They are Brilliant!!
We only took the two-day, one-night Ha Long Bay tour, as it was all the time we had, but oh how great they wêre!
Great service, and wonderful guides. We opted to stay on their private beach in a lovely bungalow - AWESOME. You can see the glỉttering lights of Cat Ba Town from the beach, but hear none of the noise - just the sounds of surf and jungle. The bungalows are smart and clean (and thêre are only a dozen or so), and apparently they are tơtally unique to the area)
thefood was great (included in $80 price), and a wide variety.
For day two we went on a 14km bike ride throưgh Cat Ba Park - very hot, sunny day, sometimes tough ride, but well worth the effort, and a good lunch waits at the end. Beautiful scenery (plus a look at the Hospital Cave), it was a delight.
We had to catch the night train to Da Nang that evening, so once back in Ha Noi, we wêre invited to use the Ocean Tour office (a converted apartment, it seemed) and shower and relax - clean shower and towels, soaps etc. provided.
After my shower I had the fortune to chat with Jin (Chin??), an employee, over a few beers, about his work (been with the company 9 years, nearly since its inception) and Ha Noi. He designs many of the tours, and designed and helped build the private beach and its bungalows. He said he is very intêrested in showing people the nature of the area, helping them experience a bit of the real Vietnam, and his passion showed. It was this that helps set the company apart from the countless others in Ha Noi.
Inflation has forced the company to raise prices slightly (according to Jin, Vietnam has gone up 30-40%, and it shóws), but the organization is really well worth the extra few dollars.
Thank you all at Ocean Tours! We hope to see you again soon!!
#1 andrea73 has been a member since 8/5/2008. Posts: 12
Ocean Tour sure gives a good tour as the report is given above... I think i would like to give it a go..
I am wondering if i can do somehow the same with the budget of US$50 as i am traveling backpack budget. I can inflat my budget slightly higher. However, i hope $50 can get me to somewhere.
Hope to hear more... i be traveling there very soon. Be flying off from Singapore to Hanoi on the 6th.
#3 seahmj has been a member since 18/5/2008. Posts: 14
Hey there -
Their website is www.oceantours.com.vn. I think you book through it, though I had no problem booking next-day travel through the office (you might be able to broker a better deal that way, too). They have two offices in the Old Quarter of Ha Noi, and are scheduled to open their HCMC office in Sept. I believe they have offices scattered throughout the country.
You might be hard-pressed to get a quality tour for $50USD IMHO. If you could float and extra $20-40, it would be well worth it. As many others on this forum say, you get what you pay for!
Enjoy your trip!!
#4 andrea73 has been a member since 8/5/2008. Posts: 12
Thank you for your trip report. The people you have been talking with in Hanoi after shower was me. Iam Chien.
This a part of one of customer's post:
We then arrived at the company's island (Lan Ha Bay) which was a little lackluster but overall not in bad shape. There were a few too many pressures to buy drinks and cocktails but again, that was nothing we couldn't handle and weren't already used to in Vietnam.
Because you have been stayed on our island, the Ocean Beach Resort, so i would like to ask you either you had the same problem or not.
Please, read more of the post: http://www.travelfish.org/board/post/vietnam/6178_ocean-travel---dishonest-travel-agent-in-hanoi--recommended-by-lonely-planet-
Thanks a lot
#5 oceantours_vietnam has been a member since 26/5/2009. Posts: 2
Very glad to know that you are happy with Ocean TOur.
I myself was considering of using them for Halong Bay tours this july, but it seem to me Ocean Tours is working on this forum since googling, they try to explain their fault to travelers.
I don't mean any thing, jus my point of view
#6 Wangbenkoowloon has been a member since 7/6/2009. Posts: 1
We just did the 3-day relaxing tour with Ocean Tours and couldn't recommend them highly enough. Really good value, and just a STAGGERING amount of food! Our guide, Nam, was brilliant, really knowledgable and enthusiastic and great fun. None of us were expecting the lavish 12-course lunch on board the boat out to the islands, it was insane! And then another plush dinner at the Resort. We just ate & ate. Lovely quiet resort with a beach to ourselves, fabulous staff, and the guides look after you realy well. Great value for money.
#7 bretandgerri has been a member since 10/1/2010. Posts: 8
I also did my Ha Long Bay with Ocean Tours last year. 3d/2n with 1n on Cat Ba. It came with cycling, some hiking, monkey island, kayaking... all for US$90. I think it offers great value for the amount you are paying.
Also we get none of that over crowding horror stories you so often heard about in other forums.
I'm headed to Hanoi in mid-April and this company seems reliable. Can anyone else vouch for them? And after visiting their website, most of the tours are running around the $100-$200 USD mark. Will it be better to wait until I've gotten to Hanoi to book a tour?
#9 biophlame has been a member since 18/12/2009. Posts: 3
biophlame, I did Halong Bay about a month ago after spending over two weeks in Hanoi. My experience was that you'd go into an agency there (or even your hotel desk) and they'd usually start with high printed prices that looked similar to the ones on the websites. Then they'd almost instantly offer a much better price and were flexible beyond that if you didn't bite right away.
I got a really nice 3-star trip (2 days/1 night) for US$68, which included a $15 single supplement that I could have avoided if I'd been willing to take a chance on sharing a cabin. From what I can tell those online prices are like the "starting price" in a negotiation, and it also seems like there is a nearly infinite supply of cruises available once you get to Hanoi.
I will be getting to Hanoi by mid July this year, and I was thinking about getting a cruise to Halong Bay, however, I have few doubts as some of the agencies and crusies seem to be scam... and, being it July, it might be rainy...
Is the weather going to be that bad? Do the cruises work even if the weather is bad? And in case I take a cruise and it rains, do you get to see something? I am celebrating my partner birthday there, and I wanted to do something special... like cycling, kayaking and swimming in a nice landscape... are these activities supended even if the rain lasts for a couple of hours?
Also, does anyone have any other suggestion on what agency to use, and whether is better to book it from London (giving a deposit), Hanoi (with a one/two days notice) or directly from Halong Bay?
Many thanks for all your help
#11 AlexBCN has been a member since 22/3/2010. Posts: 12
Did you Ocean tour organise small group, 12~14pax in a group. I prefer smaller group of tour packages to halong bay, thanks.
#13 vuzu has been a member since 9/10/2010. Posts: 5