Imagine being on an ancient Chinese Junk boat floating between thousands of limestone islands in emerald green water. This is Ha Long Bay and its beauty does not disappoint.
In my experience, booking a junk boat tour was overwhelming with the different boats and amounts of tours available online. I booked with Oasis Bay and the tour exceeded far beyond my expectations. Not only are the boats newer, they had larger rooms with private balconies, a hot tub on deck and floor to ceiling windows. Trust me, when you open your eyes the first morning in Ha Long Bay you will understand why the floor to ceiling windows are important. Oasis Bay picked me up from my hotel in Hanoi with an English speaking guide and my journey began!
The best decision I could have made was to do a two night three day cruise vs a one night two day cruise. I was not rushed, was able to see more of Ha Long Bay, and recharge my energy after 32 hours of flying from Los Angeles to Hanoi.
On the first day, everyone checked into their cabins, had a welcome drink and we were served an amazing lunch. The food for every meal was outstanding, we were given options and our meals were made from local ingredients found in the region. The first day is mellow and the cruise offers numerous activities such as kayaking, cooking classes, fishing, and morning yoga that you can participate in or spend time to yourself on board.
I was in a suite cabin on the second floor with my own king size bed and private balcony. I was given a mini basket of fruit which came in handy when I was up all hours of the night suffering from jet lag. I hate to mention this because travel should be a time to disconnect but the reality is we live in a digital age. There is WiFi on board in a certain section of the boat. The closer you are to that part of the boat, the better your WiFi but only for a short period of time. It was hard to connect to internet but I was shocked how I was able to send text messages and receive voice calls.
The last day after breakfast, you’re taken to Hung Sot Cave or the “Surprise Cave” for a tour. You have a guide who walks you through the history of how the cave was found and then you have some time to explore on your own before getting back to the boat.
Overall, it was an excellent tour that I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in seeing Ha Long Bay. The tour was well planned, on time and exceeded my expectations on hospitality, food, and accommodations.