No, he doesn’t pay me for advertising nor he asked me to post this in my photo blog, also this is not a favor I am doing. Sometimes someone leaves a great impression on us and this is the case.
Thanking him would not be enough to show my appreciation and gratitude for everything he did and provided for me during my recent trip to Vietnam.
So, why I sound so kind and grateful if I paid for the whole trip?
As you can see by reading my previous six posts I was well impressed particularly with my first trip I did to the North of Vietnam in October 2009.
Really impressed with the country but not with the services. My first trip was a rip off and I am not talking about local vendors trying to sell you a bottle of Coke for 15 000 Vietnamese dong while you are reading the price of 6 000 dong written on the bottle’s label!
In 2009 I really felt cheated, low standards, pricey, scams… I even paid a first class flight ticket from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City and got economic instead and no refund! I was told there were no more seats in economic so they made me pay first class!
The tours were badly organized and one time they wanted me to share a room with other people when I paid to have my own. Of course I did not accept that but calling that a hotel room was a bit of a stretch! Bear in mind that I am talking about my first trip to Vietnam in 2009 not the one I just did in July 2012.
I found www.henritours.com while searching for tours that could take me to see other ethnic minorities in Vietnam. Sapa and Bac Ha had been very good experiences and this time I wanted to explore other regions as well.
I liked the tours on his web site and also the links and reviews the site provides to other tourists web pages, that really made my decision to contact him an easy one.
His communication is excellent he promptly replies to emails.
Since the minute I arrived at the airport everything went smoothly. Someone was at the airport with a car, very nice hotel (Sunshine Suites Hotel), very nice rooms with everything one can ask for.
He was the tour guide during the whole trip. Friendly, communicative making me feel welcome and comfortable all the time.
We both took the train to Lao Cai where the driver was expecting us with a Ford Everest.
Duc Nguyen is really a nice guy and an excellent and careful driver. Some of the roads are not well maintained but Duc did a great Job!
Enough writing. Let’s see some pictures not the pics from the trip itself ( I will create other posts for that) but some pics to help you dear reader to understand the reason of this post.
(The car got stuck right there!)
Beginning of the rainy season and poor roads to access remote locations and the car got stuck in the mud after visiting the Xin Cheng market. It took us about one our of covering the path with rocks and tree branches to get past this muddy “road”.
(Hung helping a local on a bike getting past the muddy area)
All good but look who still is helping the locals pushing their bikes the way up? Yes, Hung with his great heart trying to help everyone.
(This was our first lucky boy to get a football team shorts and shirt)
While in Bangkok I asked Hung if I could be of any help. He suggested me to bring clothes and toys for the children of these poor and remote Vietnamese regions.
Due to flight restrictions I was not able to carry anything more than my heavy camera gear and my personal stuff so, I bought children’s clothes in Hanoi and at Xin Cheng Market. Hung also brought many clothes from his home and soon we started giving away clothes to less privileged children.
(The father’s smile is worth a thousand thanks!)
(The kid didn’t seem very happy… How could we have guessed he was a Manchester United supporter?)
Here in another occasion Hung distributing clothes to people from a remote village.
(Hung – A guide with a big heart.)
(Hung giving some biscuits to a young kid studying at “The school of a Hard Life”)
Hung tried to help everyone.
(Hung is racing to help the little girl lift her heavy basket)
My previous experience in Vietnam told me to be prepared for not so good accommodation especially in these remote areas. I can tell you he always tried to find the best accommodation and the best rooms for me.
(I stayed in the bungalow on the right)
I would never imagined he had booked a room for me in such a very good eco-resort.
(A view from the bridge at the entrance to the resort)
And I also stayed in this one below:
(Viem from the room)
In Halong Bay I was treated like a King… if you know what I mean.
(The boat’s restaurant…)
I was not counting with this kind of treatment but this is what Hung had reserved for me!
(… and the cabin)
It was an amazing trip that I highly recommend to everyone. Two weeks in a photographer’s heaven.
Before 6:00 am on my last day in Vietnam, Hung was there at the hotel’s lobby with his friendly smile, my breakfast and a taxi to take me to the airport!
Thank you so very much, Hung, my dear friend! Hope to see you soon again!
(Photo By Hung Do)
I will start posting pics related to this trip shortly…
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