Halong Bay

If you are very familiar with Vietnam heritage, you will know that Ha long bay is one of the biggest attraction in Vietnam. Ha long Bay is located in the northern part of Vietnam. “Ha long” means “Bay of descending dragons” The best way to tour this place is on a cruise. However, there are different grades of cruises.


Majority of the midrange cruises offer about an hour of kayaking. This allows you to witness the towers of limestone from a very different angle. Kayaking, trips for a full day costs about $25USD-$30USD per one person. Thankfully for those who detest overcrowding and can’t go for an expensive cruising option, this is a perfect way to avoid the crowd, although you wouldn’t get to see a good portion of the area in comparison.

Bai chay tourist boats

This cruise option presents the tourist a local experience. If you don’t mind sharing boat space with a couple of strangers. If you want a cheap entry out on the water, and get treated to a couple of highlights, this is the perfect option. A four hour trip costs about 100,000d (about $5USD) not including the Halong bay entrance fee of about 120,000d and individual cave fees of 30,000d. This is very cheap and offers an easily organized tour, plus free entertainment provided by karaoke. However it tends to be very crowded.

Midrange cruises

This is the option most backpackers go for, though there is a huge range with respect to the price and the value for money. While some options are quite excellent, offering cosy hotel style cabins, experienced tour guides and kayaking stops, some others offer ultra-budget boats where safety is not the top priority. Midrange cruises costs about $60USD for a person per day trip. An overnight cruise cost ranges from 110 USD -$130USD. One advantage is that there is a lot of competition, thus many try to attract tourists by introducing freebies, however you can end up getting confused while making a choice, and hence it is very important to try to research before embarking on the trip.

Luxury cruise

These are mostly in the form of hotels on water. Your money will fetch you a five-star amenities experience. Be prepared to spend about $220USD for an overnight trip. One advantage of using the luxury cruise is that it creates a very romantic environment for couples and could serve to further strengthen bonds. One of the best periods to visit this wonderful place is during the month of November, when there are bluer skiers, moderate temperatures and cool waves. Try to avoid crowdy periods such as public holidays (April 30 and May 1st).

There are about four ways to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay. By Mini bus, by train, by sea, plane or by renting a private car. It is important to research on all available options and their costs before visiting. When booking for a tour, it is advised to shop around and sample costs. Examine the package and ask clearly for what is included. Always opt for options that guarantee your safety during the tour.

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