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“Smiley is more than a tour guide”

Custom Vietnam Travel Day Tours
Book In Advance
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$118.00*
and up
Day Trip to Bac Son Valley from Hanoi
Ranked #3 of 44 Nature & Parks in Hanoi
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Custom Vietnam Travel is a fully licensed tour operator in Hanoi. We specialize in high quality, memorable custom tours. Taking travelers to less-visited destinations to uncover the authentic cultures and beautiful landscapes. You can depend on us to skillfully organize special interest tours, and other comprehensive travel services in Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia. We pride ourselves on our flexibility & attention to what is important for the fulfillment of your travel expectations.
Reviewed January 28, 2013

Last time when I came to Hanoi, Smiley was only a tour guide. I am now glad that he set up his own travel company. He took care of the details of my itinerary when I first contact him. He gave me some good advice and information but not pushy so that we still feel at ease even if his recommendation is not followed. He is very accomodating and even lent us a mobile phone during the entire trip so that we can contact him in case of any need. For the meals we chose and booked ourseleves, he re-confirmed the booking for us and ensure everything is on the right track. As he always smiles, his name is "smiley".

I am going back to Hanoi 2 months later and will definitely go for him again. I have no reservation to recommend him to my friends.

3  Thank Traveller80808
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CVT_Travel, Managing Director at Custom Vietnam Travel Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded February 16, 2013

Hi Janet,
Thank you for the review. It was truly our pleasure to put things together for your last trip to Vietnam with your friends and family. Smiley and I are happy to know that everyone had a good time in Hanoi and Halong Bay. We definitely hope to see you again in Vietnam for your further memorable experiences! Cheers and a healthy and prosperous NEW YEAR OF SNAKE for you and your extended family.

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Write a ReviewReviews (333)
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"mu cang chai"
in 10 reviews
"ninh binh"
in 23 reviews
"rice terraces"
in 8 reviews
"halong bay"
in 81 reviews
"meo vac"
in 8 reviews
"day trip"
in 27 reviews
"dong van"
in 7 reviews
"customized trip"
in 4 reviews
"holiday of a lifetime"
in 4 reviews
"private tour"
in 21 reviews
"mekong delta"
in 18 reviews
"sampan ride"
in 5 reviews
"planning process"
in 4 reviews
"via email"
in 12 reviews
"safe driver"
in 4 reviews
"personal guide"
in 4 reviews
"excellent service"
in 14 reviews
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295 - 299 of 333 reviews

Reviewed January 21, 2013

I feel extremely lucky that I visited Vietnam with Custom Vietnam Travel. I couldn't have asked for a better experience.

Smiley, our guide, was more than a guide; he was a friend, teacher, and travel companion. His amount of knowledge was incredible -- he answered every question with in-depth information and clear explanations. He even gave me an excellent language lesson over dinner. He definitely has a talent for teaching. Moreover, I felt very well taken care of and Smiley was reliable in every way. He is a complete delight to be around -- calm, funny, caring, and smart.

Every detail was planned out and went smoothly. Every driver was excellent, which is saying something given the craziness of Hanoi traffic and the winding roads near Sapa.

I can't recommend Custom Vietnam Travel highly enough. From the advance planning/thoughtful emails with Phuong to the fascinating history and culture shared by Smiley to the natural beauty of Vietnam, this is DEFINITELY the way to go!

4  Thank Rachel N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CVT_Travel, Managing Director at Custom Vietnam Travel Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded January 31, 2013

Xin Chao Rachel,

Thanks for your terrific feedback. We are so glad to know that your first tour to Vietnam topped off a wonderful experience, although it was quite short. We had talked with our guides both Smiley and Giang and they wanted us to let you know that they did enjoy themselves moving around with you, too. Vietnam still has many stunning places worth visiting. We hope that in the future, you could fly to this side of the world again to discover the rest. Smiley and Giang join me to send you all the best wishes for 2013.
Phuong Nguyen

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Reviewed January 15, 2013

We've been on several tours with Custom Vietnam and all have been sensational, we've never once had a bad experience. They took us to the fabric markets just out of Hanoi and helped me choose some excellent fabrics, then took us to Hoi An to have suits and fashion jeans tailor made - all fabulous quality. Ive used their services to go on Sapa and district tours, on other occasions its been Halong Bay tours and other places I can't even remember their names, but will never forget the memories we made and the friendships formed. Another lovely tour I did with them was to a Thai village (in Vietnam) for a few days, hopefully Smiley or Phuong can remind me of the name of the village, it was another "must do" on their tours.

