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TUCK1995

We just completed our third trip with Exotic Voyages (2 prior in Vietnam and most recent in Myanmar). Each trip has been beyond our increasing expectations – seamless, well organized, thoughtful and fun. The founding team at Exotic got their start as the local partner for one of the largest and most exclusive US tour companies – that’s how we met them. In our experience, in the countries in which they operate, Exotic Voyages’ standards and sensibilities far exceed the best US operators and do it at a much better value. From the planning phase to the execution of each detail along the way, they never missed a beat. As an example, one of our in-country flights had a mechanical issue and while we were returning to the terminal from the effected plane, Mai (our coordinator at Exotic) had already figured out and rebooked us on an alternative flight – so instead of losing a day in an airport, we got on our way with less than an hour delay. In sum, traveling in their care feels like your visiting a place with a close friend who is anxious for you to have a great time and really understand their home. Though based in Vietnam, their Burmese team was as good as it gets; so their quality is uniform across all markets that they serve.

For reference, we have travelled with them as couple and with our two kids and my in-laws, so they cover the full spectrum.

This review was originally posted on Trip Advisor

TUCK1995Boston, Massachusetts

Fabienne S

“Well arranged & client focused”

After reading all the positive reviews I booked a trip to Myanmar with Exotic Voyages. The sales team (we were in contact with Mai Phuong) designed a tailor-made trip, and they proved to be very flexible in adjusting the itinerary to our liking. In Myanmar all was arranged very well and we very much enjoyed the trip. Do think the trip was quite expensive, but in return the service is really great. Would recommend Exotic Voyages for sure.

Fabienne SAmsterdam

Jennifer W

“Great service all-around!”

I did a lot on which tour agency I should choose for our 5 days in Myanmar. I narrowed it down to 4 agencies that were communicative and had lower prices. In the end, I went with Exotic Voyages because their pricing was the lowest and they were the most communicative (most responsive, fastest over email). I am very happy with my choice.

Re Customer Service: The person I communicated with was Thanh. He is extremely polite and very responsive via email. He and their accounting department worked very quickly to get all of our payments processed smoothly (you can pay with your credit card but it will cost you an extra fee; it’s worth it to me because you get certain travel protection with certain credit cards). The entire transaction went very smoothly and Thanh was very kind and helpful. Prior to our trip, he would email us to make sure that we all had our visas. He also gave me Exotic Voyages’ number on the first day of our trip, in case we need to reach the agency quickly. Almost halfway through our trip, a representative from Exotic Voyages had called to make sure that everything was going smoothly, and asked if there was anything we were dissatisfied with. We told them a couple of minor things (eg, choice of restaurants), and they immediately called our guide so we can go to different restaurants.

Re itinerary: Exotic Voyages had come up with the itinerary for us. All we needed to do was tell them how many days we were staying in Myanmar (we might’ve also told them which cities we really wanted to see). From there, they took care of everything – guides, inter-Myanmar flights, and daily activities.

Re guides: all 3 of our guides are pretty good. Our guide for Inle Lake (Wen Wen or Win Win) was most excellent. She speaks great English, is very knowledgeable, patient, kind, sincere, and goes out of her way to make sure that we are enjoying ourselves. All of our guides were at the airport waiting for us, even when our plane was delayed for an hour or so. All the drivers and hotel/airport transfers were punctual as well. They also had many bottles of water for us to drink throughout the day.

I would use EY again and have already recommended it to a friend.

