Exploring amazing Ha Long bay

Trip Start Mar 25, 2009
Trip End Dec 31, 2010

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Wednesday, September 22, 2010

This is my trip that i've been waiting for. I'd really like to see Ha Long bay for a long time.
Finally i've made it.

Before visiting Ha Long bay in Hanoi, We're visiting Ho Chi Minh city (formerly known as Saigon). We arrived at night and we went directly to hotel. In the morning we went to traditional market, Ben Tanh market for some souvenirs, also sightseeing around our hotel.

At night we're flying to Hanoi which is take about 2 hours. We're staying in old quarter city. Hanoi city is more traditional than Ho Chi Minh city I guess.
In the next  morning we're joined Ha Long bay tour. We booked online this 2 days and 1 night tour to Ha Long bay through sinhtourist.vn (formerly its name is sinh cafe). The itinerary is cruise along the bay to see amazing karts with different forms; lion, tea pot, toad, human head islets and then stop to visit the Sung Sot amazing cave..the biggest one in Ha Long bay.
There are so many sinh cafe tour agent that offer tour to Ha Long bay. Becareful with fake one (better browsing in the net first before deciding).
In this tour is including kayak for about 1 hour which i really really enjoyed this much, dinner and over night on board. The tour also including breakfast and lunch and dinner.
On the boat we're join with other tourists too from other countries. it's just good to meet other people. we talked about our countries, culture, food, and others. in fact our friends from Korea would like to visit Jakarta next month after from Vietnam, so it was really nice sharing with them.
Ha Long bay is really amazing, but too bad on the second day was raining so we just stayed on a boat until noon (September is rainy season here).

In the afternoon after the tour guide and driver drop us off to the hotel we went back to Ho Chi Minh because our flight we booked is from Ho Chi Minh.

We're joined 1 day tour in our last day with other tourist for city tour to see the museum, China town, traditional market, coffee shop, convention hall, church, souvenir shops and post office building. There are so many tour agent that can offer many kind of your..so confusing for me. I would suggested that you better take the tour offer by the hotel you stay in. The price is the same from what i've checked before. Not much to do here for me but that city tour, shopping, and tried Vietnam cuisine.
So many interesting places I want to see like Sapa, Na Thrang beach, Phu Quock, etc but too bad I don't have more time
Maybe i will come back to Vietnam to explore other places i didn't see.

Some tips to visit Vietnam:
- becareful to choose a taxi, the trusted and good one (from my friend who live in Vietnam said) that are vinasun and mailinh taxi.
- Not many local people can understand English, so always prepare for a map (when you asking for advise to them show the map and they will understand what you ask about)
- becareful while walking or crossing the road
- should not too "expose" your belonging like camera, handphone.
- don't expect too much..just enjoy the trip:)

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