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“Dragon pearl 2” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Indochina Junk

Indochina Junk
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$284.00*
and up
Dragon Legend Overnight Halong Bay Cruise with Hanoi Pickup
Ranked #1 of 148 Tours in Halong Bay
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: Indochina Junk cruises to Bai Tu Long Bay, a beautiful and less visited part of Halong Bay for "off the beaten track" itinerary with many unique experiences. Our fleet includes Princess Junk, Prince Junk, Red Dragon Junk, Dragon's Pearl Junk and Dragon Legend cruise. Flexible itinerary, friendly staffs and delicious local food will definitely bring you an amazing trip in Ha Long Bay.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Dragon pearl 2”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 7, 2011

I can't express how amazing the dragon pearl 2 junk cruise was. the cave dinner was absolutely amazing. The crew and tour guide "Gioi" were very informative and helpful. The food was excellent. The fishing village tour was a great experience. Try the stick booze in the fishing village.
I can not recomend The dragon pearl 2 highly enough.

Helpful?
Thank Wadzy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Terrible Value; Spend Your Money Elsewhere”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 6, 2011

The boat was indeed quite beautiful and I have no complaints there. Everything else, however, terrible.

Food - the food was completely mediocre. It's not to say it wasn't edible but at the prices we paid, I expected more. It was like eating microwaved dinners.

Water - they do not provide free drinking water and charge you a relative fortune for it. I can deal with being gouged on beer or wine but when it comes to water, a necessity of life, it's in bad faith to gouge people. Again, at these prices, free drinking water is not too much to ask.

Staff - our guide seemed like a nice person with good intentions but he wasn't very knowledgable and his English wasn't great. The rest of the staff didn't really talk to us but they all laid it on pretty thick when it came time to ask for our tips. Our guide told us we should tip him and the staff about 4 times in the span of five minutes. I don't like being told to tip so the modest tip I had intended to give to our guide went back in my wallet.

We had booked a village tour through this company on our way back from Halong to Hanoi. The driver was running about 2 hours late and we weren't thrilled about waiting. We asked if we could cancel the trip. They said yes. We asked if we could get a refund. They said yes, it would be arranged between head office and our booking agent. When we asked our booking agent, she said she would deal with it. She informed us later that the woman we had dealt with at Indochina Junk was now saying she told us, when we asked if we could cancel the tour, we wouldn't get a refund. There is absolutely no way this was a mis-communication. This was a flat-out lie and nothing makes me angrier. We would have cancelled the tour, regardless of a refund, the money wasn't the issue.

Don't be fooled. There is nothing "luxury" about this. It's mediocre through and through and an absolutely terrible value for your money.

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16 Thank VanClever
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“excellent service”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 5, 2011

our 2 days, one night on the Dragon Pearl was flawless. The crew was excellent, the food was outstanding and even the cloudy weather did not dampen the experience. Even though the boat is only 1 yr old, the slight weather worn adds to its overall charm. We did not have any water problem and I would highly recommend the trip.

Visited November 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank Ricky H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Level Contributor
36 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“I liked it :D”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 4, 2011

Was supposed to be on Dragon's Pearl but they were full so had to reluctantly agree to take up Prince II for 3D2N. Had a perception that a smaller boat would not be as exciting as the bigger ones. But I have to say not to judge a boat by its size :P

It was about 3 hour long ride from Hanoi. So be prepared to entertain yourself during the journey. Glad we didnt get a driver who honked too much. The check-in was done on the junk itself followed by lunch. Prince II only had four cabins and also one of the best bathroom compared to all the hotels I have stayed at in Vietnam. I could be in there all day having a warm shower while looking out of the porthole.

We had activities such as visiting a cave and a fishing village, kayaking plus lunch on a beach with 3 other couples. It was nice sharing experiences with people from different corners of the world.

The food was GREAT. They had a range of courses. They chef even did some food carvings which was impressive.

It was my fault for not informing the crew that I do not take beef. So when I mentioned that I would skip one of the beef courses, the crew took the initiative to cook me up something else on the spot.

