We flew from Hoi An in Central Vietnam to Haiphong, thinking that we could get to Halong Bay faster than flying through Hanoi. Big mistake.
First off, the hotel--what can you really expect for $20/night? The accommodations were pretty basic, I wouldn't recommend it if you're on a romantic getaway or with family. It really felt more like a hostel in terms of the quality and service. Here are the cons:
- sheets were stained
- no safe
- wifi didn't work
- it's not called Quang Minh any more (they've changed the name like 3 times in the past 5 yrs), so it's hard to find. The hotel is to the left of BKK Thai Restaurant.
+ no bed bugs
+ good location, on a touristy street with bars and restaurants, close to the bus station, market across the street
+ hot water
If you're planning to go through Haiphong to get to Halong Bay because you think it's closer, just fly into Hanoi. Our bus from Haiphong to Halong City took just as long (3 hrs) because the bus tried to pick up passengers the entire way there. Even though it's only 45km, the bus traveled about 15km/hr. And to top it off, they drop you off on the side of the highway--it's very sketchy. Better to just arrange a private shuttle/transport from Hanoi through your cruise/junk operator.