Dean R

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Dean R

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Nov212014

Tour/Activity

Luxury Desert Experience: Camel Safari with Dinner and Emirati Activities with Transport from Dubai

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Was picked up early afternoon and headed into the desert. 6 people in our group. Upon arriving we were given desert head-dress and pictures on our "mount". Then headed off into the desert for a ~50minute ride to a carpeted and pillowed section on the desert; given bubbly grape to drink, followed by a falconry exhibition. Then a bit of relaxation to watch the sunset.

After sunset boarded some '50's vintage landrovers and off to the Bedouin camp. Of course for us tourists, but very well done and quite impressive. In small groups around the camp to explain the several differnent activities; then settled under our tent for dinner; followed by a few traditional dance exhibitions. Lastly, coffee and hookah smoking in another carpeted and pillowed area. Around 11PM we boarded the landrovers and back to our van to return to town.

All EXTREMELY well done and enjoyable. Highly recommended.

My Photos

  • a smoke at the end of the nite
  • hut hut
  • off into the desert
  • Heading out to the desert camp

Sep252014

Tour/Activity

Small-Group Tour: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Evening Lava Adventure

Hilo, Hawaii

My Rating
1 star rating: I do not recommend this

My Review

We drove to the area where lava flowed into the ocean and walked on the lava out to the latest flow. Flow stopped several months ago; so no lava to be seen. Then moved on to the summit of the volcano and walked the lava tube, then dinner in the lava hotel with views of the caldera and smoke; then viewing of the caldara glowing red at night. I think a bit overpriced for things easy to do on our own with a car. If you have a vehicle; i'd suggest doing it on your own, on your own schedule.

Feb102014

Tour/Activity

Small-Group Vietnamese Countryside Tour by Bike and Boat from Hanoi

Hanoi, Vietnam

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

picked up on time in a comfortable van; didn't realize that Hoa Lu was 2 1/2 hours from the Old Quarter in Hanoi. Ride was somewhat enjoyable watching the passing scenery. The first part of the tour was thru a few ancient temples. This was followed by a few hours of biking thru the countryside, and finally a barge ride thru a gorge as well as thru some underground river passages.

The temples were interesting. The barge ride was a bit long and a bit touristy. The bike ride was fantastic. Two+ hours of riding thru villages on small lanes with local people living their daily lives; and thru rice paddies with the planting season in full swing - plowing with some mechanization, but also occasionally with a wooden plow and Oxen; planting the rice seedlings by hand. We saw many other bicycles- locals transporting food to market or back to home. We also saw a half dozen motorbikes; but not once a car or truck. This was one of the most rewarding few hours of touring I've ever done. I'd recommend less barging and more biking ! The tour is highly recommended just for the biking portion.

My Photos

  • passing thru a village
  • more biking
  • more biking
  • Biking thru the countryside

Feb092014

Tour/Activity

Halong Bay Small Group Adventure Tour including Cruise from Hanoi

Hanoi, Vietnam

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

I new this was a full day tour; but was surprised that it was over 3 hours each way from the Old Quarter. Scenery on the way was interesting; rice planting was going on, so could watch the various steps of planting really along most of the drive.

The bay/islands are very impressive, clearly a good take. Unfortunately they served lunch inside the barge just as we were arriving at some of the most interesting sites; so lunch remained mostly uneaten as we were enjoying the views and taking pictures. I knew that we would be seeing some caves, but I didn't expect CAVES ! It took about an hour to walk thru the caves and take pictures of the stalagtites and stalagmites as well as other limestone formations. Tour is recommended, just be aware of the long ride (van was comfortable) and be prepared to skip the lunch.

My Photos

  • in the cave
  • heading out to the islands

Dec022013

Tour/Activity

Cape Town City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Cape Town, South Africa

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

I booked the 2-day red/blue ticket. I really only used the Blue bus. This hit the highlights of the city as well as the beach areas up the coast with super views. Also stops at vineyards for winetasting, at the lift for table mountain, stop at a Township with a walking tour guide available and a stop at Houts Bay for a walk around the marine piers; shops and fishing boats. Also from Houts Bay a side tour to take a short boat excursion to "Seal Island" just outside the harbor. The Blue line was definitely a worthwhile take, many interesting stops on this line.

My Photos

  • mariners wharf at Houts Bay
  • Township
  • lunch !
  • Blue line stop at the winery; just a 5 minute walk from the bus stop

Dec012013

Tour/Activity

Cape Peninsula Tour from Cape Town

Cape Town, South Africa

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Tour guide was SUPER and the places we stopped were impressive. First to Mariner Wharf in Houts Bay with a short boat ride out of the harbor to "Seal Island", very nice take. Then stops overlooking False Bay, then to the penguin colony, then to cape point and up the furnicular to the summit. It was moving to stand at cape point (tremendous wind, surf and scenery !) and realize that the next land to your south is Antarctica ! A few baboons and ostriches added for color. Excellent tour vehicle (comfortable) and a long day (9 - 6:30), but highly recommended by a many-time Viator traveler.

My Photos

  • Cape Point
  • penguin colony
  • Seal Island optional side tour
  • Mariners Wharf

Nov302013

Tour/Activity

Table Mountain and Cape Town Half-Day Trip

Cape Town, South Africa

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

Tour was just OK. Weather was bad, so didn't go to table mountain; the lift was closed. Went to Signal hill for the noon canon firing ceremony, which was good. The rest of the tour (perhaps "fill in" because table mountain was closed) duplicated the route of the red and blue hop-on trolly. I'd suggest do the blue trolly line for sightseeing and make your way to table mountain cable ride on your own - either taxi or red hop-on.

May122013

Tour/Activity

Ho Chi Minh City Discovery Small Group Adventure Tour

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

I had a list of several things I wanted to see in the city; this tour touched all of them. Tour guide was knowledgable, spoke very good english and was very thorough in sharing information. Also allowed me just enough "alone" time at each of the sites to wander on my own. Recommended to see the highlights of the city.

May112013

Tour/Activity

Mekong Delta Discovery Small Group Adventure Tour from Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

Departure from the Opera House was right on time; transportation out to the country was on a van; comfortable and good air conditionsing (95*F day !). We had about 12 people on the tour. We transitiioned to watercraft and travelled out to some islands in the river delta and also took Tuk-Tuks between some of the highlights of the island. Tourguide spoke very good english; made sure we tried many of the local offerings - both in the gift shops and at the restaurant. Very interesting and insightful day. Recommended if you're in the city and want to see some of the counryside; even the van transport to the river was interesting for the sights seen while traveling.

Nov242011

Tour/Activity

Khao Yai National Park and Elephant Ride Day Trip from Bangkok

Bangkok, Thailand

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

A very busy and full day; the ox-cart ride, elephant ride (in the river !) and local market tour were all exceptional; there was also a side trip to a waterfall that wasn't that rewarding; we've all seen falls much more impressive - if asked I'd recommend they drop that leg. Lunch at the "elephant ranch" was super. Overall the tour is highly recommended.

My Photos

  • RoundTheWorld 614

Nov232011

Tour/Activity

Bangkok Airport Shared Arrival Transfer

Bangkok, Thailand

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

I've used Viator shared transfers in several cities and many times. Always met when I arrive (even when bumped to a later flight) and greeted by a courteous coordinator and assigned to a professional driver. Nothing but the best of service. Highly recommended.

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