Trip Advisor Kangaroo Cafe, Lonely Planet Halong Bay, Travel Fish Vietnam, Trip Advisor fake posts Vietnam, Tony James Slater scam artist, thorn tree vietnam scams

Welcome to the REAL Kangaroo Café ® web site.


A few words from us about the appalling scams that have been going on for years at Trip Advisor, the Thorn Tree & many other similar sites.

More than just a bit fed up with some of the quite unbelievable stories not to mention the pathetic & so very obvious trolling from our competitors, this is our attempt to show that many of these sites are just being manipulated by some nasty outfits & bullies.

We've maintained & for many years too, that these sites are being manipulated beyond belief & have suffered loads of criticism for it too. It's all coming out now & as you'll see further down the page, it's much worse that even we thought.

Assuming, albeit incorrectly, that we might at least have the right of reply on Trip Advisor to the fake postings about us, we tried. To date, 90% of our replies have been refused & instead, the silliest & most amateurish attempts at discrediting us are posted.

It's astonishing actually, but more than that, it's nasty.

For standing up to them, TA have done all they can to discredit us & it appears they're going to continue too.

For so many of us, industry people & customers alike the problem appears to be two fold but it starts & ends firmly with the various individuals & companies who are, literally, making a fortune from these sites through advertising &/or membership fees.

It would be so easy for these companies to clean up their acts & offer a better level of professionalism than they have been.

They know all about the fake & paid for posts & the biggest company has recently been caught red handed offering contracts to arm chair travellers. Not only that but by offering peanuts (10 cents a word), they're not getting much & more importantly, neither are we but sadly they don't seem to care.

The shameless self promotion & paid for reviews on the various travel forums has been exposed for the fraud it mainly is & thanks, must begin with Chris Emmins & his team at . Chris, like us, has no time for bullies, isn't scared to take on these big outfits & has been a lifesaver to hundreds of companies like ours & many thousands of tourists as well

The bravely did an exposé, a la Julian Assange & Edward Snowden on one of the biggest "online review" mobs & even published the employment contract they were offered to post reviews disguised as just another phony, armchair traveller. 

In our experience this current "who gives a continental" management style at Trip Ad, the Lonely Planet (Thorn Tree) & other mobs is just treating hotels, tour companies & tourists alike with complete contempt.

It's is a disgrace & must be stopped. All in the name of advertising revenue & for many unsuspecting tourists, they really do trust these mobs.  The posting guidelines have been designed to be so loose that people, real or not, can harass, malign, slander & threaten & the site admins simply ignore, condone & are therefore encouraging it. 

The writes, "Too many competitors with axes to grind against competing businesses have got away with writing negative reviews based purely upon jealousy, anger or both. Those reviews get published and the innocent victims are business owners trying to run their operations as best they can." Unlike the 1 time only posters &/or the Tourists without cameras (AKA our nasty competitors), REAL Travellers seeking REAL advice are herded into places that are unsuitable, unreliable, awful & even dangerous.

The most recent fatalities up in Ha Long Bay (4 adults & a 5 year old child) were easily preventable & the response from the TA & LP preferred company was callous & cheap.

Needless to say with both mobs, this company is still on the top of their lists & while ever it pays them, it will continue to be so too.

TA & LP encourage posters to not just outline the service that was had but to attack, slander & stalk business owners like us.

Would be bullies & scamsters given the green light to stalk legitimate companies on Trip Advisor.

More so a scam from the 90's, unscrupulous types are allowed to wage vendettas or "war of the travel writers" as one such mug was caught on film in my shop threatening to do.

A nearly 40 year old, would be travel writer lead his pack of bullies & bottom feeders on a "pay or we'll post nasty stuff about you all over the web" mission into our cafe last year & the film of these people can be seen at Live Leak (Click).

The tried an old back packer scam of dreaming up reasons to get money back at the end of the tour. They were clearly in the pack mentality in my cafe & then took it to Trip Advisor, LP etc again, again & again !!!

This lack lustre cast of petty crims & a would be hard man were ....

ANTHONY JAMES SLATER & KRISTA REYNEN (Husband & wife), JENNIFER REYNEN (Tony's sister in law), TIMOTHY ARTHUR & CHARLOTTE CURRIE (Husband & wife) & Chan Tsen Ting, Chung Oi Man (Couple)  

Tony, a self published travel writer (couldn't find a publisher that was even vaguely interested), at least put his name to the post & then proceeded to milk the story for all it was worth on Facebook, Twitter & every travel forum he could find.

