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“Mixed Feelings”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of The Sinh Tourist

The Sinh Tourist
Ranked #436 of 806 Tours in Hanoi
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The Sinh Tourist provides detail information in a wide range of media. Our aim is to help you make your choice possible, especially for those who like to free & easy way to travel throughout Vietnam by Open Bus Tour
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Mixed Feelings”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 22, 2013

We did two tours with the Sinh Tourist: 3 day, 2-night Ha Long Bay trip and a 3 day, 2 day, 3-night Sapa trekking trip. Confusingly, we found varying results with each.

3 day, 2-night Ha Long Bay:
Wonderful. Our tour guide was excellent, and provided a great history of Hanoi as well as answered any questions we had about present Hanoi. They took care of everything from transportation back and forth from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay, big seafood meals on the boat, and activities such as beaching, swimming, and kayaking. We were on the "Golden Lotus" junk the first night (smaller, older vessel), and transferred to a larger, newer junk (hilariously also named the "Golden Lotus") for the second night. If you are inbetween picking the 3 day, 2-night trip or the 2 day, 1-night trip I would HIGHLY recommend the 3 day, 2-night trip. The pace of the trip is much more relaxed, and on the second day you go to quieter areas of the bay where less boat frequent... also keep in mind that it takes 4-5 hours to go back and forth between Ha Long Bay to Hanoi each way!

2 day, 3-night Trekking Sapa:
Our guides for this trip were much more hands-off than any other tour I've been on. We were basically dropped off at the train station with an envelope of tickets and vague instructions about where to go and who to expect. We slept very little on the overnight train (the train would stop and go multiple times during the night to let opposite-direction trains pass), and were taken on a 4-5 hour moderately strenuous trek during the first weary hours of our arrival. Our Sinh Tourist guide did not speak much English, and therefore did not elaborate much about the Hmong culture or answer any questions we had. He was almost always about 100 feet in front of the rest of the group. Most of the information we obtained was from speaking Vietnamese directly with a couple of Hmong women who tagged along with our group. After 3.5 hours of trekking in the hot sun we were brought to Lao Chai for "lunch," which was the biggest tourist trap we had during the entire trip -- the food was poor and expensive (prices were unlisted, when we inquired we found out that "everything" on the menu was 80,000 dong), and it was difficult to eat with Hmong women and children pleading with you to buy their bracelets and coin purses with each spoonful you took. On the second day, we received a new guide for our trek down to Cat Cat and the waterfalls... and again, we were led to a tourist trap. At the very bottom of the valley, we were told that we could either trek back up the way we came (which they said would take at least an hour), or purchase a motorbike ride from many of the xe om vendors. Our group is in our 20s and decided to trek up (more on the theory of principle against tourist traps than to our own strength), which only took about 40 minutes. Many other folks chose motorbike rides though.

In hindsight, we would have much rather planned the Sapa trip ourselves and hired a Hmong guide (from Sapa Sisters, or one of the many other Hmong guide organizations in Sapa) once we arrived there. We would have then a) known exactly where we were going and what to expect and b) gotten a much richer cultural experience and historical context.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Michelle R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Vietnamese first
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English first
Singapore
Level Contributor
42 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Reliable, all expectations met.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2013

I booked 2 tours (Halong Bay, Sapa Trek) via The Sinh Tourist for my parents. I chose The Sinh Tourist because it sounded like the most reliable agency available, and I wanted my parents' holiday to go as smoothly as possible. I corresponded with Ms Moon Nguyen over yahoo messenger prior to booking the tours, and she answered all my queries promptly. I felt reassured that my parents were in good hands.

As a result, my parents enjoyed their virgin trip to Vietnam immensely. They had nothing but good feedback for the agency, and said that everything went smoothly and was professionally handled. The view at Halong Bay was beautiful, although Sapa was very foggy. I would not hesitate to patronize The Sinh Tourist myself, that is, when I finally make time to visit Vietnam for a holiday.

Helpful?
2 Thank frozen_fire19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woodstock, Vermont
Level Contributor
25 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Only after your $$$”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 27, 2012

First experience was their bus from Nha Trang to Dalat. The driver was a bit reckless. Bus was very cramped. No leg room at all.
Second experience (why was there a second chance?) was when we booked sleeping bus from Dalat to Saigon. Sinh Tourists pumped the price up to cover their commission. Asked the name of our hotel so they could arrange pickup. We discovered they then called to ask the hotel's manger to pay the driver for our bus fare since they had to pay the company before they would allow us to board the bus - and they had not done so. They agreed to reimburse the Manger.
We ended up paying 60,000 VD extra for booking thru them, and inconvenienced the manager of our hotel in the process. The ride was tolerable, but discharged us in District 5. Cost 70,000 VD cab fare to get to District 1. We won't use them again.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank VTBillJen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Attractive & Reasonably Priced One Day Tour Trips 😊”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 1, 2012 via mobile

Attractive & well planned one day trip for Perfume pagoda with good tour guide.

Reasonably priced & tours can be booked online & charged in USD. Last min booking is also possible but do note that there is inconvenience in paying USD cash as agency does not have enuf change to return back for payment.

Hence do prepare enuf VND cash for payment if doing last min booking.

Helpful?
4 Thank Jenny01_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hawker, Australia
Level Contributor
17 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Overcharging”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 17, 2012

This used to be a great company but has given in to greed. During the Indepence Day period they tried to charge me double the normal price. I went to a rival company and found that their price was unchanged. This made me curious so I went to the main office in District One where I was told that during popular periods the company sales office puts prices up by two and three times. I would give to this company miss and check out the opposition.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
5 Thank John A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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