07 Jun 2014 - 18 Jun 2014
Everything about this was great for the first time traveler which we were, everything was organised and well run for the whole trip! However the major downfall from our experience was the tour guide, she was rude on numerous occasions to the group members, bragged about the free things she was receiving from the restaurants she was taking us to and did not attempt to integrate into the group. Over all we had a lovely group of people however the tour guide ruined our trip, not just for my partner and myself but a lot of people on the trip felt the same. There needs to be a few extra days added to this experience as well in order for it not to feel as rushed i.e. maybe an extra day in Hue and Hoi An.
In regards to tour guides there needs to be some sort of system in place so that it is disclosed to the people on the tour that they are taking us to up market places and restaurants and that they are receiving commission from taking us there. I would have been much happier if we had of eaten more traditional food and if the tour guide was more knowledgable about where to go for cheap traditional food instead of only taking us to western places.
The times where we have free time it would be great if there were a list of suggestions made about where to go or what to do so we don't miss out on anything because again the tour guide had a severe lack of knowledge in regards to that.
The worst experience of the whole trip was our last night out when we all went to a night club and the tour guide told all of us that she was getting free drinks for staying there. The group decided to leave after a couple of hours to explore another place recommended by trip advisor. When we told the tour guide our intentions she blatantly lied and said that we shouldn't go there because all they had was Vietnamese music! We proceeded to leave and go to another club which was packed full of what seemed to be every backpacker in the city, and they were most certainly not playing Vietnamese music.
This experience just reiterates numerous of occasions where something similar happened through out the trip and it made me feel like I was just money to the tour guide, she didn't genuinely care that we were having a good time or not.
Just a real shame because due to this experience I would never go on another Contiki and since being back have told people my opinion which has swayed them from booking one just due to one bad experience.
Review written Jul 2014event 0.3
26 Oct 2013 - 06 Nov 2013
Had a great time, tour manager James is an absolute legend who ensures everyone has fun. Cultural value with learning about the war and Vietnamese colonial history mixed in with great food and fun outings. The heat can be oppressive and you nearly get killed multiple time crossing the street but it is a great place to visit! Nha Trang was my favourite, great beach town, spend the whole day at the beach if you can. Plenty of variety in the tour, every day is different. Optional snorkel cruise was great fun as was the optional kayaking where we saw monkeys and the overnight boat trip on the bay was great. Word of advice, make sure your room is as far away from the boats engine room as possible. My room was right next to the engine and they keep the engine running constantly and my whole room was shaking and the noise was brutal plus the diesel fumes. That was the only downside, the rest of the tour was amazing. Not to mention all the "Dong" jokes from their currency.
Review written Jul 2014event 0.3
31 Aug 2013 - 11 Sep 2013
This trip was full on. Most days started early around 7:30-8am and if you are like me, most nights didn't end until 3am. The lack of sleep was just a sign of how much fun everyone was having. Our tour guide was great and took really good care of us. He organized quite a few "family dinners" and accompanied us on all the awesome extra activities which was highlighted by the sailing & snorkeling trip in Nha Trang. Halong Bay was absolutely stunning and it was quite difficult to leave the ship on which we spent the night. I was hesitant to book this trip but in hindsight, i cant imagine having not done it. It was 12 days of awesome and epic memories with some cool new friends from around the world.
