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Author Topic: Travelling to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia  (Read 5589 times)
Alexis Alvarez
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« on: November 28, 2007, 12:36:29 AM »
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I would like to travel throughout the Golden Triangle for around two weeks at end-April/early-May.  Does anyone have any recommendations for good guides/touring companies that can help me organize the trip?  

aa
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Anders_HK
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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2007, 02:18:03 AM »
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I would like to travel throughout the Golden Triangle for around two weeks at end-April/early-May.  Does anyone have any recommendations for good guides/touring companies that can help me organize the trip? 

aa
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Hello Alexis,

I am a frequent traveler and was in Vietnam three times last year and also Angkor Wat. Here are my recommendations (non luxury, but perfect fine):

Hanoi - CAMELLIA HOTEL 4  ( PHAN THAI HOTEL ). I found them by search with recommendations on internet. Situated in Hanoi Old Quarters (Old Town), which I found to be awesome for photography. The people life on streets is facinating. They also have a travel agent in hotel from which I booked cruise to Halong Bay over night. I actually booked a boat for myself since it is cheap country and since it gave me better photo opportunities than a tour group. [a href=\"http://www.camellia-hotels.com/frame.htm]http://www.camellia-hotels.com/frame.htm[/url]

Ho Chi Minh - I stayed here two trips http://www.huongsenhotel.com.vn/. It was ok, firendly staff and very central located. They can help you book local travels in and around HCM including the Mekong Delta.

Angkor Wat - I can very highly recommend this place http://peaceofangkor.com/. They are great for advise of where to photograph and at right time. The owner Dave photographs himself and the guides seemed to have learnt where is good for photography. Dave is good at advise. Actually I just booked for going back there to photograph around Christmas.

Bear in mind that when you travel alone or with just one or two travel companions (not on tour group) you get more contact with locals. I always do and it is more adventurous and helps you go when and where you want to. People are very friendly in these countries, just give them sincere friendliness. And... use normal cautions on travels of course. When you book locally and direct through their websites you normally get better prices than when you book in your own home country (it cuts the middle hands). This world is very civilized in most places and very well set up for travel... Best advise I can give beyond this is, dont think, just go... enjoy.  

Regards
Anders
« Last Edit: November 28, 2007, 02:26:35 AM by Anders_HK » Logged
wolfnowl
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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2007, 01:38:31 PM »
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Alexis:

The November 07 issue of Condé Nast Traveler has an article on a trip to southeast Asia, here:

http://www.concierge.com/cntraveler/articl...articleId=11491

The author used a company called 'AsiaDesk' to create the travel plans.  It may or may not be of use to you...  http://asiadesk.net/

Mike.
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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2007, 08:35:10 PM »
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You may wish to have a look here: Diethelm Travel. They are very well established and reputable.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Jae_Moon
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« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2007, 11:17:33 AM »
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I would like to travel throughout the Golden Triangle for around two weeks at end-April/early-May.  Does anyone have any recommendations for good guides/touring companies that can help me organize the trip? 

aa
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Alexis:

I just got back from three week trip to Vietnam and Laos. I used the 'Exotissimo (exotissimo.com)' to arrange the itinerary for a single traveler. It is a French owned company and is very reputable one for handling general travel in Indochina. However, I met a tour guide who is located in Hanoi and does freelance for many travel agents in Vietnam, and he is a photographer and painter in addition to being a tour guide and has extensive knowledges of locals in Vietnam as a photographer. I spent 4 days with him in North Vietnam and his help was invaluable. He can arrange special tour packages with his affiliated tour companies for photographers. His email address is 'viethung_hnjuly@yahoo.com'

Jae Moon
« Last Edit: December 04, 2007, 11:26:06 AM by Jae_Moon » Logged
seasfor
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« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2007, 06:36:41 PM »
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I second the recommendation for Peace of Angkor in Cambodia. I stayed there for 8 days last year and got some great tips about out of the way locations to shoot from.
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2007, 11:09:20 AM »
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When we were in the Angkor area several years ago, we didn't use a travel agency, but just made our own flight and hotel reservations.  We stayed at Angkor Village hotel (in Siem Reap), and they made available an excellent English-speaking guide and a car & driver for something like $50 a day.  A bargain!

Lisa
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elkhornsun
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« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2008, 05:18:01 PM »
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There are packaged tours that will spend a week traveling through Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam but that is not a good way to do photography in a tour group.

With Thailand and Cambodia it is easy to check out hotels at Lonely Planet and some of the British ex-pat sites which are even better and more current and then contact the hotels via the Internet. Easy to make reservations and get room confirmations that way. I have found it easier to book in these countries than in Europe.

I let the hotel in a given town recommend and reserve a driver/car/translator for me. You get for one price a driver, a guide, a translator, and somone to watch your gear in the trunk of the car while you go off to take pictures.

Avoid the border areas and fly between the various countries. Much safer that way as you avoid the smugglers and the people preying on tourists.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2008, 06:02:22 PM »
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Except for leaving gear in the trunk of a car in that climate, this advice is very good and reflects my experience.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Anders_HK
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« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2008, 06:53:37 PM »
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Hello Alexis,

I am a frequent traveler and was in Vietnam three times last year and also Angkor Wat. Here are my recommendations (non luxury, but perfect fine):

Hanoi - CAMELLIA HOTEL 4  ( PHAN THAI HOTEL ). I found them by search with recommendations on internet. Situated in Hanoi Old Quarters (Old Town), which I found to be awesome for photography. The people life on streets is facinating. They also have a travel agent in hotel from which I booked cruise to Halong Bay over night. I actually booked a boat for myself since it is cheap country and since it gave me better photo opportunities than a tour group. http://www.camellia-hotels.com/frame.htm

Ho Chi Minh - I stayed here two trips http://www.huongsenhotel.com.vn/. It was ok, firendly staff and very central located. They can help you book local travels in and around HCM including the Mekong Delta.

Angkor Wat - I can very highly recommend this place http://peaceofangkor.com/. They are great for advise of where to photograph and at right time. The owner Dave photographs himself and the guides seemed to have learnt where is good for photography. Dave is good at advise. Actually I just booked for going back there to photograph around Christmas.

Bear in mind that when you travel alone or with just one or two travel companions (not on tour group) you get more contact with locals. I always do and it is more adventurous and helps you go when and where you want to. People are very friendly in these countries, just give them sincere friendliness. And... use normal cautions on travels of course. When you book locally and direct through their websites you normally get better prices than when you book in your own home country (it cuts the middle hands). This world is very civilized in most places and very well set up for travel... Best advise I can give beyond this is, dont think, just go... enjoy.   

Regards
Anders
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=156596\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hello Alexis,

I got back from my second travel to Angkor mid last week. I stayed at Peace of Angkor again and had a guide and car with driver. Dave that runs the place was much helpful to sit down and arrange best places for photography with me, all tailored based on what I was seeking and depending on where light was best. So was the guide very good at recommending and showing me to right places at right time, all I did was communicate what I wanted. Actually the guide and I vaguely remembered each other, he was my guide 1.5 years ago also. Although the guide do not photograph he has been trained well enough by accompanying photographers to know when and where is right for photography. This was highly valuable. If you do stay there please tell them hi, both Dave and his wife, as also the guide Sophia and driver Thy. They are very good people and much helpful. Of course there with rented driver I felt safe to leave my gear in car. I would not hesitate to travel there again for photography and main reason being their helpfulness in getting me to places I want to photograph. I was looking for best light.

Regards
Anders
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