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AddictedtoTravel

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jul 29, 2010
Thank you for your feedback on the Thomson Vietnam Culinary Adventure! I've had my eye on it. A culinary tour on a Vespa, how fun! We've done the ABD Southeast Asia trip and it ranks at the top of the list and was by far my favorite. I've been wanting to go back and was considering doing the ABD again or maybe on our own. The Thompson trip has enough different activities compared to the ABD that I think it would be a great option.
 

RSM

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 9, 2009
Thank you for your feedback on the Thomson Vietnam Culinary Adventure! I've had my eye on it. A culinary tour on a Vespa, how fun! We've done the ABD Southeast Asia trip and it ranks at the top of the list and was by far my favorite. I've been wanting to go back and was considering doing the ABD again or maybe on our own. The Thompson trip has enough different activities compared to the ABD that I think it would be a great option.
There are a number of activities on the tour that really would be difficult to do with a large group. It is hard to get a sense of it by reading the itinerary. As an example, we read about the basket boat ride, and kind of said meh... But it turned out to be a blast.
 

CaliforniaGirl09

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 4, 2009
We are a few weeks back from our trip to Vietnam and Cambodia trip with Thomson Family Adventures, and the whole experience was awesome. This is our second trip with TFA and pre-trip service, itinerary and execution has been fantastic. What we really appreciated about this trip and TFA are:
--We booked this trip as part of group tour. It is billed as a Vietnam Culinary Adventure, and we added on the Cambodia extension. Turns out, we were the only 3 (2 adults and 16 y/o son) that booked the tour. So, it turned into a private tour. We weren’t sure how this would work, but it turned out great. Our guide in Vietnam was fantastic (more about that later). He travelled through Vietnam with us. Same for our guide in Cambodia.
--One of the things I like about TFA is the pre-trip touch bases. After booking your trip, you work with the same trip specialist for questions, specific needs (e.g., food allergies), any modifications you may want to make to the itinerary, etc. About every month coming up on your trip you get a quick email with either reminders of your trip or any due dates upcoming. About 3 weeks before the trip, they send final paperwork and some swag (you get to pick what you want from a small catalogue). Then about a week later they will set up a call with the trip specialist (if you want) to answer any questions you may have about the trip, itinerary, etc. After a while, you really feel like you know your trip specialist and they are as invested in your trip as you are.
--The thing that drew us to this tour of Vietnam was the diversity of the itinerary. In particular, was the 3-day;2-night tour of Halong Bay. It did not disappoint. The “junket” and amenities on board were incredible. Activities over the couple of days included kayaking, swimming, going through a cave, and biking to a village, along with cruising through the bay. We were in a part of the area where there were not a lot of other tourist. For most of the cruise no other boats were visible. Even when we “parked” over night there were no more than 4 or 5 other boats in the area. The crew said other parts are much more crowded. Other parts of this excursion do follow much of the Vietnam ABD (Saigon, Hoi An, Hanoi, and Siem Reap)-we didn’t go to Laos. There was a really good mix of activities in the cities, but also getting out into the smaller villages and spending time with some of the local people. We found the people of Vietnam to be wonderful, caring people with a great sense of humor. In many cases, although we didn’t share a common language, we found ourselves laughing along with the people.
