We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“mAnificient halong bay.”
Review of Castaway Island

Castaway Island
Ranked #10 of 54 things to do in Halong Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed May 7, 2013 via mobile

i visited holong bay as my wishlist destination. the criuse was nice and peaceful even it is similar to krabi where i came fr

Thank pimKrabi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (404)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
  • More languages

362 - 366 of 404 reviews

Reviewed February 18, 2013

I have been a supporter and advocate of the Hanoi Backpacker's Hostel since my first stay and Halong Bay tour in 2009. After recommending this tour to countless friends and family members for years and personally attending the Rock Long Rock Hard tour three times, after my recent Castaway Island Tour (February 2013) I can unfortunately no longer recommend this tour in any capacity. I have previously justified the comparatively overpriced tour fee to friends and family by insisting the opportunity to meet like minded people and experience guided kayaking through fishing villages and lagoons, caving, rock climbing, wake boarding, tubing, exploring the islands of Halong Bay, the chance to sleep aboard a beautiful boat, organised island activities and great food is worth the extra expense. On this recent trip however, the tour price had increased and the activities had substantially decreased. This tour no longer includes one night aboard the boat and basically involves boarding a ferry that will take you straight to Castaway Island where you will be left to shotgun beers for two days. The food was certainly nothing to write home about (especially for the poor vegetarians!) and on the first day on the island there was a 7 hour gap between meals. The tubing tube popped in October and as yet has not been replaced. The volleyball net remains on the beach as nothing more than a catching net for disoriented drunks as the volleyballs were popped and have also not been replaced. The tour guides, though friendly, did little more than encourage fellow backpackers to down their beers fueling bar sales. It seems to me as if the night on the boat has been omitted so as to ferry as many travellers as possible to Castaway Island each night to maximise profit. For what was such a fantastic experience in such a beautiful location, I am deeply disappointed that this tour has, well, gone to the dogs basically. I would highly recommend saving yourself the extra $130 and booking yourself onto a tour that will actually show you the splendours of Halong Bay - unless you are the type of traveller that will be content with seeing little more than the bottom of a beer can and paying an extortionate price for the privilege. The only redeeming factor of this tour was that we were lucky enough to have a great group of people on tour with us and we very much enjoyed the morning we spent kayaking the surrounding lagoons on our own. Certainly not worth the price anymore.

14  Thank arierae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 17, 2013

We looked at a few Halong Bay cruises, but this one offered us everything...

You can only book this through Hanoi Backpackers (as far as I know)... But I'm so glad that we did. We looked at a few other options which would have cost us $100 max, and with this priced at $200 per person, we were a little apprehensive.

However, the tour guide was AMAZING and the views, simply breathtaking. We spent 2 days and 3 nights on the island and it was the best thing we done in Vietnam,

I'd recommend this trip for 18-30's looking for a good time and willing to get involved in drinking games and meeting new people.

3  Thank TerenceCraven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2012

In a nutshell, the Castaway island tour to Halong Bay was a cold beer soaked adventure, where you can meet great people as you shiver together in meager accommodations, eat bland food, and shot gun beer after beer after beer for days on end. All for the low low price of $200 per person.

In Dec the weather was frigid making swimming and wakeboarding painfully cold. Due to the amount of people each person gets about 4 tries to get up, or about 15-20 mins in the water. The rockclimbing was great for those who were sober enough, and kayaks are available though barely used after all the drink pushing the day before.

The tone from the very start is "let's get black out drunk", so if that's your jam you'll have a blast. Beer is cheap and 24 hours.
There is no visiting fishing villages, cooking demos, etc like other Halong tours, but there may be nudity and the occasional hook up.

Worst part is the tour groups are dominated by groups of guys, ratios tend to be about 9 guys to 1 girl, unless you're in a lucky bunch.

Vegetarians got rice, noodles, or cabbage for most meals. Everyone ate mainly rice, noodles, and a bit of chicken or beef.

Accommodation is 10 people per open air hut. Mattresses are simple and laid side-by-side under mosquito nets. There are no pillows and blankets were often damp and cold, so you may want to consider bringing these.

Overall, it was a fun rowdy drunk time. Just not worth the cost. Save your dollars and stop by the backpackers hostel if you want booze and to make great friends instead.

7  Thank Jackie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2012

3 day 2 night trip was priced at $199.00Australian dollars. ($167 euros I believe) for what is basically a 1 day 2 night trip. The first day is spent travelling to the island and you get there at sunset after swimming for 1 hour. 2nd day you are supposed to be wakeboarding (Conviently broken despite the staff telling me it was fixed prior to going) then high speed tubing which was fun, and rock climbing. (Also fun)

Being lied to about the cable being fixed was very dissapointing and upon arrival back to the hostel an older Englishman I spoke to I believe was either owner / manager didn't seem to care and I was blown off.... Then the staff decided I wasn't going to get a free night (Which you are supposed to have after booking the tour) so after argueing the owner / manager said I did get one.

Its' dissapointing the place seemed like a legitimate good hostel to book a tour.Perhaps they have just gotten to busy and big to remeber a little decency or common courtesy towards their guests goes a long way when paying a lot of money for a lame tour.

I am not the only guest who had these issues and it was't just this tour so not rating on my own just 1 bad experience but rather what my frriends also encountered along with other previous guests I spoke to prior to leaving.

Defintely wouldn't recommend.

7  Thank znismo1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Castaway Island also viewed

Halong Bay, Quang Ninh Province
Halong Bay, Quang Ninh Province
Halong Bay, Quang Ninh Province

Been to Castaway Island? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing