Traveler Reviews of Red Lantern Journeys

Our clients respond to our requests for feedback when they return from their trips and here’s what they tell us. These are more than testimonials–they are entire emails we received with both good and helpful feedback about how their trip went. We welcome you to take a moment and read through some of them.

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11 Days in Thailand – Culture, Food and History

Ambrose, We had a great time. Everything went off without any complications. Each of the tour guides was wonderful. The accent was a challenge with Melissa, but she got better as the time went on and I understood her better. The street food night in Bangkok was fun to eat at restaurants with local people. That would have been a good one to do the first or second night so... Read More

Rhea and Dan B.

Texas

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11 Days in Thailand – Culture, Food and History

Rhea and Dan B., Texas

Ambrose,

We had a great time. Everything went off without any complications. Each of the tour guides was wonderful. The accent was a challenge with Melissa, but she got better as the time went on and I understood her better.

The street food night in Bangkok was fun to eat at restaurants with local people. That would have been a good one to do the first or second night so that we knew what to order the following days. The Blackitch in Chiang Mai was a unique dining experience! I would never choose to eat what we had but enjoyed trying all the different dishes. Just wish I had taken pictures of each dish.

We had several Thai messages – so cheap on the street! We also really enjoyed the hike in the jungle, the elephants and the raft ride. It was all good. Each place had its own uniqueness. I didn’t realize how many temples and Buddahs we would see. But I feel we got a good look at Thailand. The cooking class in Chiang Mai was the best.

We didn’t use the phone, but it was a good backup just in case something happened. We would love to take our family if it were so far. Don’t think the children would do well on the 12-14 hr flights.

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2 Women, 2 Weeks in Mongolia

The Mongolia trip was amazing and we loved every minute of it! We had perfect weather until the last day when there was torrential rain that closed the main road to Ulaanbaatar for miles when we were driving back from Karakorum and forced us to make a major detour around the water. But despite the rain we managed to see the famous takhi horses in Hustain Park. So the trip was... Read More

Heather M.

Birmingham, AL

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2 Women, 2 Weeks in Mongolia

Heather M., Birmingham, AL

The Mongolia trip was amazing and we loved every minute of it! We had perfect weather until the last day when there was torrential rain that closed the main road to Ulaanbaatar for miles when we were driving back from Karakorum and forced us to make a major detour around the water. But despite the rain we managed to see the famous takhi horses in Hustain Park. So the trip was epic from start to finish. All the logistics worked out smoothly including the internal flights which were all on time. All the local drivers were excellent and did an outstanding job in difficult terrain, especially the driver who got us to and back from Lake Khovsgol on an extremely muddy road twisting through fields and forests. The lake was still partially frozen so the boat service wasn’t operating and we had to drive instead. When there was problem, with our driver’s vehicle, a backup driver was summoned to make sure we got back for our flight to Ulaanbaatar.

I can’t speak highly enough of our superlative guide, Mr. Batmunkh (Bu Juu). He speaks perfect idiomatic English (and also guides in Russian and Chinese) and was extremely knowledgeable about Mongolian history and culture and able to answer all our questions effortlessly. He was well-organized and efficiently arranged visits to nomadic families, camel rides in the Gobi, and horseback riding outside of Karokorum. He also brought along books on the flora and fauna for us to look at and arranged for us to see a number of outstanding films, “Eagle Huntress” and “The Story of the Weeping Camel,” which gave us further insight into Mongolia and what we were seeing on our trip. And taught us knucklebone games.

