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“Excellent,professional services”

Tonkin Voyage Travel
Ranked #34 of 220 Food & Drink in Hanoi
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Tonkin Voyage Travel is a boutique travel agency located in Hanoi, Vietnam. We specialise in tailor made holidays throughout Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Stairs / lift, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access
Reviewed 6 April 2018

In Feb,2018,We had an amazing 3 weeks tour” the best of Vietnam” from the central,north and back to the south of Vietnam,organised by Tonkin Travel. Vy- the friendly,lovely and excellent consultant and organiser,she met our interest and understood what we expecting for our tour.Everything had done just in a short time,via email or Facebook chat.Our itinerary was great,excellent services,professional,thoughtful and amazing guides. We really enjoyed our tour with Tonkin.If you are thinking to travel to Vietnam and looking for a travel organisation,I would recommend this company completely.Thank you so much Vy and Tonkin.

3  Thank Ai F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"phu quoc"
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"responded quickly"
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"the dragon"
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"cu chi tunnels"
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"siem reap"
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"via email"
in 3 reviews
"excellent service"
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"street food tour"
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"cooking class"
in 2 reviews
"day tour"
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"halong bay"
in 9 reviews
"vy"
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"jennifer"
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Reviewed 29 March 2018

Thao's help in planning our itinerary was invaluable. All the guides and drivers turned up on time and were friendly and most helpful - no glitches. She had selected excellent and interesting hotels where we got very good service. It was lovely to meet Thao when we finally got to Hanoi. I can throughly recommend Tonkin Travel.

Our 3-week trip took in Hanoi, Sapa, Tam Coc, Halong Bay, Mekong Delta, Phu Quoc Island and HCMC. We skipped the central Vietnam attractions to give us more time in each place. If you go to Phu Quoc don't miss the 8 Km cable car to Thom Island.

3  Thank Andrew M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2018

Even though I am a Travel Agent, I wanted a reliable company to use for arranging tours for me in Vietnam and Cambodia. I researched several and decided on Tonkin Voyage Travel. I was contacted by one of their reps named Thao Nguyen. She did a wonderful job for my friend and me and I can recommend her and her company highly. Here are a couple of examples as to why I say that. We had excellent drivers and guides in all the places we visited. They were always on time and knew their business. As it pertains to Halong Bay, she steered me toward using a smaller vote for just the two of us. A WONDERFUL SUGGESTION and not all that much more cost. We had a staff of 4 on the boat " La Amour 1" which operated flawlessly. My friend had her birthday that day and the staff provided several nice surprises for her. Meals were great and service impeccable. Anyway, we spent 4 days in Vietnam and 5 in Cambodia and I wouldn't change a thing ...... well, maybe 1 thing. I would suggest getting visas ahead of time if you can for Vietnam and Cambodia because it is time consuming and confusing to do at the airport. In summary, then, I think Tonkin and Thao deserve the highest of ratings.
Ray

4  Thank beauxm0nt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2018

We have traveled as a couple and a family extensively in Europe and Central & South America. We normally make all arrangements ourselves, so working with a travel agency is rather new for our personal travels. After seeing Tonkin Travel recommended in other forums, I did some more digging and found they had excellent reviews. Since this was our first trip into SE Asia, we wanted help mainly due to just how different it seemed to be from other places we'd been before. I went to Tonkin's website and filled out a preliminary form about what we wanted to do and almost immediately I was contacted by Jennifer (Thuy Hoang). I was still a little nervous at first because I'd read a lot of accounts of unsavory agencies, but at every point during the process Jennifer was on it and any fears I had melted away. She responded quickly (given the 12 hr time difference, most of our correspondence occurred in the evening for me) and was very flexible when asked for options or changes. We were provided with a very detailed itinerary. We usually drive ourselves when we travel, but this was one trip where we knew that probably wasn't the best plan. We're also not tour group type of travelers. Nothing wrong with large group travel, just not what we enjoy. We had a very short period of time to work with (basically 7 days in total in country) and we wanted to make the most of our days there (our daughter is in university and our son is in high school and magically their breaks aligned this year so we took full advantage of the short time we had). Jennifer arranged that we would have a driver and English speaking guide for our family for both our time in Vietnam and Cambodia. We wished we could've spent more time, but Jennifer really helped to map out a thorough and efficient itinerary that gave us a beautiful glimpse.

Technical Details ... Jennifer also arranged the paperwork for us to be able to get a Visa on Arrival in Vietnam (easy) and the info for a visa in Cambodia. We opted to get an Evisa for Cambodia from their gov't website which was quick and easy (approved and got it printed out within hours). Otherwise, it would have been easy enough to also get a Visa on Arrival in Siem Reap. Jennifer assured me these would be easy to secure and she was absolutely right. Do make sure you have exact money for the VOA in Vietnam ($25 per visa) in US dollars and 2 passport photos ready to go. We paid for our Cambodian Evisa online beforehand ($37 each) and uploaded passport photos electronically, so we were able to immediately go into the immigration line with these when we arrived (I had printed out 2 copies as instructed and cut out one to staple in each passport, keeping the other one for departure. We were never asked for the second one when we left.) To further ease our minds on this trip because it had multiple flights, we all had only carry-on luggage. We didn't want our time to be marred by the possibility of lost luggage. We had no problem carrying on our 22"x14"x9" hard-sided roller bags on Delta (US to Asia and return), Vietnam Airlines (Hanoi to Siem Reap) and China Eastern Airlines (Siem Reap to Shanghai).

