The Kangaroo Cafe
* Note - Doing business with companies over the internet still makes some people, understandably, nervous. Only Licensed Australian Travel Agents, like us, are eligible to be members of the Travel Compensation Fund. It's run by the Government Dept of Fair Trading & is something only real travel agents can offer.
Check to see if who you're thinking of dealing with is actually licensed & if they're not .... ask them why not ?
Some very recent changes have taken place up in the bay & for us ......
The Viet Nam Maritime Authority's new guideline is that all tour boats Ha Long Bayare painted WHITE ! It's a further attempt to increase the safety in the bay which we like.
Here's some very good news about our Ha Long Bay Tours ...........
Our Two, 8 room boats are just back from a refit & they're just lovely too !
Our 8 room, 16 Person Boat
Check out our competitors prices (ours are below) & especially look to see how lousy they are where kids are concerned !
Wouldn't spend Xmas day I can hear my dear old Dad saying .....Wouldn't shout if a shark etc !
With the REAL Kangaroo Cafe ™ ........
Kids under 10 (sharing a room with their parents) are FREE !!!
Kids under 12 (staying in their own room) pay only 50% too !!!
We like kids & instead of just talking about it we thought, as we always do, we should show it !
Lots more new pics further down the page of our Boats, our Hotel on Cat Ba & some others too !
Travel Fish is an interesting web site & they have a mobile phone app too. As a leading internet travel resource, they take their responsibilities more seriously than most & monitor their site for suspicious, malicious or clearly just promotional posts.
You won't see the usual suspects (hotels, tour companies, professional posters etc) trolling & spamming on their site & if they continue they'll be outed on the site as well. The tone on Travel Fishis more mature too & without the very personal attacks & often unbelievable posts !!!
Take a look at the companies they've already banned for continually trolling & spamming. It's a very surprising list & says quite a bit about the validity & integrity of some of these other, so called, independent travel sites.
For some real info about us written by real people please have a look at our Testimonials page & also a couple of really good You tube posts from former customers with real names & faces. (thanks so much you two)
And (Click) - A Canadian family who are decent, kind & thoughtful (read their blog to see more about them)
Unlike the curious 1 time only posters &/or the Tourists without cameras - AKA our nasty competitors, the posts above are from normal people who wrote honestly about their time with us.
Over the last 16 or so years we've had literally thousands of people choose us for their tours. Time & again our customers & some for their 2nd, 3rd & 4th trip have said they chose us because they wanted to go with the tour operator & not just another ticket seller.
And it makes all the difference in price, quality, service & Safety !
Beware of the many, nasty crooks that continue to copy us !
This just might be the page you've been looking for !
For those of you feeling the ridiculous pressure from the book now, book now or you'll miss out rave ..... the answer is simply this, PLEASE DON'T. Don't book now, don't send any money - you simply DON'T have to !
In our case you'll get more in terms of overall quality AND for much less in terms of price & again, please,
Please don't fall for the urgent buy now, bla, bla stuff - It's just not true !!!
And remember with us, tipping is appreciated but it's NEVER, compulsory !
Holiday makers you'll be delighted to know that Maxie is in the throes of approaching Rick & Rob (a couple of his mates in the song writing caper) to knock out a jingle for all the grubby tour company bosses out there. It goes like ...."The boss pays the wages, the customers never do, la la la" (& repeat ... over & over & over ......)
From the 2008/9 Rough Guide, Sth East Asia book.
Some of our 2 Day Halong Bay tour details
(please email us for a comprehensive 2 Day Halong Bay tour itinerary)
With the REAL Kangaroo Café, you'll get - transportation, all meals, COLD drinks at reasonable prices, air con room (with private en suite bathroom), entrance fees, an English speaking guide (who's there but not in your face all day) for our All Year Discount Price of - $95 USD P/person, twin share, full price !!!
And yes, $95 USD is the real price (for a genuine 1st class 2 day tour) when you go with the tour operator & not going via any/all of the other touts (the hundreds of web sites all selling the same tired old tours, road side travel agents, hotel reception staff, motor cycle drivers, failed English teachers posing as tourists, public toilet attendants etc) who are putting their really big cut on top of your tour AND, of course, keeping exactly how much they get a big secret from you !!!
(Check out the other boat pics further down the page)
Some of our 3 Day Halong Bay tour details
(please email us for a comprehensive 3 Day Halong Bay & Cat Ba Island itinerary)
With the REAL Kangaroo Café, you'll get - transportation, COLD drinks (at reasonable prices), all meals (except dinner on day 2 on Cat Ba island), air con room (with private en suite bathroom) on the boat (& at the hotel on Cat Ba), entrance fees, an English speaking guide (who's there but not in your face all day) for our special ........
All Year Discount Price of - $145 USD P/person, twin share, full price !!!
And yes, $145 USD is the real price (for a genuine 1st class, 3 day tour) when you go with the tour operator & not going via any/all of the other touts (the hundreds of web sites all selling the same tired old tours, road side travel agents, hotel reception staff, motor cycle drivers, failed English teachers posing as tourists, public toilet attendants etc) who are putting their really big cut on top of your tour AND, of course, keeping exactly how much they get a big secret from you !!!
