Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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August 16, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

SKILLS vs. APTITUDE....Via McMegan, Yves Smith writes:

Unless you have personal connections that are willing to give you a chance at something where your skills might be distantly relevant [...] most employers, especially large companies, want to hire someone who is already doing precisely what the job calls for. I've seen enormously talented senior people (and I don't mean from Wall Street) unable to land jobs because employers write the job specifications so narrowly.

This is apropos of nothing in particular, but I spent a big chunk of my (previous) career being surprised about this precise thing: senior managers who are unwilling to hire, say, a salesman unless he's worked in the exact industry he'll be selling into; unwilling to hire an IT person unless she has experience with the precise software packages the company uses; unwilling to hire product managers unless their background includes products nearly identical to what the company currently sells.

Obviously, background matters. But you know what? If you hire talented people, they can learn a related industry, a new software package, or a different product set pretty quickly. And within a year they'll be great. Hire people with precise skills but who are otherwise mediocre, and a year later they'll be.....mediocre. I know which ones I'd choose.

Kevin Drum 1:51 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (48)

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Hey, that's a slap in the face of mediocre folks with obscure expertise everywhere. Keep it quiet till I land my next gig.

Posted by: B on August 16, 2008 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

You know what would be even better?

If companies were actually hiring and paying decent wages.

Posted by: Condor on August 16, 2008 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

The worst part of that mentality is that it fosters monocultures. Particularly with technology there's a lot of different ways to skin the cat and having people who are familiar with multiple approaches to solving problems adds a lot of value in my experience.

Posted by: Lee on August 16, 2008 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Except for highly technical careers (nuclear medicine , CAD etc.) I have always said that I can train any intelligent person the skills needed for success. Any job you hold is really a SALES job. You are selling yourself!

Posted by: P.C.Chapman on August 16, 2008 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Strategic hiring has a two faced objective. You want to take the employee away from a competitor and use his contacts in your company. It is like stealing market share.

Posted by: Matt on August 16, 2008 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Another thing is that you can get people who have a long list of certifications, promising that they have exactly the knowledge you specify, but are actually incompetent. See, in particular,


Posted by: MattF on August 16, 2008 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

In my experience, great organizations and managers think more or less like Kevin says they should. Mediocre organizations and managers think like Yves Smith says most do.

Given the ratio of great organizations to mediocre ones, it's not hard to figure out the implications.

Posted by: Equal Opportunity Cynic on August 16, 2008 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

If you hire somebody really talented, s/he might outshine you. If you hire a functionary, there's no danger of that.

Posted by: dj moonbat on August 16, 2008 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Funny, but if there was a real shortage of engineers management would be much less fussy about exact qualifications, and they'd be bidding up the salaries for truly mediocre talent.

The fact that neither is true belies the notion that we have a shortage of engineers.

What we have is a shortage of engineers whose salaries are low enough to continue the upward march of returns to capital and management.

Posted by: eightnine2718281828mu5 on August 16, 2008 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, this is a nearly universal phenomenon.

The people who get around this the best? Those with extremely good social networks (i.e. prep school/ivy league/rich town/B-school communities).

The social advantage of proximity to wealth is huge.

Posted by: Crab Nebula on August 16, 2008 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you're absolutely right.

But it's much worse that what you portray. You write of a system in which managers write narrow job descriptions and only hire those people who meet that description perfectly, overlooking any other indication they might be terrific for the position.

But that is amplified when a company only takes applications on its website, to be scanned and prescreened by HR numbnuts who have no idea what the actual job entails or how to seek out good people.

I think that companies are free to screw themselves over, except when H1B Visas are in play.

I work for a giant company at the moment, (who I think is a terrific company, uh, boss) But in the name of efficiency, our telephone receptionists are 2,000 miles away, and so they have no idea of who the managers are, who works on what product, whether someone is in today, and if not, who to direct a call to.

Combine that with an HR department that is also mostly 2,000 miles away and you have a local site of 5,000 people with no good ability to handle the college grad or vacationing engineer who just walks through the door and wants to see what's up.

The entire system is geared for vertical promotion and it makes for very narrow careers, AND real problems when the end times for an industry come.

And then certain companies (Evil Menace of Redmond for example) will then go to congress and whine that they can't find good people.

