We would love to hear about your Mekong River Cruise experience. If you have a moment and would like to fill out a review, please send us an email at email@example.com.
MEKONG CRUISE – JANUARY 2018
The tour went exceedingly well. My clients and I were very happy with everything except jet lag on the return!
Guides: The Cambodian guide was superb, the Saigon and Angkor Wat guides may need a bit more experience. Language skills were slightly deficient, but their knowledge of sites was fine. And I was appreciative that the Saigon guide enabled my two-kilo coffee purchase. (The Vietnamese have no idea how good their coffee is.) But the Cambodian guide was the overwhelming favorite of the three.
Cruise Director: I have never encountered anyone in the travel industry who was better suited for the job at hand. What a talent! Make sure that the cruise company knows how good Marc is.
Facilities: Probably due to jet lag fog, I have no memory of the Saigon hotel whatsoever. The ship was excellent, well run, comfy, and so on. The assistants got a good workout helping us up and down the various river landings, The Siem Reap hotel was superb. (OMG, has Siem Reap grown since I was last there some eight years ago!)
Meals: No complaints from anybody. I enjoyed breaking the bacon and eggs routine for breakfast and ate a bunch of things I would never consider breakfast food. The free white wine at meals was better than I expected. The reds were a bit thin but the price was right!
The Cathay Pacific flights went well, no complaints from anybody. This was a direct contrast to my experience returning from LAX on United. Due to a comedy of errors, I arrived in SAT 8 hours late. Oh well.
Thanks again to you and your team for a good job!
Barker’s European Tours
Received 15 February 2017 from Stephen Kanold, President and Owner of Adult Customized Tours in Palm Springs, a frequent and long time Travel Agent partner of Value World Tours.
This email is from Dr. Michele Borba, the regular guest on “Today,” “Dr. Phil,” and umpteen other TV shows. She is a best-selling author and an expert on bullying. Value World programs she’s gone on include Mongolia, Egypt, Jordan, Myanmar, and now Thailand and Laos. Talk about glowing….thank you all.
Subject: LOVED IT!!
Highlight was bathing those elephants. It was wonderful. And Craig – just elated – that he got to make paper out of elephant poop. What more could one ask for in life?
Thanks for another great trip, Steve. Pictures – one of these days. Adored Chang Rai, the highlight.
And, would you please convey a note to your Asian tour company? Please? The female guide in Thailand – Ammon (?) and the driver were EXEMPLARY!!! Seriously wonderful. She knew exactly what we wanted and as a result deviated from temples and temples and temples and found LIFE. Off the beaten path we found kids, and villagers, and schools and real life. Craig played chess with villagers in one small village – bottle cap tops. That alone was incredible. But the tours continued. Please let the tour company know that Chang Rai, Chang Mai experience were literally out of this world because of those two people. It was a 6 star adventure.
And of course, Steve, thank you. I don’t know if you realize how much you’re appreciated, but you are. Putting together everything at last minute like that was certainly not easy — but you did it. Again. You make great memories. We made it. Thanks for the tour.. We LOVE it. Leaving the first city — it’s a favorite. Could stay here a month. Luang Prabang — gorgeous! The guide, Nikhom is fabulous. The Elephant Bar restaurant incredible.
Tell your trip tour group that arranged this huge thanks!”
To: Corinna Vargas
We’re back from our amazing trip to VN and Cambodia….actually Cambodia turned out to be the gem of the trip!
I know you’ve taken this tour, but I thought you might want some feedback.
First of all, Singapore Airlines made the trip. Best airline we’ve flown and they made palatable the 38 hours in the air….
The Park Royal in Saigon and the Prince d’Angkor hotel in Siem Reap were fabulous. Our boat experience was terrific!
$100 in ones was not unreasonable because VN and Cambodia only accepted American dollars and few, except for hotels or bars like Raffles, would take a credit card. I think I took $700 in cash and came home with $60 (never had to use an ATM). The best shopping was in Cambodia at Phnom Penh’s central market (tell travelers to take plenty of dollars there, because we ran short. We took a tuk tuk there on our free morning before we left PP, and we didn’t allot enough time…give at least 2 hours there). Next best shopping was in Siem Reap at the night market (had an amazing $3 massage there, but gave a $5 tip) and the Angkor handicraft place…great tour and some wonderful and affordable souvenirs. .As a matter of fact, whenever you’ve got free time in Cambodia, suggest a tuk tuk ride for a dollar a person. We did this twice in PP, our free hour in Kompang Chnang (we got a city tour while everyone else walked aimlessly), and another when we arrived in Siem Reap…great way to be introduced to the city.
Since I asked you, wine on the ship was relatively inexpensive ($22-35 per bottle) with enough variety and the drinks up top were cheap (beer was $2.50 and mixed drinks $5..which was halved during happy hour from 5-7). I ended up bringing home one of the two bottles I brought…the other we had before dinner on the sundeck. Since we had them, we open Norm’s two bottles at dinner for a $5 corkage fee…which is more than fair.