No doubt to help the sales of his 99 cents a book .....

Tony said on Twitter that he wanted to "straighten me out" too but of course didn't have time to meet me, anywhere he chose as in my email to him & even with Timmy to back him up because he was busy for the next few days ..... socks, undies etc that needed attention.

My response to him is very plain to easy to see in the film & he's anything but a hard man face to face as you can see.

Other than Big T, none of the others posted anything using their real names & that's how honest this lot are.  If you won't put your name to something, how can you expect to be believed !!! Our response to this dishonest group is on You Tube & should come as no shock to them but no doubt it will. The gaping holes in their stories & the out right lies they told can be easily seen through on the video.

Normal people who have problems with tours or service are entitled to conatct the relevant travel authorities & in our case either here in Viet Nam or in Australia. Tony & his crooked mob made no such attempt & apart from internet stalking, lies & slander have done nothing to pursue any claim in any adult way.

These days it's more difficult than ever to get some real info prior to making your travel choice. The infamous Lying Planet's Thorn Tree is by far the worst ! Leaving aside the  much nastier & darker side of LP involving children, there's a number of travel company employees &/or even worse types, working in Viet Nam for some ordinary mobs & they're really quite rabid with their claims & so called advice. Not much help to genuine people looking for real & impartial travel advice for their time Viet Nam at all.

On the Thorn Tree, have a look at .... Celestine – 1,950 + posts, Sweet Rose 2,535 + posts, Foris with 1,224 + posts & Mr Nookie with 4,500 + postsOld mate Mr Nookie, always reminding people of his helping the street kids is a real worry as far as we go.

The allegations of child sex information being sent by private message through the back door at the Thorn Tree were investigated by the LP's owners & just like in Rupert Murdoch's phone tapping case, LP gave themselves the all clear  - suprrise, surprise !

That these people could possibly be tourists & not paid staff at the various travel agencies they relentlessly recommend is way too much of a stretch with the thousands of posts they made between just 4 of them. They’re transparent & have turned a real travel forum into a joke & nothing more than a marketing place for would be & never wasser travel mobs.

Recently I had some near do well, wander in, trying to sell me people his boss didn't want. I'm unsure if his boss knew his customer base was being culled but I doubt it. I asked him if his boss didn't want them, why would I & left him wide eyed & gob open . He then proceed to go after me on one of the local blogs here & there's a couple of them where they're actually told to post anything you want & they do & the nastier the better seems like the order of the day & again, all for the advertising revenue it seems.


Recently we had a 4 or 5 page post about our Ha Long bay tour & the whole thing could've been done in half a page.  One of the posters below says in her review, that "we won't be mentioned in her reviews" ...... Work that one out !!! It seems that some people really think they're now "published" travel writers & it's a bit scary !!!

By all means have a quick glance at these sites but it's still best to keep an open mind, look around & really when they start to go on & on & on ...... Use the back button.


This is Max with a real, published, famous & decent travel writer unlike silly Tony Slater.

Glenn A wouldn't be where he is by writing the kind of trash we see too often on TA, LP & elsewhere.

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Here's a couple of classic 1 time only posters &/or Tourists without cameras. Posts we see as untrue in the main.

On the site of our friends at ...... Trip Advisor

Here’s one from Cattaby (2 reviews ever) & posted to on 19/10/2011 

I went on a Kangaroo Cafe Halong Bay tour in September 2011 and must say that I was unimpressed with what we got for the price.  The tour isn’t cheap - $119 per person, twin share for a 3 day, 2 night tour (with 1 night on Cat Ba island). For that price I expected more than what we received. 

The 1st of many mistakes – Our tour is $129 not $119 !!! 

This is a long list of stuff & most of it is amateurish, untrue & poorly put together.

- The air conditioner broke in one of the rooms and the 2 girls had to sleep on deck to get any cool air.

- Two people in our tour group were stung by jellyfish (one quite badly) and the only first aid on hand was a bowl of ice. He got some lemon wedges eventually, but that was the extent of aid offered.

- If you're expecting authentic Vietnamese food, it's not what you get. Fried chips as a course, really? The food seems a bit westernised, so if you're not that adventurous with food, it will probably suit you fine.

The breakfasts are lacklustre (greasy eggs and day old bread on the boat), and the hotel ‘buffet’ breakfast advertised on the last day of Cat Ba island is not a buffet. We were allowed to order 1 item off the menu, and when two of us ordered ‘Vietnamese noodles’ we got instant 2 minute noodles.

All in all the individual elements weren't worth complaining to the guide about, but would I recommend this tour to anyone else? I doubt it.

