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Great Vietnam Tours

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According to her web site, Ms. Ha offers Western Union (and bank xfers) as an option if it costs you less in fees but also accepts Visa and Master Card.

 

I made my tour deposit to Ms Ha thru Western Union last month. No problem. She received payment the next day.

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I made my tour deposit to Ms Ha thru Western Union last month. No problem. She received payment the next day.

 

You are a trusting soul in dealing with Asian tour operators. A lot of people have been scammed. Just check out these threads.

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You are a trusting soul in dealing with Asian tour operators. A lot of people have been scammed. Just check out these threads.

 

Believe me I'm not a trusting person. I was originally from SE Asia myself, I'm aware of what you're talking about. I also know some friends sending money back home thru WU without any problems.

 

I have been communicating with Ms Ha since last year when I booked my tours. Ms Ha is highly recommended in the CC boards. Before I made the deposit I made sure it's safe to send her the deposit thru Western Union. I believe that if you have a reputable person on the receiving end it's okay. I have also read quite a few people on this boards who have successfully made deposits thru WU...

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Out of curiosity, what, if any fees are involved going through WU? Is it cheaper than a credit card fee of 3%?

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Out of curiosity, what, if any fees are involved going through WU? Is it cheaper than a credit card fee of 3%?

 

Get a credit card that does not charge the 3% foreign transaction fee. Capital One has one.

 

Western Union will charge $10 US to send a $150 US deposit. Good luck getting your money back if you have to cancel.

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Get a credit card that does not charge the 3% foreign transaction fee. Capital One has one.

 

Western Union will charge $10 US to send a $150 US deposit. Good luck getting your money back if you have to cancel.

 

There are a few other major credit cards out there that don't charge a foreign transaction fee --- American Express Platinum and UnitedMileage Explorer Plus from Chase.

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Get a credit card that does not charge the 3% foreign transaction fee. Capital One has one.

 

Western Union will charge $10 US to send a $150 US deposit. Good luck getting your money back if you have to cancel.

 

Just to clarify, Mrs. Ha charges 3% in addition to any fee charged by Visa. (I have a Capital One card on the way.) Also, I looked up the Western Union fees and it is actually $6. Cancellation issues aside, it therefore pays to use WU if the payment is more than $200. That is was Mrs. Ha is stating: use the method that results in the smallest fees. Not unusual for a vendor to pass on their credit card costs in my experience.

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I had no problems with remitting a deposit to him as he pre-purchased the port permits so that we could leave immediately once we were off the ship. It's only fair; if we hadn't shown up or cancelled at the last minute, he would be out-of-pocket.

 

Hi,

We are thinking of booking with Zoom Tours. On day 1 Saigon city tour and day 2 Mekong Delta.

May I ask you what you paid as a deposit?

Our cost for the 2 days is approx. $92 pp. and he is asking for a $50 per person refundable deposit.

Reasonable?

 

Thanks in advance!

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Interesting to read these stories.

 

I received many unrequested emails from tour guides operating in Vietnam for months leading up to my cruise. They found my email address by perusing through the roll call and my past posts.

 

Anyhow, I received an anonymous email from someone slandering Zoom talking about how he was illegal and unlicensed, blah blah blah.

 

I asked Zoom directly about the information in the email he sent me, and Zoom was more than happy to send to me his license information and other materials proving himself as a authorized tour guide, even though I did not ask for this info. I was just sending him the email to tell him that I received a negative email from someone else.

 

I had already decided at this time to take a tour with Zoom.

 

In the end, I'm so glad I did. He was the tour guide for Chelsea Clinton when she was in HMC in 2000 while he was a tour guide for someone else's company before he started his own company. He's legitimate and professional and I couldn't have asked for a better day.

 

I've been on numerous cruises and have done private tours around the world, I can say without hesitation that Zoom's tour was one of the best, most professional tours I've done. We were well taken care of, we saw tons, did lots, and had a fantastic time.

