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All AsiaClient reviews

We ask all our clients to complete a short survey when returning from their holiday, to help us ensure that we stay fully up-to-date and in touch with every detail of the destinations we specialise in and the holidays we create. We're really proud of the generally excellent feedback we receive, and on the few occasions that it's not as good as we'd hoped, we respond proactively, making sure that the problem doesn't happen a second time. more



Our service

92% of guests rated our service as ‘excellent’ or ‘exceeding expectations at all levels’


Overall Experience

94% of guests rated their overall holiday experience as ‘excellent’ or ‘exceeding expectations at all levels’



Consultant rating

87% of returning guests that scored their consultant with the highest marks.


Guide rating

The percentage of clients rating their guides as good or excellent.

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Joni & Richard 12 April 2018

Consultant: I loved working with Danielle. Not only did she know her stuff, but she always answered my zillions of questions with professionalism and patience. It was fun to talk with her, too, because of her expertise and enthusiasm for all things related to travel in Vietnam. She’s so friendly and nice, too!

App: It would’ve been good if everything on the app were available on droids, too. I have an iPhone, but my husband has a droid.

Guide: Cau, our guide in Ho Chi Minh City was wonderful, as was Nam, our guide in Hanoi. They really added so much culture, information and excitement to our our trip. I can’t imagine the trip without them! I spoke to Danielle about the guide who picked us up at the airport in Danang to take us to Hoi An and back. She (Fong?) was way over the top and not our favorite, but since we didn’t need a guide in Hoi An, our time with her was limited.

Itinerary: was the perfect mix of touring and time to relax. Brilliant!!

Exceptional Properties: All were great, with incredible buffet breakfasts, but the Sofitel in Hanoi was really outstanding.

Highlight: It’s hard to say because we loved it all. Saigon was remarkable, and riding on the back of a Vespa at night was WILD! We enjoyed that. Getting first hand accounts of the war experiences was incredible. Seeing China Beach, then chilling in Hoi An was so nice. We really loved the Red Bridge Cooking class. Hanoi may have been our favorite city...maybe it was the French influence? We met lots of school children when we went to HCM’s mausoleum, and they were so warm and friendly. The Vietnamese people were so lovely...and it all starts with the kids! Such a welcoming place.

Lowlight: The Halong Bay (Bai Tu Long) junk cruise. The staff was extraordinarily accommodating, and our suite was comfortable, but it was kind of disappointing...a little boring, a little hoaky, and except for some Chinese noodles for brunch before departure, the food was bad. They accommodated everyone’s specific tastes/aversions, which was great, but the food was lousy. I noted that on a survey, and I was immediately asked what could be done to fix it. That was very impressive, but the food was bad! The scenery was pretty, but the garbage in the water made us sad.

Louise & family 11 April 2018

Website: I found the website to be the best of the tour operators I was considering - lots of useful information.

Consultant: Very knowledgeable on Sri Lanka

App: The app was good but would be better if all areas were available for Android

Guide: Our guide Niruth was an excellent match for our family - very friendly, took us on interesting walks, great knowledge at the sites we visited and went above and beyond his role e.g. buying us fruit, getting biscuits out to tempt animals closer for my son. He also respected our space and was quiet when we were quiet, chatty when we asked questions. He took photos of us as a family and I was actually quite sad to say goodbye at the end of ur trip as his company really added to our enjoyment of the trip. I would rate him 10 out of 10, he was so nice and a great driver in the chaotic traffic too. A massive thank you to him.

Itinerary: Really enjoyed the touring aspect and the locations we stayed at. The Secret Ella should be a must and the train trip to Ella was a highlight for me.

Exceptional Properties: The Secret Ella and I also really liked Jetwing Lagoon - amazing pool there. Aliya had a great view of Sigiriya rock.

Poor Properties: All were of a very good standard, I just found the Vivanta at Bentota a bit impersonal after the other places we stayed at but it was still up to a good standard. At the Secret Kandy we didn't get adjoining rooms which was a bit impractical but the staff there were very pleasant.

Highlight: There were too many but I think to summarise it would be the natural environment - for my 10 year old son it was seeing the wild animals, for me the scenery on the train trip to Ella and we all really enjoyed the climb up Pidurangula rock and the views from there.

Lowlight: Other noisy tourists at the Vivanta in Bentota! There were a couple of very loud families that spoiled our experience there somewhat e.g. being seated next to a really loud British family but that was nothing to do with our itinerary / Selective Asia! We had a great holiday overall, I would totally recommend my itinerary and Selective Asia to others - a big thank you to Ed our consultant, Niruth our driver and all others involved!

Catherine and Mick 11 April 2018

Poor Properties: We felt that tent option prior to the safari was an aberration, almost not fit for purpose. It was one night, one off, in an otherwise first class accommodation package.

Highlight: We loved everything-particularly being invited by a member of staff at Secret Ella to his village home where we were treated to a wonderful home cooked meal by his family.

Jackson and Lear 11 April 2018

Website: We particularly liked the options available and the descriptions given which were clear and informative

Guide: Pet - Hanoi- She was excellent , informative and adaptable when our flight was delayed and added extra things for us to do in the time available. Huy - Hue - Again excellent, informative , good command of the language, sense of humour, adaptable and creative with our time with him Mr T - Ho Chi Minh - He was Outstanding ! Very informative, listened and adapted to our interests, very caring of our requests, excellent command of English. Always went above and beyond . All the Vietnam guides gave a very balanced and personal view of the war etc and were all able to answer all the questions we threw at them! Annie on the Basic Cruise was also brilliant. Tok - Phnom Penh - We felt we didn't get as much out of this city than elsewhere and thought it was because Tok was not as communicative. In particular he had not pre warned us about appropriate wear for the palace and although we had a scarf to cover the shoulders we were hassled a lot. He was not very forth coming and had some difficulty answering some of our questions. Long - Again excellent communication skills very knowledgeable about Angkor Wat and happy to answer all our questions and adaptable.

Poor Properties: White Mansion and Anantara were good but it would have been nice to know that there was a lot of building work going on next door which did become obtrusive, especially at the White Mansion where it was difficult to sit by the pool.

Highlight: Angkor Wat at dawn, Ha Long Bay cruise and Hoi Ann were are highlights

Lowlight: Phnom Penh, too much emphasis on the killing fields.

Wim & family 10 April 2018

Guide: average score for our guides: good individual scores: HCM city good / Danang Hoi An; satisfactory / Hanoi: Excellent

Highlight: Halong Bay; Mekong Delta visit

Lowlight: old center town of Hoi An - too much of a tourist trap

John 10 April 2018

Website: Didn't spend a ton of time on it as this was a last minute decision, but was very well laid out

Consultant: Couldn't say enough good things about Simon. He was amazing. This was a very last minute thing and he pulled everything off, worked on his off time and everything went very smoothly. He is top notch!

Highlight: The Memorial Service and night before

Lowlight: Honestly, it was all excellent. I was able to rent a scooter last day and go into the jungles of Vietnam. Epic!

Lynda & Michael 10 April 2018

Guide: Excellent is applicable to guides in Vietnam Phi on the sampan Lily in Phnom Penn and Siem Reap (Vatjer). Our guide in Thailand had no knowledge of the hotel , its immediate area or our travel arrangements.

