Research started 4 months before our trip,with a contact direct to Mango cruises = Come & go Vietnam = Jay! Email communications & responses were what sold us to choose this company to provide us for what proved to be a trip of a life time.After negotiating options with Jay,we chose a one night home stay,followed by 3 day-2 night sampan cruise of the delta.We flew into Saigon from Hanoi at 9.00am=taxi to Minh Tam bus station & travelled to Ben Tre arriving at midday.From drop off point we were picked up by Mangos xeoms to the homestay.(this little ride was a scenic adventure in itself!)
We were met by Mr Mann,who got us started with lunch & drinks on the homestay verandah & explained the company & property where we were,and checked us into our beautiful room with outside ensuite.(He ticked the next box that we had made the right decision to choose this company.)
Mid afternoon after lounging on the verandah with plenty of cold beers,our tour guide for the cruise arrived,and we were introduced by Mr Mann to "Lockie!". Wow, this guy was just effervescent & alive and explained our itenery for the next 3 days,giving the sense of what we dreamed, was to come true for our cruise. We were not dissapointed! (every last box ticked) From day 1 to 3,Lockie was our man!We cruised,stopped for tours on foot & bike to brick factories,local homes,temples, rice factories,orchards & farms,it just goes on with every moment a fascination! Then Lockie proved himself to be a beautiful singer while we drank beers on the front deck of the sampan,singing some beautiful Vietnamese love songs with so much genuine feeling!.also answering our many questions about what the "locals" activities were that we sailed past.Lockie also provided "evening drinking music while we cruised the delta,his favourite for aussies being "Khe sanh", but we introduced him to Men at works "Down Under", so other aussies please reinforce to him that this is our national anthem!
The food,have we mentioned this?Meals were 3 x times a day,all 5 x course & unbelievable new experiences, we were battling to get through the volume!Absolutely marvellous!
We also had plenty of time to ourselves when cruising,observing from any point we chose from the sampan,which was luxuries beyond our expectations.The nights sleeping at our anchorage points were quiet & relaxing,and as other reviewers have stated we never saw another european the whole time.This was our 4th trip to Vietnam & second to the mekong after a day trip from Saigon,but out of all our time in Vietnam,this was the best! We are a couple in our mid fifties & me with 2 x bung knees, but it proved easily do able for the walking & the bike rides which are on flat country,the captain just pushed the bow of the sampan right to the shore banks & the crew provided a step ladder for me to access in the more difficult dissembarcations.
This company might be a bit pricier than others,but in Australia we have the saying-"You get what you pay for!" & why our headline is "we are going to do this again!"
Feel free to pm us for any questions.
Thank You Mango Cruises.
p.s.we took 426 photos of this cruise-overboard may be,but we gaze at them on our screensaver & would not delete one of them = memories of our most memorable trip
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