I think that ANY company that accepts/lobbies/seeks out H1B visa candidates, must by law, have an actual human HR representative who can accept walk in resumes at every site of theirs that employs H1B visa candidates.

Now bad as all that is, I think it's getting worse to. The really fantastic company I work for has been so overlawyered and overly sued that for any job description, each candidate must be asked the same exact questions, the questions must all be written down and vetted by committee, and during an interview the answers and your grading of those answers have to be written down and turned in. What makes this especially obnoxious is how it kills followup questions. The advantage of course, according to our legal department, is there is absolutely no fucking way any of our dipshit employees will put THIS company at risk of another hiring lawsuit!!!!

Posted by: jerry on August 16, 2008 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

It also means they must select someone who has no demonstrated a previous interest in the specific field or a capacity to succeed in it.
The idea that someone can be "talented" without demonstrating that talent in some specific way is a ridiculous fantasy.

The idea that someone who has spent 15 years writing C can't be effective in a Java environment is also a ridiculous fantasy, but one heartily embraced by many Java programmers/managers.

And I've spent years doing both, so my comments aren't motivated by ideology.

Posted by: eightnine2718281828mu5 on August 16, 2008 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

It is because 1st rate people hire 1st rate people, and 2nd rate people hire 3rd rate people.

1st rate people can recognize 1st rate people independent of "experience" and 2nd rate people only can recognize resume key words.

Posted by: Ropty on August 16, 2008 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

[Mary/Chuck/Lucy/NaninBoston, pick a handle, stick with it, and start signing your posts, or I will stop simply unpublishing your comments, since you obviously can't take a hint, and just ban your IP . --Mod]

Posted by: on August 16, 2008 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

But Kevin, the job specifications are written in the HR department.

The HR department justifies it's inclusion in the hiring process by writing precise job specifications that someone who knows nothing about the job being hired for or the industry it operates in can use to locate, select and hire competent employees.

And on average all new employees are, well, average. That's the best the HR department can offer. They'll hire competent average employees. Usually.

That's the best any system for hiring can ever offer, and the managers the employee is going to work for is normally too busy managing his department to spend much time locating, recruiting selecting and hiring the new employees. The managers themselves are on the average, average themselves, and most of them don't even have the time or skills needed to train or evaluate the employees they have. I don't know about you, but over half the time in the past I wrote my own evaluation and then never got to discuss it with my boss.

If they can't evaluate their current employees, they will for sure shove hiring off onto HR.

Posted by: Rick B on August 16, 2008 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

This is why I'm going back to get a computer science degree in order to qualify for a state job that I am already effectively doing. There's a box that needs to be filled and, in this economy, it's my responsibility to pay to fill it, even if it is actually unnecessary.

And August, I know a lot of underemployed PhDs. From your pronouncements on this thread, I suspect that you are either a manager or human resources professional. I don't have to suspect that you are out of touch and clueless.

I suspect that a good layoff or two might be really beneficial for your understanding of how our modern economy functions.

Posted by: Wilm on August 16, 2008 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

Incidentally, to those who find this kind of topic fascinating (particularly regarding tech fields), a good read is Johanna Rothman's blog Hiring Technical People. Among other points of emphasis, she generally believes that selection processes are too reliant on interviews and not reliant enough on auditions. I generally agree with most of what she writes.

Posted by: Equal Opportunity Cynic on August 16, 2008 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

Primary qualification I've seen lately is being under 35. (unwritten but very evident).

Exceptions are for the 'executive club'.

Posted by: Buford on August 16, 2008 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Sounds like something that someone who has done nothing but sit in his pajamas and blog for the last five years might lament about...

[Just kidding]

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on August 16, 2008 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

I suspect it's the same HR departments that thinks hanging up "Successories" prints will improve morale and productivity.

For me, the Successories prints were the sign that I needed to go work for myself.

(Of course, it is understood that all readers, and especially commenters, of Political Animal are highly skilled, intelligent, and with a wide range of interests and expertise.)

Posted by: Peter VE on August 16, 2008 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

Nothing new. I saw this ages ago when I left a firm. Instead of thinking of the few qualities the job really required and giving someone the chance to shine the manager simply looked at what I had done the last five years and cast a net wide enough to cover all of that. When I looked at the resulting requirements I was pretty sure I couldn't have applied for my old job.

