Party and Nature? Ha Long Bay , Vietnam – Castaway Island Review

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor December 30th, 2015 Posted in Asia Travel Blog, Destination, Travel Blog 19 Comments

Ha long bay or the “descending dragon bay” is one of the must-see when you visit Vietnam. A paradise of tall limestone pillars that comes into different sizes and shapes draws a lot of attention from the tourists from every corner of the world. Ha long bay is also recognized as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Vietnam Backpacker Hostels is the one who initiated the idea of taking the traveler’s experience in Vietnam in more memorable and exciting way – Castaway Island trip. They have been organizing this trip since 2004. The Ha Long Bay gained its popularity throughout the past years and Vietnam as tourist destination started to reach the top spot. Resulting in popping out of massive number of travel agencies who offers the same trip but delivers poor experience. For the coolest and wildest party in Castaway Island, you have the Vietnam Backpacker Hostels.

Castaway Island is a place where you will be isolated from the digital world, where you will socialize with every traveler from different countries, where you will party with various awesome people, where you will enjoy an epic water sports and of course mouthwatering food throughout the trip.

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Ha Long Bay – Castaway Island – 3 days/2 nights 

The 3 days/2 nights trip. Inclusions are; all transportation expenses from the pickup in the hostel to the castaway island, entrance fees, meal throughout the trip, accommodation, kayaking and one activity of your choice. Drinks are not included.

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We were picked up at Downtown Hostel around 7:30 in the morning, we took a 3.5-hour bus ride, then transfer to a boat that took 30 mins. We then rode another bus for 45 minutes then another boat for 30 minutes. The total travel time is between 5-6 hours depending on the traffic. Even though it was a long journey, everything went smoothly. They had arranged all the transportation, so we don’t have to wait too long every time we have to do a transfer.

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Throughout the journey, we were able to see the transition of life from the city up to small villages then to the Ha long bay area.


Right after we arrived at Castaway Island, lovely lunch was served. Everyone ate together and the foods were served in buffet style. In the Castaway Island, they have the rules that girls should go on the line first to get their food, and then it’s the guys’ turn, because chivalry is not dead.

The food they served throughout the entire trip was great, various options from rice, noodle, seafood, chicken, pork, beef and vegetables. Vegetarian options are also available. Free water is accessible, while sodas and beers are available in the bar counter with charge. You can either pay them right away or open a tab under your name.


We stayed in a bungalow style room, where bunk beds are arranged with private bathroom. When we were there, warm water didn’t work. However, if you’re coming by the summer season it will be refreshing.

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I was in a big group, we are around 60 people. Even you’re traveling solo, you don’t have to worry. You will meet a lot of cool and friendly people. Most travelers are young people from all over the world with interesting stories. The trip is also designed for a party in an island. So if you have a party beast soul, this trip is perfect for you. Good music and cold beers are available; organizers are also down for a big party. However, if you are more of a laid back person, there is nothing to worry. In the evening bonfire will lit up, you can sit around while enjoying the coziness of the fire in the middle of an island or you can also lie down in the hammock.

Ha Long Bay – Castaway Island Review 1Party in a Boat Cruise


Castaway Island trip offers three activities that you can choose from; Tubing, Wake boarding and Rock Climbing.

Tubing is the most popular one, consists of 4 people who can ride on top of an inner tube. In this activity you and 3 more other people who will be lying their chest against the inner tube, while being dragged by a motor boat. The motor boat will be driving as fast as it can, and will do a crazy pattern, its main goal is to make all 4 people fall from the inner tube. The last one standing is of course the winner. I personally did the tubing, it was really fun and challenging activity, I would love to do it again!

Ha Long Bay – Castaway Island Review 3Tubing

Wakeboarding is pretty popular water sport, where it’s a combination of water skiing, snowboarding and surfing. The rider will be towed by a motorboat driving as fast as 30-40km/h (18-35 mph). If you have tried water skiing, snowboarding or surfing before, this should be good for you.

In Rock Climbing, you will be taken on the other side of the island where the proper equipment is available. A professional instructor will guide you through, so beginners are welcome too. From above the cliff, you will be able to see the beautiful scenery of Ha long bay.

Note: All safety materials will be provided however, travel insurance is not covered.

Related: These activities are quite adventurous, you might want to get a Travel Insurance here.

You will also get the chance to party while on a boat cruise. On our way to kayaking area, we were placed in a boat where we chill around, had some drinks, played some games and enjoyed good music. I enjoyed this part, as we are able to see a handful of amazing limestone across the Ha long bay while having a great time with the other travelers.

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Kayaking is one of my favourite parts, I love kayaking and doing this with new found friends was such an amazing experience. We kayaked through a small cave and at the end of it we were surrounded by one of the most beautiful scenes I’ve ever been to.

Ha Long Bay – Castaway Island Review 13Kayaking


Remember to bring essential things only like; your passport, comfortable shoes/trainers, swimming clothes, bath towel, sunscreen, raincoat and warm clothes (for cooler months: November – March), mosquito repellent, camera, spending money and a flashlight. It’s advisable to carry a small backpack that weighs about 15kgs because the vehicle has limited space. A small day back will also be a good idea for easy access to your camera, sunscreen and water.

If you have big backpacks or suitcases, the hostel can keep it safe for you. Remember to let the hostel know that you will be leaving your stuff.

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Transportation Tip: If you’re looking for the cheapest way to book the Trains, Buses, Ferries, Transfers on this route, we use 12Go.Asia to compare the prices!

