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“Halong Cruise” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Vega Travel

Vega Travel
Ranked #4 of 798 Tours in Hanoi
Certificate of Excellence
Type: City Tours, Tours
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Vega Travel really become a truly tour operator, a reliable destination address to ensure your lasting unforgetable experiences in Vietnam. Well trained for sustainable eco-tourism industry and years of traveling, tour guiding experiences and abilities to read tourists’ thought to fulfill their expectation at root and roof regarding the young or the old tourist or eventhough hard to please. Working for three - dimentional target, Vega Travel ’s tour operators trendingly organise your relaxing, incentive trips especially new short and round discovery tours, create your enjoyment at strange lands in pristine nature and basical traditional culture, sustain and light the local destinations up!
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Halong Cruise”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 3, 2013

I have booked the 2D1N trip (sleeping on cruise) for myself /wife.
I will not recommend this for anyone.

Among so many activities included in the programme (Tiptop climbing, swimming, kayaking, night squid fishing and surprising caves), We have been to the cave only! And for the resting of trip, we are just cruising.

When we reached the pier, we are told we are not allowed to stay overnight in cruise and offered to have stay a hotel stay @ CatBa island, due to strong wind... or returning back to hanoi and continue the trip next the following day. There are other 2 couples together with us (2d1n) decided to go ahead with the rest of group which are 3d2n trip.
Through the whole trip, we just visited caves + a hotel stay + to/fro cruise.

IMO, I think vega travel has accept over bookings thus cause lack of cruise rooms. Because it is really due to strong wind, the ecsort should be have informed us earlier during the 4 hours journey to pier.

When I feedback this issue to Vega Travel when back to hanoi, after the trip. The staff just brushed us off, stated the change of programme is not within the control of the office. I am disgusted by his reply and walked out at once, as I do not want to spolit the rest of my stay in Hanoi.

WeeKiat

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank WKTay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Chinese (Traditional) first
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English first
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
31 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Sapa: cold, beautiful, expensive, insightful”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2013

Note: This is a general review of trekking in Sapa.

1. We did a three night trip to Sapa in early January (one night on the train, one night in a homestay and one night on the train). We organised our tour before we left with Vega travel, who were very easy to work with and responsive. My partner and I specified we wanted a challenging walk with our own guide, and that is what we got. We arrived at the Vega office early in the evening and were dropped off at the train station and escorted to our train. When we arrived in Lao Cai, we were collected in a mini van and driven to Sapa, where we met our guide at a hotel, had breakfast and a shower. When our trek was over, we returned to the hotel, relaxed in front of the fire and then were driven back to Lao Cai for our return train to Hanoi. Vega organised everything - I would highly recommend them for people who are less willing to "wing it".

2. Sapa in early January was very, very cold. The day time temperature was around 10 degrees C. We expected it to be cold, but not this cold! Luckily we had brought puffer jackets and proper walking socks and shoes. I would advise anyone planning to trek at this time of year to do the same, in addition to a hat and gloves. A spare pair of good socks is defintely recommended - at times the track was very muddy. At least pick these items up in Hanoi, where they will be cheaper, before heading to Sapa.

3. The scenery could not be described as "colourful", although still very beautiful, and a great depiction of life in rural Vietnam. I don't believe it could be described as a tourist trap, though certainly people have advantaged from the increase in tourists. The majority of the time it was cloudy and foggy.

4. Your guide can make or break your trip. Our guide, Quan, was amazing. Friendly, helpful, cheerful and full of amazing stories. He assessed our level of fitness and found appropriate routes. We never found the walking strenuous. One of the highlights was him taking us into the homes of different hill tribes for a cup of tea, and explaining their customs and traditions, and through schools.

5. Our home stay was great, although more of "guest house" in that we had a large room with about 10 beds for five of us. I really enjoyed eating with the family and spending time playing cards with them. The beds were comfortable, though the room was very cold - the only heating came from a small charcoal fire in a dish on the floor. I would highly recommend a home stay over a hotel - most have warm showers, and having come all the way to Sapa you wouldn't want to miss out on the experience. Also, if you are not a fan of Vietnamese food, you probably want to bring some snacks from Hanoi, as there is a limited range available in the small stalls in the villages. Our home stay also charged (reasonably) for beer/soft drink/water.

