Vietnam, Cambodia, thailand

We are 4 traveling from Eastern USA to Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand .Tour begins January 15, 2016-- we are arriving 2 days early-- any suggestions?

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  • GaleL wrote:
    We are 4 traveling from Eastern USA to Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand .Tour begins January 15, 2016-- we are arriving 2 days early-- any suggestions?


    We did this trip last year at just about the same time as your trip. It was one of the best trips we have ever taken.

    We also arrived in Hanoi 2 days early. Our plane (from the West Coast) arrived late in the evening so we had the chance for a full night's sleep in a real bed and were up and rested early enough the next morning for an over night trip to Halong Bay. Halong Bay is really a must see. We booked with Bhaya Tours (website is a little confusing). Weather in North Vietnam can be cool, rainy or foggy (and it was) but even in the mist Halong Bay is spectacular. The Bhaya van picks you up at your hotel around 8 AM and gets to the ship before lunch. Your cruise includes a buffet lunch upon your arrival, fantastic dinner at night and breakfast and brunch the next morning. You leave the ship mid-morning and are back at your hotel before 3 PM the next day. For us, that was more than enough time to prepare for the Tauck welcome dinner that night. The ship provides an afternoon and a morning excursion to visit the floating villages and the caves in the Bay. They are included in the price and are definitely worth doing. There are also opportunities for massage on the ship also dancing and cocktails on board but we did not do this. There was also a fun and informative cooking demo. We even had time for a short walk near the hotel when we arrived back in Hanoi.

    Since we arrived late evening, the first day, and we had a free night (Gift of Time, from Tauck) we did book our Hanoi hotel for 2 nights prior to the official Tauck tour. The Gift of Time can only be used immediately before (or after) the Tauck tour, so we paid for the first night and left our luggage etc. in the room for the second night. Consequently, we did not have to check in again when we returned from our Halong Bay excursion and athe room was ready for our early afternoon arrival. Best of all, by the time the Tauck tour started we were almost recovered from our jet lag.

    Although everything about the tour was really great, the highlights for us were the animals we saw in Chiang Mai. The Elephant preserve and show (included) was wonderful, but the opportunity to "pet and stroke" adult tigers at the Tiger Kingdom, Mae Rim (on our own, but near the Four Seasons Resort) was definitely the high point for us.

    If you want more information on any of this, you can email me at [email protected]
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