Travel to Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand
edited May 2021 in Vietnam, Cambodia & Thailand
Traveling to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand Jan. 12, 2022. Anyone else on this trip that wants to chat?
I am a single supplement as is my travel companion, Dianne.. I have been on 23 TAUCK TRIPS and traveled to all 7 continents, so I trust them.
Lil from Cleveland, Ohio
You will love this tour.
This trip is on my 2021 list....fingers crossedX
We just returned from a fabulous trip (VC&T trip 2/24).Due to COVID19 we had plenty of hand sanitisers,masks and frequent temperature checks; but no crowds or lines in most attractions.A couple of us had to deal with flight cancellations because of airlines and were rebooked.We are glad we did not cancel!
We just received level 3 travel warnings for Vietnam and Thailand through the State Department’s STEP program. Sudhamali, sounds like you got finished just in time.
We dodged the bullet of COVID19 in the nick of time in almost every destination including our return to US.The tour that followed us had to return from Hanoi because of a COVID19 patient staying in Sofitel Metropole,where Tauck stays and the subsequent quarantine of the tour participants per our Tour director.We were extremely lucky! Someone was looking after us!
Thank you all for your comments. I am hopeful Jan. 2021 my trip will not be interrupted!
Anyone on the March 7 2022 trip?
I'm on the February 11, 2022 trip and am hoping that it will be a go. I have Ireland with Tauck mid-September this year preceded by Scotland with another provider and am thinking it will be a miracle if those back to back trips occur this year.
This tour was my first Tauck tour... It was amazing! you guys will love it.
Only offered as perspective. Some people don’t like boats … I love boats. Some people love ‘hot’ climates, and some people hate them. I hate them … unless I’m on a boat. I can’t say much about North Vietnam cuz I’ve never been there,(on the ground) but I’ve spent several years and all seasons in South Vietnam and Thailand. As beautiful as the sites may be, you will likely encounter either ‘hot’ and wet, or ‘hot’ and dry. If you hate cold weather, you have it covered. A sea story: I ran a refugee camp in Guam during the Vietnam evacuation. Our temperatures never got below 75 or so, and the daytime was perhaps upper 80’s. The refugees needed ‘blankets’. Every day in the “J&G Construction Camp” (the previous name) was a surprise. I’m sure this Tauck tour is wonderful, but be aware that it will be a ‘warm’ environment.
We did the Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos tour, yes, it is humid but with the right clothing and hydration we were Ok and I would be happy to take this tour too because we enjoyed it so much. Shame Tauck don’t go to Laos anymore, it was our favorite of the three countries.
We did this tour in 2014 and loved it. I haven't examined the current itinerary so our two additional recommendations may be OBE:
Arrive early in Hanoi and book a private day trip to Halong Bay (we booked the trip through Viator). You can Google Halong Bay to find out why you should do this. For a startlingly low price, we had a private car to/from the Bay where we had the entire boat as our private "yacht." Besides cruising through the amazing natural features the Bay is known for, we stopped at one island and took a tour through a cave (paved paths and well-lit). A nice lunch was included. There were many operators of this type of trip so, no doubt, you could also arrange it through the Hanoi hotel or your TA.
Second, if you still have a free afternoon in Da Nang after the visit to Hoi An, ask about visiting the caves and temples of Thuy Son Mountain (one of the Marble Mountains...Google it). As I recall, we were able to arrange this through the Tauck tour director who set it up through the local Da Nang guide. Again, the price was very nominal.
I haven’t checked the latest itinerary but Tauck May now include Halong Bay. Our Vietnam Cambodia Laos tour did, an overnight on the boat, awesome. If you have to do Halong Bay on your own, it’s a several hours drive out there.
That'd be a great addition to the tour (including Halong Bay). And, yes, it was a multi-hour drive each way.
The current Tauck itinerary does not include Halong Bay, which is why we may go with A&K instead. Their tour spends the night on a boat in the bay. On the day trip, did you feel you had enough time?
When we were on our Tauck tour of China, an A and K tour followed us around staying in the same hotels but they went home when we went on to Hong Kong, they are so much more expensive.
