We were in Hanoi June of last year. It was an unplanned trip, as we just tagged along with hubby who was on a business trip. But nevertheless, we had heaps of fun especially on our trip to Halong Bay.
Since I had no time to research, I just booked our Halong Bay Cruise at the travel agency at Intercontinenal Hanoi, the hotel we were staying in. It cost us $260 (for two adults, kids are free) for the whole tour.
The tour includes a return trip from hotel in Hanoi to Halong bay in a private car with a private guide, free bottle of water, half day Halong Bay cruise in a junk, and lunch for two at the junk.
We were picked up from our hotel at 8AM. The travel to Halong bay took about three hours. We had a short stop over in the middle for snacks and a short rest for the driver.
We arrived at Halong Bay a little past 11AM.
Boats are called junks. We then boarded our junk.
This was our junk. We were not alone there. But I was glad we were not overcrowded like the other junks.
We sailed slowly to take in this amazing sight in front of us..
We stopped and went inside one of the caves.
It was cold inside, felt like it was on AC. Beautiful lime formation! Word of advice, wear sneakers. It can get slippery inside the cave. And bring a bottle of water, you’d be climbing up and down.
After about 30 minutes or so, we went back to our junk and sailed slowly again…
I was mesmerized by the beauty of nature. So magnificent!
My stomach growled, it was already past 1PM. As if on cue, the staff of the junk served us wonderful food.
Fish in Sweet and Sour Sauce
Fried Vietnamese Spring Rolls
Stir fried Squid
Stir fried cabbage
Pineapple for dessert
By the way, this food was served per two people only. Imagine how heavy our lunch was!
The experience was truly wonderful. I am so glad we took this trip.
Later on, I found out that our trip was expensive. You could book the same trip in another travel agency for only $150. And if you want to save more, you could arrange everything yourself – take a return bus from Hanoi to Halong Bay and book a public junk, all for $50/two people.
I felt a little cheated but with the experience we had, I guess it was all worth it.