5. Most of all, be aware of the Hmomg women. We had three follow us our entire trek (we left at 9 am and got to our home stay at 5 pm). They waited for us every time we stopped. At the end, I gave them a tip for helping me through some difficult terrain. They then demanded I purchase items from them, despite me already having given them $10 each. When I did buy from them, one woman got very upset because I didn't give her as much money and began yelling at me and arguing. Eventually she left, but it left me feeling very uncomfortable. I think its important to make it clear to the women at the start either how much you will spend, or that you aren't interested. This appears to be common throughout all Sapa treks.

Overall, an unmissable experience for us, and one I would recommend to anyone.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
12 Thank mizzSK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Fantastic from start to finish.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 22, 2013

We had heard many horror stories about tour bookings in Hanoi, especially cruises to Halong Bay. We contacted Vega travel after finding them in Lonely Planet and felt reassured from my very first email contact. The service was very prompt, professional, well priced and helpful. We booked tours at very short notice and were always accommodated. We were even able to use the up stairs room to have a hot shower and freshen up as our first tour started the morning our train arrived in the city, our tour guide Dem, even came in and opened up the office at 6am to facilitate this- you can't ask for better than that!
The tour to Halong Bay was magic, small group of 10, it ran on time and was exactly what the itinery said it would be. The food was plentiful, fresh and very tasty, if anything we felt bad that we couldn't eat all of it. The boat was clean and staff were friendly and polite. Yes they ask you to not bring your own drinks but that's the same every where. The prices were still cheap.
We were so happy with the trip we went on to book another 2 trips to explore parts of Hanoi, both were as good. Our guides were lovely young men who spoke good English and had very good knowledge of all the areas we visited, they had great sence of humour and were happy to answer all questions. On our last tour,2 of our family members were unable to attend as they were unwell, our guide drove us back to the hotel in the middle of the day to check up how they were doing and was happy to make changes to allow them to join us later in the day.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Jenny A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hoi An
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Watch out for your belongings!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 19, 2013

We decided to do our tour with Vega Travel since it was recommended in the Lonely Planet guide book. As expected the drive to Halong city was pretty rough and the stop at the extremely overpriced restaurant/gift shop was pretty annoying (drivers and guides get free lunch there).

The first night you stay on one of the hundreds of cruise ships in Halong bay. The scenery is definitely amazing -- but don't go with Vega. Compared to other boats theirs is old and the heating doesn't work in the cabins. Since there are only thin blankets provided and it gets really cold during the night you do need the heating. Unfortunately the food served isn't edible either and there is not enough for all the people they cram of their boats.

On the second day things got worse. Unfortunately I left my e-reader in our cabin when we were hurried to change onto a smaller boat. On that boat I immediately realized this, but the guide said he'd make sure I'd get it back. Trusting him turned out to be a big mistake. Of course nobody of the crew "had seen it" i.e somebody stole it.

After approaching the guide several times to make the thief give me back my property, he started to change his strategy. Instead of saying "nobody has seen it" he decided to claim that one of the other passengers had stolen the device. Since the other passengers protested, his third "defense" was to threaten me that if I go to the police they won't find anything and I had to pay $1000 in "police fee", which doesn't exist of course.

Do NOT choose Vega if you don't want your belongings stolen! And to top it off, this all happened on Christmas day on our honeymoon...

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
9 Thank Michael M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kiev
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Excellent trip to Halong Bay”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 18, 2013

We did 2 days one night Halong Bay trip with Vega Travel and it was the best thing we did so far in Vietnam. Fantastic boat, great rooms, only 10 people group, nice guide and good food. While the Surprising cave experience was not so fantastic because of other 1000 tourist queueing into it with us, next morning we went onto a top of an island to see Halong bay from the top and we were there alone before all the other boats came in and traffic jams started to happen on the way up the mountain. Good organisation, everything worked like the clock. Boat crew was great too. Be warned though that drinks are not included into the price and they are quite pricey on the boat by Vietnamese standards - $25 a bottle of wine, 60000VND for a glass, $5 a cocktail (wait until after dinner and they will start a happy hour with $3.5 per cocktail and get 3 beers and get 1 free)

Overall we totally recommend them, they're really good.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank alexchorny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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