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Halong bay does not have crystal clear waters its a bit dirty and not really suitable for swimming, but the kayaking can be very enjoyable. The food on the boat was of a very high standard.
Food at the two homestays was of a high standard, the accomadation was also of agood standard. Both homestays have good facilities (showers and toilets).
Be prepared for longer than expected journeys, 140 km can easily take 3-4 hours due to traffic and road conditions. This resulted in some activities specified in the trip notes not being possible due to time constraints.
Food and beer are very cheap, a beer is about 80p. Don't get caught out by the price of wine on the halong bay - its about 5000000 Dong (~£20) for a bottle that is £4 from Tesco !
Overall a very good trip.