An excellent trip, well organised and delivered by Travel Local and especially the local agent. The web platform was easy to use for initial dialogue with the local company to design our programme; they had good suggestions and handled all our queries promptly. In Vietnam, all arrangements were well handled and on schedule. Vietnam is a beautiful country and people are friendly, with strong family orientation and proud of their culture. It is safe to walk around and the food is good, whether in local restaurants or on the streets, and prices are low. We had local guides at each stage and they were good to excellent; their readiness to talk about their own families and life in Vietnam brought the country to life for us. Our main contact in Vietnam was accessible by phone at all times to sort out minor issues. We highly recommend the local company and Travel Local. Thanks for a wonderful trip.
Good suggestions on appropriate programme and clear responses to queries during planning process. Efficient and friendly at all times; lead person accessible by phone when needed. Most guides were high quality - good communicators, enthusiastic, friendly and willing to to share
Need to be careful about initial impressions, especially collection from airport and delivery to hotel. As local taxis are used drivers should ensure that hotel staff collect guests at drop off point if taxi cannot reach hotel. There should always be a face to face briefing on the first morning - just to reassure travelers and give them a chance to raise questions. Ensure that all guides can communicate well in English. We were not taken to the Cao Dai Cathedral which was on the schedule.
Most were good to excellent, just one was weak in English. The friendliness and openness of the guides gave us a great impression of the country. The fact that guides were from the local area - North, Middle and South Vietnam - helped us to understand the country better.
Do your own research so you can have a good dialogue with the local travel company at the planning stage. Don't be afraid to get out and about on foot, even in the cities at night. Allow free time in your schedule so you can do your own thing or just rest up!
A few things stood out in particular: The back streets of Hanoi; water puppets in Hanoi; walking in the countryside in Pu Luong Nature Reserve; listening to a traditional musician playing in a Pagoda in Tam Coc; Hoi An at night; Vespa ride through Saigon at night.