Real Lan Ha Bay Experience | 3 Days | from HANOI, VIETNAM

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(5 customer reviews)
100% of travellers gave more than 4 star rating.
  • Are you looking for an alternative to the touristy, party cruises of Halong Bay?
  • Escape the crowds on this one-of-a-kind boat trip to Lan Ha Bay, the region’s best-kept secret!
  • Step aboard a luxury junk and explore the hidden gems that most tourists will miss… Explore remote areas of Lan Ha Bay, visit a mysterious cave and spend the night at a homestay in a sustainable eco-village in the heart of Cat Ba.
  • All of the best bits of Halong Bay, with no hassle!

From $285.00


A traveller from Aurora & 2 others recently booked this activity.
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Halong Bay is the most popular tourist attraction in Vietnam and that means one thing – it can get crowded! Escape the crowds on this one-of-a-kind exclusive boat trip to Lan Ha Bay – the best-kept secret in North Vietnam! Step aboard a charming cruise ship and explore the hidden gems that most tourists will miss… Spend the night in an eco-village in the heart of Cat Ba! This trip offers all of the best bits of Halong Bay, without any of the hassle!

Itinerary – Real Lan Ha Bay Experience – 3 Days, 2 Nights

  • START – DAY 1: Hanoi 7:30 am.
  • FINISH – DAY 3: Hanoi 4:15 pm or 6:45 pm.

DAY 1 # HANOI – CAI BAO CRUISE PORT – CRUISE SHIP


  • 07:30 – 07:40: Pick up from your hotel in Hanoi Old Quarter.
  • 12.00 – 12.10: Arrival at Cai Beo Cruise Port
  • 12.30 – 13.00: Board the boat, enjoy a welcome drink & introductory meeting.
  • 13.15 – 14.30: Enjoy lunch while cruising to charming Lan Ha Bay, enjoying the incredible landscape on the way.
  • 15.00 – 17.00: Explore the magnificent quiet in a kayak, or just relax on one of the island’s deserted beaches.
  • 17.30 – 19.15: Back to the boat to refresh and relax on the sundeck before experiencing a demonstration of authentic Vietnamese cooking. BBQ dinner on board.

DAY 2 # CAT BA ISLAND – VIET HAI VILLAGE

  • 06:30: Morning is the best time of the day on Lan Ha Bay. Make the most of your time on board as you head to the upper deck to participate in our daily Tai Chi sessions, or alternatively, relax with an early morning cup of tea, coffee or juice and watch the sunrise over this mesmerizing landscape
  • 07:00 Enjoy a light breakfast of pastries, tea and coffee, before embarking on another day of unforgettable experiences.
  • 07:30 Arrange your luggage and prepare for check-out before visiting Dark & Bright Cave.
  • 07:40 – 09:15 The final stage of your trip meanders through the mysterious caves and remote islets of this breathtaking World Heritage site. We access this wondrous landscape on local rowing boats, ensuring that you get a memorable authentic experience. Following this, you will journey back to the main ship.
  • 09:30 It’s time to say goodbye to the cruise, as you board our speed boat and transfer to the beautiful Viet Hai Village.
  • 09:40 Arrive at a local island, where a quaint and picturesque village waits to be explored. Our host will be waiting at the harbour and an electric car will be ready to take you to our homestay.
  • 10:00 Arrive at our Homestay and check into your room. Feel free to explore the area: The village plays host to traditional houses; in the surrounding areas you will find local farmers and their water buffaloes ploughing the green field. The indigenous forest is a sight to behold. Be sure to bring your camera as you discover this serene island and its inhabitants.
  • 12:00 Enjoy lunch at the homestay and take a moment to rest & relax.
  • 13:30 – 17:00 Our host will show you the map of Viet Hai, leading you into the forest for a hike and exploration of a mysterious cave.
  • 18:00 Enjoy a traditional dinner at the homestay
  • 20:00 – 21:30 Playing board games and relaxing. Spend the night at the homestay.
  • Optional (Extra fees): Join a kayaking tour, paddle to small coves under starlight and maybe even witness glowing plankton transform this already idyllic landscape into a dreamscape! 

DAY 3 # CAT BA – HANOI/NINH BINH


  • 08:00 Breakfast is served at the homestay, after which you have free time to visit the village to see the daily life of the local people (making rice wine, farming…).
  • 10:45 Farewell brunch served at the homestay before taking a boat to Beo Pier.
  • 11.20 Leave Viet Hai Village by speed boat.
  • 11.40 Arrive at Beo Pier, Cat Ba Town. Our host will get a taxi for you to go to the drop-off point in Cat Ba Town where you can take the connecting bus to Hanoi or Ninh Binh (not included)

Solo Travellers, Families & Dietary Requirements

  • Solo travellers – If you want to do the Real Lan Ha Bay Experience alone, there will be a single supplement (extra cost) of $185 US.
  • Families with children – This trip is suitable for families with young children.
  • Dietary requirements – Are you vegetarian, vegan or have an allergy? Please let us know when booking if you have any special dietary requirements and we will try our best to accommodate.

Operator

Friends Travel Vietnam

The South East Asia Backpacker Community have tried and tested adventures across the region and handpicked a selection of only the BEST companies to work with.

Why we chose Friends Travel Vietnam?