Review written Sep 2013event 0.3
11 May 2013 - 22 May 2013
This trip literally had everything! Bustling cities, beautiful beaches, amazing scenery, lots of nightclubbing and drinks to be had, tons of fascinating history, loads of culture, delicious food and more. I would recommend it for a first time solo traveller as it was short enough to as to not make you too anxious but long enough to lose yourself! By the time we were done how ever it felt like I had been gone for months and my tour mates were my best friends! I was lucky enough to be placed with a fantastic group of people and our tour leader Tara was amazing! I would recommend this tour if you’re not opposed to running on little to no sleep as it was non-stop! I made a pact with a couple of guys that I had just met that we would go out every night and we did! I was definitely living on the philosophy of “I can sleep when I get home”. I would advise everyone to take up every optional activity on offer as none of them clash and it is worth every minute. The experiences are amazing and unlike anything you would see on any other country. Drinking shots of snakes blood and rice whiskey in a village, eating snake soup and rat, lying in the sun as you float down on the Mekong river (cue credence clear water revival), crawling through the Cu Chi tunnels, firing a machine gun in the same jungle where the Vietnam war took place, visiting the war remnants museum, (amazing, but will bring a tear to anyone’s eye) Snorkelling (and drinking) in the South China Sea, a hilarious lady boy show on the ocean, cycling through the beautiful little village of Hoi An, visiting the imperial city in Hue (pronounced “Hway” and Not “Huey”) and my personal favourite, the overnight junk boat on Halong Bay. I believe this is where one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies was filmed. The water is beautiful and there are amazing little cliffs and islands that you have to see to believe. One of the simple highlights for me was the hot afternoon we spent jumping and diving off the top of the boat with everyone while a thunderstorm rolled in. (Might just add, can back flip.). Make sure you get off the boat and do the tour of the heritage listed caves they are breathtaking. We had a huge pirate theme party on the Junk boat that night followed the next morning with a very hung over kayak session. If you’re lucky there’s a little island you can paddle your kayak to where you can see a troop of monkeys, but the storm seemed to scare them off for us but we had just as much fun attempting to flip each others boats and splash the really hung over people (most still wearing their pirate costumes from the night before I might add). The scenery throughout the whole tour is to die for. I planned to catch up on sleep during the bus rides but found myself mesmerised by what ever was through my window. It’s really a beautiful country. I went in May and if you plan to go then keep in mind it gets really hot! Even the locals felt it was an extreme heatwave. The Vietnamese guides were lovely and it was devastating each time we left a city as we wanted to take them with us! This tour is the second half of the South East Asia tour and judging by the crew that did the first half, that’s definitely something worth looking into as well. I found the whole Country to still be quite untouched and not as commercialised and touristy as other parts of SE Asia which was perfect as it was what I was after and it’s definitely a place you want to be in a tour group for as your tour manager and guides will give you tips and tricks on where to go, what to do and what not to do! I really do wish I had of submitted a review earlier as I'm sure I'm forgetting to mention something amazing, so maybe you should just book the tour for yourself to experience it first hand! I would re-visit this country in an instant but I do think it’s only fair to see what the rest of the world has to offer! Until next time Vietnam xx
Review written Sep 2013event 0.3
08 Dec 2012 - 19 Dec 2012
Overall a fantastic trip, we had the best tour manager 'Hugh' who knew is stuff and was a lot of fun but still very professional. This contiki group was a lot of and very mixed which was great. There was also a great mix of activities and lots included for the price of the tour. The hotels were not bad either and were very centrally located. I recommend the 12 day tour over the 10, as the home stay, chu chi tunnels and mekong delta cruise was fantastic and a great way to bond at an early stage of the tour.
Review written Jan 2013event 0.3
04 Aug 2012 - 15 Aug 2012
There is so much I want to say about this trip because it was the absolute highlight of my year.
I needed this break away very much so and travelling with a friend I haven’t seen in 5 years was also a bonus. Leaving the cold behind for the extreme heat in Vietnam was just what the doctor ordered!
Our amazing and awesome tour manager Tash made sure we got the experience of a lifetime during the day and experienced the nightlife as anyone should when they are on vacation.
Highlights for me included:
- trip to Ha Long Bay on the overnight cruise and the pirate party
- seeing Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum
- eating Vietnamese food everywhere!
- Heading off to Yaly for dress fittings in Hoi An (FYI totally go with SABRINA she was the best!)
- Making the best of friends on tour
- Seeing Tim on tour decapitate a snake with sheer shock in his eyes
- seeing the sunset over the bridge in Hoi An and watch the town turn into a beautiful, colourful place of lanterns and candles
- having drinks on rooftop bars in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi
I mean the list goes on and on but to be honest, there isn’t enough time in the day for me to tell you all the amazing things, just do yourself a favour and get out there and do it! Vietnam is the hidden surprise to any traveller. Highly recommended!
Review written Aug 2012event 0.3
11 Jan 2012 - 22 Jan 2012
This was my first contiki trip AND my first overseas trip and afterwards, I can say it won't be the last!
Vietnam is such a culture rich country and contiki helps you see some of the best parts of it.
A highlight myself was the beautiful sights of Halong Bay (even in cooler weather!) and the old charm beauty of Ho Ani.
Our tour guide was great.. gave us lots of helpful advice.
The group of people was amazing!!
