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Is it a rip off?

3 Nov 2008 Jen asked

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Just from reading this article:
http://blogs.smh.com.au/travel/archives/2008/09/why_sou...asia_is_stuffed.html
and the comments that follow, it doesn't really sound like Contiki will be welcomed in SE Asia. Also, someone commented that the tours are a big rip off, and going on your own would cost about 10% of what Contiki will charge. Is there truth in that statement?
I've done the 39-day European Adventurer tour with Contiki, and I have to say that I agree with *some* of the comments made about the company. There were a lot of people on my tour who were just interested in getting drunk and laid, and they got really annoying. Even starting on day 2 they were obnoxious and loud at night, right outside my door while I was trying to sleep; and it continued right up until day 39. However there are a lot of good things about Contiki. I had a lot of fun and I would consider doing an Asia tour, as long as there is good value in it. What do you guys think?
  • 4 Nov 2008 Gryphon said

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    Hey Jen,

    I wouldn’t really be able to comment on the exact tour, as none of us have ever gone on it. And I guess just like any tour, you would probably get your share of guys who are out to party and those who just want to have a good time holidaying and sightseeing.

    With regards to the cost of the tour, I have travelled quite extensively around Thailand and Cambodia and I would say that in terms of hotels, you can get pretty good hotels for maybe 50 USD a night per room (25 USD per person for twin share). However, transportation in Asia isn’t easy, especially in areas like Vietnam, and there are few very organised tours in the area that you would be able to book as alternatives.

    Like all Contiki tours, you can probably do the same itinerary for cheaper, it all depends on what you prioritise, convenience in the form of a pre-organised tour would be something that makes Contiki attractive, not to mention meeting many people of the same age.

  • 6 Nov 2008 Gryphon said

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    I do agree with Praha on the availability of cheap airfares and hotel rooms. But I guess the only thing may be that not everyone is comfortable wandering around South-East Asia on their own on their first trip to the region.

    It is definitely not as developed as any of the western european countries. I would say that only Singapore can compare to or exceed Europe in terms of safety, cleanliness and a good transport network.

    Countries such as Vietnam / Cambodia and even Thailand may seem very daunting to someone who isn’t expecting it. But if you are travelling in a group of friends, backpacking would be a perfectly good way to travel around Asia.

    Do let me know if would like any info, I am available on email as well.

    Cheers

  • 12 Nov 2008 Explorer1116933 said

    Explorer1116933

    Hi, I am new to the whole Contiki tours as well and was quite excited when I went to the travel agent today to find there was a tour for Asia. I am a bit leary now reading through all these posts, given 2009 will be the first group of tours. I absolutely want to travel Asia and I thought what a great way to do it but through an organized tour. I am okay with the costs altough I noticed that the majority of the European tours include internatinal air faire ie. depature from Canada and I don’t see this included? I don’t want to be around a bunch of obnoxious travellers either. Is this what the tours are like..? What is the average age

  • 12 Nov 2008 Explorer1095870 said

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    The European tours dont include airfare. I just went on a European camping tour this summer with Contiki and I had a blast. Thats why Im returning for another tour.

    BUT

    You have to know what your getting into though. My tour included about 90% girls and most everyone was under 21. I guess I cant speak for the Asia tours though…. Do your research with Contiki before booking. Everyone (including me) drank just about every night, everyone slept with everyone, and it was a drama-fest. And I would do it all over again. There was another tour that was following us, and they had a couple that were in there 30’s and they hated it. They didnt understand what they were getting into nor did they do theyre research. Let me know if I can answer any questions.

  • 18 Jan 2009 Explorer1084121 said

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    Not at all.I went to ask about Group Tours to Asia for Young people and when I saw the Vietnam Highlights 10 days I thought to myself Wow this is something I must do.Looked at all the companies offering these tours for the timeframe I wanted and none were available for the price I wanted to pay except for Contiki.I learnt about Vietnam in a High School History Class fifteen years ago by the way and am finally looking forward to seeing it all for real.For the generation of young people under 35 who have done the Bali or South Pacific Cruise thing but are looking for something new I say go for a Contiki Asia Trip You won’t regret it and have many memories to last a lifetime.

  • 20 Jan 2009 Explorer1084121 said

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    I am actually seeking a fun filled adventure with young people under 35 who also want to learn something that can’t be done with a text book and a teacher in the classroom and has to be experienced in real life.Does that make me odd

  • 2 Feb 2009 Explorer1084121 said

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    The Opposition which are Kumuka,Peregrine and Intrepid cost more for similar duration tours to the Contiki Vietnam Highlights and Vietnam Experience.Only Geckos work out cheaper

  • 8 Mar 2009 Peeves said

    Peeves

    have you considered Gap Adventures? They’re tours seem very cheap and offer a lot of free time. I plan on doing contiki for europe but i’m not sure about asia.

  • 18 Apr 2009 Jacqui said

    Jacqui

    hi guys so I have done one of the first tours thru contiki in Asia,
    what they have done this time is run thru a company already set up in asia called Indo China tours, they hire local guide in each city to do all the tours around the temples and etc.
    We had a really good group on our tour, and the average age was over 25, it was also a good mix of boys and girls. And most of us were all traveling on our own so we all mingled very well. but this is not your average Contiki tour, I found that there was not as much partying as other contiki tours i’ve been on but we still all managed to have lots of fun together doing more mellow things like going for a massage or a walk to the markets.
    food is really good and the best food comes from the little street venders, but be careful, and you wont get sick.

    shop-a-holics will love doing this tour cause thats all you do is go to the markets and shop, its great fun and you can pick up some really good bargin.

  • 21 Jun 2009 Explorer1084121 said

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    This should be interesting for me coming from doing a Couple of South Pacific Cruises so any positive feedback about Contiki Products and Asia in General will be most welcome

  • 6 Jul 2009 Explorer1084121 said

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    I would be happy to do Contiki anywhere as long as the duration of the tour fits into the time I can get off work and the price is right.
    What attracted me to Asia this year is that I was considering something different for a group tour and these prices they were asking are reasonable.

  • 5 Feb 2012 damien said

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    I thought i would give a update i done Vietnam Experience Aug 2011 .. You ask if its Value for money ??? for me i thought it was great im sure you could do this trip alot cheaper if you done it by yourself.. but you need to ask why you are looking at Contiki in the First place ..for me it was i only had a couple of weeks holiday so therefor wanted have the opportunity to see as much as i could in this amount of time . I wanted to go with similar age people that where like minded .. I also found this tour to be a lot different from other contikis i have been on. We had the full range of people on this tour from 18-36 but most where interested in the sites and history and not so much partying.. Yes we did drink every night but it was mainly with dinner then a few quiet ones at a local bar…there where only a few nights where we got messy i think this has to do with the hummidity takeing a lot out of you over there everyday. For me i think it was great value for money

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