Friday, January 2, 2015

Blaxill Family * 4 pax | Northern Vietnam | Vietnam

Date: 14th Dec - 30th Dec, 2014
Nationality: Australian

Dear Candy,

We are now home and feeling well refreshed from our wonderful holiday in Vietnam. Thank you for the really great work you did organising and coordinating our holiday. It really was one of our best holidays ever and we can t thank you enough for all you and our lovely guides did to give us such a great time. It was the perfect balance of activity and relaxation, travelling and staying in one place, time to ourselves and time with others. 
Just perfect. You really did a fantastic job and we are so grateful that we used you and Active Travel to put our holiday together. We have already been recommending you to friends and family her in Perth.

More specifically, we thought you might like some specific feedback on the things we were particularly impressed by and maybe a few things that perhaps could be improved slightly (these are very few as 90%of the trip was outstanding).

We especially loved:
-The Medallion Hotel in the old quarter- a very high quality hotel with excellent, caring staff and so well located for exploring Hanoi and the Old Quarter ( we would definitely stay there again), -The City tour the first day was a fantastic introduction to Vietnam and Hanoi, -The lunch the first day in the restaurant was really lovely, -The coffee in the little old quarter cafe with other guides was great fun and helped us feel like a Vietnamese person and not a tourist !
- the water puppets were well worth seeing,
- we were very impressed Candy that you personally came to meet us in our
hotel- a lovely touch,
-The train to Sapa was remarkably comfortable and we loved the experience,
- the hotel in Sapa was excellent and we would happily stay there again, -Walking in Sapa and the surrounds was a real highlight,
- Our porters and guide up and down Mt Fansipan did a brilliant job and also cooked some delicious meals,
- having the rooms to shower, rest and have breakfast in at La Rosa was fantastic and so well organised, -Halong Bay was outstanding and even more beautiful than we thought it would be, -The accommodation on the Junk was very comfortable and we thought the cabins were really beautiful, -Extending our stay in the area with extended days kayaking and visiting Cat BA island was one of the best parts of our whole trip. We would highly recommend it to other tourists.
-The kayaks were excellent quality and the places we were taken to kayak were very well chosen as we really felt well away from many tourist groups, -The bikes we used for cycling were excellent and top quality, -Home stays were fantastic and having two very different home stays was a great experience, as the more basic first one gave us a chance to really see how the locals lived and the second one was lovely and luxurious in a pretty valley, near Mai Chau
- the food throughout our trip was amazingly good and of a very high standard ( except for breakfast in Ninh Binh...see below) -Our bus drivers were excellent and drove very safely and well, -Our three guides all were very informative and went out of their way to give us a perfect holiday. They were all excellent however, we would particularly like to commend Hoa, our last guide who well and truly gave 110% service to us and also combined it with excellent English, a great sense of humour and outstanding care for us all right to the end of our trip. He is a truly magnificent guide and we feel very lucky to have enjoyed his services for so many days.

Here are just a few suggestions of things that could perhaps be improved:
-Before future tourists book to climb Mt Fansipan, I think it would be helpful to warn them that a  cable car is currently being built and therefore it is a bit of building site in places on the mountain and not very picturesque near the top. There are also periodic explosions heard on the mountain and lots of workers working there so it is not as peaceful as a usual mountain climb.
- Also, I think future tourists should be warned that the hut/ accomodation where one sleeps on the mountain is very basic, very noisy and the toilets are very dirty and unhygienic ( as they do not seem to be cleaned regularly and were filthy)
- The hotel in Ninh Binh, was our least favourite as it had little atmosphere ( more like a bed factory!) and the breakfast included stale bread, cold cooked food and sickly fruit drinks ( not juices). Our son also subsequently got food poisoning from eating an egg at breakfast there on our last day. Fortunately, he has fully recovered now.

In conclusion, we had a brilliant holiday and definitely want to return to Vietnam again and will be very pleased to use Active Travel again for our next trip.

Many thanks to you and all your staff.

Kind regards,
Clare, Phil, James and Phoebe Blaxill 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Lauren Jordy * 4 pax | Siem Reap | Cambodia

Itinerary: Biking Siem Reap
Date: 30th Dec - 31st Dec, 2014
Nationality: British

Hi Candy, 

We had two great days of cycling with Mr. Siya.  He met us promptly in the morning and we had two busy days!  Our first day included visiting Angkor Wat and two other temples.  The cycling was really interesting through the forest, on paths, on the Angkor Wat temple wall and roads.  We had a nice lunch at a local restaurant and healthy snacks along the route.

Today we went out in the country side and cycled on secondary roads.  Our tour included end a boat ride to a floating village.  We enjoyed the opportunity to see the 'real' Cambodia.

We were well taken care of and enjoyed our tour.  

Thanks for all of your help with organizing the tour and making it happen!

Happy New Year!