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Vietnam Discovery

Vietnam Discovery

Code:

CV01

Duration: 18 Days  |  Pricing from $2,250 USD per person (based on 2 persons)  |  Private Tour

Our thoughtfully curated 18-day tour program is an ideal choice for your two-week adventure in Vietnam. Meticulously designed by our experienced travel experts, this itinerary promises a truly remarkable journey. However, we understand that everyone has unique preferences, so we offer the option to customize the program to meet your specific requirements. Our dedicated team of experts will collaborate with you personally, ensuring a tailor-made solution that exceeds your expectations. If this tour captures your interest, please don't hesitate to send us a request. We also invite you to share any additional details or specific needs you may have, so we can further refine the program to create the perfect experience for you.

Overview

Day 1: Arrival in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) - O/n in Saigon

Day 2: City Tour & Cu Chi Tunnels - O/n in Saigon

Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta - O/n in Can Tho City

Day 4: Floating Market & Flying To Danang - O/n in Hoi An

Day 5: Hoi An Cooking Class & Old Quarter - O/n in Hoi An

Day 6: Hoi An - Hue City Tour - O/n in Hue

Day 7: Hue - DMZ Zone - Dong Hoi - O/n in Dong Hoi

Day 8: Phong Nha Caving - Camping

Day 9: Phong Nha - Fly to Hanoi - O/n in Hanoi

Day 10: Highlights of Hanoi - O/n in Hanoi

Day 11: Hanoi - Ha Giang City - O/n in Ha Giang

Day 12: Road trip to Dong Van Karst Geo-park - O/n in Dong Van

Day 13: Dong Van Karst Geo-park Discovery - O/n in Meo Vac

Day 14: Meo Vac - Ba Be National Park - O/n in Ba Be

Day 15: Ba Be Lake - Hanoi - O/n in Hanoi

Day 16: Hanoi - Halong Bay - O/n on a Boat

Day 17: Halong Bay - Hanoi - O/n in Hanoi

Day 18: Departure from Hanoi - Goodbye Vietnam!

Vietnam Discovery

Detailed Itinerary

DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN HO CHI MINH CITY (SAIGON)

City of Saigon
Ben Thanh Market

Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam!

You will arrive in Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, was once the capital of South Vietnam and is now the country's commercial capital. After your long flight, the remainder of this day is a great opportunity to rest and acclimate to the new time zone.

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DAY 2: CITY TOUR & CU CHI TUNNELS

City of Saigon
Ben Thanh Market

Wake up feeling energized after a restful night's sleep at your luxurious hotel and enjoy a delicious breakfast before embarking on a full day tour with your private guide. Explore the incredible underground network of Cu Chi, renowned for its tunnels used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War.

In the afternoon, visit Ho Chi Minh City's top attractions including Notre Dame Cathedral, Saigon Central Post Office, War Remnants Museum, and the Reunification Palace, formerly known as the Presidential Palace of South Vietnam.

End your day with a memorable experience either by admiring the spectacular sunset view from the top of the Bitexco Tower, the tallest building in Vietnam or by joining a night tour on a vintage Vespa to experience the vibrant culinary culture of Ho Chi Minh City. Rest up in the evening for the adventures to come.

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DAY 3: HO CHI MINH CITY - MEKONG DELTA

City of Saigon
Ben Thanh Market

After immersing yourself in the city's attractions, it's time to embrace the serene lifestyle and natural splendor of the Mekong Delta. Embark on a 2-hour journey to Ben Tre, a province renowned for its coconut groves and traditional cottage industries. Hop aboard a motorboat and navigate through narrow canals, witnessing locals engage in brick-making, coconut candy production, and weaving sleeping mats. Engage in a motor cart ride or join a cycling tour to explore the enchanting coconut forests, rice fields, and vibrant vegetable gardens.

Following a satisfying lunch, continue your adventure with a tranquil sampan boat ride along a scenic canal adorned with nipa palm trees. As the afternoon draws to a close, arrive in Can Tho city, the capital of the Mekong Delta, where you'll spend the night.