4  Thank LadyBytes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CVT_Travel, Managing Director at Custom Vietnam Travel Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded January 31, 2013

Hi Michelle and Mark,
Thank you so much for taking time to write the lovely review. We are so grateful to you and your hubby for using Custom Vietnam Travel as your trustful tour operator in Vietnam regularly . Your feedback is indeed a big motivation for us to perform even a better job in the future.
The village where the White Thai people inhabit that you mentioned is Ban Lac in Mai Chau valley about 140 Km from Hanoi. When you find yourself again in Vietnam, we would love to show you more marvelous destinations. All the best!
Phuong Nguyen

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Reviewed January 13, 2013

Smiley is a great tour guide. We recently spent the day with
him taking a two hour boat trip in the Tam Coc area of Vietnam
and an unbelievable bicycle ride through remote areas of the
country side. He is a very well informed person holding an in-depth
knowledge of the geography and history of Vietnam. Smiley also
has a great sense of humor, which made the trip that much more
enjoyable. He was recommended to us by a friend and I am now
writing this review to pass his name on as an exceptional tour guide
for Vietnam and other parts of SE Asia.

5  Thank nb n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CVT_Travel, Managing Director at Custom Vietnam Travel Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded January 30, 2013

Dear Nathan, Thank you for your generous comment, we are so pleased you enjoyed your day trip to Ninh Binh with Smiley. It is wonderful to receive such beautiful words on all aspects of the tour including our staff. Wish you and Susan all the best and see you on our way soon

Phuong Nguyen

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Reviewed January 2, 2013

My wife and I are in our late 50's early 60's. We love to travel independently and have traveled all over the world. We have gone to south east Asia many times, but never have experienced anything like our trip with Custom Vietnam Travels. We were fortunate to have "Smiley" as our tour guide. He became more of a friend than a travel guide. Smiley brought us into his Vietnamese life - not just showing us sights. We met his family and friends, went to parties with him and his friends. For example, we were invited to a one year old child's party which is a very special celebration. We could have opted to stay in our hotel that night, but instead we chose to go to this party. Well, in Vietnam, they call the 1st birthday of baby "THÔI NÔI". "Thôi" means a stop or leaving. "Nôi" means baby cradle. In the literal sense, it's a time for "Leaving Cradle" and walk! In figurative sense, this opens a new page in child life when the baby passed her 1st hard year dramatically and be ready to step into a new period. We would not have experienced this from any other tour guide.

Hanoi is chaos when it comes to traffic - motor scooters and motor cycles and cars going in every direction. I expressed a desire to ride a motor cycle in Hanoi and do our own tour with Smiley on motor bike. What ever we wanted to do, Smiley made it happen. The next thing I knew, my wife and I were on motor bike touring Hanoi and being part of the chaos. It was incredible.

Smiley's attention to detail was incredible. Every part of our trip was flawless. The hotels, the restaurants were impecable. However, the things that we did were so amazing and far and beyond what the average tour guide would have arranged.

3  Thank leeaweiss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CVT_Travel, Sales Manager at Custom Vietnam Travel Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded January 30, 2013

Hi Mr. Lee,

Thank you for the great feedback and letting us know how our staff did to meet your travel expectation. We really enjoyed reading your sharing the nice experience of attending the 1st birthday of baby, the challenge of riding a motorcycle in Hanoi and more. Hope that our great guides will be taking you on more memorable adventure trips soon.

Ngoan Le

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