TruTravels

Program Reviews

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Tom
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

As this was my first time travelling alone I decided I wanted to do a tour to break myself in, Vietnam has always been somewhere I wanted to go so I decided to book on the 17 day tour. I was nervous before arriving but straight away I felt comfortable with everyone and my tour guide Edna was amazing from the off. My nerves changed to relief straight away and it was clear to me it was the best decision I made. For me the tour just got better and better as we moved north and all the sites we got to see and the activities included were just amazing! People ask me what my favourite part was but I genuinely couldn’t pick a best part as I enjoyed it so much, this is massively down to the group of people I was with also, couldn’t of asked for a better bunch of people and I will be in touch with them again. Plenty of extra activities are available for you to do while you have free time and I would recommend for anyone thinking of doing the tour to take advantage of these. Edna was very helpful sorting any extra activities you wanted to do. Also very helpful in letting you know where to go for food or what sites to see. After the tour I had a week spare before flying to Cambodia and wasn’t sure on what to do so Edna suggested we rent some motor bikes and head off into the hills to see some more of Vietnam, I thought yes why not. After hours on the bikes the sites and views we got to see were just out of this world! And again this is all credit to Edna for helping sort the extra little trip out, as if I was on my own I probably wouldn’t have the confidence to do this! All in all I would massively recommend this tour to anyone who is thinking about Vietnam! Massive thank you to everyone on my tour, trutravels and especially Edna!

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Ariane
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I was not sure how 10 days with total strangers, and a tour leader, sharing the same accommodations would work out. I was pleasantly surprised. I am used to traveling solo and be on my own schedule, so this was a completely new experience for me. I would first like to give credit to my team leader Edna Mendoza who was absolutely incredible and made sure we had fun, stayed safe and on track with our schedule.
Booking the trip with a British company from the U.S. was actually pretty easy to do. The price for the whole experience was wallet friendly and by far exceeded all my expectations. The team was very responsive to my questions and concerns so I was confident booking with them.
I spent one the my best vacations ever. Edna was really incredible and started communicating with me well in advance of the tour and was always readily available to answer questions and address concerns.
I was fortunate to be part of an incredible group of people, all with different backgrounds, which was fun.
I really had very unique experiences, from traveling for 5 to 10+ hours on a sleeper bus, to sharing 15-bed room in hostel in Ninhavana which was a very beautiful party location. Walking the streets of Mui Ne, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Saigon (to name a few) during the day and at night was quite exquisite. Experiencing the hustle and bustle of Vietnam, from day life to nightlife was exactly what I was looking for. Street food was the best and I always make it a point to eat as much of it as I can. My best memory was coming back from a late outing and stopping at a street vendor's space to get some pho...I was the happiest girl in the world and ate the best pho I have ever tasted -thank you Edna for facilitating this experience and giving us the flexibility we needed to fully immerse ourselves.
There is so much to say, from taking an epic trip to see the "hands" (Golden Bridge) in Da Nang (riding cable cars forever to get there...lol..scary but thrilling experience), to eating the best Banh Mi (where Anthony Bourdain did), to having bespoke outfits made, to cycling and bamboo boat riding in Hoi An or sand surfing in Mui Ne...all throughout this amazing experience, our team leader Edna was incredibly supportive, inclusive and really the instigator of so much fun! I don't remember ever being bored during the whole trip. I made friends and hope everyone who books this tour has as much fun as we did. I would use Trutravels again in the future - but ONLY if Edna is my group leader❤️

What would you improve about this program?
Although our first accommodation in Saigon was very conveniently located in city center, it could use some updating.
Having a more complete booklet for members to download before the trip with complete itinerary including accommodations would be great - in case of emergencies, it would be nice for families to know where we are.
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Nicole
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An exceptional tour however it is 100% the people and tour guide that make the biggest impact. Minnie was my guide for the first 2 weeks of the tour and she was exceptional, I cannot think of a single flaw. She made everyone feel welcome! Her bubbly personality shone the entire tour! Her food recommendations are fantastic! The people were great, the Erawan waterfalls are beautiful, the gentle giants at the elephant sanctuary were incredible (my favourite day) and the jungle trek and home stay was extremely eye opening! The 3rd week was great, a massive group and Ali would have benefit with another guide. The last week was highly disappointing, didn’t enjoy the tour and I felt that it was a waste of money. I wish I did it myself. Thanks!!!!!

