Good Afternoon Kay,
I am finally back to work and settled in and wanted to let you know what a wonderful time we had in Thailand.
Our first stop was in Bangkok where Jean met us at the airport and was just amazing. She was friendly and knowledgeable and answered every question we had.
After Bangkok, we met Suphote (Poj) who we told had some big shoes to fill after Jean! He went above and beyond his duties. He introduced us to different foods and cultures and we had an amazing time with him.
Also, I wanted to thank you for the salt and pepper shakers with the elephants. I will treasure them as a reminder of my trip to Thailand. Thank you once again for planning such a wonderful vacation for myself and my daughter.
We just got back from Singapore, long flight, jet lagged.
The guide in Myanmar was superb, she let us change the itinerary to suit ourselves, we really did not want to go to another market and ride on a pedi cab, we could not have cared less, instead she took us to a Buddhist Nunnery, we were the only ones of the ship's passengers to have done that and we thoroughly enjoyed that visit, we left a donation, of course. We got to eat in a real "Burmese resto", great food and so cheap!
The visit there was memorable, both the driver and the guide were outstanding.
Joel and I thank you so much for your kind and generous dinner party on January 22nd.
We appreciated the "royal" treatment and the food was delicious!
If you return to the Northern California area, we would love to treat you to a dinner at our house, or a visit to the Napa Valley (where we lived for 6 years), or a trip to Santa Cruz (only 70 miles away).
Our travels in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos were smooth and rewarding thanks to V'Explore Tours. I will happily recommend your company to my friends, some of whom are in the process of making their Southeast Asia plans.
Best wishes to you and your family for long life, happiness and prosperity.
Overall the trip and your arrangements were exceptional. Thank-you! Georgi and I were fortunate that Dean and Janet invited us to join them. The four of us were spoiled to death by your choices of things to see, hotels to stay at and especially our guides. My favourite place was Hoi An and the Anantara was also my favourite hotel. Martin the GM at that Anantara has the place running like the German railroads. The hotel site is so beautiful as to be almost beyond imagination. For me, Vietnam has Thailand beat and we will be going back to see more of Vietnam. Thailand has had too much success with tourism, too many tourists, too many divers to be as special as Vietnam. We loved Cambodia. The Heritage Boat Cruise was something out of a 1940s movie.
Kit this is for Kay and you,
The Baci ceremony was the perfect culmination for my group's 3 weeks in Indochina. It felt very special. The Laotian people who participated seemed genuine and sincere in their wishing us safe travel home to our families and happy lives. We participated in the alms ceremony in the morning and ended with the Baci. That made a wonderful frame around our final day together. Carrying home the wishes on our wrists certainly sparked conversations. I HIGHLY recommend it as the perfect ending to a trip and a good investment of time and money.
I have been going to drop you an email since I returned but as soon as I landed it was time to take charge of a charity event I chair every year for an orphanage in India. As soon as that was over, I flew to Dallas to see my grandkids. The littlest one, had broken his arm while I was on my trip and I couldn’t wait to hug him! I’m finally home for a month and trying to catch up!
I wanted to tell you how wonderful all the tours were in both Vietnam and Bangkok…and how absolutely special the trip to Cambodia was! It turned out that Cambodia was my favorite part of the trip. I never dreamed that Angkor Wat would be so spectacular. The flights weren’t real punctual or at great times or always the greatest equipment (Vietnam Airlines) but it all became part of the adventure. Silk Air was the best as far as service, food and quality. The two guides we had in Cambodia were FANTASTIC..my group wanted to bring them both home with them. They both spoke from their heart and made what happened in their country so relevant for all of us. What survivors those people are! I especially appreciated Nim in Angkor Wat….he was so accommodating and really tried to help me out with the group requests. He seemed to take it in stride if I told him…well, they don’t want to do that now or they would rather go for a swim! He just helped me make it all work! For such an extensive trip, it really was a wonderful experience for everyone and they truly appreciated the work involved.
A few suggestions: Each guide had a different sign they held up…one city it was Mr and Ms Kelley…one it was Steven Kelley….those with Kelley on it we were all able to spot. The one that didn’t work was when we were disembarking in Singapore, the guide was holding a sign that said “Seabourn Group”….well we went right by her because we were no longer with Seabourn plus that was the logo/sign Seabourn used for everyone going on Seabourn Cruises ship arranged tours. All it took was a quick phone call and they called her and she came looking for us…but my suggestion would be that the same group name be used throughout a trip so the guide was always easy for everyone to find!
