Sapa and Halong Bay Vietnam...anyone care to share experience of do's and dont's?'


#1
Hey to all, as mentioned in the thread title, I will be going to these 2 locations for my honeymoon in 2 weeks time. Would love to get insights from those whom have gone there and to share experience of what to expect...Btw any idea if its possible to get halal foods there?

Particularly for Sapa, I will be staying at Topas Ecolodge...as for Halong Bay itself, I have yet to do any booking for the junk boat itself...any advice??

Thanks in advance to all..Cheers!!!
 

Andrew Ng

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Aug 14, 2007
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#2
SAPA at this time... cold... No offence.. was there a year ago.. it would be a challenge to find Halal food. You may want to bring some stuffs there and resort to vegeterian....

Lots of Roast meat and Hot pot.. but Halal.... er.. \:dunno:

There are some 'French, English restraunts' there in SAPA Town. Bakery and Salad Bars??? Not being mean here... but there Toast and Bread are real good. They learnt it from the french, Dutch and Portugese during their occupation.

Vietnam Dishes comes with lots of 'odd variety' of vegetables.

Halong Bay.. Trips, book from Sinh Cafe. Go to this one.. the real one! Others are Fake!

HaNoi - Sinh Office 1 - 52 Luong Ngoc Quyen Street. Tel: 9261568, email sinhcafetrandang@vnn.vn

HaNoi - Sinh Office 2 - 64 Tran Nhat Duat Street. Tel: 9290394

Have a Good Trip!
 

#3
Thanks...but don't really get you on the real and fake thingie....any advice abt camera gears??how cold is it gonna get??

guess i gotta go on liquid diet there as I dun really like vege...hahahaha
 

BUZ_BUZ

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Aug 25, 2006
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#4
I book thru Vega travel during my trip last year, the contact is

Vega travel
24a Hang Bac - adjoining 106 Ma May Street.
Tel: (84-4) 9262092
Fax: (84-4) 926 0910
E-mail : vegatravel@fpt.vn
A good mid range travel agent.
Prices are good although not the cheapest.
They have good resources in Sapa and Ha Long Bay, especially Ha Long Bay where they have their own junk and the condition of the junk are pretty good.
The travel guides that guide us in Sapa and Halong are friendly and responsible.
Food provided are good.
May be you can indicate that you need Halal food to them in the e-mail before you confirm.

Another choice is Hanspan,
Handspan Co. Ltd
Ha Noi Office
80 Ma May, Ha Noi.
Tel: +84 4 926 28 28
ext: 24, 25, 26 (Sales)
ext: 21, 22 (Online)
Fax: +84 4 926 2383
e-mail : info@handspan.com
This is a more reputable one with some value added travel packages in Sapa and Halong Bay.
But the price could be a little on the high side.

PM me your e-mail address, I can forward some more info. to you.
 

liveevil

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Jan 10, 2006
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#5
Thanks...but don't really get you on the real and fake thingie....any advice abt camera gears??how cold is it gonna get??
the fake part is bcos everyone opens a travel agent and start calling themselves Sinh Cafe. Lot of Sinh Cafe all over the place.

bring more batteries. ;p
 

Andrew Ng

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Aug 14, 2007
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#6
Thanks...but don't really get you on the real and fake thingie....any advice abt camera gears??how cold is it gonna get??

guess i gotta go on liquid diet there as I dun really like vege...hahahaha
Yup.. as what Liveevil says... lots of Sinhcafe.

Gear.. you going for Honeymoon right... your 50D with 24~105 will do. If have a Tamron 18~270, better. ;)

SAPA... below 10 degrees at night..... Day time like 10~27 Degrees, yes.. it can get so wild. The local says experiance 4 seasons in a day...

Enjoy your Trip.!
 

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Dec 17, 2007
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#7
Hi,
I went in septmber.If you want to go to hao long bay,and to Sapa tour you book through Kangaroo cafe which is run by one of the Austalian guy.Very reliable and no cheating.

He arrange best boat with AC room and best food also.main thing when you go to Sapa you go on train and book to and fro from him or if you are booking from any one else.otherwise you face lot of problems.

They will send you by bus and you dont know what kind of bus also.very dangerou by bus.for more information Pm me
 

optimist

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Jan 30, 2007
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#8
Hi, I will also be there with my wife from 15 to 24 Dec. Planning to stay in Sapa town for 2 nights. We will book Halong Bay tour when we are there. If it is gloomy weather, we will probably skip it. If you happen to see a guy with grey hair and a 135L mounted on a 40D, do approach and say hi.
 

#9
Hey optimist....we will be there on the exact same date...i'll be leaving on 15th and be back in spore on 24th too...hahahahahha...

