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“Halong Bay Tour - Unsafe and Irresponsibly Run”

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Vietnam Backpacker Hostels - The Original
Ranked #26 of 371 Specialty Lodging in Hanoi
Certificate of Excellence
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Halong Bay Tour - Unsafe and Irresponsibly Run”
Reviewed October 18, 2012

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.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
5 Thank s_pops89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (109)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
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English first
Singapore, Singapore
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed October 17, 2012

Nice social enviroment if you want a bar and to shoot pool etc. If your looking for affordable and fair pricing definetely not the place. Over priced on food, tours, and accomadation. AC doesn't turnon until about 10 pm and turns off very early so you wake to a hot room. The internet is slow and seems to crash quite frequently. They have a lot of computers but half of them don't work due to keyboard issues etc.

Good location and clean beds / bathrooms so that is a plus!

Room Tip: There all small rooms honestly, and the mixed dorm floor has a co-ed bathroom but it is big and clea...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank znismo1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed October 12, 2012

The hostel itself has a cool atmosphere but it is extremely overpriced for the area. They take advantage of tourists because its reputation. The tours that are offered are 3 times more than what competitors are offering and it is through the same company. We paid 10 dollars per person a night in a room with 7 other people. You can get a great private room down the street in a hotel for 15... The bar here is great so I advice that you come to drink and party here but stay somewhere else. The rooms itself were a bit dirty and the bathrooms were only cleaned what looked like once a day - not really ideal for a hostel environment. Our lock on our door was broken for 24 hours and they didn't do much to compensate us for this mishap.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank GlobetrotterMania
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed October 11, 2012

We booked a stay here for 4 nights but only stayed for 2. It was by far the worst hostel we had ever stayed in. If you want to get wasted and then stumble into your room and wake everybody up in the night then maybe this place is for you. They have signs around that say it becomes a quiet zone after 11pm, it doesn't. It was so loud, with people coming in and out of the room shouting obscenities all night. On our second night a member of staff came into our room and got into a spare bed and was loudly trying to convince a girl in our dorm to sleep with him. Discusting.

Like the rooms their tour services are also overpriced. We were charged 1 million dong for a train ticket that should have cost 700,000 had we gone to the station ourselves, I understand charging a little commission but that is ridiculous. This place tries to act like its ran by people like you, backpackers, but it's not, it's run by rip off merchants.

We finally escaped, when we asked to upgrade to a private room we were quoted 50 dollars, enough was enough, we went three doors down and found amazing private, en suite room at a clean, helpful and friendly hotel for the same price that we were paying at the backpackers dorm room.

Rip off. Avoid this place.

  • Stayed September 2012
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Helpful?
4 Thank swu28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed September 29, 2012

ok this hostel is clean, it is warm, its safe too. Its very western style with staff being many westerners and the locals speak great English. the tours from here are good quality but are a little more expensive too. they do a free walking tour of the city each morning (recommend). has a nice bar down the bottom and a great hangout point on an upper level with games, tv, pool, free internet. would stay here again.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank JakeIsaac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed September 26, 2012

Staying at Hanoi backpackers was one of the highlights of our trip. The rooms and dorms are great, perhaps a little more expensive than some. But that also includes breakfast. More than anything it's the staff and their interaction and organization that truly impressed me.
Me and my girlfriend were made to feel welcome immediately and went out with hostel staff for drinks on a regular basis. They gave us discounts on the rooms due to noise from construction nearby, free beer vouchers now and then, and constantly went out of their way for us. There are now two hostels, both are great. Would highly recommend

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank GarrickCondren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Barbara, California, United States
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 26, 2012

This was al around a great hostel. The staff speaks english and they are very nice. Many of them are westerners. When i Arrived at the hostel the front desk staff warmly gretted me and helped me check into my room. However, i was checking in around 9 in the morning so my room wasnt ready. I reserved a private room. I went for some delicious food around the corner and then came back to my room ready. The room we had was very large and quite nicely decorated. It overlooked the street so it was a bit noisy. But the aircon worked wonderfully and the bed was quite comfortable. It is in a great location. It is close to many attractions and located in the middle of the old quarter. If you want a taxi to any of the far museums or the other parts of hanoi it will cost from $2 to $5 american dollars. The food at the hostel was very good but overpriced. They have many excursions available to book through them. At first glance they seems very steeply priced, but they are for young people who want to have a fun trip(a lot of drinking) and have a comfortable western experience. In terms of having a traditional Vietnamese experience this isnt the place. But if you want a clean, fun, welcoming hostel with lots to do than this is your place.

Room Tip: -There was constuction going on so make sure your room is away from it. - rooms close to the stree...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Farlen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Vietnam Backpacker Hostels - The Original

Property: Vietnam Backpacker Hostels - The Original
Address: 48 Ngo Huyen Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi 10000, Vietnam
Location: Vietnam > Hanoi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #26 of 371 Specialty Lodging in Hanoi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Vietnam Backpacker Hostels - The Original 2*
Number of rooms: 23
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Also Known As:
Hanoi Backpackers Hotel Hanoi
Backpackers Hostel Hotel Hanoi
Backpackers Hostel Hanoi

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