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“Worth it in every way!”
Review of Indochina Junk

Indochina Junk
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$272.00*
and up
Dragon Legend Overnight Halong Bay Cruise with Hanoi Pickup
Ranked #4 of 149 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
Kunming, China
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Worth it in every way!”
Reviewed April 18, 2014

I can't even say how amazing this experience was! Ha Long Bay is probably the most beautiful natural place I've ever seen (rivaling the Grand Canyon) and going on a cruise with this company is an amazing way to experience it. They take you to a gorgeous part of the Bay. On our 2 night 3 day cruise we loved sitting on the deck with a cup of tea as we sailed past gorgeous rock formations. Kayaking through the bay was also amazing! The food was delicious--we felt so spoiled. The crew and other passengers were friendly. We liked going with a small group--maybe 12 other guests, as it made for a more intimate experience. The last night ended with a cave dinner, which my husband and I thought might be a little cheesy, but it was actually really fantastic--delicious and romantic. I would highly recommend this cruise--especially for couples.

One more thing--We went in February. I thought the winter weather might be disappointing, but it wasn't too cold, and the bay was still gorgeous.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Melissa P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Edinburgh, Scotland
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Truly excellent - Princess 2d1n”
Reviewed April 17, 2014

Went on this trip (couple, 30-ish) in August last year and I feel bad I never got round to writing a review. So here it is finally!

The trip was really amazing. A one-off experience, and a must-do if you are in Hanoi.

We were picked up at our hotel in a nice 4x4 just for us, which was brilliant. Took about 4 hours to get there with a short stop for juice and toilet at the usual crafts outlet type place. It was pelting down rain, the tail end of a typhoon nearby, and there were jams due to road floods; but it added to the adventure (thank goodness for the 4x4!). Thankfully, once we arrived it was just light drizzle and by evening cleared up completely. We met our guide and headed to the boat. A little motorboat took us to the main junk. By the way, if its raining, wear decent shoes as it gets a little slippy on the motorboat and steps. Actually, even with just the water spray its a little slippy. Plus when you visit the caves there are loads of steps so wear good shoes. I was a bit fussy about this as I'd broken my ankle slipping in water earlier in the year!

The food on board is truly exceptional and soooooo much of it! Dinner was about 6 courses! I don't eat seafood and they happily accommodated this and cooked separate dishes for me, which was really nice (as seafood is the obvious norm when on the boat). I did try fish and it has converted me! Was delicious. The Vietnamese coffee is also a must-try.

The cabin was cosy. There are creaks and noises overnight but you are on a boat, so to be expected. Not disruptive at all, quite pleasant really. Didn't need to really use air con but nice that it was there. Everything was clean, good condition and met my expectations - I have pretty high standards so that's saying something. Its a cabin on a boat, so its not decadent luxury like you'd expect in a hotel, but was comfortable, spotless and nice. The bay we stayed in overnight was just for Indochina and was very peaceful.

I think the trip of 2d 1n was the right length. Could have done 2 nights but don't think its worth doing any longer than that. Also do remember that you are out in the water and not near mainland shore so bring with you anything you would normally need day to day since there are no shops to pop to! You might want to pack sun cream, kindle/phone charger, adaptor and insect repellant, though we never saw any bugs actually. The boat has a bar and our waiter made us cocktails. Dinner and breakfast on the deck was really special. We also ate inside when it was drizzly.

Saw lovely scenery, the really interesting floating village, caves, huuuuge jellyfish and learned some Vietnamese from our guide. 'Cam On' pronounced 'cahm oon' is Thank you, in case you need it! We were unsure about the whole tipping thing for the staff. Do we or don't we tip? Of course we couldn't access the internet to check, being in the middle of the water! I don't think it is expected but we wanted to leave something as a show of appreciation. Bear in mind that its not just the guide doing the work, so when tipping 6 people it becomes kind of amusing. I think we totally over-thought the whole thing when at one point we were using a calculater and percentages based on role responsibilities! Oops! We just laughed at ourselves and handed over some VND. If you aren't sure whether to take dong or US $ I would say take both. Same applies for Hanoi.

