Ha Long Bay, Vietnam- Tips, Tricks and Things To Do


We couldn't go to Vietnam and not visit Ha Long Bay, could we? Toria and I opted for the Hideaway Tour as it had lots of daytime activities as well as really good reviews from other people we'd met whilst travelling. Now, if you've read my Hanoi post (linked here) you'll know that we had a bit of a messy night out the day before our trip. So, you'll be unsurprised to hear that we were feeling a little worse for wear when our alarm went off at 6am and we had to embark on our five hours of travel to the private island. We stopped halfway there and had a buffet lunch on the boat, did some boat jumping and swam in the sea.

Once we'd arrived on the island we were allocated our rooms. We were put in a room for eight with four other girls and as it turns out, we all got on really really well. That evening we had a buffet BBQ, which received some mixed reviews. I wasn't a massive fan of the food, but some of the other girls really loved it. That evening there was a really big thunderstorm, so we spent the evening hiding away and getting ready before heading to the bar for happy hour.

We woke up at about 8 the following morning ready for what was to be the most exhausting day of the entire trip. The day started with a boat ride, and then a cycle to the start of the jungle trek. Now, let me tell you, I have never sweated so much in my LIFE than I did on that bike ride. It was really hot and humid, which combined with a lot of uphill cycling, resulted in a lot of sweaty, hungover backpackers. Now, we'd been told by a girl we'd met at a hostel earlier on in the trip that the jungle trek was a bit of a breeze and nothing to worry about. SHE COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MORE WRONG.

The walk was an hour uphill through the jungle, climbing rocks and mud, in 30-degree heat. Now, I cannot even begin to tell you how many times the girls in my room and I wanted to give up and just head back down to the start. But, after quite a few rest breaks and pep talks between ourselves we made it to the top. Now, this was very anticlimactic. We were expecting really gorgeous, panoramic views and it's fair to say we were underwhelmed, particularly after all that effort. Alas, we had a quick rest at the top before heading back down on the descent.

We then had lunch on the boat, and a quick swim off the side, before heading back to the island. We had another chilled afternoon swimming in the sea before having our second buffet BBQ. We then got glammed up and ready for our second night of drinking on the island. It was far better than the last and involved alllll sorts of drinking games.

The following morning we were all feeling nothing but exhaustion... Perfect when a morning of kayaking is ahead, hey?  It was really good fun but oh so tiring. After this, we had our final meal before heading back to the boat to head back to the mainland. Overall, we had a really good time, but definitely needed a few days afterward to recover. Hideaway isn't for the fainthearted. If you're thinking of going, definitely do the 3-day tour - it's a long way to go for only one night and really is worth the money.


  1. Hey! Very informative and having your lunch on a boat must be very exciting. Can’t wait to visit and do the same.

  2. Hi, Very informative post. Having lunch on a boat must be super exciting. I can’t wait to visit the place and do the same.