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  #601  
Old January 18th, 2013, 09:47 PM
doreen22 doreen22 is online now
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Originally Posted by Wingtips56 View Post
Not that it makes any difference, but which airline did AMA use for the inclusive package air between Hanoi and Seam Reap? Vietnam Airlines or ??

And was it on a regularly scheduled flight or charter for the group?

It was on Vietnam Airlines. As I am a nervous flyer I had checked out their safety record prior to booking. So on boarding the plane I was dismayed to see that it was Air Cambodia - must have been a code share...however the flight was all good.

Susan
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  #602  
Old January 18th, 2013, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by doreen22 View Post
It was on Vietnam Airlines. As I am a nervous flyer I had checked out their safety record prior to booking. So on boarding the plane I was dismayed to see that it was Air Cambodia - must have been a code share...however the flight was all good.

Susan
Oh that's fine. Vietnam Airlines owns 49% of Cambodia Angkor Air (the rest is Cambodian government owned), and Vietnam Airlines actually provides the airplanes under cover of CAA's paint. Yes, they do codeshare. Average age on their Airbuses is 1 year. Clean record. But I don't have a frequent flyer account with any of their Skyteam partners, to try to score credit for the flight. Oh well....
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  #603  
Old January 25th, 2013, 12:26 PM
mlk58 mlk58 is offline
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Chiming in to say that we were on the tour a week before amyr and thought that Halong Bay was a highlight of the trip. We were lucky and had a sunny day and found the whole thing unbelieveably magical. Wouldn't have missed it for the world!

I completely agree with the suggestion to fly into Hanoi a few days early. The hotel is fantastic and the city is amazing and we would love to have had more time to explore.

As for the temples at Angkor, I think it's what you make it. Yes, it was crowded, but we just decided we weren't going to let the crowds spoil our experience and we ended up having a wonderful, wonderful time.
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  #604  
Old January 25th, 2013, 03:11 PM
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With the Angkor Temples, it's not always 'what you make it' but outside circumstances that can change from week to week. The AMALotus spends Saturday and Sunday at the temples, and I think LaMarguerite is there during the week. The crowds when we were there were horrible - our guide told us the numbers swell quite a bit over the weekend, double or triple. Lots of weekend trippers from Vietnam, China, and Thailand. We had traffic jams and road closures, etc. I only mentioned it as something folks might want to take into consideration when plotting a particular itinerary date.

Along with the crowds, our guide must have had folks faint on her in the past because we spent most of the time standing under shade trees while she talked and then only a short amount of time roaming the temples. The other group on our trip had a different experience with their guide - they covered a lot more ground.
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  #605  
Old January 25th, 2013, 04:55 PM
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Default Angkor temples

Just checked the AMA waterways web site and all the sail dates for 2013 on both of their river boats start the land tour on a Tuesday, fly into Siem Reap on Friday, and tour Angkor temples on the weekends. Thought, if we booked, that we could arrange for a date that visits the temples during the week, but this is not an option.
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  #606  
Old January 25th, 2013, 05:37 PM
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That's too bad, I know for the past two years AMALotus and LaMarguerite departed southbound every four days, so only the Lotus cruises were in Siem Reap on the weekend. We were docked with LaMarguerite in Phnom Penh after we left Siem Reap going downstream when they were heading back up river to pick up mlk58 & co. The passengers were mostly German, and when we got to the hotel a large APT (Australian) group had just left to board AMALotus. We only had two Australian couples on board our trip, and one of them was traveling with their American friends. They had a devil of a time booking together. The Australians were constantly being steered towards the northbound HCMC to Hanoi itinerary, and the Americans to the southbound Hanoi to HCMC. The Americans couldn't book with APT, so the Australians had to book through a US travel agency to get on our trip.

Don't let it put you off - it's still an amazing dream vacation.

