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“A nice break from busy Vietnam” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Indochina Sails - Day Tours

Indochina Sails - Day Tours
Royal Tourism Pier, Hanoi 113628, Vietnam
+84 4 3984 2362
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Ranked #40 of 457 Activities in Hanoi
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Owner description: What better way to enjoy the spectacular scenery of this UNESCO World Heritage Site than on board an Indochina Sails or Valentine Junk! With over a decade of hosting international guests on the tranquil waters of Halong Bay, Indochina Sails has set the standard for luxury cruising. The first company to offer overnight cruises on the bay, Indochina Sails is now widely known as the number one choice for discerning travelers, operating a fleet of six newly built wooden junks designed in time-honored traditional style, with contemporary and luxurious cabins and facilities. Our boats feature spacious, well-appointed cabins and suites with large en-suite bathrooms, large sundecks with comfortable lounging furniture and elegant dining rooms and bars. We have designed and fitted our boats to international standards while maintaining traditional styling, creating the perfect balance of modern comforts and nostalgic ambiance.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“A nice break from busy Vietnam”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

I would recommend this company to any of my friends. We did the 2d 1n tour around the bay on Indochina Sails 1.
A lot of people warned us to try and avoid the 'party' boats. As it is peak season for Aussie travellers we seemed to be lucky enough to get a boat full of about 14 Aussie couples who were great fun. In this price bracket I wouldn't expect you would get many young backpackers looking for an all night bender.
At night there is also happy hour (2 for 1) which is a nice touch, however as I said above nobody was there to inhale 100's of beers (although I did try my best).

Everything was included except drinks which was fine as the drinks prices weren't too outrageous for a tour of that sort. The meals, that were a combination of set menu and buffet, were sensational. I have included some pictures of what we ate to my review.

Our room was nice and had windows (no balcony or TV) but we seemed to spend most of our time up the top taking in the sites.

Our guide (KOAY?) who accompanied us to each attraction as well as gave us regular updates on where we were going and a lot of background on the area was very knowledgable and friendly. His local background really added to experience.

All in all it was a great cruise and a fantastic way to see a sensational part of the world.

The tip for this one would be to wake up early and do the Tai Chi on the top deck in the morning.

Visited January 2013
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432 reviews from our community

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Perth, Australia
20 reviews 20 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Very touristy but worth it”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013 via mobile

When we arrived at the port we initially regretted booking 2 nights and 3 days as the whole process was like a production line, it was awful. We couldn't fault the organisation except to say it was almost too organised! The first afternoon we visited Titop island along with 100's of others, it was all so contrived and I had difficulty enjoying the experience. There was no feeling of serenity. However, the 2nd day saw us visit other areas, where there were only a few boats and we could then get an appreciation for the area, it was beautiful. The kayaking was thoroughly enjoyable. The visit to the pearl farm was quite interesting, but really just a chance for them to try and sell you something. We only had 8 people for the 2nd day and we all got on really well and had a lot of laughs. The weather at this time of year is freezing, and I can't stress enough, the need to bring layers and layers of clothing. The food and service was great, but don't expect to have a hot shower lasting over 3 minutes. You need to wait about 20 mins before the water heats up again.

Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Good trip but prob wouldn't recommend to a friend”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

We were recommended to book the indochina sails by a tour operator in the UK. Because we were travelling independently, we had to make the reservations ourselves. It wasn't easy to make the booking and we had to make several calls to Vietnam to confirm our booking. Once we were booked, we were really looking forward to the trip - we had splashed out a bit and thought this would be a real holiday highlight.

We weren't disappointed - on the whole, we found Halong Bay amazing. The scenery was breath taking and we enjoyed the cruise. Overall, the trip was better than average, but there were a few things that stopped us rating our trip as excellent.

When we arrived we had to wait over an hour before we got on the boat in a waiting area with highly over priced drinks. Eventually we were taken on board and given a warm welcome, but then shown to our room. We paid for an 'upgrade' when we booked but seemed to be given the smallest cabin on the ship - seemed like a bit of a con to us. Our room, needless to say, wasn't great. We didn't expect much being on a ship, but felt that we had drawn the short straw.

We'd really recommend the kayaking option. We loved the welcome meal which was very very large so don't eat before you go on board. The dinner was an average buffet meal - but that was fine as we'd filled up from Lunch and didn't want a massive meal.

Looking back, we felt that Indochina Sails offered a real good package, but that it was pretty pricey. We met other people on our travels who raved on about other companies they'd been with (ethnic travel came up a lot) that were cheaper and seemed to be just as good. We can't really comment on them, but I guess we'd probably be reluctant to recommend Indochina Sails to a friend having felt that maybe we didn't get the best meal. Still an amazing experience though and if you're not looking for getting the best deal, I'm sure you could do far far worse that this lovely, breath taking, once in a lifetime experience!

Visited November 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ho Chi Minh City, null, Vietnam
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
34 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“A Great Experience on Ha Long Bay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

Visitors to Ha Long Bay need to be careful. There are over 400 tourist boats of different types plying these waters, with little on the surface to differentiate them. But the quality and nature of the different packages makes a huge difference.

Let me start by saying that, if you are expecting to see all those beautiful dark wood boats with red Chinese style sails cruising these waters in solitary splendor, you're going to be badly disappointed. The boats have all been painted white due to recent government regulations, and the Bay itself is so overpopulated by tour operators that it is rare to get out of sight of a dozen or so at a time. Only b taking some of the longer packages (ours was a tee day, two night) do you get the chance to get off somewhere away from the Grand Central Station feel. That part of it was somewhat disappointing, although in no way is it the fault of the tour operator.

Indochina Sails did a terrific job start to finish: organization, food, touring, the works. All their staff were pleasant, helpful, and professional. The cabins were quite lovely, well-appointed and comfortable, if a bit small. But what do you expect on a cruise? If you want more space, book the upper deck, which has larger cabins and even a bit of outside balcony space.

On the longer cruise, you get to spend one full day on a smaller day boat, which really gets you away from the crowd. There were only 4 guests on teh smaller boat, and the staff was highly attentive. As this came at the end of a fairly grueling three weeks on the road, the chance to just sit back and drink in the beauty of Ha Long Bay whil being spoiled was really delightful.

Only the highest praise for indochina Sails from me.

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Excellent choice for a more exclusive, private and intimate cruise - highly recommended”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012 via mobile

At a friend's recommendation, we booked our Halong bay cruise with Indochina Sails. At her same recommendation we paid a little extra to book the upper deck room with private balcony, and got a pleasant surprise that they upgraded us to the Valentine cruise, which has only 5 bunks and so offered a more private and intimate/exclusive cruise experience. It was definitely nice that there were only 3 couples on the cruise and all the sight-seeing were made easier with better service from the 'tour guide'.

Food aboard the Valentine cruise was superb, and they make effort to cater to dietary preference. Great selection of movies, including movies on Vietnam was available.

Definitely worth it, and if I were to return, I wouldn't hesitate to fork out the extra for the Valentine Cruise.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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