Loading....

Testimonials from our FORMER CLIENTS

We are proud to be so highly recommended by our former clients. Arriving from locations around the world, our Tonkin-Travelers recognize the impact that decent advice, meticulous planning and punctuality really do make a difference to the end product (your trip!). This is a result of the hard work from our whole team. We invite you to get to know them! 

The itinerary was excellent and well paced

Dear Vy,

Yes ... we arrived home on Friday morning about 30 hours after our pickup from Palm Garden resort ... so we were very tired and it took a couple of days for our heads and bodies to be synchronised again!

All is well now and we have only great memories of our trip and I've already spent a few hours sorting out the hundreds of photos we took with camera and phones. Some of the very best of these were taken by our guides.

The itinerary was excellent and well paced and we got a brilliant reception at all the hotels and Halong Cruise, with our anniversary mentioned and gifts of fruit and wine. And superb upgrades on the Cruise and at Palm Garden Resort!

The only hotel that didn't mention it was the Villa Santi in Luang Prabang. But please don't take this as a criticism !.... it's just for completion of feedback, we had a really nice room there!

Saigon and Can Tho:
 It was good to have the morning free after our arrival and we had a great tour in the afternoon with Tony as our guide. He was very good.
Tam was our guide and chef for Cu Chi and our cooking class. That was such a fun day and Tam was just amazing ... so enthusiastic and knowledgeable. The driver was excellent also.
The Silverland Sakyo is a lovely hotel in a great location.!
The West Hotel in Can Tho was beautiful and our bed was festooned with flowers and a towel sculpture. Special mention to Jeanne! But breakfast was disappointing.
Hue, our guide, was teriffic and we enjoyed our tours with him.

Siem Riep:
Probably the most memorable location of our trip. We were blown away by our visits to the various Temple groups.
Our guide here, Kom, was absolutely amazing. Definitely the best guide of the trip ... from his knowledge and his care for us .... also have to to mention the driver Smaja (I think)
Kom was so knowledgeable and passionate about the temples and their amazing history. We learned so much from him and he took such excellent pictures which we will treasure.
Hotel Saem Siem Riep was also excellent and we enjoyed the Apsara Dance Show too.

Luang Prabang:
It was nice and unexpected to be met at the airport by our guide KL and driver Song when we arrived.
The trek next day was a real challenge at 13km in the heat and humidiity but we were so pleased we accomplished it and  it was great to see the Hmong and Khmu villages and the waterfalls at the end of the trip. Our guide here was KL and we would rate him only 7/10, mostly because he was constantly distracted and on his phone.
The following day's cruise "Nava Mekong Cruise" was really enjoyable and interesting.

Hanoi
Chien, our guide, was superb with a great sense of humour and anxious to inform us as much as possible. We thoroughly enjoyed our time with him! He went out of his way with little extras for us which we really appreciated and it was fun to be with him. We also very much enjoyed meeting with you in the Tonkin office! Also, a great driver with Chien.
As I told you, our one regret is not having allowed an extra night in Hanoi!
And by the way, lunch at Home Mộc restaurant was top class.

Halong Bay:
We were completely blown away by the reception on the boat. We were shown to the best cabin and another display of flowers and towel sculpture.
Philip, the Cruise Director, was so kind to us. Halong Bay was. of course, amazing..... and the surprise cake and fireworks at dinner really topped it all.
It was a great evening and thanks so much to you for your input!
The only negative was regarding the boat trip to the cave. We were brought by boat to a pier to be transferred to the bamboo boats to visit the cave. There was total chaos on the pier with hundreds of people pushing and jostling and we had to wait over 30 minutes to get onto the bamboo boat. Irene felt very uncomfortable during this time.

Hoi An:
The second negative we have to report for the whole trip: We were not at all happy with the driver of our transfer from the Da Nang airport to the Palm Garden Resort. Sorry we haven't got his name but his driving was (to us) erratic and aggressive and left us feeling nervous on the relatively short transfer!
Our guide next day took us on a very enjoyable walking tour of Hoi An. An excellent guide, and we really enjoyed trying to make lanterns and the lunch we had in the market. Sorry, but I've mislaid his name. We thought Hoi An was fascinating even though it was crowded with tourists (as you had told us!)

Palm Garden Resort:
We really enjoyed our six nights here ... especially as we were upgraded to a beautiful bungalow .... thanks again to you Vy! It was nice to get a few lazy days before going home.

In Summary:
We were totally satisfied with our trip and the communications and input from Tonkin and would absolutely have no hesitation in recommending Tonkin (and Vy!)
We're very happy to be used as a reference for prospective travellers. and for Tonkin to use this review if they wish..

