We booked this trip via Red Dragon Junk tours and I found the communication leading up to the trip was excellent. All my emails and questions were answered promptly. We booked a 3D/2N trip and ended up in Prince III, a smaller 8 passenger junk.
Yes, it was a bumpy four hours drive to Halong Bay from Hanoi, but we were warned about it from the tour booker and so knew what to expect. Not the company's problem that the roads are not very good. We also had plenty of space in the bus, there and back, which made it easier.
Check in was easy and they even had wifi while we were waiting. Transfer to the boat was seamless and we met our guide for the trip, Anh as well as the other passengers. Anh is a very enthusiastic, polite and funny young man, very knowledgable and eager to answer any of our questions on anything to do with Vietnam. The other passengers were also very pleasant.
The food was delicious and we were never hungry. We enjoyed the kayaking, visit to a fishing village and beach BBQ very much and the scenery was stunning. The cabins were of adequate size with lovely large windows and what we considered to be a huge bathroom considering the size of the boat! There was plenty of hot water and and good water pressure from the shower, very welcome as it got a bit chilly later on in the evening (due to the time of year we went)
We hardly saw anyone else all trip other than when all the boats moored up together in the same bay at night time and that just felt cosy.
In the evenings we could have a couple of beers and fished for squid with the captain and crew! I even caught one and think we ate them the next day!
The only down side for me was our room seemed to be right next door to the nighttime generator, which needs to be on all night for air con, electricity etc..... As I am a light sleeper it kept me awake for both nights, however, my husband slept straight through so it all depends on how light a sleeper you are. I think it may be time for the boat company to replace the old style generators with battery ones?
The other staff on the boat were also very polite and courteous and considering they all work about 25 days solid out of every month, they should be commended for continuing to be so cheery!
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