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a VirtualTourist member from Quezon City

Vietnam

Any tips for Halong Bay experience?

I will be flying to Hanoi this August and wish to experience an overnight cruise in Halong Bay. I am hoping you can give me some tips in traveling from Hanoi city to Halong Bay, some important considerations in booking for a cruise, and on tourist traps issues. I also want to know if a day in Hanoi is enough to have a city tour, because I will then cross the border to Laos after a day or two in Hanoi city.

Thank you in advance!



9 Answers


answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Denmark

August is a very wet time of the year and you will run a pretty big risk of having the cruise cancelled due to weather conditions.
Hanoi is often flooded during the month of august aswell.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Makati

As mentioned, once you've checked into your hotel in Hanoi, you can walk around the Old Quarter and literally shop around for a Halong overnight cruise that's within your budget. The cruise should already include transfer from/to your hotel. But as Claus mentioned, the rainy season in Vietnam is the same as that of the Philippines so there'll be risks for rains or even typhoons hitting Halong. As for Hanoi, an entire day is enough to see its highlights, I suggest you either take a cab or xeom to those places and tour them on your own.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Quezon City

how would you cross border from Hanoi to Laos,, do you have contacts of transport company? please share if you do. thanks! :)




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Quezon City

Oh really? Wow! I don't know what else to do in the city then... Well 2 idle days won't hurt, my vacation hopefully.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Quezon City

I am still researching actually as regards the crossing borders, but I heard the vietnam-laos borders is open and safe, just like cambodia-vietnam which I already tried. I will just take the public bus from hanoi to ventianne.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Denmark

There are public busses from Hanoi to Vientiane.
I don't know any webpages of companies running the route but it's a very common bus route for backpackers to use.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Hanoi

For Along, you need an agency because of all the crooks if you try to do it by yourself. Open www.orientalbridge.com, there are one of the 5 best operators on Along (Parfum d'Automne is another one).

You do not go Hanoi-Laos in 1 day ! You have to go to Dien Bien Phu (12 hours + by bus, or you fly), spend a night in DBP, and then minibus to the border and minibus to Luang Prabang. Other solution ; Hanoi-VINH (south of Hanoi) by bus, one night in Vinh and then minibus to the border, but those minibus drivers are famous for being absolute gangsters who tell you a price and then stop in the middle to ask for more and if you refuse, they dump your luggage alongside the road..




answered by
a VirtualTourist member

Some tips to book a cruise in Halong Bay:

  1. You should book a cruise with a travel agent. Some travel agent usually offer a better price than the cruise line does. You can see various Halong Bay Cruises here: agoda.com/asia/vietnam/halon... or booking.com/region/vn/ha-lon... or bestpricevn.com/halongbaycru... or http://www.visitwonders.com/
  2. If your departure is flexible, you can wait until the last minute, about less than two days before the sailing date, you may get great discount if they still have unsold cabins.
  3. If your group has about 4 persons and more, you should find local travel agents in Hanoi and send a request to them and ask them to provide a best offer. After that, you may receive some great discount from them.

Hoping that these tips are helpful for you. Have a nice trip!




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Quezon City

thank you john! i will take note of your tips.





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