Imagine yourself cruising at our very own Coron only a hundred times larger, it’ll be a very memorable experience. Halong Bay, being listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lived up to our expectations. Even though we were not able to swim or jump from the deck of our junk because of the cold weather, it was still a very enjoyable experience!
How to book for a Halong Bay Cruise
We booked our slots and cabin on a 3-star Halong Bay cruise via our hotel BB Hanoi Hotel. With their recommendation, we chose Galaxy Premium Cruise. Aside from the good reviews, they also had a discounted price. We saved $30 by booking via our hotel instead of booking at the cruise company itself.
I must say, the wooden boat was really pretty! Aside from the neat appearance with its white color and design, the interiors were as amazing. The boat was relatively new with wide windows and spacious comfort room in every cabin. Our deluxe room was very much worth the money we spent. The deck was also very beautiful and relaxing, with pretty chairs and tables and plants. The dining room was big enough for 24 guests.
The Guide and Boat Staff
Charlie the Guide was charming. He was very good with his English, and was not at all annoying unlike most tour guides. He was very knowledgeable of the history and trivias of Halong, and was very accommodating. The staff too were friendly! During the sunset party, the staffs behind the counter engaged in small talks with the other guests and were always smiling whenever we asked for small favors.
Everything was in full-course meal! And everything was so tasty it felt like we were in a 5-star cruise ship! We never once complained about the food. 5 out of 5!
The karst formations we saw as we cruised down Halong Bay was just so magnificent. The formations where everywhere aw we cruised, as if they have kept their secrets for a millennia. It was purely God’s gift for mankind to appreciate nature more. Since it was during cold weather when we visited Halong, the cloudy skies gave an eerie vibe to the whole scenery making it dream-like. At night, everything was pitch black except for the lights coming from other boats and the anchorage area for overnight cruises. As we woke up on our second day, the water was very placid it was so relaxing over the wide window.
On our first day, we went to visit the Light and Dark tunnels. We rode a small wooden boat rowed by local Halong girls.
The next day, we went to visit the popular cave in Halong first thing after breakfast. It was also in this area that we got a panoramic view of a little bit of Halong Bay.
While we were cruising along Bai Tu Long Bay on our way back to the pier, Charlie had a quick demonstration on how to make spring rolls. And the spring rolls we made were friend and served during our lunch. We we all so proud because it was delicious!
The Overall Cruise Experience
We had a really wonderful cruise experience cruising in Halong Bay, to think we bought our tickets for a cheaper price compared to other 3-star cruises. The junk, the cabin, the tour itself, the food, and everything else was perfect! Well, maybe that little winter part haha. But definitely a must-try! Galaxy Premium Cruises definitely made our cruise worthwhile! Two thumbs up!
Below is a summary of our Halong Bay cruise itinerary plus actual expenses in VND, USD and PhP (for two people):
Want to know more about our Vietnam trip? Check these out:
- 1 Day in Hanoi
- Traveling in Vietnam via Saigon Express
- 24 Hours in Hoi An
- 2 Days in Ho Chi Minh
- Crossing the Vietnam-Cambodia boarder by Bus
- 11 Days Vietnam-Cambodia Itinerary and Summary