Many people asked me why is no Halong Bay video on your pages. The answer is simple. I am a solo traveler, so why should I spend two nights on a romantic vessel and as well it´s not my cup of tea spending the nights drinking beer and singing Karaoke songs. In 2010 I took the opportunity to visit the Halong Bay Festival and during my stay I enjoyed the festival and some parts of this famous and constantly discussed destination.
Actually Halong Bay has a yearly amount of around 6.6 million visitors (source Viet Nam News) and many of them have the embarrassment of choice to pick out the right vessel from around 500 junks. The price range amounts from US$ 30 for a budget one day tour including transport, boat trip, visit of two caves, guide and lunch to over US$ 500 for a two days or US$ 1.000 for a three days deluxe tour per person.
So how to realize your trip ? The first option is to book a one day tour from Hanoi. If you have not enough time or your budget is to small to stay for two or three days keep in mind that you will need eight hours from Hanoi to travel there and back by bus. The Halong Bay Cruise trip itself is a 3 to 4 hours lasting standard one. You will be one of many travellers sharing a race of junks with a short stop at a swimming village, a very rushed visit of one or two caves or an alternative short break on an island. Anyway if it´s rushed or not you have been there and the opportunity to make some pictures to prove your trip. Provided you have been lucky with the weather and there was no fog preventing all your views.
For a better experience you can book a two or three day trip on different categories from budget to deluxe. Like always and everywhere you get what you pay. If you stay in a reliable hotel in Hanoi don´t worry to book your trip via the hotel. The stuff of the hotel will help you to make the best of your trip. On the other hand there a hundreds of agencies you can use for cheap cruises, but be aware that they make their money by earning comissions and it is not sure that you will end on the promised junk. It´s a well organized daily business and is realized on the daily capacities.
The best way to book your tour is relaxed at home directly via a reputable and recommended Cruise company. If you make use of a travel company check the Cruise company of the offered vessel and the weather conditions during the season of your trip. It will be your guarantee for a pleasant and unforgettable stay. Meanwhile there are many fake websites, which are copies of well-known Cruise operators. So be sure that you book your trip on an original site, otherwise your money will be lost.
There are two different kinds of several day tours. If you book a budget two day trip you will sleep one night on the junk, but forget the idea your junk will anchor lonely and faraway from any civilization. Rather you will be enclosed by many other junks and you may be an involuntarily part of the party on the junk beside you. The better choice is a two or even three nights stay. It´s your decision to stay all nights on the junk or one night in a hotel on Cat Ba Island. Some of the luxury operators have a permission to lay at Bai Tu Long Bay or Lan Ha Bay. Lan Ha Bay is definitely the best choice of all. The trips include beaching and romantic dinners on a private island as well in awesome caves. Furtheron you have the opportunity to swim and cajak in the non polluted sea of this region. Doubtless the most expensive way to enjoy your Halong Bay Cruise and certainly not only an excellent idea for your honeymoon. Finally some bad news. Since May 1st all boats registrated in Ha Long are painted white.
Enjoy the video “A Glimpse of Halong Bay”. It shows some impressions of an afternoon cruise, the eastern part of Halong city (”Hon Gai”), the well known western part “Bai Chay” and the beach of Tuan Chau Islet, which is situated in the nearer surrounding of Halong City and close to the ferry station to Cat Ba.
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