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“Boom! Awesome experience”
Review of Asia Outdoors

Asia Outdoors
Ranked #8 of 41 Tours in Cat Ba
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: We offer daily rock climbing, kayaking, trekking, and bicycle tours in the Mai Chau valley. This is the second location of the Asia Outdoors family. Mai Chau offers a side of Vietnam rarely seen and is definitely not to be missed.Now you can enjoy Mai Chau with a top rated, customer focused company.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children, Food available for purchase, Lockers / storage
Reviewed January 4, 2013

The whole team at Asia Outdoors were really professional, experienced and good fun. I had complete trust in them and they delivered. Nick, Mike and Thanh took us out for deep water soloing and climbing in the afternoon at Tiger beach. Nick was particularly on form, shouting up words of gentle encouragement.. I had an absolute blast of a new year. Thank you guys!

Thank aimeili86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bobby J, Manager at Asia Outdoors, responded to this reviewResponded February 9, 2013

Bam!

Super psyched to hear you had an awesome day of climbing with us. Sounds like you are a climbing machine! DWS in the am and routes in the PM, wild. Nick appreciates the kind words and hope this has opened the door for a new hobby for you back home. Please come back in the summer if you want to do more DWS!!!

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1,227 - 1,231 of 1,481 reviews

Reviewed December 29, 2012

The crew at Asia Outdoors are incredibly talented, friendly, and in the know about local climbing and kayaking spots. I hired Asha and Russel as my guides for half a day of climbing @ Moon Beach, and had an awesome experience. They were super safe, professional, and just all around good peoples. My only regret is not having stayed longer to go deep water soloing with them.

Thank missennui
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bobby J, Manager at Asia Outdoors, responded to this reviewResponded February 9, 2013

Hey missennui!

We are stoked to hear you had such a great time with us! Russ and Asha sincerely appreciate your glowing comments. Please come back sometime this summer for prime time Deep Water Soloing tides and Weather. Hope the rest of your travels went well,

Thanks again!

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Reviewed December 5, 2012

i was in Cat Ba for some days and went for a day trip kayaking and climbing with em.
there are a bunch of American young guys running all the company and the guides are even younger, wich is not bad but the feeling of an old and well experieced local guide could make everything more colorful.
Cat Ba is a wanderful place, not as touristic as Ha Long and even more attractive, and a full immersion in this paradise with locals and their Vietnamise coulture could give more sprint to the company.
lunch on the boat was great, the limestone islands amazing, gear and kayaks ok, but i didnt live a real Viet experience

Thank anderos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bobby J, Manager at Asia Outdoors, responded to this reviewResponded December 18, 2012

Hello and thank you for bringing to our attention your experience with us, which we are more than happy to clarify. This is a great opportunity for us to shed some light on our adventures and operations portrayed by your post(s).

I would like to start with a break down of our team and affiliates. This is primarily to help you understand just how "Local" our business is operated.
Our staff does indeed contain a few Americans, 3 to be precise. One is our new Manager and two guides/organizers/office staff etc. We also have 1 Dutch, 2 Germans,1 Londoner,1 Polish, 2 French Canadians, 2 Local Vietnamese, 2 Vietnamese Expats and 1 Guyanese that all perform a multitude of tasks for the company in office and as guides. The diversity of these 14 individuals work to bridge language barriers and cultural differences with travelers that take part in our trips, as well as sharing their passion for the country and the outdoors with guest. Having said that, I wish to direct your attention to our additional 14 locally born and raised Vietnamese co-workers that operate our Vans, Boats, Motorbikes and Trekking trips. While not forgetting their efforts to aid us in translations, teach us important local skills, help us organize our itineraries and events, prepare our wonderful meals for us on our trips and do their best to ensure we are enjoying the time we get to share with them while helping each other grow and learn. And, lets not forget our wonderful Vietnamese finance and tax team.