Itinerary: On a couple of occasions we were not aware that we were stopping for lunch (Cambodia). It did not state in the itinerary

Exceptional Properties: Hnai Bang Chatt Kep Sarojin Khao Lak

Highlight: Me - Kep my husband -sampan ride up the Mekong river

Lowlight: Everything was enjoyable

Sue & Nick 09 April 2018

Guide: all of our guides were really great they were very knowledgeable but for us our first guide pong (hope i have spelt his name right) was the best one he was always early and very friendly and made us feel at ease this is our first taylor made holiday and we had a wonderful time

Itinerary: flight too and from lankawi can run late so made need more time

Exceptional Properties: the edison was amazing the staff there are so attentive the best we have ever come across. the adaman on laukowi was lovely but please do not recommend to couples as there are too many children there too far away from anywhere

Poor Properties: the andaman is a bit tired needs an update or a refurb

Highlight: penang so amazing lots to do we loved it

Lowlight: lankawi

John & family 09 April 2018

Website: I didn't really use it much

Consultant: Was able to accommodate many changes to the schedule

Administration: Generally good but I ended up needing to use 2 Apps plus the written material to get a complete picture. The last App lacked some of the info on the previous one and the 3 did not always align.

App: As above, the travel App was not fully updated e.g. missing tours. the "map" function was less useful than google maps because it had very limited search funcitonality and no route planning.

Itinerary: we wanted to avoid too much free time and tried to arrange trips to avoid this. the least enjoyable day (day 3 in Tokyo) was our only free day. it is much easier with guides/tours

Poor Properties: Premio Vista was perfect location but the room was tiny. we tried to upgrade but they were full. i would suggest to book the bigger rooms

Highlight: Really all of it - no single experience

Lowlight: Small rooms

Mike & Pilvi 07 April 2018

Exceptional Properties: Tanjong Jara Resort

Highlight: Rainforest walks, swimming in the river, snorkeling off Tenggol island

Lowlight: plastic on the beaches and when snorkeling..

Renée & Denise 06 April 2018

Consultant: Lionel is the best. He has wonderful knowledge of every facet of Myanmar and if there are any questions he cannot immediately answer, he always goes to his invaluable sources in Myanmar and gets back to me as quickly as possible.

Guide: My guides Aye Aye in Yangon, Nu Nu in Kalaw, and Stella in Loikaw were absolutely fantastic! They were all reliable, knowledgeable, spoke very good English, and I honestly felt like I was travelling with friends!

Itinerary: The itinerary was perfect and I loved that, with the help of the guides, we could tweak it here and there once each guide got to know (extremely quickly!) me and my interests.

Exceptional Properties: All three of the hotels were wonderful! This was the second time I’ve stayed at the Sule Shangri-La and it never disappoints (especially this time when I stayed in a Horizon Club room). And I absolutely loved both the Royal Kalaw Hills Resort and the fabusous Loikaw Lodge.

Highlight: I would have to say the highlight was visiting the hill tribes and local people in both Kalaw and Loikaw. (I’m only commenting on the post-Pandaw travel that Selective Asia put together for me. Pandaw is always wonderful and their itinerary was brilliant).

Annette & Steven 05 April 2018

Exceptional Properties: La Residence Hue Victoria Can Tho Paulo Condor Con Dao

Highlight: Vespa tour Boat trip to wet and dry caves

Michael & Janet 04 April 2018

Consultant: Extremely knowledgeable and attentive with a commendable focus on customer care.

Administration: It was very detailed and we always felt confident of being met at airports.

Guide: They were all very knowledgeable and personal and we treated them like good friends.

Itinerary: In hindsight we might have enjoyed seeing more of the beautiful Vietnam hinterland as the vistas around the rapidly developing main highways are less than beautiful.

Exceptional Properties: Viroths in Siem Reap for chique 1960's decor and best service. Best breakfast in Liberty Central in HCMC.

Poor Properties: Victoria in Chau Doc, where we had to swap rooms due to thousands of flies getting in (not our fault), The replacement room was noisy and the toilet did not work. We mentioned this unsatisfactory experience to the Front Desk and to our excellent guide (Dat).

Highlight: Vespa tour in HCMC

Lowlight: Victoria Hotel in Chau Doc.

Elizabeth & Mark 04 April 2018

Website: The website was easy to understand and use to start planning our trip

Consultant: Lionel was able to offer good advise on our tour.

Administration: Absolutely loved the app, and the hard copy of the itinerary was very smart.

App: Loved it, was so easy to see all our details.

Guide: Loved our guide in Yangon, she had a lovely nature and a great sense of humour

Exceptional Properties: We loved the properties and were upgraded in most of them.

Poor Properties: The least favourite hotel was the Kawthaung, the rooms weren't very good, although the public spaces and gardens were lovely. It is the best hotel in Kawthaung, and it was only one night.

Highlight: Ballooning in Bagan, sailing the Mergui Islands and the Reverie in HCMC is always a treat.

Lowlight: My husband's snoring! lol

Angela & Mark 04 April 2018

Exceptional Properties: La Residence. Hue

Highlight: Vespa tour. Khe San visit

Helena & Peter 04 April 2018

Consultant: Lionel was excellent. He listened to what we wanted and our budget constraints and put together an excellent and affordable holiday

Administration: It was great to have the pack and itinerary really useful

App: Used it a few times, the tips were very helpful

Guide: Both guides were excellent, though our Siem reap guide was particularly brilliant, Bhutan I think his name was.

Itinerary: We fitted a few free days into the itinerary which we were glad of as it gave us a bit of time with just the two of us and the opportunity to do a few things we hadn't planned but realised when in the location that we fancied doing

Exceptional Properties: Viroth's Hotel, vmansion, four rivers floating lodge. Though the floating lodge is starting to look a bit tired and in need of a lick of paint.

Poor Properties: Secret garden in Sihanoukville, didn't like the lodge as it was not very private so had to keep the curtains closed, which made it very dark. Also the outside shower sounded like a good idea but was actually a mosquito draw. Unfortunately, the receptionist also cheated us when we checked on. We counted out our remaining cash in the room, twice though we already had it in $100 bundles. We paid our bill in cash, should have but didn't count the money out in front of him he,moved the cash out of sight then counted it out and said we were $20 short, we paid it though we knew what he had done, but it was our word against his. Sad but true, really sad considering we had left a good tip in the tip box.

Highlight: Everything thing except Sihanoukville.

Lowlight: Didn't like Sihanoukville, beach was lovely, but the town was quite depraved. There was so much building work going on in the beach area, it was a landscape of cranes and half constructed buildings. The workers were sleeping in the half finished buildings or in hastily constructed metal shacks, it all looked like a shanty town and didn't feel very safe. Also told when we arrived that it wasn't safe to wonder around by the hotel receptionist. I wouldnt recommended the location to others.

Caisa & Vicki 03 April 2018

Consultant: Andrew did a great job working with us on hotels and itinerary

App: It was a bit buggy at first, but once the bugs were fixed it was good and helpful

Guide: All of our guides were excellent, a particular shout out to Seurat in Siem Reap along with Mr. Moi our driver, they took extra steps to make sure we had a few snacks and a couple of cold beers on a long afternoon in the heat walking the temples. The ice cold cloths after each stop with eucalyptus were much appreciated.

Exceptional Properties: Indochine Dragon Pearl was great - I wasn't expecting such a nice bathroom, deck areas were so nice. Boutique Hoi An was wonderful, great location. Lynnaya in Siem Reap was ideal, everyone who worked there was so nice and helpful.

Highlight: Siem Reap mostly because it was such a difference from the hubbub of the big cities in Vietnam, but everything was great.

