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Hotel Baļ-Tho 99 bateau Hotel 2 star
Easyexperts
Hanoi, Vietnam -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

This boat, built entirely of wood, offers cruises in Halong Bay in simple comfort and a friendly atmosphere. It offers all the standard outings, as well as seafood specialities to be enjoyed at every meal.

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    • Hotel Baļ-Tho 99 bateau

      Baļ-Tho 99 bateau   -   © EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel Baļ-Tho 99 bateau

      Baļ-Tho 99 bateau   -   © EASYVOYAGE

       
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    Location 8.5 /10

    Embarkation takes place on the pontoon used by all the junks at Bai Tai. Allow 3 hours for the journey from Hanoi.

    Accommodation 6.95 /10

    The 15 cabins are all in the same category and can each sleep 2 people. They are small but comfortable and their layout along either side of the boat means that each one has a window looking out over the bay. The cabins have a doorbell and air-conditioning and are prettily decorated, with a map of the bay on the wall, spotlights in the ceiling to bathe your cozy bed in light and a small lamp for reading tales of adventure or romance before going to sleep in the heart of this UNESCO world heritage site. You may choose between two single beds or a double bed. The mattresses are hard, which is to the taste of some, but may keep others awake. All rooms have a small bathroom with a modern washbasin, toilet and a floor-level shower. Products like shampoo, shower gel and a toothbrush and comb are provided, so all you need to bring for a night on the bay are your pyjamas.

    Overview 6.70 /10

    Bai Tho is the name of one of the two big companies that own most of the boats in the bay, so don't be surprised if you come across several other boats with the same name. The boat is several dozen feet long and is made entirely of wood. It is designed like a typical junk and although it unfurls its sails for you to admire when you have landed, it actually relies on its engine to move through the water. The boat has 4 levels. The two lower levels house 15 cabins and the third is a large room used as a restaurant, a shop when aperitifs are served, and a games room when the boat is docked between two excursions. The top level is a terrace with deckchairs, and affords excellent views of the bay during trips. Everything in the boat is made of wood, from floor to ceiling, lending it an authentic and convivial appearance. Touches of Vietnamese decor have been added here and there, but not always in the most tasteful manner!

    Food and drink 6.20 /10

    The restaurant is in a big, long room where 6 tables are set alongside the windows, allowing you to enjoy the splendid views of the bay even during mealtimes. There is a single menu for lunch and dinner, and what a surprise it is! A succession of small dishes are brought from the kitchen, without you ever knowing if it is going to be the last. The menu includes lots of seafood products like shellfish, fish, crabs and prawns, as well as vegetables, rice (which has the place of honour), soup, a little meat (too fatty for our liking), spring rolls, and fritters (some fattier than others). Despite the wide range of choice, the quality remains pretty average overall. Elegance is somewhat lacking, with dishes brought in and taken away in a rush. Avoid the coffee at all costs, because although it is barely drinkable, you still have to pay for it!

    To know

    Drinks are not included and nor is the price list provided when you choose your wine (you are encouraged to buy a bottle to drink over the course of the various meals). The coffee is not very nice at all and it is worth bringing along a big bottle of water to avoid paying for it once on board. Kayaks can be hired by customers on the boat for an extra fee.

    Equipment

    • Restaurant
    • Sports equipment

      kayak

    advantage

    • Seafood at all meals
    • Clean rooms

    disadvantages

    • Overpriced drinks
    • Tourist products for sale
    • Food only average quality (except seafood)

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10