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I DO NOT recommend Jason SS tour guide

West Coast Region...
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47 posts
30 reviews
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I DO NOT recommend Jason SS tour guide

As a family of 4 we visited the Mekong Delta on a 2 days 1 night tour booked through Jason Super Star following good reviews on this forum. It cost us US$320 for the 4 of us + tips and was not good value for money. Jason picked us up late - his Mercedes van had cramped leg room and erratic aircon, although the bonus was a DVD on board that our children loved - and some of the stops he makes such as the mekong fish toilet and monkey bridge are just tourist gimicks and could easily be missed out.

It was great to see the floating markets although he delighted in pointing out to my husband every time someone was doing their 'business' in the river and actively encouraged us to throw watemelon skins and pineapple straight into the river - which we told him we were not comfortable with but "it's the Mekong way" he said - so much for responsible tourism.

At lunch on the first day we stopped at what we thought was going to be a house but was clearly just set up for the purpose of feeding tourists. It was very hot and after eating while we were sitting there sweltering Jason disappeared only to reappear 15 minutes later telling us he had had a shower and changed clothes as he was very hot!

We went to a couple of onshore markets and once again Jason delighted in pointing out all the less desirable meals - rats, snakes etc but couldn't help with the names of some of the veges and other products that we spotted and wondered what they were.

I had asked for a tour that would be good for the kids but don't think I got anything other than the standard tour. My children were also keen on the promised 'crocodile fishing' (feeding crocodiles at a farm) only for Jason to have just discovered that the farmer had JUST sold all of the crocodiles because he was afraid they were going to eat the people! We did see 4 cocodiles though - penned in a small cage in which they could hardly turn around.

Despite all of this there were a few positives -

*We did have a nice cruise through the canals and got to steer the boat for a few minutes which the kids enjoyed and it was good to get off the busy main river.

*The kids enjoyed hand feeding bananas to the wild monkeys

*the floating markets were very interesting to see

*the accommodation he recommended (Kim Tho Hotel in Can Tho) was excellent.

Overall I would not recommend Jason - we had just finished a 15 day tour with Intrepid Travel with a local guide who was absolutely fantastic and maybe our expectations were too high. Other members on our Intrepid tour party organised a 1 day trip to the Delta, did more interesting things, had a great local guide and only paid $30US each, so I think there are better value tours out there to be had.

West Coast Region...
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47 posts
30 reviews
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1. Re: I DO NOT recommend Jason SS tour guide

Forgot to mention that the price did not include accommodation - we paid for this separately. Also, on a good note he took lots of photos and provided us with a CD with these on.

Mt Evelyn
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168 posts
21 reviews
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2. Re: I DO NOT recommend Jason SS tour guide

Hi,

What was the name of the place you had lunch in that was just set up for tourists? Did you like the food there despite the heat?

Thanks

Perth, Australia
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256 posts
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3. Re: I DO NOT recommend Jason SS tour guide

Hi, As I have said in previous posts...everybody is entitled to their opinion and I would like to voice mine. Some will love Jason and others will think he is very ordinary.

We as a family of 7 last year thought he was wonderful. We also and had the mercedes van and we didnt find it too squishy. There are numerous stops to get out and stretch the legs. Agree sure maybe the monkey bridge and fish toilet (we havent done the fish toilet yet, thats new from the tour we did last year) might be gimicky, but still lots of fun! The kids loved running over the bridge and making jokes about falling in. Was quite a laugh.

Each to their own in what they want to see in markets also. We loved the fact that I and the kids have never seen rats, frogs and snakes skinned or otherwise at markets, i've not come to vietnam to see the markets I see at home! Agree unfortunately Jason did not know the names of every fruit or vege that we also asked him, he always told us the vietnamese name, but did not know what the english equivilant was. Maybe there was none.

My kids also liked steering the boat through the canels. The boat lady we had was lots of fun. The lunch restaurant we went to last year on the first day was exquisite, the food we thought was to die for...or else we were very hungry. The elephant fish that we rolled in DIY spring rolls...divine.

At $320 for the four of you that is $40 each per day...how much you pay in tips to Jason is to your discretion. I'm guessing you payed a lot more than $40per day per person for an Intrepid tour? If it is the sort of money I looked at beginning of last year when we first thought about going to Vietnam I would also expect very high standards from their guide.

