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  #1  
Old February 6th, 2011, 09:40 PM
leostar leostar is offline
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Smile Vietnam & Thailand tour from ship

There are a group of six of us on the Sun Princess arriving in Phu My in August, 2011 interested in doing a private tour, anyone got any suggestions of a sound tour guide. Also the ship calls in at Laem Chabang in Thailand, interested in a tour guide there as well.
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  #2  
Old February 7th, 2011, 07:58 AM
Bpos Bpos is offline
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Originally Posted by leostar View Post
There are a group of six of us on the Sun Princess arriving in Phu My in August, 2011 interested in doing a private tour, anyone got any suggestions of a sound tour guide. Also the ship calls in at Laem Chabang in Thailand, interested in a tour guide there as well.
For Vietnam try Ha of Vietland Discovery Tours who is based in Danang but does extensive arrangements for all of Vietnam. A lot of groups on Azamara sailings to Vietnam use her extensively for Vietnam and did so on our recent trip with Quest to Vietnam in late Dec/early Jan 2011.

I have also used her services for land tour in Vietnam last year for three weeks for a group of Viet Veterans and she was fantastic - everything was faultless.

Her website is www.discovervietnam.com.vn

email" info@discovervietnam.com.vn
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  #3  
Old February 7th, 2011, 07:29 PM
Earl Rosebery Earl Rosebery is offline
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Originally Posted by leostar View Post
There are a group of six of us on the Sun Princess arriving in Phu My in August, 2011 interested in doing a private tour, anyone got any suggestions of a sound tour guide. Also the ship calls in at Laem Chabang in Thailand, interested in a tour guide there as well.
We just returned from Saigon and Bangkok on Nautica

For Saigon you cannot do better than 'Zoom' Tri Dung Nguyen [dungzoom@gmail.com]

Saigon is fabulous. Unfortunately Phu My is about an hour from the center of the city. We were at Nha Rong which was walking distance.

We did a full day tour of the city and a 5 hr tour of the Mekong river. From comments I heard, it's a tossup between the river and the Cu Chi tunnel complex. Most said they were an unbelievable accomplishment.

For Bangkok, we used Bangkok Day Tours.
http://www.bangkokdaytours.com/index.asp Look under Laem Chabang tab.

They have tours designed for cruises. We were a bit surprised that our tours were sub contracted out but were very pleased with our guide for a full day trip in Bangkok with a river and canal ride thrown in. The second day was only 1/2 day so only time for 1 temple. Jim Thompson house and a wee bit of shopping. The guide on 2nd day was average. I would not want to be on a ship's tour in either city. 6 people is optimum.

Again Laem Chabang is a long way from the city through awful traffic. Many choose to stay overnight in the city to avoid the trip back and forth from Laem Chabang

Last edited by Earl Rosebery; February 7th, 2011 at 07:31 PM.
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  #4  
Old February 12th, 2011, 12:09 PM
saigonman saigonman is offline
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Originally Posted by Earl Rosebery View Post
We just returned from Saigon and Bangkok on Nautica

For Saigon you cannot do better than 'Zoom' Tri Dung Nguyen [dungzoom@gmail.com]

Saigon is fabulous. Unfortunately Phu My is about an hour from the center of the city. We were at Nha Rong which was walking distance.

We did a full day tour of the city and a 5 hr tour of the Mekong river. From comments I heard, it's a tossup between the river and the Cu Chi tunnel complex. Most said they were an unbelievable accomplishment.

For Bangkok, we used Bangkok Day Tours.
http://www.bangkokdaytours.com/index.asp Look under Laem Chabang tab.

They have tours designed for cruises. We were a bit surprised that our tours were sub contracted out but were very pleased with our guide for a full day trip in Bangkok with a river and canal ride thrown in. The second day was only 1/2 day so only time for 1 temple. Jim Thompson house and a wee bit of shopping. The guide on 2nd day was average. I would not want to be on a ship's tour in either city. 6 people is optimum.

Again Laem Chabang is a long way from the city through awful traffic. Many choose to stay overnight in the city to avoid the trip back and forth from Laem Chabang
Shore excursioners from Phu My visiting Saigon are always in such a rush. It is told that the schedule of the Princess will be extended to 11 p when the ship leaves. That means the excursioners can enjoy more time, have some dining in Saigon and get back to the ship at 10 p instead of 430 p.
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  #5  
Old February 12th, 2011, 01:53 PM
MMDown Under MMDown Under is offline
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Default Cruising on smaller ships vs larger ships in SE Asia

Oops. I meant to put this under Asia.

