Having read the many negative reports about this company, my wife and I were went to great lengths whilst in HCMC to avoid booking our 2 day/1 night trip throught the Mekong Delta to Phnom Penh with this company. Imagine our complete lack of delight when we were "picked up" from our hotel the morning of the tour and had to walk (actually jog to keep up with the company representative) through the streets with our luggage only to be delivered into the scrum of tourists and buses at the Delta Adventure Tours office.
Despite the best efforts of the Delta staff we actually managed to:
-Get on the correct bus to take us to our booked destination.
-Have our luggage loaded onto the same bus as we were on.
The morning and early afternoon were true to the advertised itinerary and, to be honest, quite enjoyable. However, it was soon to become an entirely different ball game as we boarded the bus to take us from Cai Be to Long Xuyen. Our original and quite engaging guide was replaced by a sour bloke who had no intention of doing anything but inspecting the purchases he had made that day and discussing them with the driver. Any questions from the group were met with either complete ignorance or a disinterested shrug.
On "arrival" at Long Xuyen we transferred to our damp and smelly boat, by which I mean we slogged down a muddy embankment at the side of the road then trudged about 500 metres through a muddy field to board the boat by way of the 8 inch wide, mud slick gang plank. All this in the dark of night whilst carrying our luggage. Needless to say that by this stage we'd all abandoned any thought that the touted "then Delta Cruise glides into Chau Doc by the sunset time" could even be vaguely true.
On arrival at the claimed "luxury floating hotel" we had to exercise great care not to stand on any of the cockroaches that scuttled for safety once we'd forced our way into our room and flicked on the light. After a cold shower in water pumped straight from the Mekong we decided to head into town and find a bite to eat but soon realised the folly of this thought as the chief warder of the hulk we were now on stopped just short of physically stopping us from walking down the gang plank and barked a curt "you eat here now".
Exhausted and demoralised we joined our fellow prisoners and ordered the meal we had been ordered to order. I selected the "special fried" rice which, in the now immortal words of one of our companions was "neither fried nor special". As it turned out the rice was actually very special indeed but, I was not to be aware of just how special until some time after our return home. Completing our meal we were permitted ashore, only to discover Chau Doc town was actually on the opposite bank of the river to where the hulk was moored but, we were at least able to purchase some bottled water, a fact that did not please the guards as we were, apparently, not permitted to bring outside food or drink onto the hotel.
..........to be continued
-Edited: 08 January 2011, 16:28