--For Cambodia our main motivation was to go to Angkor Wat and the temple area. We went and it was great. But again, the most meaningful things were some of the lesser known (to us anyways) activities. For example, we went to the Apopo center. This is a place where rats are trained to sniff out land landmines and unexploded ordinances. Cambodia still has >2 million landmines and unexploded ordinances, and large portions of land cannot be used until cleared. Basically, what would take a human 3 days to do, can be done by a rat in 4 hours.
--This ended up being a private tour which afforded a lot of flexibility to adjust the itinerary and do things we may not have been able to do with a group of 30-40. For example, Marble Mountain was not on the original itinerary, but we were able to add it without skipping any other activity. Our guide just adjusted a few things. We were able to go to the top of the old CIA building where the last helicopter took off during the Vietnam war. It took a little cajoling with the security guard as it is normally not open to the public, but our guide made it happen.
--There are often posts about small groups vs. large groups. For us, our bias has shifted from the large groups to small group or private. We have found that what we value in the experience/adventure has shifted over the years. Aside from the flexibility, we have found that we can get much more in-depth on the activity or experience in a smaller group. As an example, the day of our cooking lesson in Vietnam, we were able to go into the markets with the chef who would be leading the class and shop for our food. He explained what he looks for when he is shopping in the markets. Given the size and space in the markets, this is possible only with a small group. As our son has matured (and his attention span increased), what we value in the adventure has shifted to the more intimate experiences. Five years ago, he would have been bored after 2 minutes of walking through a market with a chef talking about buying food.
--Both of our guides were fantastic. We spent 13 days with our guide in Vietnam and 3 days with our guide in Cambodia. Our guide in Vietnam simply made everything we asked for happen. Even if we saw something on a van ride, and commented about it, we would find ourselves at that stop the next day even though it was not on the itinerary. He would simply squeeze it in. He picked up on a lot of thing as well. For example, my wife likes to keep the ticket stubs to the sites and places we go on a trip. It then becomes part of the scrapbook/photo album. Our guide noticed this after the first day, and on the last day presented her with a scrapbook of all the ticket stubs. As another example, we had these coconut cookies or crackers that we really liked. We mentioned we couldn’t find them in Hanoi and he said they were only available in Saigon. No big deal for us, but when we saw him the last day, he had 5 cases of these cookies shipped up to Hanoi for us. He just really exemplified “can do”. Both guides were able to tell stories about the history of their country that captivated you, and we had great conversations about what it is like in America and how much of their perception is formed by the movies.
--This was billed as a Culinary Adventure, and it was certainly that. I won’t go into everything we ate, but we tried many of the local “specialties”. One bit of feedback we gave to Thomson was that there really wasn’t much of a selection of western food (other than breakfast buffets). We understood that there was a food focus to the tour, but families with younger children may need a few more western meal options scattered throughout the tour. On this tour, most days we could order from the menu, however, a few days were set menus (e.g., the food tour on a vespa).
--In terms of hotels, I think ABD tends to stay at higher end hotels than Thomson. Although, for this tour I’d say the hotels are pretty comparable. In fact, in Siem Reap we stay at the same hotel. We saw the ABD group there. In Saigon, the ABD hotel may be a little more upscale. I’d say the resort in Hoi An and the hotels in Hanoi are pretty comparable.
Wow, that sounds amazing! SEA is high on my list as well. Halong Bay is high on my list and could definitely pull me over to Thompson. Like you, I'm pretty sold on the smaller groups from now on. I do love my fancy hotels, though. Any sense of whether there is an ability to choose more upscale hotels when available?
 
