Ha Long Bay

Old Feb 5th, 2007, 11:59 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,276
Great to read some of the reports. Dragon's Pearl looked like a great option on some of the websites I found. And I had read about Handspan as being a great operator. Can you reserve dates wiht them prior to arriving in Hanoi? Although I try to keep things flexible, when you only have a certain number of days in an area I also want to make sure we get in the things we absolutely want and spending a night on Halong Bay is one of those "musts".
jcasale is offline  
Old Feb 5th, 2007, 12:31 PM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 363
About two weeks ago we spent (only) one night on The Jewel of the Bay II. This gave us about 24 hours on the bay, the weather was overcast with no fog, the temps were cool, but not too cold.

We got to kayak around an island and a floating village the first afternoon and then into some caves that opened up into some land locked lagoons the next morning. The seafood meals were excellent; our cabin w/private bath was small but clean and comfortable. There were a total of 12 guests on board (six guest cabins available). The crew was friendly and the whole experience was the high point of our Viet Nam visit.

Our only regret was that we had not booked for a second night.

We booked with Buffalo Tours (the operator of Jewel of the Bay and Jewel of the Bay II) for a cost of $240 for two persons including transport to and from Hanoi. I know that there are many other junks available but I have no other experience to make a comparison with. Some may be a better value but this one was recommended to us and we feel that we got all we paid for.
tatersalad is offline  
Old Feb 5th, 2007, 12:48 PM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,339
Last week, we stayed on Halong Dream (ithink that is what it was called)..We booked it through vietnamstay.com.

There were 10 passengers..Rooms were very nice with bathroom and shower. The dining room was nice with wicker furniture. The chef was awesome and we had a huge seafood lunch..(crab, shrimp, squid, fish, veggies, rice & more..Same for supper. Service was excellent...Breakfast was served as well.

On the first day we got out of the boat to explore the cave....Then the next morning we went on a smaller boat for a few hours to check out the caves...

Although it was quite chilly, the whole experience was awesome..I think though that i would have been satisfied staying on the boat all day and then getting off in the evening..

Anyhow, i do recommend it!!
TracyB is offline  
Old Feb 6th, 2007, 10:37 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 65
You can and should reserve ahead with Handspan for the Dragon's Pearl. The boat holds 36 people but Handspan can only take 12 or so a day, I think, because that is the capacity of the van. There were some disappointed people who showed up without reservations hoping to go with Handspan. Just reserve on their website. Then you go by their office when you get to Hanoi and pick up the tickets.
jeanfromboston is offline  
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