It is hard to imagine potential and what can be done by a person. Simpler to make a checklist.

I also agree heartily with dj and Ropty. I've seen two cases where two different managers passed over several very qualified candidates to reach down and select someone dumb as a brick. The only thing we could think of was that they were intimidated by the superior candidates.

Posted by: JohnK on August 16, 2008 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

I know that, in the field of IT at least, the job requirements are often intentionally made unqualifiable. For example, asking for 10 years of experience in a technology that has only existed for 5. This is done for one of two reasons.

The first reason is when the company already has a person they want to hire, but is required to advertise for the position first. By advertising impossible demands they insure the position is left open for the person they really want. It's how I got my current job.

The second reason is to artificially inflate the numbers of unfilled IT positions to assist with lobbying Washington for higher quotas on H-1B visas, which allow companies to hire foreign born employees at slave wages.

Posted by: Russell Jones on August 16, 2008 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Sat 16 Aug 2008
12.20 PDT Los Angeles

I am (and have been, uninterruptedly, for the past 5-7 years) trapped in exactly this cul de sac. HR departments rely on big, commercial Web-based recruitment packages doing mindless culls based on keywords, and job descriptions as written are just insane. Kevin, if you know of someone with an interest in someone with multiple IT skills and some certifications (Linux, Mac, etc.) and an earlier Ph.D. in humanities and linguistics, and way too many hours fixing transmissions, carburetors, and valve trains... I'm available.
==Mel Strom

Posted by: Mel Strom on August 16, 2008 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps nowhere is this phenomenon worse than in government and university settings. Often job postings are only formalities; the qualifications are tailored so that only one applicant has the particular (and peculiar) skills for the job. In one case at a major university, I wrote my own job description, such that no other applicant could possibly qualify. I've seen similar behavior at nonprofits. Equal opportunity indeed!

Posted by: Dave Brown on August 16, 2008 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Here's what an actual labor shortage looks like:


Engineering salaries don't look like this yet we're constantly told how we're running out of IT talent.

Posted by: eightnine2718281828mu5 on August 16, 2008 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

I've been a victim of this myself, Every time I look for a job, I see scores of positions that I know I could probably do very well, but for which it's pointless to apply because a long list of highly detailed demands that I wouldn't be able to fake. I'd say it's actually probably worse for non-technically skilled people -- beyond the issues of numbers of jobs, at least techies benefit from a certain degree of objective data about what they know and what they don't know.

In more creative fields, everything is so subjective that even non-HR types get all squirrelly. One time, I spoke to a rep at a placement firm for freelance writers who demanded that I had to have experience writing brochures. As it happens, I had written reams of press releases and other materials over the years, but had no finished brochures to show her because every time I'd done one at my prior firm, the project wound up being scrapped.

When I offered to create a fake one just to prove my theory that there is no particular difference between writing brochure copy and writing press releases or anything else, she flatly refused. I really think this is largely a technique for simply winnowing down the numbers with perhaps a bit of CYA thrown in. ("See, he had all the right qualifications. How could I have known he was a dithering idiot?")

BTW, if anyone's looking for someone to write brochure or ad copy.... :)

Posted by: Bob on August 16, 2008 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

Sadly, the managers who cannot imagine that the prospective employees are capable of learning are mostly proving that they are incapable of doing the job they were hired to do. I'm willing to bet that such a manager will soon prove to everyone that he is in over his head.

Posted by: freelunch on August 16, 2008 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

"[Mary/Chuck/Lucy/NaninBoston, pick a handle, stick with it, and start signing your posts, or I will stop simply unpublishing your comments, since you obviously can't take a hint, and just ban your IP . --Mod]"

What a bunch of nonsense! JUST SAY NO TO MODS!

What purpose does not allowing people to go completely anonymous serve, if those people are not posting threats or private information?

Tell ya what "Mod". You and your Washington Monthly Bureaucrat can just blow me.

And back to the thread, from the unfortunate threadjacking of the moderator troll...

I know of several Ph.Ds that have resumes that don't list their Ph.D.