Special mention for our guide, Tony. If anyone else get him as a guide, get him to sing a couple of local songs and his favorite, Hotel California if there is a guitar onboard. He was entertaining.

I wouldnt say that it was the best weather in mid november but it was good enough. It was cloudy and chilly at times. Just wished for some sun for more picture opportunities and water activities. So careful planning would have to be done to get the best experience out of Halong Bay.

I thought staying on the junk for 2 nights would be too long. But it was just right. One day tour might seem like a rush knowing for a fact that you would have to check-out the next morning.Thanks to Indochina Junk for providing a satisfying experience.

Visited November 2011
Helpful?
Thank travelnoobdude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Level Contributor
236 reviews
70 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 187 helpful votes
“Enjoyable cruise, with really nothing to fault”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 3, 2011

Our plan to have a cruise around Halong Bay was initially quite troubling, with the many horror stories floating around the web. We also didn't want to be stuck for an endless night on a terrible boat, with no possible escape...
From the start, Indochina Junk (http://www.indochina-junk.com) seemed to offer the best compromise between comfort and price. Initial enquiries were made directly via the website / email, and replies and answers to queries were really prompt. Indochina junk offer many boats - the Red Dragon, Dragon Pearl 2 (the largest of the boats with 11 rooms), the Prince and the Princess (smallest, with only 1 room). The prices vary between boats. We chose the Dragon Pearl 2, which was less expensive than the Red Dragon. Booking was painless, with an upfront deposit by credit card, and the balance paid at the time of pickup from our hotel.
Transfer from hotel to the embarkation port was provided in a 11 seater van - we were picked up promptly, and the van though full was not overly crowded. During the 4 hour journey, there was a 20-25 min stop in the middle of the journey for a rest break at the obligatory tourist-trap shop. The road journey was the worst part of the trip, with the roads increasingly bumpy and congested the closer we got to the destination.
Arrival at the embarkation port was efficient, luggage taken away for loading and a wait of around 20-25 minutes in a open-air lounge, where we were also introduced to our (english-speaking) guide. Although boarding time was supposed to be 12 noon, we didn't get started until around 1230 pm. Once on board, a welcome drink was provided and then we were shown to the rooms. Rooms were small but comfortably furnished, and bathrooms were relatively clean, with portholes for ventilation. Cabins were equipped with air-conditioning, and slippers and bathrobes were provided. There was really very little excess space, so would suggest that you are sparing with the luggage. Rooms were available on the lowest deck, with another four available on the second deck. The second deck rooms may lack a little privacy, and the rooms at the rear of the craft may be more susceptible to noise from the on-board generator.
The afternoon cruise was along Bai Tu Long bay, which is north-east of Halong Bay and less congested (or so we're told). The afternoon activities included a chance to kayak, a scramble up a hill to view a cave on an island, and a chance to swim. After that, time to relax before dinner at 715 pm. The following morning activities included an early morning stop to a local fishing village, complete with a row around the village, a visit to the village school and an introduction to a pearl farm. There was no hard sell throughout for any purchases.
On board meals were very generously sized, and comprised of significant amounts of seafood. Some of us requested the no-seafood options, and these were slightly less imaginative but came in very large portions (the chef probably felt sorry for those ignorants, who didn't eat seafood!). Service was efficient, and the crew were always happy to help. Three FOC refills of drinking water per meal were provided, and coffee/tea FOC at breakfast. All other drinks were chargeable - USD$1.50 for soft drinks, USD$3-4 for beer, and from USD$30 for a bottle of wine. Coffee and tea outside of breakfast was also chargeable.
The crew were always very efficient and worked very hard, while the guide was always around and available in case of problems. The crew were assembled at the end of the trip for a brief thank you session, and the suggestion was that tips (if you felt the need to) were handed to the captain for equal distribution to the crew.
In summary, we enjoyed the cruise. Food, service and scenery exceeded expectations, and the cabin comfort was reasonable. The 4-hour journey up (and the return trip) was the worst part of the 1 night cruise, and you may have better mileage from a 2 night cruise. However, we personally felt that our one night was sufficient for us.
Recommended.

Visited November 2011
Helpful?
5 Thank mostlyharmless
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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