We all know that a real person and a real story are more valuable than thousand words. When you hear your friend praising a book, you want to read it. When your cousin can’t stop talking about a new movie, you’re eager to buy a ticket. That said, true stories sharing by travelers might inspire you to plan a journey.
Being aware of that, we would like to bring to you a conversation between Exotic Voyages and Ms. Joyce Margo - a very nice and respected lady comes from North Carolina - USA. Ms. Joyce had just returned after 11 days and 10 night in the Quintessential Vietnam tour, getting through 5 famous destinations of the country. Exotic Voyages designed this private tour individually to Ms. Joyce based on her interest.
Exotic Voyage (E.V): Hello Ms. Joyce, it’s very kind of you to accept our invitation to have a talk at EV’s office today. I know that you just returned from your trip with Exotic Voyages, I hope you are not tired after an 11-day trip.
Ms. Joyce: Hi, it’s very nice to see you. Though I had some health problem at first but got well soon later to enjoy the excellent journey.
E.V: It’s my pleasure to know that you were happy with the trip. Could you tell us how many destinations you visited on the trip? Did you satisfied with the transportation and guides?
Ms. Joyce: We visited Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh city. Every day presented something new and exciting. Every city was different. The standard of transportation was exceeded our expectation. Our guides and drivers were exceptional, they are friendly and free of information.
Ms. Joyce Maro and her friend, Roger Grubbs, on the flight to Vietnam. They were ready for the 11-day trip getting through 5 destinations in Vietnam.
E.V: How about your first days in Vietnam?
Ms. Joyce: Very interesting. I and my friend were welcome at Hanoi Airport and stayed out the first night at the Sofitel Hotel. The next day, we started our morning walking at Chau Long market. Our local guide gave us an insight into the intricacies and traditions of Vietnamese food culture including details on ingredients and historical backgrounds of popular northern dishes. We ate seasonal fruits and sampled a tasty French-inspired snack from a street cart.
In the maze of bustling streets that make up Hanoi’s Old Quarter, we wandered past street stalls and through residential lanes where we could observe local life. Our next stop was Bun Cha Obama, the Vietnamese dish which U.S. President Barack Obama had for dinner on his first night in Vietnam. No wonder why it was named as “a classic Hanoi meal” by The New York Times. The dishes were so delicious.
Our local guide then took us to a hidden café to have a drink. I was a bit surprised when I saw huge numbers of people sitting on small stools, on the narrow pavement to have some coffee. That was the first time we tried Egg Coffee - a unique drink mixed with milk, egg yolk, and coffee - which is founded by a former chef in Hanoi’s first 5-star hotel Sofitel Metropole.
By the way, I want to send my thank you to Exotic Voyages for the beautiful painting that you presented me on my first day. I proudly have it hanging in my office along with many other treasures I purchased while in Vietnam.
The coffee is creamy and enjoyable to taste.
Take a picture with Vietnamese students outside The Opera House - an iconic site of Hanoi.
E.V: We can see that you did have a day with full of fascinating activities in Hanoi. But how about the other cities? Which experiences did you find unique and want to share with others?
Ms. Joyce: A lot for me to tell. I would talk about our cruise along Halong Bay. It was beautiful and relaxing. A highlight was our visit to Hue with our tour to the citadel, our rickshaw ride, and our private gourmet lunch along the Perfume River. Another highlight that impressed me was our tour of the Cu Chi war tunnel outside Saigon, a must-see for anyone in that area.
Ms. Joyce explored Hue city on a rickshaw ('Cycle' is another name). Although it had small rain, her trip was fantastic.
They visited the Japanese Bridge - a must-see place in Hoi An
E.V: Let’s talk about the hotels. We all know that there is so much more to a hotel than being where you sleep at night. It’s the place you will come back and relax after in after a day of sightseeing. Do you have anything to complain about your accommodation?
Ms. Joyce: I can’t think of anything. Our hotel accommodation was exquisite with each hotel holding a 5 stars rating. One that specially stood-out was the Fusion Maia Spa and Resort in Danang with each villa having its own pool. We also received daily spa privileges, enjoy the billiard room, … and even the cinema there. One of our free days was spent at Fusion Maia and we enjoyed all the aspects of the resort all the day.
Fusion Maia Spa and Resort was one stop in the Quintessential Vietnam tour when they were at Da Nang. The luxuries of this resort kept them happy all day.
“All hotels were top notch, especially the Fusion Maia Spa Resort in DaNang” said Ms. Joyce
E.V: Do you have any advice or particular activity you feel others should do?
Ms. Joyce: Visit the underground war bunkers, which is called Cu Chi tunnel, in Saigon. This incredible system was shelter to thousands of Vietcong guerrillas and also served as communication routes, storage facilities, hospitals and living quarters for Vietnamese fighters during the wars.
Cu Chi tunnel is a highlight of Ms. Joyce’s trip.
E.V: Have you ever used travel agencies before? For you, what differences between Exotic Voyages and other travel agencies?
Ms. Joyce: I have used travel agencies in the past and have traveled with other tour companies many times but Exotic Voyages surpassed them all. The state of traveling was as qualified as other vacationers. We had our own guides, drivers, who were always prompt, friendly, professional and very knowledgeable. They were able to at least, on two occasions, adjusted our schedule to meet our special needs.
E.V: Thank you for your compliment, your happiness is our priority. Is there another name of a country in Southeast Asia that you want to visit?
Ms. Joyce: Our journey through Vietnam was truly a dream come true and Exotic Voyages made it a trip of a lifetime for us. We would love to someday return to Southeast Asia with Exotic Voyages and tour countries such as Cambodia, Myanmar, and Thailand.
EV: How or where can we improve? Could you give us a suggestion?
Ms. Joyce: I can’t think of anything. Everything was perfect!
E.V: Thank you, Ms. Joyce, for being here today to share with our readers your lovely experiences in Vietnam. We can’t wait to see you again on your next journey.
If you want to experience a luxury trip like Ms. Joyce did, or if you want to design your own tour, don’t be hesitant to contact us.