If you can go for a day, I would think it would be enough to see what it is all about. In the past, people on the forum have gone more than a day early and taken an overnight boat tour. The drive out there is very interesting as you pass through the countryside.
If you get the chance to do scooter rides in Hoi An or Ho Chi Min city, do it, it’s awesome!
In 2017 when we did this tour several tuk-tuk, pedicabs, etc. rides were included in the tour in lots of cities.
The scooter tours were suggested to us by the TD, not Included, and they turned out to be a major highlight of our tour, everybody went even those in their eighties. But this was the Indo China tour of course
Sugarcreek: the day trip to Halong Bay was pretty long, but we felt we had enough time. We'd do it again on any tour which didn't include it.
WRT scooter/pedicab tours, it's been a while but I'm pretty sure both were included in both Hanoi and Hue...maybe other places. I'd have to review my photos to be more precise.
Portolan: I'd be surprised if drive your own scooters were included, too much liability. Now pedicabs (manually propelled) and tuk-tuks(gas propelled), or variants of each where the Tauktourian wasn't the driver was included in the majority of the cities.
We were told that Hanoi has about 5 million scooters/motorcycles and that Ho Chi Minh City has about 7 million. It's easy to believe when you see the makeup of the traffic in each city.
In Bangkok we had a police escorted tuk-tuk caravan to get us across town quickly. That's Tauck for you.
Sam, our scooter rides we were at the back of experienced riders. In Hoi An we drove on narrow scooter tracks through fields and over river bridges, we ate provided lunch in the field of an organic farmer. We stopped at a home where we watched an elderly couple weave mats and had a go ourselves. We visited a home where we made
flat rice cakes on a stone top, we sat on a low stool to do that. The next room in the house housed the family pig. We visited a guy who made rice whisky, different levels of alcoholic context. The men said it tasted like rocket fuel .
In Ho Chi Min city, it was a night scooter ride in very heavy traffic, surprisingly I was not nervous at all, just exhilarating, because everyone follows the rules of the road. We stopped for street food and at a bar up an alley way, up stairs and into a couple of rooms that had old sofas. There were amateur singers singing, playing the piano and violin, they were awesome, we are singers, believe me they were amazing. Then we went to another bar where there was a rock band playing.
Before British posted, I was ready to explain that -- thank God -- we rode behind young, experienced scooter drivers in Ho Chi Minh City, but the photos that I tried to attach all came out sideways. I couldn't figure out how to fix that, so I gave up. I need my children (or maybe AlanS) around to help me with technology. We did not have the opportunity for a scooter ride in Hoi An. Our experiences in Ho Chi Minh City were different than British's, but still, very enjoyable -- once I got over the terror induced by the scooter ride.
I didn’t have the opportunity to ride a scooter. I thought crossing the street in Hanoi was enough of a terror thrill!!
What kind of jerk would flag 2 people sitting on Vespas?
Cameras and/or photo software (PC/tablets/Apple) save the original image metadata for photos taken sideways, but often your viewing software will automatically, but temporarily (only temporarily), rotate it for proper viewing. However, when you post the image in another program, forum, email, etc. it will be in the original (sideways) orientation. One way to fix it permanently is to open the image in a photo viewer or photo editing program, rotate the image then save it over the original or save it with a new name.
British- were the scooter rides part of the Tauck itinerary or something that everyone agrees was fun to do in tour down time. If it was part of the official tour itinerary I’d be shocked. Seems like there would be too much liability for Tauck. In Hoi An we had a pedicab tour of the town. On the way from Da Nang to Hoi An we stopped in a small village and experienced many of the same things you described, including stopping at a children’s school similar to the stop done on the K&T tour. We met the mayor of the village and toured his house as well.
It was not part of the Tauck tour but recommended by our TD who we had had on a previous tour. He is very experienced, so we trusted his recommendation as did everyone else. I’m sure I saw it was now included. The trick to crossing the street in Vietnam is to cross over at a steady pace with no sudden change in pace or movement. The people of Vietnam, are so used to this, that they can estimate where exactly you will be as they approach you. We are still here to prove that it works.
Can't believe Alan's informative post was flagged. Though I'm breaking my own rule, I think it's best to ignore the flagger and maybe she'll take another break from the forum, hopefully permanently, this time.