January 23, 2012 Tour

Is there anyone else out there who has signed up for the January 23, 2012, departure??


  • edited November 2011
    We are going. Not too good using computers. We're from Philly area.Shots needed? We hear flooding is not a problem for this tour . Is it sold out?
  • So glad to hear from someone else on this tour! It is always fun to connect up with fellow travelers prior to the actual start of the trip. According to the Tauck web site, the trip is sold out. About shots...we are waiting to hear back from our HMO, although, others have said shots are not necessary. We have also heard a hepatitus shot might be a good idea. I think we will be fine as far as flooding is concerned. It is a drier season, and Bangkok seems to have escaped any major damage that would affect our trip.
    We are from the San Francisco Bay Area and are really looking forward to this trip. This will be our ninth adventure with Tauck . We were supposed to take this trip last February but had to cancel at the last moment. We are arriving in Hanoi on Friday, January 20, and then leaving on the 21st for a two night cruise on Halong Bay, returning on the 23rd for the start of the tour.
    Our next task is to get our visas. We had all of that done last year, but they are only valid for a short window of time. So-o-o, it's back to the Vietnamese embassy and the hassle of getting the Cambodian visa.
    If it would be easier to communicate off the Tauck Forum, my e-mail is [email protected] .
  • I have avoided e mail but am trying to get into it. My wife and daughter are big on that method. I avoided it and let my staff do it for me. I'll give Rebecca ( daughter) the info. We'll look into visas. Flying 16 hours direct from JFK-new York to hong kong Arriving Saturday. We have a local trip planned for Saturday afternoon Sunday we booked the full day trip to the bay you also booked. Monday at dinner the tour starts. We also are staying an extra day in bangkock. No plans yet for that. We also traveled with tauck to Europe, Australia and egypt. No complaints so far. Hope the 28 year old daughter is not the only young person on the trip. Cell 2153505989. Do you know any other of our "fellow travelers"?
  • No word from fellow travelers, yet. Hopefully, some will join in on our discussion. We, too, are staying an extra day in Bangkok. We are then spending three nights in Hong Kong . I am working on that piece of the trip and haven't thought too much about the extra day in Thailand, so far. I'm sure your daughter will enjoy the trip. We took our sons for a post-college trip to Italy, and they had a wonderful time meeting fellow travelers, from teen-agers to eighty-year-olds and all those in between!!
  • We were in hong kong last April. Have u been there before? Nice cable car trip to the Buddha. The markets are great- fish, bird, jade, flower, antique and general junk. Cruise the harbor. We stayed at the peninsula hotel. Many real nice ones. My partner likes the shangrala. We will return home after bangkock as we all still work a bit. I can only assume you're retired. Based on the four week trip. Issue more travelers will jointhis discussion. We were told nothing about visas or shots. Will look into more Monday. Lee andlaurie
  • Hi Lee,
    This is our first trip to Hong Kong, and we are trying to pack a bunch of sightseeing into a few days. We passed on the Penninsula (boo hoo about the Rolls Royce our travel agent tells us about) and are booked at the Intercontinental. Our kids stayed there and told us the savings was worth a few good meals elsewhere! We shall see. The Buddah and Victoria Peak on on our list of sites to see!
    Yes, we are retired, and can take some extra time to enjoy this part of the world! Ironically, we were in Philadelphia this summer doing a bit of a "Salute to the Founding Fathers" tour after visiting Gettysburg (our Civil War Lite tour)! We are originally East Coasters who moved to California forty plus years ago, and we were back in New York for a high school reunion.
    Thanks for communicating, and let's keep in touch about this trip!
  • Hi! Did you use tauck's service for visas. It seems to be [email protected] Six would be a small fortune. We could visit ny or dc did you just go to the sf consulate? Mail order seems to be [email protected] for Vietnam. Any ideas ? Strange that no others tour buddies have joined us yet! Office phone for us is 2155617000. Lee & laurie
  • Hi Lee,
    I agree this visa thing can be a slippery slope! I had already printed out the applications for both visas (gotten online), but we still need to have new photos taken and then go into the city to drop everything off. Last year we went to the San Francisco Vietnamese consulate, and it was a pretty painless procedure. I wasn't thrilled about leaving our passports, but all worked out well, and it gave us a great excuse to have a wonderful lunch in SF!
    Cambodia does not have a consulate here, so last year we used a travel document service recommended by our travel agent. It was still a bit costly as we had to drop off our info and passports in SF, and pay their fees and FedEx charges back to us. This time I am pretty sure I am going to deal directly with the consulate in Washington and save myself the service charge. Remember, we still have unused visas in our passports! They are very pretty, however! I agree that Tauck's agent's fees are steep (not much higher than other services charge, though), but they are selling peace of mind! It is not easy to wade through the many, many document services that an internet search can provide when you are trying to just locate a consulate. Quite insidious! I guess that is why Tauck tries to simplify it with the service they use.
    The irony is that the visas, according to my research, are much cheaper if you get them upon arrival in Hong Kong and in Cambodia. Of course, I would worry about holding up the tour in Cambodia, and the uncertainty of leaving a Vietnamese visa until a two-hour layover in Hong Kong makes me nervous! So-o-o, I guess we will bite the bullet and start the process next week. In your case, I guess it comes down to whether you want to handle the mailing yourself or have someone else do that part for you. You still have to get the photos and fill out the applications yourselves. If you are in Washington, you could drop off your papers and include a return envelope to save a substantial amount.
    I, too, wonder about hearing from others on this tour. I have found that many just do not avail themselves of this perk of chatting with others prior to a tour. Now that Tauck has recently updated their site, it seems that even more are not participating. Too bad as the new site is pretty cool. I have a few theories about responses vs. tour destinations, but I'll regale you with my conclusions when we all meet in Hanoi! What I think would really be great is if our Tour Director communicated with us prior to the trip. I would assume Tauck has our e-mail addresses, so it shouldn't be a problem. I have heard of some directors doing this but don't know if it is widespread. I keep mentioning it in my "Hope & Trust" card (Is that the name...we missed a year of Taucktourianism).
  • Working on visas. Viet nam says [email protected] by mail no need to mail original passport. They will give us supplemental pass or visa. Cambodia is only two days, but seems to require original passport.
    It turns out we will have two days in bangkock at the end of the trip Some recommend the night markets, the bridge on the river Kwai and the transgender show. I can't believe that one. Might just book those things later. My wife wants more time for shopping. I prefer seeing the sights and avoiding the shops!
    Seeing our doctor tonight re shots and rx. At least you have a shorter flight from sf. Lee
  • LeeRosenau wrote:
    Hi! Did you use tauck's service for visas. It seems to be [email protected] Six would be a small fortune. We could visit ny or dc did you just go to the sf consulate? Mail order seems to be [email protected] for Vietnam. Any ideas ? Strange that no others tour buddies have joined us yet! Office phone for us is 2155617000. Lee & laurie