  • *WDW*Groupie*

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 2, 2006
    We are a few weeks back from our trip to Vietnam and Cambodia trip with Thomson Family Adventures, and the whole experience was awesome. This is our second trip with TFA and pre-trip service, itinerary and execution has been fantastic. What we really appreciated about this trip and TFA are:
    --We booked this trip as part of group tour. It is billed as a Vietnam Culinary Adventure, and we added on the Cambodia extension. Turns out, we were the only 3 (2 adults and 16 y/o son) that booked the tour. So, it turned into a private tour. We weren’t sure how this would work, but it turned out great. Our guide in Vietnam was fantastic (more about that later). He travelled through Vietnam with us. Same for our guide in Cambodia.
    --One of the things I like about TFA is the pre-trip touch bases. After booking your trip, you work with the same trip specialist for questions, specific needs (e.g., food allergies), any modifications you may want to make to the itinerary, etc. About every month coming up on your trip you get a quick email with either reminders of your trip or any due dates upcoming. About 3 weeks before the trip, they send final paperwork and some swag (you get to pick what you want from a small catalogue). Then about a week later they will set up a call with the trip specialist (if you want) to answer any questions you may have about the trip, itinerary, etc. After a while, you really feel like you know your trip specialist and they are as invested in your trip as you are.
    --The thing that drew us to this tour of Vietnam was the diversity of the itinerary. In particular, was the 3-day;2-night tour of Halong Bay. It did not disappoint. The “junket” and amenities on board were incredible. Activities over the couple of days included kayaking, swimming, going through a cave, and biking to a village, along with cruising through the bay. We were in a part of the area where there were not a lot of other tourist. For most of the cruise no other boats were visible. Even when we “parked” over night there were no more than 4 or 5 other boats in the area. The crew said other parts are much more crowded. Other parts of this excursion do follow much of the Vietnam ABD (Saigon, Hoi An, Hanoi, and Siem Reap)-we didn’t go to Laos. There was a really good mix of activities in the cities, but also getting out into the smaller villages and spending time with some of the local people. We found the people of Vietnam to be wonderful, caring people with a great sense of humor. In many cases, although we didn’t share a common language, we found ourselves laughing along with the people.
    --For Cambodia our main motivation was to go to Angkor Wat and the temple area. We went and it was great. But again, the most meaningful things were some of the lesser known (to us anyways) activities. For example, we went to the Apopo center. This is a place where rats are trained to sniff out land landmines and unexploded ordinances. Cambodia still has >2 million landmines and unexploded ordinances, and large portions of land cannot be used until cleared. Basically, what would take a human 3 days to do, can be done by a rat in 4 hours.
    --This ended up being a private tour which afforded a lot of flexibility to adjust the itinerary and do things we may not have been able to do with a group of 30-40. For example, Marble Mountain was not on the original itinerary, but we were able to add it without skipping any other activity. Our guide just adjusted a few things. We were able to go to the top of the old CIA building where the last helicopter took off during the Vietnam war. It took a little cajoling with the security guard as it is normally not open to the public, but our guide made it happen.
    --There are often posts about small groups vs. large groups. For us, our bias has shifted from the large groups to small group or private. We have found that what we value in the experience/adventure has shifted over the years. Aside from the flexibility, we have found that we can get much more in-depth on the activity or experience in a smaller group. As an example, the day of our cooking lesson in Vietnam, we were able to go into the markets with the chef who would be leading the class and shop for our food. He explained what he looks for when he is shopping in the markets. Given the size and space in the markets, this is possible only with a small group. As our son has matured (and his attention span increased), what we value in the adventure has shifted to the more intimate experiences. Five years ago, he would have been bored after 2 minutes of walking through a market with a chef talking about buying food.
    --Both of our guides were fantastic. We spent 13 days with our guide in Vietnam and 3 days with our guide in Cambodia. Our guide in Vietnam simply made everything we asked for happen. Even if we saw something on a van ride, and commented about it, we would find ourselves at that stop the next day even though it was not on the itinerary. He would simply squeeze it in. He picked up on a lot of thing as well. For example, my wife likes to keep the ticket stubs to the sites and places we go on a trip. It then becomes part of the scrapbook/photo album. Our guide noticed this after the first day, and on the last day presented her with a scrapbook of all the ticket stubs. As another example, we had these coconut cookies or crackers that we really liked. We mentioned we couldn’t find them in Hanoi and he said they were only available in Saigon. No big deal for us, but when we saw him the last day, he had 5 cases of these cookies shipped up to Hanoi for us. He just really exemplified “can do”. Both guides were able to tell stories about the history of their country that captivated you, and we had great conversations about what it is like in America and how much of their perception is formed by the movies.
    --This was billed as a Culinary Adventure, and it was certainly that. I won’t go into everything we ate, but we tried many of the local “specialties”. One bit of feedback we gave to Thomson was that there really wasn’t much of a selection of western food (other than breakfast buffets). We understood that there was a food focus to the tour, but families with younger children may need a few more western meal options scattered throughout the tour. On this tour, most days we could order from the menu, however, a few days were set menus (e.g., the food tour on a vespa).
    --In terms of hotels, I think ABD tends to stay at higher end hotels than Thomson. Although, for this tour I’d say the hotels are pretty comparable. In fact, in Siem Reap we stay at the same hotel. We saw the ABD group there. In Saigon, the ABD hotel may be a little more upscale. I’d say the resort in Hoi An and the hotels in Hanoi are pretty comparable.
    Thank you so much for sharing your experience with Thomson Family Adventures! How lucky that you were the only family on the trip. I am very impressed with the level of service that you received. I looked over the trip and I must say you have enticed me into seriously considering it. I was looking only at ABD previously because they hit Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, but your trip with the Halong Bay cruise seems very nice as well. Plus your group size, well, can't beat that!
     