If someone comes to Cat Ba for a true "local" experience all they would have to do is convey this information to any member of our team and we would arrange a unique experience for them since over 65% of our crew are local Vietnamese.
In addition, we always pair our Vietnamese guides with one of our Western guides. This ensures that travelers have the ability to communicate to us easily while our staff can communicate to the rest of our co-workers efficiently. If a "Vietnamese" experience is something one is interested in then we encourage you and any of our fellow travelers to please spend your day getting to know our Vietnamese Climbing guides, Operations crews, Trekking guides, as well as members of our team who have made Cat Ba, for some, their home for years.

Thank you once again for encouraging us to clarify your comments and most importantly for spending your time with our team.

Kind regards and best wishes.

The Asia Outdoors Crew.

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Reviewed December 4, 2012

We have 4 people and go with Asha and Russel. Our day is great, unforgetable. Asha and Russel are perfect.

Only 1 man in our group, 3 women. 3 of us think that we cannot do it, we never did it before. We want to quit on the half way. But Asha and Russel encourage us alot, they direct, support us, then all of us can do it.

The feelings are amazing, we have so much fun, the great time we have ever had.

Thanks so much to Asha and Russel.

Thank SaSa_T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 26, 2012

Asia Outdoors is well-intentioned, but it is run by very young foreign tourists who have minimal training or guiding experience. The company is owned by a large, overseas investment company and does not contribute too much to the local economy. Unfortunately, they have a monopoly on the climbing tourism in town, but you can ask Luong at Cat Ba Dream Hotel for some beta and a boat hire to the one place that doesn't require a permit. If you plan on going "independent climbing" as they call it, be sure to bring your own gear. They only rent to people who have booked a VERY expensive trip through them. Cat Ba itself is amazing and worth the trip. There is plently to keep you interested for a few weeks.

3  Thank Dana J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bobby J, Guest Relations Manager at Asia Outdoors, responded to this reviewResponded December 6, 2012

Hi Dana,

First and foremost, I would like to apologize if you felt that you did not receive the 'most bang for your buck' or if we were not helpful enough providing you climbing options outside of our company. After talking to your partner in the office the night before your DWS trip, he expressed concern about the price and I happily knocked off ten dollars due to your previous trips to the Bay and Butterfly Valley. We are always open to assist people who are on a tight budget. Deep Water Soloing is something every climber should experience once, regardless of funds.

It saddens me to read some of the things you have said as I really enjoyed my day guiding your DWS trip along with Joel and hope it was a memorable experience for the two of you. It was great to see you two so psyched to climb.

Unfortunately, the reason for the perceived climbing monopoly is simply due to the fact that we are the only licensed climbing service on the island. While other companies may offer it, their gear, methods, and lack of knowledge may lead to an injury or worse, a fatality. If this were to happen, government officials would be quick to shut down all climbing related activities on the island and bay. We have verbal and written agreements with property owners whose land has climbing on it, which is why we and they prefer passes and payment for use of private land.

While our guides ages range from 19-47, this company provides a great opportunity for aspiring guides to get a 'foot in the door', as we all know, we have to start somewhere.

Were their any instances of unprofessionalism or unsafe practices to give you the impression of minimal training? Our guides have had at least two weeks of site specific training once they arrive and have never been at fault for negligence. We have certified WFA ("Woofer") instructors come to our office seasonally for staff training seminars as well.

Perhaps you were misinformed about our gear rental procedure as we happily rent to anybody, regardless of being on a trip with us. With the exception of not renting shoes to customers going on other DWS trips. We only ask that you give us collateral when you rent gear (passport, credit card, or cash).

We contribute more to the local economy than many businesses on the island. Aside from paying all our taxes and making seasonal contributions to the local Community and Party organizations, all of our suppliers are local Vietnamese, the hotel which houses the staff is owned by a Vietnamese family, and we rent space in the Noble House from a Local Vietnamese business woman. The staff eats out on a nightly basis and frequents many different restaurants in the town. We have recently started handing out envelopes with discounted business cards to local Vietnamese vendors, businesses and restaurants.

I wish we could have spoken before your departure as it would have been great to hear some feedback face to face. We are always looking for suggestions to who our company can improve, so please feel free to drop me a line at nico@asiaoutdoors.com.vn

I hope all is well back home in Colorado and the rest of your travels went well!

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