Vietnam Experience
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From £624 (was £779), 28 days, Vietnam Trip code: VIXP

  • Adventure 5 out of 5
  • Relaxation 4 out of 5
  • Culture 5 out of 5
Vietnam ExperienceVietnam ExperienceVietnam Experience

Trip Highlights

 

  • A packed four week trip – the very best of northern Vietnam adventure

  • Explore the history of this complex and culturally rich country
  • Trek for five days OR volunteer in a local school teaching English
  • Spend a week on the beach, cruising the islands and lazing around!
     

Trip Summary

See full itinerary

Vietnam adventure holiday – the best bits packed into just four weeks. Your adventure tour starts in Hanoi and takes in the sights of Ninh Binh, Tam Coc, Dinh Cac, Thai Vi and Bich Dong. You’ll be trekking in Cuc Phuonng National Park and hanging out on the beach on Halong Bay.

 

A couple of weeks seeing some of the best there is to see in Vietnam, if not Asia, a week trekking or volunteering in a local school and a week on the beach.


Soak up the culture
Vietnam is rich with culture and with history – both indigenous and French colonial. There’s lots to see and you’ll spend time with local families so you’ll get a feel for what life is like for the people who live here.


Try your hand at bargaining with the locals at floating markets, get a new wardrobe tailor-made overnight at Hoi An and enjoy the splendour of innumerable limestone karsts in world famous Halong Bay from the comfort of your deluxe junk ship.


Vietnam – an adventure tour to remember.


When do I want to go?

Showing all departures (34)

Dates of Departures Programme Option Price (Land Only) Trip Status
10 August 2014Last few spaces Volunteer Teaching - 4 weeksNow £624 Was £779 Save 20%AvailableBook now
10 August 2014Last few spacesAdventure Trekking - 4 weeksNow £712 Was £889 Save 20%AvailableBook now
7 September 2014 Volunteer Teaching - 4 weeksNow £624 Was £779 Save 20%AvailableBook now
7 September 2014Adventure Trekking - 4 weeksNow £712 Was £889 Save 20%AvailableBook now
5 October 2014 Volunteer Teaching - 4 weeks£779AvailableBook now
5 October 2014Adventure Trekking - 4 weeks£889AvailableBook now
2 November 2014 Volunteer Teaching - 4 weeks£779AvailableBook now
2 November 2014Adventure Trekking - 4 weeks£889AvailableBook now
30 November 2014 Volunteer Teaching - 4 weeks£779AvailableBook now
30 November 2014Adventure Trekking - 4 weeks£889AvailableBook now
4 January 2015 Volunteer Teaching - 4 weeks£829AvailableBook now
4 January 2015Adventure Trekking - 4 weeks£939AvailableBook now
1 March 2015 Volunteer Teaching - 4 weeks£829AvailableBook now
1 March 2015Adventure Trekking - 4 weeks£939AvailableBook now
29 March 2015 Volunteer Teaching - 4 weeks£829AvailableBook now
29 March 2015Adventure Trekking - 4 weeks£939AvailableBook now
26 April 2015 Volunteer Teaching - 4 weeks£829AvailableBook now
26 April 2015Adventure Trekking - 4 weeks£939AvailableBook now
24 May 2015 Volunteer Teaching - 4 weeks£829AvailableBook now
24 May 2015Adventure Trekking - 4 weeks£939AvailableBook now
21 June 2015 Volunteer Teaching - 4 weeks£829AvailableBook now
21 June 2015Adventure Trekking - 4 weeks£939AvailableBook now
19 July 2015 Volunteer Teaching - 4 weeks£829AvailableBook now
19 July 2015Adventure Trekking - 4 weeks£939AvailableBook now
16 August 2015 Volunteer Teaching - 4 weeks£829AvailableBook now
16 August 2015Adventure Trekking - 4 weeks£939AvailableBook now
13 September 2015 Volunteer Teaching - 4 weeks£829AvailableBook now
13 September 2015Adventure Trekking - 4 weeks£939AvailableBook now
11 October 2015 Volunteer Teaching - 4 weeks£829AvailableBook now
11 October 2015Adventure Trekking - 4 weeks£939AvailableBook now
8 November 2015 Volunteer Teaching - 4 weeks£829AvailableBook now
8 November 2015Adventure Trekking - 4 weeks£939AvailableBook now
6 December 2015 Volunteer Teaching - 4 weeks£829AvailableBook now
6 December 2015Adventure Trekking - 4 weeks£939AvailableBook now

What will I be doing?

  • Culture and sightseeing (Day 1 to 6)

  • Meditation and trekking (Day 7 to 15)

  • Volunteering or adventure (Days 16 - 23)

  • The beach (Days 23 - 28)

Culture and sightseeing: Day 1 to 6

Next Leg

Destination info

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is the 13th most populous country in the world and is one of the ‘next eleven’ economies. Despite its troubled past, Vietnam is also a pretty country and has its share of beautiful and tranquil coastline. A French colonial possession from the mid-1800s until shortly after the end of WWII, it is not surprising that lots of the architecture has a French look, especially in the big cities. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City look in places like Paris.

 

After Nationalist insurgents forced the French out, Vietnam was split in two, to become North and South Vietnam. This arrangement did not last long, as one side struggled against the other leading to the outbreak of the Vietnam War with the USA.

 

The war was disastrous for the whole area, as the Americans also heavily bombed neighbouring Laos and Cambodia. After the USA withdrew, Vietnam was reunified as a one party state under communist rule. These days it’s a peaceful and fast developing South East Asian country, full of hope for the future.

  • Location: Vietnam

Day 1

You start your trip in the capital in pre-war days of North Vietnam – Hanoi. Once you’ve settled in you’ll have a chance to meet your group and start making friends.

 

Day 2
First day of your adventure holiday and it’s sightseeing in Hanoi. We’ll start at the 12thc Temple of Literature, where you’ll also see a local music performance, and have lunch at a restaurant in the Old Quarter. While lunch is going down, your coordinator will chat about the programme, Ninh Binh province and Vietnamese culture. Dinner and a performance at the local water puppet theatre.

 

Day 3
On the way to Ninh Binh, we’ll visit the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, the socialist leader who led resistance against French and American occupation.

 

Lunch and then we’ll drive on to Ninh Binh.