(Check out the various boat pics further down the page)
Being the actual tour operator you won't have to pay for any agents, hotel staff, taxi drivers, internet booking mobs & who knows who else's fees or commissions. Our prices are stated clearly on our itineraries as are all the other details like group size, what's included, what's not included, accomm details, drink prices etc.
It's all straight forward with us & any questions are easy to answer when you deal with the tour operator.Please check out the various options & prices too at ....
Handspam, Phoenix, every hotel mob in Viet Nam (yawn), Ocean Tours & (now even) Ocean Star tours ???, A-Z Queen, the many Backpacker hostel mobs, (more yawn) the 300+ Sinh Cafes in Ha Noi (more yawning but with a look of bewilderment too !), TNK, Christina etc. There's even tours being flogged in dry cleaner shops & out front of the public dunnies too BUT in terms of overall quality & price, we reckon our tours are well worth a look !
The Kangaroo Cafe
When in Ha Noi don't forget to hop over to one of our REAL Kangaroo Cafés ™. You'll find great Vietnamese, vegetarian & western food (at local prices), the coldest beer in Viet Nam as well as the latest information for travellers. Find out what to buy, where to buy it & better still, what the fair price for it really is.
Our Air Conditioned Café at 22 Bao Khanh St is a great place to stop off & the KC staff are always keen to help with all your questions.
While you're in the cafe you can pick up a Free local map & the ever important - Free Stubby Holder too !!!
22 Bao Khanh St Ha Noi
Click on the thumbnail above to get a printable version of our Ha Noi (left) or HCM City (right) maps.
Better still, drop into the REAL Kangaroo Café™ when you get to Ha Noi for a free Ha Noi & HCM city map as well as some good, old fashioned, straight talk about who's who & what's what in Viet Nam !
We've had great reviews in the Sydney Morning Herald, the New York Times, the Boston Globe & the Singapore Airlines in-flight magazine to name just a few.
Our Ha Long Bay Tour has even been featured in 2 travel shows on TV as well. The 1st one (a few years ago now) was a local Aussie travel show presented by a former home Handi Man show bloke doing a very ordinary impersonation of the late, great Steve Irwin & called Great Train Adventures.
Toby & his crew were just great to work with. Unlike so many people in the film industry, they were honest, decent, funny & very kind to us, our staff & treated everyone they met along the way with integrity. We wish to thank them again most sincerely.
Our boats, transportation, accommodation, safety, staff & food are of the highest standard in Ha Long Bay & perhaps even more importantly ...........Our group sizes are a maximum of 14 people & that's that !
Here's some REAL reviews that we were very pleased about !
You'll see lots of real pics of the tours that we operate further down the page too !
Griswalds & our REAL Kangaroo Café ™ make the whole thing of booking your trip, getting there & back again easy, simple & enjoyable but these days, unfortunately, there's any number of dodgy buggers who try their hardest to convey this incredible sense of urgency in order to sign you up & get your money over the net before you get to Viet Nam. At the hotel there'll be some mug trying to pressure you as well & in both cases it's because they know if you see what's really on offer else where you'd never take their way over priced tours.
You've got to love the corny old lines like ....... it's all gotta go, Ha Long bay is closing down, selling out fast, this is a 1 time offer, this time of year it really busy, it's going to be hard to get a spot etc, bla, bla ......... These nuts are using some of the oldest & most stupid lines as if we haven't heard any of them before. We have no idea who's doing the sales courses in Viet Nam but we think it could be that bloke with the crook teeth & spandex fetish from the late night tele at home in Oz.
So ..... relax & take your time & it's no busier in Ha Long now than it's ever been & please check the bona fides of any tour mob very carefully before parting with any of your hard earned money.
In the past, tourists had to go back to Ha Long town for the night and venture out again the next day because the boats weren't properly equipped to cater for overnight stays. BUT, if you end up stuck on one of those tubs with 35 - 100 other people .... just imagine trying to get some quiet time to yourselves or what meal times will be like. YUK ! The only serious accidents that have happened in the bay have been mainly due to over crowding on the boat. Not just because it's dangerous either it's not fair to the environment, to our customers or the Vietnamese people who's country has been brutalised by foreign invaders more than any other country in the world.
It's supposed to be a relaxing trip to the World Heritage listed Ha Long Bay not a remake of Ben Hur or like that running with the bulls thing in Spain !!!!
In the lounge/recreation areas we have CD music & DVD systems, so feel free to bring along your favourite music &/or films. There's always plenty of room to get away, if you wish, or join in the fun with the other guests, it's up to you. When we started our small group tours to Ha Long Bay we realised that the small group concept was very important not just to our guests, but to the integrity of Ha Long Bay itself.
We have private charter available too so if you'd like a fabulous Junk style boat for yourself, your family or a group of friends please let us know & we'll give you our very best price.
Our commitment to your safety as well as your fun is 100%. Our boats are fitted with life jackets, maritime radios, fire extinguishers, smoke alarms & 1st aid kits too, just in case you need them.
