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Halong Bay Tour - Is there another day tour you recommend instead?

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My husband and I are going to Hanoi for 5 nights. Originally we were planning to do an overnight on Halong Bay. However, I've read many posts and it doesn't sound as great as I thought it would be:
-Long bumpy 4 hour ride
-Polluted water
-Even top tours may be not what promised
-Safety not up to US standards
-Boats are now all white

Considering our limited amount of time, and that my husband doesn't kayak and I get car sick, do you think we should skip it?

And if so, do you recommend a shorter day tour. Something that's not overnight where we could see life in a traditional town, or other vietnamese beauty?

Thank you, Inor

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