Wow !!! Just Amazing

Trip Start Dec 21, 2009
Trip End Oct 09, 2014

Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines
Where I stayed
Huong Hai Junk

Flag of Vietnam  ,
Wednesday, November 10, 2010


After some research I decided to take the deluxe cruise with Huong Hai junk to Ha Long Bay as the Huong Hai junk has a single cabin, which costs less for solo traveller and also I liked the itinerary, this is a mid range cruise.
My first impressions of Ha long Bay was Wow !!! Just Amazing...

The itinerary included visit to Sung Son cave, which was magnificent, Nature at its best. Trek to Titov mountain had panoramic views of the Bay. People with more energy could do the trek and swim as well. The two Swiss guys in our group managed to do both. Later they also did kayoing.The junk was really nice and we were 11 people in total on the Junk. While we were
waiting in the harbour, I noticed that a small boat came to collect the rubbish from Huong Hai junk. This pleased me a lot as I had heard that the junks emptied their rubbish into the sea.My single cabin was lovely, but my friends double room was bigger and looked better.


The tour guide was Hai and he was wonderful, as soon as he knew I was vegetarian he made sure I had plenty of food. We had about 8 courses at each mealtime and I was impressed as they managed to bring me vegetarian dishes at short notice. I really liked Vietnamese food,
Ha long bay is incredibly beautiful and I loved every moment of my time there. In the evening after dinner of many courses there was activity for fishing but I decided to retire early as I wanted to watch the sunrise early next day. 



Next morning I got up early to watch the sunrise which was such a stunning sight with emerald colour seas and I also saw the eagles flying near the rocks.
We visited the luon cove in a small boat and fed the monkeys, the monkeys were cheeky and preferred the fruit to the bread.All the people on my group were really nice and we even exchanged emails. I cannot say enough praises for my tour guide Hai, as he really looked after all of us and had good sense of humour.
I had most amazing time at Ha Long bay and will definitely return there.
Slideshow Report as Spam
  • Your comment has been posted. Click here or reload this page to see it below.

  • Please enter a comment.
  • Please provide your name.
  • Please avoid using symbols in your name.
  • This name is a bit long. Please shorten it, or avoid special characters.
  • Please enter your email address to receive notification
  • Please enter a valid email address


Lydia ELy on

Hi, was your Halong Bay trip two nightso rjust one? Thanks!

smittee on

Hi lydia, The trip was two days and one night. I paid $99 plus $ 39 single supplement which included the transfers from my hotel to the harbour and back in the minivan. All the trips were included, only kayaking was extra but most of us did not bother with it. The second night is usually land/hotel stay at Cat Ba island, which has mixed report. If you have more questions just let me know. Cheers S

Thomas on


Do you remember if the Kayaks were for one or two people? I am travelling alone and I want the single person kayak...not sure if they have it =(

sballseta on

Wow, your blog is just soooo good. My wife & I, (along with another couple) are going to Vietnam/Cambodia in July. Looking forward to it. Love those monkeys! The wife hates spiders though, did you come across many?

smittee on

No I do not think they had single person kayaking but you could share it with someone else who is also travelling solo on the cruise.

smittee on

Hi sballseta,
Thank you for the kind comment, I am glad you found it helpful. Yes you will see odd spiders and they also serve fried spiders to munch in both the countries. Many people try them!!!

I hope you have great time in July and you need any more help just ask.

Best wishes


Hi there great blog can you remember which company you used for your
Ha Long Bay trip where did you book it , Who did you book it with
We are in Cambodia at the moment making our way to Vietnam so would really appreciate any info

smittee on

I booked the cruise with Huong Hai Junk through my hotel Golden Sun. It is a mid range junk which has a very good itinerary.
I hope you have fantastic time in Cambodia and Vietnam.

Trang on

Hi, I found your blog is very interesting and helpful!! Do you know much it cost to do the kayak for 2 person?

Plus, we have to pay extra for the bus to pick us up from Ha Noi to Ha Long Bay? I thought the price was included the transportation!!

Thanks :)

smittee on

The transportation was included in the price when I booked it with my hotel. Do negotiate the price for a better deal. I do not know about Kayaking pricing.
I hope you have great time.

