Xuan Tu organised three personal tours for our family holiday. Our party was made up of nine people; me, my wife, two daughters, a son-in-law and four grandchildren – the age range being from 11 to 72. We went in July which is certainly a hot month for travelling – however, none of us found the heat troublesome during our visit. The tours were truly magnificent – we all felt we had really seen the real Vietnam both historic and modern. Our first trip was around Da Nang to see the Big Buddha and Marble Mountain and then on to the world heritage site of the temples of My Son. We really appreciated being taken to My Son in the relative cool of the afternoon and with very few tourists. Our second trip was to the riverside town of Hoi An – we went on a boat trip to an island and saw several families in their traditional environment. I was very impressed that we seemed to be so welcomed into their homes, again we saw very few other tourists which made us feel special. Our final trip was to the old Vietnamese capital of Hue, I don’t think any of us had realised prior to the visit the magnificence of the royal palaces and the dynastic tombs.
For all of the trips we were picked up at our hotel in a minibus which was just for our family. We had a driver and one or two English speaking guides. There was an abundance of cold drinking water supplied and we were always taken to a restaurant for lunch – sometimes we also had a traditional Vietnamese mid-morning snack. The restaurants were always superb and very good value for money. In one they found out it was my grandson’s birthday and a cake was duly provided with the singing of ‘Happy Birthday’.
The cost of the tours were each around $400 USD for all nine of us. This included all transportation, the guides, the water and all entries to museums, historic sites, etc. – a very reasonable price considering what was included.
However, the real stars of the trips were the guides, Xuan Tu herself and Anthony. Their English was excellent – as was their knowledge of Vietnam both locally and generally. We all were continually asking trivial and in-depth questions which were all well answered. They stayed with us at all times and helped negotiate any purchases we wanted to make. They were also very flexible in changing the itinerary if we wanted to do something slight different, eg. in Hoi An we wanted to wander around a traditional covered market and this was duly organised for us at a moments notice. I think the main compliment I could give was that we felt that they became our family friends during our time together.
Traveller: ChrisCBlake from Tripadvisor