I just did Halong Bay for 15$. You can do tours but this is just as good.
You go to travel agency or hostel/hotel and book the ticket.
The ticket must include:
- Bus from hanoi to Halong city
- Cruise boat through Halong bay to Cat Ba Island
- Park admission (120.000 dong)
- Bus on Cat Ba Island to Cat Ba city
Then you can spend a few days there. Dorm price from 3USD. Rent a bike 4USD. Go kayaking.
#1 ehmsen has been a member since 27/2/2014. Posts: 1
I'm intrigued. The bus to Halong has got to be at least $4, probably more, then add US$6 for park admission and say US$1 for the bus on the island, which leaves US$4 for the 'cruise boat' which I am finding hard to believe. And that doesn't include the agent's commission. Plus of course you've then got the cost of accommodation and food which definitely takes it over US$15. More info please!
That's exactly how I did it five years ago, except I caught a bus directly from the bus station to Ha Long City rather than booking through an agent. Can't remember how much it all cost. Was cheap but had to be more than $15. I recall the taxi to the bus station was more than the bus ticket to Ha Long City. I also remember paying $5 for a decent room with a good view on Cat Ba. Also remember getting dropped off on the side of the highway in Ha Long City and having to hail a taxi to a guesthouse as I had no idea how to get there. Those were the good old days before smartphones. Can't remember how much the boat cost to/from Cat Ba but we had to pay extra for lunch as we hadn't booked the normal package. I agree it was a good way to do it, but as I recall, some of the low-end package tours were cheaper.
Completely agree it's one option worth considering, it's just the price I'm questioning as I'd expect it to be more like double that. And agreed - taxis to the bus station are often the most expensive part of a journey!
When I went to Cat Ba 3 years ago, I bought a thru ticket at the Hanoi bus station. The ticket included the bus to somewhere on the coast near Halong City (not entirely certain where), then boat to the island, then a bus across the island to Cat Ba City. The whole thing cost 170,000d (about $8.50) one way. I can't imagine the price has gone down in three years.
Perhaps by "cruise boat" the OP is just referring to a general boat transfer to the island, rather than a cruise around the bay?
I do not think that 15USD is enough for a trip to Ha Long Bay!
For a return bus ticket Hanoi - Halong - Hanoi, you have to pay at least 8 USD. The entrance fee in Ha Long bay 120,000 VND (app. 5.7 USD). To visit a cave on the bay, you have to pay extra 50,000 VND/a cave (app. 2.4 USD). Then, you have to pay for accommodations on Cat Ba Island, meals.... and so on!
It must be double price compared to what you mentioned!
#9 anton77 has been a member since 18/4/2014. Posts: 5