Xin Chao! Welcome to Vietnam. A welcome pack containing a welcome letter, your trip itinerary, relevant tickets, a feedback card and general information on the country will be waiting for you at your hotel. Please ask your hotel's receptionist for the Intrepid welcome pack upon arrival. You may be able to leave your main luggage in Hanoi (please check with your hotel), so we recommend you only take a small bag with a change of clothes and essential travel items.
Your Short Break Adventure starts at 7.00 – 7.30 am, or from your alternate hotel located in Hanoi's Old Quarter (advised prior to departure), between 7.30am - 8.00 am. You will also be joined by other travellers taking the boat cruise. Travel by minibus for 3.5 hours to Halong Bay. Journey through the early morning streets of Hanoi on the way to Halong Bay, seeing steam rising from roadside eateries as breakfast is prepared and motorbikes weaving their way through the steadily increasing traffic. Leaving the city behind, drive through fascinating countryside to the dock where this Halong Bay adventure truly starts. Climb aboard a traditional junk boat – with its beautiful woodwork and beaming crew – and venture out into emerald waters of the bay. Open water soon disappears as the boat glides through often misty waters and past limestone peaks jutting dramatically out of the water. Sit down to a mouth-watering lunch and take in the scenery of what is often referred to as the Eight Wonder of the World. The area of about 1,500 square kilometres is dotted with innumerable beaches and grottos, created over thousands of years by waves and wind. Even in the rain the bay takes on a mystic quality. After lunch, you will have the chance to explore some of the limestone caves dotted around the bay, and stretch your legs for an included cave walk.
The captain will find a secluded spot, so soak up the sun on the top deck or go kayaking to see the karsts up close. Everyone will be issued with water buoyancy vests.
Another delicious meal awaits after the sun goes down. Then sit under the beautiful starry skies or perhaps do some night fishing, before drifting off to sleep to the sounds of gentle waves lapping at the hull.
Rise this morning to the tranquil beauty of the bay. Perhaps even wake early for a Tai Chi class on the top deck. Spend the morning exploring secluded areas of the bay. Around noon the junk returns to the dock and the journey towards Hanoi begins. You will be transferred by boat to the mainland where your vehicle will be waiting.
The journey back to Hanoi takes around 3.5 hours. Your Halong Bay Junk Cruise adventures ends on arrival in Hanoi (approximately 5.30pm) where you will be dropped off at your Hanoi Old Quarter hotel listed below, or as nominated.