Monday, August 9, 2010

Brent Sandweiss & Stefan | Taste of Ho Chi Minh Trails | Vietnam

Itinerary : Taste of Ho Chi Minh Trails
Date: July 29 - July 31, 2010
Nationality: USA

Our experience with Active Travel Asia was absolutely outstanding. Trang corresponded with us, via email, very professionally and timely. She went out of her way to assist us with each and every question. At great inconvenience to herself, she drove across town on very short notice to personally meet with me and setup our trip. Her English is very good. Her personality is even better. And, I feel quite fortunate to have met her online. She is a class act. As Trang was leaving, I asked her if our guide would have English as good as hers. She responed by saying yes and you will really like our guides.

Within minutes of meeting our guide, Luan, I could tell that we were going to have a terrific time. Once again, Trang was spot on!

Luan picked us up the next morning and we stopped off to pick up our motorbikes and allow Luan time to assess our skill sets. After he was confident of our motorcycle skills, we got a general briefing at an out of the way historical museum*. After a few false starts (we were riding authentic Russian made Minsk motorcycles!) we got the bikes up and running!

Luan was absolutely fantastic! Not only was his English amazing. But, his personality was even more amazing! To say that we had a trip of a lifetime is an understatement! We rode through beautiful rice paddies, limestone monoliths popping up everywhere, gorgeous mountain passes and caramel colored rivers and green and blue lakes. But, most important, it was the great good fortune of meeting warm, sincere and generous Vietnamese people everywhere we went that will remain etched on my mind for the rest of my life. The home stays were incredible. The food was amazing. A true life experience that will never be forgotten. Oh…and did I mention that Luan was amazing? !!

Prior to this trip, we spend time in Thailand & Cambodia. In each place, we worked with several guides. Many were quite nice. None came close to the professional and first class treatment offered by Luan. He was terrific in every sense. Sharp enough to keep a professional, timely tour. But, more important, very funny, down to earth, easy to understand and eager to assist us with any needs. It takes a very special person to operate as a guide 24/7 with new clients from a different culture. Luan’s ability to execute this enormous responsibility flawlessly earned our respect and gratitude. He is a true gem and it is my great pleasure and honor to write this review.

Thank you so much for orchestrating the trip of a lifetime. Before I met you, I loved Vietnam. After meeting and touring with you I love Vietnam even more. Toi Thich Vietnam!!


Brent Sandweiss

*The war is a painful episode in our shared history as I think we all realize that both countries suffered greatly. For my part, I hope the Vietnamese never fight another war. They are a beautiful people with a beautiful country and they need and deserve a long lasting peace to fully develop their potential. Their willingness to embrace us (Americans) as friends says so much about their deeply ingrained sense of honor and their ability to accept and move forward.

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