To go through the trip chronologically, I loved staying at the Terelj Hotel. It has lovely staff, excellent service, and a beautiful pool. Breakfasts were very good. Terelj National Park was spectacular and I enjoyed visiting the Meditation Temple and the excursion to Jalman Meadows and visiting a local herdsman’s family. In Ulaanbaatar the Gandan Monastery was a highlight as were the very comprehensive National Museum and the Zanabazar Fine Arts Museum. The Gobi desert was stunning. I very much enjoyed hiking in the Yol Valley and the extraordinary Hongor Sands. June was the perfect time to visit the Gobi which wasn’t hot yet and we had many sites virtually to ourselves including the amazing Flaming Cliffs. The VIP ger in the Gobi Oasis Camp was very comfortable and well appointed. The Gobi Erdene Camp was simpler but adequate and is perfectly located. I loved the rustic charm and the deluxe gers at Three Camel Lodge and the food was outstanding. Climbing up to see the petroglyphs at Havtsgait was a highlight of the trip. Truly unique and spectacular! We also had a lovely visit with a local camel herding family near the Moltsog Sands. Lake Khovsgol was beautiful and I loved staying on the peninsula and hiking to visit the wishing rock. I loved the simple lodge, the excellent food, and especially the friendly staff who made fires for us, fired up the sauna, etc. Karakorum was another highlight of the trip and I would highly recommend that others visit for its historical interest and for the beautiful Erdene Zuu monastery and the Shankh Hiid monastery where we spoke with a monk, which also survived the purge. The Museum is excellent and we also visited a local market. One must see in Ulaanbaatar is the Tumen Ekh national traditional music and dance group which performs near the Bayangol Hotel. They were superb. I would also highly recommend Mary and Martha for high quality Kazakh embroidery, felt products, traditional clothing, etc. On our own we also visited the Bluefin Gallery which had a large and interesting display of contemporary Mongolian art.

The food in the ger camps was mostly very good. The Bayangol Hotel is very well located but a bit quirky. The Shangri-La is lovely and luxurious.

Thank you for arranging such a memorable trip for us! 

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Honeymoon to Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore

Thanks for reaching out. We are slowly recovering from our amazing honeymoon overseas. We will never forget the wide variety of experiences we had together as we went literally around the world. By in large, all the arrangements by Red Lantern were great. The only real sore spot was with our guide in Bangkok. While he was cordial and helpful, he did not have the same level of enthusiasm or warmth... Read More

Jamil V. and Naila L.

Kirkland, WA

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Honeymoon to Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore

Jamil V. and Naila L., Kirkland, WA

Thanks for reaching out. We are slowly recovering from our amazing honeymoon overseas. We will never forget the wide variety of experiences we had together as we went literally around the world. By in large, all the arrangements by Red Lantern were great.

The only real sore spot was with our guide in Bangkok. While he was cordial and helpful, he did not have the same level of enthusiasm or warmth that the other guides had. The time was short, so we just asked him to shorten our tour so we could spend more time on our own.

Outside of that, mostly small comments/feedback which I’ll lay out below:

Vietnam

  • Hanoi Guide and driver were super nice and very easy to get along with.
  • Hanoi Hotel – while it was the least luxurious of the trip, it was still more than adequate and location was excellent. Not sure if it was our room only, but it was super dark in our room.
  • Hanoi Activities – A half day of tour of Hanoi itself was good enough for us. We really liked walking around the lake on the weekend and seeing all the families and local populations do their thing. We may not have enjoyed Hanoi as much if we came on the weekdays when the lake was open to traffic.
  • Halong Bay – a one night cruise was perfect. The accommodations were great and as far as we could tell, there was no better cruise around
  • Hoi An – one of our Asia highlights. Guide was excellent, and quickly honed in on what types of travelers we were and what we would enjoy. We really made the most of our short time, and wish we had an extra day here vs Hanoi
  • Hoi An Hotel – overall pleased – location was awesome and staff were nice. We couldn’t really enjoy the hotel itself much due to time