 

Day 4 and 5
Back to school day to set you up for the rest of your adventure holiday! We’ll give you an intro to Vietnamese culture, some basic language lessons and you’ll learn the basics of cooking Vietnamese style – after a trip to the local market to buy your ingredients.

 

Day 6
We’ll have a boat trip around Tam Coc and Dinh Cac pier, famed for its towering limestone islets and vast expanses of paddy fields – real rural Vietnam. You can cycle off your lunch on a leisurely bicycle tour to visit the village, Thai Vi Temple and Bich Dong Pagoda. 

Meditation and trekking: Day 7 to 15

Next Leg

Destination info

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is the 13th most populous country in the world and is one of the ‘next eleven’ economies. Despite its troubled past, Vietnam is also a pretty country and has its share of beautiful and tranquil coastline. A French colonial possession from the mid-1800s until shortly after the end of WWII, it is not surprising that lots of the architecture has a French look, especially in the big cities. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City look in places like Paris.

 

After Nationalist insurgents forced the French out, Vietnam was split in two, to become North and South Vietnam. This arrangement did not last long, as one side struggled against the other leading to the outbreak of the Vietnam War with the USA.

 

The war was disastrous for the whole area, as the Americans also heavily bombed neighbouring Laos and Cambodia. After the USA withdrew, Vietnam was reunified as a one party state under communist rule. These days it’s a peaceful and fast developing South East Asian country, full of hope for the future.

  • Location: Kenh Ga

Day 7 and 8
Lots of local beauty spots – time to explore on your free days, see what you can find. Don’t miss Cuc Phuong National Park, the picturesque waterfall and temples of the 11th c former capital, Hoa Lu

 

Day 9
Today you will get an introduction to Buddhism and meditation by your coordinator. After lunch, you will visit Bai Dinh pagoda (the biggest pagoda in South East Asia.) After a busy day you will travel to Gia Vien village where you will stay for the night.

Day 10
After breakfast, you will get the chance to relax at natural hot stream before travelling to Cuc Phuong National Park, the largest in Vietnam in preparation for your trek through the park tomorrow. Overnight in Cuc Phuong National Park.
 

Day 11
This is an adventure holiday, we’re in a national park, so it’s trekking day! We’re going to visit the oldest residents of the park – two famous trees, Sau (the youngster, at only 700 years old) and Tro (a magnificent 1000 years old). They’ve seen it all.

 

Day 12
Back to Ninh Binh, where we’ll spend the night.

 

Day 13
We’ll take the bus to visit the 10th c capital of Vietnam, Hoa Lu. After lunch we’ll take in the largest church in the country – Phat Dien.

 

Day 14 and 15
Some more free time, and another chance to explore the area to see what you can find and then we’re off to catch the train to Lao Cai. 

Volunteering or adventure: Days 16 - 23

Next Leg

Destination info

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is the 13th most populous country in the world and is one of the ‘next eleven’ economies. Despite its troubled past, Vietnam is also a pretty country and has its share of beautiful and tranquil coastline. A French colonial possession from the mid-1800s until shortly after the end of WWII, it is not surprising that lots of the architecture has a French look, especially in the big cities. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City look in places like Paris.

 

After Nationalist insurgents forced the French out, Vietnam was split in two, to become North and South Vietnam. This arrangement did not last long, as one side struggled against the other leading to the outbreak of the Vietnam War with the USA.

 

The war was disastrous for the whole area, as the Americans also heavily bombed neighbouring Laos and Cambodia. After the USA withdrew, Vietnam was reunified as a one party state under communist rule. These days it’s a peaceful and fast developing South East Asian country, full of hope for the future.

  • Location:

You have a choice on the third week of your adventure holiday.

 

Volunteer options, Days 16 - 22
Days 16 to 20 are spent teach English at a kindergarten or at a school for underprivileged kids and get involved in the broader life of the school – planning games and activities. You’ll be living with a local family, so it’s a great opportunity to learn a little about Vietnamese culture from the inside.

 

You then have 2 days to explore the amazing city of Hanoi – listen to your guide, who will know the best places.

 

Adventure options, Days 16 - 22

The best way to see the Vietnamese countryside by far – if you have the energy.

 

Day 16
Visiting Cat Cat village and Black H’Mong hill tribes takes us past a scenic waterfall.

 

Day 17
A 10 k trek through hills and streams to Ta Van village. When you get there – you’ll probably be interested in the swimming pool although you can also help your hosts cook dinner.

 

Day 18

A seven hour round trip, trekking to a waterfall and passing some stunning landscapes along the way.

 

Day 19

Back to Sa Pa and a well earned rest. You’re more than half way through your adventure holiday.

 

Day 20

Today is a visit to the beautiful orchid gardens on the Ham Rong mountain. Free time for the rest of the day until your overnight train back to Hanoi.

 

Day 21 and 22

A couple of days to explore the amazing city of Hanoi – listen to your guide, who will know the best places. 

The beach: Days 23 - 28

Destination info

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is the 13th most populous country in the world and is one of the ‘next eleven’ economies. Despite its troubled past, Vietnam is also a pretty country and has its share of beautiful and tranquil coastline. A French colonial possession from the mid-1800s until shortly after the end of WWII, it is not surprising that lots of the architecture has a French look, especially in the big cities. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City look in places like Paris.

 

After Nationalist insurgents forced the French out, Vietnam was split in two, to become North and South Vietnam. This arrangement did not last long, as one side struggled against the other leading to the outbreak of the Vietnam War with the USA.

  • Location:

Week four is your beach week

 

Day 23

We’ll be travelling for half the day to Halong City, the gateway to Halong Bay, where you will stay overnight before cruising into the spectacular Halong Bay and heading to Cat Ba Island for the next few days.

 

Days 24 – 28

The rest of the week is your own free time on Cat Ba with plenty of time for lazing, swimming, sunshine and parties. On day 28 you will travel back to Hanoi where it will be time to say goodbye to your friends at the end of an amazing trip before continuing with your onward travels.

Trip Notes Download

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Trip Notes include a full itinerary, country guides and travel advice on visas, money, insurance and the local weather. By filling in your details you'll also be kept updated on all the latest news, offers and stories on this particular trip. Happy reading!

What's included?

  • Accommodation
  • Airport transfer on arrival
  • Orientation
  • Learn how to make traditional Vietnamese spring rolls
  • Vietnamese language lessons
  • Jungle trekking or teaching volunteer placement
  • Breakfast

What's not included?

