I would like to travel throughout the Golden Triangle for around two weeks at end-April/early-May. Does anyone have any recommendations for good guides/touring companies that can help me organize the trip?
I am a frequent traveler and was in Vietnam three times last year and also Angkor Wat. Here are my recommendations (non luxury, but perfect fine):
Hanoi - CAMELLIA HOTEL 4 ( PHAN THAI HOTEL ). I found them by search with recommendations on internet. Situated in Hanoi Old Quarters (Old Town), which I found to be awesome for photography. The people life on streets is facinating. They also have a travel agent in hotel from which I booked cruise to Halong Bay over night. I actually booked a boat for myself since it is cheap country and since it gave me better photo opportunities than a tour group. [a href=\"http://www.camellia-hotels.com/frame.htm]http://www.camellia-hotels.com/frame.htm[/url]
Ho Chi Minh - I stayed here two trips http://www.huongsenhotel.com.vn/
. It was ok, firendly staff and very central located. They can help you book local travels in and around HCM including the Mekong Delta.
Angkor Wat - I can very highly recommend this place http://peaceofangkor.com/
. They are great for advise of where to photograph and at right time. The owner Dave photographs himself and the guides seemed to have learnt where is good for photography. Dave is good at advise. Actually I just booked for going back there to photograph around Christmas.
Bear in mind that when you travel alone or with just one or two travel companions (not on tour group) you get more contact with locals. I always do and it is more adventurous and helps you go when and where you want to. People are very friendly in these countries, just give them sincere friendliness. And... use normal cautions on travels of course. When you book locally and direct through their websites you normally get better prices than when you book in your own home country (it cuts the middle hands). This world is very civilized in most places and very well set up for travel... Best advise I can give beyond this is, dont think, just go... enjoy.