It is really great & wonderful that from travelfish website that I found a lot of useful info for my Hanoi Trip. From the sharing of the members I ve shortlisted a few travel agents to Halong Bay. Can any one can tell me, in which way I can get better price for the same package? To negotiate and book online? Or to deal with them directly when I arrive Hanoi?
Thanks a lot!
#1 doraemon has been a member since 3/3/2008. Posts: 12
The best two are < Tropical-Sails.com > who have smaller ships with around 16 cabins and < www.emeraude-cruises.com/ > who sail larger boats.
You get strictly what you pay for. Remember 'travel agents' charge commissions that reduce the amount the cruisers get.
Make sure you don't get dumped in a hotel on Cat Ba Island and that the cruise you are thinking of using has good reports by using Google.
#2 CatBa has been a member since 5/3/2007. Posts: 349
Thank you once again Catba!
I found that the two companies you mentioned are a bit costly. Our budget is around USD50-60 (For a 2D1N trip)
How about Sinch Cafe? Any advise from you?
#3 doraemon has been a member since 3/3/2008. Posts: 12
As I said, you get what you pay for (and often not even what 'travel agents' pay for.
And make sure it's the REAL Sinh Cafe < www.sinhcafevn.com/ > as their are about 56 'Sinh Cafe's' in Ha Noi at my last count.
Sinh is honest, the majority of smaller travel agents are untrustworthy - even if an agency has an Australian citizen as an owner (two outfits) and most are not bonded.
Chances are at you price bracket you will get dumped on Cat Ba overnight - whilst your boat earns money another way.
#4 CatBa has been a member since 5/3/2007. Posts: 349
If you take a look at the Ha Long Bay section on Travelfish you'll see a few links to stories our researcher did regarding this topic. He did three different tours (and also did it solo) and compared the deals. Admittedly our budget didn't stretch to the higher end options mentioned by CatBa, but still, it's useful background reading.
I agree with CatBa. For that price, Sinh Cafe 's website state that it is a group tour.( ?). That mad guy from down under didn't get good review on Lonely Planet( are we referring to the same guy? ).Based on my sleepless nights, anything less than $ 100 is a risk. Good luck to you.
#6 KPTham1 has been a member since 26/9/2006. Posts: 52
Thanks everyone for your advise
#7 doraemon has been a member since 3/3/2008. Posts: 12
Just got back about 2 weeks ago from Vietnam. We took a 2 D/1 N Halong Bay Cruise tour directly from Alantic Vietnam Travel at 66 Ma Mai street , Old Quarters at us$ 69 /pax. The night was on board a wooden junk, Imperial Junk which has only 7 cabins ie 14 pax max. I enjoyed the cruise greatly as we had peace of mind .The tour guide was sincere and tried his best and I think this agency is worth checking out. The lady at 66 Ma May is called Thanh and she was very helpful.
#8 KPTham1 has been a member since 26/9/2006. Posts: 52