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James Sutton

Travelled to 9 countries / regions

Written 10 briefs
Visited Ha Long Bay in September 2018 for a day

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Asia > Vietnam > Ha Long Bay > Trip Briefs
Updated on Aug 08, 2019 Trip Brief

Day trip from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay

  • I was just in Hanoi for 5 days and one of the things I did was visiting Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO world heritage site
  • Despite being a top tourism attraction in Vietnam, it didn't feel "overrun" with tourists. Things were pretty organized
  • I went with an organized tour by a local operator. I normally don't like organized tours, but for Ha Long Bay it's pretty much the only practical way to see it, because:
  • There's no "public ferry" option in Ha Long Bay. All boats are operated by tour operators there
  • Ha Long Bay is 180km away from Hanoi. Going there by public transportation options, while possible, would've taken too much time for a day trip
  • How we found the tour operator: we just walked around the Old Quarter in Hanoi (around here), and there were TONS of little travel agencies on the streets everywhere. I went up to 4 and asked for day trip to Ha Long Bay and got quotes. Don't book ahead of time online. On the tour we met a Danish group and they all paid more than we did because they booked 2 months in advance online, whereas we booked literally 2 days before our tour in-person in Hanoi. We ended up going with Funny Travel
  • Price:
  • We were quoted $79USD for the tour that included VIP bus transportation, and 8-hour tour (total 12 hours including transportation time). We negotiated it down to $70USD and paid by credit card
  • Other agencies offered 4-6 hour tours (total 12 hours including transportation time), and were priced lower at around $40-$60USD. But the downside was that the trips from other agencies all had 3.5-hour transportation each way and we didn't want to spend 7 hours in transit
  • What to bring on the tour: camera, cash (for tips and drinks), sun screen, and swim suit


Outskirts of Hanoi

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VIP Bus

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Heading to Ha Long Bay from the docks

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Getting closer to Ha Long Bay

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Getting ready for the kayaking tour

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Kayaking tour

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User submitted photo of Ha Long Bay

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Lots of boats in Ha Long Bay

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User submitted photo of Ha Long Bay

User submitted photo of Ha Long Bay

User submitted photo of Ha Long Bay

User submitted photo of Ha Long Bay

User submitted photo of Ha Long Bay