    tink1970

    DCL Platinum
    Joined
    Dec 29, 2012
    Has anyone heard of or had experience with Scott Dunn? They have a great looking family Scotland itinerary.

    I'm working with them for a trip next summer and so far I'm very happy. I'll report back next year after we return (and I'm still taking out trip insurance!).
     

    WDWmom08

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2008
    I'm working with them for a trip next summer and so far I'm very happy. I'll report back next year after we return (and I'm still taking out trip insurance!).
    Great, thanks. I look forward to hearing about it. I did talk to someone there and it seems that they are all private custom trips which I have mixed feelings about. While I think 45 people is too many I do like traveling in a group. Also, unfortunately, the website prices are much lower than actual costs.
     

    RSM

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2009
    Wow, that sounds amazing! SEA is high on my list as well. Halong Bay is high on my list and could definitely pull me over to Thompson. Like you, I'm pretty sold on the smaller groups from now on. I do love my fancy hotels, though. Any sense of whether there is an ability to choose more upscale hotels when available?
    For this trip, I think the hotels were pretty comparable. Although, I'm just basing that on looking at the website for the ABD hotels and trying to compare it to where we stayed. For the Thomson Japan trip we did last year, I would say ABD definitely uses more luxury class hotels. My sense is that Thomson would work with you on upscaling any hotels. This seems to be especially true if you are the first one to sign up. When we asked about adding Marble Mountain and a few other things, they indicated that it was no problem, and they would give others the option to go if they joined the tour. If others had joined and it was only us, they would have gotten another driver for us. No one else joined so it was a moot point. So, overall they are pretty flexible. Wouldn't hurt to ask. But for this trip I'm not sure there is a huge difference in hotel quality.
     
  • cschaaf

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 19, 2013
    We are a few weeks back from our trip to Vietnam and Cambodia trip with Thomson Family Adventures, ...
    This sounds like a great trip! We might have crossed paths at the hotel in Siem Reap.

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience with Thomson Family Adventures! How lucky that you were the only family on the trip. I am very impressed with the level of service that you received. I looked over the trip and I must say you have enticed me into seriously considering it. I was looking only at ABD previously because they hit Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, but your trip with the Halong Bay cruise seems very nice as well. Plus your group size, well, can't beat that!
    We chose the ABD and added Ha Long Bay on our own - it's very easy to do on your own. The cruise companies will all offer some kind of transfer from and back to Hanoi.
     

    tink1970

    DCL Platinum
    Joined
    Dec 29, 2012
    Great, thanks. I look forward to hearing about it. I did talk to someone there and it seems that they are all private custom trips which I have mixed feelings about. While I think 45 people is too many I do like traveling in a group. Also, unfortunately, the website prices are much lower than actual costs.
    I completely understand but this trip is coming off of a group tour in Scotland so I figured DH and I (both introverts) will need some down time from a small group of people. When I have my DD, I prefer group tours since she's an only and enjoys other young adults (mom and step dad are booooring).

    I sort of looked at two of their longer tours and diced and spliced and came up with an itinerary which was exactly what I wanted and the cost was less than the budget I provided them, so I'm very pleased. If all goes well in on our tour, I'll likely use them as my primary tour company for places they service.