  • Flights
  • Return airport transfer
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tourist Visa
  • Lunch and dinner

Additional Information & FAQs

Minimum age

Minimum 17 years, maximum decided on potential participants health.

 

Minimum numbers required on this trip

This trip requires minimum numbers to operate so it is advisable not to book flights until the trip departure has been guaranteed.

 

Accommodation

Your accommodation varies depending on what phase of the programme you are on and which options you choose.

After the first 2 days of your orientation week you will be staying at a hotel in Ninh Binh Province.

 

You will be in shared rooms, with up to 4 people per room, and will have western-style toilets. Please note that the doors and windows are not mosquito proof, hence it’s important to remember mosquito repellent (50% deet or higher) and a mosquito net. You’re able to purchase these, along with most items on the kit list via our excellent online store. Please see our website for details, or ask a travel adviser.

 

During excursions you will be staying in hotels, lodges or home stays depending on your location and which option you have chosen for your third week.

 

If you choose the trekking week you will stay in a hotel and with a local host family. If you choose the volunteer option you’ll stay with a local host family in Hai Duong or Nam Dinh provinces. Occasionally volunteers will also be given the option to stay at the school they are helping with or stay in the hotel in Hanoi. You will be in a shared room with a shared bathroom.

 

In week four, the beach week, you will be staying in a hotel conveniently positioned to visit the beach and other nearby attractions.  

 

Meals

Breakfast will be included throughout your time on the Vietnam Experience. All other meals are at your own cost. This gives you the opportunity to eat whatever you like and try Vietnam's amazing varied local cuisine.

 

Orientation

Your first week will involve orientation activities to give you a great introduction to Vietnam, the programme and your fellow participants. Your first 2 days will be spent in Hanoi, the capital city, exploring a selection of the best places of interest. The remainder of the time you will learn about the Vietnamese culture and society, dos & don’ts, Vietnamese language and cooking lessons and visit local tourist places. You will also have the opportunity to meet the locals, taste the food and learn about Vietnamese customs. Topics covered in the orientation include the following:

 

Programme introduction: aims, ways of working, money, rules & appreciated behaviour, food, safety advice, and cultural differences.

 

Vietnamese language: You will learn the most important phrases to get by on and the numbers, to enable you to barter at the markets! It will make your stay more enjoyable as English is rarely spoken in the villages. Locals will be very appreciative of the effort you’ve gone to in order to communicate with them, even if it is just the basics.

 

Visit local places: Your coordinator will escort you to local places of interest including national parks, waterfalls, temples, pagodas and markets.

 

Cooking lessons: Carried out in groups to help you bond with the other participants, coordinators and programme staff. You’ll buy the ingredients from the local market and wow the locals with your Vietnamese language ability!  

 

Advice & Safety

Throughout your programmes you will have the support and guidance of the programme co-ordinator and team. You will be provided with competent assistance and help with any questions or advice you may need during your stay.

 

You will be assigned a personal travel advisor who will co-ordinate your programme with you. Feel free to contact them at any time before you go, or when you are on your travels.

 

In addition, you will have access to a 24 hour emergency contact number so you can contact one of our staff at any time should you need to.

 

FAQ

1. What are the typical group sizes?

Groups sizes vary depending on the time of year, but generally you can expect to be with between 8 and 25 fellow travellers.

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2. How much spending money would you recommend I take?

If you are on a tight budget you can get away with £80 Per week. If you want to do some travelling in your free time then you will need a bit more.

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3. What are the average ages of travelers on this trip?

The majority of participants on this program are aged between 18-30, however it is popular with travelers of all ages.

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4. I am a first time traveler, and a bit apprehensive about travelling on my own. Do many people do this by themselves?

Yes definitely! Around 70-80% of people that go away with us are travelling by themselves which is why we send out a buddy list one month before you set off so you can get in touch with other people arriving at the same time as you!

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5. Is Vietnam safe?

Very! Vietnam is a stunning country, with incredible culture and people. Throughout your programmes you will have the support and guidance of the programme co-ordinator and team. Our co-ordinators are always on hand to help. Everyone travelling with Real Gap Experience has 24-hour emergency backup and can contact a member of our team should they need to.

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6. Do I need to take a sleeping bag?

No, all bedding is provided however if you want to take one for extra warmth then you can.

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7. Do I need to take a mosquito net?

Yes, you will need to take one with you.

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8. Will there be a safe/safety deposit box available?

Yes, you can use the safe in the hotel reception.

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9. Does the itinerary run on "Vietnam time"

This is really a sample itinerary – it’s flexible and we might have to change it if the weather goes pear shaped. These are the things that you will be doing – and the places that you will go – but not necessarily always in this order.

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DBS

You have booked a programme which requires an enhanced Disclosure Barring Service check to be completed. We can carry this out for you and your travel advisor will explain the charges at the time of booking.

What will I see in Vietnam?

16 photos

What other travellers thought

I've done this trip

Write review
Overall rating: (8/10) (45 reviews)
Vietnam Experience

Rachel Denne - June 2014

How would you rate your overall experience?
(8/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Beautiful country, unimaginable experiences and memories with fantastic people!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(6/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(6/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(9/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(7/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(1/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(9/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(8/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Tam Coc and Sapa were definitely the most beautiful places we visited on the trip, so if you're looking for some breathtaking scenery Vietnam is definitely the place. I personally enjoyed walking through the jungle (if the thousand year old tree was a little disappointing) and am glad that some of us as a group decided to go off and explore a cave we'd seen signs too. Hanoi is also an incredible city, you have lots of free time there in the first few days and every weekend so I definitely recommend going to see some of what the city has to offer outside of the Old Quarter - The military museum, war prison, underground shopping centre, B-52 plane - there's plenty to do in Hanoi but you have to go out and do it. Try to organise things together and chat to the whole group, we found so many things to do by talking to each other and taking everyone's advice on where to visit.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

1. Organise to do things in your free time - look up places to visit in Hanoi before you leave and make sure you see those places. There are some great historical places to visit and are definitely worth doing 2. Stick together as a group - there were 21 of us in ours and we often went out on free days, had dinner together as a group most nights and frequently suffered hangovers together 3. Travel the rest of the country too! I wish I had been able to see the rest of Vietnam, so if you have the chance definitely carry on after the trip ends

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

I would have loved to have visited the South and Middle of Vietnam, though I knew these weren't included as a part of the itinerary. It would have been good for certain things to have been included in the price, as we on occasion where shocked to discover we had to pay extra for a few things on non 'free days'. In addition, while most of us had signed up for trekking, one member hadn't but had her volunteer cancelled due to a school holiday - it would be good to be informed of this ahead of time and for the volunteer eek to not be available in every month's trip as it may not be.

Any other comments?

Take The Itinerary With A Pinch Of Salt; The One On The Website Differed To The One We Were Given When We Arrived And With What We Actually Ended Up Doing! As Long As You Are Willing To Be A Little Flexible With What You Do And Organisation, Don't Take The Trip Too Seriously And Just Have Fun It Is A Fantastic Trip. I Do Recommend Double Checking If You Want To Do The Volunteering Though, To Avoid Disappointment!

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

6

Vietnam Experience2014-06-18

George Tripp - March 2014

How would you rate your overall experience?
(9/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Great group of people, fantastic tour guides, wonderful diverse country

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(5/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(4/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(7/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(7/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(9/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Our own travels down to Saigon and Hoi An were personal highlighs. In terms of the itinerary, the trekking in Sa Pa was good, Cat Ba island would have been better in nicer weather conditions

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Make sure you see the middle and South of the country Don't assume the entire country is the same Don't spend too long in one place (3/4 days maximum)

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

A visit to the middle and South of Vietnam. The country is so diverse anyone only seeing one part of it really doesn't do the country any justice. Especially be mindful of the weather seasons - it was mostly cold and miserable in the North during our trip - however the South was lovely and hot! Makes such a difference when seeing a place in the sun as opposed to the drizzle and mist.

Any other comments?

Our Tour Guides Were Absolutely Fantastic - Special Mentions To Nam And Bruno. The Itinerary Didn't Quite Match Up To The Advertised One From Real Gap. The Itinerary Itself Needs Updating. There Were Several Parts Of It That Were Nowhere Near To What Was Advertised Eg. The Hot Springs. There Was Also A LOT Of 'free Time' In The Same Sorts Of Places Such As Hanoi. I Would Suggest Major Changes To Include A Visit To Hoi An Or Da Nang, And Even Saigon If Possible. We, As A Group, Ended Up Moving Around Ourselves Down To Saigon And Hoi An Which Were Arguably The Highlights Of Our Trip. The Good Thing Was The Flexibility We Had With Our Tour Guides - They Were Extremely Accommodating With Our Travel Changes.

Would you travel with our company again?

no

Would you recommend us?

5

Vietnam Experience2014-03-30

Anita Winch - January 2014

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(10/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(6/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(10/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(1/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(8/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Our tour guide Nam was so fun, a really nice guy. I loved Cat Ba Island and Sapa they were both beautiful. Meeting new people from all over the world was great, I especially enjoyed the family we stayed with in Sapa,

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Its actually quite cold if you go in December. All of the girls from Queenland Australia, including myself froze, particularly in Sapa. Don't expect too much from the weather or scenery if you go in December.

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

We spent too long in Ninh Binh. I would have liked to go further south.

Any other comments?

I Felt That You Need To Provide More Information For People Going In Winter. It Snowed The Week Before We Got To Sapa And It Was Awfully Cold.

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2014-01-11

Anna Waldock - December 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(8/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

made some unforgettable memories and met some amazing people!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(9/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(9/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(8/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(8/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(7/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(10/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(8/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Each aspect was so different! I loved the buzz of the streets of Hanoi, The beauty of the scenery in Nihn Bihn and the fun of Cat Ba Island. My favourite time was in the National Park, signing up for the night trek was the best thing ever!! a completely unique experience to walk through a rainforest in pitch black and stubble across amazing creatures sat right in front of you!

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

1.You don't need a mosquito net and you can buy a silk sleeping bag liner in Hanoi really cheaply (less than a fiver) which is all you'll need. 2.Plan for your free time in Hanoi, there's a fair bit of free time but it's not boring if you fill it with sightseeing or going out with locals. The staff at the Real Vietnam Hotel are great and will recommend all the best places to see. If you have time after go to see the middle and south of Vietnam, or even Cambodia and Laos too if you can!

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

A bit less free time in Hanoi, I would have loved to have seen the south! I wish there was a way to do the teaching and trekking, missing out on seeing Sapa was my biggest regret of the trip, it looks stunning.

Any other comments?

It's The People That Make The Trip - Have An Open Mind, Be Up For Anything And Just Go With It! Try To Never Miss An Opportunity, You'll Only Regret It Later!! Also The Teaching Is Really Fun And The Kids Are Adorable But It's Not All That Rewarding As You Don't Get Much Support Teaching And The Kids Probably Won't Remember What You Taught Them After About A Week.

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2013-12-08

Elin Parry - October 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(8/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Great first solo adventure!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(8/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(8/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(7/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(9/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(9/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(8/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(8/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Ha Long Bay, Tam Coc

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Don't bring a mosquito net, be prepared for lots of free time, enjoy!

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

The south!

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2013-10-16

Cally Strowbridge - August 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Vietnam is beautiful but the experience is made by the people!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(10/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(9/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(8/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(1/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(10/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

My group, stargazing in the national park, trekking, drinking games, inside jokes, our tour guide Nam, the stunning views, hiring bikes in Tam Coc, karaoke, cheap cheap beer, unique souvenirs, buying all the tacky tourist T shirts to wear around, making friends for life!

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Don't bring a sleeping bag or mosquito net Bring more sun cream and mosquito repellent than you think Bring as much money as you can to be able to do all the things you want

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

The meditation and introduction to Buddhism wasn't included and many of our group would have liked to do it, also we had a lot of free time which could have been filled better with the many things to do in Hanoi like museums and shows

Any other comments?

Some Of The Modes Of Transport Need To Be Improved- Sometimes We Had Private Buses On The Way But Had To Get Public Transport On The Way Back Which Just Seemed Like Cutting Costs And Adding Stress When The Alternative Would Have Been So Much Easier.

