Hanoi Halong Bay Excursion Reviews
Halong Bay itself is amazing. We opted for the proverbial 3 hour cruise, rather than a 7 hour round bus trip to Hanoi. The local cruise boats docked directly at the ship making access easy.
The tour went past many of the better known islands in Halong Bay, but really just touched the sides. It included a visit to a large limestone cave formation that was quite interesting, but involved about 100 steps to access.
Halong Bay City is nothing to write home about. There is a small market opposite the tender dock, and free wi-fi at a bar next door. There is a pleasant esplanade to walk along to the north, and the township offers ATMs and restaurants, although it is about a 15 min walk if you don't want to take up the services of the many taxi and tuk-tuk drivers at the terminal.
One unexpected bonus was the high-tech light show on the new bridge connecting the two halves of Halong Bay City - well worth sitting through the full 10 minute cycle.
Note that the December weather was as forecast, very misty - but to some extent this just added to the mystique of an amazing location.
Outstanding views on a good day - which we were fortunate to enjoy - a must see. The floating villages, boat people - including those sailing alongside our boat ro sell their fruit and vegetables provided a brief glimpse of a world unkown to us, and I suspect most people from the west. Not to be missed - but during our visit very crowded.
Great cruise among spectacular scenery for about 1/2 the cost of the cruise line's tour.
The ship arrived at mid-day but the trip from the river mouth to the dock fascinating with all the tall rock formations and the ship picking its way (with the aid of the pilot) to the dock an experience. The half day tour on boats through the various rock formations incredible and half way through the tour a stop to visit the most spectacular caves with stalagmite and stalactites amazing but quite strenuous with lots of steps.
Hanoi stay was 2 days at Sofitel Hotel.City tours included.Fantasic sites to visit,but be aware of crazy traffic.Loved the rickshaw ride. Halong Bay junk cruise only mediocre.Poor food and small rooms.But area beautiful.
Great scenery, pity about the cost!!!