If you’ve called our Gate 1 Australia reservations team there’s a good chance that you’ve spoken with the lovely Lynne. She has travelled all over the world, but this was her first trip to Vietnam, so we kept Lynne off the phone for long enough to ask her all about her recent Essential Vietnam tour.
Q: The big question first, what was your highlight of the tour?
A: Most definately our day cruise in Halong Bay, a UNESCO heritage site and declared recently as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
It was the perfect day and the beautiful emerald water surrounded by the limestone karsts was just amazing and the number of boats on the water was mind-boggling. We docked in one of the many coves and after a lot of stair climbing we accessed one of the many beautiful caves in the bay, absolutely stunning, and refreshing to get out of the heat!!
Q: Did you discover anything about Vietnam that you didn’t know before your visit?
A: I learned so much about the communism takeover of Vietnam from our guides. Hearing from the locals about the Fall of Saigon in 1975 and the sad plight of those people attempting to escape Vietnam.
I was also facinated by the French influence in Vietnam, which is reflected in the architecture throughout Vietnam and the cultural diversity of the country.
Q: What was Tour Manager like?
A: Tran our Tour Manager was fantastic!!
He was very knowledgable, very organised and very entertaining with great one-liners – “Take a picture…take a picture…take a picture” in quick succession!
Always kept us well-informed with great commentary and history lessons whilst on the coach and during local city tours. He was great at unifying the group, even extending an invitation to join him for lunch and dinner outside his tour duties.
Q: What tips would you have for first-time travellers to Vietnam?
A: Have your camera on the ready for the many amazing sights you will see and be wary when crossing the streets as the scooter drivers there are crazy!
Q: What type of travellers would enjoy this trip?
A: Those who like to go off on their own…and explore. There is a lot of free time on this tour if you do not avail the Optional tours offered by Gate 1 Travel.
Alternatively you can take all the Optional Tours which will include local commentary of the areas your are visiting, coach transfers and some included meals ie: Mekong River was a Day trip which included coach transfer / boat trip / tour of local area / and lunch which was included in the tour price. Great value, really worthwhile to see more of Vietnam and very enjoyable.