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“One Day trip Hanoi - Halong Bay”
Review of Halong Bay

Ranked #4 of 59 things to do in Halong Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities
Attraction details
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities
Reviewed May 19, 2013

Because of passport problems (it was stolen) we had an extra couple of days in Hanoi. We decided the best way to make the best of a bad situation was to do something exciting. So we booked a one day tour from Hanoi - Halong Bay. Amazing really we booked on Tuesday afternoon and were on the tour next day - a small group tour of 17 people on a minibus.

The minibus picked us up at our hotel (Church Boutique in the Old Quarter) at just after 8-00 AM. Afyer nearly an hour of crawling through Hanoi traffic to collect other members of the tour we set off on the 170 km journey to Halong Bay. With the obligatory 25 minute toilet stop at a massive retail outlet where all manner of souvenirs, objet d'art and food we continued our jouney to Halong Bay. Overall we were on the bus for nearly 4 hours.

Just as we arrived the heavens opened up with a drenching rainstorm. Fortunately we were able to transfer to our "Dragon Boat" which took us on a short cruise through the stunning scenery of the bay somewhat less spectacular because of the rain and low cloud. We were fed an adequate lunch - mostly sea-food presented in Vietnamese style.

The cruise and lunch were timed so that we arrived to visit the Dao Go cave with some spectacular limestone cave formations. The lighting effects enhanced the views. The caves are not actively building structures because they are much too open. This is just one of the caves of thousands in the area on the nearly 2000 islands displaying spectacular karst topography.

Our visit also coincided with a tropical downpour which saw the poncho venors out in force. You need to be reasobaly fit - there are 200 steps up and 200 steps down to negotiate on the visit. When itis as wet as we experienced the steps are uneven and slippery - just take your time.

Magically after we exited the cave the clouds rolled away and the sun came out - exposing the dramatic scenery of the bay as we continued our cruise out to a floating village and a ride on a local craft operated by one woman power. This was a really nice peaceful boat trip into another spectacular formation through a narrow opening in the rock wall - the boat trio was $6 extra.

Then back to Ha Long City which is going through a massive development push and our minibus for the return journey to Hanoi.

Again another obligatory toilet stop at a massive retail outlet and return to Hanoi by about 8.30 PM. In all we spent about 8 hours travelling in the minibus for 4 hours of cruising and sughtseeing on Halong Bay. We could have had a more leisulely 2 day tour to see much the same thing with an overnight on a Dragon Boat or even a 3 day tour if we wished.

The day tour cost us $45USD per person. We thought it was good value for money. The guide was knowledgable and personable. There was a good atmosphere on the minibus with 17 people from 10 countries as passengers - UN on a minibus. Given our circumstances we did not need any more time in the area and I suspect that the three day tour could become a bit boring - you can only absorn so much spectacular scenery of the same kind before you are overloaded. Halong Bay is rightly a world heritage area and really is a must see in Vietnam. We are glad that our enforced extra time in Hanoi enabled us to include this area in our visit to Vietnam. It is stunning and a one day trip is the minimum time required to include it in your itinerary..

9  Thank itho9217
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,286 - 5,290 of 9,526 reviews

Reviewed May 18, 2013

We went on the Jewel of the bay for 2d/1n beginning of May. We had a fantastic time, the Junk is clean and well kept, The crew are all so friendly and helpful..and the food!...the food is amazing ..I don't know how they make all that food come from that kitchen but they do and it is all fresh and delicious, it is very seafood based but there was a lady on our trip who didn't eat seafood and the chef prepared her alternatives.We explored caves and kayaked and climbed to the top of one of the rocks with a Temple on top ( I say we , I stayed down as I'd cut my foot a day previous so thought better of all the steps)
Halong bay is stunning and I'd highly recommend the Jewel of the Bay, Huey and the rest of the crew are brilliant.

4  Thank LizzylobsUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 17, 2013

Honestly words would fail to describe the experience in Halong Bay.
Nonetheless it's one of the new wonders of the world.
From Hanoi I got picked up from my hostel then we drove for about 3.5 hours to Halong Bay.
Once there in the boat we were served a delicious lunch and enjoyed the most beautiful view you can ever imagine.
Late in the afternoon we went kayaking in between the rocks and also visited the locals on their floating houses.
From my South East Asia, Halong Bay is definitely the most beautiful place I've visited.
Definitely going back in a near future but this time for a 3 nights trip.

2  Thank BFalce
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 16, 2013

I booked with AClass Cruise line and was very impressed. Exceptional value, super organized and a smooth run itinerary. Meals on the boat were exquisite and the crew were so gracious. Highly recommended! About the Bay itself...I didn't find it cluttered with garbage as some other reviews mention. Just beware the jellyfish if swimming. Ouch!

Thank SparkleCircus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 16, 2013

To be honest, I have many chances to go to Halong. The first time I go there with my mom when I was 12. I was really suprised by its beauty. After 14 years (I visit Halong the second time when I was 26), I find Halong worse than before because it is crowded with tourists and some time you will be bothered by the crew with small wooden boats who are trying to sell souvernirs. I don't like it. I love Halong because it's wonderful. I hope the goverment can do something to make it better and avoid the unpleasant issues there.

1  Thank Lilia_Phan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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