From the very first moment I established contact with Custom Vietnam Travel, everything was easy, fast and just perfect. Minh was my contact, and I could spend the whole day writing wonderful adjectives to describe how sweet, friendly, efficient and professional she is. From the very first e-mail, she totally understood the kind of traveller I am and exactly what I wanted. I used their services for three different tours: a very informative and entertaining day tour of Hanoi, which being limited on time as I was, really helped me see the most interesting things and learn a lot about the city and Vietnam history in general, and then I moved on to experience what I now consider the two highlights of my Vietnam trip: a day tour to Ninh Binh, and a 3 day adventure to Mu Cang Chai. Oh my, what can I say! Both tours were like living in a dream, like being on a different planet where the most wonderful and surreal landscapes exist. If you are not sure about visiting Ninh Binh because you've read it is like Halong Bay but on land and less impressive, don't listen to those opinions and make sure you visit beautiful Tam Coc, including the climb to Mua Cave/Dragon Mountain, which is not normally included on tours but Minh kindly arranged for me after I expressed my interest. Ninh Binh really is as beautiful as Halong Bay, similar but different at the same time, and I totally recommend this visit.
As for Mu Cang Chai, wow, just wow!!! If you are debating between Sapa and Mu Cang Chai, definitely choose the latter, not only for the AMAZING rice terraces, going up hills and across valleys as far as the eye can see, but also because of its much more authentic feel. Here you won't see any other tourists, nor will you have any ethnic people running after you asking you to buy stuff from them. What you get in Mu Cang Chai is real life, not a tourist circus. These rice terraces are probably amongst the most beautiful and most impressive in the world, and you will get to see the H'mong people along the way while you trek through breathtaking valleys and neverending rice terraces.
Lam was my guide on both the Ninh Binh/Tam Coc and Mu Cang Chai tours, and I must say he is the most wonderful, friendly, kind-hearted and knowledgable guide I've ever met in my entire life. From the very first minute, I felt I was traveling with a friend, and he really made my experience an unforgettable one, while also being a great photographer. Our driver was also a really nice guy. He drove carefully and demonstrated excellent driving skills which made me feel very safe all along. It really was a perfect experience all along, which made my Vietnam trip one of the most special experiences in my life.
I will definitely get back in touch with Custom Vietnam Travel, Ninh and Lam when I get back to Vietnam, as they really made me fall in love with this beautiful country where there is so much to see that one trip just isn't enough.
If you're reading this, don't look any further. Get in touch with Custom Vietnam Travel, let them take care of everything for you while they customize your Vietnam trip taking into account all your preferences and interests, and rest assured your experience will be a wonderful, unforgettable one.