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All reviews ban gioc national park home stay cao bang northern vietnam ha giang bao our tour guide small trek beautiful waterfall h mong dong van local communities homestay experience dark cave days nights amazing scenery
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Reviewed April 8, 2018

Don’t hesitate to book an excursion with Mr. Linh’s Adventures. Our reservation and plans were handled professionally by Trang who was patient and extremely helpful with all of my questions. Trang explained how everything would work and even helped arrange our pickup at a location other than Hanoi. We did the three day in Ba Be National Park which was incredible. We were paired with Mr. Long (guide) and Mr. Thanh (driver). At first I was thinking - “why would we need a dedicated driver…” That question was answered almost immediately. If you’re not yet familiar with driving in Vietnam - just wait. Having a skilled professional at the wheel is essential. They picked us up at the hotel in a very nice van - we were expecting a car and this was a nice surprise. The first day was great and Long kept us informed about everything we saw. We stopped at an amazing cave and a gorgeous waterfall - and the scenery all along the way was breathtaking. The room at Mr. Linh’s Homestay was very nice and the food was great. The highlight of the trip was a 10 mile trek through rice paddies, Hmong Villages, and the surrounding mountains. On the trek we also had a local guide named Mr. Hauou (I have no idea how to spell it) - who seemed to know absolutely everyone on the way. We visited several Hmong homes and the scenery was out of this world. There is no way we could have ever found these trails or been welcomed in to the local homes along the way without Long and the local guide. As always Long kept us well informed about everything we saw. After the hike we did some kayaking in Ba Be lake and visited a temple on an island. The third and last day we ended the trip with a fantastic boat ride through Ba Be Lake ending at an enormous cave. There were very few tourists at any of our stops and we never felt hassled by anyone. We had a great time and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Mr. Linh’s Adventures to anyone - it’s an extremely professional outfit. They really know what they’re doing and the people on their staff are all professional, knowledgable, and a pleasure to hang out with. Thank you Trang, Mr. Thanh - and a special thanks to Mr. Long!

Date of experience: April 2018
6  Thank Angelo G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2018

From our initial inquiry to the end of our trip Mr Linh adventures could not have done more for us!
They were able to accommodate all our needs and provide us with the very best of service.
Hien (Kevin) was our email point of contact and responded efficiently and courteously to our queries and wishes. Our tailor made itinerary, created by Hien, included everything we had hoped for.
The trip itself was guided by "Mike" and our driver was "Long" both were utterly brilliant
!
We quickly established an excellent rapport.and this led to our experience being enhanced. Mike's English was fantastic however he was also a good teacher and helped us to try to speak some words of Vietnamese, he was very patient.
The drive from Hanoi to our first Homestay was long (over 5 hours) but full of amazing scenery as we journeyed from the lowlands to the highlands.
We stayed at My Kim's Homestay in Phia Thap incense village and wow talk about rustic this is a real working village with a cottage industry involving the whole community. The village is set against a backdrop of mountains and farming. The Homestay is a stilted house with adequate communal facilities but does include shower and flushing western toilets. What is missing in comfort is made up by the warmth of the family whose home you are sharing. In terms of food it is very much a case of eating what you are given and there are plenty of traditional dishes. Beware of the rice wine!
From the Phia Thap we took a long and winding route to the impressive cave and waterfalls at Ban Gioc.
We then travelled to Mr Linh's Homestay at Babe lake which is located on the lake shore. The facilities are more comfortable (especially the beds) than at Phia Thap but the bathrooms are still shared facilities. The hospitality is more functional and less warm than at the previous Homestay.
The 17 km trek was amazing and a combination of a local guide and Mike gave us an unforgettable experience. (Good trekking shoes/training shoes are essential.)
We had chance to meet the local people, see their traditional way of life and visit the little school.
After our trek we had a tranquil paddle in the Kayaks and Mike shared the legend of widow island with us.
We also had a boat trip to the Bat cave. The cave was well worth the visit.
Without hesitation we would recommend the trip and Mr Linh adventures.

