Halong Bay Cruise and Hotel Blog - Paradise Vietnam

Luxury tourism is on the up in Vietnam, and Halong Bay is set to see a big change in the way that it is discovered and explored by visitors. Halong Bay luxury cruises are certainly the way forward, and here is why that is a good thing… 

ParadiseVietnam_Paradise-Peak-Cruise What do you think are the reasons to go for a luxury cruise in Halong?

  1. This is a once-in-a-lifetime trip (for most)

Most people will visit Halong Bay just once, and this is one of the world’s great natural beauties, so it is worth paying that little bit extra to make the most of it. If you decide to save some money and go with one of the cheaper operators, you could end up having a less than satisfactory experience which would more than tarnish your Halong Bay experience.

  1. It is better for the environment 

Cheap cruises and environmental conservation do…

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Halong Bay Cruise and Hotel Blog - Paradise Vietnam

What shall we do for New Year’s Eve? is a question that is just as annoying when you’re travelling as it is when you’re at home. New Year’s Eve at home carries with it a certain amount of pressure to have a great time and the result is often somewhat… underwhelming. You’ve spent time with your family over Christmas and it’s time to hook up again with your friends and go crazy. But do you really want to do that after indulging yourself through Christmas?

When you’re away from home, things are sometimes even more difficult as you don’t know where to go or what to do, and the thought of getting caught up in some busy city fireworks surrounded by hordes of people is more than off-putting. One way to get away from at all and to take the pressure off is to spend New Year’s Eve in Halong…

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Phuket Royal Southern Sea Tour

   Tom Phuket Travel operates Phuket Southern Sea Tours located Patong Phuket Thailand I have been familiar with for about 8 years and highly recommend them.

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Halong Bay Cruise and Hotel Blog - Paradise Vietnam

At Paradise Vietnam, we are always on the lookout for ways to upgrade, improve and enhance our excellent facilities so as to remain at the pinnacle of Halong Bay Luxury cruises. Our most recent innovation has been the upgrade of our incredible, wrap-around, sundecks that now not only offer phenomenal views but also premium levels of comfort.

ParadiseVietnam_Luxury Renovation.1 Paradise Cruises always attempt to enhance the excellent facilities and service to remain at the pinnacle of Halong Bay luxury cruises.

After starting earlier this year, we are now proud to announce that renovations to all four Luxury vessels are finished! This process began in May, and we couldn’t be happier with the result. The sundeck of any cruise ship is of vital importance, as this platform affords the best views during the Halong Bay tours. It is here that our guests spend a lot of time during their Paradise Luxury…

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Looking for a hotel or resort in your travels by jackie


Looking for a hotel or resort in your travels. check them out! search

They are a sponsor of our site

Halong Bay Cruise and Hotel Blog - Paradise Vietnam

Always looking for ways in which we can stay ahead of the game, this year will see a complete renovation of our Luxury vessels, ensuring that Paradise Cruises is still providing the best cruises in Halong Bay.

ParadiseVietnam_Renovation (1)

The four Paradise Luxury cruise have always constituted the finest fleet in the Bay. Together the fleet offers a total of 68 cabins, with each vessel housing an elegant dining room, a relaxing onboard spa, and an incredible sundeck with wrap-around views. Earlier in the year we introduced themed royal evenings and traditional tea demonstrations to the delight of our guests, the popularity of the activities evident from the great luxury Halong Bay tour reviews.

But now we have taken the Luxury vessels a step further by refreshing the design concept. The cabins have been fitted with more comfortable beds making sure that everyone sleeps soundly when they cruise with us…

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We are new, only 7 months old and growing.  WE list several online booking, travel agency, all for free as we think it helps those that follow us.  We are growing so ask to join as an affiliate with  with us understanding may not be accepted to lack of visits per month as we are new.  Kinda of test the water.  Easy process as just give them your web site and URL so they can find it.  Straight forward.