Nigel and Janet 30 March 2018

App: Very useful on iOS. Limited on Android so not used.

Guide: In Laos, Ting was excellent. I don't think he could have done more to try and make our trip as good as possible. He is extremely considerate of his guests. We particularly appreciated his willingness to talk about his own life as well as the country as a whole. He was very knowledgeable about Laotian history and culture as well as the sites we visited. All of the above also applies to Cong in Vietnam. He really went the extra mile to ensure that everything was spot on. He double checked everything at the hotels and on one occasion stopped us getting a lower standard of room than you had booked. He always ensured that our vegetarian dietary requirements were met. The use of his ipad to illustrate his very informative talks with photos and videos was excellent. More than being an excellent guide we thought that he was an excellent ambassador for your company (of which he spoke highly) and his country. We can only compare with the guides used by other people that we met up with, but he seemed to be better in every respect. I can't imagine you have better guide in Vietnam!

Itinerary: Even with hindsight, I'm not sure what we would have done differently. Certainly the itinerary was discussed in detail and we chose to fit in a lot. But getting around Northern Laos and Vietnam involved a lot of time in the car on hilly winding roads. Even if we could have built in more rest days there were very few places where it could be done. Your choice of the Topas Eco Lodge for one day was very good. All the other hotels in the North were in towns, so not really places to linger. My only suggestion to help other people appreciate what is involved would be to add the time in the car and kms covered to every day in the itinerary (rather than just some as in ours).

Exceptional Properties: Best - Mekong River View (Luang Prabang) and Essence (Hanoi) Very good - Mai Chau Eco Lodge, BB Hotel Sapa, Topas Eco Lodge, Dragon Legend Halong Bay Good - Namkay Yorlapa Resort (great room, but the place was a bit big and impersonal. Also quite a drive to get there). Nam Nern Eco Lodge (basic, but excellent considering where it was!), Nam Cang Riverside Lodge (Very good for a homestay, great location, we enjoyed it)

Poor Properties: Good enough - Pha Xang Resort, Nghia Lo Hotel, Hoa Coung Dong Van (we were in a really over the top VIP room which was fine, but the restaurant was very poor. Cong solved the problem and took us to somewhere much better), Find somewhere else if you can ... Truong Xuan Resort (room OK, but food very average and no alternative. Plus the whole site is a bit naff! It seems unfair to grumble as it makes no pretence to cater for western ways. And the Ba Be Homestay - even though we had a private room (thanks to Cong) this was a bit too basic. Janet was very unimpressed by not having a top sheet (just a blanket). The food and general service were average.

Highlight: Luang Prabang was a lovely place. A nice gentle introduction to SE Asia. Nam Et - Phou Louey national park Vieng Xai caves The walk around the paddy fields at Mai Chau Cong's interaction with the local people was brilliant wherever we went. Most days we stopped somewhere to break the journey and stretch our legs. Just meeting complete strangers in random villages was great, as they would talk to Cong about their lives and show us what they were doing. Likewise in the markets - by interacting with people you learn so much more than just looking from afar. Dong Van and Meo Vac markets were fascinating. Really enjoyable. Halong Bay was better than expected, even though the weather was dull. It was less crowded than I expected, probably because of the upgrade to the Dragon Legend which goes to the quieter areas.

Lowlight: Days 5 and 6 travelling through NW Laos seemed like a lot of driving for a not very special walk. The Nam Ou River cruise on day 7 was good, but given that the boat trip into the Nam Et - Phou Loey park was much better maybe it could have been dropped. Day 18 - walking(not "trekking") near Sapa was nowhere near as good as things we had already done previously and this seemed like a wasted day. Interaction with the locals mostly involved fending off the hawkers. The latter parts of day 23 and day 24 involved long drives to get back to Hanoi. So I guess we had to stop somehere en-route, but we were a bit underwhelmed by the Ba Be national park (the boat ride was too long) and the overnight accommodation was poor (see above).

Ellen, Carolyn & Paul 27 March 2018

Website: It made me excited to book a trip with you!

Consultant: Very kind and patient. Really listened to my requests and fulfilled every wish in a spectacular way.

Administration: The information came in a timely manner and was very complete.

App: It got me home to new hotel in a strange and large city, and I was so grateful.

Guide: Every one of our guides was easily understandable and knowledgeable. As requested, they were especially kind to the 12-year-old travelling with us and helped her have a wonderful and enriching time.

Itinerary: Steve Davison knew exactly how to pace our trip so that we saw everything, but had time for the pool!

Exceptional Properties: The Antara Chiang Mai was perfect for families, with their apartments connected to the hotel.

Poor Properties: T

Highlight: It was different for each of the three of us. The 12-year-old loved the Elephant Nature Park and the Phare circus experience. My husband really enjoyed Hong Kong. I was thrilled to see the temples around Siem Reap. They were everything I expected and more.

Lowlight: The heat of the tropics in March. We expected it and were ready for it, but it was difficult.

John & Julie 26 March 2018

Website: Didn’t really look at the website.

Consultant: We cannot speak too highly of our consultant, 'Martin G'. He has been exceptional throughout the whole process. Very easy to get hold of by telephone. Quick response to our emails and invaluable advice

Itinerary: The day after we arrived, we had a full day tour of Hanoi. In hindsight half a day would have been better (taking in to account jet lag.) a whole day from 8.30 to 4.00 was too much. The original tour also included quite a lengthy cycle ride. In the event we opted not to this but even regular cyclists might have been put off doing this by the horrendous traffic (and awful driving) in Hanoi

Exceptional Properties: The Topaz Ecolodge near Sapa was one of the best places we have ever stayed. 360 degree views, friendly staff, good food. However we were very fortunate to have good weather and there would not be a great deal to see or do in the area of the Ecolodge if it was misty or rainy (as it had been a few days before.) Also the road from Sapa to the Ecolodge was terrible. Dirt road full of potholes, so travel to and from Sapa took about an hour each way and was not a pleasant experience. Would not stop us staying at the Ecolodge again but would have been useful to know of the problem before we went. Road due to be upgraded but unsure when. The hotel in Hanoi was also superb. Friendliness and helpfulness of the staff was second to none. Same comment about the hotel in Hoi An although would have had a preference for being nearer the centre of the town

Poor Properties: No, but staff at hotel in Hue not quite as friendly as in the other places. Also when I asked for green tea for breakfast they said I would have to pay extra. This also happened on the boat at Halong Bay when the cost of green tea was actually added to my ‘chitty’ AFTER I had signed it and I was not told about the charge at the time. It was removed when I complained.

Highlight: I cannot really give any particular highlight because we had such a varied itinerary and saw so many interesting things that every day was an experience.

Lowlight: Nothing

Mark & Jackie 26 March 2018

Website: not used only app

Consultant: very good, listened to our needs carefully and was prompt and efficient

App: very good and useful

Guide: very experienced and flexible

Exceptional Properties: Stafford Bungalow - excellent Cinnamon wild Yala lovely safari lodge - service poor in hotel though

Poor Properties: Secret Kandy - beautiful location and lovely efficient staff, but needed finish - slightly more investment needed to bring up to level of accommodation advertised

Highlight: Everything was very very good

Lowlight: Far too many Jeeps on Safari's this made the roads like the M25 and pot holes as so many vehicles on same tracks all going to same places - this is something Sri Lanka government need to sort out if they want to advertise Sri Lanka as a place to come for safari - Less vehicles, charge more. We were fortunate, we had a very good tracker driver, that did as we asked and took us off the beaten track of the higher populations of animals

John & Elizabeth 24 March 2018

Guide: All guides were really good...we came to expect a very high level of support. Special mention goes to Fa in Chiangmai. KL in Luang Prabang, Tu in Hanoi (the best). And Len in Phnom Penh.