Posted by: jerry on August 16, 2008 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

I am a graphic designer who freelances. I was asked by a lawyer friend to help him out for a week between employees. I ended up working for him for 2 1/2 years, learning criminal and estate work, updating his client database (in a program I didn't know and on a Windows system I had never used, as I am MAC oriented), finding a Quickbooks pro to help us update and learn the proper way to handle bookkeeping, and then handling his bookkeeping. Another lawyer friend heard about me and hired me to help him with his litigation work, and I also now handle new client intake and settlements for him. And I am learning Spanish to work with his Spanish-speaking attorney. Oh, and I still freelance design for the company I have been doing business with for 18 years.

I credit my liberal arts education for enabling me with the knowledge and skills to handle new challenges. HR managers should take note that people who are thinking self-starters make good employees.

Posted by: cyrki on August 16, 2008 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you should write about the public policy angle behind this. The 1991 Civil Rights Act encoded the Supreme Court's 1972 Griggs decision making it very risky for companies to give written aptitude tests to job applicants. For example, when I was at Dun & Bradstreet and needed to hire a computer programmer, I asked HR for their programmer test. They said they would be sued for discrimination if they gave a written test, but I was free to make up any questions I liked and ask them orally -- just don't leave a paper trail!

Posted by: Steve Sailer on August 16, 2008 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

Aren't some government job descriptions written in minute detail, because the office already knows who they want to hire; but, they have to go through the motions of posting a job to make it appear that it was open to everyone?

I saw this happen years ago from the inside. One of the interviewers was sick about interviewing people who had traveled long distances for an interview, when everyone already knew who was going to get the job.

Posted by: emmarose on August 16, 2008 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

I would suggest that there is also a CYA aspect.

If the manager (or HR) hires somebody who turns out to be incompetent and they didn't have a specific job description then it is the fault of management (or HR).

If they hire somebody incompetent but did have a specific job description then it the fault of the person hired for not having the skills.

Also - having had to deal with many (very smart) undergrads with no skills - I don't want to spend 6 months doing my job and also taking the time to train them. So for low level positions, particularly technical positions, I am looking for a commodity Unit-Of-Labour.

Posted by: Adam on August 16, 2008 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK


Who here is in charge of releasing comments stuck in the queue? Is that you, or the bureaucrap moderators?

There's a comment of mine, insightful as all hell, that has two links in it that you and your readers might find of interest.

Perhaps the moderators could do something productive (*)

(*) I mean productive in addition to keeping our tummies safe from being upset by mhr and the various "by: on"s.

Posted by: jerry on August 16, 2008 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

I work in the computer entertainment industry (aka Video Games) and we do the exact opposite of this.

If you have shipped games, and if you can pass our engineering tests, we will hire you and teach you all you need to know.

Otherwise, we feel like we paint ourselves into the corner because:

1. By having a tiny job pool, we are forced to make more desperate decisions than if we had a larger pool, and

2. By bringing in new people who don't share our assumptions and biases, we can really inject new blood into the process.

#2 is especially important. It is very valuable in our industry to have some people with new thinking on the job. Otherwise, group think becomes worse than it already is.

Posted by: BombIranForChrist on August 16, 2008 at 9:40 PM | PERMALINK

Get real. The reason the qualifications are written narrower is the manager has already picked the person he wants and just writes the qualifications to match the person he wants.

Posted by: Ben Goff on August 16, 2008 at 9:53 PM | PERMALINK

I think Ben has it right. The inclination of a lot of higher ups at the last institution I worked for was to hire folks they know. Pretty bizarre if you want someone who has skills or aptitude.

Posted by: B on August 16, 2008 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

As an engineering manager and sometimes-hiring-manager, here's my perspective:

1. You hire talent more than experience. Absolutely, positively. Our best engineers started out with little or no experience with our product, our industry (school administrative software), or our technology stack (primarily because the legacy stack is somewhat unique). For that matter, I started out in the company working on a small C++ component, moved into the legacy stack (4D) when needed, and later into the Java new stack. At no time did I feel I was at a severe disadvantage for not knowing the specific language.

2. That having been said, actual product experience is absolute gold. I'd hire a junior "developer" (with a good mind) from elsewhere in the organization over a mid-level engineer from outside the company. Knowing how the bits all fit together from the customer's perspective gives the engineer a good six months to a year of significantly higher productivity. Second best is work in the industry. Consolation prize given to someone who can somewhat knowledgeably discuss the issues in education in our own area, from a parent or student's perspective.