Jennifer WSan Francisco, California

lauramtorino

“Check, double-check, triple check and in the end it won’t probably be what you wanted”

I chose this company because of the excellent reviews and because they answered my email very promptly. Unluckily I cannot share the enthusiasm of the other customers, I don’t know if it is because I have very clear ideas about what I want to see and do and I do not accept a standard itinerary without discussion. Last March I asked them if they could organize a tour of Myanmar and Yunnan lasting about one month between October and November. I am retired and I have no precise limits of time. They answered positively and we began to decide the itinerary. At first I wanted to see the hot-air balloon festival near Inle lake. They had no idea of when it was but when I gave them the dates first they acknolwledged the fact and later they said it was not possible to arrange a visit because it was dangerous!… When I was in the place, actually then some days before the festivals, the locals confirmed that the festival is indeed beautiful and it would have been great to attend and of course it was not dangerous at all. Too bad!
I worked on the program for some time together with the agency and finally the itinerary was considered definitive in April. I left in October and although I liked Myanmar the organization left a lot to be desired. Just to give some examples, in Yangon the program featured only the visit to the market whereas the famous Shew Dagon Pagoda was completely disregarded and no time was allowed to visit it; at Inle lake one day was described as full-day trekking, on the contrary the local guide informed us that the trek lasted just three hours, luckily he was very kind and offered us an alternative option; in Bagan the program featured two identical sunset cruises, also in that case the guide pointed that out and suggested something else. But what was most annoying is that on the third day of our travel I began to receive e-mails informing me that the itinerary in Yunnan had to be changed cancelling two of the major highlights because of lack of time!…. Now of course I had never given a limit of time and I confess I hadn’t checked the distances thinking that the agency would do that. I understood that Exotic voyages uses an agency in Myanmar and an agency (Orientis) in Yunnan and I guess they have problems of communication. The saga went on for the whole duration of our stay in Myanmar, every night a new e-mail with a change of program, which is certainly not the best thing to make your holiday pleasant and relaxed. First we were told that the road was under construction and we couldn’t go to the rice fields in Yuangjang. We saw when we were there that it wasn’t true, the road was perfectly ok, only there were many kms to drive (which hadn’t changed since April of course). Then they said that the treekking in Tiger Leaping gorge could not be made because it was too long. I was perfectly aware of the duration of the trekking as my daughter did it last year but it took me some days to make them accept my plan. We received a final program, slightly modified from the original but still acceptable two days before arriving in China. When we arrived we discovered that the program had been furtherly modified, nothing written was given to us and every day it was a surprise!…. Hotels had been changed also because often we stopped in a different town than planned, the train timetable was different, we had once a car instead of the train, the trekking was moved on a different day so that we had no time to visit Lijang.and we had a completely superfluous extra day in Shangri La. Moreover my friend was asked to pay an extra 60$ to be taken to the airport (ten minutes’ drive!…). On the whole I am afraid I cannot recommend Exotic Voyages as a professional tour operator.

This review was originally posted on Trip Advisor

lauramtorinoTurin, Italy

Eleanor H

“Cambodia in style”

We went on the premium Cambodia tour which included a fantastic helicopter trip to a far away temple
The trip was well planned with very helpful & informative guides both in Siem Reap & Phnom Penh- if you don’t want to do the genocide stuff in PP like I didn’t I would just stick to Siem Reap as the temples are better and amazing
Exotic Travel couldn’t have looked out for us better : when the internal flight cancelled itself they sorted it out & changed our iterarary to suit. Emails were always answered promptly.

Eleanor HAscot, UK

Tgovier

“Myanmar”

We have just returned from a 3 week tour of Myanmar organised by Exotic Voyages.
We covered Yangon, Mandalay, Irawaddy Cruise, Bagan, Inle Lake & Ngapali Beach.
There was alot to cover on this trip and Exotic voyages did a fantastic job of supplying a number of diffirent options until we managed to finalise the details. Their response to our questions was immediate and they suggested things we think of.
We did some of our own research and added to their local knowledge a trip was designed that covered our requirments and added some other interesting items.
The local guides selected were fantastic, their enthusiasm to make sure we learnt and enjoyed their country, culture and people was a pleasure.
We were given a local contact in the case of any problems, but thankfully didn’t have to use it.
This is the second time we have used Exotic voyages ( first was Vietnam) and would definitely use them again as we trust them to deliver an interesting programme.