Interestingly, our Captain was off the ship our last day visiting the shipyard where they're building four more sisters. We couldn't get an answer as to whether AMA would be using them or someone else, but the plan is to also do cruises in other directions from Siem Reap and perhaps other rivers. I'm wondering if they're going to go into Burma/Myanmar? I'll be curious to see what pops up in the future.
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  #607  
Old January 28th, 2013, 06:08 PM
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We were there on the weekend. It must not have been as crowded as when Amy was there because it was a great experience despite what seemed like big crowds.
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Last edited by mlk58; January 28th, 2013 at 06:09 PM.
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  #608  
Old February 22nd, 2013, 06:54 PM
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We are on the cruise starting in Hanoi on 1 Oct 2013. Anybody else on this particular trip?
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Upcoming and Planned Cruises - Memories Waiting in the Wings
.......2015 - Emerald Princess - 28 Day: Circle Mediterranean Voyage
Past Cruises - Wonderful Friends and Cherished Memories
.......2005 - Carnival Miracle - 7 Day: Western Caribbean................................................2006 - Carnival Spirit - 7 Day: Alaska Inside Passage
.......2009 - Carnival Splendor - 49 Day: Florida to California around South America....................... ...... 2009 - Carnival Dream - 12 Day: Italian Mediterranean
.......2011 - Jordan and Egypt - Land tours plus Nile Dahabiya Cruise and Lake Nasser Cruise.......2012 - Coral Princess - 20 Day: Panama Canal Reposition
.......2013 - President Prime Cruises - 50 Day: China, Tibet, Hong Kong and the Yangtze River .......2013 - AmaLotus - 16 Day: Vietnam, Cambodia and the Mekong River
.......2014 - Carnival Miracle - 15 Day: Hawaii.................................................. .........2014 - European Land Tour - 50+ days: Including AmaCerto - 23 Day: Istanbul to Prague

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  #609  
Old February 22nd, 2013, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NavCom View Post
We are on the cruise starting in Hanoi on 1 Oct 2013. Anybody else on this particular trip?

We are 60 days from cruise day. We have been working on finalizing our extra days since we are doing them on our own with another company. About the same price but more days and we made the schedule based on what we really wanted to see.

This company will be getting our visas for us so need to get the stuff together n this. Getting very excited but a little scare. Not of the trip but since my head injury, a little scare of being in a third world country. But, I am feeling good. I am really getting excited.
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  #610  
Old February 22nd, 2013, 11:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denmom View Post
We are 60 days from cruise day. We have been working on finalizing our extra days since we are doing them on our own with another company. About the same price but more days and we made the schedule based on what we really wanted to see.

This company will be getting our visas for us so need to get the stuff together n this. Getting very excited but a little scare. Not of the trip but since my head injury, a little scare of being in a third world country. But, I am feeling good. I am really getting excited.
We're jealous you will be heading on out so soon. Looking forward to hearing of our exploits after your return.
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Upcoming and Planned Cruises - Memories Waiting in the Wings
.......2015 - Emerald Princess - 28 Day: Circle Mediterranean Voyage
Past Cruises - Wonderful Friends and Cherished Memories
.......2005 - Carnival Miracle - 7 Day: Western Caribbean................................................2006 - Carnival Spirit - 7 Day: Alaska Inside Passage
.......2009 - Carnival Splendor - 49 Day: Florida to California around South America....................... ...... 2009 - Carnival Dream - 12 Day: Italian Mediterranean
.......2011 - Jordan and Egypt - Land tours plus Nile Dahabiya Cruise and Lake Nasser Cruise.......2012 - Coral Princess - 20 Day: Panama Canal Reposition
.......2013 - President Prime Cruises - 50 Day: China, Tibet, Hong Kong and the Yangtze River .......2013 - AmaLotus - 16 Day: Vietnam, Cambodia and the Mekong River
.......2014 - Carnival Miracle - 15 Day: Hawaii.................................................. .........2014 - European Land Tour - 50+ days: Including AmaCerto - 23 Day: Istanbul to Prague