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2013-08-27

Michael Nelson - August 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(9/10)
Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(10/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(8/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(7/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(8/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(9/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(9/10)
Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2013-08-26

Malte Satow - August 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(8/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

great people, great experience, nice nature

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(9/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(8/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(7/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(7/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(7/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(8/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(8/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

boat tour around Tam Coc and trecking in Sapa

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

dont expect too much from the beach week dont worry, you will find friends choose trecking

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

exploring a little bit more of southern vietnam, or middle vietnam. i think we stayed way too long at Hanoi. at the end there was nothing to do there.

Any other comments?

staying T Ha Long City Was Unnecesery, Because There Was Nothing To Do There. Our Guide Never Really Told Us What We Were Going To Do And Didnt Prepare Us Well. I Enjoyed The First 2 Weeks. There Is Too Much Freetime And Not Enough Programme, But Becasue Of The People I Never Got Bored

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2013-08-25

Harry Gordon - August 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(5/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Great people, must include the South in the trip.

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(10/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(8/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(9/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(10/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(5/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Ninh Binh 1st time in Hanoi

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Include the South of Vietnam for your trip Make sure you visit Nha Trang

Any other comments?

I Don't Understand Why The Trip Did Not Include The South Of Vietnam. You Can't Enjoy The North Of Vietnam For A Whole Month. I Ended Up Leaving The Group And Going Down South On My Own Purely Out Of Boredom Of The North. The South Was Twice As Fun. I Strongly Suggest You Add The South To This Trip As Plenty Of People In The Group Felt The Same Way...

Would you travel with our company again?

no

Would you recommend us?

No

Vietnam Experience2013-08-24

Felix Yates - August 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(9/10)
Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(10/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(6/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(8/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(6/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(7/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(9/10)
Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2013-08-24

Abigail Davis - August 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(8/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

The best way to spend a summer, never stopped laughing!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(9/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(7/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(9/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(7/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(2/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(8/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(8/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Without fail the highlight was the people that were also on the trip. I have made some really good friends and feel very lucky that we all got on especially as we were such a large group. Of the trip itself my highlight would be the days spent in Tam Coc where we walked round the village, rented bikes and went on a boat tour. Absolutely stunning scenery that I won't forget.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

1. Be organised. Sort out your money, visa, phone and sim, anti-malaria tablets with plenty of time so you aren't worrying or having to sort it out when in Vietnam. 2. Be proactive. You are given plenty of free time to explore on your own and rather than just sit and wait for the next organised activity, go to the tourist information or use a guidebook to provide ideas of where to go. There is so much more to see and experience than what is given on the itinerary, just be confident to go and find it. 3. Relax and enjoy. Once there all you can do is embrace whatever happens along the way. You have paid for this and now its time to reap the rewards. Be confident and relaxed when meeting and getting to know the others on the trip with you as this way you'll be at ease and having much more fun far more quickly.

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

The itinerary for the trip is the main problem I ahve with this trip. Although I had read through the itinerary and knew what to expect I felt there was a lot of wasted time whilst we were out there. Unfortunately due to weather our volunteering week only lasted two days and so we were in Hanoi for a lot of time, over two weeks of the entire trip. Even for the others who went trekking we still calculated that we were in Hanoi for a large portion of the trip. I would suggest that longer could be spent exploring Halong Bay or even travelling south to Hoi An via an overnight bus. The trip should arguably be described as 'North Vietnam Experience' as you don't travel any further south than Tam Coc. I would say there is enough time to condense some of the activities especially in the first week so to provide time to travel further south and as such providing a wider 'Vietnam Experience'.

Any other comments?

Provide Better Insight Into The Teaching Week. I Was Not Expecting To Turn Up To A Brand New School Where It Was The Children's First Week. I Was Expecting To Mainly Play And Provide The Children With Some Love And Attention Not To Be Left With Only My Fellow Volunteers In A Classroom Of Twenty-five Children Who Were Expecting A Lesson Of Over An Hour, Twice A Day. With No Help From The Vietnamese Teachers And Highly Unprepared I Felt It Was Not Worthwhile Of My Time Nor Beneficial For The Children. I Would Suggest That The Expectations To Properly Teach English As A Foreign Language Are Made Clearer. If That Set Up Continues Than Perhaps Offer A TEFL Style Induction Or Course Just To Help Volunteers Feel More Confident And To Make The Time More Effective For The Children.

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2013-08-24

Annelies Kowzan - August 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(7/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

The people I was with made the trip unforgettable.

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(8/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(10/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(7/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(5/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(1/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(10/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(7/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Definitely the boat trip around Halong bay, it was incredibly beautiful and we were really lucky with the weather.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Don't bother with bug nets- they provide them everywhere you need them. Don't take yourself too seriously- you need to just chill out and enjoy the travelling experience, don't worry about bugs, uncleanliness etc. Bring more money than you think you will need- Vietnam is dirt cheap but you will find yourself getting carried away with shopping because its so cheap.

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

I think you could definitely do the whole of Vietnam in a month, in stead of continually coming back to Hanoi I would have liked to carry on going south.

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2013-08-24

Lila Kozdra - August 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Brilliant, definitely would do it again! Nam and Bruno were superb!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(10/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(10/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(10/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(10/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Amazing people and Hanoi vodka! Also motorbikes and a roller disco, which we found during the volunteering week!

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

1. Travel towel! 2. Don't pack too much! 3. Enjoy every second of it and don't rest, because this month goes faster than you think!

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

Compulsory karaoke nights!

Any other comments?

It's A REAL Vietnam Experience Not A LUXURY Vietnam Experience, So Do Not Expect Too Much From The Accommodations Or Sometimes Transport. I Found The Homestays And Local Buses Really Fun. I Heard People Moaning About The Food, But To Be Honest After A Whole Week Of Rice, You Appreciate Hanoi And Its Amazing Food Much More, So It's All Good.

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2013-08-18

Sam Noakes - July 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(8/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Met some lovely people, brilliant tour guide, lots of fun.

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(10/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(10/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(7/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(8/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(7/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(8/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Vietnam's scenery (boat rides & cycle rides). Hanoi was an exciting place to be. However I enjoyed the National Park for the tranquility and isolation got there.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Take it all in your stride as complaining won't change anything (in relation to Vietnamese daily life).

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

I would have liked to do both trekking and volunteering!