Exceptional Properties: All of a similar high quality...some had quirks such as weird bathrooms

Poor Properties: None

Highlight: was all excellent

Lowlight: When it finally ended!! Luckily we spent the next three weeks By ourselves island hopping thru Indonesia! Just back yesterday!

Laura, Tobias, Jonathan & Benjamin 23 March 2018

Consultant: Ed was impeccably organized, patient, and knowledgeable. He set up a perfect schedule, with the right number of days in each place and an excellent order of locations and accommodations. We particularly liked ending in the most luxurious so that we could feel clean and fresh to fly 20 hours home.

App: Loved the app. Super informative, and loved the language primers.

Guide: Everyone was impeccably timely and knowledgable. Quite friendly, excellently bilingual, and wonderful with the whole family.

Itinerary: The order of activities, as well as the time spent in each, was ideal.

Exceptional Properties: Sala Lodges and Four Rivers were terrific. Soneva was exceptional.

Poor Properties: Bangkok's Shangri-La was fair. They have a secondary wing, and we were placed there. It felt more like a three star hotel. Great location, clean, and suitable for what we needed, but not as luxurious as we would have expected.

Highlight: The service project in Cambodia was outstanding. Quite memorable, and even our guide and driver, who had never heard of the Cambodian Community Dream Organization, got dirty with us and dug the well and latrine. They were both quite moved by it, and that made it even more meaningful for us.

Lowlight: Would have been nice, it the context of the service project, to have a more toned down lunch. Just a simple sandwich and water would have been fine. Felt a little like fat white tourists with our fancy lunch. We also had quite a rough, buggy hike through the Cambodian jungle, but that's on us for choosing that activity.

Jill 23 March 2018

Consultant: Danielle put up with my constant questions and changes to itinerary with patience and good humour. The end result was a fantastic holiday!

Administration: We were kept fully informed as to any changes. i.e flight time alteration

App: Couldn't get it on my old and basic windows Nokia phone!

Guide: Our guide in Laos, Kip, was a delightful companion for our week in Laos.

Itinerary: I requested the itinerary that we followed. It was "full on" and extra time in all places would be good but we only had 3 weeks! Days were not rushed and did not require really early starts. Except sunrise at Ankor Wat!

Exceptional Properties: Viroth's in Siem Reap. Beautiful hotel with charming staff

Poor Properties: We loved the location of Mandala Ou and the staff and food were good. We were rather surprised to find the bathroom so basic with no hot water from the tap, only the shower. We realise that it is the best accommodation in a predominantly back packer region but were rather surprised by your rating as first class.

Highlight: All amazing. Lunch with family in Siem Reap, visiting hill villages in North Laos, boat trip on Nam Ou, stunning temples, beautiful scenery, Hoi An and beach, drinking beer in Hanoi sitting on a tiny stool. If have to pick maybe After dark Vespa experience in Ho Chi Minh City. Exhilarating!!

Lowlight: Bathroom facilities in Mandala Ou. Trying to cross the roads in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City!

Leena 23 March 2018

Website: Very easy to navigate - clear information

Consultant: Gave us some great advice in terms of weather and helped us put together a trip which had some really luxurious touches whilst remaining in budget.

Administration: Really helpful to have everything together in one information pack. I normally make my own for trips anyway so great to have been saved the job!

App: The app is such a brilliant idea. We liked being able to remind ourselves of our precise itinerary in the weeks leading up to hols without having to find the email or the paperwork. And in Malaysia itself also great to refer to along with useful bits like maps etc. Brilliant.

Guide: We had various guides over the course of the trip - they were all super but we were particularly fond of KS who took us on a walking tour around KL.

Itinerary: We wanted a relaxed itinerary after a really hectic and stressful few months so this definitely fit the bill.

Exceptional Properties: Banjaran, Pangkor Laut were exceptional in terms of luxury. 23 Love Lane felt really in keeping with the whole feel of Penang and we loved the quirky/boutique/family feel to it. The KL Journal was a super base for our time in the capital and location was fantastic.

Poor Properties: No

Highlight: All of it. We had such a brilliant time. We were nervous about visiting Ipoh having just landed but our driver obviously sensed the tiredness and didn't take us to Ipoh but took us straight to Banjaran. Whilst it would have been nice to see Ipoh we were glad to be able to not have to walk around in plane clothes! We were also nervous about having to 'kill' a day in KL before the night flight home but actually the time went just fine and our hotel was really well located for us to still be able to explore without being too far away.

Lowlight: Some of the driving was pretty hairy! The driver who took us from Banjaran to Penang and then again from Penang to the Pangkor Marina was absolutely superb. He drove so smoothly it was a dream. Drivers from KLIA to Banjaran and then from Pangkor Marina to KL were pretty manic with lots of sharp breaking! Thankfully I'd taken travel sickness tablets with me on this trip - definitely needed them although I am particularly prone and my husband was fine.

Duncan and Linda 23 March 2018

Website: Good selection of hotels but a bit difficult to navigate to the detailed information required sometimes

Consultant: Very personable and helpful but a bit cautious when advising on hotel selection and location. He was very patient as we iterated through our requirements.

Administration: Very good generally but minor inconsistencies in arrangements caused confusion. e.g. Was it a Selective Asia guide meeting us at Jakarta or a hotel pickup.

App: Worked ok on iPhone but was unusable on Android. Would have preferred to have a Google itinerary loaded into my calendar with links to hotels and maps from there. Very good in some locations eg Ubud but non-existent in others eg Lombok.

Guide: Kilimantan - Dadi was excellent and very helpful and his english was very good. The whole boat crew were extremely welcoming and helpful. This was one of the highlights of the holiday. Central Java - Rossi we only met on the first day as he was covering for Arinto. Rossi was very enthusiastic but a bit disorganized. However he did get us to everywhere we wanted to get to and was a bundle of fun. Arinto we found more reserved and felt ourselves to be secondary to his agenda. He did what he needed to do but didnt enhance our experience. e.g. timings adjusted without explanation to allow him to pray - we wouldn't have had a problem with this if he had been up front about it. Bali - Prad was a very happy jolly guy who gave us an in depth explanation of Bali society. He didn't have good weather to work with but didn't let that dampen his enthusiasm. Lombok - Adi and Dadi were very keen and enthusiastic even though we only had a half day tour booked with them. It was nice to have a driver that spoke english. They organized a day trip to the north east gilis on our last day which turned out to be a marvellous end to our holiday.

Itinerary: Original itinerary was too little but we adjusted based on previous experience. The central Java section was quote intense. It would also have been good to have some more idea of activities available around the hotel for our free time. Paper maps of the areas we were visiting beforehand would have been very useful. On Java we hadn't a clue where we were - especially in Yogyakarta.

Exceptional Properties: The boat - Kilimantan explorer - was the highlight of the holiday with shower, aircon, toilet and lovely food. Riumah Boedi - near Borobudur was lovely but we only got one short night there. It didnt have a pool but we probably wouldnt have been able to take advantage of it. The Quinci Villas hotel in Lombok was very good and provided a luxurious end to our holiday.

