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Halong Cruising Experiences

I really love a saying “traveling one mile is better reading one hundred books at home”

I was very exciting to come to Vietnam, I my dream country in Southeast Asia. Right at the first when coming in to the city from the airport many advertisements can give you a sense of what’s to come in this new country, I was bombarded with the images of the some places Hanoi, the best 10

Asia cities for holidays and Vietnam’s jewel in its crown, Halong Bay. I am always look out for a couple of things; firstly the national beer, and secondly, what the country is famous for.

Another opotion for exploring real vietnamese culture by off beaten track, I typed keywords “homestay kayaking in Halong bay, I found the website paddyhome.com, it located about 100 km from Hanoi, on the way to Halong bay where offer good facilities homestay accommodations, I called hotline 0904861086, the person who received my call speak English very well, I thought he is not vietnamese, later on found he is the son of house owner in the village.  They offer homestay, cycling, fishing, and famring eco tourism.

Great Homestay Facilities in Village located bettween Hanoi and Halong bayDong Triêu Homestay.

Vietnam homestay facilities

Sometimes when researching a destination, you can read too much about it. Much like when we were organising our Happy Gringo cruise in the Galapagos Islands, we’d spent a lot of time looking at Halong Bay to work out the best option for us, and heard many contrasting opinions before we arrived, many negative. ‘It’s packed full of tourists’  ‘you can’t move for boats’, ‘there a big party boats of loud music and boozing people’. It didn’t fill us with much confidence, and coupled with stories of rat infested, over packed ships, we approached our trip with trepidation.

All of this however, doesn’t resonate with us at all. We had a wonderful time on Halong Bay and thought it was incredible, but as with our cruise to Antarctica, it seems you get what you pay for at Halong Bay.

Here are a few options for Halong Bay, but most will choose either the one night or two night option.  If you pick a cheap one night option, you get a fleeting glimpse of the magnificent limestone karsts, as you battle it out with hundreds of other one nighters before leaving the next morning, your view tainted by the whole episode.  A one night option will set sail at lunchtime, with a few hours sailing amongst other boats before sunset.  The next morning you sail straight back to the port and disembark late in the morning.  Not at all what we wanted, and with the benefit of having more time on our trip, we opted for the two night option.

We made a rule that for some of the popular, famous attractions (read Machu Picchu, Halong Bay, Angkor Wat) we would break the budget to do them properly, and scrimp and save elsewhere on the trip – we didn’t want to be disappointed by Halong Bay.  So we booked a luxury two night cruise with Indochina Junk tours, with a beautiful boat, double room, banquets for breakfast, lunch and dinner and a small group of equally minded people.

The route took us on an alternative journey through the bay, separate from all the other boats – on our first day after leaving port we didn’t see another boat until we docked for the evening.

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