Halong Bay is definitely worth visiting. It is a great place to relax, sight see and find adventure. It is ideal for everyone whose is interested in great beaches, stunning water and nature. Based on reviews by travelers, your Vietnam tour value will be reduced by one half if your itinerary doesn’t include Halong Bay. You will need a lot of information to plan a great tour: a way to get there, the length of your stay, your meals and accommodations.
Decide how to get there. Go to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, and choose the transportation type.
- The best way to go to Halong Bay from Hanoi is by bus. It is cheap and comfortable and the buses to Halong Bay are new, have air conditioning and come with a safe driver. The road quality from Hanoi to Halong Bay is acceptable, not too bumpy.
- Decide on a tourist or local bus. A tourist bus is strongly recommended because it will be a new bus in good condition. It will take you directly from Hanoi to Halong Bay without any stops. However, you need to stay in Old Quarter.
- Know how much a bus trip costs. Hanoi Tour Planner company charges 8USD each way (170.000 Vietnamdong) or 15USD for a round trip (320.000vnd). If you book a tour with them directly, the cost of traveling by bus is included in the price. The staff of this company speak English.
- In total, the drive from Hanoi to Halong Bay will take four hours. Taking a local bus is cheaper, but the bus is old and shocking, and there are indecorous staff. The staff will stop everywhere on the road to pick up more guests. If in some occasions of holiday in Vietnam, you will be stuffed. Mostly local people choose local buses because of the price; it costs about 4-6USD per way.
- Another transportation you should consider is to go by seaplane. This trip only takes you 45 minutes to get to Halong Bay. The flight can be extended to include an additional 15-minute scenic tour over the bay, which allows you to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the thousands of limestone karsts jutting up from the jade green waters and see remote fishing villages before landing at Tuan Chau Island Marina. However, the price is much higher from traveling by bus, about 300USD per person.
Decide on the duration of the stay. This should be dependent on your travel plan.
You can do a tour in Halong bay for 1 day, 2 days and 1 night, or 3 days and 2 nights, and stay more in Halong City or Cat Ba island in Halong Bay. However, a duration of 2 days and 1 night, or 3 days and 2 nights, is preferable.
Choose your accommodation. You can choose to stay on the boat itself, or a cabin on the boat that offers overnight cabin.
Almost Cruises in Halong bay offers the cabins to stay on the boat. The cabin is a little small, but absolutely clean likes a three-star hotel. The condition of the cabin is also good. It is air-conditioned, hot water is available, and there is a hairdryer. In overall, you do not worry about accommodation if you stay with Halong Galaxy Cruise.
Another option for accommodation is the hotel or bungalow on Cat Ba island. It is a small town, but has mostly conditions as on the main land. There are a lot of hotels or guest houses there with a reasonable price.
Know about the food. Staying on the boat, the staff will supply all the meals
Most of the food is seafood. Otherwise, meat and vegetables are also supplied on the boat.
For breakfast, there is milk, jam, bread, toast, soup, eggs, sausage, grilled pork meat, salad, and fruit. Other meals have salad, steamed vegetables, eggs, meat (pork, chicken, or beef), shrimp, crab, and fruit. Vegetarian people can require the chef to have a special menu.
Decide on a company to be with.
- You can book any cruise for overnight in Halong bay, and is highly recommended.
- Know how much the company charges to stay on a boat. For example, Hanoi Tour Planner charges 125USD per person for a 2 days and 1 night package, and 215USD per person for 3 days and 2 nights. Features such as a 2 way bus, boat, tour guide, food, entrance fees, water, and kayaking are included.
Decide on what to do in Halong Bay. The most interesting thing about this site is that there are thousands of fantastic rock formations rising up on the sea. It is great for photos.
You can also do activities such as caving, swimming, kayaking, adventure and sightseeing.
Generate what is in your trip to Halong bay, and what you want to do as self-going. The trip package includes transportation, a boat trip, a tour guide, entrance fees, food, drinks, accommodation, and kayaking. You also need to pay for the above.
Find some reliable company to book the trips. To ensure your trip are pleasant, we recommend you to book directly with you your hotel, or some travel company has good Review and business license such as Hanoi Tour Planner. Beware of tour offices on the street.
- You can do a 1 day tour if you do not have time for anything longer. The tour price is 42USD per person (good tour), 35USD per person (OK) includes everything except drink. You can ask your hotel staff or Hanoi Tour PLanner via their website.
- There are about 600 boats working in Halong Bay, but there are about 100 boats good for an overnight trip with permission from Halong Bay management. The remaining pays some money to do it.
- The best time to visit Halong bay is from late of March until middle of May, or September to November.
- Please beware with the scams whose are some tour offices on the street. The charges are very expensive, but they will give you a bad boat on the departure date. Select a good company or book at your hotel in Hanoi where you are staying.