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DAY 4: MEKONG DELTA - FLY TO DANANG FOR HOI AN

City of Saigon
Ben Thanh Market

Immerse yourself in the captivating world of the Mekong Delta, where vibrant floating markets come to life. Embark on a scenic boat trip to explore the bustling Cai Rang floating market, where each boat specializes in selling a unique item, whether it's pumpkins, pineapples, or sugar canes. Witness the fascinating trading culture unfold before your eyes.

After this remarkable experience, disembark at Ninh Kieu Quay and venture to Binh Thuy, just 10 km from Can Tho city, to visit an ancient house brimming with history. Indulge in a delightful lunch at a local restaurant as you make your way back to Ho Chi Minh City. From there, catch a domestic flight to Danang Airport, located in the heart of Vietnam.

Upon arrival, our team will warmly greet you and arrange for your transfer to Hoi An, where you'll spend the night. Let the charm of Hoi An captivate your senses as you begin your memorable stay.

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DAY 5: HOI AN COOKING CLASS & OLD QUARTER TOUR

City of Saigon
Ben Thanh Market

Start your day by immersing yourself in the art of Vietnamese cuisine at the renowned Red Bridge Cooking School. Meet at the Hai Scout Cafe in Hoian's Old Town, where our culinary adventure begins. We'll begin with a visit to Hoian's vibrant market, a treasure trove of local flavors. Interact with friendly vendors and select fresh ingredients for our cooking class.

Next, we'll board the Red Bridge boat for a delightful 25-minute cruise along the Thu Bon River, admiring the scenic beauty that surrounds us. Arriving at the Cooking School, we'll explore their herb and vegetable garden, discovering the fresh ingredients that make Vietnamese cuisine so vibrant. Under the guidance of skilled instructors, you'll learn to prepare five traditional dishes, which we'll enjoy together for a delicious lunch. Get ready to be entertained and amazed by the intricate art of fruit and vegetable carving demonstrations.

In the afternoon, accompanied by your knowledgeable guide, embark on a captivating walking tour through the enchanting ancient quarter. Wind your way through narrow streets as you visit iconic landmarks such as Chua Ong Pagoda, the Chinese Assembly Hall, the historic Tan Ky ancestral house dating back 200 years, and the renowned Japanese Covered Bridge.

The evening is yours to explore and uncover the wonders of Hoian at your leisure. Enjoy the charm of this UNESCO World Heritage site as you create your own unforgettable experiences.

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DAY 6: DRIVE TO HUE & VISIT THE HIGHLIGHTS OF HUE

City of Saigon
Ben Thanh Market

Indulge in a delightful breakfast at the hotel before checking out, as we embark on a scenic journey to Hue via the breathtaking Hai Van Pass. Along the way, we'll make a brief stop to capture the mesmerizing views and take memorable photographs of this iconic landmark.

Welcome to Hue, a captivating city recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Vietnam's former capital. Immerse yourself in the rich historical legacy that permeates every corner of this vibrant destination. Experience the perfect blend of bustling streets and serene beauty that defines Hue's unique character.

In the afternoon, we'll embark on a fascinating walking tour through the ancient citadel, where history comes alive before your eyes. Explore the intricacies of this architectural marvel as our knowledgeable guide shares insightful stories and fascinating facts. Continuing our journey, we'll visit the revered Thien Mu Pagoda, a symbol of spiritual serenity, and pay homage to the majestic tomb of King Minh Mang.

As the day draws to a close, we'll transfer you to your hotel for check-in, where you'll enjoy a comfortable overnight stay.

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DAY 7: HUE - DMZ ZONE - VINH MOC TUNNELS - DONG HOI

City of Saigon
Ben Thanh Market

Depart from Hue in the early morning, around 7:30 AM, as we commence our journey towards Dong Hoi. Our first stop takes us to the Rockpile, Dakrong Bridge, and then along the historic Ho Chi Minh Trail to the Khe Sanh combat base. This site holds significant historical importance as one of the most intense battlefields in Quang Tri. In early 1968, the US base faced fierce attacks, and remnants of an old airfield can still be seen. Gain insights into the harsh realities of war and the unwavering spirit of the Quang Tri people as we visit the Ta Con airport museum.

