU / HANOI (B/ /-)
Breakfast at homestay or picnic box.
Wake up / departure at 4 am.
Transfer to Hanoi and drop-off at Station. Train at 8.20 am to Lao Cai.
Arrival at Lao Cai at 5 pm. Pick-up by the Bus and transfer to Sapa.
Day 7: SAPA FREE TIME (-/-/-)
Sapa free time at leisure to visit family of Lee Hang Thi.
Day 8: SAPA / NIGHT TRAIN TO HANOI (-/-/-)
Sapa free time at leisure to visit family of Lee Hang Thi.
In the afternoon, transfer to Lao Cai station to take night train to Hanoi.
Day 9: HANOI / TRANSFER TO AIRPORT (-/-/-)
Arrive at Hanoi early in the morning, pick-up and transfer to Noi Bai Airport to fly home.