A very enjoyable and varied trip - you get to see real vietnam, especially the people and culture. The extension to Angkor Wat is a must take.
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
The 2 days cycling in the mekong were very enjoyable and involved cycling on all sorts of roads / paths and surfaces. The day cycling in Hue was totally different, making progress through the manic moped riders is somewhat interesting (and even a bit scary !)
Angkor wat and the surrounding temples are stunning, its as good as all the photos you will have seen - and you can even take your own.
- What did you think of your group leader?
Our leader was good humoured and mixed with the group well. He was a little bit to laid back and was very good at losing group members !
His knowledge of the local flora and fauna was a bit lacking, and no attempt was made to find out answers to questions.
On a positive all the bits of the holiday were well organised, one example being when we wished to hire bikes in Hoi An, a phone call was made and hey presto a bunch of school children arrived with bikes !
The leader in Angkor Wat was very knowledgeable.
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
If you wish to have clothes made in Hoi An then do your homework upfront and take photos etc.
On the Angkor extension the last day spent in Phnom Penh will be very hot and is not the ideal time to visit the killing fields, you may wish to just do your own thing. Visiting the Royal Palace was the only place we were required to cover up shoulders and knees.
We had a 10 hour lay over in Kuala Lumpur on the way home - time enough to go into KL, but DO NOT do the city tour bus, the traffic means you willl just spend 3 or 4 hours in a traffic jam - use the metro.
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
Halong bay does not have crystal clear waters its a bit dirty and not really suitable for swimming, but the kayaking can be very enjoyable. The food on the boat was of a very high standard.
Food at the two homestays was of a high standard, the accomadation was also of agood standard. Both homestays have good facilities (showers and toilets).
Be prepared for longer than expected journeys, 140 km can easily take 3-4 hours due to traffic and road conditions. This resulted in some activities specified in the trip notes not being possible due to time constraints.
Food and beer are very cheap, a beer is about 80p. Don't get caught out by the price of wine on the halong bay - its about 5000000 Dong (~£20) for a bottle that is £4 from Tesco !
Overall a very good trip.