3. Again, all that having been said, when I see a "C" resume cross my desk, I have to believe that the person behind that resume has made some specific career choices which ended up filling their resume with "C" experience instead of an OO language. I have to wonder how well they will be able to converse with our OO expert developers, and how well their proposals will mesh with the existing body of work. It's not that they *can't* learn Java. It is, primarily, that they *haven't* learned Java. There's a huge difference. And, obviously, it's more significant the more senior the developer is. It's not a disqualifier, but given a bunch of OO-centric resumes and a couple C resumes, the C resumes will get attention last.

4. I absolutely positively don't care about hiring an engineer smarter than me. In fact, if I'm not hiring engineers who prove me wrong on a daily basis then I'm just not doing my job, and, more importantly, our software is just not improving.

5. Back to the start, though: there are some really crappy Java engineers, and often the better choice is to hire someone who thinks they might want to work in an OO system but hasn't yet. There's a measurable chance that they'll end up deciding they need to return to their non-OO comfort zone six months down the line, but there's also a good probability they'll learn to love the new challenges.

Posted by: Tom Dibble on August 17, 2008 at 12:03 AM | PERMALINK

OO language or C/C++. Depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If you want to quickly slap together an app you go with a high level language. If you want to build a system that other application developers will rely as a base layer, you do it with C/C++.

System development vs application development. That is what dictates what skill set you look for. Application developers are using services provided by the systems layer, so you want your systems guys to be more talented. It is easier to rewrite a crappily written application than it is to rewrite a crappily written underlying system.

Thanks to incompetent, ignorant executives and managers, many application developers are given the task of developing systems and they develop crappy systems and the ignorant execs/managers, since they don't know any better, keep throwing good effort after a bad system. And they wonder why the rival company is beating the pants off them.

Posted by: rational on August 17, 2008 at 1:28 AM | PERMALINK

All too often someone with a resume showing five years of experience really has one year of experience five times.

Posted by: mcdruid on August 17, 2008 at 3:35 AM | PERMALINK

They don't expect to need them/keep them long so they want you productive on day one.

Investing in employees by training them or giving them time to learn is so pre-disaster capitalist thinking.

Posted by: on August 17, 2008 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

Sure, experience can't be ignored, but I hire for work ethic and attitude. I'd take one person who has high work ethic and an excellent attitude over a person who lacks these but brings more experience to the table.

Posted by: Gary K on August 17, 2008 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

As a career coach for the past 19 years I have trained my clients to look for work, not a job.

Applying for a job accounts for about 25% of success, networking about 75%.

Match your time investment to the likely probability of success. Use the weekend to apply for jobs, the reactive part of the search. Once you apply there's not much else you can do.

Rather than waiting around for a call use the weekdays for networking, the proactive part of the search. You can initiate any number of information gathering meetings and as often as you wish.

Consider the three C's of finding work. In applying for a known opening, Competetence is the first screening out criterion used. Sending a resume which doesn't support their needs/skills match is a waste of everyone's time.

In networking, Chemistry is the first screening out criterion used. If chemistry works you can often get the person you're interviewing to talk about their wish list. Everybody has one, and you just might be chosen based on Chemistry and Aptitude.

It might be a back burner wish which hasn't made it to the front burner for one or more of several reasons; lack of time, not knowing where to start looking, a smaller company that has no HR office, the boss does the hiring and is too busy.

The best work I ever found was taking on half of the boss's tasks.

When the first two C's are in place the third, Compensation, usually works out.

So rather than fume about narrow minded employers go make a place for yourself where you as a person get the second look, and the work might be modified to take advantage of your best skills.

Good luck,


Posted by: Lee Lindeman on August 17, 2008 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

The frustrating thing I've run into w/ my employer is an unwillingness to provide raises along w/ promotions. So, you demonstrate an ability to perform the tasks a certain position requires, most often by doing them for many months in advance, but when you're actually promoted, the maximum raise they'll give is 5% over your previous wage, even if that's far under what a new hire would have been offered. So you either take it and get paid less than your peers, refuse it and spend the next 3 or 4 months explaining the job to the new hire, who may or may not be an idiot, and may or may not quit in a month anyway, or you yourself quit. So, lots of talented people have bailed, and those of us who haven't yet are pretty bitter and unmotivated. And surprise, the company isn't doing so well.