    ABD has gotten large and more importantly, is going places I don't have any interest in visiting and Thompson doesn't usually have the level of hotels I'd like and frankly, on vacation I like to relax, not hike/cycle/etc. Tauck has become my go to for small tours but sometimes just doing a place on my own is a good option to have. Thankfully there appears to be travel operators for everyone :)
     
  • WDWmom08

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2008
    I completely understand but this trip is coming off of a group tour in Scotland so I figured DH and I (both introverts) will need some down time from a small group of people. When I have my DD, I prefer group tours since she's an only and enjoys other young adults (mom and step dad are booooring).

    I sort of looked at two of their longer tours and diced and spliced and came up with an itinerary which was exactly what I wanted and the cost was less than the budget I provided them, so I'm very pleased. If all goes well in on our tour, I'll likely use them as my primary tour company for places they service.

    ABD has gotten large and more importantly, is going places I don't have any interest in visiting and Thompson doesn't usually have the level of hotels I'd like and frankly, on vacation I like to relax, not hike/cycle/etc. Tauck has become my go to for small tours but sometimes just doing a place on my own is a good option to have. Thankfully there appears to be travel operators for everyone :)
    I agree with so much of what you said. My DD is not only an only child but was an only grandchild up until this year so we like the groups albeit smaller is preferred. She enjoys meeting new friends and that vacation bond with the other kids.

    I agree totally about the group numbers of ABD being a deterrent. And also your points about Thompson. It seems like the hotels Thompson uses are 4 and 5 star but then they will slip in a sketchier 3 star. And also their activity level, I don't mind a few walking tours, hikes, or a single sport excursion but am definitely not into the multi-sport adventures.

    We are looking at Ireland or Scotland. When I looked at the Scott Dunn website it had a 7 day teen Scotland starting at $3800 to $4500 and a 9 day Ireland for families starting at $4500 to $5000. When I spoke to the rep she stated that the norm is $800 - $1000 per person per day so that really changes those numbers.

    I might have to revisit Tauck. Thanks for the info!
     