We had such a good time last year that we have booked Jason again for this July and this time there is going to be 12 people in our family group...yes I imagine it will be squishy!!! (But, I'm sure Jason will try his hardest to make it lots of fun!) regards Tracey

West Coast Region...
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47 posts
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4. Re: I DO NOT recommend Jason SS tour guide

Hi CBbear - sorry don't know the name of the lunch stop but yes the food was good - we had king prawns, deep fried elephant fish and other things - in fact all the food we had in Vietnam was fantastic - we were there 3 weeks and tasted all sorts of exquisite things and never had any tummy troubles.

West Coast Region...
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47 posts
30 reviews
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5. Re: I DO NOT recommend Jason SS tour guide

Swampee - Thanks for your comments - yes it is just my opinion - when I was looking for a guide I read fantastic reviews about Jason and was subsequently very disappointed so felt obliged to put forward our experience so others could make an informed decision as to who they choose. Yes, our Intrepid experience was more expensive, but not greatly more so and of course it included many more expensive activities such as 2 internal flights, a night on board a private junk at Halong bay and all our accommodation so it was definitely far better value for money for us.

Bendigo, Australia
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261 posts
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6. Re: I DO NOT recommend Jason SS tour guide

I can agree with some of your comments, like you I had read good reports re Jason. We booked a private 2 person day trip to the Mekong at very short notice. $67 US each. Jason did not come with us. We had a good driver, free water etc in the van. Stopped at the temple and did the river boat trip with Mrs Mekong. Enjoyed the fruit they bought. We declined the markets, only beacuse we had seen plenty similar. Our guide was good, an older ex army man who spoke good English. Jason spoke excellent English, very confident young man.

The meal at the local riverside restaurant was excellent food including elephant fish and several other course.

i can't say anything bad about the trip, we saw many different things, but in my opinion, we were pressured to give "big tips" to his staff, and as I have previoulsy mentioned, we had just lost our credit card and had little spare cash until we went to the bank. So we did not tip....

The trip was ok, but I am sure there are many other operators out there, and it is up to each to choose the one they want. I too have done intrepid trips and find they are very good too. The local content is always good, and what they do, they do it with integrity.

I would not recommend Jason as the "only one to go with", it is an individual choice.

Mt Evelyn
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168 posts
21 reviews
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7. Re: I DO NOT recommend Jason SS tour guide

Well, we are going to the Mekong for the day with Jason on Sunday and are really looking forward to it. I will let you know what I think after the trip.

Perth, Australia
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256 posts
20 reviews
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8. Re: I DO NOT recommend Jason SS tour guide

Hi CBbear, I hope you have a great trip with Jason, we are really looking forward to our trip in July.

Cartoon and NZ Cowcocky, I guess its like going to a movie that everyone raves about....you go with extremely high expectations and if its not quite what you thought it would be, you find it a little of a let down.

I also chose Jason through the wonderful reports other people wrote about and when you do a search there are many. For us, I had no real expectations of a tour with Jason. It was with a very open mind, I didnt think the amount we paid was exceptionally expensive and for us we got value for money. One thing I hoped for was that Jason was going to be able to give us and the kids a real culture shock... (I've travelled fairly extensively over the years, to east africa, middle east etc, and I think the Vietnamese markets gave us, especially the kids the culture shock I was after, they are amazing! It was so funny to watch the kids reaction! We also managed to get it on dvd!)

We had only been in Vietnam a couple of days when we did our tour with Jason and we found everything new, different and fabulous. I also think that the kids relaxed and got into vietnam mode after being with Jason for those few days. The younger two in particular chilled out considerably. Maybe if we'd been travelling for 2 weeks, i'd have been a little picker....but I doubt it.

Jason has recently emailed me to say that the crocodiles have been sold....that is not important in the big picture to us, I am not going to vietnam to see crocodiles...if we wanted to do that we would tour the kimberleys in northern western australia, same as I don't go to Sapa to see snow, I'd go to New Zealand.(By the way, we have done both of the above and highly recommend! Especially New Zealand...loved it!!!) We go to Vietnam to experience the markets, the traffic, the food, the culture and spend time with each other in holiday mood.

Jason gets most of his business from TA so I'm sure he has taken note of your critsims and taken them on board.

regards Tracey

Bendigo, Australia
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261 posts
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9. Re: I DO NOT recommend Jason SS tour guide

Ok, all done....and happy

Vietnam
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10. Re: I DO NOT recommend Jason SS tour guide

To NZcowcocky: Who is the excellent local guide that you had from Intrepid please?

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