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2013-07-29

Maria O'connor - June 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(9/10)
Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(8/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(8/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(8/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(10/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(9/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Nam and Alex (now Bruno) made our trip what it was. Being part of the trekking group I spent more time with Nam and have to say he was by far the best guide I have had on any of my Real Gap trips. He went above and beyond to look after us and make sure we were having a great time. Trekking in Sapa was definitely a highlight for me. The amazing views and the locals helping you along the way. Cat Ba was also fun as it had beaches and somewhere to catch a sun tan.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

1. Beware of the breakfasts, although they are included in the price some of them are really not worth it. Most the time we got a loaf of crusty bread and butter, lucky days included an egg. So maybe bring some morning snacks. 2. Be nice to your tour guides, they cant help the itinery, its what you signed up for so dont moan!! 3. RESPECT the difference in culture. People seem to forget their manners abroad and moan about a slight increase of food price when really its only a couple of pounds here or there.

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

I think they should take out week 2 in Tam Coc and replace it with a few days down South in Ho Chi Min city rather than in a place where there is not a lot happening.

Any other comments?

The Hot Springs Are A Let Down And Are Not Great, Whilst In The National Park You Feel Slightly Trapped As There Is Nothing To Do SO BRING CARDS! Or Some Form Of Entertainment.

Would you travel with our company again?

no

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2013-06-28

William Rose - June 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(8/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Great experience, amazing country, met some amazing people and made some great friends.

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(7/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(7/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(9/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(8/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(9/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(8/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Trekking week in sapa, and scenery in halong bay.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Take enough money so that you can do all the extras that you want to. The itinerary is not very full so be prepared to have to find your own things to do. Don't take a sleeping bag.

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

More activities overall, especially in the beach week. The trip should spend less time in Hanoi and maybe go further south towards Hoi An etc.

Would you travel with our company again?

no

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2013-06-11

Samantha Bourke - June 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(8/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

As with any experience, it's what you make of it!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(8/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(10/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(8/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(7/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(10/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(8/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Whenever I had a chance to learn a bit about Vietnam, it's history and it's culture I was happy because that is why I wanted to visit. Spending time with our guides Nam and Bruno was always a lot of fun. They are great guys and really went out of their way to try and ensure a good experience for all (even when some weren't overly receptive). A couple of the temples in Tam Coc involved riding a bike to get to them, however I can't actually ride a bike! Our guides took it in turns to transport me on their bikes so I didn't miss out. One of the best parts of my trip was my birthday! My tour guides had only known me a week but still went out of their way to make sure it was celebrated :-) Their friend kindly allowed us to use his house for a party and we had drinks and snacks and birthday cake provided! I loved Vietnam and will be incorporating a trip to the places I didn't visit into my next SE Asia trip!

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

To many people reading, all of the below will hopefully seem obvious, however I found them all to be issues for people during my trip... 1. Read the itinerary properly so you know where you will visit and what you will do. Some people didn't do this and seemed shocked when they realised the South wasn't included. I'd suggest you leave a week or ten days after your trip to visit the South of Vietnam. 2a. Be considerate to your group and to your tour guides. Be where your tour guides tell you to be, when they tell you to be there. Have a positive attitude, negativity will only ever breed negativity. Participate in everything, don't let a hangover keep you in bed! 2b. When you stay in the home stays during teaching or trekking week don't embarrass yourselves, your group and your guides by complaining about the cost your meals. Yes it's slightly more expensive than the street food but it is by far the best food you'll eat whilst in Vietnam! (and in my opinion it's not expensive in the slightest) 3. Respect the fact you are in a different country with different standards and a different way of life. - Don't expect 5* luxury when it comes to accommodation, breakfast will be basic but don't complain about it. - Don't be rude to the locals. Yes they will stare at you, perhaps touch you and sometimes maybe try and take a picture of/with you. Just remember that Vietnam is not ethnically diverse so they are not used to seeing foreign people. They don't mean any harm, its just curiosity so don't be dramatic about it. Also bare in mind that by comparison to many Vietnamese people you are wealthy so people will try and ask you to buy things and may be a little persistent but never ever be rude, just say no and politely ignore them if you have to. - Even though you are in a different country don't let your guard down when it comes to common sense. Keep your wits about you in Hanoi, it's a capital city and as with all capital cities you're more likely to be a victim of a crime there than anywhere else.

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

The itinerary says that we spend a morning learning about Buddhism and meditation but this didn't happen, so it would have been good if we'd actually done this. I think the night in the Halong City hotel wasn't really that necessary, it would have been better to spend this night on one of the overnight cruises we saw advertised. A few people in our group did this and really enjoyed it. I also think only one night in the National Park is sufficient, two nights seemed a bit much. I visited the Military History Museum in my free time whilst in Hanoi and thought it was great! I think a trip to one or two museums would be good instead of having one of the (many) free days. As there is quite a bit of free time in Hanoi I think a bit of extra info is needed about the best places to go and how best to get to them.

Any other comments?

Although The Trip Is Apparently Popular With 18-30 Year Olds The Vast Majority Of People In Our Group Were 18/19. I Was The Oldest Of The Group And I'm Only 24. (Just Something For Travellers In Their Mid/late 20's To Be Aware Of In Case That May Be An Issue For Them :-)) Under The Section 'Trip Summary' It Suggests That The Trip Includes Hoi An. It Doesn't And It's Very Misleading Having That There So It Ought To Be Removed. However If You Read The Itinerary Properly Its Clear That Hoi An Isn't Included. I Have A Lot More Tips And I'm Happy To Further Share My Experience If Anyone Is Considering Booking The Trip And Isn't Sure. Email Me Magical_trevor@msn.com Or Facebook Me Https://www.facebook.com/sam.bourke.509

Would you travel with our company again?

no

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2013-06-03

Abigail Hanby - May 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(7/10)
Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(7/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(8/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(5/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(10/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(7/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Trekking in Sapa.

Any other comments?

Really Friendly And Helpful Tour Guides.

