Haiphong and Halong Bay

Two days ago, Chris and I took the train from Hanoi to Haiphong, a city to the east that's closer to Halong Bay. We arrived at night and walked to the Sunflower Homestay where I rented a room that's supposed to have two beds. After going through some alleyway, we found the place. But when the manager showed us our room it only had one king bed. It took some communication using Google Translate to resolve the issue. As it turned out, the other bed is a folding twin bed. I slept on the folding bed while Chris slept on the king bed. Problem solved.

Chris had booked a six hour day tour of Halong Bay beforehand, so yesterday we got picked up by a driver. After picking up an Italian couple at a different hotel we arrived at Halong Bay harbor 45 minutes later.

The tour group must have had about 25 people or so. We first went hiking at Ti Top Island, then I took a bamboo boat ride at Hang Luon with 7 other people. Chris opted for kayaking. The last thing we did was going to the Surprising Cave, which was huge. On the way back, we saw the sunset and moonrise from the boat as it cruised through Halong Bay. The tour ended with the tour guide, Ben, singing karaoke as we pulled into Halong Bay harbor.

We got back around 7:30 PM last night from the boat tour and the drive back. Today, we need to check out by noon. We might also grab lunch with the Italian couple, but we are not sure what our plans are. Chris and I will take an evening train back to Hanoi and stay there for three days before taking a flight to Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday.

Arrived in Haiphong at night

Buffet lunch on the boat tour

Ships similar to ours cruising in Halong Bay

Hiking up Ti Top Island

The view at the top of Ti Top Island

The beach at Ti Top Island

Ti Top Island is named after a Soviet general who was friends with Ho Chi Minh

On the bamboo boat

Bamboo boat is powered by one rower from the back

After passing through an underpass, we arrived in Hang Luon

The underpass

Halong Bay from Surprising Cave

The biggest room in Surprising Cave

Sunset over Halong Bay


Ben is a great singer!

Back at the harbor


  1. Wow! I wished I could have taken the time to go there. Maybe in the future. Thanks for the photos, that tour really seemed worth it.

    1. It was a great tour! I really enjoyed it. Not too long, not too short.


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