Hanoi- Halong

Aug 5th, 2008, 11:00 AM
  #1  
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Hanoi- Halong

Going to Hanoi in Nov. I'm looking for a package that includes hotel stay and Halong cruise. Hoping to spend 2 nights on the boat instead of one which most companies offer. Any suggestions are welcome.
CMA05 is offline  
Aug 5th, 2008, 11:10 AM
  #2  
 
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I'm not sure why you need a package. Book your own hotel and make a reservation for Halong Bay once you get there. There are zillions of travel agencies in Hanoi and any of them can arrange two nights on Halong Bay. Do note that some people have loved the two nights on the boat, others have found that it was more like two one-night stays.
Kathie is offline  
Aug 5th, 2008, 11:18 AM
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If you have a specific (i.e. upscale) cruise in mind, don't wait until you get there to make your reservation. You can contact a Hanoi agency such as Tonkin Travel via e-mail and they will provide a quote for both your hotel and the cruise, customized to your needs. You don't need a package.
Craig is offline  
Aug 5th, 2008, 05:28 PM
  #4  
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Thank you for your information. I will look into Tonkin Travel. Craig, have you booked with them before?
CMA05 is offline  
Aug 5th, 2008, 05:59 PM
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I have just forwarded a deposit to Tonkin and Alison on this forum had great success with Tonkin based on many positive reviews on tripadvisor.com.
Craig is offline  
Aug 6th, 2008, 12:56 PM
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Yes, Tonkin has many favorable reviews on trip advisor and I spoke to others who had used their services. It is run by an Australian, Martin, who is married to a Vietnamese woman and they run the agency. They have several agents and they all seem to have a good command of English and answer questions/emails promptly.
I endeared myself to Martin by bringing him 2 tubes of anchovy paste. I had read in an old posting on TA that he craves this and it's not available in VN. Maybe that's why I didn't have to give them a deposit?
We settled everything on arrival -- and I left tubes of anchovy paste with the "accountant" from his office who came to the hotel to run our credit card.
It would have been cheaper if we had paid by cash, however.
All bookings were as specified and they gave some good advice along the way.
However, working with any agent there, I caution you to do your own homework and be very specific about what you want -- down to requesting certain types of rooms, high floors, non-smoking rooms (if available) and look over the vouchers very carefully to be sure every flight number, departure time, etc., is accurate.
I only did some hotel bookings and the junk cruise through them along with my internal flights on Vietnam Airlines. I booked some things myself.
They were able to get cheaper prices on the hotels and junk cruise than I could get directly.
alison is offline  
Aug 6th, 2008, 01:09 PM
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I'm having trouble figuring out the weather on Halong Bay in early November (very early, our cruise is Nov 1). Weatherbase only lists Haiphong and other sources don't provide specific monthly numbers. Can anyone help?
FromDC is offline  
Aug 6th, 2008, 01:28 PM
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Very clever, Alison - anchovy paste. Now that everyone knows this little secret, I suspect Martin will have a lifetime supply by the time I get there.
Craig is offline  
Aug 10th, 2008, 10:20 AM
  #9  
 
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I did an overnight on Halong Bay at the beginning of November. Weather was nice enough to go swimming.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Aug 10th, 2008, 10:38 AM
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Thanks for the weather report, I guess I don't have to bundle up!
FromDC is offline  
Aug 11th, 2008, 02:11 PM
  #11  
 
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It might depend on how lucky you are in November weather-wise in Halong. I went in November of 07 and it was pretty cold and rained the whole time. Didn't ruin the trip by any stretch, but it took a lot of brandy to keep me warm!
offwego is offline  
Aug 11th, 2008, 10:01 PM
  #12  
 
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Hi - I heard that Handspan is a really nice outfitter for trips to Halong Bay. We are going over New Years and are also trying to decide whether to do a 2 night or 1 night trip. The two night is either a camping on beaches trip or one night at a nice resort on Cat Ba. Any advice would be appreciated! We have a limited time in the area, and are trying to figure out how to spend it! I also think we will have to book our Halong adventure before we get to Viet because its over new years.
missViv is offline  
Aug 12th, 2008, 05:44 AM
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Lots of brandy sounds good to me!!
FromDC is offline  
Aug 14th, 2008, 03:42 PM
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One night at Halong was sufficient, although I must say we did enjoy the Ginger.

And we flew Vietnam Air from Hanoi to Hong Kong and found them to be as good, or superior to,(which really doesn't say much when you think about it) any US airline.
northshoreauntie is offline  
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