After a satisfying lunch, our adventure continues with a glimpse into the history of the old Quang Tri Citadel. Pause at the Hien Luong Bridge and Ben Hai River, which served as the former border between North and South Vietnam from 1954 to 1972. Our next destination is the remarkable Vinh Moc tunnels, an intricate network of tunnels built by courageous villagers seeking refuge during the American War. Witness firsthand the resilience and determination of an entire village that lived and fought within these tunnels for two and a half years.

As the day progresses, we'll transfer you to your hotel in Phong Nha. Arriving in the late afternoon, you'll have time to check-in and enjoy the evening at your leisure. Take this opportunity to relax and reflect on the profound history and natural beauty you've experienced throughout the day

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DAY 8: PHONG NHA - DAN DOONG VILLAGE - EN CAVE

City of Saigon
Ben Thanh Market

(Led by Oxalis and this is a join tour)

- Hang En Cave is probably the world’s 3rd largest cave and is quickly becoming one of the must-see natural wonders in Vietnam.

Get picked up between 8:00 am and 8:30 am and a short transfer to Oxalis Headquarters. Learn all about safety, collect your gear and sign the Release Form before driving 45 mins through the National Park to reach the trailhead. At 10:00 am, leave the road behind for the jungle. A steep jungle hill starts the journey, with a refreshing river at the bottom. Hike through rich primary forest to reach the Ban Doong minority village. Feast on a picnic lunch which takes place shortly afterward at about 12:30 – 1:00 pm. Then it’s back into the jungle, through rivers and streams, and along the river valley until Hang En lays on the horizon. Enter Hang En around 3 pm, and take a quick rest as the porter team sets up camp on the beach within the cave. For the next couple of hours, complete the adventure by preceding the rest of the way through the cave to the breathtaking exit, a scene made famous in the film Pan. Return to camp through the dry passage to the viewpoint high above camp, where 300 million years old fossils can be seen. Enjoy your downtime relaxing or swimming in the natural pool before a sizzling grilled dinner is served, complete with rice wine and the sounds of swifts overhead.

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DAY 9: EN CAVE - PHONG NHA - FLY TO HANOI

City of Saigon
Ben Thanh Market

Awake at 8:00 am for breakfast and pack up your belongings. Depart camp at 9:00 am to leave Hang En. Take one last look at the entrance, almost hidden amongst the jungle. Have lunch with your group from 12:00 – 1:00 pm, and then it’s time to start the journey home. Trek for the next hour along a shady path through the river valley. And then from 2:00 – 4:00 pm, make your way up the hill to the pickup point, where our driver will be waiting to take you back to civilization.

Return to Phong Nha between 4:30 – 5:30 pm. Transfer to Dong Hoi Airport to take a direct flight to Hanoi. On arrival, get picked up and transfer to hotel for check-in.

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DAY 10: HIGHLIGHTS OF HANOI

City of Saigon
Ben Thanh Market

After breakfast, you will start your day by visiting the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Uncle Ho's house on stilts to learn about the life and legacy of Vietnam's beloved leader. Next, you will visit the One Pillar Pagoda, a unique temple built on a single stone pillar, and the Temple of Literature, Vietnam's first university.

After a quick lunch break, you will head to the Hoa Lo Prison, known as the "Hanoi Hilton" during the Vietnam War, to gain insight into the country's history of struggle and resistance.

Next, you will visit the Women's Museum, which showcases the important role of women in Vietnam's history and culture. You will then take a cyclo ride through the bustling streets of the Old Quarter to soak up the atmosphere and experience local life.

Your last stop of the day will be at Hoan Kiem Lake with Ngoc Son Temple, where you can learn about the legend of the lake and its significance to the people of Hanoi. To wrap up the day, you will attend a traditional water puppet show, a unique and entertaining art form that has been a part of Vietnam's cultural heritage for centuries.

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DAY 11: HANOI - HA GIANG CITY

City of Saigon
Ben Thanh Market

We'll begin our journey from Hanoi promptly at 8:00 a.m. as we set our sights on Ha Giang. The drive to this picturesque province will occupy the majority of the day, lasting approximately 7 hours.