Dear Vy, We will certainly  recommend you and Tonkin to any of our friends who might be planning a trip to Indochina. and maybe we'll come again for the 50th!!
At the outset I said this was to be a very special anniversary trip for us and I'm delighted to say it far exceeded our expectations!

Thanks so much for all your help.
Regards and best wishes
John and Irene ☺

COLLINS group x2
Indochina Odyssey 20 Days from 09 until 28 Mar 2019

I will definitely recommend your travel agency, your service was so excellent also

Hello Ms Vy,

 

Sorry it has taken me so long to respond.  I wanted to thank you so much for all of your help with planning our holiday.  As you know, I was actually the only person in my family that wanted to come to Vietnam, and the half way though the holiday everyone was having such a good time they all wanted to come back - but this time during winter, it was so hot!  My husband had a great holiday and relaxed a lot from his stressful job. The kids saw so many interesting sites and learnt so much about your culture and tasted so many different foods.  It was exactly the holiday I wanted for my family.

 

Specifically about the hotels - they were all excellent.  Very clean, staff very nice and accommodative and very luxurious.  We all especially enjoyed Hoi An La Siesta, and the rooftop pool in Saigon.

 

With regards the tours, we very much enjoyed all of the tours, but sometimes the kids were tired, and couldn’t tour the whole day.  We thought it might be better if you book another tour with kids like ours, it might be worthwhile to offer people the option of finishing tours after lunch - say 2pm, so that they can go back to the hotel and relax a bit, rather than touring all of the time.  The kids got affected by the heat a lot, as they are not used to it.  I know it is a fine balance between doing as much as possible and getting some relax time, so maybe its worthwhile to ask clients how they like to travel to help them plan their itinerary.

 

The guides and drivers were all so excellent.  Mr Lam in Saigon had a great sense of humour and was very good with the children.  Ms Linh in Hoi An also very good with the kids, taught them lots of Vietnamese customs and took us to some local places for lunch.  These were excellent.  She also brought to me some ginger tea when I was sick and we were very appreciative.  Our last guide Lily was also fantastic, getting the kids some travel sickness pills, and changing some of the menus for us so that my son could eat more pork ribs - his favourite.

 

It was the guides and drivers, always being there, on time, knowing everything, where to go what to do, made everyone feel very safe comfortable and relaxed.  Even on the last day when the driver came early to take us to the airport, we were very appreciative.

 

We haven’t stopped talking about our holiday, and would like to come back to Saigon, Hue, Hoi An and Sapa, - so I will definitely be contacting you about this in the future.

 

I will definitely recommend your travel agency, your service was so excellent also.  Very patient with all of the changes that I had to make, very prompt responses.

 

Thank you so much!

 

Best wishes to you.

 

Kym

KYM group x5
From Southern to Northern Vietnam 15 Days from 12 until 26 Apr 2019

We have no hesitation in recommending Tonkin Voyage Travel

Hello Vy,

How are you going? It was lovely to meet you and thank you for our lovely gifts, they were much appreciated.

We have all arrived home safe and well after a most memorable and enjoyable holiday. We cannot thank you enough for all the organising you did. All the hotels were wonderful, and central so we could easily access the cities and were all of an excellent standard. The staff at the hotels were also very nice and very friendly. Special mention to the staff at the La Siesta Hotel who looked after us extremely well.

The guides you supplied were all so very knowledgable about each of their areas and very helpful and friendly - especially the central guide Mr Handsome (who I thing is Mr Leung?!! Our drivers all did a great job too.

We have no hesitation in recommending Tonkin Voyage Travel and you Vy to everyone here and will also do reviews on trip advisor (which is how I found you). If you would like to give me the name of your supervisor I would be happy to write of my experience - or feel free to pass this email on.

Thank you once again, you have given us a trip which will always have very happy and fond memories.

Best wishes

Jenni

JENNIFER group x8Pax From Vietnam to Angkor Temples 12 Days from 03 until 14 May 2019

We certainly will recommend Tonkin Voyage Travel to all our families and friends

Dear Ms Vy

We have finally arrived home in South Africa and can reflect on our trip organized and executed by Tonkin Voyage Travel.

It is really our turn now to return this 'Letter of Thanks' and elaborate on the overall amazingly well arranged and executed trip by Tonkin.

Our comments:

Hanoi

Everything worked out perfectly in Hanoi, from our arrival to the departure. We herewith would like to commend your drivers and guide organized for us to have a pleasant stay in Hanoi. The guide Mr Doan was most friendly and attentive, knowledgable and caring throughout. We also felt safe and well looked after by the driver who provided perfect service with his airconditioned car and provision of water. Sightseeing in Hanoi was well balanced and Quoc Hoa Hotel the right choice in the right location. The 3star choice in this case was right, the hotel was providing in our honest opinion amazing value for money services.

