On est venu me chercher à l'hôtel à l'heure. J'ai fait connaissance avec les deux guides et les autres participants dans le minibus. Une bonne ambiance s'est installée grâce à Sean le guide. Une petite halte-pipi à un atelier de tissage de soie et après environ 2 heures de route nous sommes montés dans la barque pour 1 heure de trajet dur pour les fesses! Voyage super tranquille à cette époque mais à éviter fin janvier et février, moment des pèlerinages.Nous avons visité un premier pagode/temple. Très intéressant. Ling notre deuxième guide nous a bien expliqué le Bouddhisme et les différents parties du temple. Déjeuner comme sur la photo et nous sommes partis pour le téléphérique on peut monter ou descendre à pied mais le chemin n'est pas très intéressant et prend environ 45 mins.En haut nous avons continué à monter un peu avant de descendre une centaine de marchesassez hautes afin d'entrer dans la grotte. Ici il y a des autels et des offrandes pour Bouddha.
Pour rentrer nous avons fait la même chose mais à l'envers.
Cet excursion m'a beaucoup plu parce que ça m'a permis de voir la campagne en dehors de Hanoï, d'apprécier l'ambiance calme un peu mystérieuse de la rivière et des montagnes et en même temps d'apprendre plus sur la culture vietnamienne.
Un grand merci à Sean et Ling nos deux guides.
N.B.Une excursion difficile pour ceux qui ont du mal à monter et descendre des marches.
When we were going to the mountain with a boat at the river we were split into 2 random groups - we were asked who wants to go with a covered boat and who wants to go with an open boat. We told the guide we want the open boat while the other group wanted a covered boat. In the end it didn't matter and he gave us the covered boat while he gave the other group an open boat. So on the way there we couldn't see anything for 1 hour or more. On the way back I have specifically asked the guide again to put us on an open boat. He said the other group doesn't want to change - even though they have already been on an open boat on the way there! How unfair is that? We even told him that's unfair since they already been on the open boat before but he just didn't care. So we had to go AGAIN in the covered boat and not be able to see anything. Wonderful experience indeed! That wouldn't be a big problem but since the most interesting part of this trip is the view on the way.. I have to say I would never go with this company againI don't know the name of the guide but it was at 24 November Saturday.
The trip to Perfume Pagoda was very good value for money, covered all the main areas around the locality with excellent knowledge and information provided by the tour guide... Nice river ride for approx. 1 hour followed by the cable car up the mountain to view the cave pagodas.
The one negative aspect was the lunch provided and the fact that if you walk up or down rather than use the cable cars, you get inundated with constant cheap and tacky stalls crammed all the way to the top. Don't be fooled by the thought of wonderful views by walking it!! . Use the cable cars or you may regret what you see. .On the return down the mountain by cable car , you have more time to enjoy the areas on the lower sectors .
I think another reviewer said that they do not adequately describe the amount of activity this tour has and they where correct! We also had the issue that another review had in that the Viator description says two way cable car ride and we where only booked for a one way return and had to pay for the way up which you definitely want otherwise you have to hike for about 45 minutes
You get picked up from your hotel and take a 1 hour and 45 minutes car ride
then you get on a metal row boat that fits 6 and spend 1 hr going up river
then you get off and walk about a half mile up hill and stairs
visit the pagoda for about 40 mins
walk about 1/4 mile uphill and stairs to get to the cable car or hike up hill and stairs for 45 minutes to the cave entrance
if you take the cable car you get off and walk about another 1/4 mile uphill and stairs to the cave entrance
to get to the cave walk down 120 stairs, walk around the cave and then got back up said 120 stairs
walk back to the cable car and ride down or hike back down to the boats
take boat back 1 hr downstream
1hr 45 minute ride back to Hanoi
The activity would have not been so bad if it wasn't so hot. So it could be dangerous for some people with health issues or unsteady legs. There is a lot of walking uphill and lots of stairs. Boats where not the great either. Our tour guide instructed us that we had to tip the boat driver once we where done. The tour guide was ok, more of a facilitator than tour guide as he didn't give us much background on the pagoda. He just kinda lead us around and left us to our own devices as he socialized with the locals. Overall not a great experience and not a must see
This tour was quite a disaster. We did not get an English speaking guide we got an admin person from the office, we were raced through beautiful Vietnamese countryside with no explanation about it or an opportunity to take photos and we had to pay the local tour operator additional money for a cable car ticket as their understanding of 'return trip' was different from Viators. More importantly there was no indication in the tour description on Viator regarding the degree of walking difficulty on this tour. This tour is NOT suitable for anyone with even basic mobility problems. My wife and I are both reasonably active and are regular walkers but we both fell on the treacherous underfoot conditions on the steps down to and around the pagoda.
I contacted Viator customer services and did get a refund of the additional money I paid locally but no compensation for not getting an English speaking guide or the tour as described.