They emailed back saying the following:

The content on your website is unrelated to travel.

      – The content on your website doesn’t reach our minimum quality requirements.

      – The website is too recent and therefore is not indexed and cached by Google and/or doesn’t have a Google PageRank.

      – We are unable to provide tracking for this URL as it uses a public domain.

      – The website is still under construction.

      – The URL could not be found.

The last was really stupid ” the url could not be found”  wow  How would you know any of the above without looking at the website!

The web site is not under construction!  The domain is private and paid for!  Do a google search and on the first page!  the website is SE Asia with over 500 post all related to travel in SE Asia!

Needless to say  I would not trust an outfit that is so unprofessional.  I was not surprised to be rejected for lack of traffic  etc  just expected them to do their job!

Halong Bay Cruise and Hotel Blog - Paradise Vietnam

Paradise Cruises is always one step ahead. This year we will be going even further, cruising for longer, and getting our valued guests even deeper into Halong Bay.

A Halong cruise has become a must-do activity in Vietnam and parts of the Bay are beginning to get a little congested. The ‘Fighting Cocks’ and ‘Surprise Cave’ areas are becoming especially crowded and in 2014 some of our guests raised their concerns that there were just too many boats.

Surprise Cave has become especially crowded. Surprise Cave has become especially crowded.

At Paradise we always aim to provide a luxury Halong cruise experience, and that doesn’t just mean fantastic facilities onboard but also exclusive cruising away from the crowds. For years now our Paradise Explorer vessels have gone deep into the southern part of the Bay, and we have provided a unique Halong Bay private cruise experience on our Paradise Privilege which is available for charter.

Our Paradise Explorer vessels go deep into the southern part of the Bay, around Cat Ba Island and Lan Ha Bay. Our…

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Climbing Mount Kinabalu (on the cheap!)

Lorna Explores

I climbed the highest mountain in South East Asia yesterday. I can’t feel my legs. 4,095m up in the sky, all the pain was worth it.

Mountain shadow - sunrise at the summit Mountain shadow – sunrise at the summit

I wasn’t always sure I’d get the chance to climb Kinabalu due to different things I’d heard about cost and availability but when I stayed at the lovely North Borneo Cabin in Kota Kinabalu the owner told me about the deal at Jungle Jack’s and so I jumped at the chance and left the next day.

Mount Kinabalu Jungle Jack’s

Jungle Jack’s is just outside the National Park. Jack is an absolute diamond and completely runs the show. We were provided with steaming hot showers, kitchen and food supplies as well as dinner in a local restaurant. Cute dogs for company – always an added bonus. 420 ringgit (£110) included 3 nights accommodation (the second night is spent in a lodge on the…

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Sabai Sabai Promotion 
  Booking Period : 25 Feb – 2 Mar 2015
  Travel Period : 11 Mar – 30 Sep 2015

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 6.02.32 PM


    Bangkok (Don Mueang)
All inclusive fare starts from*
850 THB
Udon Thani
850 THB
Ubon Ratchathani
850 THB
Khon Kaen
850 THB
Sakon Nakhon
850 THB
Surat Thani
850 THB
Chiang Mai
950 THB
Chiang Rai
950 THB
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Hat Yai
950 THB
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Nakhon Si Thammarat
950 THB
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Nakhon Phanom
950 THB
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Roi Et
950 THB
1,150 THB
Buri Ram
1,150 THB
Mae Sot
1,150 THB
1,150 THB
Chiang Mai–Udon Thani
1,150 THB

Go to their site to book online and read terms and conditions

Nok Air online Booking

Halong Bay Cruise and Hotel Blog - Paradise Vietnam

In our Next Stop! series we explore areas accessible from Halong Bay that can be combined with a Halong Bay tour. With Paradise Vietnam opening the Paradise Suites Hotel, which extends the services of a Halong luxury cruise on land, moving on from Halong Bay is easier than ever before.