The transfer to Halong Bay was pleasant and the stay and overnight voyage with Renea Cruises an absolute highlight of our trip. From accommodation to food, staff availability and friendliness, just everything was above standard and we are not sure what a 4 or 5 star cruise could offer more.

Hue

Tonkin-Travel obviously had no responsibility whatsoever in the delay of the flight from Hanoi to Hue however we appreciated your reaction after we informed you via Whatsapp of the delayed arrival in Hue. Ms Linh, the guide in Hue and Hoi An who volunteered to fetch us with the driver at the airport really took her task serious and we are herewith full of praise for her professional execution of guiding us in the area.

Ms Linh was undoubtetly the best guide we could have wished for as we `clicked`with her instantly and she delivered on every level. Equally nothing to complain about Romance Hotel who provided stunning services for a 3star establishment. Overall we are happy to have chosen to stop in Hue as we found the history of the city and the rjuvenation project of the Imperial sites interesting. We also enjoyed the young vibrancy of the city, a totally different, less touristy vibe than in Hoi An.

Hoi An

You were right, Hoi An is something else and was the ultimate highlight of our Vietnam tour. in hindsight, we could have imagined to stay there a couple of days more there spending some time at An Bang beach something we realized when we spent a day there before travelling to Saigon. Besides being looked after perfectly by Miss Linh all the time, the Ancient Village House accommodation must be recommended to every traveller. No complaints at all about this establishment - only praise and appreciation. May we also mention the friendliness and caring of the driver at these two destinations. Bravo!

Saigon

We arrived in Saigon in time and were greeted and welcomed by the guide Ms Hoa. After checking into Elios Hotel, we agreed, that in hindsight, we would probably choose a higher graded establishment in Saigon. Elios Hotel feels and looks worn and can in no ways compete with the other 3star establishments you suggested and booked for us. The location of the hotel was not the problem as we found a stunning restaurant to dine at near Elios (The Garlik restaurant) as well as the underground food court under the park opposite Elios. All major sightseeing spots and downtown were in walking distance but the construction of the metro seemed to make Saigon not the most convenient city for walking tours. May we mention that due to the drivers mother allegedly falling ill, we were asked to walk back to the hotel with the guide from the market on the first afternoon after the tour to the Post Office, the Independence Palace and Notre Dame cathedral. The tour on the following day to Ben Tren in the Mekong Delta was well organized and the diverse activities and experiences interesting and entertaining. Ms Hoa is a knowledgable guide, for whatever reason we cannot really explain, we did not warm up to her and the designated driver like we did at previously visited places up Central and North. Ms Hoa apologized for not providing us with a survey at the end of our stay in Saigon like the other guides did. We herewith would like to provide you confidentially with a discussion we had with Ms Hoa about tipping. We raised the question of the tipping policy after a magical lunch which was included in the Ben Tren trip. Ms Hoa explained to us, that tourists generally would not really understand what is expected from them in terms of tipping besides guide and driver services. We asked her whether we should tip at the lunch place, at the different places visitied during the tour such as candy production, coconut harvesting, bee honey harvesting, grass mat production etc. She said we would be free to tip there but she would recommend we would tip the speed boat driver 100`000 D, the boat rover 20`000 D and the Tuk-tuk driver 30`000 D. Frankly speaking we were little bit confused about this and felt you should maybe know about it as future guests should know more about tipping in Vietnam avoiding feeling embarrassed if not tipping enough. Please no misunderstanding, Ms Hoa was friendly and accommodating at all time and should not suffer any consequences due to our comments.

Finally and again, we certainly will recommend Tonkin Voyage Travel to all our families and friends. A job well done Ms Vy, Vietnam is definitely a winner for us and if we return to Asia one day will consider visiting again.

Thank you, thank you again :-)

Greetings from South Africa

Christoph and Urs

CHRISTOPH x2Pax Vietnam Highlight 12 Days from 04 until 15 Jun 2019

We enjoyed the trip. You did a fantastic job of organising it to our requirements

Hi Vy,

Thankyou so much for your e mail. You are right – it has taken us a little while to readjust.
We all wanted to write to let you know how much we enjoyed the trip. You did a fantastic job of organising it to our requirements. We all agree that there was not any day we would have changed . The hotel choices were all good and the choice of lunch venues and menus also gave us a chance to experience almost every local dish.
The absolute highlight were our guides. Chien was the ideal introduction and got on well with all of us, but especially our children who loved his sense of humour. We really enjoyed his love of food and the frequent stops we made to try out local foods and drinks. Pineapple with chilli and salt was my favourite. We felt totally safe in his hands and his relationships with all of the people we met – made our trip fun and relaxing. His intelligence and knowledge about Vietnam and world affairs made talking to him about the country and other issues very interesting. Our driver was also very reliable and we felt very safe with him – even in the chaos of Hanoi.
Huy ( Im not sure if I have spelled this correctly) was also an excellent choice for the central part of our trip. We had a lot of interesting conversations with him about the American war, local and village life and Vietnamese culture. He is very knowledgeable about history. Again, our driver was both reliable and safe.

