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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 March 19, 2019

We chose Mr Linh's Adventures because we wanted to really get to know Vietnam, to meet its people, to see its natural beauty and we could not have made any better decision.
Long (our tour guide) and Mr Thanh (our driver) are such a great team and took care of us like we could have never imagined. Together, we went on our great adventure in Northern Vietnam, where we got to do hiking, to swim in Ba Be Lake, to meet local people and experience the authentic life of the Red Dao people, Tai people, Hmong and Thai people.
Long always kept our interest active and explained us everything about customs, food, culture and agriculture, local legends and even Vietnamese words. He taught us how to behave in order not to offense the people and to show them respect, he went with us on hiking tours and even carried our sticky rice for our picnic.
He was particularly attentive to our wishes and kept us off the crowded paths so we got the chance to discover Vietnam without the hassle of hundreds of tourists.
We are also very thankful for the custom tour Mr Linh's provided for us, tailored for our preferences.
We heartily recommend Mr Linh's Adventures, professional tour guide (we would do our next trips with them as well)

Date of experience: March 2019
Thank BiancaM89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mr_Linh_Adventure, General Manager at Mr Linh's Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded March 25, 2019

Dear Bianca, thank you very much for your kind review. We are very happy to hear that Long and Thanh helped make your experience in Vietnam so memorable! Focusing on off the beaten tracks tour is our specialty, and the best way to discover the wonders of Nothern Vietnam and the local communities.

We hope to see you again soon!

Sincere regards,
Linh.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2019

We booked a private tour with Mr Linh's following recommendations from previous visitors (who went trekking in Ba Be National Park). This did not disappoint.
Our guide, Loi, was really friendly, adventurous and kept us entertained and enthused on our treks and time on the boat.
We started with a drive from Hanoi, and then onto the afternoons 8km trek across the national park to Viet Hai village - a hard but rewarding trek, with good walking shoes and a daypack essential! Our guide helped us to understand the local wildlife. We stayed overnight in Viet Hai Village bungalows (reviewed separately) which offered a basic but comfortable accommodation and a nice dinner (our luggage arrived by boat later in the afternoon). Day 2 was a shorter trek up to view the bays, enjoyable despite the difficult terrain and misty weather, we cycles too the harbour to meet the wooden junk boat. The junk was clean and comfortable with a small cabin and basic bathroom. We had a wonderful lunch followed by a busy afternoon of kayaking and swimming in the bay. Another fantastic seafood dinner followed, and we slept comfortably. Day 3 included a visit to a local floating village fish farm, a trek on monkey island (beware hungry monkeys on arrival), and another lovely lunch before driving back to Hanoi.
We had a brilliant time with lots of unforgettable experiences, our guide Loi really helped us to understands and enjoy North Vietnam!

Date of experience: March 2019
Thank creamteaanyone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mr_Linh_Adventure, General Manager at Mr Linh's Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded March 25, 2019

Hi creamteaanyone, thank you so much for this review! We are so happy to hear you had an amazing time in North Vietnam. We are dedicated to offer the best experience possible to our guests, and give them a peep to authentic Vietnamese rural life. Loi is indeed a great asset to do so, always with the right story to tell!

Sincere regards,

Linh.

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Reviewed March 9, 2019

Did the tour from Hanoi to Ba Be Lake & Ban Gioc Waterfall and it was one of the most amazing nature tours I've ever gone on! The guide was incredibly knowledgeable and he always seemed to take the greatest care to make sure everyone was happy and didn't need anything. The homestay in Ba Be was also great, and it was really nice talking to Linh and the rest of the family for a bit.

Would recommend for anyone who's looking for a guided tour of some truly amazing sights accompanied by friendly people.

Date of experience: February 2019
2  Thank 858aleksanderh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mr_Linh_Adventure, Manager at Mr Linh's Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded March 25, 2019

Hi Aleksander. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave us a review. We’re very happy to hear that you enjoyed both the natural scenery and the welcoming local people.

Sincere regards,
Linh.

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Reviewed March 5, 2019

we have been on a lot of tours over the years ,including some remote places where it was hard to get a decent bed and shower and the food was hit and miss, but we have never been so disappointed with a tour as this one.Things were so different to what we expected from the description that we even tried to cut the tour short and get back to Hanoi early - we have never done that before on a tour.We were just not enjoying it.It was not because of the overcast weather or the tour guide(who was good and very well informed). It was because we felt that Mr Linh was saving money with the most basic and often dirty restaurant stops and some under-funded homestays that would have worked for us as 19 year old backpackers but not now.The first homestay was good,sleeping behind a curtain and eating on the floor with a lovely family, but after that we had a range of places which included having to listen to every other guest and staff member using the rudimentary toilet through the night(don't try and think just what we were hearing , it was revolting and made sleep impossible).As I told the guide,a tiny investment in putting up some wood to close things in a tad might have given us a good night's sleep.

Two other nights we had stone cold food because the kitchens had no equipment or covered dishes to keep anything warm.They were catering for so many people they had to cook stuff in sequence for an hour or so before we ate.No big deal perhaps, but flavour starts to disappear ten minutes after cooking and it is easy to provide a few bits of extra kit or serving dishes with lids without spoiling the 'off the beaten track' vibe.

