Kangaroo Cafe Tours, Vietnam – Customer Reviews

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Kangaroo Cafe Tours, Vietnam


Kangaroo Cafe Tours, Vietnam – Customer Reviews

Hi Adam and Clare,

We hope you had a great Christmas and New Year.
We have returned of course from our holiday, and it was amazingly good.
Our friends Di and Rob who were first timers, are sprouting your praises.
They are in awe that a tour so personalised and of amazing quality for the
money is obtainable!

Every aspect of care from our guides, Vinh 1, Vinh 2, and So at Sapa, was
fantastic. Transfers, venues, accomodation, meals, everything was just
great. And access to a guide at any time, and to benefit from their know how
etc is a godsend. They are also flexible and extremely personable. We feel
they are the most genuine people, and you feel a sense of loss once you have

But thanks to your patient efforts in all the planning stages, and the care
and assitance you were always prepared to give generously.

Much appreciated,
Cheers, Marie, Jim and Clare Jonas.
Adam and Clare,

We write to let you know we had a fantastic holiday in Vietnam the tour service was fault less and our guide “Taew” was superb. Taew made us feel comfortable from day one and made our holiday enjoyable. Please pass our thanks on to Taew.

After our experience with the Kangaroo Cafe tour company we will have no hesitation in recommending you guys to any of our friends and family that may consider going to Vietnam in the future.

Thanks for everything,
Grant, Cheryl, Ted & Lek
Adam and Clare,

We arrived back on Monday and I thought it only polite to thank you for your efforts for our trip. We had a great time and all the guides were really wonderful, particularly Vinh who took us down the coast. The side trips to Sapa and Halong Bay were terrific. The hotels with one exception were excellent, particularly the Golden Lotus in Hanoi (amazing staff) and the Romance in Hue (best Spa!). The exception was the Cat Cat View Hotel in Sapa which is not up to scratch (pun intended).

Anyhow, no complaints, we really enjoyed ourselves and I was very impresed with how easy everything was made for us. If you could pass on our thanks to those in Vietnam I would be very grateful.

Thanks again and best wishes,
Brian Thew
Hello Adam, Clair and Max

We all had a great holiday in Vietnam with everything going smoothly. Thank you for all your effort and help.

We will be recommending your company to our friends.

Please thank Coung our guide in Hanoi and Halong Bay, we did not get to thank him as he fell ill. Thuy who took his place was great as well.

We look forward to returning to Vietnam in the future.

Michael Cuthbert
Hi Max,

Sorry it has taken me so long to write, there’s not enough hours in the day when you are retired!

Hope you, your family and all the staff at Griswalds/Kangaroo Cafe are all well and enjoying life.

The weather here has been terrible since we returned home. It has been freezing, (1 deg one morning) and it seems we are getting enough rain to make up for last year’s dry winter. Give me Vietnam any day!

On the political side Labor is doing everything possible to send itself to the opposition bench for a decade whilst the little germ Abbott is going to walk into the lodge with a huge majority. I thinking of getting a boat and sailing to Vietnam and requesting refugee status.

Nita and I really wish to thank you and all of your staff for what was a fantastic holiday. Everything went smoothly and the tours, hotels, transport etc, etc were all great. I have become a Vietnam travel ambassador telling everyone I see what a great place it is to visit. Also passed on your details to many people so hopefully they listen to me and book a wonderful tour through you. How’s my mate Cuong? Hope you are not working him too hard, he was a fantastic guide and top bloke throughout the tour – please pass on my sincere good wishes.

I don’t know when, but I will definitely visit Vietnam again soon. I tell everyone I would be happy to return next week. Hopefully I will do it in the not too distant future and look forward to catching up with you at the Kangaroo Cafe. Finally finished “Bright Shining Lie”, thanks for your generosity in giving it to me. It certainly shows a different side to the conflict and answers many questions. Although a bit heavy to read at times I couldn’t put it down.

I have att a photo of Cuong, the “Iron Man” as he came out of the surf. Remind him to keep up the training as the London Olympics are 364 days away!

Once again my thanks to everyone who helped to make our trip so memorable.

