Hi I'm travelling through Vietnam for four weeks in April and I was just hoping to get some insight from anybody who has gone on one of the cruises as a solo traveller and their experiences of it.
was the cruise full of loved up couples making the solo person feel like some kind of outcast. Any and all information would be very much appreciated.
You can book the tours in Hanoi and pretty much every hostel/hotel will be able to book these for you (prices vary significantly). There is one tour called a Castaway tour that is aimed at backpackers but costs quite a bit of money (if I recall $200+) for 3 days. I was just in Ha Long Bay over the last weekend and booked a 3 day trip with a few guys I met whilst traveling. Cost us $67, we got lucky and had a boat full of backpackers and partied the night away! The second night was not so party orientated, it was a diverse mix of ages & types of travelers. I would say, if you want a guaranteed 'party boat' book with castaways, but you're probably better off just trying to meet some people at a hostel who have similar plans, shop around & book in a group. It's a beautiful area to visit even if you aren't among young folk!
Also, just because you buy an expensive tour doesn't mean you will get the treatment you deserve... during our 3 days on the bay & Cat Ba Island we met people who had paid upwards of $130 for exactly the same thing. The food was very average (one morning's breakfast was a sliver of egg & 4 pieces of stale toast!), the transport poor (13 people squeezed into a 9 person minibus) and on the way back to Hanoi the drivers were reluctant to even drop us back at the hostel (as promised!). In saying this the beds were pretty much as described but a little dirty. So shop around, and unless you are paying top dollar for an incredibly nice cruise, it's a bit of a lucky dip in my opinion. But really who you meet can really make or break the trip! Happy travels!
#2 jokalla has been a member since 21/1/2013. Posts: 6
I recall reading comments by people staying at Hanoi Backpackers Hostel re boat tours. I would assume people staying there, meet, talk & book on a boat tour together. Maybe something exploring when your there. Even if you don't stay there I assume you can call by and suss out options eg book on a trip with hostel guests. Pretty much guarantees a cruise with similar age bracket. No old bastards like me whinging about excessive noise at night lol.
I'm in Hanoi from 7th and was thinking the same thing, staying at the Hanoi Backpackers Hostel. The Castaway tour sounds like what I want to do but may be a little bit too 'drinking heavy'. If I don't find another suitable tour, I'll probably do this given it's targeted at an under 30 crowd.
I'm traveling solo, so the hostel crowd does make sense. Paying an extra $70-80 however does sting if there's no good reason.
#4 toristo has been a member since 24/3/2013. Posts: 1
I wasn't sure if posting details of businesses was frowned upon, but I see others doing it so here goes nothing. My $67 trip for 3 days/2 nights was booked at Hanoi Youth Hostel; very close to Central backpackers. Cheap dorm beds as well, the owner's a pretty cool guy. Please do read what I posted up the page before you rush off and book this trip though.. don't expect too much. After all, it is only $67!
#6 jokalla has been a member since 21/1/2013. Posts: 6