Overnight Bai Tu Long Bay and Ha Long Bay Cruise
Day 1: Day 1: Hon Gai dock - Bai Tu Long Bay - Vung Vieng Fishing Village - Cong Do Area
Stop At: Bai Tu Long Bay, Halong Bay 008433 Vietnam
Known as “The Bay Less Traveled”, Bai Tu Long Bay doesn’t get even a fraction of 6 million tourists that travel to Halong Bay each year. Bai Tu Long Bay is the best alternative to Halong Bay with the same scenery and none of the crowds. But the popularity of Bai Tu Long Bay cruises means good information is hard to come by. Hanoi is cluttered with overpriced and completely made up tour operators. There are booze cruises at rock-bottom prices and shady storefronts selling overpriced tours under another company’s brand name. Assuming this excursion could be once in a lifetime, I bet you’ll want to make it count. Here are some tips on how to pick a Bai Tu Long Bay Cruise along with prices, reviews, and info on how to get to Bai Tu Long Bay.
Duration: 2 hours
Accommodation included: Overnight at Cruise
Day 2: DAY 2: Cong Do area- Thien Canh Son - Hon Gai Dock
Stop At: Thien Canh Son Cave, Halong Bay Vietnam
Thien Canh Son Cave (called Dong Co by local) is a wild cave located on Bai Tu Long Bay, in the center of Cong Do island. It attracts so many tourists both domestic and overseas by a rare natural beauty, pristine limestone stalactites and beautiful surround landscape.
To visit this cave, visitors would walk up about 100 stone steps, placed under the foliages and craggy cliffs which brings in a new feeling like climbing on the heaven gate’s side.
Duration: 1 hour
Accommodation included: N/A
- 1x Breakfast
- 1x Dinner
- 2x Lunch
- Accommodation included: 2 nights
- Round-trip shuttle bus transfers between: Hanoi ~ Hon Gai Dock (Halong Bay)
- Fully furnished with Private Ocean View, hot water
- All meals onboard (2 Lunches, 1 Dinner, 1 Breakfast)
- Complimentary morning tea and coffee.
- 2 bottles of water in each cabin
- Welcome drinks
- Local rowing boat, fishing equipment
- English speaking guide onboard
- Onboard insurance.
- Entry/Admission - Bai Tu Long Bay
- Entry/Admission - Thien Canh Son Cave
- Spa, Massage services
- Personal expenses
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
- Not wheelchair accessible
- Near public transportation
- Infants must sit on laps
- Most travelers can participate
This was my first time booking through Viator and I think it works by helping tour operators sell excess inventory - thats why the operators name isnt published. In this case we ended up with White Dolphin -it was certainly our fault for waiting until the last minute to book as it felt like we ended up on the reject boat. On the way there, we took a route that was 40mins longer than the one recommended by Google Maps. Why? So that we could do a mandatory 20 minute pit stop aka shopping stop at a giant souvenir complex. We were dropped off in the front and picked up in the back so that wed have to walk trough the entire thing. This added an hour to our trip and we arrived after 12. The following day at the end of the cruise, we docked at 11 but didnt leave until 12 because the incoming van of course had to do the shopping stop and take the long way. On the way back, we took the 3h40min route plus 25min stop this time for shopping, as opposed to the direct 3h route. Im sure many operators work this way, if I had a longer lead time I would have researched a company that didnt. Seeing that part of the entire operation was extremely off-putting. The service on the boat was generally bizarre, especially meal service. One plate per table brought out at a time with no explanation of what anything was. Most importantly, the food was pretty horrendous. This made me really sad because we just spent a week eating the most delicious Vietnamese food and every meal on the boat made me think of of the great Hanoi street food I could be eating instead. The poor vegetarian couple next to us had it even worse- most of their meals were potatoes and bread in some form. At breakfast when everyone got a large plate eggs, sausage, toast, melon they just got the toast and melon...the rest wasnt replaced with anything. Overall this part felt amateurish, as if this was the staffs first meals service together...not like a well run operation. My recommendation to other travelers is to research the tour company and book in advance.
Great trip! Beautiful scenery, well-paced, and excellent food and service!
I wanted to find an overnight option that didn't include activities. This was it. There were a couple of things I liked the idea of which we saw and the things i didn't want to do, i didn't, with no pressure from the guide, except maybe having another drink. The rooms and boat itself was very comfortable with soft beds, good air con and the food was fantastic. If i remember anything it will be the food. The star is lost because the guide spoke very rudimentary English. so we were not given any history or explanation of what we were seeing or where we were going. I tried to have a simple conversation about where does your family live and even that was tough.
Excellent food, great staff. Small numbers of people on boat made it worthwhile. The drive is long so overnight is the best way to do it.