Mr Linh’s excursion “Off the beaten tracks” is a trip appropriately named. Our summary of the excursion was excellent and as all life’s adventures, it did have some pros and cons.
The good stuff:
- A true deep and rich experience. Discover who the peoples of northern Vietnam are, how they live and work.
-Incredible topography and the opportunity to see it close up by hiking, boating, spelunking, and kayaking.
-A great guide ( Loi ) with flexibility to change the day instantly based on what our wishes and what was available to see that day. He adapted well with every change up request. He started everyday with a good plan and a smile.
-Our driver ( Lon ) who was safe, fun and always watching out for what he could do. He and Lon are a great team.
-Homestay at Heavenly Homestay was five star. A unique cottage with opportunity to walk around the village and eat with the family. The balance was just right.
-Mr. Linh’s Homestay was very good for both location and comfort.
-Cathy at Mr Linh’s. She is a valuable resource for setting up excursions and even helping us with the visa application. Always timely in her communications. A star.
- Several long days in the vehicle. Although the actual distances between stops were not huge, it takes nearly the entire day to accomplish the travel on rough and serpentine roads. Two days were unbalanced as to time in the car vs activities.
- The hotel in Sapa missed the marked. It was a bit eerie - a 7 story hotel nearly empty.
- One of the three Homestays, the second Homestay of the trip was barely friendly in my opinion, It was authentic and primitive, for sure.
Overall we would conclude the excursion as a great experience and definitively met our goal of discovering northern Vietnam.