The Raffles Hotel in Angkor Wat was beautiful and the dinner was exceptional. Unfortunately, it was extremely hot that evening and there were absolutely no fans, misters, or anything in the area where they seated us. It made it extremely uncomfortable and it was such a shame because it was wonderful food and a beautiful event. I think that a five star hotel should be able to get better ventilation around the area and improve the experience. I would appreciate if you would pass my remarks on to Raffles.
We loved Le Residence….I’m really glad that you picked that hotel as the experience was so much more exotic and reminded me of a hotel I stayed at in Bali. However, their bartenders need to go back to bartending school…the bar service in general was sub par! Which was surprising as the food service and variety to the menu was wonderful! Everyone just loved it there and Carla, the general manager was really friendly and outgoing. We all loved our rooms and just laughed about the inconsistency in the drinks!
The luggage service at the terminal in Singapore worked out fantastic. It was so freeing to get rid of all my big suitcases and fly with one bag between my husband and I. Luckily, I had printed all the information you emailed me because the guide didn’t seem to realize that is what we were doing first. She quickly figured out the logistics and took us to the terminal where we would be coming into on our return, and had us use the service there. It was really pretty quick considering all 14 of us checked bags! I highly recommend it…it was a great solution.
You might have heard that we skipped our first dinner in Angkor Wat. Everyone just wanted to get to the hotel…it was 730pm at night…no one wanted to stop for a dinner after a long day of touring plus flying. The way I read the itinerary, I thought it was a dinner arranged at the hotel. When we realized it wasn’t, everyone opted to go to the hotel as we were hot and sticky so they wanted to shower…then find a light meal at the hotel. By that time we had experienced enough local food that it was fun to order pizza! Great pizza at Le Residence!
Anyway, all was great…and I wanted to thank you and your staff for all your hard work on the itinerary. Singapore was a relaxing, enjoyable end to the trip for everyone. Really sad on our ship itinerary, it was very foggy in Halong Bay and my clients really did not experience the beauty of that bay. I was disappointed for them!
Thank you again for organizing such a wonderful trip in Cambodia. If you ever need a referral or would like to have me talk to an agent on your behalf, I would be happy to give you a great recommendation!
The guides did take me to old town and it was a wonderful experience! I thoroughly enjoyed my day and loved seeing the temples. It was much more than I ever expected.
Thank you too for providing me with such knowledgeable and interesting guides. They were outstanding! I learned so much cultural & spiritual history as well as about present-day life in Chiang Mai. I am grateful for the exciting experience I had visiting the temples with them. I will be sure to highly recommend your tours and my guides today to any of my friends who might travel to Thailand in the future.
Like I said in our conversation. We had a great time. The guides were great and everything went off without a hitch! We will definitely use you again, and I have already recommended you to my friends.
Thank you for arranging such a wonderful vacation. We had a great time and learned and experienced so much of Vietnamese and Laos culture.
The hotels and all the guides were excellent and we had no issues with anything.
Danny Okazaki & Gary Okazaki
We just got back from a fabulous day in Hanoi! Our guide’s name was Long and he was exceptional – excellent English, very knowledgeable, traveled in the states and Europe, very open to discussing politics and history. He also readily accepted the challenge to modify the morning schedule – we decided we wanted to the Ethnology Museum rather than a long trip to the country to see a pagoda. He packed the day which was great. Food tour was really fun – certainly would not have done anything like it without him. We also added a puppet theatre program tonight and he and the driver are coming back to get us as soon as our tour of the hotel and the bomb shelter is over.
My trip with my group to Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand organized though V'explore Tours was superb in all dimensions of hotels, food, guides. Five flight connections, and itinerary. The pricing for the quality we received was hard to beat considering the countless amenities we received. Beginning with V'explore's services and continuing throughout the tour, everyone was courteous, helpful, and very competent. I would highly recommend to anyone a similar trip planned by V'explore Tours. They planned perfectly the numerous details of such a complicated itinerary. My group echoes my sentiments. I intend to repeat the experience and use V'explore Tours.
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