We saw other homestays in similar locations which were probably a few dollars to pay for the guys running these tours .We pointed out to the guide the still charming but better equipped places we could see close by with proper beds etc where It would be nice for us to do a similar tour but with a company that has reacted to these very small and basic issues.. As we told them in my feedback verbally and at the end - I think they have spent many years saving money on the food and tea stops, on saving pennies and keeping the homestays basic while still getting rave reviews about this part of Vietnam, that they have not realised how uncomfortable it can be for guests who are not backpackers . Nobody surely likes food to be very cold and unappetising , no proper wall between toilets and bedrooms in the home stay near the waterfall , very little privacy and sleep etc . With just a few thousand bucks spent on a few obvious things and maybe changing some of the homestays they use it could all be remedied. This tour is expensive so just reinvest four people's tour costs in a year and the experience would match the hype.

We did also struggle with being stuck in the car for four to six hours or more every day, partly because we also had the worst driver we have every had on a tour like this.He was always in the wrong gear and could not overtake safely or make any sensible speed in his first hours of driving(he got faster and safer after lunch each day, no idea why ).Not a big deal again, but it contributed to many long and fairly boring days,despite the amazing scenery.We like walking in the jungle and the villages, not just looking out of the window of a badly driven car .

After a few days of not enjoying the budget holiday we asked our guide if we could just go back early to hanoi and get a partial refund .We got nowhere with this and at the end,with more little things going wrong each day, I filled in the feedback form very fully,saying things like I am saying here now.The guy handling it then offered us some other free tours we were never likely to want (who really wants another tour with a company who they felt has just let them down,and they knew we had already scheduled one tori they offered with another company).

The sinister thing ,which I should finish with,was when they ended up offering us a small cash refund it went rapidly from me telling they had to do better to them threatening to accuse me of blackmailing them if I posted a
bad review after arguing with them about the refund level!! I am only posting this review now after we are safely out of the country,because I frankly have no idea what sort of reach or resources these guys have within this very controlled country and their tone was a bit frightening. I am well past considering any refunds or wanting to ever have contact with them now . I don,t need the conflict .i just want to post an honest review and move on without any more threats and menaces .

If you like very basic,,as many other reivewers of this tour clearly do, in the context of living like the locals ,then consider this tour,but do watch out for the myriad of issues i raise here. in all my years of travel and tripadvisor usage I have never seen anyone like these people.

Date of experience: February 2019
4  Thank geoffexplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mr_Linh_Adventure, Owner at Mr Linh's Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded March 6, 2019

Dear Geoff.

First of all thank you for leaving your feedback. Despite what you claim, we never tried to discourage you from posting a review about our services or threatened you in any way, and you are of course free and welcome to write reviews (we invite all feedback, positive and negative), but we do not respond to reviews being used as a threat to leverage a larger refund than our policy dictates.

As for your issues with our tour, like we told you through email, we were very sad to hear you didn’t enjoy your time with us, and wish you would have accepted our offers of replacement tours in addition to partial cash refunds, which is already beyond the terms of the tour which you signed and agreed to beforehand.

As tourism and travel to the remote north of Vietnam is only in its early stages, facilities and infrastructure in the region is often basic, which means this should be considered a very off the beaten track destination, perfect for travellers looking for adventure and authentic experiences with rural Vietnamese life, and the tour is marketed as such. We would have been more than happy to organize a tour for you with a more luxurious level of comfort, had you informed us this was what you were looking for, as there are many more suitable options for this kind of travel in Vietnam, to all sorts of destinations.

Your suggestion of simply “reinvesting a few thousand dollars” may seem like a simple thing to you, but for the local people of Northern Vietnam this is a huge sum of money. As we are a local company we work hard to ensure that most of the money spent by our guests ends up in the hands of the local people and communities we work closely with, ensuring that they receive benefit from the tourism on their lands, rather than being exploited. Thus our cancellation and refund policy states that once the tour has begun, we cannot offer a full refund, as that would deprive the local people living here of the income they need to provide for themselves, their families and their community.

Once again I am very sad that you feel this way, and I wish you the best of luck on your future travels.

Regards,

Linh.

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Reviewed March 2, 2019 via mobile

We went to ba be national park with mr linh and did the boattour. The bus was already expensive and took way longer than promised. The boattour was even more overpriced. 35 dollars for a 3 hour tour which is not that special.

Date of experience: March 2019
3  Thank M9648
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mr_Linh_Adventure, Owner at Mr Linh's Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded March 3, 2019

Dear M9648.

I’m very sorry to hear that our tour was not up to your expectations. We do our best to break down the price of our services at the time of booking to showcase how most of our revenue ends up in the hands of the local people and communities that we work closely with.
We are the only company running a shuttle bus service between Hanoi and Ba Be National Park, and as it is still a remote and rarely-visited area. This relatively low demand means that transportation services cost a bit more than elsewhere in our country. If you research the prices for the local bus running the same route, you will discover that the price is the same as ours, but with more than double the travel time (up to 12 hours instead of around 4,5) and without the pick-up and drop-off services we offer.
We also offer this shuttle service completely free of charge to local people and students from Ba Be, allowing them to visit and study Hanoi, something they have been unable to do in the past. Thus, the price you pay for the ticket provides significant value to the local population in Ba Be, something we focus on, while still giving you a value you can’t get from the local bus. Had you informed me in advance about your thoughts on the pricing, I would’ve been more than happy to assist you with booking a local bus instead.
Regarding the tour, I am very sorry to hear you didn’t think it was worth it. We believe that 35 US Dollars is a very reasonable price for this tour as the maximum size of the group is 8 people, and even when there are fewer people the local boatman and English speaking guide still needs to be compensated for their labour.
Once again I’m very sorry to hear you were not happy with our services, and should you ever return to Vietnam I would love the chance to change your mind.

Sincere Regards,

Linh.

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