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2013-05-31

Hannah Manzur - May 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Really great group, amazing food, beach week was awesome :)

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(8/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(9/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(7/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(9/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(7/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(8/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Definitely the time we spent in Ha Long Bay. I would recommend anyone thinking about going on this trip to leave a few extra days at the end before heading home. While on Cat Ba Island, you can rent a moped for around £3-£4 which is really good fun, and you can rent a boat for around £10 to sail around the islands, where they let you jump of the boat, swim to any islands, sunbathe etc. Also, the national park was really amazing (but had loads of bugs), and the bike rides through the countryside. By the time you finish your trip, you will feel a lot more at home in Hanoi. I would recommend "Hair of the Dog" (bar), which is a 5-10 minute walk from the hotel; Hanoi has a surprisingly good night life that you should definitely check out :)

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

1. Bring: as much mosquito repellent as you can, wind up torch, a pack of cards, hiking boots/trainers and flip flops, rough journal, plastic cups/shot glasses 2. try and learn a little vietnamese, most locals speak some english, but it becomes very very useful at times to know a few phrases. 3. Don't take too many photos (you'll end up with hundreds)

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

I think that maybe more time on Cat Ba Island, rather than a night in Ha Log Bay city would be good, and a boat tour would be really good if it was included. You could also encourage people to bring rock-climbing gear as I saw quite a few decent rock climbing sites along the way.

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2013-05-23

Scott Thorley - May 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Awesome experience, Fell in love with Vietnam!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(9/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(9/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(7/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(10/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Hanoi is now my favourite place in the world and Sapa was absolutely awesome!

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

!) Don't expect luxury accomodation! 2) Definitely have proper trekking boots if you're trekking! 3) Venture outside the old quarter during your free time and try eating dog!

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

A better Ha long bay tour!

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2013-05-14

Ryan Bolton - April 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(3/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(8/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(8/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(5/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(10/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Sapa, seeing all different areas. The guides where brilliant.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Plastic bags, Dont take too many clothes, everything is really cheap in Vietnam, Take immodium and paracetamol with you, someone on the trip WILL need to borrow them.

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

Maybe if they did a 2 month trip where you saw South Vietnam as well.

Any other comments?

Well Real Gap Where All Right At Answering Emails, However They Do Not Call You Back, However As Long As Everything Goes Smoothly You Really Don't Have To Contact Them

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

No

Vietnam Experience2013-04-30

Jessica Lock - April 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(8/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Met amazing people, made unforgettable memories, time of my life

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(3/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(3/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(9/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(5/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(3/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(1/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(8/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Meeting new people, Cat Ba island, Hanoi

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Be open minded- the trip itinerary is VERY subject to change! Make the most of every situation Pack light so you can shop!

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

Included the south as part of the trip. Less free time.

Any other comments?

Some Of The Places We Stayed Were Not Great, For Example The National Park And 'hot Springs',. In Country Tour Guides And Staff Were AMAZING. Some Of The Nicest People I've Ever Met And Always Wanted To Help!

Would you travel with our company again?

no

Would you recommend us?

No

Vietnam Experience2013-04-30

Christopher Facey - April 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(8/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

made some friends for life, experienced new culture, discovered rice wine

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(10/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(7/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(7/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(6/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(8/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Sapa was by far a more beautiful place than halong bay! so do trekking or you miss it

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Do not take a sleeping bag, mosquito net you really dont need it. If your a big partier, everywhere in Hanoi closes at midnight. Its not until Cat Ba where places stay open late.

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

a better tour of halong bay, rather than just passing it on the way to Cat Ba

Any other comments?

There Were A Lot Of Wasted Days, Im Not Sure If You Realise What The So Called Hot Springs Actually Look Like? But It Is Not Good At All, Actually Quite Disgusting. The National Park Was Interesting On First Impresions But Free Time From 2pm? What Do You Do For The Rest Of The Day? Could Of Got It Done In A Day Rather Than Spending 2 Nights There. Sapa And CatBa Saved The Day, Both Amazing

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2013-04-29

Emily Fisher - April 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Amazing experience, amazing culture and I wish I could do it again!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(8/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(8/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(10/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(10/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Definitely visiting Sapa! the trekking was amazing as was the culture, food and people there!

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

you don't need to bring a sleeping bag, unless you choose to! but blankets ect are provided at each place you stay, or you can get a silk one from the markets near your stay in Hanoi :) Don't worry about a mosquito net either as they're also provided!

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2013-04-11

Hulya Alagoz - January 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(5/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Worst place for vegetarians! LOL! Sapa was great fun, shopping shopping and abit more shopping!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(10/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(10/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(8/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(10/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(10/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(5/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Sapa, tam Coc and shopping!

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Great for shopping, fun trekking in sapa and kayaking in headlong bay is a must!

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

One money in north Vietnam is way too long! Spent a lot of time in Hanoi and there's not much to do there! Should travel down to the south too!

Any other comments?

Found It Difficult Finding No Explaining That I Was A Vegetarian Arghh! Per Than That Our Tour Guide Tom Was Great! Great Group:)

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2013-01-04

Stephen Kavanagh - October 2012

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Best experience ever, got to see the "real Vietnam"

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(10/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(9/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(10/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(10/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

There was many highlights its hard to narrow them down, probably our guide Tom he was just fantastic and did everything he could for us. The service we received from all the people involved was spectacular and would be the main selling point for me. Generally though Vietnam is just a hugely diverse country and I like to think we saw as much as the North had to offer as well as learning about the history, the language and the culture.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

If you are doing the volunteering week don't bother with toys the most useful thing is stickers, the kids loved getting a sticker for getting a right answer or sweets work just as well. Don't be intimidated with how forward the vietnamese are, they are just being friendly. Also they love football but they love Manchester United more, being from Scotland I got a lot of chat abot Alex Ferguson.

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

Our guide was nice enough to take us to the house of Hoi Chi Minh and one of the best things was being able to go see certain museums ourselves and explore the city better at the weekends by ourselves but if it could be worked into the itinerary that would be good. Other than that it was slightly disappointing that we never got to meditate but the rest of the trip more than made up for that.

Any other comments?

The Guides For This Real Gap Experience Are Absolutely Brilliant. Tom Is Fantastic At His Job And Very Passionate About His Country And Its History Which Was Extremely Refreshing To See. Jane, Who Just Started The Job While We Were There And Took To The Job Like A Duck To Water. She Tried So Hard To Improve Her English And Definitely Made A Friend For Life With Her And Tom.

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2012-10-17

Nick Mahoney - July 2012

How would you rate your overall experience?
(9/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Single best thing I've done in my life so far.