Tips and Recommendations:
- Don't stress about money! Everything is cheap from food to clothes to little nick nacks- don't hold yourself back.. Vietnam is a great trip to do if you are on a budget
- Have something in mind that you would like made in Hoi An otherwise you will be overwhelmed by choice!
- Try the food!- don't be scared ;)
- You must barter.. and you will get the hang of it ;)
- Have an open mind: especially when hearing about Vietnam's side of the War
- Don't bother taking heels girl.. they are DEFINITLY not needed: one pair of thongs, one pair of canvas/walking shoes and a pair of 'going out casual' flats is all you need
- There are opportunites to do laundry so don't worry about packing something for everyday
- People do try to steal bags so make sure you take a shoulder bag that hangs infront of your body and only carry cash you really need
- BEWARE OF CYCLO SCAMS!!!-
AND BEWARE OF JUNGLE JUICE AND JAM JARS ;)
Review written Feb 2012event 0.3
06 Aug 2011 - 17 Aug 2011
The first thing i will say is if your thinking about this trip dont forget your not going to a destination where tourism is well developed things will go wrong that is the joy of travel if you wanted it to run smooth you would stay home...
Saying that this was probably the best trip i have been on not everything went to plan but thats where special memories come from.
The Contiki tour was very well organised with a very professional tour manager (Hoover) and the local drivers where great.. the local tour guides where very knowledgeable although hard to understand some times when they had the microphone but they where easy to approach and answered all questions.
If youve done other Contikis. you might be a bit suprised when a big pink local bus pulls up out the front of your hotel . The bus was a bit older but it seemed well maintained and was comfortable for the longer days..
The hotels we stayed in where great they where clean and had everything you needed.. The only hotel we had trouble with was in Hanoi but we where told it was the first and last time contiki would stay there..
If your on this trip to see the sites or to party there is plenty of opportunities to do both and dont worry we did both.
You have the opportunity to eat western or asian at most stops dont deprive yourselves of there fabulous food . I did give in about half way through my tour and had a steak 1 night but that was a mistake. You will have the opportunity to eat Snake and Rat in the Mekong supprisingly the Rat tasted pretty good wasnt a fan of the snake but glad i tried it though
Our tour had a range of people on it from 18 - 36 and everyone got along great we have had about 4 reunions since aug 2011.. It was a good mixture of people i turned 35 on the tour so if your wondering if you should do Contiki because your at the tip of there range its not a problem these young ones need someone to show them how to party LoL...
There arent to many optionals in Vietnam but everyone signed up for all of them ..
There are things that will come up remember your on holidays and your doing CONTIKI so just go with the flow and do it.. I got called up to sing Karaoke in the middle of the ocean with a ladyboy not many people can say they've done that (or want to) . or float around in the middle of the ocean on a tube drinking rocket fuel. To seeing the war remaments and Vietnams history ..
If your looking for a tour that shows both the sites and traditions of a country where you can learn alot to trying traditional foods to going out at night and partying this is definetly the tour for you..
The great tour guide we had
The tour companions with all the sites and partying with out great people on the tour i dont think it would have been as enjoyable .. The tour is only as good as the people on it make it;;
Going to get on a plane and finding someone else already had that seat so haveing to catch 2 planes to get to the destination after the group ( i did get buisnees class the whole way though.. and i did say not everything will go to plan but just go with it . Its part of the travel to these destinations
Seeing the War museum and Vietnams history
Bartering (Its a bit daunting at first have fun with it though and it becomes enjoyable . but dont barter for something you dont want ause if you agree on a price you will end up with it..
Trying rat and snake..
Halong bay the party (My Bday) the sites and just the relaxing day
The whole trip was a highlight and i could mention everything..
But as i said go on this trip with a open mind as you are traveling to vietnam not everything will run to plan but they make up some of the unforgetable times on your trip and it makes your trip unique from the next....
And yes i would definetly recomend Contiki Vietnam
Im happy to answer all questions
Review written Jan 2012event 0.3
29 Oct 2011 - 09 Nov 2011
This trip was absolutely amazing.
Contiki Asia is much more relaxed but still ensure you have the opportunity to experience as much as possible.
We saw all the major highlights; country life, caves, temples, tunnels, shopping, nightlife etc and our accommodation was very conveniently situated in all cities. The food was an experience in itself and the mix of family run and business style restaurants was perfect.
I would highly recommend.
Review written Nov 2011event 0.3