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Hello, my name is Phan
Destination Expert for Vietnam
- Languages: English, Chinese, Vietnamese
Individual trip ideas from PhanSee all Trips
Vietnam - 9 days
Discover The Rich Culture & Flavors of Northern Vietnam
- Dinner with a local host
- River rafting
- Cycling through Paddy field
- Homestay experience
Vietnam - 14 days
Discover the Best of Vietnam during this 14 Days Fascinating Trip
- Oxcart ride to Van Long Wharf
- Cycling to the countryside
- Farming & Fishing life
- Cooking class in Mekong
Vietnam - 11 days
Highlights of Southern & Central Highlands of Vietnam
- Cycling to the countryside
- Floating market in Mekong
- Tea & Coffee planting in Dalat
- Farming & Fishing in Hoi An
Vietnam - 12 days
Highlights of Northern & Central Vietnam
- Farming work in Mai Chau
- Dining in cave in Halong Bay
- Cycling in Hue Countryside
- Bamboo boat ride in Hoi An
Vietnam - 15 days
15-Day Vietnam Summer Vacation With Beach Escape
- Beach relax in Nha Trang
- Cruising on Halong Bay
- Discover Hanoi in your own way
- Free to Explore the South
Vietnam - 8 days
8 Day Vietnam Wellness Retreat & Cruise
- Unlimited services on Cruises
- Traditional Massage in Hanoi
- Dine in a French Villa in Hano
- Wellness Activities in Hoi An
Favorite destination:Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Thailand
Travel preferences:Culture, Beach, Adventure, Culinary
As I had a sudden unexpected and severe health problem, we needed to alter our intended holiday plans and therefore I contacted Trip.me to assist on short notice. Even though I understand the difficulties in planning someone else's ideal holiday on short notice, I was not entirely happy with the result.
1. It was very difficult to get Phan to understand what kind of itenarary we wanted. He kept on suggesting (more like insisting) that we visit places we did not want to go or that we have already been to.
2. Although we were already in Vietnam and thus did not need assistance obtaining visas or international flights, he still included this in the price and there was no discount even after I asked directly about it. Furthermore, even after removing 2 local flights and some days from the itenarary, the price stayed the same.
3. We were very unhappy with the food served at the included meals. Even after requesting that we are rather allowed to choose our own food from the menu within a certain budget, we were still left with set menus which on numerous occasions included meat that we don't eat for religious and health reasons. Very often there were plenty of other, cheaper vegetarian dishes that we would have preferrred if we were given a choice. I mentioned this in the first feedback form and again to every other tourguide, but it wasn't rectified. I often ended up eating only rice with soy sauce.
4. Even though, due to my health issues, we wanted comfort, it seemed that at each resort/hotel we were assigned to the most expensive suite, which I thought was unneccessary. We were never given options to choose from.
5. We were assigned a tour guide for our overnight stay in Hanoi as well as for the transfer to and from Halong Bay. As we arrived late in Hanoi and departed early for Halong Bay there was absolutely no need for a tour guide. His English was poor, he did not add any value or extra information to our trip and his main aim seemed to be to get us to buy him beer and become Facebook friends. Another unnecessary expense.
6. Many of the planned itenarary seemed to be tourist traps. I.e. the visit to the Marble Mountains did not mean actually seeing the Marble Mountains, but a trip to a store selling souvenirs and marble carvings where we were subjected to aggressive hard sell techniques. The lunch at Dambri waterfall seemed to be also just for us to eat and buy souvenirs. The driver was very surprised and upset when we wanted to see the actual waterfall.
7. At the end of our trip we were stranded at Than Son Nhat airport for numerous hours without the ability to check in early or do a bag drop for our international departure flight or any amenities. There were at least 5 later flights that we could have taken. According to Phan, he intended this to be some "free time" in HCMC. Even though he was well aware that we have already spent a number of days there. And how were we supposed to go sight seeing in a very busy city with all our luggage?! He then suggested that he send someone to pick us up, but by that time, we would only have about an hour in the city, so I declined his belated offer.
8. When I complained to Phan, he said that the I was supposed to double check the itenarary and flights and make changes if I wanted. But this defeats the whole purpose of having a so-called "destination expert". We used the trip.me platform to NOT be encumbered with all the hassles of checking flights and booking hotels. If he expected me to do this, why use a travel agent at all??
9. Overall we are feeling like we were ripped off. Our trip ended up being extremely expensive where it could easily have been half the price with much more enjoyable food and, still staying in the same hotels/resorts but in less expensive rooms.
Response from Destination Expert Phan:
Dear Ilse, I am grateful for your review and I appreciate this feedback from my end. I’m so sorry to know that you were not fully satisfied with the trip that I had organized for you. Maybe during the time of our conversation we had some misunderstandings to know about your wishes in travelling since all the requests and arrangements of the trip happened very last minute. I would like to clarify some things about your trip:
1. We didn't have international flights included in your trip. I had checked and we didn't have any international flight included in the program because you started the trip right when you were already in Vietnam for about a week.
2. As we had received your request to book everything in the last minutes (booking was made 2 days before the start date), before asking you to book with us, I had sent you the final program based on the availability of services (hotels, cruises, flight time, etc.) and asked if you accepted this arrangement before making the decision. We had explained that for some hotels the lower category had been fully booked and only had higher categories available.
3. About the food, during the time you traveled, I always contacted you by WhatsApp to ask if there was anything you wanted me to change for you, but I did not receive any response from you until when you arrived back at Hanoi (end of tour). I came to the hotel to meet you directly and you had still said everything was okay.
Overall, I am sincerely sorry that I could not provide the trip that you had wanted to have and I’m really regretful about this. I do hope that if I have a chance to serve you in the next time in Vietnam, I will arrange exactly the trip that you want.
Best regards from Vietnam,