- Verified customer
Ten Insider Journeys tours (nee Travel Indochina) done in five years!!!
I have done ten small group tours with this company over the last five years, with group sizes ranging from 17 at the largest (Japan) to just me on one of them (India). Travelling can throw up all sorts of problems and situations but I must say I found all the trips to be well run and fantastic experiences. I have read the other reviews on this website and only once encountered a local guide who was out to make a fast buck. I didn't complain but in retrospect I should have got straight on the phone to Head Office - lesson learned! Once in ten t...rips and numerous guides is a pretty good hit rate! In any case, you have to keep your wits about you when immersed in the local tourist nomenclature - find out what a reasonable tip is, pre-agree tuk-tuk costs, avoid 'only available now' tours you don't want at that moment (they're always available), and haggle prices charged. I booked all trips online with the IJ office in Oxford, UK and have dealt with the same people there for all the trips. (India x3, Sri Lanka, Japan, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos). I can strongly recommend this company - it has been around for quite a while and is well established in each of the destinations I visited. Bon voyage! :)
Great Holiday.Ref 242181
Wife and I have spent 14 days in Vietnam, Hanoi, halong Bay ,Hue , hoi an and Saigon we had a fabulous time good hotels great food and our guides made it a holiday to remember cannot say enough good things about the trip would definitely recommend Insider Journeys.
Wonderful experience in Japan
I travelled to Japan last year on Insider's Secrets of Japan tour. I was travelling with a friend from Sydney, but we joined a group of 14 others, most from Australia. Our tour leader Nikki was amazing! She took us to some lovely restaurants and was a whizz at navigating the Tokyo metro for us. We only got a tour leader last minute but I can't imagine not having one now. We could have done some of the sightseeing on our own but overall it was a very intelligent itinerary.
The group was of a similar age which was a relief. We travelled from ...Tokyo to Kyoto. Some of the days had a little too much walking, especially as Tokyo was a little hot, but the use of the bullet trains was an absolute highlight. I would also include Ueno park in Tokyo. This was not on the itinerary but our guide arranged for a few of us to visit it in the afternoon, compared to the bustle of Tokyo it was wonderfully peaceful. I have been to Vietnam with Insider but Japan was somewhere I had wanted to go for a very long time. Takayama was a the highlight of the trip, small streets, traditional houses and the food was delicious. The tour was very well organised and out guide from Tokyo to Kanazawa (the gardens here were delightful) was very professional and arranged a number of extra trips. The accommodation was rather small but talking to other travellers this is quite normal. An extra day before or after the tour would have been good. There is so much to see in Tokyo. Now knowing more about the city, an extra night going to Shibuya at night would have made the trip. All the guides we had were very professional and their English was really very good. We did not get to see Mt Fuji because of cloud cover, so I may have to revisit. The food was far more diverse than I had thought, some of the dishes in Hiroshima I'd never heard of, but were very good. It was also cheap, each meal being around $10 Australian. All the documents Insider gave use before the tour were of use, but some need updating. I would also recommend Insider try to go further south on this tour and maybe try and add Osaka as many of us had flight leaving from Osaka airport.
India. RV Ganges Voyager 8 days. Private Touring Delhi to Udaipur 10 days.
What a great 18 days. Great food, great guides, great driver and excellent hotels. Never thought of going to India but it is awesome. As with other 7 trips with Insider Journeys (Travel Indochina) everything ran like clockwork. We expect a lot of Insider Journeys and as usual their planning and preparation and delivery was excellent. You have to experience India.
October 5th 2017 Update: Myanmar
Another holiday booked through Tina Nguyen of Insider Journeys Sydney.
And of course it was great..Arrived in Yangon and stayed at the Strand Ho...
We travelled to Myanmar with Insider Journeys and the entire trip was excellent. While we might have been able to organise some of the aspects ourselves it would have taken at least twice as long. The excellent support by the tour leader and the interesting and deep information from the local guides were a large part of the trips quality and enjoyment.
- Verified customer
Complete waste of time and money
I made the mistake of doing a 16 day trip to Vietnam with insider journey. I enjoyed the country, the people, the food. but mostly I did it on my own. 65 % to 70% of the time was free time and it was a total rip-off. I definitely did not get my money's worth. Most days were "free days" with nothing to do. Also unfortunately I ended up being the only person on this tour as it was during Christmas holidays.
A total and complete waste of time and money. Honestly I could have spent less that half the amount I spent with Insider journeys and woul...d have seem more of Vietnam. I didn't go to Vietnam to sleep in my hotel and have close to 70% free time. I paid $3220 for this trip without international airfare. For this amount I could have traveled like royalty. Hotels we sub standard, the amount of free time was simply appalling and unacceptable. Do not waste your hard-earned money and valuable vacation time with this travel company, unless you want stay in a hotel in a foreign country. Guides spoke very little or no English, never bothered to offer suggestions for most of the free time. A TOTAL WASTE OF TIME and MONEY... Stay away from Insider Journey. They are scam artists.