We saw no mosquitoes (yea!) and had to use little sunscreen….I guess, that’s the beauty of traveling in January. You might mention that on the river with a breeze, travelers should have a wind breaker and second light wrap….it got downright chilly at times. The weather overall was very mild despite the fact that the thermometer said high 80’s. Along with four pair of shorts, I took knock around long pants and two pair of dress pants for dinners and was very comfortable.
Again, all of this might be because it was January.
The other gal in our group, Dianna, had broken her foot the week before our departure. Even with a walking boot, she was able to manage all the walking and steps. She’s a trooper, but this trip with some effort is do-able physically.
If someone is interested in this tour, I wouldn’t mind responding to e-mail questions to encourage them.
Thanks, we had a marvelous time on our exotic and well organized adventure.
It has been 5 months since our trip to Cambodia and Vietnam. I want to thank you making our travel arrangements and preparing us so well for this trip! What a wonderful cultural experience. Every day was a highlight, starting with an exhilarating drive from the airport in Siem Reap to our hotel: hiking around Angkor Wat: roaring down Tonle Sap Lake in a speed boat to our boutique river boat “Toum Tiou II”: cruising down the Mekong River and ending in Ho Chi Minh City. Our tour group was small with 4 Americans, 1 Australian and 10 French. What fun we had!
Our guides were knowledgeable and went out of their way to provide us a very personalized experience. My husband and I felt a special connection with the people of Cambodia as we explored their markets, were invited to and attended a wedding, visited their businesses. What a resourceful people! The happy faces and welcoming smiles remain with us.The “Toum Tiou II” was special – comfortable, with a very dedicated and caring staff and the best “Chef” on the Mekong. Our meals were 5 Star, fresh, varied and delicious. Value World did an excellent job of coordinating all our excursions, transfers and travel arrangements. We were privileged to have enjoyed this trip at this point in time. We felt like explorers seeing sites that were recently discovered. I know this will change as Cambodia becomes westernized. Vietnam supplied an interesting contrast to Cambodia from the standpoint of development, economic vitality and the similar but different people.This trip was definitely one of the highlights in our lives.
Jan & Ed Maisen
Trip Date: Jan 24th – Feb 5th, 2013
5,000 Waves, 10,000 Smiles…
That is probably a conservative estimate. Add to that 7,500 “hellos” and you get a sense of how welcoming and friendly the Vietnamese and Cambodian people were to me and my traveling companions-both in the urban and rural areas we visited on this wonderful adventure.”
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I have just returned from almost two weeks in Southeast Asia . Most of my time was spent aboard the “Toum Tiou II”, a small boutique river boat that sleeps up to 28 passengers. An extremely comfortable ship with air conditioning in both the dining area and sleeping quarters. T.T. II is unique in that its draft is only 1½ meters. This allowed us to get in to shore closer than any other boat currently on these rivers. Hence we got to explore the most remote and exotic destinations on the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers that we navigated. The cruise wound 300 miles north and west from Ho Chi Minh City , formally Saigon , to Tonle Sap Lake and our final destination, Siem Reap , Cambodia .
Saigon was fascinating to me for its controlled traffic mayhem and the Cu Chi Tunnel complex.
Nothing can prepare one for the driving conditions in both Vietnam and Cambodia . You can only experience it and, adjust. Some among you will freak. Other’s with a more Buddhist-like sense of self will find themselves embracing the cacophony of sound and motion and make it almost magically from point A to B-unharmed and satisfied that now you as well as they, have managed to find harmony in a setting that would cause considerable road rage most anywhere in our western world.
The Cu Chi Tunnel complex is a vestige of the Vietnam War era. Interesting in its ingenuity and diabolical nature. Many Americans died here. Having served during this time frame I feel fortunate not to have been stationed anywhere near this place…
Once on the river, things change dramatically. I have never been so relaxed traveling anywhere in my life. The upper deck on T.T. II has a small “library”, bar, lounge chairs and a covered sitting area with electric fans to manage comfort levels even on the hottest, most humid of days.
Every fishing, rice growing, pottery making village met us with waves, hellos and smiles. Honestly, I don’t think the local Chamber of Commerce had anything to do with this. Considering what these cultures have been through in the recent decades it is remarkable how genuinely warm and friendly virtually everybody is.
A word about the photos I took where people were involved. For the first few days I asked everyone as best I could if it was OK for me to take their photo. At some point a week or so into the trip I began to feel I would hurt someone’s feelings if I didn’t take their photo-especially the mother/father/child compositions. These people universally seem to have a pride about themselves and their families that allows them instantaneous comfort with strangers. It’s really special.
The last stop on my Vietnam-Cambodian odyssey found me staying 2 nights in the town of Siem Reap which is about two miles south of the UNESCO World Heritage site and “8th Wonder of the World”-the ancient Temples of Angkor Wat.
