Hi Thông, how are you? It’s great to hear from you again!
It sounds like Vietnam has coped with the Coronavirus better than in Europe, we’ve had over 40,000 deaths here in the UK and although the Government is lifting restrictions, many people are worried that there will be another outbreak with too many people suddenly going out in large numbers again.
I hope the travel industry recovers and people can start to visit Vietnam again, it was one of the best trips we’ve ever had and it be wonderful to come over again one day.
As soon as we landed in Hanoi we were made to feel very welcome, and if there’s one thing I think we can definitely say about our trip is that the people were incredibly friendly and greeted us as friends, not just tourists.
We loved the city of Hanoi and found the history fascinating. We grew up only hearing the American version of the war, but there are always two sides to a story, and to hear and see it from the Vietnamese perspective, and how proud the people are of their fight and the freedom they have won, and the unification, was really impressive.
The countryside is beautiful too, we especially liked the village of Pom Coong and our stay in the traditional hut, although Hạ Long Bay was as stunning as we imagined (the photographs don’t do it justice, you have to see it!) and Hội An was a fantastic end to our time in Vietnam.
The food was wonderful also. Our first taste of Phở gà was memorable; we didn’t know what we were ordering, and the lady in the little shop didn’t speak much English, but we still managed to have a really tasty, authentic dinner with some of the local people, and this is why we like to travel, to experience things that the tourists might not see and enjoy. We also got to make some of our food, although we weren’t as skilful as the lady at the homestay (Ha Thi Pach?) and she made us drink too much Ruou Gao!
I really hope we can return one day, I feel there is still so much to see in one of the friendliest and most attractive countries I’ve ever been too.
Stuart, Sarah & Kirsty.
Review of services provided by VIVU Travel and Mr. Thong Bui
In January of 2019, we had the pleasure of visiting Vietnam using the services of Vivu Travel. Having been to the southern part of this beautiful country earlier, we spent most of our two weeks on this trip in the north. Unlike our first trip, which we largely arranged on our own, we relied on Vivu Travel for suggestions for our itinerary and bookings. We must say that the staff of Vivu were extremely helpful to us as we considered our options and settled on where to go and how long to stay in each location. Their communication with us via email was consistently clear and prompt, and resulted in an excellent experience for us.
Once we arrived in Hanoi, we received royal treatment! All arrangements were first-class, including hotels, meals, transportation and excursions. It was also at this point that we met our excellent guide, Mr. Thong Bui who was with us throughout our time in the north. His exceptional knowledge of, and enthusiasm for his country ensured that we came away with a much better understanding of Vietnamese society than we could have gained on our own. We especially appreciated his patience in answering our endless questions, and taking us occasionally off the beaten tourist path. He was an excellent travel companion and became like a friend. We miss him!
After our time in the north, including visits to Ninh Binh, Mai Chau and Halong Bay, we flew to Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City for a few days. What a beautiful city! Luckily for us, we arrived just before the Lunar New Year so the city was decorated in flowers. Our final excursion took us to the Mekong delta which was very different and interesting.
All in all, we had a wonderful time in Vietnam. The Vietnamese people are exceptionally hospitable, the food is fantastic and the diverse natural beauty of its regions is marvellous to see and experience. We are grateful to Vivu Travel and Mr. Thong for the wonderful time we had in their country, and recommend them highly to anyone considering a visit there.
Colin Meredith from Canada
Experiences in Vietnam
My planned trip to Vietnam is now on hold due to lockdown and having visited over forty countries I contemplate why I keep being drawn back to Vietnam. I have travelled with others and solo, both giving me wonderful experiences.
Like most countries you cannot see everything in one visit. Vietnam is such a diverse country from mountains and lakes, beautiful beaches and exciting vibrant cities. There is something for everyone irrespective of age or holiday preferences. If you have a short amount of time and want to discover many things, consider booking through a travel agent. I use Vivutravel, who give great service and are there for you if the unexpected arises. No time is wasted – a car and guide will be at your disposal to go where you want and the guides are well trained to show you the sights, explain history and answer your question. Your internal flights, train tickets and hotels can be arranged. Great advice is given on any questions you may have.
It is easy to research the usual sightseeing places the length of the country, but for the more adventurous, try working out the local bus system, taking an overnight train ride, trekking in the mountains or travelling on a motor bike off the beaten track. All this can be easily arranged.
The Vietnamese people are so friendly. Enjoy dancing or Tai Chi in a square as the sun comes up, talking to students, try karaoke and beer with locals on the street, drinking rice wine at a home stay, taking a cooking class, visiting a village. The experiences are never ending.
On the cultural side of things, enjoy walking and absorbing the sights, sounds and smells of this wonderful country, eat street food, take in a live show or have a drink in a bar. In a group or on your own, it is safe and so much fun.
When you have had enough of the sightseeing, take time out on a beach. Vietnam has a long coastline with plenty of choice. From tourist favourites like Halong Bay or Nha Trang to quieter Whale Island and Con Dao, the choice is yours.
For those who have visited Vietnam before, you can plan you own holiday, but this is time consuming, both before the holiday and on the ground. For a seamless, trouble free time away, may I suggest you research how and where you want to go and leave it to the experts at a Vietnamese travel agent to make your wishes come true. Hopefully the experience will be great and like me, you will return for more.
By Lys McMillan from Australia