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  • elitetravelers
  • forbes
  • robbreport

“first experience with a travel agency, used for vacation in Vietnam and Cambodia”

I travel pretty often, and this was my first time and only time (so far) using a travel agent. With that said, I’m not sure what I should expect from using a travel agency. We used it to plan a trip for Vietnam and Cambodia.


– Upfront logistics were handled really well. Hotels recommended were all great quality.

– Communication of the agents were great and speedy (even with the time difference).

– We waned to keep the price down, so we had quite a few “do on your own/free days” and didn’t use a guide for many of our transfers (i.e. didn’t have a guide to take us to the airport, etc).

– The transfers and guides were private to us, and very useful/nice to have during parts of the trip. This is the one thing I’m not sure we could have booked on our own. Our favorite guide was named x in Siem Reap. He took so many pictures for us throughout the day!

– I did the math on how much more we were paying additionally to book everything through an agent. It came to be somewhere between 15% and 30%. It was hard for me to value/price the guides and transfers in the calculation. This was much lower than I expected.


– Didn’t really provide informative recommendations or trade-offs between different activities. Definitely felt like they just suggested the one itinerary that is suggested to everyone.

– A cyclone hit Vietnam during our trip, and we had to cancel one of the cities/stops we had planned (phong nha caves). While they handled communication of the itinerary change well. They called our hotel and told us our flight had been cancelled and due to safety concerns, we should just stay in hanoi for a few extra days and then fly straight to Hue (the stop planned for after Phong Nha). While they handled all the rebookings, they only booked each additional night at the hotel in Hanoi the day off. They said they couldn’t book in advance without getting cancellations from the other hotels, and there was also low availability at the hotel we were staying in currently. I’m not entirely sure why this is the case. But the situation made us basically have to pack and be prepared to check out of our room mid-day and into another room at the same hotel or a different hotel every additional day spent in Hanoi.

– More so than the above bullet, I was a bit disappointed that they didn’t suggest what we should do with our additional unplanned days in Hanoi. We ended up visiting the phong nha caves later anyway as a day trip from Hue, but we had to ask if it was possible on our end instead of having them suggest it as an option after we saw viator day trips to the caves from Hue. They also didn’t give us any recommendations on how to spend the additional time in Hanoi. We looked up a few ideas on our own, and asked if they could help arrange it.

– Before we arrived in Asia, I asked what was the best way to handle laundry needs. I got a very curt response about how all the hotels would have options to do laundry. I followed up asking for prices from the hotels since I couldn’t find that information online, and received the pricing sheet from our first hotel. They failed to tell me which of the hotels during our stay had the cheapest laundry options (variation on prices was high), or that many of the hotels had laundry vendors across the street that were extremely cheaper and still good quality ($2 for 1 kg opposed to $2-5 per item).

Conclusion – with research and time on your end, it is possible to plan a trip of the same or pretty close caliber I think. If you have the money, its a good way to save some time and research.


Visited October 2017

This review was originally posted on TripAdvisor

SamR1234Washington DC, District of Columbia


“Personalised tour of Myanmar”

We have just returned from a 21 days in Myanmar organised through Exotic Voyages. Travelling as 2 couples we had a private itinerary organised. Our guides,drivers,transport hotels and internal flights were all arranged by Exotic Voyages in Vietnam. Our guides were exceptional: Nan Kin(He Ho), Naing (Mandalay), Naing (Bagon), Htut Htut Kway (Peter) Yangon. Our drivers were all careful and considerate. Our Hotels were perfect.


Visited Sep 2017

This review was originally posted on TripAdvisor


Jamie C


Ngoc, Psu and Tinh were absolute legends. Heroes. They made my trip around Vietnam 10x better. They were extremely knowledgable and were able to answer every question. Taking us out of the normal tourist packed areas around the real authentic Vietnam. Thank You exotic voyages for a wonderful trip.


