Excellent cruise ship on Halong Bay
We found Indochina Tours on line, and couldn’t have been happier. We only had time for nine days and eight nights in Vietnam and it made sense to use a tour company. We opted for the ‘Tonkin Elegance Tour’, which gave us four nights in Hanoi, one in Sapa and one on the 24-hour cruise at Halong Bay, plus two nights on an overnight train, which was an enjoyable adventure. Our contact, Ms Huyen Nguyen, was excellent. She answered all our questions very quickly, in a very friendly manner, and in faultless English. She offered us a choice of a three-star tour at $710 per person and 4-star at $875. We chose the latter, and this gave us two nights in Hanoi at each end of the trip in the superb La Siesta hotel in heart of the old district. A small supplement also got us onto the excellent (and apparently best) cruise ship on Halong Bay, the Dragon Legend.
The tour was well thought-out and superbly managed. Guides and drivers showed up exactly as scheduled. We had a private car or minibus for all transfers, and a guide to ourselves, which meant we could have interesting and detailed conversations with them. The two overnight train trips from Hanoi to Lao Cai (the train station nearest to Sapa) were rattly but clean, and we enjoyed them. On our last full day we added an optional trip to Ninh Binh province, which made an interesting contrast to eh Vietnames highlands. Our Indochina Voyages contact, Huyen, was very clear about charges and conditions, what was included and what would be extra, and we were extremely happy with the service we received. If we are lucky enough to be able to visit Vietnam again, we won’t hesitate to contact the company.