We worked with two agencies, one in the South and one in the North. I recommend both, without reservation. Besides our specific experience of being able to plan and execute a wonderful trip under their care and guidance, in each agency I found a friend that is honest, caring, and well-motivated.
Green Holiday Travel in Ha Noi is owned and managed by our dear friend Thuy ( pronounced "Twee" to my American ear ).
Green Holiday Travel's logo contains a school boy on a water buffalo amid Viet Nam's ubiquitous green bamboo. A boy on a buffalo is a classic symbol of Vietnamese values: The boy reads his school books while tending the buffalo, reflecting both Confucian respect for education and an intimate agrarian connection to the land. The bamboo symbolize Viet Nam's green landscapes and complete Thuy's vision of holidays that celebrate both rich culture and beautiful countryside.
Thuy did more that just show us Viet Nam's natural and cultural beauty; she let us share her own deep love for both.
Bach Viet Travel in HCMC is owned and managed by the real older brother of my "dear little sister" Dieu ( pronounced "Zhew", like "Whew" with an initial "Z" sound, to my American ear ).
Bach Viet is, I think, a historical reference to the earliest dynasty in which the Vietnamese people began to develop a unique national culture and identity. That seems appropriate to me; the folks at Bach Viet Travel are prototypical contemporary Vietnamese: energetic, optimistic 21st century entrepeneurs who are at the same time deeply rooted in Vietnamese culture.
Dieu understood and enjoyed my early joke about naming the trip "Tran Hung Dao" but she also offered some insights that eventually set me on a journey to understand Tran Hung Dao's special meaning to the Vietnamese. That journey took me farther than I'd dreamed and, ultimately, offered to take me farther than I dared !