Saturday, May 07, 2005

Booked Halong Bay Tour

We booked a 2 days 1 night tour to Halong Bay with the Thanh Vinh Tourist Hotel that we stayed. The Thanh Vinh Tourist Hotel receptionist Luc quoted us USD $25, and no matter how hard we bargained, he just insisted didn't want to reduce the price, and guaranteed us that the price we got would be the cheapest of all. I believed him, until I reached the junk.

Why I would believed him? At that time I really believed what he said. This was partly due to the price that I gathered from the Internet which ranged from USD $29 to USD $100+. The cheapest that one can get, according various source is USD $15, without staying on the boat. So I guess it's quite fair to pay USD $25 for the tour with a night on the junk. Beside, we arrived in Hanoi quite late, and I got no time to go out to compare around.

One thing that I overlooked was itinerary of the Halong Bay Tour Package. Actually I did ask Luc about it, including whether the junk will goes to Hang Sung Sot cave, but he was unable to explain properly, so I took it as what I presumed. This was terribly wrong. We should have insisted on a definite answer.

The Halong Bay tour itinerary, which we supposed to follow:

Romantic HaLong Bay - Sleep Over Night on Boat (02 days - 01 night)

Day 1: Depart for Ha Long. On arrival have seafood lunch on boat, then cruises on Halong Bay by visiting Thien Cung & Dau Go caves. Kayaking in Halong Bay, swimming, visiting fishing village, candle lit dinner, music, sleep overnight on board.

Day 2: Have breakfast, then keep cruising on the other part of Halong Bay, have lunch in restaurant in Halong City before return to HaNoi.

Depart: 7:00 AM Finish: 6:00 PM

PRICE: 25 USD$ / person

Price includes: Air conditioning bus, junk boat trip, guide, entrance fees, meals, accommodation on junk, boat trip, but excludes drinks.

Everything looks good, but the actual travel was not as what was written above. More details follow when I started to write about the Halong Bay tour, with some of my thought and tips on how to choose which tour to Halong Bay.

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