To reiterate, the tour wasn’t terrible, but in my opinion, not worth the $119. (And yes, we did make sure we went to the ‘authentic’ Kangaroo Cafe – now I wonder if one of the copies may have been better!)

Again as with all the other fake posters why didn’t anyone else complain ??? 

Why didn’t you “complain” to the guide …… you’re having a field day now ???

2 girls who slept up on top of the boat …… oh did they & what no pictures again ??? 

Funny how they didn’t complain either …… yeah sure that happened !!! 

BTW, checking your comments again it’s clear there would’ve been a spare room for the 2 poor girls …

Whoops !!! 

That no one would’ve helped someone who got stung by a jelly fish & the whole group did what ??? Asked the guide & crew to relax & what don’t worry about helping the people who got stung, one quite badly ……  

No one offered to help these 2 people & no one mentioned it later ????

Unbelievable !!!

Normal & decent people would’ve stacked on a blue then & there & when they got back to the café they’d got stuck into me in a big way & fair enough too. 

Must have been a very strange & weird group of people !!!! 

Really now …… The trouble with people like you is that you don’t know when to stop.

Our crews are Vietnamese people & on the whole they’re known around the world as people who do care, who do assist & who are kind & decent …… Unlike you it seems.

We even get people who admit to NOT having done business with us being allowed to review us on Trip Advisor ??? We don't provide lots of things .... car hire, laundry, cooking classes, dentistry, medical advice & in the last 20 years, never said we did.

No problemo TA just let someone bash us up online for politely saying we couldn't help them. How unfair is that !!!

Like this one on Trip Ad, 28/06/2011 from a lovely Aussie, Doreen Rands

Contacted Kangaroo Cafe Tours (the original) to arrange a trip to Sapa from Hanoi - didn't want accommodation, guides, treks etc, only train transport (VIP-1 deluxe berth, good $$$ for them regardless of other services) - told we only do the whole deal - so no help whatsoever - no money, no honey I'd assume! Use at your own discretion, but I wouldn't recommend!

Our office manager, Miss Thuy had just written recently to her ........ 

Dear Doreen,                   

Thank you very much for your email. We offer the whole package tour, we don't do only just the train tickets. 

Kind regards,                       


Poor Thuy got this gob full back .......

Hi Thuy (Kangaroo Café)… 

Thanks for replying – but not very helpful! 

Maybe all the Trip Advisor advice to steer clear of Kangaroo Café is true? 

Anyways, thanks for nothing and not helping/advising – no money, no honey I expect! 

Won’t be recommending Kangaroo Café in my Vietnam online reviews, or to friends… 


Doreen (Australia)

Isn't our Doreen just lovely !!!

We don’t sell train tickets to Sa Pa & we’re not sorry about it, not even close. We don’t do manicures, optometry or palm reading either.  Doreen, we can't & don't want to do everything & Thuy couldn't have been nicer with her reply.

You asked specifically for Livitrans tickets Doreen, what’s wrong with a Google search & then contact them yourself.  It’s really not that difficult & if so ask someone (nicely) to show you how to do a Google search ! 

Treating people in Viet Nam (or anywhere) like this is the best way to have a lousy time, anywhere, that I know of.

I’m so glad we didn’t do business with someone like you.

BTW, as for your comment on the good $$$ for them ???

That's just arrogant & stupid too, how would you know that after having never been to Viet Nam before ???

And, as you've written 1 Deluxe berth - yes a massive purchase indeed ?????

And another review from someone we never even had in the shop !!!

Craig H (1 review ever) October 20, 2011 - or ....... We're ba - ck (see above) 

Craig’s from Coffs Harbour too just like our very good friends Mr & Mrs Doreen Rands. They may know each other - I’m not sure but if not I just know they’d get along so well together.  

Craig’s decision to ignore the posting guidelines isn’t a great way to start.  I had a conversation with, as it appears, Craig’s wife except Craig wasn’t present as he conveniently forgets to mention. 

Trip Advisor asks people not to include hear say in their posts & this is a good example of why they ask people not to do it.  

I wish Craig hadn’t ignored the guidelines. 

“My wife emailed 3 times regarding payment for a tour. ALL emails regarding payment were ignored, she then rang the Australian number and Max returned her call. My wife was inquiring about possible credit card payment BEFORE tour. Max continually dodged the question and kept diverting.”  

Craig, there was no attempt to dodge or divert anything. We don’t now & have never accepted credit card payments & I explained this over & over to your wife but alas to no avail.  I also explained that we don’t have the facilities to process credit card payments & this was also stated in our original email to you & in writing too. 