Poor Properties: While Puri Sunia was a nice hotel it lacked atmosphere and most importantly was a long way from Ubud. We arrived at midday with a "day at leisure" and due to infrequent shuttles took us till 4:30 before we could actually get on with exploring. There was nothing in the vicinity and the hotel staff seemed quite upset when we had gone into Ubud to eat.

Highlight: Kalimantan and Lombok

Lowlight: Ubud

Malcolm & Hilary 23 March 2018

App: Not used very much. Did lots of research ourselves.

Guide: Camelio was always ready to please. Very calm. Good driving!

Itinerary: We missed exploring Kandy fully because of the disturbance in the town. Camelio made the best of the reduced time.

Exceptional Properties: Stanford Lodge and Living Heritage

Poor Properties: Frangipani Tree should be removed from your list of recommend properties. I will write under seperate cover.

Highlight: Each area and activity had something special to offer and gave us an excellent appreciation of the country.

Lowlight: Thalpe and Frangipani Tree hotel.

Carol & Peter 22 March 2018

Consultant: Kept us up to date at all stages of the booking.

Administration: As always.

Guide: We had 3 guides; 2 Chiang Mai and Bangkok were excellent, the guide at Phuket, we had minimal contact (Airport and accompany to the Elephant Sanctuary)

Itinerary: A few years ago, the pace etc would have been perfect, but now at 71 and 70 we were a bit too rushed.

Exceptional Properties: No. The Raweekanlaya, Bangkok was the best, but it was a long way to anywhere, and there was no bar (alcoholic that is) The most authentic was The River Kwai Resotel.

Poor Properties: The Banthai Village, Chiang Mai was poor. Our room was described as De-luxe, no way!! The bathroom was poor, no hot water at the wash basin, and the shower was over a plunge bath - not easy at all. Room cleaning was minimal. Also, we accidentally broke a small soap dish in the bathroom, and they insisted on us paying 100Baht!! I said we would replace it (4 for a 100) in the market, but no. They insisted we pay and told us so in front of other guests.

Highlight: Visiting the Elephant sanctuaries at Kanchanaburi and Phuket.

Lowlight: Visiting Ayutthaya, and being taken around endless burnt out Buddhist temples done by the dastardly Burmese!! The trip to the summer palace was, however, very enjoyable. Also, although we have travelled long distance trains several times, the Chiang Mai - Bangkok sleeper cannot be recommended. Compartment too small with luggage. Air con too harsh. Bunks uncomfortable and only 1 blanket. Also, on the south bound route the 1st class carriage is next to the engines, which were noisy.,

Helen & Andrew 22 March 2018

Website: Very informative and relatively easy to use

Consultant: Good advice and always got back on any queries promptly

App: This really was a fantastic feature - we used it throughout the tour

Guide: All the guides were very good - organised and flexible and very sociable. Our guide in Hanoi was excellent (Chueng) - his knowledge of Hanoi was first rate and he also accompanied us to Ninh Binh, really adding to our overall experience. He was an excellent ambassador for Selective Asia and for Vietnam. Our guides for our trip to Mekong Delta (Toan and Ha) were also excellent, and the overall trip with Mango Cruise was a highlight.

Exceptional Properties: Almanity Hoi An was excellent (and the inclusive massage a great bonus) Emeralda's accommodation and surroundings were lovely but it lacked a bit of atmosphere (fine for a short stay)

Poor Properties: No

Highlight: Hanoi vespa tour and Mekong Delta trip

Lowlight: airports - though it all went fairly smoothly

Chris & Janice 21 March 2018

Administration: Although we did eventually enjoy "The Hoi An Candlelit dinner " the supposedly late afternoon pick up was in fact at 2 pm and we were back at the hotel by 6 which really messed our plans for the day up

Guide: Lan in Vietnam was outstanding full of fun and great to be with all other guides were very good with the exception of not sure of his name, he was the stand in guide for the Jeep and Candlelit dinner tours and although he was friendly enough and we had no real complaint with him, he was the total opposite of Lan

Exceptional Properties: Fusion Maia

Highlight: Bassac and Halong Bay Cruises

Lowlight: Jeep Tour

Jerry, Paula & Joan 20 March 2018

Consultant: Kate was amazing - no complaints whatsoever

Highlight: Fusion Maia

Lowlight: Boat to Chau Dcc

Chris & Vicki 20 March 2018

Website: Very informative although we couldn’t get the ‘take me home’ link to work when we were actually lost in tea country

Consultant: Aaron has been brilliant the whole process

Administration: Every step was very clear and simple

Guide: Laksman was a great guide that knows his country very well. He took us to places that weren’t on our itinerary such as famous sights and a turtle sanctuary and made the long drives bearable by stopping. The only very small complaint we have is that he discouraged us to buy local souvenirs from Galle & other small towns & said there were better shops to buy from in Kandy. These shops however were big tourist based shops where the shop assistants are pushy and the prices higher. If we had realised we would have bought before at the smaller local shops. He didn’t ‘stop’ us from buying but he discouraged us.

Itinerary: We did an afternoon safari and saw all the animals but was booked to do an early morning one the next day. We asked what different animals are out in the early morning and was told the same animals that we’d seen on the 2 hour afternoon safari. After our long drive then rush to elephant transit home then quick hotel check in then straight to safari we decided not to do the morning one. So I don’t really know why we were booked to do the very same event twice. We were also surprised by the wet and cold weather of the tea country so our stay in Warwick Mansion was a bit long with nothing to do there as it was raining hard

Exceptional Properties: Galle Fort Bazaar was the very best and the others were fine for the purpose we needed them - Warwick Gardens charged us £10 each for a tiny glass of baileys so we didn’t know the cost until we checked out. Bit extreme bar prices

Highlight: It’s hard to pick as we had such a fantastic time - seeing the animals so close up on Safari was amazing and we also loved walking around Galle - there’s a good buzz around that town.

Lowlight: The Kandy shopping day and the rainy cold tea country Day,

Joyce and Chris 20 March 2018

Consultant: Lionel was allways available to answer queries and very knowledgeable. Epecially helpful to our Mark and Janet, our travelling companions, when Joyce was hospitalised. Cancelling bookings and flights and rebooking.

Guide: The above scores awarded to guides cover all our guides except the first one in Bangkok. He was probably the worst guide we have ever experienced and we will send our experiences of him to you under separate email. Pat in Chiang Mai was wonderful as was Phonsey in Laos, especially dealing with my illness. Noon our 2nd guide in Bangkok was also a joy , unfortunately we only had her for half a day.

Exceptional Properties: The Sanctuary in Luang Prabang (the only downside to this hotel was no Pool), but lovely hotel in central location. Also Pakbeng Lodge (on the mekong) was a surprise, lovely. Riva Surya in Bangkok was good but not in the Urban rooms, loud music across the road.

Poor Properties: Ammata Lanna Village in Chiang Mai was lovely but the breakfast was very basic when staying for more then 1 night.

Highlight: All of it, but the 2 day mekong cruise from the thai border to Luang Prabang was magical. Epecially considering the boat was just for the 4 of us, the guide and the couple who own the boat.

Lowlight: Getting Ill !!!!!!!

Sarah & Roger 19 March 2018

Consultant: Our consultant changed part way through but both were brilliant and we were always clear about our point of contact

Administration: If possible it would help to have the names of our guides before departure

Guide: All of our guides were excellent, Sung in Hanoi was really good, Bình in Hue made everything really interesting, Mr T in Saigon was exceptionally knowledgeable, Nam in Phonm Pen made our foodie tour interesting and even convinced us to try insects and finally Sam in Siam Reap was an excellent guide.

