You are planning to visit Halong bay but your time is limited, the best way to enjoy the beauty of Halong bay in a tight time frame is by seaplane. You can save the cost by flying one way in stead of a return trip. Halong junk cruise.
Halong bay is famous as the top destination in Vietnam and travelers cannot miss it if you have a chance to visit Vietnam. A typical trip to Halong usually last 2 days 1 night or 3 days 2 nights, staying on board the cruiser. Travel time by car to and from Halong is 4 hours each way, it takes almost a half day to drive from Hanoi. In order to renew the itinerary, besides means by road travelers can travel by seaplanes, a new service launched in September 2014. Depending on your needs, conditions and amount of time you can take one of three choices below:
Option 1: Money is not problem
To save your time, you can book a return trip Hanoi – Halong – Hanoi, there are 2 trips a day departing at 9.00 and 12.45. Depending on your timing you can catch a taxi to Noi Bai airport, to Terminal T1 and do check-in procedures at counter 10, lobby A.
In the 60 minute flight Hanoi to Halong, travelers will have a chance to watch the panorama view of Halong bay on high at 500 – 3000 m. In your sight is thousands of limestone rocks jutting high from the tranquil blue water. The seaplane will then land at Tuan Chau island and return at 11.30 and 16.00 daily.
However you should not return right away but book a 4 hours cruise in Halong bay and have lunch on board, about 50 usd only and you will have a memorable experience with a Vietnamese style lunch in the middle of the bay, admire the caves and grottoes, kayaking among the blue lagoons.
Minimum time: 1 full day
Total cost: 800 usd (Road transfers, seaplane, food, cruise)
Option 2: Moderate cost
To save your expense, you can choose to fly one way from Hanoi to Halong and then return by bus, the itinerary is similar as above, but after landing you are free to schedule your time to explore and have fun.
Nearest place is Tuan Chau entertainment resort island, you can catch a taxi from Halong city to Tuan Chau island, buy entrance tickets 15 usd/person, there are many performances such as dolphins, crocodiles, water music…. You can also visit the outdoor entertainment area and test your ability with activities like windsurfing, canoeing, parachuting, watersliding motor…
Tuan Chau food area is also a suitable choice to have lunch without moving much, you can enjoy various dishes from 7 usd per person. At about 17.00 you can catch a taxi to the island’s entrance for a bus trip back to Hanoi, fares is 5 usd/person
Minimum time: 1 full day
Total cost: about 500 usd (Road transfer, lunch, seaplane)
Option 3: Saving
The best way to not have to spend too much money but still be able to admire Halong bay from on high is travel to Halong by road and book a tour by flight in 25 minutes. From Hanoi you drive to Tuan Chau island in 3 hours. The seaplane will depart and return to starting point at the end of the trip around the islands in Halong bay. There are 3 flights a day at 10.30 14.00 and 14.40. Depending on your arrival time in Tuan Chau island and flight schedule you can arrange lunch before or after the flight tour. For the night you can book a hotel or guesthouse in Bai Chay area, rates 20 – 25 usd/room.
Minimum time: 2 days
Total cost: 350 usd (Road transfer, lunch, seaplane)
Note: We recommend that you come early as the booking will close 25 minutes before departure time
Baggage allowance 20 kg per person
On holidays the seaplane may apply surcharge, you can change flight time but it is subject to availability.