Best Regards
Nita and Blackie
To the Griswalds

It is now over three months since we returned from our 23 day Grand Tour of Viet Nam and we wish we could have made it far longer. The memories of the trip will remain clear in our minds forever for we enjoyed every minute and look forward to returning some day. The Vietnamese people are indeed friendly and entertaining in a way we could not have imagined and everywhere we went we felt welcome and comfortable.

A big “Thank You” must go to all involved in organizing our trip, from Adam and Clare in Australia, to those in the Office in Viet Nam, our drivers, to all of our Guides and also to the friendly staff at the Kangaroo Café where the food was tasty, the coffee good and the beer cold. We have to say that the accommodation was better than expected; all transport arrangements were spot on and the Guides courteous and knowledgeable.

Special acknowledgement must be given of our main guide, Thuy, who taught and showed us so much of Viet Nam, its people, their history and beliefs and made each day of our Tour complete in every way.

Sue and Geoff Brand
Dear Adam and Clare

Quite delayed but I wanted to let you know we really enjoyed our Vietnam trip, our first there, and certainly not our last as the people and the country are wonderful in so many ways.

I would say we also enjoyed all aspects of the tour – food, accommodation, the itinerary. The accommodation was of a very good standard!

But most notable was the care and most friendly approach of our guide Quong from kangaroo cafe. He is truly a lovely fellow, was always organised and prompt, and always in a helpful mood. We highly commend Quong for making our trip a very happy one.

Thanks again and we will recommend you whenever possible!

kind regards
Natalie Oliver and Vincent Tay (Chris & Geoff Oliver)
Dear Adam and Clare

A belated message to say “thank you” for organising the Vietnam tour for Stephen and myself.

I would like to compliment the whole process – from booking to the finish – we had a ball and we have no complaints about anything at all; from our itinerary to accommodation to transport to our guides. Great food too!


Michael Apollonov
Dear Adam and Clare,

I realise Jan has already contacted you but I just wanted to speak on behalf of my family as well because as Jan pointed out, we could not have been more pleased with Coung. He without a doubt made our trip. He helped with many difficult situations particularly in relation to my mother-in-law’s unexpected down turn in our health while at the same time endearing himself to both the adults and kids aloke. Our children were particularly touched by how much he seemed to genuinely enjoy their company and as with everything, he went above and beyond to ensure they had fun on the trip.

He has a professional yet very fun presence that made him feel like part of our family. Please give him our personal thanks and let him know the boys are trying to convert Australia to adopt Duc Ow (I know that’s not how it’s spelt!!!) as it’s national sport. Please also pass on out thanks to Max for both his hospitality and assistance also with my mother-in-law. We tried to see him again but were not able to catch him. We would like to send him a book we talked about one night so if he is happy to forward us an address we could send it to that wouls be greatly appreciated.

I thank you also for all your help in arranging the trip. It was certainly the trip of a lifetime.

Thanks again. Faye
Dear Adam and Clare,

We have just returned from our holiday yesterday and I wanted to drop you a line to let you know what a wonderful time we all had while in Vietnam. Without exception everyone enjoyed the visit and would have no hesitation in recommending Griswalds to anybody travelling to Vietnam in the future. One of the best parts of our visit was our guide Cuong, he was friendly, cheerful and accommodating even though that can be difficult with a large group.

He was very knowledgeable and nothing was too much trouble he organised us all with a smile every day. The children in particular enjoyed his company and he assisted us with many of the local customs and games, in fact when we continued from Vietnam to Cambodia the children mentioned several times that our guide there was good but “he is just not Cuong” and as you know teenagers can be difficult to please so that is high praise indeed. I would ask you to pass on to the Hanoi office our appreciation of Cuong’s efforts on behalf of our group and it is not an exaggeration to say that our holiday would not have been as enjoyable without him.

One thing that I would like to pass on to you is that we applied for our visas online before departure and everything was fine. As you may remember we asked your advice and we fully intended to send our passports to the embassy before we departed but Flight centre gave us the website to apply online before departure and everything went smoothly.

I just thought you might like to know because it is much cheaper to apply this way and I would like to stress that it is not a visa on arrival as I know that does not exist in Vietnam it is an online application before departure. You send your details and they send you a permission letter which you take with you to the counter at the airport and they prepare the visa and put it in the passport no problems. I just thought you might like to know for future reference.

I would also like to thank you for your efforts in organising our holiday it was a trip that we will not forget and we appreciate your efforts in organising it for us.

