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recommendation needed for nicer halong bay junk boat

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Boston...
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recommendation needed for nicer halong bay junk boat

Am a bit confused about which boat to book for a 2 day/1 night trip to Halong Bay. I want one of the nicer boats, clean, good food, no rats, one of the mroe upscale fo the options.

The nice ones seem to be Lagoon Explorere 2 (although quite expensive at over $300 pp), The Ginger, The Emeraude and the Dragon Pearl.

Any suggestions? I am going with 4 other people (including my in-laws) so I want something pretty nice without totally breaking the bank.

Also, some of them seem to offer a price ('with car", that seems about an extra $50 per person! Is this necessary? Can you book your own car as long as we have a group?)

Thanks in advance for your help with this!

florida & QC
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1. Re: recommendation needed for nicer halong bay junk boat

I took the Dragon Pearl $97 2D1N, upper deck, clean room, soft beds, excellent food and no rats as some malicious claims. Best to book through www.tropical-sails.com or Golden Sun hotel. Read Phil's blog, he booked through Golden Sun hotel for $115 including kayak. Tropical-Sails operate 2 junks, Dragon Pearl has 18 cabins, LE has fewer cabins. Both are great.

Emeraude is pricey, larger boat, private pier for loading. I stepped on this boat to check out everything - hard beds, steel door with a pothole, old beat up furniture, not worth the price. The bay is calm, don't need big boat.

Ginger - nice boat but too formal, white slip covered chairs a bit gaudy for travelers. Price 170US (155+15 transfer) is high but some people got a "special great" rate in exchange for a favorable review.

Oceantours - best value for the money, 75US- 100+ for 3D2N, one night on junk, one night on bungalow. Read Noosa_Blue's posts. She is one of the best DIY people of the year.

http://vietnam2007-phil.blogspot.com/

Texas
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2. Re: recommendation needed for nicer halong bay junk boat

The Emeraude ship is a $2 million plus luxurious replica of an early 20th-century paddlewheeler with 38 cabins meticulously designed with hardwood, brass and fine linen to evoke the nostalgic of colonial Indochina.

We booked 3 dlx cabins on the Emeraude for September. Will report back about the old beat up furniture and the steel door with a pothole.

VF

Melbourne, Australia
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3. Re: recommendation needed for nicer halong bay junk boat

villefranche- can't wait to hear your report- I imagine you will have a wonderful time as friends of ours went on the emeraude and absolutely loved it.

hanoi
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4. Re: recommendation needed for nicer halong bay junk boat

Hi admglick,

SOme of the boats you talked are nice, good service and of course no RATS.

I had been booking with VTI Tours- new company with much best services with Huong Hai boat.

The guide explained to me: Huong Hai upgraded you to Ginger, And I had Ginger boat during my trip in Ha Long Bay. It was fantastic with the whole services there. Food( sea food) was so nice.People were very helpful , friendly and speak english well. I had go swimming and pay extra for kayaking. The next day, with the small wooden boat all of us saw Through cave that was surrounded by limestone island and I fortunately, I saw tiny running monkey on the rocky- moutain and is disappeared immediately. How wonderful time there it was!!

It is necessary when you book the private van fro Ha noi to Ha long Bay and return to Hanoi the next day in the afternoon. It will cost for 4 of you around 40 to 45 USD per each.( This is best price).

I do hope you will have very special time in Ha long bay with the special price.

Cheers, Davidleen

Coolum Beach...
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5. Re: recommendation needed for nicer halong bay junk boat

Hi Guys,

One of the things to consider when you go to Halong, apart from the price, amenity etc is how you wish to travel!

Myself, I have been 3 times , but not for 2 years, so a little out of touch!

Do you wish to travel on a large ship(Emeraude) with 50 people on board?---One must ask yourself whether you want this---travel with a large crowd?--( questions of service arise ---despite the alleged luxury).

Or do you wish to travel on a smaller quality junk where( in my cases) , the number of people on board have been no more than 9, with a helpful crew of 6!---wonderful trips!

Its worth a thought!

plover

p.s. ---If you put enough work into your hotel booking agent in Hanoi you can get the latter ---if that is what you would like!

Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: recommendation needed for nicer halong bay junk boat

one can look at it two ways

- if you're unlucky you could be stuck on a small vessel with nine people you don't much care for, or you can be on a larger boat with lots of people to choose from, and at least hopefully find plenty of people to share experiences and time with.

my thoughts.

Western Australia...
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7. Re: recommendation needed for nicer halong bay junk boat

hi we used Kangaroo Cafe and were lucky to get a junk that was only a month old - very flash! There were 11 of us on a 12 person boat, great crew, great food. I recommend them. Google their website. It cost us (last April) $55 each for a 2 day/1night stay. We enjoyed the experience thoroughly.

Melbourne, Australia
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8. Re: recommendation needed for nicer halong bay junk boat

I know everyone seems to be dojng the overnighters in Halong bay, but can anyone recommend a 1 day trip to Halong Bay from Hanoi. I have emailed a few places but have had no reply. Has anyone done the 1 day. Please tell me what you suggest. We are travelling with a toddler hence why we just wanted the one day and in the hot season.

Look forward to hearing your comments

Melbourne, Australia
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9. Re: recommendation needed for nicer halong bay junk boat

Holidaytime-

I think it will be much harder on your toddler just doing it in one day- you will spend more time travelling back and forth in the car than you will on the water. very restrictive on a baby - will most probably get very cranky being cooped up for hours on end.

GuangXi
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10. Re: recommendation needed for nicer halong bay junk boat

One day trips involve 6-8 hours on a busy, and dangerous, highway which will most likely be harder on junior than an overnight on a decent boat such as Tropical Sails or Emeraude.

To avoid disappointment book directly with either of these outfits as they own the boats for real, whereas as many agencies claim ownership when in actuality they are playing fast and loose with the word 'our'.