HALONG BAY junk boat tours
Halong Bay, Vietnam
HALONG BAY junk boat tours Reviews
May 25, 2007
OK, so the Halong Bay is a MUST in Vietnam. One of the most gorgeous places on the planet. And the locals know that you are dependent on them to see it. ***disclaimer***Think of SE Asian countries' approach to tourism in terms of age... Tourism in Cambodia and Laos are relatively young, so the people still treat travelers with wide eyed welcome. Thailand is already into its tourism adulthood... (most of) the people, tour operators know that ripping someone off will lead to bad press... they know what access to their country's beauty is worth and they offer up a good range of options for every budget. Vietnam is in its tourism adolescence, so they will try to take as much as they can get at every turn, often pushing the limits of your patience and generosity. This is especially true when it comes to Halong Junk Cruises. I paid $50 for an all inclusive 3 day, 2 night junk boat tour from a kinda shady hostel/tour booker. Go into one of the bigger tour offices...you will maybe pay $10 more but it'll be worth it. Also, the extended cat ba night isn't necessary...and make sure your tour includes an afternoon of kayaking and a stop at the sung sot cave!! also try to hook up with some cool travelers in hanoi and try to book the same tour... the experience is VERY dependent on who you are spending 48 hours on a boat with.
NOW, keep in mind that while your meals and accommodations are included, snacks and alcohol are NOT. I talked to a few other travelers after our tour and they all had the same experience. On the boat, they will charge a lot more than normal prices for beer, and will watch you like a HAWK. Most boats also have a sign saying thet if you bring your own alcohol, you must pay a "cork" fee. SOOOOO, if you plan on drinking, bring a bottle of something or stash some beers in your bag... bring along some kind of thermos or non alcohol looking bottle to transfer it to... it will save you money and headache.
Part of the vietnam may 2007 travel blog
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