We had a driver and English-speaking Tonkin guide meet us at the airport in Hanoi the night we arrived and take us to our hotel. The following morning our guide, Tien, met us at the airport with the driver and off we went on the 4 hour drive to the coast to get on our cruise. We were in a large comfy van that had the option of reclining seats. Working with Jennifer, we chose the Dragon Legend 2 day/1night cruise in Bai Tu Long Bay. I had read in many places that Bai Tu Long Bay was less crowded than Halong Bay for cruising and we were not disappointed. The boat was wonderful, the cabin, crew and food were all top-notch. We had a king sized bed cabin for ourselves and a twin beds cabin for our teens. The size was great and bigger than I expected and the bathrooms roomy. The cruise was relaxing and the surrounding island views captivating. A highlight was Tai Chi early the second morning on the top deck. Not to be missed! Tien and our driver met us as soon as we got back to port and we were back to Hanoi. We were taken back to our hotel and we were on our own for the evening, wandering around the picturesque Hoan Kiem Lake. The next day Tien picked us up and we headed out on a Hanoi City Tour. Very interesting and informative and just the overview we wanted. He was very knowledgeable about history of the city, region and country and was always throwing in interesting tidbits. We went to a cultural sort of "Cirque du Soleil with bamboo meets Stomp" show in the early evening at the Opera which we really enjoyed then met up with Tien again for an evening of a Street Food Tour. HIGHLY recommend to anyone visiting Hanoi to take advantage of this tour! We ate some very tasty and interesting foods and it was all a great experience. I'll admit that it looked like we were going into some pretty sketchy places, but we trusted Tien and our taste buds were rewarded! That evening when we returned to the hotel, my husband realized that he'd left his phone at the Opera. Tien was on it! He started making calls to people and was able to get in touch with someone who worked there. He continued to stay in touch and with back and forth and the next morning my husband's phone was located and, since it was just next door to our hotel, he walked over and was able to retrieve it even though it wasn't officially open yet for the day (we were flying out before the official opening that evening). Thank goodness for Tien, because we're sure the outcome wouldn't have been the same without him and his quick action.

We flew to Siem Reap and were met at the airport by another English-speaking guide, Dara, and driver and taken to our hotel, Borei Angkor Resort. Beautiful hotel with a very attentive staff and extensive breakfast buffet. Dara met us in the lobby the following morning at 5am, we picked up the packed breakfast boxes provided by the hotel and we were off to get our Angkor Wat tickets (they need to snap pictures that go onto the tickets -- a quick and easy process) and watch the sunrise. What a beautiful way to first see Angkor Wat! After sunrise and our breakfast and coffee, we set off to explore Angkor Wat and then on to Angkor Thom. We had basically had a "full day" by noon and as the heat was really getting up there we were done for the day and taken back to the hotel as the crowds were really starting to get heavier. We appreciated that Dara tried to steer us away from crowds as much as he could, taking advantage of less crowded areas first and working our way back once they'd moved on. That evening we took a tuk-tuk from our hotel and went to dinner at Haven (reservations recommended) in Siem Reap. Look it up. Reserve and go. Great food and for a great cause. Two thumbs up! The next day Dara picked us up and we continued on another day of touring the amazing temples. There were so many more than I had originally thought and they were all amazing and interesting in their own way. Banteay Srei and Ta Prohm were our favorites of the day and the evening was capped off with a beautiful sunset atop Phnom Bakheng. We had to get there a bit early because admission to the top is limited at only 300. Sounds like a lot of people, but it doesn't seem too terribly crowded. Our last day in Cambodia was spent in the countryside at the home of a local in a cooking class just for our family. It was recommended by Jennifer and, although I was a bit skeptical at first, it was one of our favorite things! It was humbling to see how daily cooking is done there and to be able to take part. Our hostess teacher was very gracious and our meal was incredible! The fresh ingredients were amazing!

