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Joey

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Joey

Joey

Philippines

Jun052013

Tour/Activity

Small-Group Tour: Knights Templar Historical Tour from Lisbon

Lisbon, Portugal

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Mikaela is a wonderful guide. She made the tour lively and interesting, even though she had to do it in two languages. She even went out of her way to pass through Fatima Sanctuary for a few minutes upon the request of a couple of passengers. Overall, a full day tour well spent!

Jun032013

Tour/Activity

2-Day Sacred Portugal Trip: Fátima, Batalha, Sítio, Nazaré and Óbidos, from Lisbon

Lisbon, Portugal

My Rating
1 star rating: I do not recommend this

My Review

Elena is the tour guide from hell! She was rude to the passengers, telling people over the microphone to stop talking while she is talking. She also individually approached those who were late in coming back to the bus to scold them. Apparently, I was the only one from the group who was staying overnight in Fatima, and when I asked her about the arrangements, she quickly shrugged that the company did not tell her anything about it. When she did find out the details, she told me to cross to the other side of the Fatima sanctuary with my luggage to check in by myself, because according to her the bus is too big to go there. But in fact, another bus went near the hotel to pick me up the next day!

As to the tour itself, 50 minutes is too short to enjoy Obidos. It should also be made clear in the description that the cloisters of Batalha are NOT included in this tour. There were not much information or guidance given in Fatima -- I was just left on my own on the second day except for the transfer back to my hotel. I definitely think this tour could have been better with a different guide.

Note from Viator
Thank you for your review. We value your feedback and are sorry to hear that your tour experience was unsatisfactory. We rely on your honest feedback to help ensure the value and quality of our travel experiences. Based on your concerns, we have contacted our local tour operator to address these concerns with them personally and will continue monitoring feedback from our travelers.

May122013

Tour/Activity

2-Day Kenting National Park and Kaohsiung City Tour with High-Speed Train Experience

Taipei, Taiwan

My Rating
2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better

My Review

I thought it was not quite worth what I had paid for. Sure, one would need a car to go around Kenting and Kaohsiung. But I could have done it by myself. I did not get to learn much about the places. The guide just ended up being my driver, dropping me off at places and meeting him again after. But the room in Hotel Chateau de Chine was quite good.

Aug212012

Tour/Activity

Private Tour: Hanoi City Full-Day Tour including Cyclo Ride

Hanoi, Vietnam

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Although one can go around Hanoi on his own, I am really thankful that I took a tour, because to simply cross the streets in Vietnam is horrible with all the motorbikes not following traffic lights! To get a private tour is even better, because it saves a lot on the hotel pick-ups and drop-offs during rush-hour traffic. The lunch was a real treat, with so many courses, even though I am only a single traveler. The only "dampener" was the rain before my cyclo ride, but luckily it subsided, and the plastic around the cyclo was adequate. My tour guide Lan was very friendly and knowledgeable, and he helped make this tour enjoyable.

Aug202012

Tour/Activity

Halong Bay Small Group Adventure Tour including Cruise from Hanoi

Hanoi, Vietnam

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

Given its stature as one of the New 7 Wonders of nature, Ha Long Bay is a must-do when in Hanoi. However, just take note that it is a three-hour drive EACH way, so the journey by van was longer than the actual cruise. Maybe it would be better to get an overnight cruise. But one has to consider the weather and the season. Lunch on the boat was good. The caves were really nice, and the colorful lights inside made them more interesting. Our tour guide didn't give us much information though, as his job seemed mainly to herd the group. Take note that the tourist trap stop is even more expensive than the exact items that you can buy at the airport! Better if you can get your own private tour at a reasonable cost, because I was first to be picked up and last to be dropped off, and during Hanoi rush hour traffic, it certainly adds to the wasted hours inside the van.

Feb132012

Tour/Activity

Taxco and Cuernavaca from Mexico City

Mexico City, Mexico

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

Taxco was really beautiful. Cuernavaca was also interesting. The guide was very knowledgeable. The silver shop should be put at the end of the tour, so that one has the option to either spend time there or have more time to go around. But at least in my case, it was cut short by a brownout at the shop. And when the other tour members started shopping for silver first before checking out the church, the guide gave me a private tour about it so as not to waste my time.

