After submitting the enquiry form on their website, I very quickly received a phone call (to Australia) from Mr Lam Duong at Indochina Pioneer head office. After discussing our wishes, he organised an itinerary to the Mekong Delta and on via fast boat to Phnom Penh.
At all times email communications were very promptly responded to.
Our guide Thai was superb, and our driver (also Thai) very competent. We felt very privileged to be travelling in style, watching tour groups herded in the Mekong river ferries, village visits, etc, while we always had our own transport and someone all to ourselves telling us all the stories, explaining everything, and answering our questions, etc.
Lovely airconditioned late model SUV to get to first destination, Mekong Lodge (tip: river side bungalows cop a lot of the river traffic noise in the wee hours as the fishing boats head out; try to get the ones further in the garden).
Second hotel was in Can Tho at the Van Phat Hotel 1. Big shiny hotel out of town (tip: the “free shuttle bus to town” advertised on their website is only available to groups). We didn’t mind having a quiet afternoon, though. We rubbernecked at the new estate of super-wealthy people’s mansions then had dinner at the hotel’s pleasant riverside open air restaurant and watched the life of the river go by.
The hotel in Chau Doc (Hai Chau Hotel) was ok, a bit grubby and basic. The breakfast tablecloths had spills and bits of old noodle on them, for example. Maybe it’s the best of limited options in the price range.
We said goodbye to our guide at Chau Doc, and all went well till Phnom Penh, where there was a bit of a glitch as the expected driver to our hotel didn’t show and we had to catch a taxi. The accommodation (Willow Boutique Hotel) was very nice, but the hotel had got our booking wrong and had booked a queen room for 3 nights instead of a twin room for 2. Fortunately they had a twin room, but if you stay at this hotel, don’t let them give you room G1. It’s a repurposed building and G1 has a lovely bank of floor to ceiling windows – overlooking the terrace bar! And side windows overlooking the rubbish bin area. So it’s nice for vampires and others who never open curtains, but a bit sad for those who like a bit of daylight.
I emailed Lam and received a very prompt apology, and their Phnom Penh representative organised a complimentary dinner and tuk tuk to a restaurant to make up for it. Unexpected, but so nice of them to do that for what were really very minor inconveniences.
All in all, we were very pleased to have entrusted Indochina Pioneer to organise this part of our trip for us.