Itinerary: Our only reservation was the foodie tour in Hoi An we had too much food and felt guilty leaving food, we’d of preferred less to eat. In Phomn Pen the foodie tour took in looking at different types of food as well as eating and this was much better.

Exceptional Properties: Shinta Mani in Siam Reap Naman Resort in Danang

Poor Properties: None

Highlight: Lunch with the family on the final day and meeting locals along the way.

Lowlight: Foodie tour Hoi An because there was too much food and in a place where a lot of people have so little we didn’t like to waste food.

Geoff & Kerry 19 March 2018

Itinerary: We changed the timing of the visit to the temples in Siem Reap at short notice, feeling it would give us a better balance of free time, and it wa accommodated without any problems.

Exceptional Properties: Viroth in Siem Reap was stand out in terms of the Hotel and the Staff

Highlight: Hanoi and Siem Reap, one because it was manic, the other because of the tranquility of the Hotel.

Lowlight: The Halong Bay boat trip; sadly the weather wasn't great so we're did not experience the Bay in glorious sunshine, and the standard of the accommodation on the boat was not as high standard as we may have expected. Had the weather been better our impression might have been different.

Mark & Janet 19 March 2018

Consultant: Very helpful when we had to make changes to our plans because one of our group was very ill and had to go to hospital.

App: Did not use it much

Guide: Our guides varied hugely in terms of quality. One was very poor indeed; two or three others were excellent and the remainder were pretty good. So although we have ticked "good" in the boxes above this does not adequately reflect our views. We will give detailed comments on each guide in a separate e-mail to Lionel.

Itinerary: Last minute changes to itinerary were well-handled by Lionel.

Exceptional Properties: The Sanctuary at Luang Prabang was our favourite; a swimming pool would have been nice. Pakbeng Lodge at Pakbeng far exceeded our expectations; we were expecting something very basic indeed but it was lovely. Least favourite was Laluna at Chiang Rai but we were half-expecting this. Other hotels all pretty good.

Poor Properties: See above comments.

Highlight: Mekong River trip from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang; and our time in Luang Prabang.

Lowlight: Having to switch our last three days in Laos to Udon Thani in Thailand because one of our party was seriously ill. Not Selective Asia's fault!

Diane & Michael 17 March 2018

Administration: Would have liked train times and selective asiashould have been aware that there wasn't time to go to Liptons seat on the stated day

Guide: Allen was lazy and admitted he didn't like walkingor the heat. His driving was stressful as he appeared to struggle to see at night and he seemed to have a death wish. Also his car sounded like he was driving in 2nd gear all the time. He tried a new route to Uda Walare and had to keep asking people where to go . Compared to all the guides we had last year he was very poor

Itinerary: Allen picked us up far too early on several occasions which meant we were tired.

Exceptional Properties: 98 acres in Ella

Highlight: Uda Walare and the views from 98 acres.

Lowlight: Whale watching was disappointing also Kandy as because of train time there wasn't time to go to the tooth temple (poor scheduling) albeit Kandy was under curfew so we wouldn't havebeenable to go anyway. If we had known times of train we would have gone by train to Colombo and had a night by the coast

Shri 17 March 2018

Exceptional Properties: Trader Hotel in KL was very good. Also the location of Lakeview Hotel in Cameron High lands was excellent.

Poor Properties: Majestic Hotel in Mellaca and The Blue Mansion in Pennang were of very poor standard.

Highlight: Casa Del Mar in Lankawi was great and the staff were very good too.

Lowlight: There was a very long (9 hours) wait between out return flight time and the check out time from our hotel in Singapore.

Michael & Mary Leslie 16 March 2018

Guide: All of our guides were knowledgable and helpful. Theo and Xi (C) in Hue were particularly good at what they do--and do it with charm and sincerity.

Itinerary: I feel we could have spent a day less in Hue, simply because it has evolved into a thoroughly commercialized tourist trap. Its former charm and architectural beauty have become swallowed up endless shops and swarms of tourists (us included, of course) squeezing through the streets.

Exceptional Properties: Palm Resort Hotel in Hue

Poor Properties: As a former backpacking tourist having traveled in several impoverished countries, I am easygoing with most any form of accommodation. That being said, the Asia Hotel in Hue might be in need of an upgrade, esp. for travelers used to a certain standard. That did, however, not affect me and Marilee in the least.

Highlight: - In view of my abiding interest in landscape: Halong Bay (the masses of tourists notwithstanding). - The Vespa adventure in Saigon stood out for us as well. It was absolutely fascinating!

Lowlight: - the crowds and the commercialism in Hue (please, see earlier response). - If I had done some more advance reading, I would, if possible, have chosen to take a motorcycle over Hai Van Pass, from Da Nang to Hue, as part of our tour package.

Richard & Andrea 16 March 2018

Consultant: We ended up dealing with four consultants, which we thought very unsatisfactory. On our two previous trips we dealt with Natasha who was excellent - unfortunately she was on maternity leave. So we started with Andrew; then were handed over to Aaron; after quite a few weeks lack of progress we were then passed to Lionel. Finally Brittany was involved later. Lionel was good, took ownership of what had been a very slow process and got us over the line. We were on the verge of giving up on SA at some stages. But flights had been booked and then hotels, locations etc started to unravel! Not satisfactory. Fortunately Lionel worked assiduously to try to sort things out but we did end up with quite a few compromises.

App: I did look at it but as we don't have Apple devices its value was limited and we relied on other sources.

Guide: We had four Guides so this is an average. We will be emailing Lionel with feedback about the individual Guides who ranged from Excellent to very average.

Itinerary: Again we'll email Lionel. We probably had too little free time.

Exceptional Properties: Again we'll email Lionel about the hotels, this is an average.

Highlight: Sampan cruise & Mai Chau Valley.

Lowlight: Ho Chi Minh City

Helen, John, Roger & Veronica 15 March 2018

Consultant: When we missed our connecting flight, Lionel immediately sorted everything for us. He has answered all queries promptly and helpfully. I had every confidence in his knowledge and expertise.

App: Brilliant . Everything there at our fingertips the whole trip

Guide: Bun and the driver Sok in Cambodia were outstanding and made a real conyribution to our trip. Bun was a thoughtful and friendly guide but beyond that he conveyed a real love for his country and fellow Cambodians. He spoke eloquently and movingly about the Pol Pot years and I felt I learned a lot from him. He is warm and empathetic and has all the qualities you could wish for in a guide.

Itinerary: I would make one suggestion: on some of the longer guided sessions eg the city tours, build in a coffee break . They were all very enjoyable and informative but also very intense experiences with often quite a lot of walking . A 15 min coffee break is really helpful . All our guides were very happy to take a break when we asked but it might be better to specifically build them into the itineraries

Exceptional Properties: Boutique Hotel Hoi An Vietnam Viroths Hotel Siem Reap Cambodia

Poor Properties: Moonlight Hotel Hue Vietnam - surrounded by bars with loud music - although it did stop at midnight Essence Hotel Hanoi - I wasn’t sure we were given Deluxe rooms which were specified on the itinerary . I did ask the hotel whether our room was deluxe or superior and was told it was deluxe but it did not fit the description of deluxe rooms on their website

Highlight: Several including our guide Bun in Cambodia telling us about the Pol Pot years; our time in Hoi An , the journey by boat up the Mekong ; the Halong Bay cruise

Lowlight: The drive from Hanoi to Halong Bay and back again was very long while the cruise itself was wonderful but quite short

Gail and Jeff 14 March 2018

Guide: Roth, Bun and Quinn were extraordinary!!