Feb122012

Tour/Activity

Mexico City Sightseeing Tour

Mexico City, Mexico

My Rating
1 star rating: I do not recommend this

My Review

The only thing valuable about this was the tour guide's explanations on the Diego Rivera murals and his discussion on the Aztec Room of the museum. The hotel pick-up took even longer than the actual tour, with a useless silver shop tourist trap stop in between! And for all the fuss about the Mayan Calendar this year, I think it is a crime that the Mayan Room was NOT included in the guided tour. And this was my only Mexico City tour where the guide actually reminded us about gratuities. If you have the time and can just read the explanations from guidebooks, I suggest you just go out and do the sighseeing on your own.

Feb112012

Tour/Activity

Puebla and Cholula Day Trip from Mexico City

Mexico City, Mexico

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

This trip could have been better if it had not rained earlier, because the tunnels in the Cholula pyramid were closed. However, I felt bad that I did not get to the top of the platform of the pyramid, because the guide did NOT know -- much less tell us -- that the way to go there was to go up the hill first, then go down at the back, before going around in front. The guide had told go there via the exit, and the guard did not let me through. By that time, I was already too tired to go up the hill again. Also, the driver got lost one time. And I ended paying for lunch that was included in the tour (although they did reimburse me some part a few days later). We had a walking tour in Puebla which was interesting. That being said, my rating would have been better if the guide and driver had been more knowledgeable.

Feb102012

Tour/Activity

Mexico City Airport Round Trip Transfers

Mexico City, Mexico

My Rating
1 star rating: I do not recommend this

My Review

The driver was friendly and even recommended a good restaurant near my hotel. However, I learned that it was a lot more expensive than if I had booked the transportation service of my hotel. Also, they only pick up at a certain terminal, so that if your plane does not land there, you would have transfer terminals by airport train -- which is a lot more hassle than just getting an airport taxi.

Jun202011

Tour/Activity

Taroko Gorge Full-Day Tour from Taipei

Taipei, Taiwan

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

The tour was jam packed with a lot of stops with splendid views. Be prepared to do some trekking though. The guide was nice and had a good sense of humor. The lunch was interestingly aboriginal -- I wish they had more of the fish! The stops at the marble/stone factory and mochi shop were obvious tourist traps, but we were not required to stay there long. I even got to taste all of the mochi samples! The only downer to my day were the simultaneous/alternating crying babies during my 2 1/2 hour train ride back, but that was definitely not the tour company's fault. It gave a good professional service which I would recommend.

Apr242011

Tour/Activity

Great Wall of China at Badaling and Ming Tombs Day Tour from Beijing

Beijing, China

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

The primary value of this tour is the inclusion of the Ming Tombs portion and the guide's knowledgeable discussion on it. Otherwise, if it were just the Great Wall portion, we were just dropped off there to decide which area we wanted to climb and to meet at a particular time. So if you want more time on the Great Wall, then better just go there on your own. But the guide was friendly and accommodating, and did perform well within the limitations of the tour.

Apr232011

Tour/Activity

Beijing Historical Tour including the Summer Palace, Lama Temple and the Panda Garden

Beijing, China

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

The guide was very knowledgeable with a lot of stories about Empress Dowager Cixi and other historical figures, as well as commentaries on Beijing life. However, my primary complaint was that he was more concerned about us hearing his stories, rather than giving us time to take pictures of the sights, much less have our pictures taken in front of the sights. In the Summer Palace we spent most of the time walking beside the long pavilion by the lakeside, rather than check out the buildings beside it. We did not see the inside of the Summer Palace itself (although I learned from another guide that it was no longer open to the public). However, we only saw the actual Summer Palace from afar during the boat ride. We did not even go beside it. If the guide will realize that we went there primarily for the sights rather than just his stories, then it would have been a much better tour with a balanced mix of both.

Apr222011

Tour/Activity

Beijing Historical Tour including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and Temple of Heaven

Beijing, China

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

Maybe it was because I was the only person in the tour, but by 12 noon I had already finished all of the sights before lunch. One good thing about the tour was that the guide knew where to take good pictures, and she was very helpful in taking pictures of me. However, she only gave me very basic info about the sights, that I feel I could have learned a lot more if I just went there on my own and used an audio guide. The buffet lunch left much to be desired. Almost all of the dishes were terrible! It was there where I had THE WORST PEKING DUCK EVER.

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