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“Disappointing Tour of Ha Long Bay” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Hanoi Urban Adventures

Hanoi Urban Adventures
57A Nguyen Khac Hieu | Ba Dinh, Hanoi, Vietnam
+84 90 419 33 08
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Ranked #5 of 409 Tours & Activities in Hanoi
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Owner description: Hanoi Urban Adventures offers unique and authentic day tours around Hanoi. They range from 2 hour to 1 day adventures and uncover back streets, hidden gems, and fascinating sights. Step into the lives of locals, find out what makes the city tick, and get acquainted with the local food, culture, and traditions of Hanoi. Our local expert guides will provide the knowledge and lead you through a fantastic urban experience.
New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Disappointing Tour of Ha Long Bay”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

We took an Urban Adventures day trip to Ha Long Bay in July 2013. Ha Long Bay is not to be missed on a trip to Hanoi, but this company is to be avoided for a few reasons.

1) Our bus ride to the bay was unnecessarily prolonged in both directions three separate (long) stops at tourist-trap souvenir shops. This made an already long day even longer, and forced us to wait in un-air conditioned buildings while we were given the hard sell by the resident merchants. Wholly unpleasant.

2) Our tour guide, while friendly, spoke only marginal English and didn't really take much interest in explaining much about the cultural, geological, or other significance of what we were seeing. You could get the same level of information from (the first paragraph of) the Wikipedia page.

3) Food for lunch on the boat was OK, but the portions were small and the servers were oblivious. For example, they sat our 10 person group of all couples at two tables of five, with multiple other tables completely empty. Food was served family style with small portions (perhaps why they wanted to consolidate tables). Furthermore, while they offered drinks as if for free, we had to pay for them at the end of the trip. Though we could have known this ahead of time (and perhaps should have suspected it), it still felt deceptive.

4) While we were touring the bay, the servers sought us out to hawk their wares of overpriced pearls, carvings, etc. Once again, we came for the natural beauty, not to be sold as a captive audience for vendors looking to make a buck.

All that said, the bay and caves are beautiful and you should see them. With another tour company.

Visited July 2013
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414 reviews from our community

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English first
Lincoln, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“day trip to ha long bay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

We went on a 12hr day trip, picked up from our hotel, had 4 hr road trip, with break at tourist shops. There were 7 in our group, we had our own boat, an excellent meal on board, fresh fish, and traditional vietnamese dishes. Stopped off for a cave visit, then visited the floating village, here we had a boat ride by the locals to see parts our boat couldn't enter, at a small additional cost. 4 hrs in total on boat trip, then return journey with break. Ourguide, Thao, was brilliant, we hit it off straight way and had an informative, but not over the top with detail, day. Thao took photos for us, and was very chirpy, fun, and made our trip memorable.

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“Well organized trip to Halong Bay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013

I booked Hanoi Urban Adventures through Viator for a day trip to Halong Bay. While it was a group trip, I wound up in a van with just three other people. Everything ran smoothly - the hotel pickup and dropoff, the drive for a few hours each way, boarding the boat (again, just the four of us tourists) and touring the bay and caves, lunch on board (delicious and filling), and everything else. I'd also wholeheartedly recommend doing Halong Bay as a day trip for those who don't have time to do more.

Visited June 2013
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Geelong, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Hanoi Highlights-Street food by night”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2013

We took the Hanoi Highlights tour on our first day in Hanoi and it was an amazing day. Our guide Thao was wonderful, she really made the day a thoroughly enjoyable experience, good English and great fun to be with. She took us to all the usual tourist sights and had a great knowledge and passion for her home town.
We also done the street food by night tour with her and this was another great night, only wish we had done this on our first night as it would have given us a bit more confidence to try the local food stalls.
I recommend both these tours as it will give you a great insight to Hanoi, and if you can have Thao as your tour guide you are guaranteed to have a most memorable time in Hanoi.

Visited May 2013
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16 reviews 16 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Would recommend without any doubt”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2013

My husband and I did the street food walking tour the first evening in Hanoi, Thao was our guide. We used this as an introduction to both Hanoi and the food. It was a very good price for what we got. We were very lucky and it was only us on the tour that night, but Thao still turned up and was very passionate about the tour.
We had 5 food stops, which was great, we couldn't eat anything else by the end of it. She asked if either of us had allergies etc and she catered very well for my husbands dislike of fish. We did say initially to her, we were using the tour as an introduction so might not eat all the food, which she understood, but we couldn't resist and ate at each stop.
She gave us the confidence to use the street stalls and we did during our stay in Vietnam.
Other reviewers have already said and I agree, this tour gets you down the side streets that you wouldn't normally go down. Around the food market to take it 'their way of life'. The locals shop twice daily, they don't have supermarkets. Despite selling on the street side, the food was fresh and tasted great.
Neither of us suffered any 'after effects'. Thao' English was great and she was happy to chat about life in Vietnam too.
Shame this sort of tour wasn't at each of our stops- without doubt would have done in each of our stops.

Visited June 2013
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