Thailand

  • Bangkok Guide – see feedback above. Our car driver changed day to day. Airport pickup was a bit hectic since the guide didnt make himself super visible in the sea of people holding signs – we had to make a couple laps around arrivals to find him.
  • Bangkok Hotel – this is a truly first class hotel – one of the best we’ve ever stayed at. That said, we didn’t realize how far it would be (factoring in traffic), so it was a bit difficult for us to enjoy Bangkok outside of our tours. I don’t think we would’ve changed our mind on hotels, but would’ve been great to work in advance to have a few pre-mapped options for how to go out at night (e.g. time tours around ferry, know which parts of town we’d self-explore and how best to get there) – that would’ve helped us make the most out of our short time there. In addition to the guide issue, we just felt we were in transit way longer than we’d have liked given the short time there.
  • Food Tour – this was a highlight. Our guide was really sweet and went out of her way to help us see Bangkok thru a few perspectives (not just food!)
  • Cabaret – We were a bit worried this wouldnt be good after our guide seemed very pessimistic about this show, but we had a lot of fun! While the area the show is in is quite touristy, it was a fun place to go for an evening out.
  • Bangkok City Tour – I think we were templed out after a couple hours. Maybe its just us 🙂  The boat / canal ride almost didnt happen due to some snafu with a boat being broken – I think our guide kinda winged it and hired someone on the fly. This was pretty neat though.
  • Chiang Mai Hotel – another really awesome place. We didnt mind the location being a few minutes out – transport was easy to come by and drives were short
  • Chiang Mai Guide – was super awesome – really friendly and had the right mix of telling us about the city, recommendations and letting us do our own thing as needed
  • Chiang Mai – Cooking – this was a good experience, but I don’t think we were ready for how bare-bones it was going to be. I think a little more text to prepare us for the outdoor nature of this experience would have been helpful
  • Chiang Mai – We ate at a really awesome restaurant here called David’s Kitchen – we found out about it late but it was super memorable and we were lucky to get the reservation. Could be a good thing to pre-reserve for guests into culinary experiences

Singapore

  • Hotel – great location and simply couldn’t ask for anything more. It was under construction though, so people staying longer may have been disappointed by amenities being closed
  • Guide – super nice and helpful. Took us around and seemed to understand what we were looking for quickly.
  • Transports were super luxurious here – a nice little perk!
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3 Days in Agra

Hi Ambrose, Thank you so much for arranging that amazing long weekend in Agra! Everything went perfectly, and exceeded my expectations. The guide was fantastic (very knowledgable, professional, and friendly), our driver had the nerves of steel needed to drive in India, and every step of the trip went off flawlessly. I can’t really say what was the highlight, it was all fascinating and fun. The Taj Mahal was of... Read More

Emma S.

Denver, CO

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3 Days in Agra

Emma S., Denver, CO

Hi Ambrose,

Thank you so much for arranging that amazing long weekend in Agra!

Everything went perfectly, and exceeded my expectations. The guide was fantastic (very knowledgable, professional, and friendly), our driver had the nerves of steel needed to drive in India, and every step of the trip went off flawlessly.

I can’t really say what was the highlight, it was all fascinating and fun. The Taj Mahal was of course incredible (no photo does it justice), but the bird sanctuary was amazing. The bear sanctuary was fascinating, Sheroes Cafe was deeply moving…..what can I say, it was all great.

Thanks again for making our trip to India easy, stress-free, and memorable.

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11 Days in North India

Hi Ambrose, The trip was really great! We had a very nice schedule and we met really nice people (drivers, guides and agency representatives). It was really well organised and secure. We appreciated a lot our trip and will recommend your company to our friends and family. Thank you for your work and well organization. Hope we have the chance to be in contact with you again. Louise tells me... Read More

Annick B.

Quebec, Canada

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11 Days in North India

Annick B., Quebec, Canada

Hi Ambrose,

The trip was really great! We had a very nice schedule and we met really nice people (drivers, guides and agency representatives). It was really well organised and secure. We appreciated a lot our trip and will recommend your company to our friends and family. Thank you for your work and well organization. Hope we have the chance to be in contact with you again. Louise tells me that you organize travel for others country also, so maybe another year!

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A Week in Cambodia

Irene, I am still dealing with jet lag from the very long flights, but I completely enjoyed my time in Cambodia. Whatever my expectations were, they were greatly exceeded. The itinerary planning seemed about right to me. I didn’t find myself wishing for more or fewer activities. The Killing Fields were important to see to understand the history and state of the country. It was good to have that at... Read More

Tony S.

Witchita, KS

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A Week in Cambodia

Tony S., Witchita, KS

Irene,

I am still dealing with jet lag from the very long flights, but I completely enjoyed my time in Cambodia.