I am interested in comments on advantages of cruising on smaller ships which can go upriver in Asia.

Is it worth the extra cruising cost?
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Last edited by MMDown Under; February 12th, 2011 at 01:56 PM.
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  #6  
Old February 16th, 2011, 07:50 PM
leostar leostar is offline
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Thank you very much
Leo star
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  #7  
Old February 16th, 2011, 07:52 PM
leostar leostar is offline
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Thank you for your help
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  #8  
Old February 17th, 2011, 04:57 PM
sondi 14 sondi 14 is offline
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We just returned from our cruise/trip and had a wonderful day with Zoom in Saigon. He is really a great guide. He is very knowledgeable about his country and it's obvious that he loves what he does. He is very reliable and is very careful of the timing to make sure that his clients get back to their ship on time. I highly recommend Zoom as a guide in Saigon. He has also given us a wonderful DVD of pictures of Saigon and sent us some of the photos he took of us that day. He has notified us that he has emailed us a DVD with all of the photos he took that day.
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  #9  
Old February 22nd, 2011, 07:11 AM
saigonman saigonman is offline
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Originally Posted by sondi 14 View Post
We just returned from our cruise/trip and had a wonderful day with Zoom in Saigon. He is really a great guide. He is very knowledgeable about his country and it's obvious that he loves what he does. He is very reliable and is very careful of the timing to make sure that his clients get back to their ship on time. I highly recommend Zoom as a guide in Saigon. He has also given us a wonderful DVD of pictures of Saigon and sent us some of the photos he took of us that day. He has notified us that he has emailed us a DVD with all of the photos he took that day.
It's quite easy now to mail a cd/dvd of photos from Vietnam at cost of $3 to the US or Canada, UK, and less to Australia.
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  #10  
Old February 22nd, 2011, 10:42 PM
leostar leostar is offline
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Has anyone dealt with Private and Family Tour (Thailand) Co. Ltd. We paid a 1/3rd deposit and they want the balance a month before we arrive. Is this normal for Thailand
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  #11  
Old February 23rd, 2011, 11:47 AM
sondi 14 sondi 14 is offline
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We used Salathai Travel in Bangkok and they didn't require a deposit or final payment before we toured. They took a credit card number as a guarantee and we paid them during the tour.
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  #12  
Old April 7th, 2011, 12:25 AM
meandwe meandwe is offline
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We have paid in full before, it is normal for private tours but but not for group tours. What kind of tour is this?
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  #13  
Old April 7th, 2011, 07:11 AM
ksps cruise fan ksps cruise fan is offline
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Laem Chabang is the port for Bangkok, but it's located at least a 90 minute drive away. The actual milage between the two places is not that great. However, the traffic in Bangkok is awful and your commute will slow down the closer you get to town. (If you are in town on the day of a Red Shirt demonstration, the problem only intensifies. We got caught in such a traffic jam on our way to visiting the Jim Thompson House. Yikes! Still, there was one positive side to the delay. We got a fascinating glimpse of the patience and graciousness of the Thai people. No one honked throughout the entire slow down.)

If there is any way you can leave the ship and stay overnight in Bangkok at a hotel, I think you'll find the experience much pleasanter.

If you stay overnight, consider going to the Oriental Hotel's dinner and traditional dance show at the Sala Rim Naam restaurant. The meal is a set menu. Happily, the choices are geared to tourists in that the food is mild for Thai food; only one or two of the dishes rise to the level of medium heat by Western standards. The dancing is fascinating, especially the dances when the dancers climb up one another as easily as you or I would climb the stairs. The costumes are amazing, if a little worn in some places. The performers come into the audience at the end of the show and graciously pose with guests for pictures.

You'll be given a choice of sitting at a Western style table or a Thai table. A traditional Thai would sit with his legs tucked under him on the floor. These table are tweaked for tourists; there is a leg well so you are, in fact, sitting Western style. You've just had to lower yourself to your seat.

This is not a cheap evening. The price was 2250 Bhat per person ($75) but it was a very special evening.

If you're staying at the Oriental, you would take the hotel's proprietary shuttle across the river, a fun experience in of itself. I don't know whether guests coming just for the meal would arrive at the hotel and shuttle across, too or whether there's a different way to arrive at the restaurant.

As for guides, any of the guides folks have recommended for Bangkok would work. I highly recommend Tan. (phakapong@hotmail.com)

If you don't want to get involved in the drive to Bangkok, consider going to Pattaya. I have no first-hand recommendations.
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