Visited Sep 2017

This review was originally posted on TripAdvisor

Jamie C

Lisa C

“Family trip to Vietnam”

We have just returned from a family trip to Vietnam. Our holiday was arranged by our travel agent in London and was run by Exotic Voyages in Vietnam.

From the moment we arrived in Hanoi, everything was fantastic.

Our guides were Ngoc in Hanoi, Phu in Hoi An and Tinh in Ho Chi Min city. They were all friendly, helpful and full of knowledge and they really made the holiday special.

We did lots of trips and felt extremely well looked after.

Thank you Exotic Voyages.


Visited Sep 2017

This review was originally posted on TripAdvisor

Lisa C

Anh Gordon

“Top quality, customized luxury tour”

I usually do all the work for our family vacations—I read the online research and reviews and book all the hotels and activities. But I had not kept up with Vietnam’s progress economically and based on my previous experience in Vietnam plus having to book domestic flights in Vietnam (which I knew nothing about) and just not having the time to do all the research, I decided this time to hire a travel agent to help me out.

My brief Google search landed me on the webpage for Exotic Voyages. Exotic Voyages specializes in customized luxury tours in Asia. They offer several ready-made packages but are willing and happy to take out anything their customers don’t and add in anything they desire. I inquired and was put in contact with Linh, who put together a Vietnam package based on their ready made “Family Fun in Vietnam” tour that was to go to Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Hue, Hoi An, Saigon, and the MeKong Delta. She cut out a few activities to accommodate for our 12 days (versus 14 as dictated by the package) and also added a short trip to Chiang Mai in Thailand to visit an elephant sanctuary. We communicated frequently via email to customize the trip as she gave us quotes for a package with mostly 3 and 4 star hotels versus 4 and 5 star hotels (not much of a difference! Go with the higher star ratings!) and advised us as to what she thought would work best for us. We did not want to visit any places where tourists ride the elephants and we were concerned about one tour that involved riding a water buffalo. She kindly helped us work that out too (booked an elephant sanctuary and reassured us that water buffaloes have much stronger backs than elephants and can withstand much more weight on their backs). She also advised us to stay an extra day in Lang Co instead of spending a hectic day in Bangkok, because Bangkok really requires a few days to enjoy. This turned out to be excellent advice.

The communication was fantastic. She always wrote back within 24 hours and was patient and answered my questions. I was given numerous opportunities to check and double check the itinerary and was even given the names of all the hotels so I could check the out online. Once she got my approval on the final itinerary, she booked our hotels, tours and domestic flights. We were responsible for getting to Hanoi, the first city on our itinerary, and for getting out of Chiang Mai, the last stop. Once I got that information, I forwarded it to her along with our passport information and she was able to finalize everything.

I had a little trouble with getting our Vietnam e-visas and wrote to Linh in frustration and she gave me a link that worked a lot better than the one I had, plus she told me that their company could (for a fee) obtain our visas for us. I liked that she did not push me to spend money to have them get the visas for me, even though that would have generated more money for them.

Upon arrival to every city—Hanoi first, then Hue, then Saigon and finally Chiang Mai, we were met by the Exotic Voyages local tour guide. We were provided a comfortable air conditioned van with a separate driver and the tour guide accompanied us to almost all our tours and activities. Each van had a lot of water bottles for us, complimentary. This was highly appreciated, given the 44C (112F) heat index most days in Vietnam.

The hotels that Linh booked for us were fantastic—top quality in every way. The tours were also fun and enjoyable, top quality as well. Our drivers were safe and considerate, and our tour guides were very knowledgeable and helpful. Our Hanoi tour guide got our water puppet theater tickets for us and also booked xich lo tours for us, while our Saigon tour guide and driver went out of their way to help me find my family’s old house in Saigon. 

Our Saigon and Chiang Mai tour guides spoke excellent English. We were really impressed with how well they spoke. Our Hanoi and Hue guides spoke good English too, it was just that the others spoke really well.