Ha Giang, located in the far north of Vietnam, shares a 270-kilometer-long border with China. The province is renowned for its magnificent high rocky mountains, stunning limestone formations, and refreshing springs. As one of the least populated provinces in the northern midlands and mountainous regions of Vietnam, Ha Giang boasts a unique cultural heritage shaped by its 17 ethnic groups. Notably, the Dong Van Karst Plateau UNESCO Global Geopark is a gem within Ha Giang, showcasing the remarkable natural and cultural treasures of the region.

In the late afternoon, just before reaching your hotel in Ha Giang City, your driver will take you to a serene stilt-house village inhabited by the ethnic Tay people. Enjoy a leisurely walk around the village, immersing yourselves in the local way of life and soaking up the authentic atmosphere of this charming community.

Once you arrive at your hotel, you can check-in and rest for the remainder of the day. (Alternatively, if you prefer a more immersive experience, we can arrange accommodation in a local house at the Tay ethnic village for an unforgettable home-stay experience. Simply let our travel specialist know your preference before the trip, and we'll make the necessary arrangements.)

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DAY 12: HA GIANG CITY - DONG VAN KARST GEO-PARK

City of Saigon
Ben Thanh Market

After a delicious breakfast, we embark on a scenic drive to the enchanting highland region of Ha Giang. The landscape becomes increasingly awe-inspiring, with majestic mountains and thrilling high passes. Don't miss the perfect photo opportunities at Quan Ba pass and Quan Ba Heaven Gate, where a short climb rewards you with panoramic views from a hilltop viewpoint.

We pause for a delightful lunch break in Yen Minh town before continuing our journey through the captivating terrain of rocky mountains and winding roads. As we traverse the Karst Geo-park, be prepared to be mesmerized by the breathtaking scenery.

The Dong Van Karst Plateau is a true marvel, boasting a unique blend of geological wonders and cultural heritage. Around 80% of the karst formations here are limestone, shaped over time by nature's forces. Immerse yourself in the local life and vibrant culture of the hill tribes, particularly the H'mong community, as they leave an indelible mark on your journey. The next stop is the historic Pho Bang ancient town, where you join your knowledgeable tour guide for a leisurely stroll through this serene town, gaining insights into the lives of the Han ethnic minority, who make up the majority of the local residents. The last stop of the day is the H’mong King’s palace, located in Sa Phin Valley - the palace was the seat of the H’mong kings who ruled over the region during the French colonial era up until Vietnam regained independence in 1945. Check into your accommodation in Dong Van town.

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DAY 13: KARST GEO-PARK TREKKING DAY

City of Saigon
Ben Thanh Market

After enjoying a delicious breakfast in town, we hop back into our private vehicle and set off towards the renowned Ma Pi Leng Pass. This iconic pass connects Dong Van and Meo Vac, offering breathtaking views along the way. We make a stop at the Youth Monument, where our morning adventure begins with a scenic trek on the mesmerizing "Sky Walk." As we traverse this narrow path nestled against limestone mountains, we'll be treated to awe-inspiring vistas overlooking the deep abyss of the Nho Que River. The trek lasts approximately three hours, allowing ample time to immerse ourselves in the captivating scenery. In the afternoon, we proceed to the Nho Que River's boat station for a memorable experience. Board a motorized boat and journey upstream to explore the spectacular Tu San Abyss Alley, known as one of Southeast Asia's most magnificent canyons. A short walk leads us to Tu San Rock Ledge, where we can capture stunning photos against the backdrop of the mesmerizing Tu San Alley. After the boat ride, we make our way to Pavi village where we will spend another night in this remarkable geo-park. Take this opportunity to unwind and reflect on the day's adventures, as we prepare for more exciting experiences ahead.

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DAY 14: MEO VAC - BA BE NATIONAL PARK

City of Saigon
Ben Thanh Market

This morning, we bid farewell to the enchanting highlands of Ha Giang as we make our way downhill towards Ba Be National Park. The journey to our accommodation, nestled within a charming village belonging to the Tay ethnic minority, will take approximately 7 hours, encompassing the entire day. Along the route, you'll be captivated by a new scenery that unveils itself, distinct from what you experienced in Ha Giang. As we descend, the mountains and forests become lusher and more vibrant, painting a picturesque landscape.