In December we looked at Sapa, the jewel of the northern mountains, but this month we are focusing on Mai Chau. Often considered the easier alternative to Sapa, Mai Chau is a mere 2 hours from Hanoi. Unfortunately though, as Halong Bay sits to the east and Mai Chau lies to the west, most routes from Halong Bay to Mai Chau still take you through Hanoi. It is a long 5/6 hour journey but for those who don’t mind long bus rides and/or are limited with regard to time, this is an option worth considering.

Halong Bay to Mai Chau still means going through Hanoi Halong Bay to…

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Vietnam Train page

Vietnam Train page

I want to start off saying I love Train travel, romantic and if traveling by day you can see the country

Train Travel


Reunification Express Train

map and some text from Vietnam Railway System  They are a travel agency not an official government site! 

On 1 January 1995, the Vietnamese Government decided to separate infrastructure expenses from transport. Since then, the Government committed to grant fund for infrastructure upgrading and maintenance expenses which before had been paid by the railway sector as well as invest in developing infrastructure.

Vietnam Railways carries out business in competitive market, has reasonable fare and pays fee to the State for the infrastructure use.

In 15/TB communique issued on 20 May 1996, the Prime Minister pointed out guideline and development strategy for Vietnam Railway Corporation to the years 2000, 2010 and 2020. Regarding investment capital for infrastructure development, the Government confirmed that it would be drawn from the State Budget and paid out in terms of infrastructure use fee. The Government also agreed to use available ODA capital to grant finance to invest in infrastructure and buy equipment for Diesel locomotive.
It’s not the Orient Express, but Vietnam’s Reunification Express is a great, fun way to travel. We travel ‘Soft Sleeper’ on all rail journeys. This is the most comfortable standard available though it cannot be compared with European standards. RE train runs all the way from Hanoi to Sai Gon (Ho Chi Minh city), stopping in Hue, Da Nang, Nha Trang and Phan Thiet (Mui Ne). On sleeper trains, generally speaking each carriage contains a number of cabins, which have four berths. Luggage can be kept in your compartment under the bottom bunks. A wash basin and communal western and squat toilets are located at the end of each carriage. Pillows and blankets are provided, meals are sometimes served o­n the train, but we recommend you bring your own food with you.


wikipedia The Vietnamese railway network has a total length of 2,600 kilometres (1,600 mi), dominated by the North-South line running between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City; as of 2007, 85% of the network’s passenger volume and 60% of its cargo volume was transported along this line. There were 278 stations on the Vietnamese railway network as of 2005, 191 of which were located along the North-South line.

Several railway lines have been proposed for construction in Vietnam in recent years. The largest such project is the high-speed North–South Express Railway connecting Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City, (see High-speed rail, below) valued at approximately US$56 billion. Due to its cost, plans for the line are currently on hold pending further study of the project.[39] Other projects involve the restoration of previously existing lines, such as the Da Lat–Tháp Chàm and Ho Chi Minh City–Loc Ninh lines, both of which were originally built in the 1930s, but fell into disuse after decades of war. The proposed Ho Chi Minh City–Loc Ninh and Mụ Giạ–Vung Ang lines (both of which had either existed or been considered before World War II) would establish Vietnam’s first international railway links to Cambodia and Laos, respectively.[4]  

The railway link from Haiphong to the Chinese city of Kunming was originally built by the French administration of Indochina in the early 20th century. The section within Vietnam is 389 km long (237 km between Hanoi and the border at Lào Cai). The railway used1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) gauge due to the mountainous terrain along the route. Currently, the line is the only main line in China using metre gauge, (or dual gauge, since it can also be converted to standard gauge). Railway service along the Chinese portion of the route is currently suspended. Cross-border service was available until 2002, when floods and landslides, which frequently caused delays along the route,[56] caused serious damage to the tracks on the Chinese side.[43] The railway will form the Chinese part of the Kunming–Singapore Railway, which has been proposed many times, and which at some point was expected to be completed in 2015.

