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Tourists complain of Ha Long Bay trip cut short

A group of tourists that visited Ha Long Bay are complaining that their standard 4-hour trip was cut short by two and a half hours by the boat crew.

  

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Tourists visit Ha Long Bay

A group of tourists said each of them had to pay VND250,000 (USD11) for a 4-hour tour trip on Thanh Cong 28 boat on November 12. However, their trip was forced to cut short. A tourist said, “The crew on the boat always urged us to be quick. Usually, it takes an hour to explore a cave but the crew said we must return after 40 minutes.”

The group left Tuan Chau Port at 9 am and returned at 11.30 am. As soon as they reached the shore, another group of tourists was urged onto the boat.

Quang Ninh Inland Waterway Port Authority confirmed that Thanh Cong 28 boat ran three trips on November 12 and there was a two and a half hour trip. Ho Quang Huy, vice chairman of Ha Long City People’s Committee, said they were checking the information because in some cases, tourists had made a deal with the boat crews to cut the trips short.

However, the complaining tourists said they had no deal and were told that their trip would be four hours.

The tour guides also raised concerns about the shortcomings when providing services for solo travellers. Most tourists share their bad experiences on the Internet instead of coming to the authorities. They are usually grouped with the tour groups and have to follow group schedules. If there are only free independent travellers on the boat, those who want to leave early will be prioritised.

Tran Duc Binh, a tour guide from Hanoi, said, “The managers should tell tourists about the timeframe of each trip and let them decide on whether to cut the trip short or not. After that, they can make plans to group suitable tourists together.”