Posted October 8th, 2015, 10:28 AM
We cruised Asia in Jan-Feb 2015 for 28 days. I did extensive research and booked the following:
HO Chi Minh City: I was lucky enough to book ZOOM one year in advance. He toured Chelsey Clinton years ago when her parents were in HCMC. Zoom (be careful as other people try to use his name) was maybe in his 50s with a passion for his country. He was extremely interesting. "My" group was tHe first one to leave the port and we were the last one (I asked the crew how maybe people were still out and he said 5 after scanning my card and 5 people in my group were behind me!) to board the ship at 8pm. Saigon is INCREDIBLE... It took about 1 hour and 20 min to get to Saigon from the port. The highway was very smooth and new... Tell him that The Canadians! are sending you. One of the best guide we have encounter in all our travelling. I believe he used to be a teacher...
My group was 17, we boarded "outside" the port and we paid an EXTREMELY good price compared to bigger companies... We paid him 50% of the cost of the tour through PayPal (8 months in advance but I really wanted to secure him) and everything went very smoothly.
Da Nang: Again, I did extensive research. I found Tommy Dao through only one CC writer. Again, it was in Jan 2014 and there wasn't as much info about Asia then... I organized a tour on CC and to make a long story short, 47 cruisers from our ship used him and his workers. Tommy Dao of Tommy Tours Hoi An was not anywhere to be found on the Internet and he is currently #16/118 on Tripadvisor. I will never forget seeing the first rice field on his tour. You never get tired of looking at rice fields!!! If you are going to Da Nang or Hoi An, consider him.
Everyone spends a lot of money and energy planning for their special Asian cruise, I just Hope people are as fortunate as we were...