 

Our group of 14 saw more than the ships tour did at half the cost. In fact, our per person cost for the tour was less than the ship's "on your own" tour of HMC. Can't beat that! (and our tour cost included water in the van, drinks at the Rex Hotel, lunch at Pho 2000 - our only out of pocket costs was our own personal shopping)

 

 

Hi,

I posed the same question posed to mjbc.

 

We are thinking of booking with Zoom Tours. On day 1 Saigon city tour and day 2 Mekong Delta.

May I ask you what you paid as a deposit?

Our cost for the 2 days is approx. $92 pp. (4 people) and he is asking for a $50 per person refundable deposit.

Is the $50 pp deposit reasonable and in line with what you paid?

 

Thanks in advance!

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Hi,

I posed the same question posed to mjbc.

 

We are thinking of booking with Zoom Tours. On day 1 Saigon city tour and day 2 Mekong Delta.

May I ask you what you paid as a deposit?

Our cost for the 2 days is approx. $92 pp. (4 people) and he is asking for a $50 per person refundable deposit.

Is the $50 pp deposit reasonable and in line with what you paid?

 

Thanks in advance!

 

We had a very large group and the deposit is also around that percentage of the full cost of the tour, so that is quite reasonable. You can fully trust him, he is highly professional and takes very good care of his clients. He's also quite a good photographer and takes photos of your tour for you on his own camera then gives you the CD of the photos.

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Hi,

I posed the same question posed to mjbc.

 

We are thinking of booking with Zoom Tours. On day 1 Saigon city tour and day 2 Mekong Delta.

May I ask you what you paid as a deposit?

Our cost for the 2 days is approx. $92 pp. (4 people) and he is asking for a $50 per person refundable deposit.

Is the $50 pp deposit reasonable and in line with what you paid?

 

Thanks in advance!

 

We paid a 50% deposit on the cost of the tour that we agreed to.

 

However, after we made our deposit, we actually had other cruisers join our tour, which lowered our per person price. No worries, that just meant that the remainder we had to pay to Zoom at the end of the tour was much lower than the 50% we had originally thought. That was nice.

 

Zoom is completely trustworthy and you don't have to worry about sending a deposit to him.

 

It was such a fantastic tour and I'm so glad we chose to go with him for HCMC tour.

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We paid a 50% deposit on the cost of the tour that we agreed to.

 

However, after we made our deposit, we actually had other cruisers join our tour, which lowered our per person price. No worries, that just meant that the remainder we had to pay to Zoom at the end of the tour was much lower than the 50% we had originally thought. That was nice.

 

Zoom is completely trustworthy and you don't have to worry about sending a deposit to him.

 

It was such a fantastic tour and I'm so glad we chose to go with him for HCMC tour.

 

Hi,

Thanks for your response.

 

The $50 deposit quote included payment for port access fee. I was able to get a per person "discount" for each day for walking outside the terminal gate to catch transportation.

 

I have a couple of more questions, if you wouldn't mind answering.

 

For Saigon, did you arrange pickup inside terminal gate or outside thereby avoiding port access fee?

Our ship Azamara Journey will be docking at Nha Rong (downtown Saigon).

Where was your ship berthed?

 

If docked at Nha Rong, did you walk, take Azamara shuttle or arrange pick up inside or outside terminal gates?

 

I have heard stories on how to walk across the street to avoid injury.

What was your experience like regarding walking across streets/intersections?

 

Who did you use to book tours for Halong Bay and Da Nang/Hoi An if your cruise stopped in those ports?

 

We're planning for an 8 hour cruise in the Bay on day 1 and on day 2 the ship leaves at 1300 hours so we're not planning anything for the second day.

Did you do the kayak option?

 

For Da Nang, we're in at 0800 and leaving at 1900 hours. We had originally thought we could fit in My Son but upon further reflection, time would be really tight. So, we are just planning for Cham Museum, Marble Mtn., China Beach and Hoi An if it's possible time-wise.

 

Your thoughts would be appreciated and any other tips would also help.

 

Thanks again

Regards,

Harry E.

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Hi, I've been reading your comments and some are positive some are negative..

We are visiting Vietnam as part of an Asian cruise on HAL over Christmas / NY..

We stop in four places Halong Bay, Da Nang, Nha Trang and Phu My.

