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It was time to move on…
I decided to head for Halong City for a few days to see whether or not it had anything more to offer than just a transitpoint for people coming and going from their Halong Bay cruises.
HOTEL TO THE FERRY:
You buy your ferry ticket at the ticket booth at the ferry terminal. The cost for a fastboat to Halong is VND200k.
You will need to ‘sign out’ with the police and fill in a form with your passport and Vietnamese Visa details.
THE FERRY TO HALONG:
The fastboat left on time at 7:00am.
You weave your way past fishing villages and rocky, uninhabited islands.
GETTING TO BAI CHAY:
There are taxis waiting when you disembark.
I got off of the ferry and stopped in a local street stall for a noodle soup breakfast (VND30k).
By the time that I had finished (and talked to a few locals over a cup of tea), it was 9:30am.
I looked at google maps… I was only 3kms away from my hotel over the water in Bai Chay. Halong city consists of 2 parts joined by a bridge: the tourist part is over the bridge in district called Bai Chay.
I had already booked by Bai Chay hotel using BOOKING.COM. With BOOKING.COM, because I use them so much, I get ‘genius’ benefits which include an earlier noon checkin and a 2 hour later check-out.
I walked the 1km-ish to the bridge. It wasn’t what I was expecting.
When I decide to do something, I do it. So, I looked at google maps and doubled back about 1km or so along Le Loi street to get to the access to the bridge road.
I walked over the 1km long bridge and got some nice elevated views of Halong.
Given that I don’t speak any Vietnamese and that I only had google maps to get me there, the trip went well.
My door-to-door trip cost was VND220k (US$10).
BUT, if you have the same idea to walk across the bridge to Bai Chay, I would advise against it.
CATCH A TAXI!
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