We'll stop for a delightful lunch at a local roadside restaurant, allowing you to savor the flavors of the region. Afterward, we continue our journey, eagerly anticipating our arrival at Ba Be National Park in the late afternoon. Upon reaching our destination, we'll check-in and unwind, immersing ourselves in the tranquility of the surroundings. The remainder of the day is yours to relax and rejuvenate. In the evening, we'll indulge in a delicious dinner before retiring for a peaceful overnight stay.

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DAY 15: BA BE LAKE - HANOI

City of Saigon
Ben Thanh Market

After breakfast, we begin our day with an exciting boat trip on the mesmerizing Ba Be Lake, starting at 8:30 am. As we cruise along the emerald-green waters, we are treated to magnificent views of the rainforest-clad limestone mountains that surround the national park. Our journey continues upstream along the meandering Nang River, leading us to the renowned Puong Cave, also known as the "Bat Cave." The awe-inspiring natural formations and the thriving bat population make this cave a sight to behold. Our cruise concludes at Buoc Lom dock, where we bid farewell to the boat and board our private vehicle.

We make our way to a nearby town for lunch. In the afternoon, we embark on a scenic drive back to Hanoi. Upon our arrival, we check into a comfortable hotel and settle in for a restful night, preparing ourselves for the upcoming experience to Halong Bay the following day.

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DAY 16: HANOI - HALONG BAY

City of Saigon
Ben Thanh Market

In the morning, you will be picked up from your hotel in Hanoi and driven to Halong Bay. Upon arrival at the pier in Halong City, you will board the cruise ship. As you cruise through the mesmerizing limestone karsts and crystal-clear waters, a delicious lunch will be served on board. Take in the stunning scenery as you glide along the bay. You will have the opportunity to visit a fascinating cave, where a guided tour will unveil its impressive formations. In the afternoon, you can choose to swim, kayak, or simply relax on the sun deck. As the sun sets, enjoy a delectable dinner on the boat, surrounded by the breathtaking views of Halong Bay. You will spend the night on the cruise ship, immersed in the serene ambiance of the bay.

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DAY 17: HALONG BAY - HANOI

City of Saigon
Ben Thanh Market

Wake up early to witness the captivating sunrise over the bay. Participate in a Tai Chi session on the sundeck to rejuvenate your body and mind. After a hearty breakfast, the cruise will continue to explore different areas of Halong Bay, allowing you to discover more hidden treasures and awe-inspiring landscapes. A delicious brunch will be served on board as the boat gradually returns to the pier. Upon disembarking, you will be transferred back to Hanoi. In the afternoon, you will arrive in Hanoi and be dropped off at your hotel, marking the end of this unforgettable Halong Bay experience.

Please note that the exact itinerary may vary depending on the chosen cruise company and weather conditions.

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DAY 18: DEPARTURE FROM HANOI

City of Saigon
Ben Thanh Market

Today marks the end of our incredible journey together. Depending on your departure flight time, you may have a busy morning preparing for your departure or have some leisure time to relax and perhaps do some last-minute shopping.

If your schedule allows, take this opportunity to walk and explore the vibrant streets and markets one last time, picking up souvenirs and mementos to cherish from your time in Vietnam. Indulge in the flavors of the local cuisine, soak up the atmosphere, and create lasting memories.

When the time comes, our team will ensure a smooth transfer to the airport, ensuring you reach your departure gate in a timely manner. As you bid farewell to Vietnam, take a moment to reflect on the incredible adventures, the beautiful landscapes, and the warm hospitality you have experienced throughout your trip.

Until next time!

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How did people say about us!

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Traveler Reviews

yoga on beach

Jay M

Date of Experience: Mar 2023

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We highly recommend Custom Asia Travel for your trip to Southeast Asia! They provided a great combination of visiting historical and religious sites, temples, and also cultural connections in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia that we could have never made on our own. Our local guides were informative, and shared personal experiences that made our journey meaningful. We asked for an active trip, and Custom Asia Travel tailored our request with biking, kayaking and hiking. We enjoyed local cuisine in Laos, and were amazed by the history and significance of the temples in Cambodia, experienced via a beautiful bike tour.

