We highly recommend Indochina Pioneer
My wife and I just got back from a tour of Hanoi, Sapa, and a visit to the Bear Rescue Center in Tam Dao National Park. After reading several reviews here on Trip Advisor, we decided to use Indochina Pioneer to book our hotels, arrange local transportation and provide a guide. The cost was substantially less than the quote from a US based International Tour operator. We are really glad we did, as we received excellent service from ICP and had a great time.
Mr. Lam organized and managed our tour, giving good advice, checking in with us throughout the trip, and setting us up in great hotels in each location. Before launching ICP with his partner, Mr. Sy Quyen, he worked 10 years as a tour leader for an Australian company. His Aussie accented English is excellent, and he was both easy and fun to work with as we ironed out the details of our custom tour. The included meals were all in very good to excellent restaurants. Our guide “Tommy” was with us the entire trip to inform and orient, but gave us free time to explore on our own at our own pace. Tommy’s English was also very good, and we really enjoyed our time with him. His love and enthusiasm for his country, especially the beautiful area of Sapa was infectious. Our car transportation was all in new, clean SUV’s with safe and courteous drivers.
Victoria Sapa Hotel Spa massage followed by hot spiced apple tea in front of the open fire was one of several high points. As was meeting the local ethnic minorities in the village homestay, where my wife, a textile artist, made good friends with a local weaver and indigo dye artist. Chancing upon a cultural exhibition and poetry festival (read in both Vietnamese and English) at the Temple of Literature was also very cool. We finished our tour by visiting the playful and touching Moon Bear Rescue Center…. for you animal lovers, check out Animals Asia website…. www.animalsasia.org.
When I first began to work with Mr. Lam I felt he was very flexible and client satisfaction oriented. As our tour progressed, and I saw the attention to detail of our interests and special requests, I felt as though I was ICP’s only client. As our tour ended, I felt that Lam and Tommy were treating my wife and I as friends, with primary concern for our health, safety, happiness, and the making of good memories.
I recommend ICP highly, and hope to see them again, when I have the good fortune to visit this corner of the world again. You can also see our video review on the ICP website.