What would you improve about this program?
Ensure guides are well rested before start of tour
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Tammie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I am beyond mesmerised by this amazing experience that I was welcomed into by tru travels. As my first time travelling over seas I couldn’t recommend this tour enough. Not only were we guided by the one and only awesome Ali sexy bitch to some of the worlds most beautiful and cultural places, we were constantly encouraged to try to new things in a safe and fun environment. Everything was organised so well and Ali was more than willing to ensure that everything ran smoothly with our own freedom as well so that we really could make the most of our journey. I cannot wait to come back! I would love to cross paths with Ali and the tru travels spirit! :) ❤️ This really has been a great kickstart to my travel journey, I’m sparing every cent that I can to go on another!!!

What was your funniest moment?
The entire journey was filled with laughs. We all came out of our shells and shared our best selves which was always accepted. My highlight of humour had to be the night that I won a dance competition twerking haha! We celebrated a fellow tru travels explorers birthday that night and had the best time walking the streets of Thailand in our group absorbing each others energy’s and being ourselves!
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Bradley
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

As it was the first time I have travelled on my own abroad, I thought it would be best to go on a tour to ease myself into travelling. Having read the previous reviews of the two tours in the "Total Thailand" package and reviews on TruTravels, this trip with the wide array of activities on the itinerary seemed the perfect tour for what I wanted to do.

When I arrived I was picked up from the airport and taken over to the accomodation in Bangkok for free, which was about a 30 minute drive. When we got to the hostel I was greeted by my first tour guide, Pompom. He was very helpful and accommodating, sorting everything out and taking me to my room. Later on we all met up and went over the Sky Tower, the second tallest building in Thailand, in downtown Bangkok for a buffet. The views from there were amazing, although it was quite expensive as it was an optional activity not included on the itinerary, but it was worth seeing. After this we went for a night out on Koa San Road, which was just round the corner from the hotel. The next day we went round some of the temples in Bangkok, with Pompom provided a detailed insight into the different sights.

We then left for the next places on the itinerary, which included Kanchanaburi, Erawan Waterfalls, The Bridge Over The River Kwai and Ayutthaya. Each location was visually stunning and it was fascinating to learn some of the history between the different sites, especially relating to the history of the Bridge Over The River Kwai in the war.

Next was one of many highlights of the trip, the Chaing Mai Elephant Sanctuary. It was great to spend the day here, creating food for and feeding the elephants before bathing and playing with them in the water. It was great to see how well they are looked after.

Chaing Mai and Pai were next on the list, and I loved both places. Chaing Mai was more of a busy city with a lot going on and plenty of places to see and go out with easy transport around the city. The cooking class was something I thoroughly enjoyed, and it was probably the best food I had whilst I was out there (if I do say so myself).

Pai was my favourite place from the Northern part of the Thailand Tour, it's a lovely town where you walk down the main Street and through food market in the evenings with plenty of options to choose from. There's also good places to go out, with a bar crawl going to different places in the town, as there was in Chaing Mai.

The final day finished the tour at the Grand Canyon, a massive water obstacle course. This was a great way to end the first part of the tour as it was so much fun! Unfortunately one of the members of the group fell off awkwardly and dislocated her shoulder, so she had to go to hospital, but everything was dealt very well with by Pompom, as he had with most things on the tour concidering there were a couple of difficult members of the group that you could clearly see were draining him.

When back in Chaing Mai, we said our goodbyes to the people who were only on the first 14 days of the trip, (most of whom were fantastic and were a great laugh), and got the night train back to Bangkok. While we were on the train, the new members of the tour did what we did on our first day and went over the Sky Tower. When we arrived, we met up with those who'd been out for dinner, as well as our new Tour Guide, Ali, and had pre-drinks at the hotel before going out on Koa San Road again.