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(9/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(7/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(9/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(8/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(1/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(9/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Trekking in sapa, meeting an amazing group of people (our vietnamese tour guides included), nights in Hair of the Dog bar in Hanoi, kayaking in Halong Bay

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Never get into a taxi with people who claim to be working for the in-country team, I got ripped off by strangers on day one , but I got to the hotel safely so it wasn't a major problem. Take good care of your belongings, but never take only one source of money (e.g.. take a debit card and a travellers money card) if you lose your only source of money half way across the world, you're a little screwed. If an ATM swallows your card it can be extremely difficult to get back, especially on weekends, or anytime when it doesn't suit the bloke who maintains the machines. Be prepared to not do everything on the itinerary, sometimes things don't go to plan and you can't do everything you hoped to. Although with free time on the weekends you can usually do something completely unexpected, and it might one of the highlights of your trip.

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

To go to the central and southern regions of Vietnam. It should really be called the Nothern Vietnam experience.

Any other comments?

Overall An Amazing Trip. Ok, Some Of The Things On The Itinerary Are Slightly Misleading; Eg. May Turn Out To Be A Different Experience Than You Expected, As Well As The Fact That Only The North Of The Country Is Explored. But After Meeting Such An Amazing Group Of People, All Of These Small Problems No Longer Matter. They Were Easily Overlooked And I Enjoyed Every Part Of The Trip.

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2012-07-18

James Matthews - February 2012

How would you rate your overall experience?
(7/10)
Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(8/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(6/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(8/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

The trekking offered some spectactular scenery

Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2012-02-24

Hannah Coles - October 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(9/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Teaching week Hanoi

Vietnam Experience2011-10-11

Tom Porter - October 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(9/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

The beach week was a highlight as Halong bay was just spectacular. The teaching in the volunteering week was also an experience as it really highlighted the cultural differences.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

-Try not to worry to much, everything will be ok! - Be prepared, make sure you have everything you need, it makes life alot easier and less stressfull. - Have fun!

Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2011-10-11

Ben Atkinson - October 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(8/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(9/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

the beach week was great fun, and the caving in the national park!

Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2011-10-11

Ellen Mcginley - October 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(6/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Boat trip around Halong Bay

Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2011-10-11

Gerard Martin - October 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(8/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Night Train to Sapa, Trekking, Ha Long Bay

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Don't bring a sleeping bag, a liner is more than enough. A mossie net isnt needed, one is always provided.

Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2011-10-11

James Morris - October 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(7/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(9/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(6/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

sapa and beach week

Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2011-10-11

Elizabeth Wicker - July 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Beautiful country, amazing food, wonderful people, experience of a lifetime!!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(10/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Tam Coc, kayaking around Halong Bay, trekking and homestay in Sapa, cycling around th countryside!

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

*You get plenty of free time, so do your homework and decide if there's anywhere you really want to see- the co-ordinators are great and will support you, and they've got plenty of suggestions too :) *You don't need a sleeping bag or a mosquito net! *Choose trekking! :)

Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2011-07-04

Ella Stevens - July 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(7/10)
Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(10/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(5/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

- Halong Bay - The boat trip and cycling trips in Ninh Binh

Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2011-07-04

Carys Ewen - July 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(8/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Amazing experience, great in-country co-ordinators, sunshine and rain!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(7/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(7/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(6/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Discovering the Vietnamese culture at pagodas and temples and the beauty of Halong Bay.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Don't take too many clothes, be prepared for rain, learn to haggle!

Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2011-07-04

Harriet Hambly - July 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(9/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Experience of a lifetime! Amazing people, scenery and culture! Unfortgettable!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(7/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(6/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(5/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Being able to experience the culture much more realistically rather than in a typical tourist way was really good and having local guides made the experience mcuh more authentic and in-depth. All of the places visited and were of huge interest and left us all with a wealth of information and an increased understanding and awareness of other cultures.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Make sure you take large memory cards for your cameras!! Be prepared for being 'mobbed' by street sellers because of being 'Westerners' and don't feel guilty about just ignoring them as it is the only way to put them off. Make the most of every opportunity as the 4 weeks fly by and before you know it you are back home.

Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2011-07-04

Giulia Manfrini - July 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Unforgettable friends, amazing experience, beautiful country!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(10/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(8/10)
Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2011-07-04

Emily Chapman - July 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(7/10)
Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(9/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(9/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(6/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Sapa was beautiful, I really enjoyed trekking.

Would you travel with our company again?

No

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2011-07-04

Victoria Selkirk - July 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Absolutely amazing, really really really didn't want to come back.

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(9/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(10/10)
Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Check what the weather is actually going to be like at the time you are going. Just go with the flow and enjoy it.. Chat with the locals and try out the language..

Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2011-07-04

Yasmin Ghaedi - July 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(6/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Challenging Fun Bidget accommodation Lovely people Hot

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(8/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(7/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(2/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Sa Pa travelling was amazing, the activities there and the homestay were excellent. The beach on the beach week was really good, and the cave tours were all really nice. Cuc Phong national park was really good as there were a lot of activities organised for us.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Pack light Make sure you do all your research about the history of the country you go to, and the places you visit. Budget well so you can afford to stay on for longer if you wish.

Would you travel with our company again?

No

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2011-07-04

Deborah Choi - July 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

The best trip I've been on so far! Absolutely Fantastic!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(7/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(5/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(6/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

The bike ride and boat ride in Tam Coc were amazing, the scenery is so beautiful around there. Also I really enjoyed visiting CatCat Village in Sapa, visiting A Black Hmong tribe family's home. The trekking and homestay was also fantastic especially swimming in the river after a long, hot trek over the rice fields terraces. Our co-ordinators were also very friendly and helpful, they took a few of us who wanted to go, in our free time on motorbikes to some other sites in Tam Coc and on Catba Island. I really really enjoyed this and they made sure we were safe on the roads.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Bring lots of insect repellant and sun cream if you go in the summer. Theres not much need to bring a mosquito net though because most hotels, hostels and the homestay places provide them for you. Bring a torch because sometimes the electricity goes off in more rural areas even in your hotel. Cover up when visiting the temples and pagodas, but otherwise its fine to wear whatever you like.

Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2011-07-04

Rupert Crick - July 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(9/10)
Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(9/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(9/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(7/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Sapa and the trekking week.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Prepare well, explore as much as possible and be nice.

Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2011-07-04

Jessica Reid - July 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(8/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Really awesome. Choose teaching. Bond with the locals! Vietnam rocks :)

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(7/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(6/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Teaching and making friends in the countryside. Cat Bah. Hanoi.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

1- don't bring a sleeping bag 2- don't bring a mosquito net 3- get to know the locals - go around in small groups

Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Vietnam Experience2011-07-04

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