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Great experience Visit the markets on a slow tempo super to take pictures along the way Tasted Saigon ice Ca Phe for the first time Visited also two Budhist tempels that were worthwile Drivers manouver well in the traffic Very satisfied
Again another well done tour, to me its the only way to see HoChinh Minh City ,these people take you wre no one else can to see how the workers go about there day .PERFECT.
Well, where to start on this one? We had booked for two people and my partner and I were expecting two fit young men. What we got was one Very Old Guy who must have been pushing 80 and one Slightly Less Old Guy 60. Henceforth I will refer to these as them as VOG and SLOG.
Outside the hotel at 8:00 am we spotted but SLOG, dressed in a mismatched old suit, sporting a bulldog clip on his pants and chain-smoking, next to a single cyclo. Not quite believing this could be our guide we waited back in the lobby.
Minutes later one of the hotel doormen came up and showed us a phone with my name on it and when I confirmed my name he said that SLOG was indeed one of our guides. SLOG then proceeded to ask via the doorman to say our tour was 3 hours - we told we had booked for 4. It was apparent that SLOG had zero English so he then he asked, again via the doorman where we wanted to go. We said we kind of expected them to tell us!
So we went outside and 10 minutes later VOG turned up. Seriously, he did not look like he would make it through the trip and I was genuinely concerned for his health. Both cyclos were battered and old, with torn covers. If we had seen these two on the street we would never have hired them in a million years. Suffice to say they looked nothing like on the Viator pictures.
So we set off and immediately SLOG lit the first of many cigarettes which he chain-smoked throughout the trip. VOG lit up shortly after. We both detest smoking and it was very unpleasant for us.
After 15 minutes we pulled over for no apparent reason. It transpired that VOG needed the toilet so he just jumped out onto the verge behind us and proceeded to relieve himself, in full public view. We were in shock and couldn't quite believe it
With our mouths still wide open we set off again and eventually arrived at the flower market. SLOG followed us around in basically a square, back to the cyclos. It was pretty enough but we spent 5 minutes there at most.
We then set off to a general market and along the way VOG pushed me in the shoulder at regular intervals to draw my attention to things he felt worthy of interest. One of these was a group of over-dressed ladies of the night in full regalia at a cafe, touting for business at 8:45 am! My partner was not amused.
We then zoomed past what I assume was the pet market which consisted of a few shops selling various animals off the street - we never saw any actual market and we never stopped - I just had a few more pushes in my shoulder.
The first market we stopped at was okay and we managed to make SLOG understand that we wanted to explore on our own.
We then set off to another small general market, along the way passing by the promised electronics market though again without stopping. The second market was okay though as I mentioned, quite small.
Our final stop was at a temple in Chinatown - the actual Chinatown itself looked interesting but again there was no stopping, just more shoves in the shoulder as they cycled past.
We then set off on the rather lengthy return journey with plenty of smoking and loud shouting going on between the two guides. We never had a word of explanation from either of them along the journey for anything we saw, only the shoulder shoves, that was it.
We were on the street containing our hotel and indicated we wanted to get off early as we'd had enough by this stage. There was no drink provided by them and no sign of the promised coconut water - if they'd been paid to provide it then they just apparently just pocketed the money. As we walked off they both loudly both started demanding tip money which was obviously at least one piece of English they had bothered to learn.
Of course, as a result of the above they got nothing from us.
This was the only dud tour of our trip but as you can tell was pretty appalling and a waste of money. I would recommend you don't go near this activity. If you do want a cyclo trip then find one on these street and negotiate a price and content there and then, preferably with a guide who has some English and a decent machine.
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