Whatever my expectations were, they were greatly exceeded.

The itinerary planning seemed about right to me. I didn’t find myself wishing for more or fewer activities. The Killing Fields were important to see to understand the history and state of the country. It was good to have that at the front end to leave less serious fare for the rest of the trip. The animal rescue center was a highlight, and a good balance to the temples, as was the visit with Em Theay and her daughter. She was delightful and graced us with a song. The meeting was much more meaningful and enjoyable than I had expected. The cooking class was also first rate, much better than I might have expected. I have to say that the most other-worldly, mind blowing experience was the visit to the floating fishing village with the houses on stilts. That is a sight that I imagine very few people will ever get to see first hand.

The sunrise visit to Angkor Wat didn’t beat the crowds, but of course was still amazing. Don’t know if the time of year had anything to do with the large number of people, or if that is normal.

The guides were first rate, as were the hotel accommodations. The Sofitel in Phnom Penh especially was just excellent, without feeling ‘stuffy’. It had a friendly atmosphere overall. I enjoy a good buffet, and my friends kid me about that. The breakfast buffet at the Sofitel was far beyond anything I could have dreamed up. It was so good that it is a highlight I will never forget.

Using tuk tuks to get around during free time was easy, inexpensive, and fun, so we didn’t feel like we were dependent on having the bus available.

Loved the food. I very much enjoyed the fish amok and other dishes. Yes, I ate a tarantula for fun. Tasty!

Many thanks for a great trip.

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Two Weeks in Thailand

Hi Irene, Yes we are back.Had a wonderful time and all your recommendations and choices for us were simply great.Our 2 guides were great–Danny in Bangkok and Bammi  in Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai.I only wish I could have spent more time with Bammi, though our host in Chiang Rai (a colleague who Michael helped train in the US 10 years ago) took care of us well and showed us... Read More

Sallie D.

Seattle, WA

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Two Weeks in Thailand

Sallie D., Seattle, WA

Hi Irene,

Yes we are back.Had a wonderful time and all your recommendations and choices for us were simply great.Our 2 guides were great–Danny in Bangkok and Bammi  in Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai.I only wish I could have spent more time with Bammi, though our host in Chiang Rai (a colleague who Michael helped train in the US 10 years ago) took care of us well and showed us sooo much in Chiang Mai. The hotels you recommended were fabulous–loved the change to the one across from the temple of dawn after the Centara world.The hotels in Chiang rai and Mai were just lovely and the resort in Khoa Lak was 6 stars– we loved it.When we arrived they didn’t have our room for us — so put us in a temporary one and upgraded us to one with its own private pool at 7 that evening, so that ended up being great.Also their private boat was having “maintenance” the Monday we were there so we missed the private boat out to the islands– went with a larger outfit that was good but not as lovely (just a tad disappointing) otherwise marvelous.

All the drivers were great and everyone was timely and so gracious. Your local partner called many times making sure we were fine. We loved Thailand.

By the way, the Buddhist temple you sent us to the first day was great but embroiled in great controversy (over power and money) and was on the front page of the Bangkok post everyday we were there! It actually was very interesting to have been there.  We didn’t spend time with an actual monk, but a volunteer that had lived there for 20+ years and was very knowledgeable and gracious.  Also did a “monk chat” at one of the temples that was lovely.

If you have any other specific questions I’m happy to answer — I’m 100% delighted with how you helped us — wish I had the time and $ to go again soon.  Perhaps in a few years.

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14 Days in Myanmar

Hi Irene We had a good trip! Barb did come down with strep throat on our first day in Mandalay.  Probably got it from our visiting grandson the week before the trip.  We asked Marn (our guide) to find a doctor to look at her — wanted to deal with it quickly before we headed for smaller locales.  The doctor that he quickly lined up was terrific.  And even though... Read More

Gary and Barb A.

Bainbridge, WA

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14 Days in Myanmar

Gary and Barb A., Bainbridge, WA

Hi Irene

We had a good trip! Barb did come down with strep throat on our first day in Mandalay.  Probably got it from our visiting grandson the week before the trip.  We asked Marn (our guide) to find a doctor to look at her — wanted to deal with it quickly before we headed for smaller locales.  The doctor that he quickly lined up was terrific.  And even though Barb needed to rest quite a bit for the next 2-3 days — the meds did the job.