Kind Regards, Jan Forrest
Hi Clare and Adam,

We have recently returned from our fabulous adventure in Vietnam with the Failes family.

To say it was a great program does not do it justice. The itinerary was well paced with fabulous excursions and excellent accommodation. People were friendly and the food was exotic.

We cannot thank you enough for all of the preliminary work you did to make this a trip of a life time. Your prompt and accurate response to our many queries reinforced our view that we had selected the right organization for our Vietnam travel plans.

We are now sorting through (and reliving our adventures) the 3,500 images (I think that equates to over 150 per day)!!!!!.

Best wishes for Christmas and I can assure you that you have 4 very enthusiastic ambassadors for your organization.

Kind regards,
Coral and John Erickson.
To everyone at the Griswalds

Our family of 10 – 4 Adults, 4 teenagers and 2 Grand parents had the best 3 weeks in Vietnam together, better than any of us expected.

The guides were wonderful. Cuong for most of it and Cuu and her sister up in Sapa were lovely, funny and kind.

The private boat trip in Halong bay was one of many highlights and Sapa, Hoi An and Buon Me Thot with our Elephant were too.

Expect some photos after we settle in back home too.

The price was very reasonable and as mentioned less than most of the group tours that we’re sure wouldn’t have suited our sometimes very odd group of between 14 and 70 years old.

Thanks again so much.

Kindest regards,
The Dent Family
Hi Clare

Meant to tell you last month….

Had a great holiday!!!

Cuong was absolutely wonderful
Nothing was too much trouble – he was always on time and always helpful even when Mum was driving us nuts!!! He did say she was the oldest person he had had on the trip and she did really well!

Thanks for organising everything for us!!!

Dianne King
Hi Max,

Just a quick note to let you know how much we appreciated the effort your team put into our into making our recent trip to Vietnam enjoyable.

Adam and Clair were very supportive and patient in developing our itinerary; The Kangaroo Café staff made us feel so welcome on several occasions; the care and attention of the Halong Bay crew was appreciated; and particular thanks to our personal guide for the duration of our trip, Thuy.

We were greeted at the airport by Thuy’s huge smile and throughout the trip we were able to share his enthusiasm and energy for Vietnam. On a number of occasion Thuy went out of his way to ensure our personal interests and needs were met whilst we were on the tour. Recommendations for restaurants, places to explore on free afternoons and responsiveness to individual requests were spot on each time.

Our memories of our time in Vietnam are of all positive and we believe this is due to the great team that you have put together.

We were aware that there were differing opinions on how the Halong Bay leg of the trip should of been conducted. However, for ourselves and the other family group (2 adults 2 children) on board we could not fault Thuy attempts to meet varying expectations of the guest. There was a diverse mix of patrons with differing desires and we believe Thuy did his best to respond the environment set by the majority of the passengers.

We welcome the opportunity to communicate in the future should you desire any further feedback.

Kind Regards,
Ron, Cheryl, Joanna and Kellie
To whom it may concern

Last month we did the 3 day tour to Halong Bay (left 28th December) which we really enjoyed. I would like to say a huge thank you to Trung( I hope I have spelt his name correctly). What an asset he is to your company! He was a great tour leader and made our trip to Halong Bay. Trung went out of his way to accomodate everyone and ensure they had a good trip. He related well to all the people in our group and he was fantastic with our four year old son. I would make one recommendation to your tours that the tour leader can eat and be able to share a meal with the group.

Thank you Kangaroo Cafe and Trung we loved the trip!

Warm regards
Kirsten, Glyn and Oscar Reid
Hello to everyone at Griswalds Vietnam Vacations,

I was putting together an iphoto book of some of our past trips and wanted to let you know that our Griswalds Vietnam vacation (August 2003) was absolutely one of the best! We have such wonderful memories of Vietnam; the quality of our tour, the places we stayed, our meals and the great folks we met could not be beat! Our son’s are all grown now (24 and 17) and the time goes by too fast, but we will always have memories of the great trips we have taken and our Vietnam vacation was one of the most outstanding. Thank you.

We hope all is well and one of these days we will be back for an entire country tour.