Date of experience: April 2018
4  Thank timb0wden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2018

We did not book with Mr. Linh but somehow ended up on his tour to Ban Gioc Waterfall and Ba Be Lake and we are so happy it happened that way. It would have to be the best tour I have ever done. The scenery is stunning, the waterfall takes your breath away and the lake is magnificent. The homestay at Mrs. Kim’s in a farming village which also makes incense was something I will always treasure. Mr. Linh’s resort overlooking Ba Be Lake had views to die for. Our trip across the lake and through the grotto was so peaceful and a welcome change from horn honking on the road.
The icing on the cake was our wonderful tour guide Loi Cao. It is hard to put in words how attentive to his group he was. He helped cook for us, he served us, he answered our many questions, he gave us 110% attention throughout the whole tour. He is a hard act to follow and we are a bit disappointed at the 2 guides we have had since.
I highly recommend this tour

Date of experience: March 2018
3  Thank Lynne P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2018

We booked a private 6 day and 5 night Northern Vietnam tour from Canada months before our travel. The company was recommended by a well-known guidebook as a reputable tour company. Kevin, the sales rep, was very helpful in planning our trip and made every effort in quickly responding to our inquiries. We saw so many amazing sites, ate tasty food, were involved in awesome customs and met so many lovely people. Both our driver and tour guide were named Long so we ended up calling our driver Double Long. Both Long and Double Long were both friendly and kind. There were several concerns regarding our guide and driver we thought could be improved upon and we don't believe the feedback was received well by Mr Linh's Adventures which is why I'm publishing them here. On the first day, our driver was 45 minutes late with the explanation that there was much traffic. From what we know the traffic in Hanoi is generally bad so we are not sure how good of a reason that truly was. In general, Long did not explain how long our walks or excursions would be. For example, would it be a 10-minute walk or 30-minute hike or cave excursion? This left us guessing what we need to bring with us. Do we need to bring water, should we bring the heavier SLR or lighter point and shoot? We asked Long how to ask the local people if I could take a picture of them and he just told us to do it. We want to be respectful of the people and customs and felt Long put the villagers and us in an awkward position. We would ask people if we could take their picture using sign body & sign language and if they would shake their head no Long would tell us to take a picture regardless. We would not as we would not appreciate a stranger taking our picture against our wished so we wanted to respect them. At this point, Long would ask for our camera and take pictures secretly of people. We also ran out of water on our second to last day which was never replenished it. We asked at the beginning of the trip if we should buy water and Long said no if we run out he'll buy more. In addition, Long tried to talk us out of staying at the Quang Uyen homestay saying it was not nice and that we should go back to Cao Bang. We decided to do the homestay and it was the best homestay of our trip. The people, the sleeping space and the food. Both Long and Double Long drank rice wine at dinner time which we do not mind and understand its part of the culture. However, on the last day Long got quite drunk at lunch which we thought was unprofessional. We had lunch at the home of one of Long's good friends which was an amazing experience, but Long got so drunk he spoke loudly and passed out in the van on the ride home to Hanoi.
Our last homestay was more of a guesthouse than a homestay and for people wanting a homestay experience, this would not be it. It was the village of Mr. Lihn's homestay and all the rooms were separate from each other, which was nice for privacy but from the previous two homestays, we are not sure this was a true representative of what a local homestay would be. Later on, in our own self-planned trip, we used another guide from a different company and found he taught us more than Long had on our trip about the same things. My wife would ask questions and get a very cursory answer from Long whereas the other guide would get into history and meaning and culture of the things we saw.
Again, this was an amazing trip but the guiding was not to the standard we are used to for the amount of money we paid. We brought these concerns to Kevin's attention when we returned. In regards to Long's drinking and getting drunk it was suggested that my wife was "being too friendly and nice and Long let his guard down". Kevin proceeded to note he brought this feedback to Long's attention and Long was "very sensitive to the feedback and felt bad". Even though the behaviour was noted as being unprofessional, no attempt to correct it was brought forward and instead we were asked to send pictures of our trip to Kevin so he could use them to promote the company.

PS Mr Linh's Adventure - There is no need to reply to this review by thanking us for booking with you and then proceeding to tell us how and why we are wrong.

Thank you.

Date of experience: March 2018
11  Thank Casey S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2018

This was by far the best experience. They took us to the REAL Vietnam. Traditional food, traditional living, fabulous sites and the guide and driver were top quality. English was actually great! Booking was also easy. This is a very honorable tour company.

Date of experience: March 2018
Thank marshal486
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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