Exceptional Properties: Angkor Wat

Highlight: So much. Taking the ox cart to the village with Bun and meeting the local family. The hike around Mau Chai. Surfing the streets of Hanoi. Angkor Wat. Hoi An scenary.

Lowlight: Nothing.

Len and Jayne 13 March 2018

Consultant: Danielle was really helpful and informative from our first inquiry. Always responded quickly to all our questions giving excellent advice.

Administration: Just one comment is that pick up times are sometimes missing and can get confusing about local agent contacts.

Guide: Both our guides were very good, punctual, helpful and knowledgeable particularly Amber who was with us in Chang Mai. Robby was with in Bangkok, always on time and very enthusiastic about everything! He was real charmer.

Itinerary: We have found through our experience that having more "free time" is really important and staying longer at places works well. This gives the opportunity to have a better feel for places and also enjoy the hotels.We changed the itinerary so that we went direct to Chang Mai at the beginning and ended up at Bangkok last,so near to our departure airport. This works really well. We try to avoid very early departure times in between places so its important to build the itinerary with this in mind.

Exceptional Properties: The Ramachankha Hotel in Chang Mai is stunning. Its worth paying the extra for a higher grade room if staying for any length of time, though all room are lovely. The Riva Surya in Bangkok is also excellent and positioned brilliantly for all the sites, restaurants and markets. Again we recommend a higher grade room and make sure that river view room with balcony if staying for a good length. The Emerald Cove in Koh Chang is a big style resort hotel. It takes a bit of getting used to if you are used to small/boutique style hotels. Overall good. Breakfast and service was excellent though Dinners/pool bar/spa etc very expensive so we avoided. There are so many restaurants nearby so this was not an issue. We would say that from what we could see, the Emerald Cove was the best hotel in this part of Koh Chang . Once again it really does pay to get a high grade room. We had an ocean view premium wing room which we were very glad to have.

Highlight: There were a few: The elephant nature park was wonderful! We loved Chang Mai and the city safari tour. Chilling out in Chang Mai and the markets was great.

Lowlight: The drive back from Trat to Bangkok took 6 hours because of the traffic in Bangkok.

Michael and Susa 12 March 2018

Guide: Only 2 guides did not meet the excellent or good rate. Ha in Hanoi was polite and charming but difficult to understand and, in our opinion, did not give us a best tour of Hanoi. On the 2nd day in Ho Chi Minh city, Jo, our guide would have had us finished by 3.30 rather than being up in the Bitexco Tower for sunset. It was far too early for sunset, but very enjoyable. He also did not seem to know how to get up to the top! On leaving with him, we then had to wait about half an hour for the driver (in extreme heat). Jo didn't seem to know anything about the restaurant booking but we insisted that arrangements had been made for us back in the UK by Selective Asia. As he was busy that evening, he said another guide would collect us. We were initially taken to the wrong Ngon restaurant in Pasteur, but we pointed out that our itinerary showed Quan An Ngon. When we eventually arrived there it was much more atmospheric, far less crowded and an altogether lovely and delightful experience of Vietnamese dining for our last night. This guide (Mr T) was good and attentive and seemed much more mature than Jo, who just had not been to the same standard as the others. DRIVERS: Excellent and very attentive, particularly in Cambodia and Laos. Conversely, in Vietnam, they did not provide cold towels, or cold bottles of water. There were occasions when drivers set off before we had clunk-clicked.

Itinerary: We feel it would have been nice to have known at the beginning of the day with the guide, when we were going to have a 'coffee' stop. On a couple of days we had very late lunch which made the day more tiring after early starts.

Poor Properties: The flush of the toilet in Hotel Liberty Central Saigon Citypoint, was totally inadequate, consequentially we had to call reception several times, but they seemed unable to fix it. That was very unpleasant. The hotel apologised but nevertheless, 3 days is quite a long time. Hotel excellent apart from this major failing.

Highlight: Too many to list - wonderful experiences and memories

Lowlight: Because it was Chinese New Year, there were large numbers of mainly Chinese tourists, which made some places difficult to see. Also, Sat 24 Feb (8 days later) it was choc a block in Hanoi for Tet, with crowds watching dragon boat racing on West Lake. This slowed our cycle ride down which impacted on the rest of that day.

Malcolm and Annie 09 March 2018

Consultant: During the process of fixing the itinerary, staged payments and cancellation charges, Martin was outstanding. We don't think that he handled the first hiccup with Paradise Cruises too well but the real issues started when we travelled. We were not prepared at all for the terrible weather conditions in Laos on the Mekong, the Luang Say boat and lodge had no facilities to keep its customers warm and Martin failed to handle the situation well when he was informed. Then the weather was cold and damp in Sapa, Halong Bay, Hue and Danang for a time. Locals said that this was not unusual, but again we had no warning.

App: We had a 65 day itinerary so it would have been convenient to have the current day (and those immediately prior and after) to be displayed when swiping to "itinerary" (not day 1).

Guide: On both occasions in Bangkok our guide was not waiting for us! On day 1 he was 30 minutes late plus another 10 minutes to wait for the van. On day 64 he was 20 minutes late and again another 10 minutes for the van. In Saigon the guide was there on time but the van failed to arrive for 45 minutes.

Itinerary: We determined the itinerary to make sure that it was paced how we wanted!

Exceptional Properties: The rating would be excellent apart from Luang Say! The Siam was our favourite hotel - it is classy and stylish and different - highly recommended. The Metropole in Hanoi is a very fine hotel by any standards. The Four Seasons Tented Camp is a unique and wonderful location - and the mahout training is a lifetime experience.

Poor Properties: Luang Say Lodge had absolutely no contingency plan for cold weather - completely unacceptable.

Highlight: Mahout Training at the FS tented Camp

Lowlight: Luang Say

Jenny & Howard 08 March 2018

Consultant: The service we received from Martin Lake was exceptional. This is the second time we have travelled with Selective Asia and Martin provided the same high level of service as last time.

Guide: Our guide, Lucky, was excellent in every way. A carefull driver, clean vehicle and very accommodating in finding wine stores and clean toilets!!!!

Exceptional Properties: Jungle Beach at Trincomalee was beautiful, lovely rooms and excellent food and service.

Poor Properties: Frangipani Tree was a lovely hotel but there were a couple of issues. The staff were very friendly and polite but their understanding of English was lacking. There was a comprehensive wine list and cocktail menu but no white wine at all and nobody knew how to make any of the cocktails!! The food was very good but on two mornings there wasn't any bacon. The overall standard of staff didn't seem to match the standard of the hotel.

Highlight: The experience of visiting the north of the country, followed by the boat trip on the lake and seeing two elephants swimming.

Lowlight: On our final day we were given a leaving time by our guide which was ignored by the office in Colombo. The office failed to contact us with any leaving time until we queried the non arrival of our driver and we were told it was going to be 5pm instead of the 2.30 departure we had agreed with our guide. As one of our party is a very nervous traveller this made for a very stressful end to what had been a fabulous holiday.

Emma & Jason 07 March 2018

Consultant: Anna arranged the holiday for us and was excellent. She really understood our requirements and put together a great holiday. When she went on to Maternity leave, Steve took over and has also been really helpful during the latter stages of planning.