All the best –
Jeanne, John, Jake and Collin Connors
Hello Adam and Clare

Thank You to the Griswald organization, to Dzung our delightful guide, and all your partners who made our Vietnamese tour a great travel experience. The tour exceeded our expectations in every way: excellent and experienced guides and drivers; quality accommodations and tour vehicles; and a well planned itinerary each day. We were so glad to be on a tour with “just the two of us” and not herded in a large “bus tour”. We were treated like “royalty” and feel we received a great travel value with Griswald’s.

We were recommended to Griswald’s by the Alan and Wendy Chappelow of Sale, Australia, and are happy to recommend your services to our travel friends in the United States.

Steve & Dian Jahn
Greetings to Max and your adorable staff at the one and only Kangaroo cafe from the old gits, Martin & Jean in Essex, UK. Well we are back in the cold, windy, wet and recessioned UK with Hanoi a fond memory.

We just wanted to say a huge thank you for your generosity – unexpected, very welcome, but to quote Python – You are a very naughty boy!

The Kangaroo mug you gave me as a pressy is now a pen holder by my G5 iMac and will never see liquid again. It’s now a family heirloom.

I wanted to say that having Kangaroo Cafe on our doorstep greatly enhanced our stay in Hanoi, now our favourite city. Your ‘tucker’ is the best we found anywhere and your burgers and mashed spuds a real comfort food treat. As for your staff, I wish we could have adopted a couple of them, they were wonderful. Your Halong Bay trip was a delight, despite the bloody awful weather.

Five stars everything and a credit to your customer care policy, which I noticed also encompasses the café toilets. As promised, I have sent my Vietnam log to Lonely Planet, singing your praises and damning the scammers and crap tour operators.

Lastly, I read the rather intimate interview you have pinned up and was pleasantly surprised to see that you are a bit of a lefty.

I have been a trade unionist for about 40 years, and have been involved in numerous industrial actions – never on the winning side – and in one case on strike for over a year. So the red flag is a bit limp in Essex. That’s it. I enclose a photo of us in case you’ve forgotten who we are already. Feel free to pin this email up on your notice board.

Cheers for now, hope to return ASAP, but in the meantime many thanks and all the best for the future,
Martin & Jean
Rayleigh, Essex, UK
Hi all who work in the Kangaroo cafe,
I have just arrived back in a very cold UK after a wonderful tour of
Vietnam. The people there are wonderful, helpful, kind and full of warm
Thank you for a wonderful trip to Ha Long Bay; even though it was only
1 night and 2 days we were very whol looked after, spoilt in fact and
saw the most amazing scenery ever. It was spectacular, even in the
rain. The tour crammed in so many things and everything was absolutely
perfect, just as it says it will be.
Many thanks and I will certainly recommend you to anyone I know who
goes out to Vietnam.
Enjoy the sunny weather.

Best wishes,
David Jones
Dear Max,

I would’ve liked to have been able to send you my thanks prior, but work has been so hectic since my return from VietNam that this is the first “free” time I’ve had to correspond.


From both Samantha and myself, a big thank you to yourself and Cuong for giving us such a wonderful, fulfilling, interesting and impactful tour of VietNam that we will remember with fondness, for life. Having you and Cuong involved made the trip so much more memorable, personal, easier and with seldom problems / hiccups. (With 22 days I wasn’t expecting it to be 100% problem free, especially with the itinerary that I supplied!)

You should feel very proud of yourselves (you, Cuong & Sang), the Kangaroo Cafe and it’s overall operation, it’s ability to meet and maintain high standards and the deliverance of what’s promoted and promised.

The HaLong Bay boat was lovely, the private tours all well organised and professionally lead by the brilliant Cuong, the transport supplied throughout was comfortable and adequate, the accommodation available was all very good, and the flexibility within the tour was great! In fact, 95% of the tour was exceptional, with the remaining 5% not being enjoyed due to a majority of external factors beyond your control. (In time, even these few unfortunate events / circumstances will become funny memories.)

It was so much fun, that i’m sure I will be back again and without a doubt I will use your services once more. (Maybe November 2009????) I will also have no hesitation in recommending you to anyone travelling to VietNam that may need your services or just a good “western” feed when in HaNoi…….vegemite even!!!!

Anyway, for now, until we speak or meet each other again, stay happy and healthy, with best wishes to your family, and to Cuong and his family.