The guides were good — particularly Marn in Mandalay.  Great personality and good English skills. All the hotels were good — particularly the Amara Ocean Resort in Ngapali Beach.

As before, the attention to detail by your folks was outstanding!

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3 Weeks in Vietnam and Cambodia

Irene, We had a fabulous trip! Having your team coordinate everything, allowed us to enjoy our trip, rather than worry about details. Highlights for me was the herb farm in Hoi An, the Sampan river cruise, The White Mansion Hotel and National Museum in Phnom Penh, and everything about Siem Riep, Shinta Mani hotel, temples and cooking demonstration. I’m still trying to take it all in, dreaming about it every... Read More

Sheila Q. and Betsy C.

Wellesley, MA and Seattle, WA

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3 Weeks in Vietnam and Cambodia

Sheila Q. and Betsy C., Wellesley, MA and Seattle, WA

Irene,

We had a fabulous trip! Having your team coordinate everything, allowed us to enjoy our trip, rather than worry about details. Highlights for me was the herb farm in Hoi An, the Sampan river cruise, The White Mansion Hotel and National Museum in Phnom Penh, and everything about Siem Riep, Shinta Mani hotel, temples and cooking demonstration. I’m still trying to take it all in, dreaming about it every night. I’d like to give a shout out to all the guides, whose command of English, and knowledge of their countries history and antiquities, added a whole other dimension to the trip.  I am looking forward to sharing photos with family and friends, and even perhaps attempting some Vietnamese/Cambodian cooking. Thanks Irene for all your help putting this trip together.

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3 Weeks in Central and South India

Hi Ambrose, I second all that Doug said.  It was a fantastic trip! I feel so lucky to have seen part of India that is still beautifully unchanged and traditional in a country that is changing so fast.  It was absolutely stunning.   Now being back in grey and uncrowded Seattle my senses are still full of the brilliant colors and street life there and of the amazing places we visited.... Read More

Doug and Mary B

Seattle, WA

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3 Weeks in Central and South India

Doug and Mary B, Seattle, WA

Hi Ambrose,

I second all that Doug said.  It was a fantastic trip! I feel so lucky to have seen part of India that is still beautifully unchanged and traditional in a country that is changing so fast.  It was absolutely stunning.   Now being back in grey and uncrowded Seattle my senses are still full of the brilliant colors and street life there and of the amazing places we visited. I hope you are having a great time there now.  Feel a bit envious!

We found almost all the hotels quite comfortable and luxurious.  Favorites were the Taj in Aurangabad, the Eighth Bastion in Kochi, the Paradisa Plantation Retreat in Murinjapuzha and the Chidambara Vilas in Chettinad.  At the Chidambara we met a retired foreign service officer and his Indian wife who had traveled extensively in India for years.  They were very impressed that we had a travel agent smart enough to create an itinerary such as ours that included places like the Chidambra.  They asked us for your name and contact number.

All of the guides, drivers and agency reps who met us were extremely kind and helpful.  It was hugely helpful to have the guidelines in your material for tipping the drivers and guides.  I would also add in a paragraph about who and how much to tip within the hotel. Mostly though I would add in something about the agency reps.

Oh by the way we found the Sea Shell Beach Suites in Candolim Goa very quiet, attractive and comfortable if any of your clients want a few days of rest in Goa at someplace lower key than the Taj. Also our long term driver Joseph we would highly recommend. He was pleasantly quiet but spoke English well and was helpful figuring out best times to leave and other useful things.

Yes we always saw the Red Lantern logos.

Well, I could go on!  Thank you for arranging such an unforgettable and marvelous trip!

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8-Day Customized Tour of China

Hello Ambrose, Thanks for arranging a great trip for the three of us, to China. We had a terrific time.  Thank-you. We really enjoyed Wuzhen ant the guide there, Huang (sic?), in his early 50’s, I’d guess.  That watertown at night was beautiful, and in the morning, before the day-trippers got there.  We had a terrific traditional breakfast right on the river, cooked by the family who owned the building were... Read More

Todd M.

