I'm gona travel to Hanoi with my girlfriend in mid-october and spend 4 days in Hanoi. We are thinking of travelling to Halong bay and have done some research on the internet regarding a tour from Hanoi to Halong Bay. From the few website I've looked at, it looks like it will cost around US$120-$160 for a typical 2 days/ 1 night on junk boat deal.
However, looking throught various threads and blogs on travellerspoint I've seen people paid as low as $30 (US?) so i'm just wondering how much is realistic?
I would like to organise the trip before I leave New Zealand in 2 weeks time, but is it better to just wait and organise the trip once i get into Hanoi- like it won't be too rushed looking and comparing various deals in Hanoi instead of just focuing on viting the sites
Can people who have done this trip make a few comments, e.g how much you paid and who u went with ect? Thanks very much.
There are so many places to book a HaLong Bay tour it will stun you. Every hotel, guesthouse, hostel will book it for you. I got a quote from the Real Darling Cafe, where I stayed while in HaNoi. Then checked with 3 more travel shops. All the tours are going to take you via bus to the dock area in HaLong Bay. They then herd you like cattle to the right boat. There are 1-2-3 day tours and a plethora of prices charged. I checked with those on my boat and heard 4 different prices from 10 people. I paid $22 for 1 day, others paid over $30. You need to shop around and not be intimidated into booking a higher priced tour by your hotel or an agressive travel operator.
I would NOT book anything until you get there. Your hotel will book it your tour for you, but you should check with other places before putting down your money. You now how the hotel quote, you can then bargain with others to get the best price for the tour you want. I took the 1 day tour because of the weather. This was over Tet, late Jan. Cool and raining. I would not go for 2-3 days unless it is warm enough to swim. Otherwise you are only going to see more islands just like the others you saw the day before. I have HaLong Bay photos in my gallery. Send me a PM if you have questions.
I agree with Mike - definitely wait until you get there as you will have no problem getting something sorted once you are in Hanoi. I think I paid around $80 for our 2 night, 3 day tour and we booked through our hotel. I would recommend trying to spend at least 2 days out there as it's beautiful.
when you shop around in Ha Noi or anywhere alse in Vietnam for Ha Long Bay tour you'll get 3 different rates for the trip.
For 2 day trip on Ha Long bay (o/night on Boat), a private tour or a deluxe junks stay will cost you around $120 to $200 (this depend on which Junk you choose: Ginger, Jewer of the bay, Huong Hai, Bai THo....or charter one of those), a affiliate tour with comparatively good service wil cost you approx $80, and budget open tour will cost you from $20 to $40 (this depend how much time you hang around and how tough you are on bargaining - quality is not the matter of care)
Cheers, Happy travel
PM me if you want to ask smt more
[ Edit: Edited on Oct 3, 2008, at 1:59 AM by travelolic ]
You are so lucky jetting off to Vietnam, my boyfriend and I are just back in NZ after a magnificent 3 months in South East Asia. We loved Vietnam. Hanoi is a wicked city... busy with mental motorbike drivers. Like everyone has said there are heaps of places to book your Halong Bay tour. We went on a 2 night 3 day tour with a company called Ocean Tours, i think we paid approx $160 US for the trip and honestly it was worth every penny. The boat is stunning, definately 5 star - food also amazing, expecially if you like seafood. We spent one night on the boat and a night on their private island in a little beach hut, all excellent. Would hesitate to reccomend.
Let me know if you have any other questions and have a great trip!
Wait to you get to Hanoi to book. There are heaps of tour operators. Get a price from your guesthouse/hotel and use it as a starting point. Determine how long you go for depending on the weather. Whatever you decide to spend will be money well spent.
Hanoi is a giant travel agency for Halong Bay..
A big thanks to everyone who responded, helped me a lot. I shall wait till I get to Hanoi and shop around for deals to Halong Bay.
Hope everyone is well and travelling to exciting places in this little world of ours.
You can catch Hai Au bus or Hoang Long bus to go to Ha Long, they are very experience . It takes about 1 hour and a half to go by bus and it cost about 5 $ . If you dont know how to go then i recommend that you should go to travel office and book a tour to Ha Long , they will support you the transport and also information.
Ha Long Bay not only has fairy beauty of stones and water in an oceanic area with four separate seasons but also owns a great system of natural, magnificent grotto system associated with sensational, attractive legends and folksy tales. In addition, there are many other long-standing historical and cultural values that less people know and experience.
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]