All in all, I would highly recommend this travel agency for those who like to have everything done for them and who want a very easy relaxed vacation with little worries. Everything was done in a superb and with care to detail and customer service. Super organized and very professionally done.


Visited August 2017

This review was originally posted on TripAdvisor

Anh GordonTexas, USA

Mathew T

“Memorable 15 Days Viet Nam’s trip from South to North”

We booked our trip through sale rep Linh Nguyen (Ha Noi). Ms. Nguyen was professional and well organized. She helped putting together a private tour for our group of 17 people. Hotels were 4 to 5 Stars and nice private transportation. Tour-guides were friendly, well spoken english and knowledge. Tour guides from each destination were wonderful. Specially our tour guide in Hanoi, Mr. Kien was friendly and knowledgable about Vietnam’s history. Exotic Voyages is highly recommended.

Visited August 2017

This review was originally posted on TripAdvisor

Mathew T


“Excellent trip and travel company”

We have just returned from a fantastic trip to Myanmar and Thailand- all arranged by Exotic Voyages. Everything was smooth – right from our initial travel enquiry. Our travel agent was very helpful and gave so much advice so we could plan the trip we wanted. All went well on our holiday – excellent guides, drivers, pick up, hotels etc. Cannot fault the service. We will be using this company again next year. Cannot recommend highly enough.

Visited August 2017

This review was originally posted on Trip Advisor



“An Amazing Seven Weeks in SE Asia”

This trip of a lifetime was made perfect by Andy and Bui Ly of Exotic Voyages. I had a rough outline of places and sights we wanted to visit and see, but they put it all together and not one minute detail was forgotten. Every time we arrived in a new place, we were met by a guide and driver, starting in Myanmar with Jen, Nang Khin, Thinn Myo, and Son Mayo. Thanks also to Pong and Kee Lee in Thailand, Linn in Laos, Ky, Phu, Minh, and Tri in Vietnam, and Channak, Sophy and York in Cambodia.

Some of the many outstanding experiences were the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, the picnic in the bamboo forest at Inle Lake, the sunrise balloon ride over Bagan, the cooking schools in Thailand, Hoi An and Hue in Vietnam, and of course the day as owner of an elephant in Chang Mai. Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom excursions were followed by a picnic and massage in a forest. Halong Bay and the Float House on the River Kwai were other exceptional experiences. All of our accommodations were exceptional, and we did in fact feel like VIP Ten Plus clients! The Jahan cruise on the Mekong, and the beach stays at Ngapali, Song Saa, and Phuket were delightful interludes during a very packed itinerary. We had many amazing meals, but the best was our experience at Raffles in Phnom Penh where we were served a five course meal which was out of this world.

Thanks again to Andy and Bui Ly, and particularly for taking the time on a Sunday to have coffee with Ellen and I in Hanoi. Truly, Exotic Voyages and their staff go above and beyond in many ways.

Visited March 2017

This review was originally posted on Trip Advisor



“Professional and well organised”

Was introduced to this company by a friend. I had them organise my travel in Myanmar for my wife and myself. From the first email to the date we flew, communication was excellent. Their guides in every city were excellent. Punctual, spoke good English. Pick up / drop off at airports was seamless. Great knowledge of all the sites. Excellent value for money. I would recommend them without any hesitation. Linh was an outstanding agent. Thank you for a memorable visit to Myanmar.

Visited May 2017

This review was originally posted on Trip Advisor


Tania L

“Stress free and amazing travel”

I traveled with my family and we had a great vacation. Everything went as planned, they did a great selection of places to stay, eat, tours and places. It took a lot of stress from planning and running, that we managed to see Vietnam, Luang Prabang and Siem Reap without feeling exhausted, in a hurry or overwhelmed. They also picked great activities to do for a family vacation.

Visited April 2017

This review was originally posted on Trip Advisor

Tania LMexico