Travel Indochina provided us with a great holiday with only two problems which need to be addressed
I have just returned from a trip up the Mekong on the Jayavarman. On boarding we were informed that a group of 36 Dentists were conducting a conference on board which meant that at some times areas of the boat were unavailable to us. We had no choice in sitting arrangements in the dining room and were required to sit at the same table each meal. I really feel that we should have been advised that a conference group was going to be on board at the same time as we would have chosen another date to travel.
The guides were excellent and v...
Do not touch Indochina!
My husband and I arrived booked a comprehensive private tour of China which we looked forward to immensely. Upon arrival at Beijing there was no one to meet us and after a frantic phone call to our hotel discovered that our tour had been cancelled.
Subsequently we travelled to the hotel in an overpriced taxi and were told that if we wanted a room we would have to pay for it again. It was the weekend and there was no assistance available to us either from the hotel or Travel Indochina. We were also told that because we had cancelled our tour (...
A girlfriend invited me on a tour of Vietnam with Travel Indochina earlier this year. While I'm married to a Vietnamese man and speak Vietnamese, I'd only been to Vietnam once and that was almost 20 years ago so off I went! I never made it known to our guides that I could speak Vietnamese and it was certainly eye-opening listening in to some of their unsuspecting conversations!
There were a few occasions at restaurants and shops where I suspecting our guides (we had a western guide and Vietnamese guides in each region) were making something ...on the side, in particular in Hoi An. Our guides had recommended a shop for everything and as myself a number of other members from our group were interested in getting some clothes made up they took us to a tailor. Later that night I had to go back for a late fitting and a guide from another company marched in and started asking the staff if his group had finished and when he could collect his commission! I'm sure all the travel companies are guilty of this but when you pay a lot of money you expect better. But later on in the north I knew for sure that we were being duped. On our long drive to Halong Bay we stopped at what was described to us at length as a "humanitarian centre" and indeed on our arrival there appeared to be a lot of disabled people working there. Our western guide had been talking about agent orange victims and how the government of Vietnam set up places such as this for them to make handicrafts which were then sold to tourists to provide them with a living. Having been lead to believe this was a good cause our group spent a lot of money there and my girlfriend bought a large picture made of silk embroidery. When we got back on the bus our driver and guide immediately started talking about how much money our group had spent and how much commission they had each made! The guide even explained to the driver how he thought they would make more money on the way back as one couple were looking at expensive jewellery but were undecided. I felt sick that these people were profiting off the back of these poor disabled people and the whole thing was nothing more than a scheme. And to make matters worse we were expected to tip these people later on. On the return journey we stopped again and it seemed like near enough every bus going to or from the Halong Bay stopped at this place! When I got back I did write a letter to Travel Indochina but I never got a reply. I'd like to stress that Vietnam itself was wonderful and most Vietnamese people in my experience are nothing like this. They are honest and warm and charming. Besides this the tour was quite good. Some of our hotels and our boat on Halong Bay were a bit rough around the edges and I felt like we never really got off the tourist trail but the organization was good. The whole commission thing left a really sour taste in my mouth though and I would never use them again. Beautiful country with great food Tour was overpriced given the hotels we used, guides were scammers and too much pressure to tip.
Five of us just did three weeks through Vietnam and Cambodia with Indochina.Everything was so well organised and informative.We had great English speaking guides who were so helpful.Every destination we went Indochina checked in with us.They were so professional. We had only the five of us on our tours which was great as I didnt want to be in a big group. I would go through them again for our next holiday.It was great to know if something went wrong you could call them as you were given a number at every destination.Thanks Indochina for a great holiday.
Treasures of China Tour April 2013
Excellent, thoroughly recommended, great guides, especially [name removed]; wonderful accommodations with all breakfasts included, best locations. Silk Road Markets in Beijing, Climbing Great Wall, through Forbidden City, Terracotta Warriors, Li River cruise, train from Beijing to Guiilin - wonderful, smooth airport connections. Great company, great weather. Love the Country !!! Will go back.
Locations, tour guide, seeing famous attractions, small group
Return to VIetnam 2013
I recently enjoyed a fascinating and well-organized 14-day trip to VIetnam with Travel Indochina. Both our tour leader and local guides were consistently helpful and well-informed. The selection of cities, hotels, and sites visited was excellent; the transfers (domestic flights, boats) went smoothly; the optional times for exploring, shopping, or just resting a plus! I felt throughout that I was in professional hands, from prompt transfers to a consistently positive attitude. I was most curious to re-visit Vietnam after performing with a USO troupe during the War---Travel Indochina was an excellent choice.
Professional, excellent hotels, efficient transfers, well-organized program.
