Unethical company - still waiting for refund for trip cancelled due to COVID
Do not give any money to Insider Journeys. They are criminal. My family booked a trip with them which was cancelled and 6 months later we are still waiting for a refund.
Poor itinerary and time management at our expense.
3. Insider journey booking number IN/940786
Flight Centre highly recommended and organized this Insider Journeys provided by Freedom Road Travel tour of Suzhou gardens, Wuzhen and Hangzhou 5 days/ 4 nights.
2 nights in Suzhou were in a (NO Star ) Chinese hotel with no air conditioning and no continental breakfast ( only chinese breakfast made us unwell the first morning.) This was a breach of contract as our itinerary stated that we would be in a 3 or 4 star accommodation.
We complained about the accommodation and breakfast and where taken to a Starbucks and had breakfast at our expense.
...2nd day The day started with a pick up at 9.30am and return to Hotel at 2.30 pm end of tour for that day. When asked why the tour was short, our guide blamed Flight Centre for organizing the tour itinerary. I said that you are on the ground here and we do not know if a park/garden takes 30minutes or half a day to see. The guide did not have an answer and basically we felt we spent 2 days in Suzhou, when all could have been seen in 1 day. This was poor itinerary and time management at our expense. On the 3rd day we were picked up from our hotel at 9am after no sleep from room being hot and humid with no air conditioning. I blasted our guide for the poor accommodation and breakfast and he said his office had not returned his calls from the previous day. We had 2.5 hour drive to our next Wuzhen Water Town attraction which was spectacular but because we left the hotel late at 9am and after having breakfast at Starbucks at our expense, we got caught in a china traffic jam. The 3 to 4 hours that we were to have at Wuzhen Water Town was cut to under 2 hours. We still wanted to walk the shop side of the channel and take in all of what it had to offer, but we ran out of time, again due to poor time management from the guide. We could have easily left our hotel at 8am that day. Day 5. On the last day our guide wanted to leave Hangzhou at 9am to travel the 3 hours back to Shanghai to end the tour. We went AWOL and texted our guide that we would be ready for pickup at 11.30am as we wanted to walk and catch a buggy that travelled around the West Lakes at Hangzhou which time did not permit the previous day. During our journey back to Shanghai in the afternoon we found out that the guide had to pick up another tour group from the Airport at 2.30pm and wanted to cut our tour short. Our itinerary stated end of tour at 4.30pm at our hotel in Shanghai. Concluding comments. We are busy people and wanted a so called professional team (Flight Centre) to organize our China trip. The result was a combination of errors and passing the blame onto others with us coming home disappointed that we did not receive what we paid for and we were put into stressful and unnecessary situations on our so called holiday!. We have given a written review of the tour Suzhou Gardens, Wuzhen and Hangzhou 5 days/ 4 nights tour to our guide which he was to hand to Freedom Road Travel office.. We pointed out the poor time management, food (breakfast) and below par accommodation and stated point blank that we would never tour with them again. Our tour ended 3 weeks ago and we have not heard from Insider Journeys or Freedom Road Travel or Flight Centre – except an email to ask if we had kept our train tickets and would give a refund difference between a non window and window seat which angered us even further as no amount of refund will make up for a 1900 klm train trip with no window. Insider Journey/Freedom Road Travel attention to detail and customer care is non-existent. They can’t even provide 3 or 4 star accommodation as stated in their brochure and Flight Centre are also partly to blame as they associate themselves with these cowboy tour operators and recommend them to trusting customers. We have travelled to China before with Intrepid which was brilliant so we know what a well organised tour can be which makes this Private Tour really disappointing and a total rip off. With this being the second holiday booked through flight Centre after the Bali Trip last year and spending around $8500.00 on this China Escape, we thought your team would have looked after us during our travels, but this did not happen.
No value inconsistency with product value
Booking invalidated no refund... host party out of control seriously wondering if this is worth while no precise conception in detail...
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Sandra-Newcastle NSW “Cambodia Revealed” – Small Group Journey: November 16, 2016 to November 26,
Feedback – Specific
Part A: November 16 to November 22.
On November 16, upon arrival at Phnom Penh Airport, my husband and I were very
courteously and efficiently met and transferred to our accommodation.
In the evening we met with our tour guide, Mr Sovannara (Nara), who explained he would
guide us through to November 22.
This Part A of our journey proved to be very disappointing as it became very clear that,
although Nara had an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of Cambodian history he lacked the
ability to successfully interface and accommodate the needs of visitors foreign to his country.
It would also become obvious to us that he was not confident, and lacked familiarity, once ...
- 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.
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.
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 ...
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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