Sue on

Great blog. My husband and I ventured to Vietnam in April and we loved it. We only went to HCMC and Hoi An as we had time restrictions. Now looking for next year and thinking of going north - will definitely visit Halong Bay. Your price was good, some on websites are over $300. Was the junk clean and food good?? You sounded happy with the food.

smittee on

Hi, Thank you.
Yes the junk was clean and food was good which everyone enjoyed, I also liked the itinerary.
It is mid range junk so the cruise was great value.
I hope you have great trip to Ha Long Bay

Ramky on

Your blog is great with tons of usable information. Me and wife are planning HCMC, NH Trang and added Hanoi after reading your blog. Thanks for sharing.

smittee on

I really enjoyed Hanoi and ha long bay is beautiful. I hope you will have grt time :)
Enjoy planning as it is part of fun

Leo on

Hi, thanks for your blog.
We are going to Ha Long in 3 months.
How big was your cruise junk? How many cabins on it?
You were lucky to have only 11 fellow passengers. Was it because the junk was small? Or because there were many unoccupied cabins?
Thank you

Ramky on

@ Smittee: We loved Vietnam, it's a hidden gem. Nha Trang turned out to be a gift; beaches, diving, food and not so crowded, we're planning to go back there again. Phoenix Cruise from Hanoi to Halong + the 2 day cruise, Kayaking, visit to caves, climb to the watch tower, sunrise on the deck, food + activities on the boat were all exciting. Want to thank you again, your blog pushed us to do Halong, we're so happy we did, one of the best cruises ever for us. Peace.

Terry Kuo on

Hi Smittee,

Can you please tell me where you booked the trip? through hotel or travel agency? Thanks a lot.


smittee on

Hi Terry. Sorry for late reply, I am in New Zealand on holiday. I travelled independently and booked hotel directly. I arranged to book the cruise to Ha long Bay with hotel though I did my own research on cruise.
Happy planning

Owen Lawrence on

Hi Smittee, Your blog is excellent. My wife and two children (12 and 10) will be flying into Hanoi in May 2015 as part of a rtw trip. We will head south, through Cambodia to Thailand. I am soaking in your experience and advice. I initially had Halong Bay on our itin but had read many of the boats are now unsafe and dangerous. Would you recommend this experience with kids? Thanks

smittee on

Hi Owen,
I do not know about the boat situation at the moment as I went few years back. Also children might get bit bored being stuck in a boat for long so maybe you are right to be cautious. I hope you and your family will all have lovely holidays. Good luck S

Wili Santoso on

Hello Sir,
I was excited after reading your review about your choice of cruise junks for Ha Long Bay Cruise Tour. Would you mind to share some info about what travel agents/cruise you used including their contacts (email/phone/address)? If you could share their packages price and any tips before booking also, I would very appreciate it.
Thank you very much for your concern.

With best regards

Alan Ramirez on

Hello, this blog is super helpful, I will be flying to Hanoi from Laos and I have quite a big suitcase with me and I was just wondering when you booked your hotel in Hanoi did you book your hotel during the days you were on the cruise? or should I just book for one night? because I will be staying in the cruise for the other two days. Also, how early should I book the cruise? Thanks!!

smittee on

Hi Wili, I booked the hotel directly, I did the research of the cruise myself and then the hotel arranged it. It has been a little time since I went for the trip so do the research on the cruise which is suitable for you. Go for good cruise which has better junks.
Have a grt holiday.

smittee on

Hi Alan,
I did not book the hotel for the days, I was on the cruise but the hotels will look after your luggage till you come back from the cruise. I took a backpack for the cruise and left the suitcase with the hotel, most hotels offer this service of looking after the luggage for both trips for the cruises or for sapa.
Have a lovely time.

S.mak on

Hi Smitten,
I'm a 29 year old solo traveller. Currently in cambodia and plan on heading to Vietnam in 2 weeks.
I was thinking of taking a bus to cross the border to Hoi Minh City and than taking a overnight train to hanoi .
would u say this is the safest , efficient method of travelling?

Also regarding leaving your luggage with the hotel. We're u concern or had any bad experience with something gone missing?

Thank you

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: