We would like to warn everyone travelling to Vietnam about this travel agency. We had a very bad experience with them. My wife and I have booked with them for a 9-day tour of Vietnam through their website. We really regretted getting them.
1. First is that upon our arrival at Ho Chi Minh airport from Manila, our guide was nowhere to be found. After a few minutes of waiting, we called us their office. The person who answered told us that the guide is on his way. Then we waited for another hour. As we were getting very impatient, we decided to take a cab to go to their office.
2. Upon our arrival to their office, we were assigned to a lady at the counter. Instead of apologizing for standing us up, the blamed us for not paying in full. She added, in a very unprofessional way that, since we did not pay in full online, all the rates have changed. in the end adjustments and hotel changes were made to our itinerary. The worst thing is that their charge went up by more than $300.00 per pax. It is obvious that this lady is overcharging us, so we tried our best to haggle. She was loudly arguing in Vietnamese with her colleage in front of us, as her colleage apparently was scolding her about or mangled itinerary. Since it is our first time in Vietnam, we just accepted their terms in resignation.
3. Our first guide, for the Saigon area leg, was friendly, but very political, speaking bad things about his government, which are way off topic for us.
4. In the Hue area, our guide also short-changed us. On the road from Danang to Hue, were supposed to pass through a scenic mountain pass as part of our itinerary. The guide told us that weather was bad so we should just use the tunnel through the mountain. We found out latter that there weather at the pass was fine. Obviously, he just wanted to save on gas.
5. On the third part of our tour, we landed at Hanoi Airport. Again we could not find the guide until after an hour of waiting. This guide frequently smiled, displaying 2 decaying teeth in front. His driver on the other had seems to be hot-head, frequently exchanging angry looks with other motorists who happen to pass him.
6. One of our biggest disappointments was not seeing Halong Bay due to the bad weather. Of course we cannot do anything about the weather, but the flip-flopping of our guide just added irritation to the disappointment. The evening before, he told us that the authorities gave the go ahead for the Halong Bay cruise. So the following morning we woke up and left the hotel very early with the guide. On the way to halong bay, the guide told us Halong Bay is a no go due to rough seas, we we will just proceed to an alternate destination. In the end this caused us a lot of loast time: 3 hours on the road to Halong plus 2 hours to the alternate location.
7. We had been with 3 guides, each for a different leg of our tour. Invariably our experience with them was that they were friendly and helpful only until the end of their duty for us. After we have filed up their "obligatory" guest opinion form and given them their substatial tip, they would disappear without a "thank you" or "good-bye".
8. Near the end of our tour, we flew back from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh for our next-day flight to Manila. Upon arrival at Ho Chi Minh, again there was no guide waiting for us. (We are seasoned travellers and we now exactly where to stand to meet our guide.) So we called their office again. The lady who answered told us that they have no record of our booking or our names! Since it was already late in the evening, we told her that we will just take a taxi to our hotel, demanding that their ofice reimburse us for the taxi ride (it was a token amount, but we were really irritated with teir service). She also promised that a guide would take us to the airport the next morning.
9. The next morning, upon checking out of our hotel, there was no guide again. So we again took a taxi ourselves to the airport for our return flight to Manila.
All in all, Vietnam is a wonderful country. We still had a great time despite the very bad service we had with TNK Travel. This is one very unreliable and overcharging travel agency you should avoid. We were astounded by the poor quality of their service, considering that it was even their low season.