Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Booking a Tour

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

One would think that credit cards and the Internet make it easier to book a tour. In our case, they don’t.

We are trying to book a package tour with the travel agency, The Sinh Tourist (formerly known as Sinh Café) located in Ho Chi Minh City, but they don’t take credit cards. They require the entire amount to be wired to them, which, to me, is a bit risky. The tour is supposed to cover parts of the Mekong Delta Region (Cai Be, Vinh Long, Long Xuyen, Chau Doc), Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, but when I asked the travel agent about the details, she mentioned names of hotels that are definitely not in any of those places. After several email exchanges, I’m certain there’s been something lost in translation. Despite the risk that the tour could be fully booked by then, perhaps we should just make the reservation when we get to Ho Chi Minh instead of doing it online or through a bank. Or maybe we can just do away with the tour altogether and simply travel by ourselves.

Suggestions, anyone?


Anonymous said...

my suggestion buy the agency. :)

Angeli said...

what!? hahaha

Agnes said...

Angeli, if you don't feel comfortable dealing with them, then don't... so weird they don't take credit cards.

artemis said...

i think that's a strange travel agency, if they dont take credit cards, more chances that they are careful..:-)

if you have enough time, maybe better to do it by yourself.

Amelia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amelia said...

Hi Angeli...most of the people in Vietnam don't speak good English. And yes there are some who don't accept credit cards not unless it's a five star hotel or something....have you tried communicating with the one I gave you?

It will be a great idea if you have a friend or is currently in Vietnam to book the tour for you...I have two Vietnamese colleagues they might help you with the booking...just let me know.

Anonymous said...

Hi Angeli,

Have nothing to do with that company.

Come to this part of the world instead. You'll enjoy the change.

witsandnuts said...

That's so strange. Settlement through the wire is unfair. Look for another travel agency. I remember in one of my tours in Southeast Asia, they didn't require any deposit. But the moment we set foot in the establishment, we were required to pay in cash. I think that's more acceptable.

Doug said...

Like in the one post "credit cards are used mostly in 5 star hotels" or something like that.

Are you trying to book the tours in advance, if so don't wait till you get there. Sinh café or Tourist - what ever, is OK. Once there in person they may change there mind or just go to a ATM and pull some cash out. There are a ton of places offering tours and they are all about the same thing, think it's a front for the government so they can control what you see.

Angeli said...

Thanks so much, everyone. We'll just book the tour when we get there. As Wits and Doug said, there are a lot of tour operators to choose from.

Bahala na. :)

Unstranger, that is a great idea. A fan of James Joyce, I always wanted to see Dublin, go for a Joycean trek. :)

Hi Doug. I visited your site. You've got a lot of useful information there. Thank you.

jacqueline said...

i think it's not a peak season anyway, so you can get accommodations easily when you get there and plan the tour yourselves?

Angeli said...

We can do that, but not everybody can speak English in Vietnam and Cambodia. We don't want to get lost. :)

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