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Vietnam forum

Advice for family -Halong Bay tour in August

Posted by happytraveller03 on 9/6/2009 at 05:51

We (2 adults, 2 children 5 and 13) are going to be in Hanoi in early August and would love to do a 2day/1night tour to Halong Bay.

Am I best booking direct with a tour operator and not through a possibly doggy travel agent?

If so, any recommendations of who to use?

Preferably not a budget operator as I would prefer to pay extra for less hassle and a better chance of enjoying the experience.

Also any operators who go to the less crowded parts of the area, if that is possible.

The kayaking and visit to a floating village sound fun.

#1 happytraveller03 has been a member since 9/6/2009. Posts: 4

Posted by BruceMoon on 9/6/2009 at 06:48


Up on the left of the grey area, there is a 'Search Travelfish' box. If you type in a question, you'll get dozens of associated Travelfish discussion pages. In the case of Halong Bay, there will be many many more pages. I suggest you do that, and read what has already been written.

- - - -

Personally? I'd read about the various offerings for Halong Bay and for my first trip wanted to do a 2 nighter, and stay away from the huge crowd of boats that is the 'budget' option. I also wanted not to stay (then) at Cat Ba.

My only options were high end cruises. I chose Columbus. I was indeed very happy with Columbus. I also note that many other contributors to Travelfish have also raved over the quality of Columbus tours. Go to:


#2 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

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Posted by lotramar on 9/6/2009 at 23:24

Posted from within Vietnam.

There are so many local tour operators offering trips to Halong Bay. That is not easy to know who is the leading :) Why don't you try to contact some tour operators advertising on

#3 lotramar has been a member since 25/4/2009. Posts: 5

Posted by largie on 10/6/2009 at 11:03

Happytraveller3.... we too are a family of 4 with 2 very young kids heading to Halong Bay in August. I have been doing some research for the holiday and like you would like to avoid the budget end on the market. Columbus looks pretty good, but on the expensive end! you get what you pay for i suppose.Also look at Tropical Sails,and I Travel. If you canb find a company who actually own their own boats it would help. You miss the onselling which goes on with smaller Travel agents. All the best with you trip and i would love to hear how you go. We dont arrive in Vietnam until late August but if you find something you recommend i would love to hear about it.

#4 largie has been a member since 1/6/2009. Posts: 1

Posted by happytraveller03 on 11/6/2009 at 18:57

We come back home by 10 August so I will let you know.

I emailed someone directly who has recently been to Halong Bay and they recommended the Pinta Gold (Columbus). Yes, I think you get what you pay for and with young kids, we don't want to risk trying any of the budget options.

#5 happytraveller03 has been a member since 9/6/2009. Posts: 4

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