We chose Friends Travel Vietnam because they provide experiences beyond the norm. Their trips take you off the beaten track, away from the tourist crowds and their respect for local cultures and the environment can be 100% relied on. The owners Sidney (Dutch) & Thao (Vietnamese) his wife and their team do everything they can to make sure that travellers (since 2013) have the best experience possible and we consistently hear glowing reports. Here are some reasons why we love Friends Travel Vietnam and why we think you will too:

  • They think small – They take the care and attention to ensure that even the smallest of details is well thought out.
  • They think local – They go to great lengths to ensure that the encounter between the traveller and the local community is beneficial to all.
  • They think about the planet – An aspect of travel which is often sadly overlooked. Friends Travel Vietnam ensure that the tours they organise have a positive effect on the planet.
  • They only provide tours that they would truly like to go on themselves – This carries through every aspect of the tour, the guide, the accommodation, the transport, food etc. Everything has to meet the high standards that the company themselves would demand when travelling.
  • They are honest – This can refer to a number of situations. For instance, if bad weather is expected during the time that a customer has booked a tour, Friends Travel will inform them of this and make suggestions as to the ideal clothes for them to bring with them. Sometimes the accommodation provided on a certain tour is basic, in a shared room, or simple mattresses on the floor. In each of these situations, the accommodation will be good and highly appropriate for the trip in question. However, it is very important that the traveller knows what to expect.
  • They only offer a small collection of tours, but they are awesome – Here at South East Asia Backpacker we are guided too by this exact philosophy. There is too much choice in this world of travel. Both we and Friends Travel Vietnam believe that by offering only the very best activities and doing them as well as humanly possible, we can ensure an amazing experience for the traveller.
  • Their support continues after the tour – When you come to the end of your time with Friends Travel, they will be very happy to help you with the next stage of your journey, whatever you may need!

5 reviews for Real Lan Ha Bay Experience | 3 Days | from HANOI, VIETNAM

  1. Stephanie

    Not quite as advertised, but still good. We booked this tour but the details in our itinerary differed from what was offered— we got picked up off the (amazing) boat earlier than our itinerary and thus missed the brunch on the boat, and got to the island very very early (before 9am) without any input on things to do or see until our hike to the top of a mountain which was also later in the day than our itinerary (2pm). The views were amazing but there were no caves. Additionally, we did not get the night kayaking which was something I was most looking forward to. Overall, it was an amazing experience and the boat was phenomenal, but a few tweaks would have made it perfect

  2. Maureen

    We made the right choice booking this unique tour. The Lan Ha Bay cruise was very well organized, lovely helpful staff, no crowds or pollution, and amazing feasts for the meals, which included all kinds of fresh seafood. First class. We loved the speedboat ride to the village harbour. A beautiful home stay with lots of interest. The guide was terrific. We had a hike to a bat cave and the most magical night kayak to see the phosphorescent plankton. He also arranged transport for us to the hotel we were going to outside Cat Ba Town. Note there is a weekend premium fee and Visa payment charge for this tour — that might be a standard practice. So it was more expensive than advertised but still great value for money. Highly recommend it.

  3. Anna Ford

    This cruise was amazing!! We booked for seven people (one vegan and two vegetarian)—they were super accommodating and we had wonderfully clean rooms and a really great adventure. The viet hai village was beautiful and the stay with the local people was a very cool experience. Lots of fun activities included as well.

  4. Sarah Horton

    This was a great tour with much care and attention given to details. Even though the weather was not great we still had a memorable trip. Food on the boat was amazing. Comfy beds. Professional crew who looked after us very well. The home stay in Viet Hai was beautifully quiet after the chaos and pollution of Hanoi. Truly authentic. Good English speaking guide for the hike up the mountain and wonderful hospitality from our hosts. Recommended.

  5. Marko Pende

    The Lan Ha Bay Tour was truly a great experience. I would recommend it at any time as a super alternative to the Ha long bay short trips. The overnight stay at the village was very cool and the people very nice. The view after the hike was breathtaking

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What's Included

Included

  • Transport from Hanoi
  • Pick up at your hotel in the old quarter
  • All meals during the trip.
  • All activities as outlined in the itinerary: Kayaking, visiting the Dark & Bright Cave, Forest Hike with Guide, Night Kayaking to see bioluminescent plankton.
  • English speaking guide.
  • Accommodation: One night on the boat, one night on the homestay.

Not Included

  • Travel Insurance.
  • Water, Soft & Alcoholic Drinks.
  • Snacks.
  • Tips.

Refund Policy

  • In order to book this experience, you will need to pay a deposit online via South East Asia Backpacker.
  • This deposit is fully refundable if you wish to cancel up until 48 hours before the start of the activity. PLEASE NOTE: This policy refers to the payment made to South East Asia Backpacker at the time of booking. All subsequent payments to the operator of your chosen activity fall under their own refund policy
  • For cancellations made fewer than 48 hours before the start of the activity there is no refund available.
  • You can request a change of date at any time, free of additional charges.
  • Date changes are entirely down to the availability of the operator and nothing to do with South East Asia Backpacker. 
  • If your date change is not agreed upon, as long as it is within 48 hours of the start date you originally made your booking for, your deposit can be refunded in full if you wish to cancel.
  • The remaining payment for the experience is payable directly to the operator.
  • The operator can request the remaining payment via an online payment link or upon arrival at the destination.
  • The refund of the second payment, which goes directly to the operator, is based on the terms and conditions of the operator, over which South East Asia Backpacker have no control.
  • Please see our customer terms and conditions for more information.

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