 

Can anyone recommend the must see sights for these places? And which of the tour guides they recommend?

 

Thank you

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Hi, I've been reading your comments and some are positive some are negative..

We are visiting Vietnam as part of an Asian cruise on HAL over Christmas / NY..

We stop in four places Halong Bay, Da Nang, Nha Trang and Phu My.

 

Can anyone recommend the must see sights for these places? And which of the tour guides they recommend?

 

Thank you

 

I've never been there but here are some tips after doing my own research.

 

Halong Bay - type in Halong Bay in Cruise Critic Asia forum.

 

Check out tripadvisor at:

http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attractions-g293923-Activities-Halong_Bay_Quang_Ninh_Province.html

 

Da Nang

type in Da Nang in Cruise Critic Asia forum.

 

http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attractions-g298085-Activities-Da_Nang_Quang_Nam_Province.html

 

Use the same search techniques for Nha Trang and Saigon.

 

Some posters recommend you make sure that Smile tours is the original and not a "knock-off".

 

Using Zoom tours for Saigon as company has some good reviews. I had considered using "Saigon Hotpots' for tour company but it was dependent on availability of student tour guides during the time we are there.

 

 

Have fun with the research!

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Hi,

Thanks for your response.

 

The $50 deposit quote included payment for port access fee. I was able to get a per person "discount" for each day for walking outside the terminal gate to catch transportation.

 

I have a couple of more questions, if you wouldn't mind answering.

 

For Saigon, did you arrange pickup inside terminal gate or outside thereby avoiding port access fee?

Our ship Azamara Journey will be docking at Nha Rong (downtown Saigon).

Where was your ship berthed?

 

If docked at Nha Rong, did you walk, take Azamara shuttle or arrange pick up inside or outside terminal gates?

 

I have heard stories on how to walk across the street to avoid injury.

What was your experience like regarding walking across streets/intersections?

 

Who did you use to book tours for Halong Bay and Da Nang/Hoi An if your cruise stopped in those ports?

 

We're planning for an 8 hour cruise in the Bay on day 1 and on day 2 the ship leaves at 1300 hours so we're not planning anything for the second day.

Did you do the kayak option?

 

For Da Nang, we're in at 0800 and leaving at 1900 hours. We had originally thought we could fit in My Son but upon further reflection, time would be really tight. So, we are just planning for Cham Museum, Marble Mtn., China Beach and Hoi An if it's possible time-wise.

 

Your thoughts would be appreciated and any other tips would also help.

 

Thanks again

Regards,

Harry E.

 

Sorry, I haven't been checking these boards very often.

 

For us, our cruise ship docked at Phu My. While I guess it would have been possible to walk outside of the container port area, I wouldn't suggest it as it was quite far. Zoom met us in person right at the end of the gangway.

 

The 13 members of our tour group (from 5 different families) had already planned to meet in advance in a certain location before we got off the ship so that we could walk off together. We met Zoom right away and he led us right to his waiting bus and driver. We took a quick group picture with the ship and we were off! We were the first people out of the port. There was one other private tour group that had found their guide, but they weren't yet on their way when we left. The ship tour groups weren't even close to being organized. So that was a huge benefit to having our own group.

 

As far as walking across streets and intersections in Vietnam it wasn't too bad. Any time we needed to cross anywhere, Zoom was with us and he guided us across when it was safe and then remained in the middle of the intersection until we all crossed. I don't think anyone ever felt unsafe crossing.

 

As for the rest of Vietnam, I can't help you out there. The only other stop our cruise ship made in Vietnam was Nha Trang, which isn't one of your stops.