Reaching its cultural zenith in the 12th century, this temple complex has to be seen to be believed. Huge numbers of tourists, mostly from Thailand, Japan and Europe converge upon this fascinating series of structures daily but it is mammoth in size so it doesn’t seem to matter. At various times I was completely alone in the jungles, exploring lesser sites quite off the beaten path.
So, this vacation was a total winner. Value World Tours put things together for me with about a week’s notice, (a record). They did an exceptional job of setting up the boat arrangements, flights and transfers, hotels, meals and excursions. I could not have been more pleased with their professionalism.
This is a travel experience I am going to lobby you gently to do. As I have said a time or two in the past, maybe this one is not for everyone. Some degree of fitness will enhance the experience. Bob 84 and Anne 74, two of my travel mates saw and did everything I did, except the highest 75 meter tower at Angkor Wat . Had it not been so warm that day, they would have been right up there with me!
This trip will cost you about $3,500,(though there is a 2 for 1 type deal coming up early next year). This includes all meals, air/transfers, lodging and 8 days on the fabulous Toum Toui II. This is “bucket list” stuff. Call me if you are interested-or call just to say hi.
Travel healthy, well and as often as you can…
Some photos you might enjoy: https://www.facebook.com/media”
I got back from my Mekong Delta Cruise on Tuesday and have recovered well from the long flights.
I wanted that thank you so much for putting this trip together for me-it was spectacular! I have been in well over 60 countries now and this was the most interesting and enjoyable travel experience I have ever had.I loved the river boat experience and the village tours and other excursions was amazing!I will do a write up of my trip for clients and friends and will forward you a copy as well.
I just wanted to tell you that our trip was incredible from beginning to end! The boat was lovely and so was the staff, I really cannot say enough good things.
Received : 03/02/2010
First of all I wish to thank you for (…) the Mekong River, it was absolutely wonderful.I want to also thank you for helping me to arrange to bring supplies to the orphanage in Cambodia. The ships pursuer accompanied us to a whole sale market in Phnom Penh and we were able to buy 50 mosquito nets, 40 blankets, 100 bars of soap, 100 tooth brushes and 100 tubes of toothpaste. Our group was able to personally distribute to the children the soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste. This was such a special experience as the children were so appreciative.
Thank you again for all you did.”
Received : 09/19/2009
2nd time on this trip. 1st time was great but this was even better.
Not enough space to say all the great thing about the cruise and VTW, Inc. This was one of the best out of many cruises.”
Received : 09/16/2009
(Excerpts from an email)Sorry it took me so long to write this note. I just wanted to tell you how much we loved our Mekong Cruise (9/18). It was a lovely experience and all the crew were fabulous……particularly offering helpful hands when embarking and disembarking from the boat to shore or to another boat! We will highly recommend the cruise to our clients in the future.”
Received : 09/16/2009
My friend and I were on the MV Indochine Nov 14-28 and thoroughly enjoyed it — interesting itinerary, good cruise director, perfect air conditioning, eager to please polite staff, good cabin care, good breakfasts and lunches. The guide in Phnom Penh was excellent. I feel your cruises are good value and will recommend you in future.”
Received : 11/14/2008
I am sorry to be so long in telling you what a great trip we experienced in December. It was a trip full of interest and also political insight.
The staff on board the Indochine were really efficient and very friendly. Particularly our cruise director, Stefan David, and the purser, Yves. The guides were really some of the best I have experienced, full of information and so pleasant. The chef and servers on the Indochine were attentive and thorough. They are all to be congratulated.
I thank you for this opportunity to see such a different part of the world. It was awesome.”
Received : 12/01/2008
The cruise was fascinating and great way to see Cambodia. The crew (members) were lovely and extremely friendly…..the bar man went out of his way to make me the best mango juice I have ever had…Angkor Wat was incredible.”
Received : 10/26/2008
This was my first river cruise, so I have nothing to compare. The food was outstanding and the service impeccable. The cabins were small, but that was expected. Over all a great trip, I would recommend it to anybody.”
Received : 12/03/2008
Thank you very much for a wonderful trip!”
Received : 12/18/2007
This was the trip of a lifetime and your support system made it possible. Congratulations!”
Patricia Lynch Greene
Received : 09/16/2007
This trip was wonderful in so many ways. The people of Vietnam and Cambodia, the sights, the fact that we were able to work with children in a school on their English, give to an orphanage etc.The local guides were terrific, personable, knowledgeable and some were very endearing.
This trip more than met my expectation.”
Received : 02/27/2007
This trip was wonderful- great itinerary of sightseeing-cruise-sightseeing.The people in this part of the world are so sweet, gentle and gracious. I felt completely safe and secure the whole time, even as a single woman traveler.
Thank you! I will recommend this trip to everyone!”
Carol J Karr
Received : 09/11/2007