Day 1: Ha Noi- Ha Long Bay- overnight on board
08:00 - 08:30 Meet your tour guide then go for Ha Long Bay. Have a break 20 minutes en-route to free your legs.
Embark harbor, board Dragon Cruise by a tender. Enjoy a welcome drink, receive cruise briefing.
Savor lunch on board and visit Sung Sot amazing cave with millions of surprising stalactites and stalagmites.
Stop at Soi Sim island or Titop Island one hour for swimming, sun-bathing…
Drop anchor in a calm water area, relax on the sundeck at sunset, taste some local wine, fruits.
Join in a cooking session on board with our chef making some special dishes with suggested recipe.
19:00 Have dinner on board. Have fun with karaoke singing, or try your luck with squid-fishing.
Overnight on Dragon gold Cruise in the middle of Ha Long Bay.
Day 2: Ha Long Bay- Ha Noi
07:00 Enjoy a new day with complimentary tea and coffee served. Have breakfast on board
Do kayaking the best way to explore true beauty of Ha Long.
Check out your cabin. Photograph wonderful views of Ha Long while sailing back to harbor.
11:00: Savor lunch on board and leave Dragon gold Cruise.
12: 30: Say goodbye to Ha Long Bay then return to Hanoi. Have a rest en-route again to free your legs.
Somethings about Halong Bay and Halong Bay Tour
Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage site -- and you'll be reminded of this several times throughout your tour. UNESCO has picked out 830 World Heritage sites around the world, chosen for their cultural and historical importance, and also for their geological uniqueness. Ha Long Bay offers a little of all three.
It's not the cliffs themselves that make Ha Long Bay unique, but rather their sheer number. A huge bay, dotted with nearly 2,000 mostly uninhabited limestone cliffs, the breathtaking scenery is very similar to that of the Andaman coast of Thailand, Vang Vieng in Laos and Guilin in China.
Created over millions of years, tectonic forces slowly thrust the limestone above the water-line. During this process waves lapping against the stone carved out a number of vast, striking caverns, as well as other geologically interesting formations, such as tunnel caves and uniquely shaped massifs. Unfortunately the geological forces at work were not too flash in the beach-making department, so most of the beaches tourists are taken to in the bay are man-made with the umbrellas and the sand in which they stand are all shipped in.
Over the ages, Vietnamese fishermen with too much time on their hands began to see shapes in the stone massifs atop many of the islands, and named the islands accordingly -- Turtle Island, Human Head Island, Chicken Island and so on. In what constitutes one of the most fascinating cultural features of the area, some of these fisherman still live on the bay today -- on floating fishing villages, where houses are set atop barges year round, the inhabitants catching and cultivating fish throughout.
So what is a Ha Long bay tour like?
The primary purpose of a Ha Long Bay tour is to savour the tranquillity and beauty of the water. But two or three days of utter tranquillity can get a little too tranquil -- luckily the natural and cultural endowments of the bay provide activities -- in some cases with a heavy helping hand from the Vietnamese government.
Boats ply the waters slowly and take scenic, circuitous routes. They often stop and put down their anchors while the passengers are eating lunch.
Halong Dragon Gold Cruise
You may visit a floating village
Not all tours make a stop at a fishing village -- some just cruise by. If you do stop, you'll be able to view the seafood being farmed, have the opportunity to buy some, and have it prepared for you free-of-charge on the boat.
You'll get to swim
Every tour stops for a swim at least once a day. Sometimes these swims take place near local fishing villages, leading to jokes and apprehensions about the toilet situation on fishing villages. All tours also include a stop at one of the beaches.
You may get to kayak
All the boats bring kayaks and, weather and tides permitting, stop to let passengers paddle around. Sometimes the opportunity to kayak through one of the tunnel cave systems will present itself. Other times passengers are simply expected to paddle in circles around the boat -- not surprisingly the caves and tunnels are far more interesting.
You'll get to go caving
All tours include at least one cave visit in the price of the tour (admission on your own is 20,000 dong). The two most popular caves are the Dragon Cave and the Surprising Cave. You won't know beforehand which cave you will see -- that decision is made on the boat.
You may sleep over on the bay
Two and three-day tours always offer a night in a cabin. On any given night, about 80 boats are allowed to drop anchor in one of three designated areas -- that means each area is filled with 20 to 30 boats. Sometimes they anchor very close to one another, other times they'll find a more private spot away from other boats.
You may overnight on Cat Ba Island
Most two-day tours offer one night in a two-star hotel on Cat Ba Island. Activities including a hike in Cat Ba National Park, a kayaking trip through some offshore tunnel caves, and/or a lunchtime-visit to a local fish farm, where you catch your own fish before it is prepared for you, are usually offered as a part of the tour.
You'll be fed and transported
All tours offer three meals a day, starting with lunch on the first day and ending with lunch on the last day. The quality of the meals varies tremendously depending on the price of the tour as does the transport to and from Hanoi.
So, no matter how much or how little you pay, all of the above, at least in theory, will be included in the tour. Judging the differences between tours, then, is not so much a matter of what they do, but how well they do it -- and if they actually deliver on what they promise.
To get the skinny on the inner workings of the Ha Long Bay cocktail, we tested out three tours of Ha Long Bay -- one budget, one midrange, and a more luxurious option -- and had three very different experiences of the same bay -- read on to learn how we fared
The Restaurant on Halong Dragon Cruise
· Transportation with A/C
· Pick up/drop off by air-conditioned bus.
· Some local wine, fresh fruit on board in the afternoon.
· English speaking guide.
· Kayaking in Ha Long Bay
· All entrance fees, activities on board.
· Meals as indicated (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner, X= no meal)
· Water on the bus
· Travel insurance.
· Tips and others not clearly mentioned above.
· Single supplement: Pay extra 35 USD
· Itinerary is subject to change without prior notice due to bad weather: possible strong wind, cyclone, fog…
· Bring your passport with valid visa (a must), insect repellent, hat or umbrella, swimsuits, cash…
· Under 5 years old: Free of charge, sharing room with parents.
· From 5 up to 9 years old charge 75%.
· From 10 years old up: Charge adult price.