Best Regards,
Jason Thomas
Dear Max:

We are home safe & sound w/so many wonderful memories of our time in Vietnam! We particularly want to thank you for setting us up w/Dzung as our guide —— he is fantastic & we wanted to bring him home w/us! He was our teacher & our protector. He was so dedicated to making sure Chris & John saw the places they needed to see —— no matter how off the beaten path or how difficult to find the exact area —– he was tireless in helping them find what they needed to see & doing whatever they needed to do to move on! He seemed to understand & make the journey his own —- we couldn’t have asked for a better person to lead the way! Our entire trip was so well organized & yet, he never lost sight of how we were reacting to the heat or if we were just getting too tired. He handled the unexpected (my showing up in a wheelchair & Betty being 80 yrs. old) in stride & he made changes as we needed —– always making it all look so easy! He has a great sense of humor & is just a fun guy to travel with.

So, Thank you! We had a wonderful time! Please tell Dzung that we say Hello & we miss him!
Robin & Chris Lane
Dear Max and all the staff at Kangaroo Cafe,

We are about to leave Hanoi tomorrow after our 8 weeks here and would like to thank you for all your help and great service at the Cafe,

We thought the tours you offer to Sapa and Halong Bay were great and extremely good value,

Best wishes for the future,
Chris and Daryl Regan
Hi Max, Sang, and the Cafe crew,

Just a quick note to say thanks again for playing a part in our wonderful Vietnam holiday. We had a fantastic time and specifically enjoyed our trips to SaPa and Ha Long Bay. We have some wonderful memories and photos to keep the memories fresh.

We’ll be recommending you guys to anyone we know who is going to Vietnam.

Thanks again and best wishes!!
Graeme and Sharon Davies
Dear Adam & Clare

Many thanks for arranging a great trip. Everything went to plan and we were greatly impressed
with the service we received from our guide Cuong who was always happy to fulfill any request of ours.
The hotels and travel arrangements were all first class and despite Huey weather trying to drown us
we had a marvellous time at all our destinations. We have happily recommended your service to our
friends and hope one day we may return to enjoy another taste of Vietnam.
Best regards.

Malek,Brian & Allan
Hi Clare and Adam

I just thought I’d like to let you know what a fantastic holiday we had, and what a wonderful country Vietnam is. It really has everything you could want in a holiday.

The scenery, the climate (lots of variations) the warm, friendly, happy, proud people, the sights, the history, the culture, the sheer pleasure in sitting on a street corner and “people/bike watching”, and great food and shopping, make this country an amazing place to visit. Don’t know how we’re ever going to beat this one!!!

We were very impressed with all aspects of your organization, and would like to thank you for all your efforts in coordinating everything, so that no time was wasted, yet we still had adequate free time. Our guide, Zoom (not sure how to spell it) was fantastic. Nothing was too much trouble for him. One day, he even had our driver pull over in traffic, so that he could jump out and buy us some fresh jackfruit to try, and the moist wipes and water that were provided whenever we hopped back into the van after a little adventure were most welcome. Also, he would often ask the driver to slow down a little, if he knew we were trying to take photos. It was these little touches that made us feel very special and welcome in his country. The flowers at the airport for Georgina and myself were also a wonderful surprise.

Since our return, I’ve been singing your praises to all who ask about our trip, and I think there might be a few people who’ll make some enquiries shortly.

I’ve attached a few of our favourite pics, which you’re free to use in any way you want.

Again, thank-you……. or should I say “cum mon”.

Kindest regards, Adele
Adam & Clare and Max

We have been back in Australia now for a week, life is returning to normal. I have been back at work for a couple of days, Kathy started back at work today and our boys are enjoying their remaining days of freedom until the regime of school and sport resumes later this week.

Our family and friends have been inundated by digital picture slideshows and stories of our time and adventures in Vietnam. Griswalds, Kangaroo Café and Vinh have been featuring strongly in our stories getting great ‘wraps’ from all of us.

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and so glad that we found Griswalds and so lucky to have had Vinh as our guide. His easy going and relaxed demeanor, fitted in well with our travelling group. His advice and recommendations were always spot on. He was invaluable for Kathy when she had to take Norm to the hospital in Hue. He developed a special bond with our boys particularly our youngest Riley. He became more like a friend than a guide indeed I would say he is now a part of our family.

