My stay was truly hellish. First of all, Halong is supposed to be a UN World Heritage Site and this is supposed to be an ecological "resort". I'm not sure what any of this means, but I was truly suprised to be greeted by a lake of raw sewage upon arrival. They were getting ready to pump it into the ocean. Got my swimming in early. I was the only guest, and there appeared to be about 20 employees, mostly just sitting around. Nobody helped me with my bags. It was hot, really hot, and humid. They turned on the electricity around dinner time, and I went to bed feeling comfortable, a fan blowing gently over my mosquito net. Then they shut off the electricity, and the fun began. No moon, no lights, no fan, no wind. And insect noises everywhere. I expected as much, but I didn't expect them to pull the plug on my fan. 6 sleepless hours and 100 insect bites later, I awoke and checked out.
Rustic beach bungalows (Nha San) on stilts with stunning views. Outdoor toilets and showers. Bits of concrete and brick fragments scattered on the otherwise pristine sand. Cheesy concrete benches made to look like tree limbs scattered in odd places. No services to speak of. They can cook you lunch or dinner, and the food is ok. Nothing is refrigerated, so the beer is warm.
If you adjust your expectations and pack like you're going backpacking, you'll be fine. But at 400,000 dong per night ($26, or probably 1/2 of what a staff member makes in a month), it's kind of steep to stay in a shack that probably cost $1000 to build and has no power.
There are guesthouses in the village for about 100,000 dong, but they don't have the views.
Mixed bag. No lake of raw sewage, less construction debris on the beach, electricity at night, better mosquito nets and helpful service would cost this so-called resort very little and would improve the experience dramatically.
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