After the success we've had with our Ha Long Bay and Cat Ba Island Tour we didn't just sit back and think how clever we were. The tourism industry isn't like that & as one of the very few independent tour operators, we don't have the luxury of being part of one of the big state owned companies to take care of us.
We've got 2 boats leaving nearly every day & our guests couldn't be happier with them. Our guides & crews are great & the food they cook on board is fan-tas-tic ! The prawns, squid and fresh fish are delicious but we even have vegetarian food too.
|Below are some pics from our Ha Long tour. There's pics of the trip, the Agent Orange Victims workshop where we stop along the way & even where we have lunch in Ha Long city.|
More pics of our (up to) 16 person boat & it's a beaut.
Our Tender (the little boat on the side) stays with us for the whole tour & drops you off at the various spots !
We're one of the few tour operators that don't have to board with all the others at Bai Chay.
We board over at Hong Gai which is quicker, nicer, safer & gets you more time on the water too !
Up on the top deck we've gots lots of chairs & lounges but with shade too if you wish.
Some REAL Ha Long Bay Tour Pics !!!
(ones that haven't been photo shopped beyond recognition !!!)
Some Boat Pics !
Some Dining Room Pics !
Some Bed Room Pics !
Some Bath Room Pics !
Some on Deck Pics !
Various Other Ha Long Bay Tour Pics.
Ti Top Island
Sung Sot (The Amazing) Cave
The Hong Ngoc, Agent Orange Victims work shop.
Good food, clean toilets & a very good cause.
The BMC Restaurant for lunch before returning to Ha Noi.
From an Aussie travel doco Maxie did some years ago.
Other Ha Long Bay pics, some from many years ago.
Some of the people in these pics we became friends with & still are today which is just great !
Various other pics.
Our sleep on the boat tours
are all about having fun & have been a big hit with our guests
too. Of course the real attraction is the bay itself
and one of our nicest ever guests,
Larry the lawyer, said this on returning:
"Nothing really could have prepared me for the magnificence of Ha Long" . Well put Larry !
|Some Cat Ba Island info.|
|Most tours go for the
usual boring trek in the National Park.
The problem with the trek is that all the operators do it
& the only reason they do it is because it's cheap to do. The
problem is that you end up trekking with 100 +
other tourists from all the other tour operators who, of course, all
claim to be independent but are staying at the same
old hotels and doing the same old trek
? Also during the warmer months
(& there's plenty of those) it's
simply too hot. Trekking for 6 to 12 km's in 35 - 45
degree heat is for most people more
of an ordeal than a trek.
We chose the hotel on Cat Ba for the same reason that we choose every hotel we use: Location, location and location, good facilities and last, but not least, good staff. You'll be staying at one of the newer hotels & not one of the tired old mini hotels that dot the waterfront at Cat Ba harbour. The trek thing is still available for the die-hards, but our guests have been very happy with the slower pace and our interesting, alternative Cat Ba tour.
After a beautiful drive to the hinterlands of Cat Ba we go on a small (but safe) boat to visit some caves that are rarely seen by any tourists.
Afterwards we take another boat over to Monkey Island for some swimming on a beautiful beach and to say G'day to the locals. We have a picnic lunch on the boat and spend the afternoon swimming, exploring, or just relaxing.
|Some pics of Cat Ba & Monkey Islands, the hotel on Cat Ba we stay in, as well as various other stuff we do over there !|
Mr Dung's hotel where we stay on Cat Ba. What a good bloke he is !
Other Cat Ba pics.
For more information, or to arrange your vacation,
P.O. Box 501, Leichhardt N.S.W. 2040 Australia
from inside Aust: (02)
22 Bao Khanh St
from inside Viet Nam: (04) 3828 9931 Or - from
outside Viet Nam: +844 3828 9931 Or -
on Maxies Mobile:
+84 913 506 223
When we're busy on another call or whatever,
please feel free to leave your message with a real person,
working in Australia, for an Australian Company (rare
these days) & we'll
get back to you ASAP.
Company Registration Number: 107 709 384
Aust Govt Travel Agents
Licence Number (your international protection): 2TA5568
Doing business with companies over the internet still makes some people,
Australian Travel Agents, like us, are eligible to be members
Fund. It's run by the Government
Dept of Fair Trading & is something only real
travel agents can offer.
This page was last updated on
For more information, or to arrange your vacation,
P.O. Box 501, Leichhardt N.S.W. 2040 Australia
Phone from inside Aust: (02) 9430 6426
OR- from outside Aust: +612 9430 6426
22 Bao Khanh St Hanoi
Phone from inside Viet Nam: (04) 3828 9931
Or - from outside Viet Nam: +844 3828 9931
Or - on Maxies Mobile: +84 913 506 223
Note: When we're busy on another call or whatever, please feel free to leave your message with a real person, working in Australia, for an Australian Company (rare these days) & we'll get back to you ASAP.
Australian Company Registration Number: 107 709 384
Aust Govt Travel Agents Licence Number (your international protection): 2TA5568
Doing business with companies over the internet still makes some people, understandably, nervous. Only Licensed Australian Travel Agents, like us, are eligible to be members of the Travel Compensation Fund. It's run by the Government Dept of Fair Trading & is something only real travel agents can offer.