Xin Chao! Welcome to Vietnam. A welcome pack containing a welcome letter, your trip itinerary, relevant tickets, a feedback card and general information on the country will be waiting for you at your hotel. Please ask your hotel's receptionist for the Intrepid welcome pack upon arrival. You may be able to leave your main luggage in Hanoi (please check with your hotel), so we recommend you only take a small bag with a change of clothes and essential travel items.
Your Short Break Adventure starts at 7.00 – 7.30 am, or from your alternate hotel located in Hanoi's Old Quarter (advised prior to departure), between 7.30am - 8.00 am. You will also be joined by other travellers taking the boat cruise. Travel by minibus for 3.5 hours to Halong Bay. Journey through the early morning streets of Hanoi on the way to Halong Bay, seeing steam rising from roadside eateries as breakfast is prepared and motorbikes weaving their way through the steadily increasing traffic. Leaving the city behind, drive through the countryside to the dock where this Halong Bay adventure truly starts. Climb aboard a traditional junk-style boat – with its beautiful woodwork and beaming crew – and venture out into the emerald waters of the bay. Open water soon disappears as the boat glides through often misty waters and past limestone peaks jutting dramatically out of the water. Sit down to a mouth-watering lunch and take in the scenery of what is often referred to as the Eighth Wonder of the World. The area of about 1,500 square kilometres is dotted with innumerable beaches and grottos, created over thousands of years by waves and wind. Even in the rain the bay takes on a mystic quality. After lunch, you will have the chance to explore Surprise Cave, stretching your legs for an included cave walk. Access to Surprise Cave is via staircases. Once inside the cave the pathways are a little uneven and slippery.
The captain will find a calm spot, so soak up the sun on the top deck or go kayaking to see the karsts up close. Everyone will be issued with water buoyancy vests.
Another delicious meal awaits after the sun goes down. Then sit under the beautiful starry skies before drifting off to sleep to the sounds of gentle waves lapping at the hull.