This review was originally posted on Trip Advisor

TgovierDerbyshire, UK

Hayrose

“Two fantastic weeks in Burma…”  

went like clock-work. Each transition, each venue, hotel, excursion, guide, transfer went off without a hitch…and the quality of service and attention to our needs were excellent. Mai Phuong who made all the arrangements for us was on top of each detail and communicated them clearly and in a timely manner. Plus the guides and drivers they chose were punctual, well-informed and most gracious. Our guide, Nang Htwe Phy, for our time in Inle Lake was superb.

We are very pleased that we chose Exotic voyages to arrange our trip and recommend them highly.

This review was originally posted on Trip Advisor

HayroseSan Francisco

Australianwoman

“Exotic Voyages Myanmar Tour”

We recently completed a 22 day tour of Myanmar organised by Exotic Voyages and can thoroughly recommend them. Although we have travelled extensively in South East Asia (and elsewhere), this was the first time we have used an agent to make our travel arrangements and we will certainly do so again in the future, based on our experience with Exotic Voyages. After reading the travel forums and some blogs posted on Trip Advisor, I narrowed down a list of agents who operate in Myanmar and contacted them via email, attaching a proposed itinerary. Exotic Voyages was the first agent to respond and immediately impressed me with their professionalism and attention to detail. Bui Thanh, our tour co-ordinator, responded promptly to my many questions and prepared multiple drafts of our itinerary as we made changes and refinements.
When we were in Myanmar, everything ran like clockwork, with our guides and drivers waiting for us at the airport or ferry dock whenever we arrived at a new destination. Our six different guides were all knowledgable and enthusiastic and went out of their way to follow up our queries and provide us with new experiences that matched our interests. For example, on learning that my husband was interested in the Buddhist temple chants we kept hearing, two of our guides provided him with DVDs, one of which the guide (Thiri, based at Inle Lake) prepared herself. Initially, we were a little embarrassed by the amount of attention lavished on us: we felt like royalty having doors opened and our luggage carried for us all the time; and (for example) having a whole (large) boat with a crew of four chartered for us to travel up the Kaladan River from Sittwe to Mrauk U, wait there for two days, then transport us back down the river. But we quickly learned to relax and enjoy the luxury of not having to manage the hassles of traveling in a developing country, while having an “expert” constantly on hand to tell us about what we were seeing. And the cost of this (on top of transport and entrance fees) was only about US$1200 for the two of us for 20 days of independent guided touring – cheaper than traveling as part of a large tour group! We also appreciated having phone contact from Exotic Voyages personnel during our tour to check on our progress.

This review was originally posted on Trip Advisor

AustralianwomanLondon, UK

“Above and beyond expectations”

As i pack to bid farewell to Myanmar am reflecting on what a wonderful 18 days we have had. Exotic voyages could not be faulted . All our guides were fantastic , different in their own way and nothing was ever too much trouble … We had absolute highlights every day and can’t believe the diversity if experiences and what we have learned in such a short time. Accommodation was first class, internal flights with KBZ excellent and we definitely enjoyed many restaurants.
Thanks to Mai for organizing our trip so well it certainly far exceeded our expectations
Ann Cameron

Ann C

Charley A

“Exotic Voyages provides a premier service”

We recently returned from a two week work and pleasure trip to northern and central Vietnam. Exotic Voyages took care of us on the pleasure portion and we could not have been more pleased. They responded quickly, effectively and graciously to each of our needs before, during and after the trip. The guides were outstanding. We are not ‘packaged tour’ travelers and like to get off the beaten path as well as enjoy some luxury and style. Each guide accommodated our interests fully and went over and above the ‘basic service’ to show us not only the highlights of Vietnam but also the people, history and opinions behind them. The accommodations were well-chosen and exactly the mix of comfort and ‘in the heart of things’ that we like. Exotic Voyages is our travel company of choice as we plan our next round of global travels.

Charley A

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