I’m not sure about how much detail you want in the feedback so feel free to ask me more questions – I thought it was easier to do day by day:
Hanoi – definitely stay in the old quarter. We loved it. The Quoc Hoa hotel was absolutely fine – fantastic air conditioning, good breakfast and very central. It was good to have the first day to ourselves to get oriented. The best trip was to the museum of ethnology – Chien was very a interesting guide – it gives you context for the whole trip. We also loved the cyclo ride. Maybe an extra day would be good if you had the time. The trip to Duongs for lunch was excellent – probably the best food of our trip.

Mai Chau – I loved this area and if we visit again would definitely like to visit more of the tribal areas. The drive up there was great and the roadside stop for eggs and sticky rice is not to be missed. The location of the eco lodge is beautiful. The highlight was the cycle trip, such a great way to see the countryside. We also enjoyed the evening dancing – even our adult children!

Ninh Binh – It was a long drive here, but given we were going to Halong its difficult to see how we could have avoided it. Perhaps this was our least favourite day. Tam Coc is beautiful but nowhere near as spectacular as halong. The hotel here was nice.

Halong – I nearly avoided going to Halong as I was worried it might be too touristy. That would have been a mistake. It is a must-do experience. Such a beautiful part of the world. It is definitely worth paying extra for the cruise – our boat was spectacular and we also got to cruise in a much quieter part of the bay. We hardly saw any other boats once we left the Marina. The standard of the boat matched ( almost) the beauty of the surroundings.

We were very sad to say goodbye to our guide and driver at the airport. Some of our most interesting experiences were the stops we made for food/drink or to look at and talk about something he had noticed at the side of the road. Chien took us into the terminal, sorted our check in and made sure we were in the best queue for baggage drop. Excellent service.

Hue – our arrival was great – we weren’t an hour early this time! The driver met us and took us to the Romance hotel – again a great hotel perfectly located. We used the pool and the spa here. We met Huy the next day and had a very interesting trip around the city – the highlight was the citadel- maybe we could have spent longer here if we had more time. Huy was very interesting on the wars, the Vietnamese kings and religion. We learned a lot. I also enjoyed the trip to the market. Hue is a really enjoyable base. The city feels so much less busy than Hanoi – more manageable. Its low rise and beautifully situated on the river.

Phong Nha – a long trip up there but worth it if you like caves! They are spectacular. We travelled up on a very wet day and Hui changed the schedule so we did the boat trip the following day. Paradise cave is very impressive. Also very busy with domestic tourists. Huy made sure we visited at lunchtime and so missed the crowds. The dark cave experience was great – more fun than I expected and definitely a good trip if you have children with you. The lakehouse hotel was fine.

A highlight on the way back was the visit to the Vinh Moc tunnels. Very interesting. Both the tunnels and the museum are worth a stop.

Hoi An – the choice of hotel at the beach was perfect for the end of our trip. The Palm garden was very nice and perfectly located on the beach but within about 15 minutes of Hoi an centre. We had mixed feeling about the town – having heard great things about it before we travelled. My daughter loved it – it was a highlight of her trip. Both Dom and I were a bit overwhelmed by the crowds of people – it is busier than Venice! The tour with Hui was excellent – we saw a good variety of buildings. We were pleased not to be staying in Hoi An itself. As far as shopping is concerned, we did use the tailors but to be honest found Hanoi the best place for clothing and souvenirs. ( this is also because Chien took us to some good places)

The transfer to the airport was easy and on time and the flights home were on time. We were very sad to leave.

It was a wonderful experience and we have recommended Vietnam to our friends! We are so glad that we chose your company – we would not have been able to see , experience or learn nearly as much if we had travelled independently – and certainly not in such short a space of time. I was also very pleased that we had not tried to visit the south on this trip. To us northern Europeans the heat is exhausting and so 9 days of trips worked well and was also tiring. We needed the three days at the end to rest and get ready to return to work!.

Thankyou so much for the photos. I have a few that I will send to you from my phone.

With best wishes
Sarah

SARAH group x4Pax From Northern to Central Vietnam 13 Days from 26 Jun until 09 Jul 2019

What clients say about us

Discover how our former clients share their REVIEWS and IMPRESSIONS!