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Just back from our Exotic Asia cruise on Voyager. Voyager overnighted at Phu My port and we made plans to stay in Saigon (HCMC) overnight to make the best of our time there instead of doing the 2+ hours drive between port and Saigon both days. Based on some favourable reviews, I booked Vietnam Vespa Adventures for return van transfer between the port and Saigon for a small group of 11 from our roll call. Most of our group (ages 15 to close to 70) also booked the Insider's Saigon Vespa tour for the first day and the Glimpse Of the Mekong Vespa Tour for the second day before transfer back to port. What a fabulous couple of days touring on the back of the motorbikes driven by experienced local drivers! Everyone in our group doing the motorbike tours said it was the best tour and experience of the trip. We really got a good feel for the city and the countryside, seeing areas where buses or even vans or cars could not reach. I can't say enough about how much fun we had and what a great experience both day tours were! The guides for both days were fantastic, very knowledgeable and sweet. And there were no pressured sales stops anytime during our tours! For the port transfer we met the van driver at the Phu My port gates rather than paying an additional port fee per person for the van to enter the port. The port gate is only a 5 minute walk along the left side as you disembark...10 if you are walking really slow. There were lots of people walking to the gate and a whole long line of prearranged vehicles as well as some for hire on the spot lined up along the road outside the gate. I don't know that I would take the chance of picking up a driver on the spot as I am not sure whether they are there every time a ship is in...the port is off the beaten track. There are also free covered shuttle type port vehicles driving back and forth between the gate and ship. If you are adventurous and want a great unique experience for your tours in Vietnam, consider Vietnam Vespa Adventures....I would do this again for sure!

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Dear Mr. BowWow, I was thrilled to read your review of Zoom as I have booked with him for this coming February/ I was wondering if you could give me more info on the tours he arranged outside HCMC. My email is slsir@aol,com. Thanks again

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I seldom if ever give recommendations of anyone or anything. However, the best part of my spectacular Southeast Asia holiday were the tours arranged by Mr. Zoom. I cannot say enough for Zoom's planning and then the follow through by his guides. The drivers were very good, the tour guides were tremendous. My entire group really enjoyed our visits to HCMC, Hue, Hoi Ann, Danang and Hanoi. The tours were warm and personable and all three young men were quite flexible to make changes and satisfy the group. Mr. Zoom was available to us at all times for any questions, suggestions or clarifications. Vietnam is a beautiful third world country...the guides led us in the past through the present. At this time in history, it is a fantastic time to visit and view the country. Thank you to Zoom for making this a memorable trip.

 

Just back from Vietnam and Bangkok. Great time!

 

Our group of 12 (organized through Roll Call) had a great time with Zoom Tours in Saigon. Mr. Nguyen was always prompt in responding to my emails.

We met Tri Dung Nguyen (owner of Zoom Tours) on day 1 before he handed off to his guide Nguyen Duc Cuong whom we had for 2 days. On day 1 we had the Saigon city tour and on Day 2 the Mekong Delta tour. For what it's worth, Mr. Cuong has fairly good command of the English language.

 

 

If your ship docks at Nha Rong (downtown Saigon) and is in the first berth, it is right beside the Saigon Port Passenger Cruise Terminal (really more like a portable structure) It is a very short walk - less than 200 meters from the end of the ship's gang plank to the terminal building and another 20 second walk through the terminal building to the outside. There's no need to pay port charges for the tour bus and guide to come pick you up inside the terminal. We managed to save quite a few dollars over 2 days by getting the tour bus to pick us up outside the terminal gates.

 

Not sure, but I believe any tours outside of Saigon, Zoom tours would have been handled by his counterparts in the other cities such as Halong Bay. I had requested a change in itinerary - an 8 hour boat tour itinerary instead of the standard tour and Mr. Nguyen let me know talk to his counterpart in that city to make changes to itinerary. In the end, we decided to book with a different tour operator for Halong Bay.

 

Regards,

Harry E.

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Our stop in Halong Bay is only 1 and 1/2 days. Sitting on a bus for seven hours to Hanoi doesn't sound like fun. Would love to stay in the Halong Bay Area. Any suggestions of which guides or guide companies as well as must sees, in the area.

Thanks

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Our stop in Halong Bay is only 1 and 1/2 days. Sitting on a bus for seven hours to Hanoi doesn't sound like fun. Would love to stay in the Halong Bay Area. Any suggestions of which guides or guide companies as well as must sees, in the area.

Thanks

We have only 1 day in Halong Bay. I have set up a boat tour for 34 of us in March with Ms Huong of Tonkin Tours. Tonkin Tours has very good ratings.

