Here we are already a week back home in the US from three weeks in Asia. The continued changes/challenges that are occurring all around our world right now are such a strange and unique phenomenon. I hope everything is going alright on your end, both professionally and personally, in regarding the CoVid-19 issues. WOW!
Since we’ve been home….and even while Mary and I were in Asia….we both remarked on repeated occasions about how fortunate we felt to be able to experience the parts of Asia that we did….and do it the way we did! It was only by way of the assistance that you put into place through the guide services and drivers that we could’ve come away with having such a truly FANTASTIC journey!!
I cannot adequately put into words what a benefit it was to have employed your service for this trip. We are tremendously thankful to you for your flexibility in working with us using our itinerary and blending what we had in mind with what additional experiences might complement our plans. Thank you for working on our behalf to get us into the wonderful hotel accommodations in the various areas. To expound on that a bit…. In Can Tho, we stayed at the Lighthouse B & B. Not knowing what to expect about ANYTHING prior to our arrival….then,….becoming aware of the modest way of life…the poverty that exists in that area….we were STUNNED to be treated to such a fabulous place to stay in the LightHouse!!! Beyond all dreams/expectations! MARVELOUS in every single way!! People make such a big difference…and that was so true at the Lighthouse. Despite our inabilities for fluent communication in Vietnamese, the staff at the hotel were so accommodating, friendly and made us feel so welcome. We had the opportunity to meet the owner just prior to leaving…..such a privilege to meet her and express to her our gratitude.
The second place we stayed at was the Riverside Resort in HoiAn. Such a unique, paradise-like place! Again…the PEOPLE! I hate to used the same words again and again, but, so WONDERFUL was that whole experience!! I could easily see coming back to Hoi An and spending a week or more just at that Resort and in browsing around the Old City and surrounding areas of DaNang.
The Liberty Central Hotel in Saigan felt special too. We couldn’t get over at so many of these hotels…..each one of these hotels….the FOOD was beyond remarkable! Such an array of choices and taste sensations! An apparent tradition in Asia is the welcome drink….what a great thing! It is such a nice gesture…not at all expected, and so revitalizing to a traveler/tourist. The people who worked at every single hotel in which we stayed were so warm and accommodating…such easy people with whom to engage.
The Lapis Hotel in Hanoi …..again….more of the same ….just great!
Inasmuch as every Hotel was wonderful…if there was one that was not quite as great as we’d come to expect, it would be the Siam Hotel in Thailand. The room was darker…older, a tad bit less appealing…overlooked less ‘scenic’ things….BUT….once again, the people are what can really make a difference. A gentleman that sits at the door made a recommendation to us for massages….and with the location being some distance from us…he made arrangements for someone from the hotel to take us there!! Unbelievably nice!!
I need to point out also how great the guides were that accompanied us in our travels. Each one was refreshing, energized, informed and all were delightful. We probably connected most with our guide in DaNang though. “Toan” was our guide throughout the area of DaNang. He was SO fun…and connected with us so easily…amazing. We had such a great time with him that we felt like we’d known him for a long long time. He was kind of like a little ‘Mother Hen’ the way he watched out over us…and he had such a terrific sense of humor that we were laughing so much of the time.
It wasn’t my intent in writing to you …to write so much. It’s just flooding from me; all the memories of such an unforgettable time that I will carry in my soul for the rest of my life.
Thank you for taking my texts/calls when we were in the midst of the vacation and seemed to bump into temporary glitches….they all fixed themselves quickly, but I reached out just to create some awareness in case there was a problem of which early awareness could make a difference. Thank you also for encouraging us to maintain the plan to participate in the motorcycle tour with Vietnam Backstreets. Our tour guide was “Boo”….and there was another driver….think his name was “Hue”….”Boo” caused me to forget my worries and trust that I’d be alright riding on the back of his cycle. Both Mary and I had our reservations about doing that part of the tour….and both of us have said to each other how thankful we are that we DID it! LOVED it!!
The recommendation has been made to every person I know who may be traveling to Asia to get in touch with INDOCHINA PIONEERS to help them with planning their trip. This trip is like no other I’ve ever taken before, and I’m sure such a trip could never be repeated in future trip that could even begin to compare with this one. Strangely enough, Co-V issues worked in our favor…and the timing was spot on! (GULP!) We arrived in Asia before things had festered up all over the world like they did in the weeks we were IN Asia…and then, we got back to the US just in the ‘nick of time’ before all the stringent restrictions were put into place all over! Who KNEW?!!!!
Just wanted to let you know what a great job you and everyone associated with you did….and how much we appreciated it all.
Thank-you, thank-you, THANK-YOU!!
Ruth Achterhoff-Aust…on behalf of both myself, and Mary Young.