After getting the quote from Kensington Tours for Southeast Asia. I did more research. I decided to expand my scope and created a spreadsheet of where I wanted to go. Then, I reached out to Exotravel to see how much it would cost for them to do a portion of the trip. At first, I just asked them to quote a tour called the HIGHLIGHTS OF VIETNAM, below is the tour and cost with a private guide.
Day 1: Hanoi Arrival (-/-/-)
Day 2: Hanoi (B/-/-)
Day 3: Hanoi – Halong Bay (B/L/D)
Day 4: Halong Bay – Noi Bai Aiport – Danang – Hoi An (B/-/-)
Day 5: Hoi An – My Son – Hoi An (B/-/-)
Day 6: Hoi An cooking class – Hue (B/-/-)
This half day culinary adventure at the Red Bridge Cooking School takes you to the local market to buy ingredients for the morning’s cooking class. Then it’s a quick boat trip along the Thu Bon River to the school, where you will be treated to demonstrations of Hoi An specialties before being let loose in the kitchen.
Day 7: Hue (B/-/-)
Day 8: Hue – Ho Chi Minh City – Cu Chi Tunnels (B/-/-)
Day 9: Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta – Ho Chi Minh City (B/L/-)
Day 10: Ho Chi Minh City – Departure (B/-/-)
|Halong||Pelican cruise||Deluxe Ocean cabin||http://pelicancruise.com/|
|Hoi An||M Gallery Royal Hoi An||Superior||http://www.mgallery.com/gb/hotel-9574-hotel-royal-hoi-an-mgallery-collection/index.shtml|
|ROUTE||AIRLINE||US Dollars / Person|
|Hanoi – Danang||Vietnam Airlines||USD 112/person|
|Hue – Ho Chi Minh City||Vietnam Airlines||USD 112/person|
|Total airfares/person||USD 224/person|
Total Price in USD (included airfares above)
|Total Package Price||Per Group in USD|
|Total Price in USD||USD 3475 + 224 = USD 3,699|
|Please note: The price in USD is valid for payment received within 14 days of this proposal. After that time we reserve the right to adjust the price in case prices from our suppliers are increased.|
Then I got crazy and asked them to quote my entire itinerary which at that point included Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and Cambodia. Yes, all of a sudden I wanted to know about Myanmar. I will save you the exact detail of the plan and say that it cost about $15,000.
I listed the hotels below so you can get an idea of where I was staying and the itinerary was 26 days. While you may think the issue was price, it was only part of the problem. The level of disorganization I had to go through to get the information was ridiculous. I was working with one agent and when I asked for additional country pricing she forwarded me to another agent. This should have been done behind the scenes. I was promised quick feedback and it took weeks. I had no faith that the trip would actually work out much less pay $15,000 for that level of inept planning. Exo Travel maybe great but I will never know..
|Bagan||Aureum Palace||5*||Jasmine/Orchid Villa|
|Inle Lake||Villa Inle Resort||5*||Deluxe Bungalow|
|Chiang Mai||137 Pillars House||5*||Rajah Brooke Suite|
|Bangkok||Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa||5*||Deluxe Premier|
|Siem Reap||Heritage Suites||5*||Pool view|
|Hanoi||Sofitel Plaza Hanoi||5*||Superior|
|Halong||Pelican cruise (sharing junk)||4*||Deluxe Ocean cabin|
|Hoi An||M Gallery Royal Hoi An||4*||Superior|