We also took a day tour to Hoa Lu Tam Coc. I personally enjoyed this tour more than Halong Bay. In the morning we were brought to visit a temple in the Ninh Binh province. After which we had a buffet lunch and off we were for a boat ride along the river. The sights that you see, can only be seen when you are on the boat. What's more, the boat ride takes you through 3 caves. The entire boat ride was enjoyable but take note that towards the end of the ride, the local may demand you for a tip. Normally the tip would be about 2 USD per person... so please do not give more than that. Even though, the local may stop the boat half way and start to demand for more money from you, just stay firm and not to give any more money. Because ultimately, they will still bring you back to shore.And the best part of this tour was a bicycle tour! Each of us had a bicycle and you can either follow the tour guide or you can explore the area on your own (just be sure to be back by the time given). It was a very different experience because I feel like a local!