Everett, WA

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8-Day Customized Tour of China

Todd M., Everett, WA

Hello Ambrose,

Thanks for arranging a great trip for the three of us, to China. We had a terrific time.  Thank-you.

We really enjoyed Wuzhen ant the guide there, Huang (sic?), in his early 50’s, I’d guess.  That watertown at night was beautiful, and in the morning, before the day-trippers got there.  We had a terrific traditional breakfast right on the river, cooked by the family who owned the building were are rooms were.  Fun. We liked the fact there were no other westerners there. Being in Wuzhen was a nice change of pace from the big cities.  We enjoyed going out to the temple and outside Hangzhou and seeing the Buddha carvings.  Thanks for making sure we did that.

We also really liked Xian and our guide there.  I think I told you how she arranged for us to attend a music show with a dumpling banquet and had the driver take us there and back.  She also suggested a fun restaurant to eat at our fist night, built in the the 20’s just a few doors down from the hotel.  We ate their famous long noodle.  And the hotel’s breakfast was fabulous.  And we liked renting bikes and riding on  great city wall.  We also enjoyed riding the bullet train to Xian.  Nice seeing the countryside. Our guide there also was great in how she went with us to the check in at the Xian airport to make sure that got on our plane and no one cut in front of us in the long lines there.

Beijing was fun because of the Hutong neighborhood where the Shadow Art Hotel was.  We walked to a nearby restaurant where no English was spoken and had to guess at what we ordered –an adventure.  Had a terrific egg plant dish there.  Thank-you for sending us to that particular, less touristed section of the Great Wall.  Another fantastic experience.  Not a lot of people there, and I think we hiked for about two miles on the wall, even seeing some blue sky!

Although the Quintet had a lot of antique charm and a less than welcoming public area, the staff provided invaluable information and maps on the restaurants and sites, and the location could not have been better.  The made-to-order breakfast was good. We were finally using cabs at that point to go to places on our own.  The culinary walk was a good one (not as good as Istanbul).  We ate at an Italian restaurant and a french restaurant (yep, we were tired of Chinese food) near the hotel. Both were terrific.

I appreciated you telling the Beijing guide Jessica, what we wanted to see (loved going to Sun Yat-Sen’s wife’s home) .  In Shanghai I think though we didn’t see as much with the guide as we had expected (it was Dragon Festival day, very crowded) and were with him just from 11:00 M until 4:30 PM. The guide had us dropped off at Tian Tan (sic?) market rather than guiding us around it, at the conclusion of our day with him, rather than taking us through there. That was fine because a tour there probably wasn’t needed (and it was packed). Carol and I liked that place so much we went back on our own.  I went on my own to see Sun Yat-sen’s home there.  That was important to me because a friend’s family were close to him.

I wish it had been sunny at West Lake or the Summer Palace, to enjoy the natural beauty there.  But that won’t be possible until China seriously tackles its pollution problem. Nothing you could do about that.

I was awed by the development and evident wealth, and grateful for how friendly the Chinese people were to us, along the way.

Again thanks, a lot, Ambrose.  If I were going anytime soon back to Asia of course you’d be our go-to guy.

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One Week Golden Triangle of India

Hi Ambrose, Sorry to take so long to get back to you! Our trip was excellent. Everything went very smoothly thanks to your planning. We especially liked the Old Dehli tour with Vivian and Dhruv of Master Kee Haveli, Naveen our Jaipur guide, the Amber Fort, City Palace, Galti Ji Temple and Keoladeo.  We had the same driver the whole time and he was very accommodating in dropping us off... Read More

Susan B.

University Place, WA

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One Week Golden Triangle of India

Susan B., University Place, WA

Hi Ambrose,

Sorry to take so long to get back to you!