Posted by: Matt on August 17, 2008 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

The mediocre generally don't hire the exceptional -- it's threatening.

To be slightly more charitable, some mediocre folks probably don't even really get that an exceptional person can excel in something that's not exactly what they used to do. After all, they couldn't...

Posted by: enplaned on August 17, 2008 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

Highly technical skills aside, employers and HR folk are looking to cover their asses: "They didn't work out? But I specified the exact experience!" This attitude is rife in hiring of actors. I played a grad student in a play once, and a soap casting director asked me in. She was very nice, but told me that she didn't have anything right for me. Then she stopped, looked at some paper again, and said, "Wait a second! We have a graduate student coming up! Are you available?" Very strange. Like that was the ONLY thing she could justify hiring me for.

Posted by: pbasch on August 17, 2008 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK

I suspect the requirement of specific skills is the attempt of middle managers to avoid hiring liberal arts graduates, whom they consider snobby, liberal, etc. If you have a major in English or History, you may know word processing but not other computer applications, and entry level jobs routinely demand proficiency in Excel, Outlook, Access, and other office apps.

The solution is either long periods of temping or a postbac of sorts in practical skills, at your local community college.

Competing for the prestigious but limited number of liberal arts graduate jobs doing cool stuff (writing editorials or political speeches, researching in think tanks, university teaching)is discouraging for the rest of us who aren't brilliant / superbly connected.

Posted by: sara on August 17, 2008 at 9:53 PM | PERMALINK

A lot of consensus here, but many comments from technical professions. In my case, I hit the same wall in applying for jobs in the non-profit sector. Many of those jobs require generalist type experience (even thought the job description rarely says so) and those jobs almost always turn out to be different than the job description but also what the hiring manager expects. If an org already has someone picked out, PLEASE just hire them. A case in point was a foundation job I knew I was qualified for until I got to the last line: "must have experience in Micronesian environmental issues." Next.

Posted by: SteveB on August 18, 2008 at 1:47 AM | PERMALINK

We spent a night on Ha Long Bay on the Emotion Cruise and had a wonderful time. We booked our tour at TUN Travel ( hotels-in-vietnam.com). They are very fast reply and confirm.

They picked us up in a very comfortable 16 seater van and the journey was around 3.5 hours. On the way to Ha Long city we had chance to enjoy the journey through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta and the scenery of rice fields, water buffalo and everyday Vietnamese village life. Our driver was prompt and very polite. He dropped us at one Handicraft shop in Hai Duong for shopping and refreshment about 30 minutes.

Upon arrival in Ha Long, you're welcome by a guide in Ha Long Tourist Wharf and waiting for the transfer to Ha Long Emotion Boat by tender.

Launched in July 2008, the Emotion is the biggest one in Ha Long Bay features 28 air conditioned cabins, with private bathrooms and facilities similar to a boutique style hotel. Connecting cabins are also available for family or small group.

Our room was nice, clean and comfortable, big enough for 2. The guide and staffs on boat were friendly, knowledgeable and helpful as could be. The food was also well served and I can say it's delicious!

There were about 50 people on board coming from different countries. We had the chance to swim as well as kayak around a lovely lagoon. The kayaking was really fun. Unfortunately, we didn't get to do the night fishing. Just relaxed on sundeck, enjoyed the silence and fresh air of the bay.

Woke up at 6:00 AM, I went upstair to practise Tai Chi with our instructor during the sunrise on Sundeck. It was really fun but helpful. After breakfast, we took a small boat rowed by local villagers to visit their floating fishing village, a peaceful village included local houses, fish farms, schools and chatted with friendly fisher men. We then cruised back to Ha Long pier for lunch before return to Hanoi.

The Emotion Cruise was excellent. Its price is reasonable and worth every cent! Hightly recommend you! If you're looking for memorable Ha Long Bay cruise, take this one as at the end of the trip, you will bring back a memorable trip and more friends, just like we did. Well done, Emotion Cruise!

Halong Bay Tours

Posted by: FoexyHevenozy on August 10, 2010 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK



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