Directions: Near by Truc Bach LakePhone: +090 442 1998
Its taken me a while to write this review but my feelings still haven't changed. Took a weekend Mai Chau trip with them a couple months ago.. Seriously good. It was a much needed break from the hustle and bustle of the city.
We told them we didn't want to do any serious trekking or cycling, just a relaxing break. And they planned the trip perfectly. Our guide Huong (Hong?) was fantastic, private car out there made me feel like a dignitary. The home stay was a highlight. I've stayed at home stays in Sapa which was great but this one totally killed it. Instead of eating separately from them like most tour groups, my boyfriend bonded with the dad and they invited us into their own space for all the meals. The food was LITERALLY farm to fork - super fresh from their garden and DAMN good! After dinner we even got a private performance at the home stay from a local dance group/band. Just for me and my boyfriend and another couple staying at a neighboring home stay. Seriously special. The rice wine was a killer, both the normal and the one you drink out of a bamboo straw.
Wish I could do it every weekend. Highly recommended!
These guys just get it. We did one of their 4 day short breaks up to Sapa and it was fantastic. Great guide, cool trekking and very good accommodation in both a hotel and a home stay.
I know Intrepid from a great trip I did a few years back in Vietnam and when I found out they did this kind of stuff I thought I'd give them a go again. I'm glad I did - I've done a few trips with some local Vietnamese travel companies and let's just say there is a big difference between them and Intrepid! These guys are professional.
We had a guide named Tang. He spoke great English, was actually from Sapa and he was easy going and knew his stuff. He led our overnight trek to a cool little homestay in a beautiful village amongst the ricepaddies. The family we stayed with were very friendly - they cooked us a nice meal and the grandmother offered us enough shots of rice wine to make sure we slept peacefully. We really liked the way Tang made an effort to get us talking to the locals and teaching us more about their lifestyle.
The transfers were arranged well, very nice to be picked up from home in Hanoi and taken to the train station and then met at Lao Cai in the early morning.
They are a little more pricey than some of the other operators, but you do get what you pay for. So, all in all a great experience and I'll be using Intrepid Travel for my trips out of Hanoi in the future for me and any visitors I have.
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