Your wife kept repeating “I don’t know why you won’t accept credit cards” & I had to repeat this 4 times that we don’t do it & not just that but that we don’t have the facilities to do it but she completely ignored me.  

“My wife was constantly spoken over by Max and he began a personal attack as well as ranting about flight times and tourists in general.”  

There was no attack at all. It’s just not true.

The mention of other tourists was in regard to the recent very bad weather here in Ha Noi and how many people got into cancellation fee disputes &/or difficulties. I said that if those tourists had waited till they got here to book, which is always so very easy to do & was stated very clearly in my email to Craig & his wife, there would’ve been no dispute or cancellation fee to argue about. 

“From the rant we gathered that 4 1/2 hours in between the flight landing and the tour leaving is unacceptable, even though its a 20min drive from the airport to his location.”  

There was no rant Craig & you weren’t there, didn’t speak to me & have conveniently left this out as your unfair & untrue attack continues. 

Also, good luck with the 20 Min drive from the airport to the city centre …… This bit couldn’t be more untrue as anyone who’s ever been to Ha Noi will testify. Just because Craig has never been to a place before isn't going to stop him knowing all about it.

20 mins …… by what helicopter ????  

“My wife continually tried to relay her willingness to pay before hand to ease his anxiety but was unable to get a word in over his continual interruptions. After 15mins on the phone and a distraught wife max finally said he can not do credit card payments, which was the original enquiry.” 

“Max said he cannot help her with the tour and my wife said she will take her business elsewhere.” 

This shows how untrue & unfair you two are being. Why after being refused service by a company would you say you’ll take your business elsewhere. A tad irrelevant & just a little too late isn’t it.

Like after getting the sack saying you quit isn’t it ? 

I’m sorry to have had to do this & it’s not the 1st & undoubtedly it won’t be the last time I/we refuse service but in cases like this it’s necessary.  

“We do not understand how a business can operate this way.  Given the amount of negative feedback Kangaroo Cafe has received reflects the true nature of their service and not an attempt to make false allegations.” 

This is what’s called the last word. You're just being vindictive & your posting is defamatory, abusive, inflammatory, fraudulent & otherwise objectionable.  All the things Trip Advisor asked you not to do.

And ..... Just to see if I got this straight ..... You're from Coffs Harbour NSW just Like Mr & Mrs Doreen ...... 2 posts from the same very small town on the NSW north coast in the same month by two couples who both wanted to go to Sa Pa .......

And theses 2 posts aren't from the very same people ..... Yeah sure !

A very silly couple of posts but there's some even sillier ones on old mates at TA's site & almost always, they're people who've only ever posted once or rarely & without any pics too because we know that tourists rarely go on holidays with a camera - don't we !!!

Check below for some real reviews from some credible people !

From the Rough Guide to Sth East Asia 2008/9

The 1 and only REAL, Aussie run, Kangaroo Café ® has been specialising in small group travel, tours, holidays and vacations for singles, couples, small groups and families to since 1994.

We've had great reviews in the New York times, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Boston Globe to name just a few. We were recently featured on the channel 7 (Australia) tele-documentary, The World Around Us with Scottie McGregor & we're listed in all the leading guide books.  A look at our Testimonials page & you'll see why we're so often copied.

Here's some real reviews about us from people who put their Real names to things.



The Crew at the Kangaroo Café ®

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        Various shots of friends, customers, neighbours ? etc

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Home The Griswalds Vietnam Tours Travel Services & Tips Maps of Vietnam Happy Campers Spectacular photos of Vietnam Links  

For more information, or to arrange your vacation,   


Griswald's Vietnamese Vacations ®

& our REAL Kangaroo Café ®

P.O. Box 501, Leichhardt N.S.W. 2040 Australia

Phone from inside Aust: (02) 9430 6426

OR - from outside Aust: +612 9430 6426

Phone from inside Viet Nam: (04) 3828 9931

Or - from outside Viet Nam: +844 3828 9931

Note: We understand that in recent times a number of our customers were leaving messages but they weren't being passed on & we apologise for that. The situation has been rectified & we'll respond ASAP to any messages left with our New staff in the future !

We're on Yahoo messenger too.

real_kangaroo_cafe (what else ?)

And for a laugh, don't forget to have a squiz at us on You Tube

Australian Company Registration Number: 107 709 384 

Aust Govt Travel Agents Licence Number (your international protection): 2TA5568

This page was last updated on 11/03/14