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Tropical Sails Halong Bay Tour

Adelaide, Australia
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59 posts
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Tropical Sails Halong Bay Tour

We will be in VN in April next year and fellow posters have recommended Tropical Sails for our Halong Bay trip - I have visited their website and their boats look grat but they have not included any prices - have tried emailing them direct to get prices but had no response - do I need to worry about booking in advance or will a couple of days notice at that time of the year be fine and if so will I be able to book this company through any hotel? We are thinking of staying at the Hanoi Hilton.

Thanks Mez

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nunya
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6,873 posts
24 reviews
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1. Re: Tropical Sails Halong Bay Tour

hi mez

it took me 3 emails to get through , with the last asking if they wanted my business or not , they came back with

'they are having problems with there email

' and sent me through the prices so here you go and for everyone else trying to get onto them

Tropical Sails Co., Ltd

dragon’s pearl junk

Cruise the mystical world of Ha Long bay with our luxurious Orient Junk

Relaxing, Trekking or Kayaking - Daily departure

Ha Long Cruise – 2days/1night

Day 1: welcome on board

08.00 – 08.30: Pick up at your hotel.

12.00 – 12.30: Embark Dragon’s Pearl Junk, check- in & welcome drink.

13.00 – 16.00: Lunch with sea food while cruising into Ha Long bay.

16.00 – 17.00: Relax at Titov beach or climb up the mountain seeing panorama of Ha Long bay.

17.00 - 18.30: Kayak to discover Luon cave

19.00 – 21.00: Cruise the quiet site near Titov island. Dinner and overnight on boat.

day 2: explore sung sot (amazing) cave & brunch

06.30 – 07.00: Enjoy the quiet breath- taking beauty of Bay’s landscape.

07.00 – 08.00: Breakfast with a cup of tea, coffee or fresh fruits.

08.00 – 09.30: Explore Sung Sot (Amazing) cave.

10.30 – 11.30: Cruise back and brunch buffet.

11.30 – 12.00: Check- out & disembark.

12.00 – 12.30: Drive back.

16.00 - 16.30: Arrive Ha Noi

Pakage rate (sharring bus):

Whithout kayak With kayak Single supplement

$97.00/pax $110.00/pax $30.00

Private car picks up from Ha Noi(with out kayak):

1pax 2- 3pax 4- 6pax 7- 10pax Above 10pax Single Supplement

$150 $130 $115 $105 $97 $30

Pakage inclusive:

• Luxury air-conditioned en-suite cabin

• Entrance fees and insurance

• All meals on boat

• Tea and coffee all the time

• Tranfer

Exclusive:

hanoi
12 posts
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2. Re: Tropical Sails Halong Bay Tour

hi, Mez

if really want to go with Tropical Sails, you can book through an agency, or you can see the other like Bai Tu Long Junk, I see the junk is very nice and the program is good(1, 2, 3 days).

good luck

BMT, Central...
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1,084 posts
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3. Re: Tropical Sails Halong Bay Tour

The problem with the Tropical Sails web site is that the 'designer' used <Flash>.

Unfortunately, many browsers don't react with Flash 'forms' very well.

Hopefully TS will replace their Flash form with a good old HTML.

I have always had success using their e-mail address in my e-mail program.

Adelaide, Australia
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59 posts
2 reviews
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4. Re: Tropical Sails Halong Bay Tour

Thank you all for the quick responses - Battling you seem to be becoming a bit of an expert on VN - you must be spending alot of time researching this place - I assume the prices are $US? Do you reckon 1 or 2 nights on Halong? Also have you booked with Tropical Sails in advance or are you going to do that on arrival in Hanoi?

Thanks again Mez

sydney,australia
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193 posts
30 reviews
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5. Re: Tropical Sails Halong Bay Tour

try www.handspan.com.(be careful of any vietnamese site and recheck prices/boat,as near enough is good enough would be the motto of any site...the only problem with handspan is the usual credit card payment problems-(the need to fax BOTH sides of your credit card!!!..prices,as of last week were 3 days 2 nights dragon pearl..first class US 210, plus treking option additional $10,plus kayak option (recommended) $55...second class is $180 etc..also recommended for hanoi is the golden pagoda rowing boat tour (full day) and FAT CHIENS restaurant..will be there late december and you can expect reviews on trip advisor mid febuary...."whrabbit" Sydney

BMT, Central...
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1,084 posts
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6. Re: Tropical Sails Halong Bay Tour

Hi WHRABBIT:

Handspan doesn't own it's boats - it simply fills up spaces and leaves the customer at the mercy of the boat owners - not a good way to guarantee your clients enjoyment. Handspan is making AT LEAST USD$50 / per reservation profit - a lot for doing nothing.

