Hey does anyone have any experience taking an overnight train back to Hanoi from sapa and getting straight on a pre Booked tour to halong bay?
I'm worried it might be a bit hectic to do so much moving. but if we have a decent sleeper carriage will we get a sleep on the train?
Also is it reliable to book a halong bay tour and assume we can get straight from the train station arriving at 4-5am to get to the tour start on time(we were going to book through Hanoi backpackers or follow the flashpacker advice on travelfish). I've read they usually leave around 8am.
#1 lachiec has been a member since 15/5/2011. Posts: 10
There's always a risk when taking a train, but I've never had major delays on a train back from Lao Cai (OK, I've only done it 3 times but still...) so you should be fine to get back in time. The Backpackers' Halong Trip leaves at 8am from the hostel. As for sleeping - I don't. I always need to go straight to bed after an overnight train but I'm sure some people sleep fine. Sounds like you need to be on form to go on a Backpackers' tour too!
I am actually planning on doing the same thing to save a bit of time and save the hassle of another hotel booking in Hanoi.
When are you actually going?
I am interested to find out how it goes for you, I hope well!
#3 MsMalika has been a member since 19/5/2011. Posts: 7
should be trying it out on the 5/6th of july
#4 lachiec has been a member since 15/5/2011. Posts: 10
I wanna do the same thing. Please let me know how it worked for you.
What time a day do you usally come back to Hanoi from Halong bay.
I´m thinking of saving another night by catching a plane to HCMC on the same day
Trips back from Halong Bay usually aim to return at around 5 pm, but the road is less reliable than the train and I've had friends get back after 7pm before. The last Vietnam Airlines flight leaves far too early for you to make it but you might manage a Jetstar flight.
it's very nice and reasonable to take a trip to Halong Bay after finishing trekking in Sapa . So, you will have chance not only to see the breathtaking landscape of Halong Bay but also to refresh.
I returned also from the tour in Vietnam. Of course, i couldn't ignore Sapa and Halong - the most beautiful destinations of Vietnam. I booked online tour to Sapa and Halong in advance with Vietnam Package Travel (VPT). I had 3 days in Sapa for sightseeing, trekking, learning of the culture of minorities, visiting the ethnic market. Then i took night train back to Hanoi . After arriving in Hanoi station at 4.30am i had transfer to Hotel for early-check in. There i could take shower and have breakfast. at 8.00am driver and guide of VPT picked me up and departed to Halong Bay.
I took a 2 days tour on Aquarena Cruise in Halong Bay. All was very great! From services to landscape made me very satisfied.
#9 mathe88 has been a member since 4/4/2012. Posts: 2
Be sure to have soft sleepers on the train, try to get the lower bed if possible! We took the Livitrans and it was a right choice we made. Some others in our tour to Halong Bay could not enjoy the trip after a terrible night with the Reunification train. We arrived early in the morning around 5 Am then took taxi to our hotel to relax there. It was fine with me but my Mom was quite tired after the trip. If you travel with 70's, it's better to book a hotel for some hours before the cruise trip starts.
#10 susannna has been a member since 6/4/2012. Posts: 22
"I had 3 days in Sapa for sightseeing, trekking, learning of the culture of minorities, visiting the ethnic market."
I don't want to sound negative here - OK maybe I do - you can't learn the culture of an ethnic minority (let alone plural) in three days. That's absurb. Come on. A few casual observances maybe. But that's it. And you couldn't go "trekking" either unless you did nothing else for those three days; you could go hiking. Not to be pedantic, but trekking takes a lot time over broken terrain. Three days is enough to get a few happy snaps, eat some food and look around. Absorbing culture takes a lot of time and language skills to boot, which no one is going to master in three days. I don't want to be harsh, but let's be realistic here. Please don't go home and pretend you've figured out local culture based on a three day trip.