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Any tips for Halong Bay experience?

by crisgastardo Online Now Mar 20, 2013 at 10:49 PM

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!

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9 Answers
  • cachaseiro's Profile Photo

    Re: Any tips for Halong Bay experience?

    by cachaseiro Online Now Mar 20, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    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.

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  • stamporama's Profile Photo

    Re: Any tips for Halong Bay experience?

    by stamporama Online Now Mar 21, 2013 at 1:19 AM

    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.

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  • iamivyleague's Profile Photo

    Re: Any tips for Halong Bay experience?

    by iamivyleague Online Now Mar 21, 2013 at 8:13 AM

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

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  • crisgastardo's Profile Photo

    Re: Any tips for Halong Bay experience?

    by crisgastardo Online Now Mar 21, 2013 at 8:25 AM

    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.

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  • crisgastardo's Profile Photo

    Re: Any tips for Halong Bay experience?

    by crisgastardo Online Now Mar 21, 2013 at 8:29 AM

    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.

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  • cachaseiro's Profile Photo

    Re: Any tips for Halong Bay experience?

    by cachaseiro Online Now Mar 21, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    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.

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  • Re: Any tips for Halong Bay experience?

    by larsay Online Now Apr 2, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    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..

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  • brendon_john's Profile Photo

    Re: Any tips for Halong Bay experience?

    by brendon_john Online Now Jun 24, 2013 at 4:23 AM

    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!

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  • crisgastardo's Profile Photo

    by crisgastardo Online Now Jun 25, 2013 at 7:02 AM

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

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