Hanoi Halong Bay Excursion Reviews
Was glad to have booked with the cruise line as the cruise ship was tenderedthe tour boats came to the cruise ship to take us on the Ha Long bay tour and it was amazing, because we booked with the cruise line we were the first to disembark, definetly worth doing this tour, really enjoyed it, took lots of photos, very relaxing place. You do have to climb a lot of steps at the caves so make sure you were comfortable shoes.
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.