Railway access to Nanning is done through the border at Đồng Đăng, in Lạng Sơn Province. Regular service generally entails stopping at the border, changing from a Vietnamese metre-gauge train to a Chinese standard-gauge train, and continuing on to Nanning. Since 2009, a daily overnight service is available; the train departs from Hanoi’s Gia Lâm Railway Station, and runs on standard-gauge tracks all the way to Nanning.[43]


There is currently no railway connection between Vietnam and Cambodia. The French administration of Indochina originally built a railway from Saigon to Lộc Ninh in the 1930s, with the intent of extending it further into Cambodia. It was abandoned in 1945, at the start of the First Indochina War. A new line connecting Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, was proposed as part of the Kunming–Singapore Railway project, overseen by the ASEAN–Mekong Basin Development Cooperation (AMBDC). The 129 km (80 mi) Vietnamese portion of the line would begin with a junction of the North–South Railway at Dĩ An Railway Station, and would end in Lộc Ninh, Bình Phước Province, close to the Cambodian border. According to the plan established by ASEAN, this stretch is scheduled for completion by 2020.[4][57]


There is currently no railway connection between Vietnam and Laos. In 2007, the Laotian Ministry of Transportation entered into discussion with Vietnam to discuss the possibility of opening a new railway line from Thakhek in Laos through the Mụ Giạ Pass to Tân Ấp Railway Station in Quảng Bình Province, connecting to the national railway at Vung Ang, a port in Hà Tĩnh Province which the Vietnamese Government plans to expand. This would revive, in part, an earlier but aborted scheme, the Thakhek – Tân Ấp railway. According to plans established by ASEAN, the line may be extended via Thakhek all the way to the Laotian capital Vientiane. Both Laos and Thailand have expressed interest in the project as a shorter export gateway to the Pacific Ocean.[4][58]

High-speed rail

An 700T type high speed train of Taiwan High Speed Rail, which is a derative of Japan Shinkansen.

Japanese Shinkansen technology has been suggested for use in the express railway project. (Photo: Taiwan High Speed Rail)

National railway company Vietnam Railways has proposed a high-speed rail link between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, capable of running at speeds of 300 km/h (186 mph). Funding for the line would come mainly from the Vietnamese government, with Japanese aid in the form of official development assistance (ODA). Current technology allows trains travelling on the current, single-track Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City line to complete the journey in approximately thirty hours.[41] Once completed, the high-speed rail line—using Japanese Shinkansen technology—would allow trains to complete the Hanoi–Ho Chi Minh City journey in less than six hours.[5][39][59]

Vietnamese prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung had originally set an ambitious target, approving a 1,630 km (1,010 mi) line to be completed by 2013, with 70 percent of funding (initially estimated at US$33 billion) coming from Japanese ODA, and the remaining 30 percent raised through loans.[59] Later reports raised estimated costs to US$56 billion (almost 60 percent of Vietnam’s GDP in 2009) for a completion date in the mid-2030s. On June 19, 2010, after a month of deliberation, Vietnam’s National Assembly rejected the high speed rail proposal due to its high cost; National Assembly deputies had asked for further study of the project.

source Vietnam Impressive Agency

Train Information
The Ha Noi-Lao Cai tourist trains run nightly, departing from Ha Noi Train Station B (behind 120 Le Duan Street). The following trains from Ha Noi to Lao Cai (SP1, SP7, LC1, LC3; AM: LC5) and from Lao Cai to Ha Noi (PM: SP2, SP8, LC2, LC4; AM: LC 6) daily. The daytime trainsets offer only hard seats, whereas Travelers enjoy soft-sleepers, air-conditioned, four-berth cabins on the night trains.

