Top in the list of Vietnam travel attractions, Halong
Bay is a destination you should definitely visit in your
trip to Vietnam. As the creator has made it magnificent
masterpiece. Usually you have to spend a significant
budget for a trip to Halong bay, however with my
experience you can arrange a private private Halong bay cruise
with a moderate cost.
Halong bay is about 160 km from Hanoi and you can save
the cost by catching a public bus which departs at Luong
Yen or My Dinh stations in Hanoi, it takes 4 hours to
arrive in Halong city. You can have a bit of comfort and
convenience by renting a private car at the cost 75 usd
one way. If you are going to do a private tour with
family we recommend that you arrange a private car as
you will be picked up at hotel at the start of your
Arriving in Halong city around noon you can have lunch
at one of the restaurants near the wharf, price is
reasonable and you can order from the menu. In the early
afternoon walk to the tourist port and rent a boat to
visit the bay, note that you have to pay entrance fees
separately, cost for a private charter boat is 80 - 120
usd for a 4 or 6 hour cruise, in summertime May to
August price is probably higher.
There are 2 types of tickets to visit Halong Bay are day
trip tickets for a cruise in 4 hours and 6 hours. The
4-hour ticket allows you to visit Heavenly cave, Dau Go
grotto, Fighting cocks islet, and cruise around near the
shore. For 6-hour ticket you can visit further places
such as Amazing Cave, Titop island...
For those who take 2 day tour staying on board the
cruise you will have more activities. There are many
tour company offering private charter cruise with full
service such as Paloma cruise, Helios cruise, Victory
Star cruise. Spending the night on the bay is really a
nice experience although price is much higher than the
Typical itinerary for the 2 day private Halong cruise is
after arrving at the port you will check in the cruise,
lunch will be served on board as the ship is cruising.
About 3pm passengers will visit Amazing cave, spending
about 1 hour in the cave and then continue the cruise to
Titop island beach for swimming, towards the end of the
day you will be taken to a deserted place for kayaking.
The second day will start with a taichi excercise on the
sundeck, after breakfast the ship will sail to Bai Tu
Long bay that is a more wild and untouched area where
you can visit Luon cave by rowing boat, stop and visit a
floating village and other beautiful sites such as Stone
dog islet, Swan islet...you will return to the port in
another way, the last meal will be served on
the way back. About 11.30 you will arrive at the dock.
For the 3 day trip passengers will spend the whole 2nd
day kayaking, rock climbing or other activities, some
cruises will combine Cat Ba island in the package.
Charter rates for private cruise:
- Standard cruise, 2 floors, capacity 48 people: 15
- Superior cruise, 2 foors: 25 usd/hour
- Deluxe cruise, 2 floors with air-conditioner: 36
Entrance fees to tourists sites in Halong bay
From 2014 entrance fees to visit Halong bay have
increased, In general sightseeing tickets to Halong Bay
in the day time from 6.30 am to 6.30 pm is 6 usd, not
including entrance fees to islands, caves...
Entrance fee to one of the attractions that was invested
by the state: Soi Sim island, Ti-top beach, Cua Van
floating village...ranges from 1.5 to 2.5 usd/person.
Fares fore passengers staying one night and visit Halong
Bay is 16 usd, two nights is 23 usd. Children from 7 to
15 years old, elderly people aged 70 or older, poor
people, people with disabilities will pay decreased 50%,
children under 7 years old will be exempted from