    AddictedtoTravel

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 29, 2010
    We are a few weeks back from our trip to Vietnam and Cambodia trip with Thomson Family Adventures, and the whole experience was awesome. This is our second trip with TFA and pre-trip service, itinerary and execution has been fantastic. What we really appreciated about this trip and TFA are:
    --We booked this trip as part of group tour. It is billed as a Vietnam Culinary Adventure, and we added on the Cambodia extension. Turns out, we were the only 3 (2 adults and 16 y/o son) that booked the tour. So, it turned into a private tour. We weren’t sure how this would work, but it turned out great. Our guide in Vietnam was fantastic (more about that later). He travelled through Vietnam with us. Same for our guide in Cambodia.
    --One of the things I like about TFA is the pre-trip touch bases. After booking your trip, you work with the same trip specialist for questions, specific needs (e.g., food allergies), any modifications you may want to make to the itinerary, etc. About every month coming up on your trip you get a quick email with either reminders of your trip or any due dates upcoming. About 3 weeks before the trip, they send final paperwork and some swag (you get to pick what you want from a small catalogue). Then about a week later they will set up a call with the trip specialist (if you want) to answer any questions you may have about the trip, itinerary, etc. After a while, you really feel like you know your trip specialist and they are as invested in your trip as you are.
    --The thing that drew us to this tour of Vietnam was the diversity of the itinerary. In particular, was the 3-day;2-night tour of Halong Bay. It did not disappoint. The “junket” and amenities on board were incredible. Activities over the couple of days included kayaking, swimming, going through a cave, and biking to a village, along with cruising through the bay. We were in a part of the area where there were not a lot of other tourist. For most of the cruise no other boats were visible. Even when we “parked” over night there were no more than 4 or 5 other boats in the area. The crew said other parts are much more crowded. Other parts of this excursion do follow much of the Vietnam ABD (Saigon, Hoi An, Hanoi, and Siem Reap)-we didn’t go to Laos. There was a really good mix of activities in the cities, but also getting out into the smaller villages and spending time with some of the local people. We found the people of Vietnam to be wonderful, caring people with a great sense of humor. In many cases, although we didn’t share a common language, we found ourselves laughing along with the people.
    --For Cambodia our main motivation was to go to Angkor Wat and the temple area. We went and it was great. But again, the most meaningful things were some of the lesser known (to us anyways) activities. For example, we went to the Apopo center. This is a place where rats are trained to sniff out land landmines and unexploded ordinances. Cambodia still has >2 million landmines and unexploded ordinances, and large portions of land cannot be used until cleared. Basically, what would take a human 3 days to do, can be done by a rat in 4 hours.
    --This ended up being a private tour which afforded a lot of flexibility to adjust the itinerary and do things we may not have been able to do with a group of 30-40. For example, Marble Mountain was not on the original itinerary, but we were able to add it without skipping any other activity. Our guide just adjusted a few things. We were able to go to the top of the old CIA building where the last helicopter took off during the Vietnam war. It took a little cajoling with the security guard as it is normally not open to the public, but our guide made it happen.
    --There are often posts about small groups vs. large groups. For us, our bias has shifted from the large groups to small group or private. We have found that what we value in the experience/adventure has shifted over the years. Aside from the flexibility, we have found that we can get much more in-depth on the activity or experience in a smaller group. As an example, the day of our cooking lesson in Vietnam, we were able to go into the markets with the chef who would be leading the class and shop for our food. He explained what he looks for when he is shopping in the markets. Given the size and space in the markets, this is possible only with a small group. As our son has matured (and his attention span increased), what we value in the adventure has shifted to the more intimate experiences. Five years ago, he would have been bored after 2 minutes of walking through a market with a chef talking about buying food.
    --Both of our guides were fantastic. We spent 13 days with our guide in Vietnam and 3 days with our guide in Cambodia. Our guide in Vietnam simply made everything we asked for happen. Even if we saw something on a van ride, and commented about it, we would find ourselves at that stop the next day even though it was not on the itinerary. He would simply squeeze it in. He picked up on a lot of thing as well. For example, my wife likes to keep the ticket stubs to the sites and places we go on a trip. It then becomes part of the scrapbook/photo album. Our guide noticed this after the first day, and on the last day presented her with a scrapbook of all the ticket stubs. As another example, we had these coconut cookies or crackers that we really liked. We mentioned we couldn’t find them in Hanoi and he said they were only available in Saigon. No big deal for us, but when we saw him the last day, he had 5 cases of these cookies shipped up to Hanoi for us. He just really exemplified “can do”. Both guides were able to tell stories about the history of their country that captivated you, and we had great conversations about what it is like in America and how much of their perception is formed by the movies.
    --This was billed as a Culinary Adventure, and it was certainly that. I won’t go into everything we ate, but we tried many of the local “specialties”. One bit of feedback we gave to Thomson was that there really wasn’t much of a selection of western food (other than breakfast buffets). We understood that there was a food focus to the tour, but families with younger children may need a few more western meal options scattered throughout the tour. On this tour, most days we could order from the menu, however, a few days were set menus (e.g., the food tour on a vespa).
    --In terms of hotels, I think ABD tends to stay at higher end hotels than Thomson. Although, for this tour I’d say the hotels are pretty comparable. In fact, in Siem Reap we stay at the same hotel. We saw the ABD group there. In Saigon, the ABD hotel may be a little more upscale. I’d say the resort in Hoi An and the hotels in Hanoi are pretty comparable.
    What was the weather like? We went on the ABD trip in December and enjoyed cooler temps and little rain. I am looking at the Thompson June departure next year.
     

    RSM

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2009
    Funny you should ask. It was really hot and humid. On average Saigon was about 92, with 80-85% humidity. Hoi An and Hanoi were about 100 degrees, with 80-85% humidity. A bit cooler on the bay (high 80's low 90's), but still really humid. Most days were pretty sunny. We had a couple of days that were partially overcast, and we had 2 or 3 days where it would rain pretty heavily for 20-30 minutes then clear. This was mostly in the afternoon. Cambodia was high 80's, low 90's and similar humidity. We are from Massachusetts and think 65% humidity is oppressive :-) We knew going in that it would be hot and humid, but there is no real way to prepare for it. Can't tell you how many bottles of water/day we drank. After a few days though we found that we adjusted. But getting into AC certainly helped.
     

    laceltris3

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 23, 2013
    I agree with so much of what you said. My DD is not only an only child but was an only grandchild up until this year so we like the groups albeit smaller is preferred. She enjoys meeting new friends and that vacation bond with the other kids.

