Two Weeks in Vietnam for Two Female Americans
Feb 11 - Feb 25, 2023
First, I want to compliment Long on his incredible planning. Every detail was thoughtfully offered to me in the planning stage. We went through four iterations of the trip until it was exactly what I wanted and Long helped me add some details to match other plans as I wanted to meet up with my husband and friend at the end of the trip also. I was so delighted with each and every daily adventure! I had no idea how special each decision Long offered was until I experienced them. The attention to the details of the experiences provided the best possible stays, the best possible guides, and the best possible experience of the trip. He even managed to help us with a missing item mid-way through the trip and oversaw its return without issue. Amazing customer service! I will recommend Long, KimKim, and Realistic Asia to all my friends and family that want to travel in the SE Asia area.
Our Hanoi guide, Tony, was great! He walked with my friend and I around Hanoi, explaining culture, food, local museums, and many sights. It was a great introduction to our Vietnam trip and was very fun. Nothing like having a great kick off to a trip that helps you understand and build your appreciation of a new place like a fun, knowledgeable guide.
We went on to Sa Pa and our guide was Mei. She is a local Hmong woman who really shared her country with us. It was a long hike through the valley that might have been a Top 5 experience. Lots is changing in Sa Pa - I'm so glad we were able to experience it while it still has its ethnic origins to display and admire. Mei was so kind and very helpful. She spoke in great detail about her culture and answered all of our questions. We were happy to know her and enjoyed her time with us immensely.
Que took us on our adventure to Ninh Binh. He was fun, explained a lot about family culture in Vietnam, and took us through the Ninh Binh area on boat and bicycle. This might be my favorite part of the trip as everything was awe-inspiringly beautiful and still has a small town feel.
We took the 2 day, 3 night cruise through Ha Long Bay. Do the 2 night trip!! The second day we got to go farther and see privately bays the day trip boats cannot. We kayaked, swam, and took well over 100 photos because the scenery was amazing. Athena Cruises were amazing and even accommodated our request for a second beach visit.
Trinh was our guide in Hoi An, after a great flight down to Da Nang from Hanoi on Vietnam Airlines. She was very thoughtful and managed many of the details of the last days of our trip throughout Hoi An and Da Nang. Trinh introduced us to all things culinary in Central Vietnam. Hours of tasting, learning about the farming of vegetables and herbs, and more tasting! We really appreciated Trinh's love of her country and her enthusiasm for the local cuisine. We tried so many different dishes and she even sent us recipes! My travel companion is hosting a dinner this weekend to try and recreate some of the wonderful flavors we were introduced to. It will be a pleasure to continue to exchange food stories with her over the next several months!
We spent the last two days on our own. It's here that I want to share that the choice of hotels at each and every stop of our trip was fantastic. Long chose places in the heart of the areas we wanted to visit without losing any luxury or service. We were able to sleep deeply, comfortably each night and had breakfast each day as part of our stay. We were able to do laundry along the way with fast, great service. The choices were perfect - thanks Long!
The bottom line is the service we received in planning and executing the trip was fantastic! Hard to imagine that anything could be better. Well done Long, Tony, Mei, Que, Trinh and all the others we met!
The hotel was the perfect location for our trip to Hanoi. Clean, quiet at the back of the building, great breakfast, and tea/coffee cafe up front. Very near Beer Street in Old Quarter - walking distance to many popular places. Food nearby highly recommended. English speaking sports bar nearby - saw Super Bowl at 6:30am Monday! Front desk was very helpful with baggage storage.
Beautiful vista from indoor pool area. Night skyline was spectacular. Very delicious breakfast, especially the banana crepes with dark chocolate sauce. Deck area for drinks at sunset. Laundry service was super fast! The staff overall was very attentive and made every request possible during our stay. Business gala was held so no karaoke was attempted, but plenty of walkable area places to eat and drink at night. Farther from SunWorld Plaza and main traffic areas, so it was quiet in the evening. A huge plus for us.
Lovely hotel. Lots of luxury to be found in this hotel. Brief one night stay was restful and the breakfast was very good. Little time to enjoy the outdoor bar area or pool, but it looked fabulous!
We fully enjoyed our stay at this fine hotel. The breakfasts were very good. The room was clean, and the beds were very comfortable. You are a walkable distance from the tourist area, but there are also many electric cars, bicycle rides, and Grab scooters to get you back to your room. We sat by the pool and enjoyed the sunny, warm weather. The town is awoken with announcements over loudspeaker (sometimes with drums) at 5 am. There's no escaping that. It adds to the experience for us Americans.
We took the 3D,2N version. It's really half a day, a whole day, and another half day but it is HIGHLY worth the extra day. the second day you get to go further out to a more secluded bay to kayak and enjoy the sights. The meals served are several courses of delicious food that is custom fit to your dietary needs. Go soon - it was not crowded as the weather was cooler than most think of in Vietnam. As upper Midwest Americans, it was plenty warm for us in February. Tim, our Cruise Director, was fantastic. We were even accommodated for a second beach visit without issue.
This hotel is the best location for beach, restaurants, and it has a great nightclub on the roof with a spectacular view that was unexpected of Da Nang and the ocean. The breakfast was very good and the restaurant is one floor below the nightclub in case you don't enjoy loud music. The spa was very nice with a facial that was moderately gentle. The front desk was very helpful with transportation arrangements and luggage storage needs. The chairs by the infinity pool were a great place to hang out by day or evening!
Tony, our guide, took us through the streets, helping us to orient ourselves to the city. We tried local foods and experienced the big tourist areas. our favorite was the Museum of Ethnology which really helped explain the 56 ethnic groups and prepped us for our visit to Sa Pa. Tony explained a lot about the different groups and took us to a fabulous lunch. We saw a wonderful sunny day at the lakes and in the temple area and enjoyed the School of Literature.
Thank you so much for your very detailed feedback. We are extremely thrilled to hear that you and Julie enjoyed your holiday in Vietnam.
Thanks again for your kind words about Tony, Mei, Que, Trinh, and me. They and I all remember you and send you warm regards.
We’re very grateful for customers like you and Julie and hope to see both of you again!