Another scam,we caught a bus from one of the bus stations (sorry I can’t remember which one!) Quoted 100k each to halong bay. Got on the bus and it was a small mini bus very posh, tan leather brown seats, air-conditioning tvs in the back of seats we thought great.
Half way through the journey the bus driver stops the bus and passes a phone to my boyfriend, he is then offered a halong bay tour which we politely said no and put the phone down as this man kept going on and wouldn’t take no foresponsibility an answer.
About 30 minutes prior to arriving to the ferry port near halong city, the bus stops a man jumps on board and says this bus doesn’t take you to halong come with me. We stupidly got off with another family (the only non vietnamese people on there, we were singled out) and again this man told us come to his office to sort a tour to halong city.
We were angry and said no and he said fine you pay for taxi rest of way. Left us stuck next to a busy highway with absolutely nothing around. We managed to get a taxi and not knowing how far we were asked how much it would cost to get to the port, he quoted 9000k! So we thought we better negotiate, negotiated a price 5k and he took us literally 20 minutes to the pier.
Also, 50s and 10s are the same colour be careful as they mix the change up often or claim you gave them two 10s instead of two 50s.
We stayed away best as possible from touristy parts and tours as that’s where it was definitely worse. We travelled the road a lot and arranged the majority of buses and trains ourselves directly at the bus or train station which saved us a lot.