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We had a 3 day tour with Buffalo tours consisting of the tunnels mekong delta and the city . Our guide Tien was happy fun and very knowledgeable . He has made our time In Ho Chi Minh City very enjoyable although he wore us out. We would certainly reccomend Buffalo Tours . This is our first overseas trip so we were glad everything so far has gone to plan. Have a nice day!
We booked the 2 nights 3 days option on Marguerite Junk. They picked us up from our hotel in Hanoi (Old Quarter) on time (they even called the reception the day before to reconfirm our pick up time) and we got on a comfortable minibus. The driver was very careful and we felt safe the entire journey. The guide Tien was very informative. On the cruiser the room was great, very clean, not too small and they even prepared flowers and rose petals on the bed for our special occasion (honeymoon). We recommend you pay a bit more for a room on the upper deck as we did, as fellow travellers booked on the lower deck told us there was a really bad sewage smell in the mornings. The food on board was exceptional, very varied, large quantities and simply delicious. My husband does not eat fish nor seafood so they prepared separate food for him. However, I must say the drinks on board are really overpriced! No wonder people buy drinks from the small boats, it’s less than half price.We really recommend the 2 nights 3 days option as on the second day you really get to experience more of Ha Long, go kayaking in the beautiful area of the Caves of Light and Darkness and visit the Pearl Farm. The guide we had for this day however (I can’t remember his name unfortunately, but it is a local guide, not from the cruise) was quite terrible. He spoke very bad English, we struggled to understand him and tried all the time to talk us out of doing the activities we were supposed to do… For example he tried to convince us not to kayak because of the cold weather and pay extra for going on a rowing boat. Fortunately we insisted on kayaking and it was definitely worth it (with the rowing boat you don’t get to see the smaller caves). Also, while we were on the kayak the guide was always way ahead and not concerned at all about the rest of the people, we felt totally unsupervised and it was our first kayak experience… Then he said we could not go to a beach further South because of the wind… we still don’t know if it was true or he made it up. Anyway, the kayaking was great and it is worth the extra day in Ha Long.On the last day you do a bit more kayaking around the floating village and they teach you how to make the delicious spring rolls which is good fun and you get the recipe, too. After that you get to see fruit and vegetable carving, which I first thought was just something they do to fill in the spare time, but I must say it was very interesting. It is amazing what that chef can do with a tomato or a carrot…
We stayed on the Marguerite Junk for one night and although it was good to see the bay, we could have had more time for activities, as there was a lot of sitting around. We did about an hour on the canoes and the cooking demonstration lasted about 15 minutes. They also provide limited free water, so make sure you take some with you! Having said that, our tour guide Tong was very kind and knowledgeable about the islands, city and told us about the Vietnamese culture on the bus transfer down. The food was also good and the rooms were very clean.
I'd recommend Marguerite with no doubt, if you aren't looking for a very luxury and expensive trip, but a good middle class 3-star room, good food, very nice guide Qui, nice tourists (of course, that can't be guaranteed at all - but it was) to have good time together.Well organized.If you want to save money - order the package at their website - and you will get a good hotel stay and airport transfer for a very reasonable price. City trip with the guide will be just a gift - I compared the prices...
I stayed overnight on the Marguerite Junk - the staff went to a lot of effort to entertain us, answer our questions on a variety of subjects, and engage genuinely with everyone on the tour group. The boat itself was really quite nice. The biggest stand out point was our tour guide, Quáy (sorry Quáy if I have spelt your name wrong!!). Quáy really threw herself into getting to know each of the guests and into making sure we all had the trip we were looking for. Her warmth, energy and genuine friendliness is what made my stay enjoyable. One particularly outstanding point was that the staff contacted me to refund some extra money I hadn't even realised I'd paid, a good couple of weeks after I'd returned to my home country. Thumbs up for honesty!
We traveled with a larger special interest group and the Margarite Garden cruise was part of a 2 week itinerary, the junk chosen by the organizer. We occupied all but one room and the general view was that the cruise was excellent. The junk was well equipped, quite clean and comfortable although one person had bites from bed bugs after the night's sleep. Additional activities such as Tai Chi, cooking class, kayaking, cave tour etc were all enjoyed. Meals were set menu and included but drinks were extra and a reasonable price given the captive market and the space limitations of the boat. Wifi was intermittent. One unpleasant experience at the end, when paying for the drinks while on board we were charged for extra beer and water we did not consume. I had signed drink tabs during the cruise that had showed total numbers not amounts. When I was presented with these tabs to pay, additional drinks had been added to the totals. It was only a few dollars but left a bad, and lasting, impression. When I spoke to some other group members later, they had just paid without checking, so probably were stung too. Overall, very good but insist on the price being shown on any extras tab.
We booked a two day one night trip on the Marguerite and had a fabulous time. The boat is in great condition with lovely cabins with doors which open straight onto the deck and large windows. There is a great lounging and viewing area on the top deck where tai chi is taught at sunrise, great way to start the day. The staff were really friendly and helpful, food was delicious and plentiful, and I even received a cake with fireworks and a lovely bunch of flowers on my birthday. I would definitely recommend the Marguerite to anyone considering a trip to Halong Bay.
My husband and I spent 2 days and 1 night on the Marguerite Junk. We had a great time,exploring the caves, going to the beach,rowing,squid fishing,Tai Chi,star gazing and watching the beautiful scenery. Our guide Rocky was with us from leaving Hanoi until our return back. This was very informative, as well as learning he has a fantastic imagination when it comes to rock formation.The junk and staff were 5 star all the way. The rooms were clean, excellent staff and fantastic food.Would highly recommend Marguerite Junk.
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