Photo: Canals of Ca Mau, Mekong Delta.

Vietnam forum


Posted by macman1945 on 30/5/2008 at 16:12

Hi people,
Just a quick note that catba seems to have not posted lately. I have got so much up to date info from this guy and somtam that I am really looking forward to my trip. Hope you are well mate and looking forward to hearing from you again.

#1 macman1945 has been a member since 11/10/2007. Posts: 35

Posted by KPTham1 on 11/7/2008 at 23:52

Ya, CATBA , Where are you ? Sometime ago, you posted a message that you were not soliciting and I don't believe you were. Recent links/postings by others , IMHO has more solicitations .

#2 KPTham1 has been a member since 26/9/2006. Posts: 52

Agoda coupon: Get an extra 7% off selected properties with the coupon code

Posted by somtam2000 on 12/7/2008 at 06:33 admin

Catba hasn't been banned. I don't know where he/she is, but they've not been banned.

If you've got issues with other posts which you believe to be solicitations, spam etc, please contact us (at and we'll look into them.


#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,933
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Posted by CatBa2 on 13/7/2008 at 13:27

Posted from within Vietnam.

Actually, as Stuart said, I wasn't banned - and I don't solicit even though I have financial interests in two mini-hotels I have never mentioned their names in any forum. Thanks for your opinion KPTham1.

What actually happened was that I was creamed by a Vinasun Taxi, famous for their hit and run tactics, at one of a few traffic lights that remain active overnight in HCMC.

I had a green (the taxi had a red) and this idiot comes straight through the intersection, whacks my expensive folding bicycle, runs over my shoulder bag with my ruggedised Panasonic computer in it and swerves into a traffic light!

The result was I was medivaced to Bangkok and Canada, my Panasonic was sent to Japan for repair, the driver was arrested and the vehicle impounded until all bills have been paid including my new Dahon bicycle.

I have to sign off before the vehicle is released but have developed 'writers cramp' that prevents me from doing so.

The good thing was that this intersection has two traffic TV cameras and the police were actually awake (at 05.30H) and watching their screens. I also use a helmet cam when driving/riding on the road and it was possible to clearly see that I had a green light.

Bottom line: Avoid Vinasun; exercise extreme caution when crossing/using roads.

#4 CatBa2 has been a member since 6/11/2007. Posts: 53

Posted by gogogirl on 13/7/2008 at 13:49

Hi CatBa, thank goodness you're back and OK. You are a legend, I didn't realise how many people depend on your advice. I also have posted some questions for you today - I think it was on the "Overnight Train fron Hanoi to Hue" link. Please answer when you can.

#5 gogogirl has been a member since 13/7/2008. Posts: 3

Posted by macman1945 on 14/7/2008 at 05:37

Hi catba,
Welcome back. My trip was fantastic and I loved vietnam. Everything you advised me turned out to be spot on . Wow,sounds as though you had a bad time with the taxi, happy it has all turned out o.k.
Thanks again for assisting me to have a great time in vietnam.

#6 macman1945 has been a member since 11/10/2007. Posts: 35

Posted by CatBa2 on 14/7/2008 at 07:27

Posted from within Vietnam.

Thanks, MacMan, for your words of appreciation.

This is a wonderful country with unique features and people and it is good to hear that yet another person has been helped by this web site to enjoy thei visit.

#7 CatBa2 has been a member since 6/11/2007. Posts: 53

Posted by somtam2000 on 16/7/2008 at 07:20 admin

Just a follow-up on my previous comment, CatBa and CatBa2 have now been banned.

They have been asked repeatedly by email not to post bulk hotel recommendations and contact details for travel agents, but have persisted and so have been banned.

While I realise they've made many very useful contributions to the site, their seeming inability to follow posting guidelines has led to the ban.

#8 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,933
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Posted by macman1945 on 16/7/2008 at 14:58

Hi somtam,
I must have missed something here.Can you refer me to anywhere that these persons have solicited? I for one think that this forum has been riding on the back of the advice of these people and cannot express strongly enough my disappointment with your decision. PLEASE RECONSIDER!

#9 macman1945 has been a member since 11/10/2007. Posts: 35

Posted by KPTham1 on 17/7/2008 at 00:24

Catba/Catba2, my apologies if my posing#2 above may have started a popular movement which solicited the standard classical response.
Who knows, Catba/Catba2, you may have enough momentum/critical mass to have your own independent blogg!
Dear Somtam , I am completely taken by surprise at the complete turnaround from post #3 on 12/7 and post #8 on 16/7 in a matters of 4 days. But then you have the final say ( as Admin ).
IMHO,Travelfish without Catba/Catba2 is not travelfish !

#10 KPTham1 has been a member since 26/9/2006. Posts: 52

Posted by hunter on 19/7/2008 at 02:06

Pls reconsider banning Catba2, his information has
been so useful in planning my trip.

#11 hunter has been a member since 15/7/2008. Posts: 7

Posted by seattle on 22/7/2008 at 11:19

Good to finally hear from you Jon. I am happy that you will recover from the auto accident! A month ago I was in Saigon on the back of a motorbike taxi "cowboy" and had a near miss collision. That is the one way a tourist can get hurt or killed in Vietnam. Thats why anybody going to Vietnam should buy travel accident insurance before they go so there are funds to be evacuated out to the neighbor hood countries that have the better hospital treatment centers. Yes, I to am disapointed that you have been kicked off this forum. You have so much local knowledge that you share. I do not always argree with all your findings or statements but was nice to have your opinion always. This is why I turned away from Trip Advisor so I could read your postings. They are so informative! This is a loss to all the travelfish posters. Its sad there are so many rules and no openess to hearing about hotel suggestions ect. I have known you for years from your TA postings and I believe in all my heart that you have never touted for your own pockets. You have made it very clear that you hate touts on the 3 forums you have been on :) Later Friend Maybe you can start your own forum with a few less rules?

#12 seattle has been a member since 7/6/2007. Posts: 11

Posted by somtam2000 on 22/7/2008 at 12:35 admin

Sorry but the ban is going to stay, I will though explain a little why they were banned as I'm aware that Catba/Catba2 contributed much useful information to this forum and was of great assistance to many readers.

Their posts would often come inclusive of a selection of hotel recommendations, referrals to travel agents and/or requests for readers to contact them directly. Generally speaking we're not adverse to Travelfish readers recommending hotels and so on -- after all we can't possibly list everywhere, places change etc -- but bulk recommendations, as CatBa's were, were not welcome. They were warned both in the forum and by personal email from me, that we didn't want posts like this to continue, and yet still they came.

As seattle mentions the poster(s) were active on a number of forums under a variety of tagnames, including Travellerspoint, TripAdvisor, VirtualTourist, Thorntree, RoughGuides and Bootsnall -- some of which have also banned the user -- or deleted many of their posts. These are just the forums I'm aware of -- though I'm sure if I spent more time digging into this I'd find more.

As most readers will be aware, I try to keep the forum as clear of advertising as possible -- we ban spammers on a daily basis (around 90% of which involve Hanoi hoteliers!), but it's often a fine line between a recommendation from a legitimate traveller and an advertorial from someone who may have a vested interest. I'm not suggesting that CatBa/2 had a vested interest in the businesses they recommended on the site, but when they repeatedly ignored requests to stop posting certain material, it's got to set off a few warning bells -- enough bells went off and they were banned.

I'm going to lock this thread, but if anyone has more questions about this matter, please feel free to contact me via email on the Contact Us page.

#13 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,933
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