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ITINERARY (3 days/2 nights)


Meeting point is at Vietnam Backpackers Hostel (Downtown) at 7:00 am. The journey will take 5-6 hours, then arriving at Castaway Island for an amazing lunch, after that, take a chill while preparing yourself for thrilling activities and water sports. Get ready yourself for a big party night with the whole crew and a cosy bonfire by the beach.

Ha Long Bay – Castaway Island Review 5Cozy bonfire with the crew


Wake up with the peaceful sounds of the waves hitting the shore, followed by a breakfast with everyone before hopping into a boat for a day of cruise party. The boat will drive you around the magnificent beauty of Ha Long Bay and gorgeous limestone rocks all over while having a party with your new friends. Arriving at the destination where you will be kayaking and will hear the legend of Ha Long Bay from your tour guides. A lunch feast will be waiting for you when you get back to the boat, then a slow cruise going back to the island, a stop in a beach will also be offered where you can take a swim. Then a huge party for everyone in the evening.

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You won’t be leaving the Castaway Island until midday, so you will have the chance to relax by the hammock, sunbathing or take a swim. You’ll be back in the city between 18.00 or 19.00 in the evening (6-7 pm)

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If you’re a solo traveler, don’t be afraid to get along with the other travelers and get involved with all the activities. You’ll certainly meet a bunch of solo backpackers too. Pack your sense of humour and good aura with you. Try the activities you thought you might never have the courage to do so, challenge yourself, and step out of your comfort zone. Put down your phone and log out from the digital life, don’t turn your back to a stranger instead make new friends.

Ha long bay Castaway Island

I met tons of people out there and had a fabulous time, considering I am an introvert person. The organizers were also very friendly and sociable especially Mie from the UK. Your backpacking in Vietnam will never be complete without staying with Vietnam Backpackers Hostel. It was heaps of fun experience; I would love to do it again if I get the chance.


Great things don’t have to always come to an end. Vietnam is full packed of amazing places, great foods and thrilling activities to do. Party and Nature? Ha Long Bay, Vietnam – Castaway Island Review @VietnamBH offers an impressive trip from Hanoi to Hue for a week, Buffalo Run trip will take you to various breathtaking attractions, will make you ride a boat, bicycle, sleeper bus, motorbikes and a traditional basket boat guided by an amazing tour guide.

Ha long bay Castaway IslandWe swam in this paradise – Mooc Spring during Buffalo Run

NOTE: The tours and accommodations were provided complimentary by Vietnam Backpacker Hostels. All opinions and experiences in this article are my own.

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DISCLOSURE: Please note that some of the iVisa links above are affiliate links. So when you make a purchase we sometimes make a small commission, at no extra cost to you. The cost to you remains the same, sometimes even cheaper if we have negotiated a special deal for our readers. We use all of the companies we have listed here and that’s why they are in this list, but of course, we need to keep Mr& running as well as it can, which is exactly what you’re helping with if you do decide to buy or book something through an affiliate link! If you have any more questions about the companies we use or any other companies you’re looking at, just email us and we’ll be happy to help. Please see our full disclaimer page for more information.

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About the Writer: 

Mary Charie Profile PicHello! I am Mary Charie Ramos Ylagan I’m a bookworm, ice cream hyped (only chocolate flavour or something with chocolate on it, ah, I don’t even know why I’m babbling about this), writer and a traveller. I am a private person, like very. One of my friends even said that maybe I was a hooker before. But if you are highly curious about my personality (which I profoundly doubt), we should travel together. I’m sarcastic in an annoying way but my very close friends love it, though! Pulling some jokes is like a hobby to me, although this gives me hard time to open up my feelings. That’s why I looove my blog, it lets me express myself in a different angle.
Join me on my adventures here


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19 thoughts on “Party and Nature? Ha Long Bay , Vietnam – Castaway Island Review

  1. What a fantastic trip – I love reading about different places – I know nothing about Vietnam. Great photos – a great post 🙂 Kaz x

  2. Wow what an adventure – it all sounds fab. Love that ladies get to eat first 🙂

    The bonfire on the beach looks amazing too Thanks for sharing your travels x

    1. Ha! It was a brilliant idea about the girl will eat first. Unless you got bad hang over the next morning and get up late! Oh I love bonfire!

  3. My friend is going to Vietnam next month and I am so jealous of her, especially now I’ve seen these images x

  4. its fun to be on that boat on the river, though i was bit scary with life jacket on. its fun, foods are tasty and cheap as well. though I have no plan to visit again, I might visit again after my Laos tour in february. this articles gave enough tips to convince myself to go back
    Thank you and happy new year

    1. Hello Ahmed! Thank you for reading 🙂 Indeed it was fun! How’s Laos? I’m glad I can convince you to go back in this lovely country 😉

  5. Wow amazing photographs, Images are too good and color quality is awesome. this place looks so beautiful, i hope you completely enjoy there.
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful moments.

  6. This seems like a great alternative to the Thai islands which are a little overplayed. I adore that you outline potential days and activities, makes it so much more enticing.

    1. Glad you liked it Daphne! It was indeed a great place. Many travelers visits this place, but it won’t make you feel like it’s crowded. Feel free to send me a message for questions. Would love to share my experience to everyone 🙂

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DISCLOSURE: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links. So when you make a purchase we sometimes make a small commission, at no extra cost to you. The cost to you remains the same, sometimes even cheaper if we have negotiated a special deal for our readers.We use all of the companies we have listed here and that’s why they are in this list, but of course we need to keep Two Monkeys Travel Group running as well as it can, which is exactly what you’re helping with if you do decide to buy or book something through an affiliate link! If you have any more questions about the companies we use or any other companies you’re looking at, just email us and we’ll be happy to help.Please see our full disclaimer page for more information.

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