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Lagoon Explorer or Pinta Gold ... or other?

japan
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Lagoon Explorer or Pinta Gold ... or other?

With so many junk operators in Halong Bay, it's almost impossible to decide which junk/operator to choose from.

I have a short list:

Lagoon Explorer: $150pp (Tropical Sails). Smaller boat, only junk that is able sail (rather than motor). The appeal of this junk is that it doesn't appear to be one of the "floating hotels" that I wish to avoid.

Pinta Gold: $125pp (Columbus). Bigger boat, therefore more facilities ?? (massage etc). Its in the floating "hotel category", but has an AMAZING review on tripadvisor, which I can't ignore.

I have read a lot of praise about the Pinta Gold, but not so much about the Lagoon Explorer.Has anyone had first hand experience of the Lagoon Explorer? Or both junks. I want to enjoy Halong Bay in comfort but without the Carnival cruise boat feel.

Your recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

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Halong Bay
Halong Bay
9,208 Reviews
Halong Bay, Vietnam
Hanoi
4 posts
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1. Re: Lagoon Explorer or Pinta Gold ... or other?

Hello wekabeka,

The you better take the Lagoon Explorer. However the loggon explorer is older boat then the Pinta Gold.

You also canloo at the website: www.junkshalong.co for more information as they have a list of boat which realiable and good servies.

May be you wouls like to try te Red dragon Cruise or so. http://junkshalong.com/halongcruise/37/11

Good luck and enjoy Halong Bay

Indochina Advisor

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Halong Bay
Halong Bay
9,208 Reviews
Halong Bay, Vietnam
johannesburg,southaf...
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665 posts
15 reviews
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2. Re: Lagoon Explorer or Pinta Gold ... or other?

Hi there - just saw your note. We do have first hand experience with Lagoon Explorer as we were in Halong Bay in March 2009. Interestingly enough our tour company was Tropical Sails.

It is important that you are aware that there are two Lagoon Explorers (don't know if there are more).While waiting for our boat two couples from Germany boarded Lagoon Explorer 2 while we waited to board Lagoon Explorer 1. Unfortunately we were on the older and smaller boat. Explorer 2 is also relatively small but just a bit larger and most importantly newer. You can be assured that you will have a great time on Lagoon Explorer 2 as we had a chat with our German friends (we traveled with them from Hanoi to Halong) and they were extremely happy. I must say the food was just fine on our boat and the people who served us were also most charming. By the way, we also paid US$150 pp for each of two of us and US$195 for our son who had his own room. Hope this helps. P.S. Unfortunately, (sumimasen)we cannot help you regarding Pinta Gold as we have no experience with this boat.

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Halong Bay
Halong Bay
9,208 Reviews
Halong Bay, Vietnam
Hanoi
Hanoi
Vietnam
3. Re: Lagoon Explorer or Pinta Gold ... or other?

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4. Re: Lagoon Explorer or Pinta Gold ... or other?

I just booked a 2 night stay on the Pinta Gold in eary July sounds like the best for us.We are bringing our 7 year old daughter,is there a room on that boat the can accomidate.They had a triple room advertised on there website.

5. Re: Lagoon Explorer or Pinta Gold ... or other?

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japan
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6. Re: Lagoon Explorer or Pinta Gold ... or other?

thanks all for your comments and recommendations.

after all that, i have decided on booking with indochina sails, as they have a promotion for $169pp. its a little more pricey than what i had planned, but all of the reviews i have read have been positive, if not glowing. i also got a very prompt and helpful response from the company, who will adapt the meals to suit my dietary restrictions: no read meat or chicken.

i will report back on my experience to let you all know how it goes.

johannesburg,southaf...
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7. Re: Lagoon Explorer or Pinta Gold ... or other?

Hi there, glad you have made your decision and am certain you will have an amazing trip - even though some boats are more luxurious than others with better food - I think we would all agree that Halong Bay itself is magical and for us even somewhat mystical(it was grey for our two days making photography much more interesting- each photo has turned out like a pen and ink/watercolour work of art).

Just a note to "Melb" - glad that you had an amazing trip on the Pinta Gold. You mentiioned that you dealt with a tour company that organised other trips for you in the north. Though we have virtually just returned, I know that we want to visit this special country again - therefore, would appreciate knowing who you dealt with as you seem to be "over the moon" with them. (By the way, I see that you are from Australia - our daughter recently married an Australian and is living very happily in Sydney.).

Looking forward to hearing from you - and thanks in advance. Sincere regards.

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Halong Bay
Halong Bay
9,208 Reviews
Halong Bay, Vietnam
8. Re: Lagoon Explorer or Pinta Gold ... or other?

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