NO TRUSTWORTHY MERCHANT needs a Fax of anything. All they need is the usual data + the C V V number (on the back).

PHOTOCOPYING a credit card allows an unscrupulous merchant to claim he had CP (card present). NEVER, EVER photocopy a credit card - there is NO legitimate reason.

If in doubt, ask Visa or Mastercard.

One reason, OP, that Tropical Sails doesn't have a price list on their Flash web site is the cost of changing the Flash in the event of a price change. Mind you, this doesn't excuse their web site designer from not posting a good old HTML page to list the prices.

One poster said: ''Yes, the various guide books list numerous of them. ... Or you may book directly with the junk operator in Ha Long Bay itself. This way you may save some commission that earns by travel agency,"

Another, Tetsuo, said: "You have to be careful in Hanoi about which 'local' tours to go with. Alot of them (Handspan for example) advertise that they are local run and are, but it is foreign owned therefore the money doesn't stay there anyway."

Isle of Man
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11 posts
9 reviews
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7. Re: Tropical Sails Halong Bay Tour

Handspan are very reputable operator, with owners who live and work in Vietnam.

Saying that it is always a good idea to keep credit card details close to your chest. Ask them why they need this and see if there is an alternative way.

I just checked handspan's website N-S, and though they do not own their own boats they openly market Tropical Sails and charge the same as TS for a berth but give free transport to Halong. So if they do make US$50 (which is doubtfull) it is TS who pay and not the tourist.

As you say they are dumping guests with exactly the boat operator you always advise to use.

In the past, when Vietnam's tourism market was still in its infancy, I also tried to book all directly. However nowadays I find that the agent we use in Hanoi/ HCMC can always get us signifanctly better prices on boat trips and hotels than the rack rates you are hit with if you book directly with hotels or operators.

Most agents are not the unscrupulous scam artists they are made out to be here. But do provide a good service to both tourists and hotels and boat operators.

nunya
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6,873 posts
24 reviews
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8. Re: Tropical Sails Halong Bay Tour

hi mez

yes i ave done a lot of study on all of this , i check the forum everyday to get hints, i then cut and paste anything of interest to an email , then i save the email.

im no expert by a long way , i have never been , but passing on what i have learnt already from peoples posts in this forum, or emails i have received from companies.

i haven't yet, but i will pre book , that way i know i am right when i get there, i cant be told sorry no room left . i am going mid march and im on a tight schedule unfortunatly ,so i cant afford to hope for the best nor do i have the time to search around for for places that sell day trips or hotels thats why im doing all the searching for the best deals i can get on hotels and day trips now, then pre book when im happy with the prices i get.

im thankfull to noosa , she has passed on many tips , i am arriving around 8 pm at night , i know i will be tired and was willing to pay the high price for a transfer until i read noosa's tip on the taxi voucher system ....no haggling..specially 1st thing off a long plane trip.

[ In arrival in HCMC in Oct 06 i was worried as Id be told a few stories about how horrific the taxi drivers were HOWEVER in the arrivals lounge to the left I think it was , before you exited into area frequented by all the touts you will see a counter where you can purchase a taxi voucher for $5 US to your HCMC hotel - you pay the guy, he gives you a copy of voucher and then he walked with you outside and puts you into a taxi. The voucher has the hotel name and address on it ( my taxi drivers spoke much english so this was necessary)]

as im on a tight schedule im only doing 1 night, but i think thats enough of being on a small boat , have herd its the same meal for day 2 as it is for day 1 as well , but it depends on what you like ...i want to see as much of everything that i can so im not staying in the 1 spot for to long , i guess i will know when i get there if i should have planned longer for each place. tonkins prices are close to tropicals website prices as well , depends on who you want to book with .

hope this helps

battling

nunya
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6,873 posts
24 reviews
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9. Re: Tropical Sails Halong Bay Tour

mez

sorry yes it is US $

Singapore
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15 posts
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10. Re: Tropical Sails Halong Bay Tour

I booked a tropical sails junk through Handspan last month for a 2 day 1 nite cruise. It was the highlight of my trip. My wife loves it. There are 3 packages for the 2D1N - the cheapest one uses Huong Hai Junk, the one in the middle uses Jewel of the Bay (or Dragon's Pearl, can't remmember. WE took the most ex one, USD125 per pax. Definitely worth it. Stay in Lagoon Explorer Junk. Only 4 passengers including us. Great food and exclusivity. Pay the extra USD 30. It's worth the price.

We went to TAM Coc too. Not worth it at this time of the year as they have just finished harvesting. Those serene padi fields you see in the guide books are now replaced by a bare patch of brownish dried cut crops.