Our trip was excellent. Everything went very smoothly thanks to your planning. We especially liked the Old Dehli tour with Vivian and Dhruv of Master Kee Haveli, Naveen our Jaipur guide, the Amber Fort, City Palace, Galti Ji Temple and Keoladeo.  We had the same driver the whole time and he was very accommodating in dropping us off and waiting for us while we shopped. The hotels were great, the Havelis were especially lovely and their pools much appreciated. The Chandra Mahal let us check out late so we could swim after our morning at Keoladeo.

One negative was at our first of the two visits to Kealadeo, we were taken by a horse drawn cart through the park which was very frustrating because we couldn’t see anything from the cart. It would have been better to have rented bikes each visit.  We liked our guide, D.D., though.

It was kind of crazy to go for a week only, but having the trip planned out really helped make the most of our time.

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One Week in Southern Vietnam

Irene, Our trip was amazing, extraordinary. Thank you for your suggestions and arranging for the guides and cruise. The guides were great. The hotel was great. The first two nights we had a deluxe suite with a living area. The place was almost as big as my condominium at home! Quong our guide in Saigon was so knowledgeable and patient. We really appreciated his training of crossing the streets in... Read More

Patricia S.

Silverthorne, CO

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One Week in Southern Vietnam

Patricia S., Silverthorne, CO

Irene,

Our trip was amazing, extraordinary. Thank you for your suggestions and arranging for the guides and cruise. The guides were great. The hotel was great. The first two nights we had a deluxe suite with a living area. The place was almost as big as my condominium at home! Quong our guide in Saigon was so knowledgeable and patient. We really appreciated his training of crossing the streets in Saigon. Otherwise, we may still be standing on a corner trembling in fear! Our driver made us feel safe and was so skillful at navigating the twists and snarls of traffic.  Loi our guide in the Mekong was so much fun. We had a blast and lots of laughs. The cruise was a great adventure. The staff was friendly and helpful. The chef, who was only 19, was an expert. I truly don’t know if I have had better soup in my life.  We had a cooking demonstration and learned how to make both fried and fresh spring rolls. The captain and assistant captain were competent and helpful. We always felt safe. They even dried our shoes under the engine using its heat. Thuy, was a sweet young lady who greeted every one of our returns with a fresh cool cloth. We felt truly pampered. The staff together with the luxury of the boat far exceeded my expectations.

To sum it up. Not a single complaint only praise. I can hardly wait to go back and discover other areas of Vietnam.

The only down side was that we didn’t book business class. I have always traveled business class when I travel internationally and this time “cheaped” out.  I didn’t realize how bad economy is.  It is not worth the savings. But… that was all on me.

Thank you again for your assistance. I am now trying to get used to not being waited on and pampered.

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3 Week Trip to Japan

We had an excellent trip. The planning was good and the execution went without a hitch. We greatly enjoyed the the historic aspects of Japan. Transportation, including English speaking drivers, was good. The drivers went out of the way to meet us in the train stations and make sure that we find the appropriate train track. Only the minibus transportation from Narita to the hotel was tiring, we were the... Read More

Rudolf and Evanne H.

Washington, DC

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3 Week Trip to Japan

Rudolf and Evanne H., Washington, DC

We had an excellent trip. The planning was good and the execution went without a hitch. We greatly enjoyed the the historic aspects of Japan.

Transportation, including English speaking drivers, was good. The drivers went out of the way to meet us in the train stations and make sure that we find the appropriate train track. Only the minibus transportation from Narita to the hotel was tiring, we were the last customers and it took us almost 3 hours to reach the hotel.

All the guides were good, spoke good English and were knowledgeable. They were flexible and always ready to modify the program. We both have some difficulty walking and the guides and the drivers went out of the way to make our life comfortable.

The hotels ranged from very good to excellent with the exception of the Royal Park Hotel Kyoto. TripAdvisor rates it highly but I would give it a lower rating. The public rooms are small and dark and our bedroom, facing the wall of an other building few feet away, was in constant gloomy semi-darkness. The room was small and the king size bed appeared smaller than in other places. The restaurant served an adequate breakfast but other meals were poor. I would not have chosen this place.