Your help and guidance to Kathy in planning our trip has helped ensured its success, for any other clients considering a similar tour I would encourage them to also include the extra rest days. Our rest days particularly in the later half of the trip made a big difference.

The Kangaroo Café was our home away from home in Hanoi, particularly helpful when our group included a 10 year old who eats next to nothing through to a 74 year old. It was so easy to know that all we had to do was walk not much more than 10 mins around the lake to be at our little piece of Aussie. As we toured around Vietnam we found numerous other interesting and family popular eateries and some like Cargo came to match the feeling we enjoyed in Hanoi. Our hotel accommodation and internal transport arrangements were all quite acceptable. Travelling out of season as such meant that we could not or did not do everything we might have otherwise done. At Ha Long bay only the bravest of our boy’s and indeed no well else from our boat took the cold and watery plunge.

Despite the unseasonal rains in Hue and Hoi An we enjoyed ourselves and we all would liked to have had more time in Hoi An.

Our time in Sa Pa was enjoyed by all, the evening power failure made for romantic if not slightly random dining as we picked our restaurant in the dark and enjoyed wood fired pizza, spring rolls and other fare by candle light. Koo, our guide in Sa Pa, was another success, she and Kathy hit it off. She reminded us of our French exchange daughter their personalities and mannerisms were practically the same.

In Nha Trang ‘Cyclo’ restaurant was a favorite particularly of Riley’s and another popular local find was the Real Italian ice-cream store, although it is interesting to reflect as one is enjoying a fresh cappuccino and their Italian ice-cream that it cost almost as much as the dinner consumed only 30 minutes earlier.

I glad we made the trip inland to Buon Me Thot it is fairly apparent that not that many western tourists do. I will confess that of all the hotels and towns we visited this was the least enjoyable but if we had not made this detour we would have missed the elephants. The elephants and Ban Don Village provided more than adequate compensation for any failings of the Whitehorse hotel and Buon Me Thot.

In Ho Chi Minh City we enjoyed the outdoor dining at the night market, even Riley’s palette developed with a taste for Vegetarian Spring Rolls, BBQ Elephant Ear fish and BBQ Snapper. However we could not convince Kathy to try any of the hapless frogs strung up in the outdoor kitchen waiting for a customer to order.

In our final days in Vietnam we were spoilt rotten by the Rex hotel’s breakfast each morning, nothing beats relaxing with the Vietnam news and an endless supply of coffee and pastries. The boys and Norm were in breakfast heaven, each morning, as they explored the seeming endless array of food that covered almost half the room.

I have attached a few pictures from the Café, Hanoi and Ha Long Bay.

Thanks again for all that you do and did so that we were able to have a most enjoyable holiday and time in Vietnam.

Chúc Mừng Năm Mới
Tony, Kathy, Mitchell, Nathan & Riley Pincus
Hey Leonie,

Thanks! Yeah, we had an awesome time. Thanks especially for the tip about Kangaroo Cafe – they did a really good Sapa and Halong Bay tour, which was so well organised (especially when we traveled south and used other tour groups).

Dear Max,

I wanted to send this short email to say that it was great to catch up and that Lisa, Ned and I had a wonderful time in Vietnam.

I am glad we took up your 23 day “Grand Tour of Vietnam”. The accomodation, tours, food and guides exceeded our expectations throughout the trip. There were no serious hiccups and your guides were very receptive to our needs, particularly in regards to having an 11 year old boy in tow.

I think your knockabout Aussie image is really a clever ruse to disguise the fact that you run a very efficient and professional operation. Or as we might say back at home, you do come the raw prawn, but you’re really the cat’s pyjamas!

We have only been home for a day and a bit, so the sounds, smells and images of Vietnam are still vivid. If I get the opportunity to go back for another visit, I ‘ll be there in two shakes. Can you please pass on our regards to all the people involved in helping us have a great holiday, particularly Ms Sang, Mr Truong, Mr Diep and particularly Mr Dung. I expect them all to have received big fat Tet bonuses comrade !

Anyhow, when you are next in Sydney give me a bell and we’ll have a barbie.

Cheers and Happy Tet

PS Ned thinks your burgers are the best he had in Vietnam

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