Cyclo Tour, Hanoi
Vietnam Impressive Travel @ HOAN KIEM DISTR - Simply the WORSE! VIETNAM IMPRESSIVE TRAVEL travel agency located at 32 Ta Hien St Hanoi, Managing Director/Tour Manager (Mr.Tony Anh) shameful and deceitful method of manipulating its ranking on TripAdvisor.
Below is the review rated terrible we repeatedly post on TripAdvisor but is continually being deleted.
Went with my wife and 2 teenage daughters from Singapore on a 3D/2N Sapa Treble Markets & Walking Travel Package booked through VIETNAM IMPRESSIVE TRAVEL tour agency at 32 TA HIEN ST Hanoi (Tour Booking Ticket Nos: 0001807).
On the first day ( 24 October 2014) after trekking in the rain, wet and covered with mud we were told at the 3 Stars Sapa Elite Hotel that there was no bookings done DESPITE THE FACT that we paid our deposit (23 September 2014) and confirmed our booking with VIETNAM IMPRESSIVE TRAVEL ONE MONTH IN ADVANCE. We were downgraded to rooms at the 2 Stars Grand View Sapa Hotel, which we quickly rejected before being transferred to another hotel. Our hope of a hot bath and rest came only after nearly 3 hours of unnecessary travelling and shivering in the cold environment due to VIETNAM IMPRESSIVE TRAVEL incompetence service. We were not informed of any hotel booking problem when we paid our balance payment (19 October 2014) to Mr.Tony Anh at his office on arrival in Hanoi. When my wife called and complained to him about the discomfort and inconveniences, he insulted her with “IF YOU’RE NOT HAPPY, DON’T GO ON HOLIDAY WITH US!” before hanging up the phone.
Things deteriorate from Bad to Worse the next day when our Vietnamese “Tour Guide from Hell” provided by VIETNAM IMPRESSIVE TRAVEL, 23 yrs old Mr.Gia cancelled our itinerary stated 5 km mountain path trekking to Ban Pho village without providing any reason. Thereafter, he harassed us to visit places not stated in the itinerary and to pay exorbitant transport prices. We end up walking around town with our trekking trip canceled, as we were unwilling to give in to this kind of “Tourist Scam”.
Next morning after breakfast at 8.00a.m we were informed by Mr.Gia that lunch will be served at 10.00a.m. After lunch, we must depart Bac Ha town and travel DIRECTLY BACK to Lao Cai town reaching there at about 1.00p.m and thereafter wait approximately 6 hours for our 7.35p.m train back to Hanoi. Again, this is contrary to the itinerary which states that after our 12.00p.m lunch we will take a walking trip to Ban Pho Village and thereafter a boat trip on the Chay River before we reach Lao Cai town at 6.00p.m for our dinner. We believe he is getting bolder after being able to get away successfully with the unauthorized cancelling of our 5 km trekking yesterday afternoon. When we insisted on going for the Chay river cruise, his answer was “the river water level is presently too low for boats to travel”. As we could smell a strong liquor odor from him, we deliberately asked if he has been drinking and he even have the audacity to reply that he is suffering an alcohol hangover from yesterday night drinking.
During lunch at Ngan Nga Hotel in Bac Ha we were served with rotten Vietnamese spring rolls and upon complaining to VIETNAM IMPRESSIVE TRAVEL tour guide Mr.Gia, his answer after checking with the cook was “the spring rolls were freshly made this morning BUT unfortunately the ingredients were decayed”. Thereafter, there was neither an apology nor substitute food but just a smile from him before walking away. A few hours later, 2 out of 4 persons (my wife and teenage daughter) fell sick with abdominal pain and diarrhea.
After our numerous complaints, we were finally brought to Chay River and as expected, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the water level and many boats were cruising around.
Overall, what was supposed to be our Dream Sapa holidays was transformed into a Nightmare Journey by the incompetence, uncaring and deceitful tour guide provided by VIETNAM IMPRESSIVE TRAVEL who harassed and stressed us out. We strongly believe that VIETNAM IMPRESSIVE TRAVEL has to bear a greater part of the responsibility.
Instead of confirming the genuineness of customer complaints and thereafter take remedy actions, Mr. Tony Anh of VIETNAMESE IMPRESSIVE TRAVEL simply scolded my wife for complaining, then they DELETE our TripAdvisor review rated TERRIBLE. When we continue complaining, they started to bully and intimidate us with threats. They shamefully undermine disgruntled customers “right to give their fair comment if a tour did not meet their expectations“ with their shocking and deplorable business practices.
WARNING: Muppets are running VIETNAM IMPRESSIVE TRAVEL tour agency at 32 TA HIEN ST Hanoi in Vietnam.
We sincerely hope the Vietnam Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, Vietnam Competition Authority, Vietnam Tourism Association, Vietnam Society of Travel Agents and The Hanoi Department of Planning and Investment whom we are complaining to will take the necessary effective actions to stop Vietnam Impressive Travel from damaging the tourism business and good reputation of Vietnam.
To validate the bad review of our awful experience, attached is a copy of our tour booking receipt from VIETNAM IMPRESSIVE TRAVEL.
I’m very keen on taking cyclo ride when I was in Hanoi last year, and I think it’s worth taking a cyclo for an hour only or at the start time of your visit in Hanoi. Some friend advise me walking will be better, but I think the perspective you get from a cyclo ride is worth seeing — plus it’s far easier to look around and take photos if you’re not watching where you’re walking the whole time. And you just have a relax seat on your cyclo to see all small corner of old Hanoi street, that the big van can not do for you. But poor rider, they have to ride hard to make moving cyclo for 2 big persons on. Of course, if you want to explore and investigate the back alleys and stop off here and there, that’s not possible on a cyclo, but an introductory ride will help you get your bearings.
Address: Hanoi Old Quarter
Hanoi is just big enough that it makes sense to take a cyclo tour through the city to get your bearings. As in Ho Chi Minh City, prices are negotiable, but you should be able to hire a cyclo for $1-$2 (15,000 to 30,000 VND) per hour.
A great way to get around and see all the interesting back streets of the city is to take a cyclo tour. As we were with a tour group, we ended up travelling in convoy which provided us with the opportunity to take photos of each other. (there's only really room for one fat Western bottom in a cyclo!) The drivers worked really hard to speed us through the streets and protected us from the other traffic; mainly mopeds. Take the time to look at all the places you want to get a closer look at later, then I challenge you to try and find them again!!
Directions: The old quarter. Meet the cyclos by the Ho Hoan Kiem Lake.
Our hotel helped us to arrange for 2 cyclo drivers (one for each of us) to give us a tour of Hanoi. Based on their recommendation, we went to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the One Pillar Pagoda, the Temple of Literature, the Hanoi Hilton and around the Old Town.
We did not have to deal with them trying to take us to any shops where they knew we could get a "deal". They were very helpful and polite. They waited for us patiently as we toured each of the stops. It was an adventure in itself to experience life in the middle of the scooter traffic.
The cost was US$2 per person per hour, and we also gave an additional tip for the good service. It was a great deal and a great way to experience Hanoi.
Our tour was arranged through the Sofitel Metropole Hotel, which has their own group of cyclo drivers waiting outside at all times. However, I am sure you could arrange a similar tour with cyclo drivers on the street - they will offer you a ride wherever you go.