Tips and Tricks for taking a tour of Halong Bay on a Junk Boat
Taking a Halong Bay cruise has always been on my bucket list. While the boat I stayed on was a little more luxurious than boat, my trip to Halong Bay was still amazing. Booking only the night before departing to Halong Bay, I decided to book my 3 days 2-night cruise with Oasis Bay Cruise.
At 7 am, our tour picked me up for a 4-hour drive to Halong Bay. Yes, it’s a little bit of a longer ride (especially when you’re the first ones on the bus and there’s an extra hour added on to pick up people), but there is a pit stop on the way there.
We received room assignments after learning the boat instructions and safety regulations. Both the boat and rooms were so much nicer than what we had expected. There were clean crispy hardware floors everywhere and everything looked nice and clean.
The boat got moving to where we would be anchoring, in the middle of Halong Bay, as we started munching on our lunch. We ate traditional Vietnamese dishes like chicken, rice, veggies, spring rolls. You name it it was served to us.
The boat had anchored after lunch and we were able to go swimming in the waters. We were able to swim, jump off a platform on the side of the boat or a trampoline, and sit in one of the five hot tubs. Of course, it wouldn’t be a booze cruise without the drinks flowing as well.
Following our time swimming, the staff had set up an opportunity for us to go kayaking. We took the kayaks through caves and lagoons being able to view more of Halong Bay’s beauty. Our tour guide was able to give us history and background about where we were.
We got back to the boat from kayaking and had downtime to shower and get ready for dinner. Once dinner ended we drank and party the night away. It was nice being able to have a chance to interact with people from all over the world. The boat sold helium balloons as a means to get high. This is something I haven’t seen as an American.
The next day we took an hour boat ride to a private island where we would stay the night. It was a way for us to relax. The day was quiet, cold, and the tide on the island was high that we weren’t able to go swimming. Because the island has limited power supply, electricity is turned off from 11am-5p.
On the final day, we made our way back to the boat before heading back to Hanoi. The last thing activity planned was to participate in was a spring roll making class on the ship. It was a very quick demonstration and we were able to taste our product after that.
My experience left me glad that I went on this excursion. The trip itself didn’t disappoint. The only thing that I would have done differently in the time I had was to do a 2 day 1-night excursion. In addition, I should’ve taken a day trip to Nim Bin or another trip in the northern region of Vietnam.