    I'm going on the 2/6/12 trip. Googled both the Vietnam and Cambodia embassies. Applied for a visa on line at their website. Applied 11/14. Cost me $20.00. Received my approval letter last night. Did not have to send my passport to anyone. Just sent the # and all that was requested. All this applies to the Cambodia website. When I land in Vietnam I have to have 2 passport size pictures. Pay $25.00 american dollars<cash only, get my visa and be on my way. All this is done at the internet visa line. Cambodia is slightly diffetent but just as simple. I should have my visa letter by tomorrow. Cost me less then $100bucks for both Good luck
  • I knew you could get a VOA (visa on arrival) for Vietnam but didn't realize Cambodia was now offering that option as well. Too late for us as our Cambodian info has been sent and received. Does the Cambodia VOA operate the same way as in Vietnam? Will you have to get into a separate line, upon arrival, in Cambodia, to get your actual visa? I have read a number of accounts that say the wait time in Vietnam for those with a VOA is only about twenty minutes but have read nothing about Cambodia. While Vietnam would probably not be a problem as it is at the beginning of the tour and you are not traveling with the group, we were concerned about holding up the tour in Cambodia (mid-tour) if our paperwork was not at hand and we had to get our visa upon arrival. Have you asked Tauck if that will be a problem? We have been on a number of Tauck trips that involve air travel, and, in our experience, the group moves through airports quite rapidly.
    I recall that when we arrived in Turkey and had to get a visa, the line was unbearably long and it took us forever to pay up and get our visa. Of course, it didn't expedite matters when we realized, after ten minutes, that we were in the wrong line, but that's a whole other story!!
  • Hi! Just wanted to let Lee know my daughter and I have signed up for the trip, sort of last minute. My husband couldn't take this much time off. She is 23, and graduating from USC in a couple of weeks. We will spend a few days in Hong Kong before meeting the group in Hanoi. This will be our second trip with Tauck. We are looking forward to a great time.
  • Good to hear about another younger traveler. I always worry that Rebecca will have to hang with us oldies.
    A few weeks of holidays , then packing time! I assume USC means California, not Carolina. Either way, we're almost neighbors. E mail is [email protected] Lee
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