Administration: Having travelled with Audley before, one thing that they did that we didn't have with Selective Asia, was a pre holiday chat / walkthrough with yourselves a week or two before we went away. This was the opportunity to ensure everything was understood and to ask any questions. Whilst I had any queries answered promptly when i emailed and the packs gave us all the information, the opportunity for this call on a previous holiday was a really nice touch and I found it to be really helpful and it would have been good to have this on this trip.

App: Needs to work fully on Android as well as IOS.

Guide: Krishan looked after us extremely well. He was very knowledgeable and an excellent driver. The local guides in a couple of sites were also very good.

Itinerary: There were various stops that were not mentioned on the itinerary. Some of them were interesting (i.e. batik factory) but some of them felt like a sales pitch (gem museum / shop) and we couldn't wait to get out of there as we were not there to buy jewellery. With hindsight we would have declined . Also our guide changed around our whale watching trip to a different day as this had not been planned on the best day for our iterinary (it was planned on the way from Galle to Bentota, which would have taken us out of our way on the trip to our next destination - he moved this to our day in Galle which worked much better for the pace of the holiday).

Exceptional Properties: Elephant Stables, Kandy was beautiful. The staff were absolutely brilliant, the property stunning and the food fantastic. Stafford Bungalow, Nuwara Eliya was also exceptional. The room was beautiful, food great and staff fantastic. The High Tea was also a real treat and not to be missed. Rock Villa, Bentota was also a stunning property. This was located nearby the most beautiful beach I have ever been too (hardly anyone on the beach at all). The staff really went out of their way for us and the food was lovely. We did a cookery course there which was great (it was more of a demonstration than hands on though) but again the staff were fantastic and we learnt a lot. If we do a trip to India and want a place to relax on the way home we would seriously consider flying back here again on our way home. All the others except the hotel in Galle were also a great standard (larger, more commerical but still with lovely rooms, great food, and in beautiful locations).

Poor Properties: Deco on 44 in Galle. This was the only hotel that we were disappointed with. The room opened onto the pool. When we went in it smelt really badly of damp. We asked the manager what could be done and they brought in an oil burner from the spa but it didnt really help at all. By the end of the second day it had improved so this may have been caused by having the air conditioning off for a while before we had the room. Also we had two massive cockroaches in the room during our stay (these were the only ones we saw during our entire trip to Sri Lanka). The room was dark (painted brown with no windows). The breakfasts were good and the staff nice but we were glad to leave this property.

Highlight: There were too many highlights to call them all out, but some of the specific ones were: Polonnaruwa- fantastic archaeological site. Temple of the tooth - the opportunity to walk through the ceremony Bentota Beach for relaxing. The food! Fantastic food everywhere (absolutely no sense of portion control as most meals were enormous!). Our guide took us to the Tsunami museum on the way to Bentota which was not on the schedule but should be visited (harrowing photos but you cannot visit Sri Lanka without an understanding of this tragedy).

Lowlight: The whale watching trip in Mirissa was a complete waste of time. We didn't see any whales which is unavoidable but the boat we were on was completely overcrowded. All the seats were full and they continued to pack people on for 30 minutes after until people were sitting in all the aisles. When someone thought there was a whale everyone stood up so if there had been something there we would not have had any chance of seeing it anyway. There were lots of people being sick (some into bins next door to our seats). We were out for four hours after which time they turned back as everyone had had enough. Quite a few of the other boats / companies seemed to be far less crowded or there were much smaller boats available. I would strongly discourage the use of this firm again. We were disappointed that we did not get the first class tickets that we had paid for on the trip from Nanu Oya to Ella and were in third class instead. We had pre-paid and it was not made clear to us that you may not be able to source these tickets - we found out about this via email two hours before leaving for heathrow the night before flying and would have appreciated a call rather than email to talk through this especially at this late notice. The team did look at other options for us and spent some time on this which was appreciated but if we had been made aware of this earlier (or known the complexities around the tickets beforehand) then this would have been much better. The journey was still extremely worthwhile and enjoyable but we could have done without the administrative issues.

Tony & Paula 07 March 2018

Guide: We have already sent an email to Selective Asia regarding Aruna our guide - he was fantastic.

Exceptional Properties: Warwick Gardens

Poor Properties: Jetwing Sea Negombo and Ekho safari

Highlight: Galle and our safari

Lowlight: Staff attitude at Ekho, it was the only less than warm welcome ( and departure) we received.

Sandra & Peter 07 March 2018

Poor Properties: 98 Acres would have been preferable to Secret Ella. We were put in the man house where the room was tired.

Highlight: Camillia hills Hotel was lovely and it would have been better to have spent two nights at that location as it seemed a bit rushed.

Lowlight: We had a bad experience of a theft in Kerala.

Jane and David 06 March 2018

Itinerary: Sadly our self imposed day off to enjoy Sepilok fully was wasted due to the cancellation of our flight the night before. Had we had realised that the tour of Sepilok was so short as we had to move onto the next venue we would have stayed longer on resort at Sepilok. Might be worth emphasising how short the time is at the actual site. We saw both orangu tang and Sun bears. Would have been great to have spent more time there.

Exceptional Properties: They were all of a high standard.However the Borneo Rainforest Lodge stood due to it's location.

Highlight: Having a conversation with a young orangu utan at Abai! Seeing the animals in their natural habitat. The birds and monkeys were great . The crocodile was magnificent but sinister and ugly.

Lowlight: Having our flight cancelled so wasting most of the next day sleeping. Would have useful to have more explanation about the difficulty of the trails at Bako. We were lead to believe we were on the easy trail. It is the easiest trail but is still classified as a moderate to hard trail. I really struggled climbing over rocks and tree roots.

Robert & family 06 March 2018

Administration: Personally, I don't think the pack with blue wallet and all the labels etc is necessary or expected by customers. I am happy to get most stuff via email and in PdF and print off myself. I recycled the travel pack....

Guide: Tony in Hanoi was excellent. Very professional and very knowledgeable.

Itinerary: I am very impressed by the whole experience. The ininerary and organisation was very very good.

Exceptional Properties: All of the accommodation was exceptional and at just the right level: Apricot in Hanoi, the Golden Legend Boat in Halong Bay and the Boutique Hoi An resort. Excellent choices and standard just right

Highlight: Difficult to highlight one thing. We did enjoy the intensity of our arrival in Hanoi and the bicycling trip around the town and lake that the guide organised. Equally the night on the boat in Halong Bay was magical. And it was nice to end in the relative calm of the Hoi An resort.

Lowlight: none

Alison 06 March 2018

Website: There is a lot of information, so you need plenty of time to read it, but that is positive

App: it is good for the main areas, but nothing much for more remote parts

Guide: Moe Kyaw Thee in Myanmar was great, adaptable and I was very comfortable being with him Stella in Loikaw was ok, but more interested in telling me about her own problems Ms Patcharee in Thailand was ok, but always wanted to finish the tour early in the day as it was "too hot". She also would send me off on my own in museums, to walk on the railway line etc rather than accompanying me

Itinerary: In Thailand there was no interaction with local people, although I appreciate that time was short

Exceptional Properties: Myanmar - The Strand in Yangon, Loikaw Lodge, Hpa An Lodge Thailand - X2 River Kwai Resort, Riva Surya

Highlight: Talking with the local village women in Loikaw and with a farmer on an island during the river cruise from Hpa An. Also going to the beach near Dawei and just walking on the sand and having excellent fish for lunch

Lowlight: Bangkok