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Indochina Junk / Red Dragon / Prince - Recent Trips?

London, UK
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Indochina Junk / Red Dragon / Prince - Recent Trips?

I know this is discussed to death on this forum, so I apologise in advance. After reading reviews here and other sites, we have pretty much decided to book with Indochina Junk for a trip late July. We are my wife and I, our 6 year old daughter, and my mother-in-law - all experienced travellers.

1. From the Indochina Junk web-site, I think I've figured out that the Red Dragon and the Princ are of similar quality in terms of luxury, except that the Princess has fewer cabins and more varied itineraries. Could someone advise if I have this wrong? Are there other differences between the junks?

2. I have read about different cabin sizes on the Red Dragon - would it be possible for all four of us in one triple cabin with a cot, or something, or are we looking at getting two cabins? Similar question about the Prince.

3. Most interested in this one: has anyone sailed on any of these boats recently, as in, the past month? Are they still as good as most other reviews say they are? No major changes?

Thank you.

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Indochina Junk
Indochina Junk
4,674 Reviews
Halong Bay, Vietnam
London, UK
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1. Re: Indochina Junk / Red Dragon / Prince - Recent Trips?

(replace instances of "Princ" and "Princess" with "Prince", please)

Tooele, Utah
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2. Re: Indochina Junk / Red Dragon / Prince - Recent Trips?

There are a couple of Princes' and a couple of Princesses and one Red Dragon. I was on the Prince II in April. It was only commissioned in mid-February and it is in great condition. The Princesses are normally one or two cabin boats - so you might want to look at this option. The Prince II had four cabins, but you would need two of them for sure. Another difference between the Prince, Princess and the Red Dragon is that the Red Dragon runs the 2 day 1 night tour while the others run the 3 day 2 night tour (which I highly recommend).

I am quite certain that you will find all of the boats to be in good condition and are similar in the level of luxury. Book the Princess if you want the boat to yourselves. Book the Prince if you would like to be with up to four other people and want a 2 night tour, and book the Red Dragon for a bigger boat and a 1 night tour.

I highly recommend Indochina Junk. They are a good company and I would not hesitate to sail with them again. The 3 days 2 nights I was on the Prince II was totally relaxing and a great highlight of our trip.

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Indochina Junk
Indochina Junk
4,674 Reviews
Halong Bay, Vietnam
London, UK
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3. Re: Indochina Junk / Red Dragon / Prince - Recent Trips?

Thanks very much for this, AnhLuc; you have given me more confidence in my choice. We have already begun enquiries on the Prince II, 3d/2n, 2 cabins. Looking forward to it!

London, UK
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4. Re: Indochina Junk / Red Dragon / Prince - Recent Trips?

We have been there and back and can now answer for future reference.

1. There is now a fleet of 11, which now includes a Prince III, which is the same as Prince II that we were on, with 4 cabins.

2. We would have been hard-pressed to fit 3 into a regular cabin, so I'm sure it would have been impossible for 4 of us to fit into a triple. The cabins were small but luxurious.

3. I was very impressed with the quality of the trip and the service levels. We had no problems whatsoever, and I agree with others that this was a top-notch experience, with everything delivered as promised and then some.

Tooele, Utah
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5. Re: Indochina Junk / Red Dragon / Prince - Recent Trips?

Thanks for the report - glad you had a good time!

Cayman Islands
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6. Re: Indochina Junk / Red Dragon / Prince - Recent Trips?

Hi Surface,

Having just returned from your trip i thought i'd ask you about some specifics. My group are 95% sure we will book with Indochina Junk as well but not sure if we should go with Prince II (or now Prince III which i didn't even know they had..) or for Red Dragon. I've heard that both are quite similar but the food on Red Dragon is better. Did you end up on Prince? How was food? What kind of price range are drinks(sodas/beer/wine)? What did you think of kayaking excursions?

Also we were all set for 1NT on Junk and one night on Cat Ba at Sunrise. But now wondering if should stay on Junk 2 NT. Any advice? This is the start of our Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh North/South trip and am wondering if we should spend more time on Junk since we'll still have 2 more weeks of "land travels" after Halong Bay.

And to my good buddy AhnLuc.. What do you think of Cat Ba island? Or better to stay on Junk both nights? Thanks all for help.

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Indochina Junk
Indochina Junk
4,674 Reviews
Halong Bay, Vietnam
Cat Ba
Cat Ba
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Hanoi
Hanoi
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Halong Bay
Halong Bay
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Halong Bay, Vietnam
Cat Ba Island
Cat Ba Island
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Cat Ba, Vietnam
London, UK
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7. Re: Indochina Junk / Red Dragon / Prince - Recent Trips?

I can't compare with the Red Dragons (there are a few now), which each have 5 cabins. We stayed on Prince II, taking 2 of the 4 cabins, and we were quite happy. the food was excellent the first night and all the following day, but sort of tailed off towards the end, not too badly. They make a big to-do of presenting elaborate food sculptures with each dinner and put on a bit of a show. It was mainly seafood.

The prices of the drinks are where they make a lot of their money: outrageously expensive by Vietnam standards, but about what you'd pay in a half-way posh bar in London. Non-alcoholic umbrella drinks or freshly squeezed fruit drinks were in the range of US $3, alcoholic drinks $4 - $6. Cokes and bottled water (you get a few free bottles of water) were also slightly more than what you would pay anywhere else in the world.

The kayaking was quite good. You get to choose if you want one 2-seater or two 1-seaters for your party, and the boats get picked up and towed around for the rest of the weekend. The first night the guide took us to a beautiful grotto and then a floating fishing village where we just paddled by. (I have seen a few of these fishing villages in Thailand and Malaysia, and I have to say that this one felt authentic, no song and dance show, the children truly thrilled to see us.) Then the next day we did a 2-hour kayak which ended up being a little bit of an ordeal in the blazing hot sun, which ended up at our lunch served on the beach. We had another opportunity for a final kayak on the last day. We also got to swim in the water directly off the junk, visit a cave, and be paddled to a more tourist-savvy fishing village in sampans.

One disappointment is that there are a few areas where the water is quite polluted: that first grotto and the beach where we had lunch, but that is hardly the comapny's fault.

On the whole trip, they stick to the eastern group of islands nearer to Bai Tu Long Bay, which meant that the only other boats we saw were Indochina Junks, and none at all on the first night. There was no crowding anywhere, nor scores of vendors selling tourist crap like you get in Thailand.

I would strongly recommend going for two nights as the journey out and back there from Hanoi is half a day each, and you wouldn't really get a chance to truly relax and enjoy if you only did one night. (Others in this forum have said the same thing.) I don't know what you'd miss on Cat Ba Island, as we didn't go there.

I hope this helps.

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Bai Tu Long Bay
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Halong Bay, Vietnam
Hanoi
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8. Re: Indochina Junk / Red Dragon / Prince - Recent Trips?

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