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Night Stop If anyone has a recommendation for somewhere to visit or eat out on a night stop then post the info here.

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Old 15th Jul 2017, 06:18   #1 (permalink)
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Ha Long Bay, Hanoi, Vietnam

Hi Forum,
Can you guys give me a heads up on Ha Long Bay,3 days in early August, preferably land based with daily trips around the islands.
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Old 17th Jul 2017, 10:38   #2 (permalink)
 
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Sultan
I have not stayed in the Bay itself, and when visiting, travelled down from Hanoi. I am not sure there is much in the way of hotels there or at least there were none when I was there last (2009). Most of my work has been in the South so have only been up North the once - holiday, and as you can see it was a while ago. I would suggest Google is your freind and or Trip Advisor. If staying in Hanoi would recomend the "old" Sofitel.


Kind regards
Mr Mac
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Old 18th Jul 2017, 01:17   #3 (permalink)
 
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Don't bother with daily trips. Was there a few months ago and booked a luxury junk for two days, including a night aboard - there are longer trips available. Trips to local islands were arranged from the 'mother ship'. Wonderful time - good food & company. Beautiful cabin, own verandah, excellent facilities. Not cheap, but worth every cent.
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Old 22nd Jul 2017, 13:10   #4 (permalink)
 
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I agree with Reynoldsno1.

A few days out on a junk is the only way to enjoy this wonderful area.

With a bit more time you spend a day or two on Cat Ba island.
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Old 26th Jul 2017, 13:01   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you for your good advice. One point Mr. Mac, what do you mean by "old" Sofitel?
I'm not a sailor however the junk trip is looking attractive.
Regards to all.
Sultan Ismail
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Old 26th Jul 2017, 21:37   #6 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Sultan Ismail View Post
Thank you for your good advice. One point Mr. Mac, what do you mean by "old" Sofitel?
I'm not a sailor however the junk trip is looking attractive.
Regards to all.
Sultan Ismail
The Hanoi version of Raffles in Singapore.

Luxury hotel HANOI ? Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

Hanoi is interesting and if you want to check out the war stuff the Cu Chi tunnels are worth a look.

Take the junk trip...you won't regret it.
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Old 26th Jul 2017, 21:37   #7 (permalink)
 
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There were two. The old one now called Sofitel Legend and another out by the lake which looks from Google to have changed its name to Pan Pacific or something. It was a new multi storey with roof top bar - only reason to go there at the time. The Legend is far better with good location and better service. If you have not been to Vietnam before enjoy, and you will notice the distinct differences between North and South in the people not just climate and scenery. Also personally speaking Vietnamese is the best food in Asia. Have a good trip.


Regards
Mr Mac
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Old 3rd Aug 2017, 23:54   #8 (permalink)
 
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Sultan Ismail,

I don't often visit this forum and judging from your post, I may be a bit late with my advice.

However, having lived in Vietnam for more than 10% of my life, I have some pertinent observations.

The Metropole Legend Hotel is the one to stay in.
Hotel in HANOI - Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi



I've stayed there many times. Note that there is the old wing and a new one (~10 years old). I much prefer the old wing for its colonial ambience. I once had the amusing experience of watching a group of French tourists becoming very upset because they had to speak English to the staff in a French hotel.

I've been to Ha Long Bay and as others have said, a "junk" trip is the only way to do it. However, the advertising for the "two day, one night" trips is a bit deceptive. The itinerary is: drive from Hanoi to Ha Long City in the morning, board your boat, have lunch while sailing to the Bay, visit some islands in the afternoon, anchor for the night and have dinner. Next morning, have breakfast while sailing back to Ha Long City, depart for Hanoi late morning.

A better option is the "three day, two night" trip. On the second day, you are transferred to a smaller vessel, for a day of island visiting, kayaking, swimming, etc., while your mother-ship makes a return trip to Ha Long City, for a new group of guests.

Make sure you choose a reputable company, which generally means more expensive. One of the cheaper companies killed some tourists a few years ago, when the crew left the seacocks open and the vessel sank during the night.

Jay Sata mentioned the Cu Chi tunnels. These of course are near Saigon, not Hanoi.

If you want cheap, but very good value-for-money tours in Vietnam, I thoroughly recommend Sinh Tourist (https://thesinhtourist.vn/). No connection other than a satisfied customer. Their website is good but best to visit their offices to make a booking (Saigon, Hanoi and Danang). Note that they used to be called Sinh Cafe/Sinh Travel but the name and web address was ripped off, so beware of imposters.


PM me if you want more details, particularly recommendations for bars in Saigon!

PS For the benefit of anyone else thinking of going to Ha Long Bay, avoid November to February. It can be very cold.

Last edited by India Four Two; 4th Aug 2017 at 00:48.
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Old 14th Aug 2017, 17:36   #9 (permalink)
 
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My 2Ę... go for a personal tour in Ha Long Bay. We did, just us on the boat plus crew of 4 (captain, cook, two others). It's more expensive but it was really a great experience. Booked through the usual agencies.

And +1 for the Metropole, too. Don't miss the hotel car - a CitroŽn Traction Avant from the early 50s.
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