While researching travel options to Vietnam, we learned of Exotic Voyages through a news article about an Anthony Bourdain inspired tour they had designed. We did not take that tour, but feel so fortunate that we found this company. Our daughter lives in Vietnam and told us “Just do it by yourself. Book everything when you get here.” In hind sight, we are so happy that we did not follow our daughter’s advice. While it’s possible, we are a couple that can be overwhelmed with too many choices. That’s not to say we didn’t get exactly what we asked for with Exotic Voyages. But, by working with Tran Thuy (Exotic Voyages Travel Designer), we put together a truly memorable 18-day, custom adventure that helped us to focus on fun – not details.
From our very first email exchange, to itinerary changes (initiated by us) with 3 days left in our tour, interactions with the Exotic Voyages team were prompt, professional, and spot-on. Thuy asked what we wanted to see and do, our activity levels, and rough price ranges for budgeting. With that information, we went through several iterations of itinerary changes and settled on the final plan.
At every step of our adventure, our guides spoke very good English, were informative and open to questions, punctual in the mornings and flexible throughout the days. We never felt rushed or pressured to keep moving. Transfers were smooth and accommodations were outstanding. I don’t know where to start regarding the food — included meals were delicious, substantial, and showcased specialties of the particular areas we were visiting.
It’s very difficult to say what we enjoyed most during our trip. From North to South (Sapa, Ha Long Bay, Hue, Hoi An, HCMC, Mekong Delta), Vietnam is a beautiful country that dazzled our senses. The people, the sights and the food were amazing.
Highlights of our tour included 3-day/2-night Era Cruise, Ms. Vy’s cooking class in Hoi An and in Ho Chi Minh City, the clay pot dinner and our evening motorbike food tour were lots of fun. And, of course, each of our guides throughout our trip made everything that much more informative and interesting.
One last acknowledgment to Yen Giang (Operations Manager). When we decided to change our itinerary at 6:00pm, with 3 days remaining in our tour, we sent a text message to Exotic Voyages with our request. With 30 minutes, Giang had every thing resolved and even managed to get us an upgraded room. Outstanding, outstanding, outstanding!
Overall, our only disappointment is that we are limited to a 5-star review. From our experience, Exotic Voyages is 10-stars all the way.