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Our stop in Halong Bay is only 1 and 1/2 days. Sitting on a bus for seven hours to Hanoi doesn't sound like fun. Would love to stay in the Halong Bay Area. Any suggestions of which guides or guide companies as well as must sees, in the area.

Thanks

 

We were on the Azamara Journey. The ship docked at Cai Lan port.

On day 1 we did the full day (8 hour) tour of Halong Bay.

Our ship left around 1:00 PM on day 2. For day 2, we took the ship provided shuttle bus to the local market. Basically, a shopping market with lots of souvenir shops.

 

If I recall, the tour company offered a 1/2 day tour to a local village. We decided not to go just in case there would be a problem getting back in time.

 

Group of 10 for all day (8 hours) Halong Bay tour that included 3 caves/grottoes and Ti Top Island and lunch on board the boat.

 

Our cost was approximately $100 pp which was dependent on the number of people, where our ship docked and itinerary. The tour company will accommodate you wishes within limitations of time, etc.

 

Guide was okay. Communication skills okay.

 

I would recommend them. But check out TripAdvisor for reviews on the company we used and other tour companies to form your own opinion.

 

Here's the tour company we used:

Tran Le Minh (Mrs)

Travel Consultant - Travel agent Sales Team Leader

Asia Top Travel – Customized Tours & M.I.C.E Solutions

Head Office: #13 Truc Bach Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi, Vietnam

Tel: +84 4 3 715 3569 | Fax: +84 4 3 715 3570 | Mobile: +84 974015583

Email: sales1@asiatoptravel.com| Skype: minh.att

Yahoo: minhtran.sale | Website: http://www.asiatoptravel.com

 

 

Regards from the Pacific Northwest

Harry E.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sorry to read you had an unsatisfactory experience with Zoom. He took our tour personally and his 23 seater bus was just fine. Zoom runs a tourism business and would contracts work out.

At the end of the tour he presented me (the main contact) with a disk of photos he had taken...nice touch. We paid USD 60 pp (he likes a deposit ) and enjoyed iced coffee at the Rex rooftop plus lunch at Pho 2000 in that price.

 

Ours was dreadful. We got a female who was disinterested, not knowledgeable about the area and hurried. Dreadful and no recompense.

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Thanks so much for sharing. I had wonderful experiences with Vietnam Tour Booking

 

 

Do not use this recommendation - the OP is a tour operator that has been reported several times but still posts on Cruise Critics

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Zoom was very highly recommended on Cruise Critic and Trip Advisor, so our small family group just booked with him for our visits to Nha Trang and Phu My/Ho Chi Minh City in November. We are a Vietnam vet family, and he has been especially flexible in accommodating our interests and offering us very reasonable rates. We're all looking forward to our excursions and will report back when we return.

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I look forward to your report, he really is excellent, he is like a walking Wikipedia of Vietnam, he can answer just about any questions you can ask him about Vietnam, without a doubt one of the best tour guides in Saigon, he was Chelsea Clinton's tour guides when the Clintons visited in 2000.

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Our experience with Zoom was fantastic. Everything from our initial contact to our return to the ship was flawless. For our personalized tour of Ho Chi Minh City, we prearranged an itinerary. We got to see everything we wanted, and he was completely flexible with our requests to spend extra time here and less time there. His English is excellent, and his extensive knowledge of the area provided for a very interesting day. Despite the traffic challenges, his driver safely got us to where we needed to be. Zoom also arranged for us to have a private tour in Nha Trang. His colleague also provided a comfortable, informative and very personalized tour. I cannot say enough about what a wonderful two days we had.

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We have been to HCMC 2 times before on tours guided by Zoom, and we have booked him again for HCMC and Nha Trang during a cruise in December 2018. Zoom is very accommodating and extremely knowledgeable. The vans have been comfortable, for our groups of 8 on 1 tour and 14 on another. Zoom takes pictures throughout the tour, which he posts on FB as we move from site to site. We highly recommend Zoom, he will customize tours at very reasonable prices.

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