Angkor thom gate

Date of Experience: Mar 2023

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We did a day trip in a Jeep in Ninh Binh with Thu, which included Trang An, Hang Mua, Bich Dong and Tam Coc. Thu was an amazing tour guide and was extremely helpful throughout the whole day, organising everything from start to finish and giving us insightful information about the things we saw, as well as life in Vietnam and it’s history more generally! The lunch was also great and the day turned out to be one of the best days of our trip! Couldn’t recommend Thu enough 😊

Cao Bang Karst Geopark

Nadine

Date of Experience: Mar 2023

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We had an amazing time! Me and my friends visited the Halong/Lan Ha Bay and the Dry Halong Bay. Everything was perfectly organized & all the pick-ups were punctual. The guide and driver were very nice. The cruise ship and the eco lodge, in which we stayed, were great. The staff was very friendly and everything was clean. We can definitely recommend booking a trip with Custom Asia Travel! The organisation and contact with the company was great before, during and after the trip.

cao bang kayaking

Whitney B

Date of Experience: Dec 2022

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I cannot say enough positives about Custom Asia Travel! We visited Vietnam in December/January 2023 and had an amazing trip with our 3 teens. The itinerary exceeded our expectations! We travelled to Hanoi, Ninh Binh, Ha Long Bay, Hoi An, and Nha Trang. We had no issues with any of our transportation around the country - our drivers and guides were always there on time (early, actually), friendly and helpful. The accommodations were excellent and our guides were fantastic (Tanh, Tanh, and Viet - they were awesome!). Every place we stayed put our rooms right next to each other, often adjoining, and the kids’ room always had two twin beds and a cot, while my husband and I had a king bed. This was perfect as our teenagers did not want to share beds, lol! The activities were super fun and appealed to all of us. So many highlights - the kids loved the rice farm tour (riding the water Buffalo elicited the biggest smile we’ve ever seen from our 16 year old!), seeing the caves in Ninh Binh, the cooking class in Hoi An, and Ha Long Bay. I really appreciated that some of our itinerary was focused on less crowded activities - a couple of the temples we saw were practically empty, allowing us to enjoy and experience these beautiful sites on our own. We did a couple of bike rides which were also highlights, such a great way to explore and see the area! Minh was available and responsive while planning the trip and while we were there. I agree with others reviews about whether she ever sleeps! She was able to coordinate our luggage getting dropped off as it did not arrive with us, and contacted one of the hotels about a ring that had been left, and arranged for us to pick it up. She was warm, friendly, knowledgeable, and so helpful. We truly had a relaxing and stress free trip because of the excellent customer service from Minh and our guides. With only having 12 days to visit we were so grateful to be able to enjoy the travel and know that Minh and her team were there if and when needed. I highly recommend using this company, you will not regret it! Now I am dreaming of how quickly we can make it back!! Thank you thank you to Minh and the team, our trip was unforgettable!

Ban Gioc Waterfall

Date of Experience: Feb 2022

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We are over 60 yers old and for eficiency we decided to organise our trips in Vietnam with a local agency. Custom Asia Travel is the wright agency. We decided to visit Hanoi, Tam Coc, Ha Long, Da Nang, Hoi An, My son Sanctuary and Ho Chi Minh City with help of this agency. The organisation and planing of the tours, the selection of the places to visit, hotels, restaurants,cars ( clean and comfortable), drivers and guides was perfect. The drivers and guides where friendly and polite. The guides ( Cường Xi,in Hanoi and Tam Coc, Tran Thanh Binh in Ho Chi Minh as also the guide in Da Nang area) where perfect. They gave us many interesting information about the visited places, organized perfect the details of the trips. The boat arrangement done by Custom Asia Travel in Ha Long Bay - Peony 1 was perfect. The prices for the offered services are fair. We kindly recommend this agency for tailor made trips.

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