The next day we went around some of the temples in Bangkok, as well as going on a long tail boat through the river and exploring Bangkok by Tuk Tuk. The next day, we got a Thai massage before catching the overnight train to the south, where we were picked up and taken to the dock to catch a boat to the next place. This was the beautiful Khao Sok National Park. Here we stayed on floating bungalows and kayaked round the various different routes in the national park. The next day it was off to Koh Phanang, where we spent out time learning Muay Thai and enjoying the day at the beautiful bottle beach. Here there was a full moon party which took place in the evening, before we then ordered taxis to the other side of the island, where the proper full moon party was held. The size of it was absolutely massive, and you definitely have to go if you're on the island!
The next day we had a boat trip around the island, stopping off at some fantastic spots for snorkeling and sites with lovely views.

After the couple of days in Koh Phangan, it was off to the next place, with was Koh Tao. This was one of my favourite places on the whole tour. It's a beautiful island was stunning views and the town and accommodation we stayed at was fantastic, with plenty to see and do including the bar crawl and diving in the seas around the island. It's definitely a place I really want to come back to in the future. Such a chilled and relaxed island where you really feel at home. During your time there, you go over to Koh Nang Yuan, which is. Alittle island just off Koh Toa, and again this is absolutely stunning. The boat tile round Koh Tao is amazing too, with so many great views and snorkeling sites, which were even better than the things I saw when I was diving! So many different species of fish and marine life in seeable sight from the surface.

As sad as it was to leave the island, it was off the the penultimate stop of the tour, the Phi Phi Islands. Definitely up there with Koh Tao as one of the very best parts of the trip. Unreal views from the viewpoints, loads of bars, shops and market places as well as great places to eat (especially Cosmos and it was very good value). We took out kayaks on our chilled day and went round the bay. The massive rocks we past were beautiful, but as we went round the bay, we saw the sorry and disgusting stay of one of the hidden, uninhabited beaches. All the plastic had wash up on the shore and some was still in the sea. It was an eye opening and quiet frankly shocking sight to see. One that really hit home and has made me think. Seeing it on the tele in no way prepared you for what you see in person. It makes you realise how bad the problem actually is and how much work needs to be done to reduce the damage already done.

We then went on a boat trip to see the different islands and beaches around Phi Phi, inuding Maya Bay, which was used in The Beach and has been subsequently closed to allow the damage done by tourists to time to recover. On our final day in Phi Phi we did a beach clean up along the main beach, just a few hundred meters from where we were staying.

After Phi Phi it was onto our final stop via an overnight boat to the mainland, before a minibus over to another boat to Phuket. When we arrived everyone was tired from the travelling, so we didn't go out on the final night as a group. I feel we should have had a full day in Phuket before the checkout day, as we just turned up and the tour was over. Fortunately I had another 4 days in Phuket so I could have a good look around the island, and I would recommend anyone doing the trio on doing the same or at least 2 extra days on the island before you leave.

The group for the second part of the tour was great! We all got along really well and unlike a couple of people in the first tour group, there wasn't anyone causing problems or constantly moaning.

A word on our tour guide, Ali (or Sexy Bitch Ali as he likes to call himself), he was absolutely fantastic from start to finish. He was full of energy, always up for a laugh, really helpful and very knowledgeable about everything on the tour. He quite clearly absolutely loves his job and its great to see the passion he has for it. If you're lucky eniught to get him for your tour, you're very much in a safe pair of hands.

The tour its self was absolutely fantastic, and took completely all the worry about booking everything out of the equation. Wait for when TruTravels do their sales, because £1,725 is quite expensive. I got mine for £1,325 when it was on sale so it's definitely worth waiting until they come around! All the accomodation used throughout the tour was to a good standard, but I did find a few of the beds a bit hard and struggled to sleep. All the activities were great and well worth doing and seeing. I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone looking to go to Thailand.

What would you improve about this program?
I felt time in a couple of places felt a little rushed, such as Phuket. I feel that it would have been better spending more time there, or in Koh Tao, rather than in Koh Phangan which I didn't really rate. It was good to see the full moon party, but other than that there isn't much really there
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Sarah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Vietnam North was an amazing tour. My friends put me off going to Vietnam but I'm so glad I went anyway! I previously went to Cambodia and much preferred Vietnam.