You may be amused to hear that one of our best guides was not an official guide but a driver. Since we had 2 free days in Kyoto we asked the good English speaking driver, who brought us from the train station to the hotel, for a day rent of his service. We were surprised to find a scholarly person, well versed in the history of the country and its religions. Evanne is Chinese and was interested in the influence of Chinese characters on Japanese writing. Our driver had a good knowledge of the development of Japanese writing and wrote Chinese characters with a good hand. He also brought us to a small Zen temple, free of tourists, where we had a tea ceremony and an old monk singing Chinese folks songs. Charging only for the use of the car It was an extra bonus.

Overall we had a very good time but I would have chosen a different hotel in Kyoto.

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Two Week Trip through Rajasthan

First, the reason I haven’t gotten back to you before is we actually had time in the UK after India and have only just returned to the US. YOUR SERVICE Absolutely faultless, best I’ve ever experienced.  Even the change at the end was dealt with seamlessly.  I really do mean this, it was excellent. I will totally recommend you to other people, and indeed use you again likely next year... Read More

Gary G.

Charlotte, NC

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Two Week Trip through Rajasthan

Gary G., Charlotte, NC

First, the reason I haven’t gotten back to you before is we actually had time in the UK after India and have only just returned to the US.

YOUR SERVICE Absolutely faultless, best I’ve ever experienced.  Even the change at the end was dealt with seamlessly.  I really do mean this, it was excellent. I will totally recommend you to other people, and indeed use you again likely next year when I think a trip to Southeast Asia is a real possibility.

Some guides were obviously better than others (GS and Mukul), but none were bad.  Without a doubt, having a guide and driver is the only way to go.  What was also really good was having someone help at the airport.

Jane and I will be in touch for our  next vacation.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

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Single Traveler in Thailand and Singapore

Thank you for following up. Everything unfolded without incident and I had an incredible experience. All of the guides were helpful, professional, and informative. Thank you for pairing me with Ms. Angie again. She is by far my favorite guide. I enjoyed Singapore. I went to the zoo and Universal Studios. It was a much slower pace than Cambodia and Thailand, so it is unlikely I will return anytime soon.... Read More

Raquel G.

Bellevue, WA

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Single Traveler in Thailand and Singapore

Raquel G., Bellevue, WA

Thank you for following up. Everything unfolded without incident and I had an incredible experience. All of the guides were helpful, professional, and informative. Thank you for pairing me with Ms. Angie again. She is by far my favorite guide.

I enjoyed Singapore. I went to the zoo and Universal Studios. It was a much slower pace than Cambodia and Thailand, so it is unlikely I will return anytime soon. The Hotel Clover was acceptable, however next time I think I would rather spend slightly more to have an accommodation with more amenities. I was able to shop for jewelry in Little India and I’m very pleased with my acquisition.

Cambodia was amazing! The Golden Temple Hotel exceeded expectations by far. Siem Reap had the best hospitality, although the food doesn’t compare to Thailand. Pub Street was a great time! The zipline and quad ride were the highlights of my trip. Ankor Wat was beautiful and so was the waterfall hike. Thank you for those recommendations.

Thailand is still my favorite destination overall. Bangkok was incredible. Khao San Road did not fail to live up to my expectations. Buddy Lodge made some room upgrades and I was satisfied with my stay there. I would not have been opposed to one extra day there.

Koh Samui is a lovely spot with a decent balance of nightlife, daytime activities, shopping, and nice beaches. Fortunately, the flooding had ceased by the time I arrived, however it was still predominately overcast. I would return there again, perhaps during a different time of the year.

Koh Phangan was definitely a bucket list item however, it is unlikely I would be interested in repeating that portion of the trip in the future. The logistics of transitioning back and forth from Koh Samui, the suburban location of the accommodations, and my experience at Havana Resort were lackluster. I have no regrets about crossing the Full Moon Party off my bucket list, and I have no need to repeat it

Overall, the trip was fabulous and I am not disappointed. I appreciate all the effort you put into planning the itinerary and I am highly satisfied with my experience. Thank you so much Irene and I’ll be sure to reach out to you the next time I plan on returning to Asia.

Let me know if you have any other questions and I hope you enjoy Chinese New Year with your family.

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