I had planned on giving you a report before the week was over but I'll do it now. Unfortunately the weather was very bad when we left and it was just as bad the day after we got back. SNOW - SNOW and more snow but it is starting to melt now that it is officially spring.
In general everything was perfect. Everything went smoothly. With the exception of one guide they were all great and we especially liked the one in Hoian and Hanoi. There were times when my knees were bothering me and they all helped by holding my hand for balance when there were steps to climb and no railing or anything to grab on to, (which was almost always.)
The hotels were lovely, some better than others, but all good. All except one and I don't remember which one, maybe the one in Siem Reap, did not have twin beds and I think it was full as there were large groups of Koreans there at that time. The Boss hotel in Hanoi was a last minute change and I must admit it was probably the best. I know it's new, the room was big and very comfortable, there was a laptop in the room, the service was excellent, and it was a good location. I would highly recommend it again. I loved the Raffles but unfortunately we did not have much time there to enjoy it as we were in one evening and out the next morning.
The food everywhere was wonderful and almost always we ate the local food with no incident. The little female guide in Ho Chi Minh City was especially helpful in acquainting us with restaurants and the food. She was like a mother taking care of here children.
The sights to see were all interesting - no complaints there. However, I wish I had known in advance about having to have your shoulders covered for some of the temples as most of my clothes were tank tops because of the heat. I had about 3 shirts with sleeves and wore the same ones most often.
The cruise in Halong Bay was wonderful, the boat very comfortable, the food good, and would have been perfect if there was some sun but that could not be helped.
We loved the shopping in Phnom Penh and managed to do a little shopping everywhere. My friend had a winter coat made in Hoian and it was much cheaper than what we could buy at home.
If I had to recommend adding one more thing it would be an optional elephant ride as we started to see them advertised a lot towards the back half of the trip especially in Laos I think. I have done that in Nepal many years ago and it was fun and my friend would have liked to do it. So maybe it's consideration for the future.
So overall I thank you for your efforts as it was a wonderful trip and EVERYTHING went smoothly. I would definitely recommend you to anyone planning to visit to that area.