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Head Office : 74 Hang Bac Street , Old Quarter,Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Meeting point at Hai Au Restaurant No 5 Bai Chay Beach Str, Halong Bay City
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Halong Bay One Day Travelers's experiences
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..
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I booked a 4 hours cruise with Halong Bay One Day
I was told, on our trip to Hanoi, that we must see Halong Bay. Since we didn't have a lot of time, we chose the day cruise.
Our guide was Benjamin. He was energetic and funny and very informative.
The ride to the bay, and back was very long, but I expected it, so it wasn't too bad. I found it very interesting, seeing the Vietnamese countryside.
Halong Bay is truly a must see! We went to Heaven cave, and I have never seen anything like it before! Spectacular! Kayaking in the bay was also just wonderful!