I was a solo traveler and found it very easy to make friends, especially through all the fun activities you do together.

The cooking class was one of my favorite activities, the food was so tasty, my other favorite activity was Jeep Tour on Hai Van Pass

I was worried about accommodation as I had never travelled as a ‘back packer’ but actually the accommodation was great, nothing like the horror stories you hear of some people traveling.

Our tour guide Papsii made the tour very enjoyable. He is very fun and professional. He always had us laughing.

Overall this was a great tour and I would really recommend it.

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George
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Hello when I first booked with trutravels I didn't k ow what to expect.
Everything was good communication wise over email was very good everyone was helpful up to the moment of me getting on the plane.

When I landed in bangkok I was worried as I knew straight where to go with good communication from my tour guide (ali sexybitchthailand).
He took me straight to the hostel very helpful and friendly.

The whole 2 weeks was amazing even on my birthday which was 22nd july the whole group surprised me with a birthday cake.

Honestly I couldn't fault trutravels and the tour guide ali he was amazing up to the last minute with helping everyone including me with onward travels I am also just thinking of just doing the island hopper again as it's so much fun to do.

Thanks again yous are amazing and you've made my 27th birthday the best it could ever have with positive vibes and positive people.

What would you improve about this program?
Extra day in each destination to explore more and see the history and surrounding areas
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Abigail
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My husband and I decided that we wanted to travel to Thailand for our honeymoon. We wanted to see as much of Thailand as we could within 2 weeks. After reading the itinerary on trutravels website, we knew the 8 day Thailand Experience was perfect for us.
From the moment we met our tour guide Arthur, we knew we made the right decision. He gave us so much knowledge about the history, culture, do's and don'ts. He was professional, funny and kind. He sang songs, played games and give us the odd shoulder and neck massages!
Trutravels gave us the opportunity to take in the beauty and scenery, meet a great bunch of fellow travellers and stay in fabulous accommodation in various parts of the country.
Besides the itinerary, Arthur offered optional extras at a small cost which added to the experience such as secret mountain where we saw the most spectacular sunset.
Thanks to trutravels for giving the best backpacking honeymoon experience.

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Jess
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

From the minute we landed everything was very organized, including finding the driver at the airport pick up. The drivers were very welcoming and helpful. When we arrived at the hotel, Papsii and the staff were very welcoming and kind and the rooms were very nice and aircon was much appreciated. Night out was fun as Papsii was fun while also entertaining professional and safety conscious. The balance we had between organized activities and free time was nice and just the night balance. Transport and organization between the different hotels very good as it was clear what was happening at each time of day. The locals at each place were very friendly and helpful in doing everything they could to make us feel comfortable. Papsii has been incredible, information, and knowledgeable about Vietnamese history, especially at the war museum. He was also attentive to our every need as well as making sure we were feeling well and okay at all times. Absolutely outstanding views, culture, and food in Vietnam as well as lovely peeps. An extremely beautiful country to be experienced would highly be recommended. I couldn't have asked for a better tour guide. Thank you Papsii!!!!

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Georgia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Booking the tour was really easy and information about the tour was easily accessible. From the minute that we landed everything was very organized and explained well. All the hotel rooms were really nice and all of them had air conditioning. We went out as a group most nights for food that was recommended by our tour guide. All the food was cooked to a high standard as well. I really enjoyed the tour around Ho Chi Minh City and being able to explore the markets. One of the best days on the trip was going to the fairy streams, quad biking down the sand dunes and sand boarding. The hostel that we stayed in as well was a good chance to have a bit of free time and relax. The balance between activities and free time was really good. The transport between locations all contained air conditioning and it was really well organized. On the last day, it was really good to spend time with the locals and try their home-cooked food. Overall, it was an amazing experience and I wish I could have done the whole Vietnam tour. I will definitely be using TruTravels again in the future. I couldn't have asked for a better tour guide as well. Pappsii was our tour guide. He was so funny, organized and full of life. Thank you so much Papsii!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Definitely bring some extra money to do extra activities that aren't included in the trip.