We flew out that night and on our way back to the US had an 8hr layover in Shanghai (planned). We knew we wanted to get a temp 24 hr visa to be able to go into the city and we were able to make that happen. Once off the plane in immigration, go to the far right side and pick up and fill out a little blue form. One for each person. I think they also grant temporary visas for longer stays, but I'm not sure of those details. We only wanted the 24 hour one. You do have to show proof that you have a reservation and seat on a flight out within the specified time frame, either a boarding pass or printed itinerary. We only had the itinerary and it was sufficient. We got a driver and negotiated a 4 hour "tour" (really only 2 hours in the city itself with transport time built in). We had originally planned to take the Maglev & metro, storing our luggage at the airport, but found that we would have had to wait 2 hours before anything opened or the trains began, so we opted to get a driver which allowed us to keep our luggage and not have to worry about storage. Timing was everything. We went to People's Square and The Bund and grabbed a coffee at The Fairmont. A leisurely and entertaining walk around and before long we were back at the airport. Security was no problem going back through, but we were glad to have allowed enough time to get through, have lunch and not rush before getting on the plane back home. The Shanghai portion was not arranged by Jennifer or Tonkin Travel. That was just us wanting to fill in an 8 hour layover in another country, doing the research and taking action.

I would not hesitate to recommend Tonkin Travel and Jennifer, specifically. She made the trip easy and quite stress-free. The execution of the plan went smoothly and we were all very satisfied with our trip and can't wait to explore more of Vietnam in the future, which we will be doing. And we'll be calling Jennifer again when we do!

5  Thank Michelle T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 March 2018

I was very hesitant at first to book for our group of 6 for the 3 separate tours in North, Central, and South Vietnam. I was worried about the logistics and difficulty communicating with the company. I was also worried about how we would find the tour guides at each port because Celebrity could not tell me exactly the names of the the ports at each stop. As it turns out, I had nothing to worry about. Jennifer kept in constant contact by email with updates to my changing requirements. She assured me they had done this many times so they knew which ports were tenders and which were not. Apparently all tours must be registered and ok'd by the government. I had to send all our Passport information ahead of time. I happened to see one of our tour packets which had all of our information and official looking government stamps and signatures.

The guides were always visible as soon as we exited the security areas with signs with my name on them. Jennifer even called me on the first guide's phone (everyone has cell phones!) to welcome me and my party. She called again at our last tour to thank us to see how things went, thank us for visiting, and wished us well.

Halong Bay was our first tour and we were able to leave immediately for our tour boat ahead of the cruise tours. I was amazed that our "private" tour was actually that: we had the entire craft to ourselves on what the ship's excursions fit 20 - 40 people. I felt a little guilty that they ran the entire ship just for us! The only hitch was we had a delay in departing because the guide had to verify when we needed to return (more on that later). But, we had plenty of time to cruise the bay. Lunch was FABULOUS. Again, they prepared it on the boat just for us. It was at least a 4 course meal. Drinks and sodas were extra (which we did not know about) but only a minor surprise. We stopped at the caverns and were amazed pleasantly surprised at the quality of the lighting presentation of the interior.

We chose to stay overnight in Hanoi so we left immediately after the Bay cruise. Our departure delay was because they needed to verify when the ship was leaving the next day. I though we could have taken care of that en route but...

I had reserved Emerald Waters Trendy Hotel in Hanoi separately from Tonkin, again, because I was skeptical of the whole process. Tonkin Travel had suggested Apricot Hotel and they would have added the cost of the reservations to the package if we had chosen. It took over 3 hours to drive to Hanoi (which we already planned for) due to the traffic. But, we still had from about 5 pm to explore the city, have dinner, an a nice massage. Beware crossing the streets in Hanoi, pedestrians do not have the right of way and there is an endless stream of motor scooters EVERYWHERE.

Our tour guide was entertaining and engaging with surprisingly good English skills. The driver was equally skilled in navigating the schools of scooters. It took some getting used to looking out the front window as it seemed like it was a constant game of chicken with the oncoming traffic which included other buses and trucks...the scooters seem to take care of themselves, weaving in and out coming within inches of our sides but never seeming to touch, causing us to gasp constantly.

We were able to visit the Ho Chi Min Mausoleum but were disappointed that the line stretched endlessly around the street. Our guide told us that sometimes it is even longer which was truly unbelievable. We were going to skip it because of our time constraints but we somehow got in line with Party Dignitaries and Veterans. It was a bit uncomfortable waiting in this vastly shorter line bypassing the seemingly endless line of the general public (and other tours).

They next met us in Central Vietnam with our private van and we toured Imperial Hue. Our tour guide's English skills were a little bit less but understandable. Still amazing for her second language. The Imperial Tomb site is in desperate need of restoration and is an ongoing project. Lunch was at Y Thao Garden with their delightful tasty shrimp and egg rolls. They have some pretty awesome artistic garnishes too.

We chose to bypass Saigon for our Southern Vietnam post as we had been there before. The guide drove us to the Cu Chi Tunnels which was a farther drive but proved to also be popular with other tourists. We watched a film about the tunnels which presented the history and commentary from the Vietnamese point of view. The comments, displays and equipment are fortunately from an era long past but may test sensitivities.

Overall the choice for Tonkin Travel was a pleasant surprise and success. I had at first hesitantly relied on other good comments from Trip Advisor and now heartily add mine!

4  Thank bodyfat2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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