The guide, Mr Hoanh, that we had was great, we were worried that it might be awkward with just us and the crew on a little boat but they were not intrusive in any way. We could relax on the sunbed on the front deck and feel quite alone. A big shout out to our crew though... Mr Duong the chef, Nhep the captain, Vinh the waiter, Hung the mechanic, and Viet the supervisor.

It may seem expensive but I think it was definitely worth the money!

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank jadesy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Great trip!!”
Reviewed April 15, 2014 via mobile

We booked our trip with the Indochina Princess (1 cabin) and did not regret anything except not bringing our friends along! We came into Halong Bay on a cruise shop and therefore were advised to book the private boat since the other boats would be leaving before we could get to the Indochina terminal. We were met by our wonderful guide Hóang and the captain for our 24 hour cruise around Halong Bay. We were welcomed on board by the whole staff and given welckme drinks and a small token gift from the captain. We enjoyed the kayaking and seeing the cave. The weather there is not what we had hoped for, but I think fog and drizzle is what one should expect in Halong Bay. If you get sun you are lucky. The fishing village was very interesting!! The pearl site ok, but there was some definite pressure to buy something. We did as we needed a present for someone back home as well as felt that this supported the local economy in a positive way.
The boat was very comfortable and the food delicious. We had a 4 course lunch, a 4 course dinner, a big breakfast and a big lunch. It was way more food than we could eat. The bottles of wine were too expensive - here they could make some improvements. We would have liked something sparkling but the only champagne was over 100 bucks..??? We didn't like Norwegian prices in Vietnam!! The cabin was comfortable and clean. Our guide Hóang was very clever and spoke good English. We really enjoyed our trip, even inspite of the weather. If we had had sunny skies this would have been perfect. Highly recommend the Indochina company, very profession and great service by all (thank you too Ms Hong).

Helpful?
2 Thank tina o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Taipei, Taiwan
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Great two nights on the Red Dragon 2”
Reviewed April 13, 2014

Our family (with two kids ages 14 and 11) had a great two night tour on the Red Dragon 2 junk. Twenty people total. Rooms were clean and food was excellent. Our boat host was Alex and he kept us informed and busy the whole time. We kayaked, spent some time on the beach, and when a fierce rain storm kept us from exploring one morning, they had the chef give us a carving class. Final day tour of the fishing villiage/pearl center was interesting and we didn't get the hard sell on stuff as expected. Dinner in the cave was the highlight. The choice of Bai Tu Long bay over busier Halong Bay is the way to go.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank John I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A romantic trip through beautiful scenery”
Reviewed April 12, 2014

Bai Tu Long Bay is probably the last accessible part of the wider UNESCO site known as Halong Bay that is relatively untouched by mass tourism and pollution. Indochina Junk is the only company that serves this part of the bay running a small fleet of boats from a separate and quiet port.
We booked the overnight trip, which is in effect 24 hours port to port. The cruise out to a private island is serene and quiet. On the island there is a guided tour of the caves which until recently were occupied by local fishermen, followed by a paddle around adjacent islands in a kayak.
We booked a private Princess Junk, which is luxurious and manned by a crew of 5 (captain, engineer, cook, waiter and guide), The boat was in a very good and clean condition looking like an authentic junk but only built less than 10 years ago. The staff were very friendly, efficient and helpful providing privacy or entertainment as required. Our guide Hoang Van was very knowledgeable with a good grasp of English. Itinerary is really interesting and the food plentiful and frequently surpassing high end restaurant standard. The only downside is the current transfer time (nearly four hours from Hanoi) along a frequently dusty and very busy road as extensive improvements are being made. Our advice is to get there soon before it becomes another extension of Halong Bay.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank Lenka K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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