Sapa Tourist Carriages
Fansipan Express Carriage (attached to SP1/2)
The brand new Fansipan Express train has just been introduced to operate routing Hanoi – Lao Cai – Hanoi with 4 fully decorated carriages with high standard soft sleepers with airconditioning wooden cabins. Each berth is equipped with reading lights, baggage storage, flower, mineral water and napkin.

Livitrans Carriage (attached to SP7/8)
To serve tourist requirements, the Livitrans train is also part of a regular train with 2 carriages in SP7 and SP8 which offers A/ C, soft-sleepers and clean four-berth cabins.

Chapa Express Carriage (attached to SP3/4)
A new tourist carriage train for your trip Hanoi-Laocai-Hanoi in same branch of 4 stars hotel in Sapa: U Sapa hotel. This first class carriage of 7 luxury wooden 4-berth sharing cabin with A/C. Two upper bunks can be foldable, cabin looks like a VIP 2-berth cabin, a good choice for clients preferred the privacy. Nice decorated cabin with soft pillows, fresh blankets, graceful curtains and friendly care of Chapa Express’s staff from beginning to the end of your overnight train journey.

Orient Express Carriage (attached to SP3/4)
With the comfort facilities of the wood-panelling cabins, deluxe cabin of Orient Express carriage makes your stay memorable to relax or simply let the beauty gliding over your spacious windows. Luxury, inspiration and refreshment are main character of these carriages. Donot confuse yourself with Victoria Orient Express!

Tulico Carriage (attached to SP1/2)
Tulico train offers comfortable, air-conditioned soft sleepers. While this is not a luxurious train, it offers good alternative transportation to Sa Pa from Ha Noi. It has soft sleepers, A/C and four-berth cabins. You are provided with one bottle of water, a small snack and a napkin.

TSC Carriage (attached to SP1/2/3/4)
The TSC Express train is wooden carriage, soft sleeper A.C cabin with soft 4 berths and two toilet at either ends. Each berth is equipped with individual reading lights, baggage storage and spacious trunk for suite case and hand luggage. The train provide also water and cold tower.

Et Pumpkin Carriage (attached to SP1/2)
There are two kinds to feature on this carriage: the first called ‘deluxe’ wooden panelled cabins connect with SP1 and SP2 (Hanoi-Laocai-Hanoi) and the second is ‘superior’ croned wooden cabin. We advise you to take all the real wooden panelled cabins. Their deluxe cabin is nice and accepted with the similar standard like other tourist carriages – wooden decored, mineral water, fruit are set up on complimentary basis.

Sapaly Express Carriage (attached to SP3/4)
A new generation of tourist carriage runs Hanoi-Laocai-Hanoi, each carriage is designed only for 6 spacious cabins instead of 7 cabins as usua. Decorated with natural wooden furniture, soft pillows, fresh blankets, graceful curtains and state of the art facilities, cabins are bound to bestow on passengers a nice stay with deep sleep. Sapaly VIP 2 berth cabins are designed solely for couples who desire to have their own privacy.

Green Express train (attached to SP3/4)
Another new kind of tourist carriage train for Hanoi-Laocai-Hanoi, the Green Express carriage is attracted by offering soft sleeper carriage, A/C clean four-berth cabins with cozy comforts for travelers during the trip. You will see this luxurious and professional train service with charmingly designed and furnished with modern deluxe wooden natural furniture under harmonic light system which creates a noble and pleasant feeling to the guests.

More on transfer Lao Cai station – Sapa
The Ha Noi – Lao Cai train stops at Lao Cai Station, some 40 kilometres from Sapa and stops at Sapa’s main Post Office (Buu Dien). Each way cost about VND30,000-35,000.

The tourist bus back to Lao Cai leaves from outside Sapa’s church, but it usually will pick you up at your hotel – inquire with the hotel staff for getting a bus ticket back to Lao Cai Station.

The arrival time of Hanoi-Laocai-Hanoi might be changed due to Railways system’s maintenance.


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