Sailing Ha Long Bay, Vietnam for Singles Over 50, Traveling Alone

Sign up for Kate's newsletter and receive a free travel photos e‑book.Subscribe


Travel Ha Long Bay, Vietnam Beautiful Views

By  | 

We booked a small group tour on the  V Spirit Cruise. The boat below is the shuttle boat. We loved the trip because Ha Long Bay, Vietnam beautiful views are unforgettable. The boat held about 24 people. We recommend that this is the maximum of this size for a tour group. Ask before booking if the boat has a maximum capacity and always check on the number of people booked on each ship for your trip.

We Loved The Trip – Our Highlights

boats to Ha Long Bay

Ho Long Bay, Vietnam Beautiful Views and Lots of People

We didn’t see any eco-tourism though it might exist. When I think back on my recent trip, the number of people on the boat is the most important thing to consider when booking. This bay each day and each year is full of tourist, and it just seems unsustainable. To me, it seems like the sear number of tourist coming here will impact this environment. I wonder if every “head” (toilet) is going to a holding tank or if the sewage and holding tank is dumped into the bay?

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam Beautiful Views

ha Long bay boats
We recommend getting your room cleaned, or it will get smelly!

When they clean the stateroom, the cleaning staff also empty the trash. Emptying the trash is critical in a hot climate but, especially in Vietnam where you can’t put T.P. in the toilet. A good reason to get your room cleaned is to get your trash emptied each day. When you can’t flush the toilet paper, the trash gets horrid and smelly. Accept the offer to clean your room, or at the least ask for them to empty your trash.

In these warm waters, I question if people are taking care of this beautiful environment. Pollution created by tourism was the one issue that kept popping into my head because of the lack of accountability from the crew. Whenever we asked a question about anything, we were told the government regulated everything. We were told the government regulated, how much drinks were, what food served and who worked on the boats – of course with the companies approval. As the days went by, we questioned if anyone was making decisions being made to sustain this incredible location. Or was Ha Long Bay soon to be a thing of the past because of the massive impact of tourism on this pristine environment.

Are there Inspectors to Enforce the Laws in Ha Long Bay?

view from ha Long bay boats

Maybe the government was regulating everything, but this also means the government would need to enforce all the regulations, and we didn’t see any inspectors.

Our Recommendation is Go to Ha Long Bay and Vietnam, Sooner Rather than Later

Our boat had large staterooms. There were a small number of guests on our boat, about under 25 people. For me, this is the most important part point to consider when buying a boat trip like this.

  • Make sure you aren’t on a boat with a lot of tourist or guests.

They changed the crew each day. When the crew changed, the prices also changed. The menus were the same each day. The food on the ships could be improved. It was traditional Vietnamese food.

How much time should you plan for Ha Long Bay?

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam Beautiful Views

On our two-day trip,  the daily activity plan was meticulous. Our measured allotment of activities were tightly scheduled every 15-minute. The staff was very proud that they kept everyone on this schedule and was able to transfer the one day guests off of the boat while keeping the two guests engaged with new activities. Honestly, the one day trip isn’t worth it to me (everyone agreed) because most of your time on a one day tour is spent getting to Ha Long Bay on the boat off the boat and back to the port. The one day trip can feel rushed because the crew keeps your time very well organized and tightly managed, so from my point of view; one day would seem very hurried. One day tours don’t give you the relaxed feeling that can be experienced at Ha Long Bay.

The Cost of Trips to Ha Long Bay.

We found prices ranged for $200.00 to about $500.00 US dollars per person per day. If you are sharing a room, it might be less. Some boats are party boats. The people on our group discussed why they selected this tour. We all agreed we didn’t want a party boat, we wanted good food and to be able to explore nature. When you think that the price includes, room and board, transportation but excludes alcohol, the value is pretty good.

What We Didn’t Like and Room for Improvement.

We didn’t like that when the drinks came out at night, the crew started smoking on the boat. The Head Crewperson seemed pushy to us. We didn’t like that it felt like they were intentionally ripping off the guests by raising the drink prices and holding us captive to buy only from them. One woman snuck water onto the boat. Infiltrating water seemed like an unpleasant experience, who cares about where you buy your water. We sure didn’t. But the boat staff did. Our friend who did it felt sad and guilty because she bought from a boat person. It seems that all humans need water. Therefore, water should come at no extra cost on tours.

Discounts aren’t discounts.

‘Discounted drinks’ weren’t actually discounted because the crew raised the prices right before offering a discount at the cocktail time. The crew was pushy about selling drinks. The people were drinking said the drinks were watered down. Everyone had a good time regardless because the guests on the book were a fun group. We felt like the tourist we meet on this trip were all nice. It’s as if Vietnam attracts friendly tourists. All of the staff and guests were friendly and easy-going people. I have been on tours where that wasn’t the case. When this happens, it makes the trip tough.

What did we do in Ha Long Bay?

Our activities included hiking, kayaking, swimming, eating, watching the boat people and game night.

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Copyright © 2024 Capetown-Rio, Inc. USA. All rights reserved. Republishing is allowed only with written permission. All photography rights on this page belong to Capetown-Rio, Inc. and the author. Do you have a question, business proposal, or speaking opportunity? Please contact me here.

Kate started traveling for work. Now with grown children, who are travelers, she travels for pleasure looking for great travel experiences. Currently, her home is in Bellevue, WA, and lives with her cat Angelina Jolie. She has a Bachelor's of Fine Arts, Studio Arts and Art History from the University of Colorado, and from City University, Seattle, an MBA and Master of Arts, Management. Her favorite things are exploring cultures, traveling the world, creating a painting and sour foods.