Directions: Just North of Hoan Kiem lake in the Old Quarter (inside of Provecho)Phone: 0912223966
I lived in Hanoi for two years during which time Lai and her team has provided a fantastic and reliable service.
Visas were organised quickly, effectively and at transparent prices. No tricks, no BS - just an honest service you can rely on. Not only that but Lai has helped me (and, more recently, a friend of mine) in tight situations where visa arrangements had to be made at short notice. These situations were dealt with quickly and with minimum of fuss. My friend received their visa invitation letters within hours of asking (they had misunderstood the visa requirements and almost missed their flight to Hanoi!)
I have also used the tour company's services for booking transport to and from Ha Giang. The price offered was the best around and in some cases half the price offered by other tour agencies. The bus transfer we received was clean, comfortable and safe.
All-in-all, this company comes highly recommended.
I booked a tour with True Colours to Cat Ba Island and unfortunately she used a company called Joy tours which were awful. Ms Lai was apologetic and offered to repay some of the cost. But make sure you check with her about the tour and if she knows it well or not first.
I am so tired! Tired from running, but not a fitness run, not a marathon, but from a Visa run (never heard of a visa run before?!).
Like many ex-pats living here, I also had a visa problem, my school kept trying to renew my visa, and they had been trying so hard (b.s.) for so long that when they finally gave it back to me, my visa had already expired for 8 days!!! All they could say was, "sorry for that." I was freaking out, running around to ask people what to do. At the travel agencies, each one had different info and the prices were all over the place. Luckily, that night when I had dinner at My Burger My, I talked to Lay, the lady there, and, with a snap of her fingers she had it all organized for me. She arranged for me a 3 month visa approval letter with flight tickets to Bangkok and back for just over $200 bucks.
Everything went off as planned and I had a great time, ate a lot of spicy food and drank too much but that is my own fault; didn’t spend too much on shopping though, although it was tempting; a lot of window shopping. I am, however, now the proud owner of a new 3-month Vietnam visa.
There are only 2 things that went wrong with this trip, but I could not blame it on anyone but myself; one was by drinking too much and having too much fun, I only realized my plane was going to take off in only 1 1/2 hours! I was supposed to be at the airport already! So I called her, no problem, I was on a plane the next day, and my visa was still waiting for me as well.
Second thing, and that was the most funny/embarrassing thing I have had to do, before I could get on the plane to Bangkok, I nearly had to kneel down in front of one sun glasses-wearing, cigarette-smoking, bald, pseudo-official to bow like you do in front of Thailand’s king, forced to say, “I am sorry that I broke the rule, I promise that I will never dare to overstay again”. I was very charming (He let me go), but I guess I was not charming enough coz nearly 2 million of my poor hard-earned Dong stayed with him.
Bottom line. It was fun, but don’t overstay and don’t drink too much. If you need visa help or someone to organize your run, be sure to check this place out. Thanks Lay!!!
I used the lovely Ms. Lai for a great booking to Sapa.
She booked and arranged everything for about 15% cheaper than I could find anywhere else. Believe me I am a cheap bastard too.
She also has an amazing follow through with her clients and if anything were to go wrong I am sure she would more than fix any issue.
Since the law changed in January, I have been going to Lai every month to renew my tourist visa. I couldn't leave the country since I just had a baby in December and didn't feel comfortable flying with her yet. Even though I gave Lai less than a few days to get me my monthly visas, she was more than accommodating (probably because I was an incredibly forgetful new mother).
At the 5th month of repeating this process, I forgot to give my passport to Lai in time and had to get a departure visa to leave the country and then to re-enter. I decided at this point enough was enough and I had to bite the bullet and fly to Phnom Penh to obtain a 6-month or 1-year visa (I think the VN consulate in Cambodia determines what you can have). Lai also gave me the option of taking a bus there from Saigon, but due to my baby, I had to fly there and come back asap. The immigration office was giving her a hard time about my departure visa: why was I here, was I working, why did I renew my visa month-to-month for 5 months, etc. Nevertheless she handled all their questions and the departure visa came through, although immigration gave me less than 24-hours to leave Vietnam. Lai arranged the flight, the introductory letter to the VN consulate in PNH, communication with the travel agent in PNH, and also had her partner deliver my passport by hand to my house the night before I flew out the next morning (due to delays in the immigration office).
After enduring all of that, I am the proud holder of a 1-year multiple entry Vietnam visa. There is really no way I could've gone through that process without Lai's patience and diligence with my particular case. I have lived here for 4 years and my husband for over 10 years. We both know that people who can guide you through the nuances of Vietnamese government systems and don't charge you an arm and a leg are worth their weight in gold and are incredibly rare. Lai was exceptional in providing friendly customer service and quick and clear communication and feedback on what was going on with my situation. I would HIGHLY recommend her services to anyone seeking travel information and most especially, a visa.
UPDATE (15 April 2013):
I already have written a review on Lai's services with my visa issues. But she really helped me out recently on an issue unrelated to visa or travel by helping me to obtain a tax number.
I never had a tax number and because of this, I always had to relinquish 20% of my take home pay for Vietnamese taxes because I lacked a tax code. Now with my tax code, I only have to pay 10% as a foreigner. All Lai needed was a scanned copy of my tam tru (household residence book) and of my passport. Perhaps, I could have figured out how to do this on my own but I prefer to leave government services to others who can help me maneuver it. Lai is even sending her assistant to my apartment so I don't have to go into the city to pay her. Professional, efficient, great one-on-one customer service....again!
If you like True Color Tour...