    I agree totally about the group numbers of ABD being a deterrent. And also your points about Thompson. It seems like the hotels Thompson uses are 4 and 5 star but then they will slip in a sketchier 3 star. And also their activity level, I don't mind a few walking tours, hikes, or a single sport excursion but am definitely not into the multi-sport adventures.

    We are looking at Ireland or Scotland. When I looked at the Scott Dunn website it had a 7 day teen Scotland starting at $3800 to $4500 and a 9 day Ireland for families starting at $4500 to $5000. When I spoke to the rep she stated that the norm is $800 - $1000 per person per day so that really changes those numbers.

    I might have to revisit Tauck. Thanks for the info!
    We did Ireland with Tauck Bridges last summer and it is one of our favorite trips of all time. The itinerary is so much fun and the hotels and meals were amazing.
     

    cschaaf

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 19, 2013
    Funny you should ask. It was really hot and humid. On average Saigon was about 92, with 80-85% humidity. Hoi An and Hanoi were about 100 degrees, with 80-85% humidity. A bit cooler on the bay (high 80's low 90's), but still really humid. Most days were pretty sunny. We had a couple of days that were partially overcast, and we had 2 or 3 days where it would rain pretty heavily for 20-30 minutes then clear. This was mostly in the afternoon. Cambodia was high 80's, low 90's and similar humidity. We are from Massachusetts and think 65% humidity is oppressive :-) We knew going in that it would be hot and humid, but there is no real way to prepare for it. Can't tell you how many bottles of water/day we drank. After a few days though we found that we adjusted. But getting into AC certainly helped.
    We were there around the same time - if not the same time. It was hot and humid everywhere we went. I think the hottest we experienced was a pre-trip day in Ninh Binh, Vietnam. Laos was very hot, too.

    Our time at Angkor Wat was also hot and there is very little shade.

    We're from southwest Georgia, so the heat and humidity wasn't anything new to us, but we aren't outside nearly as much here as we were there.

    We got very lucky with the rain. It rained pretty much all day on a pre-trip day in Hanoi, but we were able to move stuff around and do some indoor things. It rained once in Laos, a 'medium' shower, but we were in a temple wen it happened. And on our last day in Siem Reap, it poured - but we were already back at the hotel for the evening. The farewell dinner got moved inside, but no one was complaining about the AC. ;)
     

    Candycane83

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2012
    Has anyone used Kensington Tours? I’m thinking of adding touring to Seville Granada and Madrid for a few days after our ABD and cruise but can’t find a good way to arrange all the travel after for those places. Saw Kensington Tours can do custom tours... wanted to see if anyone had experience with them.
     

    *WDW*Groupie*

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 2, 2006
    Has anyone used Kensington Tours? I’m thinking of adding touring to Seville Granada and Madrid for a few days after our ABD and cruise but can’t find a good way to arrange all the travel after for those places. Saw Kensington Tours can do custom tours... wanted to see if anyone had experience with them.
    I haven't used them but met someone on my travels that uses them all the time and they raved about them. I contacted them about putting together a Japan itinerary for me and they were amazing to deal with.
     

    Aelin1977

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 29, 2018
    Haven't seen this mentioned on here so thought I would put it out there.

    National Geographic is now a Disney property. When Disney purchased Fox, they purchased National Geographic as well, which was owned by Fox. This means that National Geographic Expeditions is now a part of Disney as well.

    I'm not trying to convince people not to use Nat Geo for their future trips. That is a decision everyone has to make for themselves. We won't be travelling with them but that decision was made long before we knew they were now a property of Disney and is a reflection of the issues we had dealing with them, not their current ownership.
     

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