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An amazing few days. The harlong bay days were great and we really enjoyed staying overnight. Cat ba island wS very interesting although we were confused at the lack of communication. We arrived at our hotel at 2pm and had to ask the hotel staff to find out when and where anything would happen. The itinerary on Viator did not follow and it would have been nice to know we could do something that afternoon. The next day was a great day on a tour but once again we need to ask what was happening, arriving back in Hanoi about 8pm. Much better communication was required for the second half of the tour.
This tour was fantastic even though the weather wasn and #39;t brilliant (it was january) the halong bay area is not to be missed. All the activities were really good although the area is a victim of it and #39;s own sucess and some places were really crowded.
Superb. Guide Tho was excellent. Food was extremely good. Service was excellent too. All in all above expectations. Definitely recommended.
K1 R United States of ...
I wrote a long and detailed review, but it didn't save when I went to submit and I don't want to write it out again. So I will just describe the essentials out of that review. Book this Tour for 3-days and 2-nights, you won't regret it also, this is pretty much the only tour that offers single person bookings.
Amazing trip and worth every single penny!!! Viatnamese tour guide is so informative, helpful and most importantly funny! Beautiful boat, activities and hotel plus you are very well fed at all points of the trip! Recommend to any aged travellers!
Our guide was very good and helpful throughout the journey. The area is beautiful and well-worth visiting. My concerns were the choppiness of the activities. They tried to pack so much into the trip that you never had a real chance to just enjoy the scenery. In addition, I would opt for any upgrades. Both the bed on the boat and the hotel was like sleeping on a board. The showers were simply a shower hose in the bathrooms.
Did the 3 day tour with one night on the boat and one in a hotel on Cat Ba Island. Excellent tour and well worth the money. However, I paid extra for the 'deluxe' tour and it wasn't really made clear what was different about my tour than everyone else on the boat. I did get a somewhat nicer room on the boat, but I think but other than that it was virtually identical. Cat Ba Island was interesting and I recommend getting scooter immediately and doing the trek across the island. Nice scenery and a fun ride. Scooters are just a few dollars to rent. Beware that there are only two cash machines on Cat Ba Island, so start the cruise with plenty of cash. You will need some cash. Lots of little incremental charges as drinks are not included alcohol or otherwise. Also be warned that one of the two cash machines doesn't take MasterCard or Visa... It is clearly marked. DON'T TRY IT ANYWAY... like I stupidly did. It ate my card wouldn't return it and created a hassle to get the back early the next morning. The other cash machine was out of cash that night as well, so there was literally no way to get cash on the Island. Bring plenty of cash and a backup card. This is not the only problem I had with cash machines in Vietnam. So, I highly recommend having a backup card and maybe some cash stashed in your stuff in case of an emergency.
I might like to try this again sometime with two nights on the boat. The Kayaking part was great as was the tour of the cave. they certainly keep you busy with little real down time just sitting around... other than the transportation to and from Hanoi... The 3 hour bus ride is not so fun, but not unbearable. There is a mid-way stop at a shopping place another reason to have some cash, although there is a cash machine there.
You get to do a lot of activities in just a couple days and have plenty of photo ops of Halong Bay, but like any tour, it can be annoying being confined to a boat all the time. For example, kayaking was only 30 min, visiting the Surprising Caves was 45 min, and we were constantly surrounded by other cruises full of tourists, so every destination was quite crowded except for cycling through Viet Hai island, which was a highlight. The food was not that great, especially compared to what locals ate. On Cat Ba we just opted to skip the included meal at the hotel so we could enjoy something better outside. The cooking class should really be called a cooking demonstration it was just 15 min of rolling prepared ingredients for spring rolls, so most people chose to skip it.
A fun roller coaster. Transport to the ship: good. Sailing around on the ship: great. The staff: excellent. Food: ok/good. Our cabin: nice looking, but disappointing because we paid extra to the tour booking for an upgraded cabin but the ship assigned a lower deck cabin right over the engine which had a strong smell of fuel making it hard to sleep. The second 1/2 of our tour was cancelled due to outstanding circumstances, but the booking company got us back on track with a super fun speedboat ride and slightly revised itinerary that ended up being more fun than the original! So overall we had a great time and recommend this tour. Go with the flow a bit and you'll have a blast.
This was an extremely well run tour.Pickup was timely guide was incredible, food was alright not super,activities were interesting.Logistically everything ran seamlessly connections went smoothly.The boat was small in comparison but was very cozy stongly recomend the 3 day 2 night tour .
I'm certainly glad I booked this trip as it was the best thing about visiting Vietnam.The Cat Ba Tour part was miss-able though. If you have plenty of time then, yes, do it. But if you are pushed for time do the 2 day 1 night version. You must visit Halong Bay!
The first day was great with great crew and food, especially our tour guide Tai. I'm not sure exactly what a deluxe cabin upgrade entailed because our cabin was the same as everyone's. The second day, the Cat Ba portion was quite disorganized and we didn't get to do half of what was promised in the itinerary.
This fulfilled all of the standard things you would want from a tour. However, being a single guy traveling I was made to share a cabin with a stranger. This wasn't a big deal but I didn't know this would happen before the trip. So if you're traveling solo they will most likely double you up with someone. The food was not great and was pretty much the same every meal. The food seemed to cater to western palates. I would have preferred more authentic Vietnamese food. The tour itself was beautiful and the guides were informative and helpful. I enjoyed all the people I met and socialized with on the tour and overall I had a great time. This is a good tour if you're on a mid-range budget.
DISAPPOINTING! Why? VIATOR contracted a travel company to the tour that owns 2 boats and we were sent to the worst one, I mean worse service, worse food, worse room, so people who paid less with another tour company and were on the same tour got better services by staying in a better boat.
Mark M USA
What attracted me to this tour was the ability to travel as a single person, many Halong tours do not offer this. The Overnight on the boat was quite good, room was quite comfortable, and the food was good. I am not a seafood fan, which is a large portion of what is served. The second day we transferred to a smaller boat and had a few excursions, during one of those excursions, while i was away from my bags someone went through my bags and lifted a few thousand thai bhat about 70 dollars from a well hidden pocket in my bag, however i didn't notice until the end of the trip The tour guide always told us to take our money but that we could leave our bags behind.... I thought my hidden spot would suffice, as it would take a lot of searching to find it... Apparently they found it. Another guest also mentioned that his bag had been rummaged through.... Such is life the tour is good, BUT remember to not leave any cash in your bags
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