I went on the one night two day halong bay 'Rock Long Rock Hard' tour with Hanoi Backpackers for which I paid $100.
The tour guide was intoxicated during the whole trip, falling asleep on the bus and falling about on the island because he was more drunk than anyone else. The boat is sub standard for the price of the tour, the toilet smelled worse than the last day of most music festivals - the door had a window and the lock didn't work - say goodbye to your privacy. The ladder to get back on the boat after having a swim is bent in towards the boat and was very rusty. Most people had trouble getting back up onto the boat. I was told I would get to go kayaking by the staff at the hostel but when on the trip no one mentioned anything (probably too drunk). I took my own initiative and was allowed to go out on a kayak by myself with no safety gear or briefing whatsoever.
The private island is a very sad affair. Hanoi Backpackers have essentially ruined a beautiful island by placing an awful bar and shoddy huts there and filling it with uncultured silly foreigners. The rooms are open air huts with mattresses on the floor with mosquito nets. The toilets and showers are basic and not very clean.
I complained to the management about how unsafe the tour was and how I felt these problems should be addressed. I received a reply one week plater which was sincere and informed me that they were going to review the entire trip on receiving my complaint however having read previous reviews I do not know why they haven't addressed these problems already.
A positive aspect of the tour was the food and the Vietnamese staff on the island were fairly nice. Although I felt sorry for them that they had to deal with these ignorant foreigners all the time.
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- Also Known As:
- Hanoi Backpackers Hotel Hanoi
- Backpackers Hostel Hotel Hanoi
- Backpackers Hostel Hanoi