Coconut MonkeyHead Wasters ......................... Whale Tail Club (Executive VP, Beaver Tail Division) ......................... CouchSurfers
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  #611  
Old February 23rd, 2013, 06:02 PM
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Have put a cabin on hold for the November 11th, 2013 sailing (land package starts Nov. 5th. ) Anyone on this sailing? Looking at either flying Cathay Pacific from Toronto with a layover in Hong Kong, or Korean Airlines with a layover in Seoul. Cathay Pacific departs at 1:25 am and is one of the few flights that arrive in Hanoi in the morning rather than in the evening, giving us 3/4 of a day there On our day of arrival. Any advice from any of you who have flown these airlines?
Thanks.
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  #612  
Old February 24th, 2013, 11:32 AM
alexandra cruiser alexandra cruiser is online now
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Thumbs up I d spend an extra day in Hanoi,at least

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTM View Post
Have put a cabin on hold for the November 11th, 2013 sailing (land package starts Nov. 5th. ) Anyone on this sailing? Looking at either flying Cathay Pacific from Toronto with a layover in Hong Kong, or Korean Airlines with a layover in Seoul. Cathay Pacific departs at 1:25 am and is one of the few flights that arrive in Hanoi in the morning rather than in the evening, giving us 3/4 of a day there On our day of arrival. Any advice from any of you who have flown these airlines?
Thanks.
we arrived at 11pm on arrival day and really only had 1 day there,just NOT ENOUGH and would have gone earlier.The flight is a killer no matter WHAT itinerary(we upgraded to Business and WORTH EVERY PENNY).
If taking taxi on own,do bring exact address of hotel(luckily we did,driver didnt seem to know it by just the name).
We had a GREAT TIME,,,have fun.PS do prepare physically,,lots of walking,climbing,stairs,,etc.
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  #613  
Old February 27th, 2013, 03:30 PM
mlk58 mlk58 is offline
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We didn't arrive early and really wished we'd done so. An extra day or two in Hanoi on the front end would have been great. We flew Asiana Airlines (business class, TOTALLY worth the money!) and loved them. Arranged airport-to-hotel transportation online in advance and it all went totally smoothly.
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  #614  
Old February 27th, 2013, 04:40 PM
doreen22 doreen22 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTM View Post
Have put a cabin on hold for the November 11th, 2013 sailing (land package starts Nov. 5th. ) Anyone on this sailing? Looking at either flying Cathay Pacific from Toronto with a layover in Hong Kong, or Korean Airlines with a layover in Seoul. Cathay Pacific departs at 1:25 am and is one of the few flights that arrive in Hanoi in the morning rather than in the evening, giving us 3/4 of a day there On our day of arrival. Any advice from any of you who have flown these airlines?
Thanks.
We flew Korean Airlines from Saigon and it was excellent. We would have had a layover of 12 hours in Seoul so instead we chose to do the KAL Seoul Stopover which actually worked really well. We took the KAL limo to our Seoul hotel, then had the morning to wander around before our flight home. Was a nice break, for not a bad price.
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  #615  
Old February 27th, 2013, 04:58 PM
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I third the extra days in Hanoi. We stayed two extra nights on the front end, mostly because that's when we could get business class seats with frequent flyer miles, and it was wonderful. Lots of people came in late the night before and they were beat. The official part of the tour starts bright and early and goes all the way until evening. People's heads were spinning. Hanoi is a lovely city, and the hotel is fantastic. Not surprisingly, the folks that came in late or even mid-day the day before didn't think much of Hanoi. They just didn't really experience it.
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  #616  
Old March 10th, 2013, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTM View Post
Have put a cabin on hold for the November 11th, 2013 sailing (land package starts Nov. 5th. ) Anyone on this sailing? Looking at either flying Cathay Pacific from Toronto with a layover in Hong Kong, or Korean Airlines with a layover in Seoul. Cathay Pacific departs at 1:25 am and is one of the few flights that arrive in Hanoi in the morning rather than in the evening, giving us 3/4 of a day there On our day of arrival. Any advice from any of you who have flown these airlines?
Thanks.
Alas, no: we are booked on the one immediately prior to your cruise (starting 1 Oct 2013 in Hanoi). Thus far we have found no other couples on our cruise and, were we not already booked, would jump ship to join your cruise. I don't suppose there is any possibility we can convince you to move your itinerary forward to 1 Oct?

We are spending time in China pre-cruise so will be flying into Hanoi from Hong Kong.
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Upcoming and Planned Cruises - Memories Waiting in the Wings
.......2015 - Emerald Princess - 28 Day: Circle Mediterranean Voyage
Past Cruises - Wonderful Friends and Cherished Memories
.......2005 - Carnival Miracle - 7 Day: Western Caribbean................................................2006 - Carnival Spirit - 7 Day: Alaska Inside Passage
.......2009 - Carnival Splendor - 49 Day: Florida to California around South America....................... ...... 2009 - Carnival Dream - 12 Day: Italian Mediterranean
.......2011 - Jordan and Egypt - Land tours plus Nile Dahabiya Cruise and Lake Nasser Cruise.......2012 - Coral Princess - 20 Day: Panama Canal Reposition
.......2013 - President Prime Cruises - 50 Day: China, Tibet, Hong Kong and the Yangtze River .......2013 - AmaLotus - 16 Day: Vietnam, Cambodia and the Mekong River
.......2014 - Carnival Miracle - 15 Day: Hawaii.................................................. .........2014 - European Land Tour - 50+ days: Including AmaCerto - 23 Day: Istanbul to Prague

Coconut MonkeyHead Wasters ......................... Whale Tail Club (Executive VP, Beaver Tail Division) ......................... CouchSurfers
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  #617  
Old March 10th, 2013, 03:31 PM
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Amyr, we are doing the AMAwaterways trip on the Meikong in November. We have chosen to get to Hanoi three days early---for two reasons, to acclimate and to see the sights that the others will be missing.

Do you have any places that you consider a 'must see' ? We are thinking about a couple of tours outside the city as well.

If you have the time and do not mind, could you send me an email with some suggestions. mahtrow10@aol.com

Would like some suggestions about dining as well. We like to try local foods.

Thanks so much, so looking forward to this trip. I was there in 1969 as a soldier. Big change with this trip.
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  #618  
Old March 10th, 2013, 07:45 PM
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Default Hanoi Dining Suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robb View Post
Would like some suggestions about dining as well. We like to try local foods.
Although we were in Vietnam in 2011, my suggestions for meals include:

Quan An Ngon, Hanoi
Green Tangerine, Hanoi
La Verticale, Hanoi

Cuc Gach Quan, Ho Chi Minh City
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  #619  
Old March 10th, 2013, 08:42 PM
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Robb - I agree wholeheartedly with Amyr that your decision to get into Hanoi early is a very good one. It will allow you to at least begin to recover from jet lag before heavy touring begins; and Hanoi is an interesting city, much moreso (IMHO) than Saigon. I will look at our files from our trip last year and try to find the places that we visited outside of Hanoi. In the city, we had an excellent half-day walking tour of Hanoi with a food blogger to learn about local food. I'll send you his contact info by private email.

Although I will definitely agree with ReturnCruiser that Green Tangerine is a great choice for Hanoi, I will just as firmly disagree with any recommendation for Cuc Gach Quan in Saigon (HCMC). Here are the two concluding paragraphs of my review of the place on TripAdvisor last year:

"The erratic food quality was matched with erratic service, that being disorganized and haphazard. Clearly, the servers were far more focused on their mobile phones than on their customers.

All in all, Cuc Gach Quan seems to be surviving on its status as one of the trendy joints in town. I would humbly suggest that it's merely a joint, and a mediocre one at that."

Cheers, Fred
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  #620  
Old March 12th, 2013, 04:16 PM
bigmomma23 bigmomma23 is offline
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Default Private Land Tour Vietnam

Starting to plan Asia trip for 2014. Probably with AMA since they seem to get good reviews. Does anyone have a link to book land only tour with a company from Vietnam?
Sounds like the best of both land and river to do it that way, with a private land tour. Would appreciate any info.
Does anyone know about the land tour from Abercrombie and Kent? 13 days Vietnam, Cambodia and Bangkok. Includes Ha Long Bay.
Thanks
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