But I will head for sapa first once touchdown, then head to halong bay right after...

Thanks guys for the inputs...but i've already booked my package with Topas Ecolodge(SAPA) for accomodation, transport, guide.etc for to and fro for SAPA

http://www.topasecolodge.com/

....intending to book halong bay trip once there, will look up the sinh cafe though..cheers!!
 

faineant

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Oct 2, 2008
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#10
I went to Sapa 1-2 years ago. If you're going for those "hikes" around the country side, please be careful.

The river current is strong. One of my friends actually got swept away in the cold water. He's quite a small chap but even I felt that the current was stronger than I'm comfortable with.

As for Halong Bay, I'm sure you've heard of people jumping off the 3-storey houseboats when they are anchored. Please be careful too, some guy slipped off the edge before he jumped off and landed awkwardly.

As for weather, it's not that cold. Especially after you've walked around and 'warmed up'. Just a light sweater will do.

Most of all enjoy your trip! :thumbsup:
 

leeks

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Sep 18, 2009
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North East
#11
Hey to all, as mentioned in the thread title, I will be going to these 2 locations for my honeymoon in 2 weeks time. Would love to get insights from those whom have gone there and to share experience of what to expect...Btw any idea if its possible to get halal foods there?

Particularly for Sapa, I will be staying at Topas Ecolodge...as for Halong Bay itself, I have yet to do any booking for the junk boat itself...any advice??

Thanks in advance to all..Cheers!!!
i should not cost you anything more than USD40 if its a day trip to halong bay, with pick up from major hotels (i was staying at fortuna hotel and booked through hotel reception), and bring your own water. drinks (soft, hot and beer) on junk boat are expensive, but still abt singapore prices lah.
 

Shen siung

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May 21, 2008
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#12
Halong Bay trip can be booked in Hanoi old town. Just walk around to compare the price before you decide. Usually, (not always), you pay for what you going to have. A day trip can cost USD20-25, for the same thing, depends on different tour agent.
 

optimist

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Jan 30, 2007
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#14
Hi Shahlan

Looks like we will miss each other in Hanoi. I am staying a few days in Hanoi before heading for Sapa. All the best to your honeymoon.

Cheers, Koh
 

BUZ_BUZ

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Aug 25, 2006
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#15
Thanks guys....it was mentioned that sapa wasnt too cold...does it rain often during this time there like in spore now??any guys care to share shots or your trips there?
The weather can be quite cold at night ( 7 ~ 8 deg.C ) around this period of time.
Sapa is situated in high mountains with cold chill wind at night.
Do bring enough warm clothing.


This site give a good indication of the weather condition in Lao Cai.
The weather in Lao Cai give you a good guide on what weather to expect in Sapa.
Do note that Sapa is colder and much more windy than Lao Cai because it is located at higher altitude.
http://www.wunderground.com/global/stations/48803.html

Don't belief those weather forcast provided by some Sapa Hotels which is always
15 ~ 25 deg.C thru out the year. :bsmilie:
 

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Fireemblem

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Nov 15, 2008
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#16
ermm dun believe those weather forecast on sapa you see on the internet. It is freaking cold there.

I was there 2 weeks ago and even then it was 7 to 12 degrees (I brought an alarm clock that shows the temperature) Raining too with cold wind. And that is just the end of autumn, not even the start of winter yet. If you are going in January, it will be much more colder,be prepared for even 0 degrees as sapa has history of regular snow.
 

Shen siung

Senior Member
May 21, 2008
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#17
If you are looking for Halal food, I know there is one in Hanoi old quarters. It is call NISA.
Address:
90, Nguyen Huu Huan.

About 5 min walking away from Hoan kiem lake / water puppets show theaters.
Own by a proud Malaysian, whom got many photos collection of himself and some Malaysian politicians / VIPs, display on the wall.

The food are just ok, but more expensive then other similar level restaurant, probably not easy to obtain halal food materials in Hanoi.

Also, worth to visit the tourist information center (TIC) at Dinh Tien Hoang street, facing the Hoan Kiem lake, to pick up some free maps / brochures, there got other list of restaurants, should have 2 or 3 more halal food restaurant.
 

rusty

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#18
im going to Hanoi+ Sapa from the 10th - 15th December. Looks like a lot of SGporeans are headed there for the holidays. Hope our photography gear can hold against the weather. Bad news is, i just finished my exams and i havent even done any research about the place at all. Lol!
 

#20
I spend about 2 days in Sapa about two weeks ago. it was freezing cold at about 1-5c. The last day when we were about to leave for Hanoi, the temp went back to a comfortable 10++c. So be prepared to spend a bit more if you didnt bring any warm clothing.
 

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