Best travel group I've ever been with
We have been travelling overseas for more than 40 years and during that time have dealt with many agents. Travel Indochina was by far the best. On planning our trip to Vietnam and Cambodia, they were efficient, practical but with loads of ideas, always providing alternatives and that was before we left Australia. Once in Vietnam we were never in doubt as to what was happening and if we wanted to change anything the guide of the moment (we had one in each city) was extremely accommodating. Nothing was too much trouble for them. The trip was als...o beautifully planned so that we had a great mix of guided tours, by guides who spoke great English and were extremely knowledgeable and very well prepared, and free time to wander, shop and watch the passing parade of locals. Next time I go to Asia I will be using Travel Indochina.
What was promised was not delivered
Travel Indochina – Vietnam and Cambodia
We had a wonderful 14 day trip through Vietnam and Cambodia. They are wonderful countries to visit with wonderful people. Our guides were good. However, Travel Indochina’s performance disappointed us. Three examples.
First, we booked the Northern Landscapes tour which included Halong Bay (wonderful trip upon the excellent Jasmine boat) and two nights away, one in a resort in Ninh Binh and one on a homestay. This was a private tour for just my family. Unfortunately, the bus we were provided with ...
WARNING: Tour guides stealing travellor's money
Recently my husband and I travelled to Vietnam and chose the Tour Company "Travel Indochina". The content of the tour was good, the accommodation was good but our guide stole from us. Our guide told us how to be wary of people trying to steal from us but he didn't warn us about himself.
At the beginning of our trip our guide told us that he is aware that Aussies don't know about tipping and that if we gave in 600,000 VDG he would look after tipping for us. We thought it was such a great idea that we handed over the money without obtaining a ...
Great trip / Excellent service
We've just returned from a holiday to Vietnam and Cambodia booked with Travel Indochina and everything was fantastic! The consultant in Sydney booked all of our accommodation, transfers and tours in advance. The hotels were all in great locations and good value for money. The Travel Indochina tour guides and drivers were always punctual and welcoming and couldn't do enough for us. The full day tour to Angkor Wat was an amazing experience and the Travel Indochina tour guide made the day even more memorable with his deep knowlegde and passion for...his country. We had a great day on the Mekong Delta and also the Cu Chi tunnels shouldn't be missed when in Saigon. If you go to Hoi An I would recommend the Red Bridge cooking tour....learn to cook some local cuisine and enjoy lunch afterwards. I would recommend anyone travelling to Vietnam and Cambodia to book with Travel Indochina. They are the experts in this region and true professionals. Cant wait to go back! Professional and reliable. A great experience!
my sister and i travelled in april on the 19 day cambodia/vietnam tour including the jahan cruise.the boat was going into dry dock food and drink supplies gradually dimished from the second day.the tour manager cynthia did not speak to us once the rest of the crew were excellent.the meals included in the land content were terrible until our group of ten rebelled then improved marginally.the halong bay trip did not resemble the itinerary at all very disappoinying.i could not recommend this company to anyone.
loved our experience in china
great holiday accomodation superb,loved The Great Wall,Terracotta Warriors Yangtze River and very informative guides and great tour guide didnt want to come home from holiday.Met some lovely people on trip and will keep in contact with them in the future
Value for money and everything was planned well which made it so easy for us
Wished we went longer didnt want to come home
Questions & Answers
Hi Off to china for 3 weeks with you guys. in your paperwork you have not given any information on accessing the internet while there. What would you recommend for accessing emails and social media while there?
Hello I am planning on using Insider Journeys for China 14 days. Are they a good company??
John and I found them excellent! They look after everything - 15 days through Vietnam and Cambodia and they have been wonderful . We have learnt so much about these beautiful places - with personal drivers and personal tour guides. We will use them again
I've done ten tours with Insider Journeys (nee Travel Indochina) and all were first class. All transfers to and from the airport went to plan, the guides were reliable, and all the destinations were visited as per the itinerary; I have every intention of travelling with them again. The Chinese trip I did was fantastic - I'm sure you will enjoy going there too!!!
Hi, we are traveling to Japan and using insider journeys when we arrive as our travel company. Does anyone have any feedback on this experiences with this company in Japan?
Don't use Insider Journey. You will have too much free time. I just did 16 days of Vietnam with Insider Journey. For the amount I paid $3220, I did not get my money's worth. You will be better of organizing a trip to Japan on your own. Don't waste your money or time with Insider Journey. Hotels are sub-standard, guides barely speak any English and most of your time will be free time with barely 2 hours of guided sight seeing per day. Rest of the time are free time.
I wouldn't recommend them either. We did a trip through Vietnam and got taken from one commission stop to another by guides who could barely speak English.
We are currently in Japan and have used insider Journeys for 3 of our day tours. We have had great guides and no issue with them. We have arranged a 10 day trip and self touring ourselves so only using them for certain tours. We have arrange personal guides for other tours by doing this we have been able to do our own thing at our own pace. You will love Japan, the people are so helpful.
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