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“Blue Swimmers Kayak in Cat Ba Vietnam - Thanks, Kenny”

Blue Swimmer Adventures Day Tours
Ranked #7 of 40 Tours in Cat Ba
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
42 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Blue Swimmers Kayak in Cat Ba Vietnam - Thanks, Kenny”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 May 2012

After reading several reviews on TA about Blue Swimmers, I decided to go for it, and am glad that I did. Initally I was going to rent a kayak for a day and go out on my own, but Kenny sold me on a 1-day outing, which was really cool.

Due to weather conditions - rising tides, fast currents (apparently common this time of year) - our initial itinerary was modified, in the interest of the safety of all, and that was the right call. We got to the first tunnel, and on our way in another group was coming out. One of their guides was telling us "Now or never", basically get in and out quickly, as the tide was coming in, and fast. Liang, our guide, got us in and out safely, though it was an effort, and I have been kayaking for years (I own a kayak).

We got to check out some deserted areas, nice beaches, still got in kayaking through tunnels, in lagoons, etc. lunch was fantastic, very tasty, crew was great, I would love to come back and check out more of the bays and islands in the area.

Thanks for a great day, Kenny!

Visited May 2012
2 Thank cansurvivor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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102 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Mountainbike rental with poor bikes”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 April 2012

We rented 2 MTB. We payed 30 USD for the rental and received poor bikes (gears not working properly, bad brakes).

Stuff was ok and delivered bikes to our hotel but as said don't expect great bikes.

Visited April 2012
Thank Roger478
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
28 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“A must do on Cat Ba!! Forget Halong Bay and get in a kayak and go where boats can't.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 March 2012

Fantastic trip! Really enjoyed the paddling around the national park and seeing the floating fishing. My only regret was that we could only do one day due to visa issues. Three days would be ideal (although tiring) but well worth it. There are plenty of options as well. Get away from Cat Ba town and stay in Viet Hai village with the minority people or in a bungalow on the island. We are definitely coming back and doing the full Eco-tour. The owner Kenny is a legend and is really accommodating. You won't be disappointed.

3 Thank Daniel H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kathmandu, Nepal
Level Contributor
82 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Great company with some wonderfull guides !!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 June 2011

I spent a few days with Kenny and found him and the service to be first rate. On time every day with a great grasp of English. His knowledge and passion for Vietnam was 1st class and I came away feeling I made a friend as well as a much better understanding of what makes Vietnam and its people tick.

The boat they use for Halong Bay & Cat Ba uses its sails more than engines so unlike the traditional conveyor belt that is Halong cruise ships I had the chance to see less visited islands while contributing allot less to carbon emissions.

If you want something that is off the beaten track and has a green approach to travel then I would be more than happy to recommend Blue Swimmer and with regards to the drainage problems I was there during the rainy season and only had one issue which they resolved in less than 1 hour.

Visited June 2011
1 Thank Phil P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland, NZ
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Disappointing and didn't deliver as promised”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 June 2011

As with other travellers, we arrived to find our private tour arrangements had changed. Not only were 4 extra people on our 2 person tour, but our itinerary and had changed too. We tried to object but were assured we would still get to see everything we wanted. Instead we appeared to have been attached to another group doing the walking/biking kayaking tour (we were supposed to be doing the kayaking only trip). Assume just added to another tour going out to save $?

Kayak and bike rentals were OK. Bikes were entry level decent brands but could do with some maintenance. Own allen key / screwdriver set would have been invaluable.

Wouldnt recommend luxury bungalows. (Can we just leave it at toilet water level wouldnt stay level?) Would however recommend the huts which we moved to, which were basic but more comfy and heaps cheaper! To its credit, Blue Swimmer refunded us the difference in $ involved.

Food was a bit grim. Breakfasts of cold oily eggs + stale bread + cream cheese was a new experience. Lunch and dinner generally better at least and were edible.

A shame to see so much rubbish floating around in the water (and no doubt worse!). Not Blue Swimmer's fault of course but we definitely felt like we were defiling the area with our presence.

Visited April 2011
3 Thank Harriet-Hippo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kennyguide, Manager at Blue Swimmer Adventures Day Tours, responded to this review, 25 June 2011
Dear Harriet - Hippo,

This is Kenny - General Manager of Blue Swimmer Adventure in Cat Ba Island, Lan Ha bay, Vietnam.

I'm interested in reading your review about our services relating to your trip with us recently.

Thank you very much for your frank comment and some good suggestions. We strive for constant improvement and guest feedback is vital to our efforts to maintain the first class services to our guests.

I have spoke to Tom - Our tour operator and Hien - Our local guide who recall the day of your visit.

With regards to your private tour, We offer small groups (max 6 people) and private tours. If you asked for a private trip and ended up on a group tour then that is a misunderstanding on our part which I would be more than happy to discuss with you. If I find that you were sold a private tour but sent on a group tour then I will be happy to refund the difference.

If you wish to discuss the above problem please feel free to call or email me directly at Blue Swimmer and I am sure we will be able to resolve the issue.

We use these bikes in Cat Ba national park so you don't have to walk the few miles to the only local restaurant on the island (this part of our service is free of charge). The journey is approx 40 minutes cycling on flat roads and we always look to guarantee our clients safety. However, For future reference our full day biking trips use brand new Trek Bikes from South Africa and therefore we cannot use them for the shorter journeys when already being used.

I was there and also the person who arranged your change of accommodation at the based camp. I believe my staff offered to fix it right away but you were happier to change to the bamboo hut. As for the plumbing problem we have had issues with the drains blocking after heavy rain fall and I have advise my staff to check more regularly.

Apologizes for the quality of your food and I can only say we try to offer a more western style breakfast but have to bring the food in from the mainland, As such the taste and presentation may suffer. If you were unhappy with the food it would have been no problem to change for you. Blue Swimmer would be more than happy to offer all customers a traditional Vietnamese breakfast which would be easier to control the quality of.

Pollution of the seas is a global problem that we are fully aware of and we're trying our best to make locals aware of how important the environment is both for them and future generations. But it takes time. Blue Swimmer have a what goes in must come out policy which applies to all waist products so I can promise you that NOTHING you used while on one of our trips has contributed to the pollution of the surrounding area.

One again, on behalf of Blue Swimmer Adventure, I would like to say thank a lot for your review.

We hope that we have the opportunity to be of service to you, your family and friends in the future.

With the best regards

Kenny Le

Blue Swimmer Adventure
Ben Beo Pier, Cat Ba Island, Vietnam
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