December 1, 2023 Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand tour

****Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand small group tour - December 1, 2023**. Any travelers going on this tour? Is anyone interested in joining us (we’re 2) on a one day Halong Bay tour on November 30?****


  • I'm going on this tour but I'll miss you by a couple of weeks - otherwise I would have LOVED to join you to Halong Bay! Have a great trip!

  • We are going on Halong Bay tour January 2. How was your experience?

  • Halong Bay is a must do. I hope you are taking the overnight cruise because you get to experience a life on the water and of course, sunset and sunrise. The scenery is unlike anything you have ever seen before.

  • Are there any doable day trips for Halong Bay as not included in Jan 2024 tour( which I am surprised about) Have to return to hotel by 5 to get ready for welcome reception at 6pm

  • edited December 2023

    Are there any doable day trips for Halong Bay as not included in Jan 2024 tour( which I am surprised about) Have to return to hotel by 5 to get ready for welcome reception at 6pm

    I contacted the concierge at the hotel and set up a day trip to Ha Long Bay. I wanted to do an overnight but couldn't get the flights I wanted to make it happen. We arrive the day before the start of the trip. The Ha Long Bay people will pick us up at 8am and take us to the bay where we will have a private boat. We sail Ha Long Bay - lunch provided - and then they get us back before 6pm. I'll go to the welcome reception in the clothes we wore for the Ha Long Bay tour. It was a bit over $700 for the package for three of us.

    [If you want more info on what I did, PM me your email address and I'll forward you the correspondance with the concierge.]

  • Did anyone use a private guide in Saigon? If so, would you recommend that person (to me)?

    I want to set up to see some places that might not be on the normal tours.

  • I wonder what the U.S. Embassy and the Air America compound (the Gray House) looks like today? I stayed at the Gray House the last time I was there.

  • We took a nightime tour on Vespas scooters with Vespa Adventures and it was one of the highlights of our time there. The well known tour director Larry Abbott recommended it to our group and we all went, including people over 80. You ride seated behind your Vespa driver and go into the insane city traffic and it’s a blast. We ate street food, went to a high end singing coffee bar and ended up at a bar with a rock band playing. We used the same company in Hoi An. I’ll try to find a photo.

    edited December 2023

    We had that option of the Vespa scooter progressive dinner in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City. I hung on to my young driver for dear life! My photo here on the forum was taken by that driver during a stop overlooking the city.

  • The insane traffic is fine as long as nothing bad happens. I have a friend who winters in Vietnam and he broke his clavicle after being hit by another vehicle. It required surgery which needed a "redo" when he got home.

  • I used to ride my bike in that traffic. Really never thought anything of it. You just go with the flow.

  • We took the Vespa tour too. The first time I was on the Vespa, I was scared xxxxxxxx, but after a couple of rides it is a lot of fun. The drivers are excellent, despiite the fact that local drivers are crazy.

  • I think I misunderstood the original comment about the Vespa tour. So you have a driver and you're not solo following a group, correct?

  • That's correct, BKMD. Each person sits behind a driver on a scooter.

  • We took a food walking tour when we arrived in Hanoi. The best part of the tour (and it was a fabulous tour) was our lesson is crossing the road! Crossing the street with mopeds, carts, trucks and cars coming in all directions was harrowing - but we became pros!!

  • Nancy - Same thing in Egypt. I did a pre-tour trip to Alexandria. On the way back to Cairo, I asked my driver to take me clothes shoppng because my bag was lost. At one stop, he parked on one side of the street and said we need to cross. I said no way. He had me hold his elbow, like leading a blind person, and I survived walking through the non-stop motorized chaos! :)

  • One of my fondest memories of my trip to Southeast Asia is when I was trying to cross the busy road that runs along Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi. I was standing there -- I'm sure looking quite helpless -- when 3 young ladies came up in beautiful ao dais, and one grabbed my hand and walked me across with them. I felt like the little old lady being escorted across the street by a Boy Scout!

  • Barry — Safe travels!!! The trip is wonderful. Try to sign up for the hotel tour (free) when you arrive at The Metropole Hanoi. Very interesting!

  • I agree with Nancy. I did the bunker tour at the Metropole, too.

  • Thanks for the tip, Nancy. Added it to my list. Last hotel tour I did was the Old Cataract in Aswan - another great hotel tour.

  • edited January 10

    A brief follow-up, mid-trip:

    The bunker tour in the Metrople (Hanoi) was very interesting. I was the only one on the tour! Scedule with the concierge.

    A recent addition to the tour in Saigon is an evening Vespa/local food tour. While a bit harrowing, it was a lot of fun. Everyone gets a driver and a Vespa. The craziest thing is they make left turns (and U-turns) into oncoming moving traffic and, somehow, it all seems to work. Not as crazy as Cairo, but it's up there.

    (edited for typo)

  • Yes, sounds like the tour we did on our own buck

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