Looking for some vigorous adventure sport on your vacation? Handspan offers you some great chances to live life on the edge! ... More
Handspan Adventure Travel
Looking for some vigorous adventure sport on your vacation? Handspan offers you some great chances to live life on the edge! Sea-kayaking, mountain biking, sailing and even jeep adventures are available for those who want a piece of the action. The marine excursions are most enjoyable, for Vietnam has some awe-inspiring land and seascapes. Paddle around Ha Long Bay's 3000 islands if you enjoy nature, and explore some ethereal caves and calm lagoons. The crew at Handspan is very meticulous when it comes to safety; the equipment is subjected to regular inspections and tourists are provided with skilful and good-natured guides and instructors. Daily excursions can be prolonged by a couple of days, and longer packages for 10 and 20 days are also available.
We booked with Hanspan to go to Sapa and Halong Bay. Our guide in Sapa was great, but when we met back up with the larger group to take the train back to Hanoi, the Handspan person who was supposed to take us to the train station abandoned us in a terrible restaurant. He gave us no guidance as to how to get back to the Handspan office once we got to Hanoi- because he was nowhere to be found. We ended up getting ripped off by our taxi driver, but we were lucky- another couple in our group got robbed. When we got back to the office, we told the staff what happened and suggested they give some more guidance about dealing with taxis. The guide who was there told us it was all our fault and was very rude to us. When we told him this, he told us he didn't work for Handspan. When he wanted us to leave the office, then he suddenly worked for Handspan again.
The tour in Halong was fine, except for when our boat ran into a smaller fishing boat.
I wouldn't recommend that anyone use their tour services based on our experiences.
A very basic kayak tour with a luxury price tag. The tour was OK but not outstanding. Food was ample but lacked the flavours of any cheap restaurant in Hanoi. The staff at the base camp met minium standard but at no point exceeded the minium. Their mobile phones rang often unanswered and after dinner there was kung fu & Thai kick boxing movies played on the tv in the only commen area. Obviously for the entertainment of the staff. Tour guide was OK and we did see some beautiful lagoons.
We booked with Handspan Adventure Travel in Hanoi. We saw places & did things most tourists do not do. Our trip to Sapa was fantastic; a great guide for 3 of us. He had lived there and know everything and everybody! We hiked 2 days, but avoided the homestay. The top local hotel was perfect, they packed lunches for us. At Halong Bay we took the 2 day cruise and kayaked. The ship was a five star! Our guide was perfect. They also booked Hoi An, Hue & Ho Chi Ming City, all great accommodations.
The Handspan office is a very busy place in Hanoi. They have a good cafe and a place to store luggage. The way they booked our 7 days was amazing. We came back to their office and then went out again; without staying in Hanoi another night. We meet a lot of fun people on their tours and traveled with them to other Vietnam sites/cities.
We did not like the big cities; the smaller remote places were amazing. The weather can be a problem in the north. We were there Sept 15 through Oct 5 and everything was sunny & HOT! When we came back from a 5 day trip to Halong Bay & Sapa the rains were coming and all trips north were cancelled. They are quick to refund the charges we were told. Handspan has our highest recommendation!
This is actually a 3.5 star review, Handspan was organized and we did enjoy our trip immensely. We took the 6-day northwest loop goin to Sapa with 2 days homestay in hill tribe villages. Word of advise: we can't be sure where we got our severe bedbug bites on our legs and arms (Ta Van or Ban Ho?). I don't know how this can be remedied, bring a bug spray maybe and spray around your martess a few hours before sleeping. The pillow covers and duvet are a bit (well, acttually very) smelly, like they haven't been washed in a while. They did not provide fresh towels on the first homestay, and made us use used ones (we can clearly tell by sight and smell) so remember to bring personal towels.
We took a Handspan arranged tour to SAPA April 13-18 and were very disappointed. This "custom" tour was parts of two standard tours stapled together, with lots of waiting and redundancies.Several email requests for clarification went unanswered. Our trekking guide was great, but otherwise the whole operation was sloppy and not worth the relatively high price.
We have just returned from Viet Nam and used Handspan Travel for two trips whilst in the North.
The trip to Halong Bay for cruise and an overnight stay in a junk could not have been better.We were very well looked after by a most attentive and knowledgeable but unobtrusive guide.Our only complaint was that although the bed sheets were crisp and clean the duvet cover was very grubby.
The two day/three night trek (including soft-sleeper overnight train and homestay) in the Sa Pa area was also very well organised, with lovely guide from a nearby village. Our homestay hosts made us feel very welcome and the locally produced food was exquisite. Glorious scenery.
We too had problems booking by e-mail but are lucky enough to have a son who lives in HCMC and could finalise arrangements on the ground. Our advice would be to wait until getting to HCMC or Hanoi and then book direct. We saw several people doing this in the Hanoi office.
We would certainly use Handspan again: thanks to them, both our trips were hassle-free and excellent value.
I like the service and the fact that they arrive on time for a journey. I have used them 4 times and never had any problems. I was reluctant to give my credit card details over the internet, this was not a problem as I booked from Australia and paid when I arrived in HaNoi. I found handspan to be honest and trustworthy, I would always recommend them
My wife and I made a trip to Vietnam and its a beautiful country, with the world famous Ha Long Bay. It was with the intention to have a well led tour of this area that we made our booking with Handspan Adventure travel. We sent a clearly written email requesting travel arrangements on two of their standard packages (3D to Halong; 4D to Sapa markets). This was two months before our trip.
After one email reply from them with prices, there was no further responses to follow up on my case to ensure that: 1. I can confirm my trip and not be left hanging without a Halong bay cruise on specific dates, 2. How to make payment by credit card, or any payment arrangements, 3. Whom to contact in an emergency/situation.
All my emails reached a black hole. I decided just a week before my trip to book with Topas Adventure travel instead since Handspan had clearly forgotten me or ignored me. Topas is top class, allowing us to stay at excellent hotels and all travel arrangements were perfect, no errors at all. Payment was easy too.
When in Hanoi I checked out with Handspan at their office, which was down a street from where I was shopping. To my great surprise, they mentioned they knew I did make a booking and said they didn't reply and ignored my messages because I didn't make payment after the first email.
I was shocked! I emailed twice asking what payment options I needed to consider, and I would immediately send my credit card / bank transfer to secure my booking. They never replied to these, and blatantly blamed me for not turning up!
Be careful with this company as they may not honour bookings (online or via telephone), do not reply to emails in some cases, and are quite shockingly rude when the mistake was clearly theirs.
Our experience with Topas Adventure Travel was just the opposite and was better value. Handspan was supposed to accommodate us at USD18 per night rooms in Sapa, but Topas put us up at USD100 per night rooms.
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