First, just want to say that our tour guide was such a nice guy. He really kept a positive attitude the entire trip. This trip was a long day, so transportation comfort is a must. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. It was over 120 degrees Fahrenheit outside and we desperately needed ac. The bus lacked this. It was scorching hot outside and inside the bus. HORRIBLE...HORRIBLE...HORRIBLE. The stopping points were in markets that were really aggressive in trying to sell you things...you were followed everywhere. Felt like I was in a shark tank. The port itself was very crowded so watch out. The lunch...honestly wasn't good. The fish was gross. I was so disappointed. They started serving the food when we were still docked, which might have been okay but there was so much exhaust fumes from other boats that it was counterproductive to having a good meal. The ladies aboard were very aggressive in selling their goods. Crazy. The cave was amazing and our tour guide was a lot of fun. Our kayaking experience was great. Overall could have been a great experience if the mode of transportation had AC. We were all dreading the 4 hour ride back home.
Although the weather did not help at all..it was still a beautiful place that I would recommend for a one day tour from Hanoi. Tour was very well organized and lunch was very nice. Only recommendation is if having a big group as ours to get at least 2 tour guides. so that, they can be more engaged with the group and provide more insight on visits i.e. caves.
PS: Super thankful for helping me arrange transportation back to the airport to catch a flight at the end of the tour on time. :
It was an okay trip.
The guy who picked us up at the hotel only has my friend's name on the list and I had to call the other guy who texted me a day earlier to reconfirm my reservation for the tour.
They took us to the bus and we found out there was a different person a woman who was actually our tour guide for that day.
She wasn't very friendly and when we went to pick up the last people a couple from Australia, she instructed my friend to move out from his seat, so the couple can sit together. She didn't even bother to politely ask if my friend was willing to move from his seat or asked if anyone was travelling solo and was willing to move out, so the couple can sit together.
I was arguing with her about it and asked why she didn't even have a courtesy to ask my friend if he's willing to move out, but instead gave an order and said that she has to accommodate the request from her guests. Didn't we also her guests and paid the same amount of money for the tour????? This is a tour bus, first in first get to choose their seat and she should not in favor to certain guests.
On the journey, she was talking about the Chinese's tourists and how noisy they can be and we didn't have to worry about them because when we arrived, they would probably have done with their tour. She was then asking if there's anyone on the bus from China.
I really think she should not even talking about this, since she is in the service industry and talking bad about her customers would reflect badly on her and probably her company.
After this comment, we have an impression that she was probably more in favor to the Western's guests than Asian's guests, that also probably why she treated my friend the way she did ordering him to move out.
I really enjoyed the tour despite the little showers. I managed to kayak to 2 isolated islands within 30 mins, but wish I was given more time to enjoy the kayak experience. Lunch served onboard was satisfying with lots of variety. The cave tour was really interesting with the stories behind it. I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone who wants a reality escape.
Overall it was nice- we visited a fishing village, and a cave which was very nice. Our guide was nice, he speaks fluent English, and he made sure everyone in the group was properly taken cared of. Lunch was included, but the food was not very much to my liking.
Halong Bay was nice, and it was worth the 4-hour trip from Hanoi.
We were told that you can only go into a Kayak if your two people, so the one thing I wanted to do I wasn't allowed to do since I was a solo traveller. Pretty sure the advertisement said we get to go swimming - but no opportunity to do that either. The whole tour felt rushed. If your going to Halong Bay, spend the extra cash and go for at least 2 days.