January 15 Tour

My wife and I are on this tour, arriving the night of January 14. We are planning to spend January 15 on a Vietnamese junk in Halong Bay. It's a long day - we have a private car picking us up at 6:30am, and we don't arrive back at the hotel until 5:30pm, just in time for the welcome dinner, but we have been told that the effort to see Halong Bay is well worth it.

This will be our 3rd Tauck tour. We are from Sudbury, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston.

Looking forward to meeting everyone.

(Karen &) Jay


  • I hate to be a kill joy, but my recommendation would have been to allow arriving several days early, both to avoid the possibility of delayed travel, you are talking Boston in January, and to get over the affects of jet lagged a little more before the tour begins. While I have not taken this particular tour, that is what I plan to do. The other comment I have for Tauck is that so many people want to see Halong Bay, I do not know why Tauck does not include it on the tour, does anyone know why?
  • My husband,brother and sister-in-law are on the January 15 tour . We arrive very late January 13 and although we discussed the Halong Bay cruise we decided to stay put, relax, take a walking street food tour of the old City.

    We look forward to meeting our fellow travelers.

    Gale L
  • We are booked on this trip (January 15, 2016). We will arrive in Hanoi late on January 13 and will have the 14th to explore on our own. We haven't given a lot of thought to how to spend that day; probably we will simply wrestle jet-lag to the ground. We are a couple of retired Canadians (Calgary) and are looking forward to meeting everyone and to a great tour with all of you.
    Joe & Marie
  • I just wrote you a long reply and then didn't post it, so here is the short version:

    We took this trip last year, it was great. Definitely try to book an overnight trip to Halong Bay. (Bhaya cruises)

    We arrived two nights before the welcome dinner. Got a good night's sleep at the Hanoi hotel and were picked up at 8:30 AM for a 3 hour drive to Halong Bay. The drive is not that interesting, so you can cat nap along the way. Boarded the ship at lunchtime and cruised along the bay until after brunch the next morning. The sights are spectacular and there are 2 (included) short excursions offered that are both worthwhile. After brunch you disembark the ship and will be back at your Hanoi hotel about 3 ish with plenty of time to relax before your welcome dinner.

    Also suggest checking our the tiger preserve in Chiang Mai. It's not included on your itinerary but is doable during your free time in Chaing Mai. Look up their website. If you need more info, email me at [email protected]
  • Could you please let us know what tour company you used for the Halong Bay trip, and what ship was used.

  • We r booked on the dec 12 2016 Vietnam Cambodia and Thailand trip. Just booked our air and we arrive 2 days early. We did halons back y for an afternoon 2 years ago- but it rained and visibility was really poor. We also did the cave. Is it worth doing again? Any other suggestions? I seem to remember it was impossible to cross the street if we stay in Hanoi. But was at mercy of our miles- so therefore arriving early. Would love suggestions! Thx!
  • edited January 2016
    Sudburyjay (Karen & Jay)…did you book your day tour to Halong Bay through the Metropole Hotel or through one of the groups that do the one day tours? We want to do just a day tour but don't know which group to use. We are on the Feb. 15 TAUCK departure. Thank you.
  • We booked our tour through viator, and wound up using a local Hanoi tour operator - Apro tours. Their website is aprotravel.com.

    They had a private all day tour listed on their site that started at 8 am and returned to the hotel at 7 pm. We had them adjust the times so that we would be picked up at 6:30 am and returned to our hotel by 5:30 pm.

    They were very professional in their correspondence, including providing us with details about the ship and the various caves and islands we would be visiting.
  • We have emailed Apro tours enquiring about booking the same one day trip to Halong Bay on January 15th with the same early departure time with the intent of being back at the hotel at 17:30. I see the weather forecast is for cloudy with showers and a temperature of 19(C) - not ideal, but it is the only day we could do this trip.
    Thanks for posting the link to the Apro website!

    Joe & Marie
  • Thank you so much for the information. I just emailed them to find out more details. If you have time after you take the trip, please post your impressions…we don't arrive until Feb. 12th. Nancy
  • Hi Joe & Marie,

    This is SudburyJay's wife.

    Please let us know what you hear from Apro. It would be great to have another couple join us on the tour. Presumably they'd need a larger vehicle, but other than that, it would be nice to have company.

    See you in a few days,

  • Their response:

    "Thank you for your enquiry to Apro Travel.

    We organize private tour so the tour can be customized as your requirement. We will start at 6.30am and come back to Hanoi at 5.30pm. The tour price is $120/person. Price includes: English speaking guide, car transfer, sightseeing fees, boat, lunch, mineral water.

    I am looking forward to your booking confirmation."

    I will reply to them that we want to go ahead but that we would like to join "Jay and Karen" and travel together in one vehicle if that is feasible. I would hope that if they only need one vehicle, one driver and one guide instead of 2 of each then perhaps the cost per person would come down but we will go regardless.

    We leave Calgary tomorrow morning and it is already 10:40 PM in Hanoi so I don't know if we will get a response before we leave. If we do I will let you know via this forum.

  • That sounds fine.

    We are paying the $120/person price (same as you were quoted).

    We would welcome traveling together, regardless of whether we can get a lower price.

    Looking forward to seeing you in Hanoi (probably at 6:30 am or so on Friday, as we are arriving late Thursday night).


  • Her response:

    "If Karen & Jay agreed to join in Halong Bay tour with you, I will arrange the tour for 4 of you. So the tour cost will be $92 per person.

    I am looking forward to your booking confirmation.


    I will make sure they understand that you have already been in contact with them so they don't send two vehicles. See you Friday, bright and early!

    Joe & Marie
  • Just sent Apro Tours an email confirming that we would welcome your joining us.

    Will see you at the hotel on Friday at 6:30 am.

    (Karen &) Jay
  • OK. This should be the last post from me on this subject!

    Her instructions to us:

    "You just need to wait at the hotel's lobby (56 Ly Thai To street) at 6.30am on 15 Jan. Our guide will meet you there and please pay by cash to the tour guide. "

    Joe & Marie
  • Joe & Marie,

    Please email us at [email protected] (special account set up to preserve anonymity here), and we can then exchange our real contact information.

    See you soon,

    Karen (& Jay)
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