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Step 28/82: Vietnam -
About Ha Long
A lot of tourist offices in Hanoi will propose cheap 2 or 3 days boat tour, but I strongly recommend caution as I met many backpackers who had a very bad experience (over-crowded boats with not enough rooms to sleep in, rotten food, lousy activities, etc…)
The best thing to do is to take a boat to go to Cat Ba island and to plan your activities from there. There is an "entrance" fee of 10 dollars that you have to pay before boarding the boats that are going to Cat Ba.
Traveling time: 5 hoursTake a combine bus-ferry ticket which should cost around 160 000 Dongs. 2 to 3 hours of bus ride, and then 1 hour of boat to Cat Ba; Finally 25 minutes bus ride to reach the little town
Tips & Tricks
Things to see
I like to call them the "disco caves" because they are filled with multicolor lights: Some like it and some say that it lacks charms. Most of the boats which are taking people to Cat Ba island make a stop on the way to visit one of the cave... the entrance price is included in the cost of your ticket.
(Don't forget to put a lot of sun screen lotion before you leave... We did and we still got burnt!). From your hotel, it takes 5 minutes with a motorbike to go to the little port where you can rent a canoe for half a day (or the whole day); be careful not to go too far as the currents changes and it can be hard to fight against it, especially after a couple of hours paddling!