I cannot say enough good things about Hoi An. Not only is the location optimal, between Saigon and Hanoi with direct access to both a beautiful beach and vibrant Town, but Hoi An itself is filled with colorful local markets, quaint shops, and stunning architecture. The aesthetics and location are only two components that make this town outstanding — during my stay in Hoi An, I experienced some of the best food I have ever had in Vietnam and met people from all over the world. Locals and tourists combine to create an upbeat energy throughout the streets of the Old Quarter which adds a great deal character to the overall ambiance of Hoi An. All of these aspects come together to create remarkable experiences for anybody venturing through.
Mary, Southeast Asia & USA Specialist
Being raised in both Latin America and the United States, Mary's love for traveling and experiencing different cultures started at a very young age. While at James Madison University she studied International Affairs with a minor in Spanish and was fortunate enough to study for seven months at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji. Upon graduating she lived for a year in Bangkok, Thailand, which she used as a home base while exploring almost every country in Southeast Asia. Her dream job has always been one that promotes travel and helps others achieve unforgettable memories and stories of their own.
Since joining Audley she has had the opportunity to relive her days exploring Southeast Asia with research trips all over Asia and Malaysian Borneo. In recent years she has extended her passion for travel domestically, with trips to various of America's beautiful national parks, primarily in the Southwest region. While not at work Mary enjoys hiking, rafting, camping and a good game of Hearts.
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Mary helped us plan an excellent trip! She was very knowledgeable about the places we visited and her suggestions for activities were great.
Mary helped us plan an excellent trip! She was very knowledgeable about the places we visited and her suggestions for activities were great. She urged us to do certain things that we were dubious about, and they turned out to be fabulous! One in particular was the evening Vespa ride in Saigon. It was one of the highlights of our trip!
Throughout Southeast Asia there are secret gems everywhere if you look closely enough — unassuming street food stalls, quiet parks in the busiest of cities, small towns where you will seldom see other tourists, or views within National Parks that are some of the most beautiful you’ll ever see. The Jaya House is one of those best kept secrets and it is a place I’ll always stay anytime I visit Siem Reap. It is not the luxurious and spacious rooms that make this place so special; it’s the welcoming staff, complimentary tuk-tuks that take you into town, free laundry service, and incredible dining that gives you luxury comfort but also gives you the authentic experience that so many are looking for when they visit Cambodia. With just 36 rooms you’ll feel so lucky for a chance to stay there and is a perfect escape after touring the ancient ruins of Angkor.
I'll never forget when…
Jumping on a Vespa and zipping through the bustling streets of Saigon while trying delicious Vietnamese street food was an unforgettable thrill. The ride on the Vespa was an experience in itself and an opportunity many tourists would not have if not for taking this particular tour. The stops throughout the tour provide you with an eclectic mix of food and ambiance. I started my experience chowing down on the freshest seafood in a restaurant populated by locals, by the end of the tour I was on stage belting out Shot through the Heart with the rest of my group and tour guide as we concluded our night at this amazing live music bar near the heart of the city. The experience was one for the books to say the least.