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Typical pick-up time from Hanoi for a Halong Bay Cruise?

Seattle, WA
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Typical pick-up time from Hanoi for a Halong Bay Cruise?

I will be in Hanoi on a business trip and will be flying in arriving at 9:40 AM on a Saturday morning. I would like to get to Halong Bay that day and do a 2 day, 1 night Halong Bay cruise, getting back to Hanoi on Sunday night. Is this doable or do all the tours pick up in Hanoi a lot earlier? Is there any way to make this work arriving so late in the morning on Saturday? I have to be back in Hanoi for meetings on Monday morning.

Llanbrynmair...
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1. Re: Typical pick-up time from Hanoi for a Halong Bay Cruise?

Much too late I'm afraid. The pick-ups in central Hanoi take place at about 8-8.30 am and the cruises sail from noon onwards.

Even if your arrange a private transfer from the airport - and taking into account the time it will take to pass through immigration and pick up your luggage, even supposing your flight arrives on schedule - you couldn't get to Halong Bay in time to catch a cruise.

Seattle, WA
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2. Re: Typical pick-up time from Hanoi for a Halong Bay Cruise?

Thanks for the reply CreakingBones. I'm a photographer and looking to take shots that reveal the essence of Vietnam. You seem to have a lot of knowledge about North Vietnam. Could you suggest areas and or places that I could visit during my limited free time in Hanoi? I'm mostly interested in people and scenic places, not so much historical locations. Also, the light of sunrise and sunset, so good places to photograph during those times of day.

Thanks!

Llanbrynmair...
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3. Re: Typical pick-up time from Hanoi for a Halong Bay Cruise?

Hi drjhnsn. For photographs of people (and it is the people who are the essence of Vietnam) you can't beat the streets of central Hanoi at any time of day, the Old Quarter in particular and especially in the proximity of street markets. Be sure to book a hotel in that area and take a taxi to wherever your meetings are to be held, rather than settle for a hotel in a less inspiring location closer to your place of business.

The streets of the Old Quarter are also pretty atmospheric in their own right, as are the various lakes (particularly Hoan Kiem, Truc Bach and West Lake, all of which are at their best in the early morning and late afternoon), although for stunning landscapes you might think about a private day tour by car to the breathtakingly beautiful Ninh Binh Province, which has similar karst formations to those in Halong Bay but in a rural setting.

Any chance of extending your stay? So many things to experience and photograph, so little time to do it!

Seattle, WA
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4. Re: Typical pick-up time from Hanoi for a Halong Bay Cruise?

CreakingBones, excellent recommendations on where to go to photograph. I think I will spend Saturday in the Old Quarter and on Sunday do the day tour to the Ninh Binh Province. It looks even more photogenic than Halong Bay, which seems to be overly crowded with tourists. You can see the type of work that I shoot at my smugmug account: dalejohnson.smugmug.com.

Hanoi, Vietnam
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5. Re: Typical pick-up time from Hanoi for a Halong Bay Cruise?

I was just there last weekend, and the weather not the greatest for photography - overcast the whole time, but otherwise quite comfortable/mild for swimming, etc. I was on Dragon Pearl #3 - great rooms/beds with rather so so food (no buffet). They now have luxury van service for Indochina Sails' boats - quite comfortable.

6. Re: Typical pick-up time from Hanoi for a Halong Bay Cruise?

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