I'm in Hanoi and we want to see Ha Long Bay , but we're not big on the whole package tour idea. Any suggestions on how to see Ha Long Bay as inđêpendêntely as possible? Could we maybe rent a private boat (with driver) for a day out of Ha Long City, Hai Phong or somewhere around Perfume Pagoda? (I am traveling with a fluent Vietnamese speaker). If we do have to book a tour, where is the best place to do it if we've left Hanoi behind already and are already on the coast? Any help is greatly appreciated.
We've done Halong bay in 3 days 2 nights without any touroperator.
Just catch the bus from hanoi to Halong city. then the ferry to Cat Ba island. The prier is just south of the market, you need to cross a big grey gate and go to the right of the massive restaurant infront of you.
the ticket should be 120000 for a 15min journey to the noth of the island. where a bus will pic you up and drop you in town. 45min. and that's included in the ferry ticket.
You can easly get a room for 5$ and rent a motorbike is a must.
gives you the chance to see the cabve hospital and all the rest of the island. we went kayaking our self just rented a kayak at the 2nd prier in north east of cat ba town.
you can get a ferry + bus ticket back to hanoi for 180000. you'll cruise around the bay for 2 to 5 hours witch is cool and you may be abol to see the caves.
the budget as been cheaper than a tour.
hope that we'll help people to do it alone. It's verry easy and so much more enjoyable than in a busy ferry full of drunk western
#2 samuelradisson has been a member since 28/2/2009. Posts: 1
If you take a look at this story: http://www.travelfish.org/feature/73 you'll read some notes on how our researcher did it solo - wasn't perfect, but if you want to skip the tours, it is one way to approach it.
Otherwise, I think you're stuck with doing it on a tour - don't think there is a freelance way to do it. As far as doing it from the coast, I'd assume any operator will take you from there -- perhaps ask around to compare deals the night before.