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Review of Indochina Junk

Indochina Junk
Ranked #23 of 140 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
Reviewed 4 April 2018

Great 2 day 1 night trip with Indochina. Luxurious rooms, friendly and super efficient staff and great food!! We had the best 2 days on the sail..

3  Thank soma63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed 4 April 2018

My friend and I split up the planning for our Vietnam trip and she ended up choosing the Indochina Junk cruise for our Ha Long Bay part of the trip. I was at first a little shocked at the price since it was more than I was expecting for my budget, but the reviews were fantastic and I was willing to give it a chance. We were on the 2D1N Dragon Pearl 3 cruise.

We paid of the trip online beforehand and then on arrival to Hanoi, made our way to their office where we paid the rest of the trip. Pick-up was very prompt at our hotel and we were taken on "luxury" (aka very nice) van to the office with WiFi, USB charging and water provided. There was a shopping/bathroom stop in the middle. The shopping stop was very innocuous - no forced selling at all. My friend and I used the opportunity to take notes on how expensive things were, so when we haggled later in Vietnam, we knew when sellers were overcharging us!

The transfers between the bus and the waiting area and the boat were all very seamless. We were given tags to identify which boat we were going on and they definitely are a well organized group, given how many boats were leaving and arriving and how many people they had to keep track of. The boat itself was beautifully decorated, in the style of an old Chinese junk boat but with the modern amenities in place. There are plenty of lounging areas on top (although we were short of 2 loungers for everyone to have one) to view the beautiful scenery. We got very lucky with the weather and didn't have any rain.

According to our guide Mr. Kim, Indochina Junk is one of the few companies that is permitted to sail on Bai Tu Long Bay, a smaller part of the Ha Long Bay that is less commercialized and polluted. We had no comparison, but we definitely enjoyed the peace and serenity of the bay and didn't see as much trash as other reviewers have complained about for Ha Long Bay. Indochina Junk has their own private beach with gorgeous soft sand (no swimming permitted given a previous accident with a tourist and a boat) where you can kayak or visit the cave or sunbathe on the first day. We were able to swim off the boat once the boat docked for the night. For that time of the year (end of March), it was pretty chilly once it got to the late afternoon so I was one of the 3 people who opted to swim a bit in the bay.

The next day we went to the fishing village which was a nice introduction to the local people's way of life (a tad touristy but apparently the locals have an agreement with the companies which helps them to send their kids to boarding schools on the mainland). Bring bug spray for this portion! My friend and I got about 3-4 bites on our legs. We headed back to the mainland where we stopped at a water puppet show on the way back, relatively short and entertaining if you haven't seen water puppet shows before. Good opportunity for another bathroom break.

The food during the cruise was absolutely amazing! They provided many, many delicious courses so we were able to taste a variety of foods. Most of dishes seemed to be tailored a bit for the Western palate but definitely with a local flavor added to them (aka you won't find these in any Western restaurants!). Our waiter Henry was fantastic as well.

A few notes for improvement: at the end of the trip, a couple next to us had already paid for their beer but the staff insisted that they hadn't - resulting in the couple just paying again for the beer after many back and forths. Given how overcharged the beverages are on the boat to begin with, I would have thought the company would have gone by the "customer is always right" route. Also at the end of our trip, our driver dropped us and the couple off at our hotels in Hanoi and then told the two other girls in the van to take a taxi back to their hotel. I was shocked that the driver wouldn't fulfill the promise in taking everyone back to their hotel but the girls fortunately stood their ground and the driver ended up driving them back.

Overall, the cruise was excellent way to view Bai Tu Long bay. I thought 2 days, 1 night was just perfect for our itinerary given how crunched we were for time. There is some room for improvement in terms of customer service but very minor mishaps because most of the people we've interacted with on the cruise were eager to please and wonderful to deal with. I traveled with another friend, but the cruise had groups of all ages and types - older couples, families with young children, young groups of friends, etc. Definitely would bring my parents and friends back for a repeat visit!

3  Thank 08zhanga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 4 April 2018 via mobile

Having just spent 3 days cruising Ha Long Bay on the wonderful Red Dragon boat we wanted to share the experience so others will also get the same enjoyment.
The boat is traditional which really added to the experience. The small number of co passengers meant we got to enjoy the surroundings in an intimate environment and really got to know everyone well. Our friendly, caring guides Mr T & Mr Cai were very knowledgeable and communicative about local values and traditional so past on some wonderful insights. We were able to swim off the boat, Kayak and have a bbq or a private beach looking out onto the sheltered bay which was unforgettable.

I would certainly be happy to recommend the Crew and the experience of the Red Dragon boat.

Great job guys.

3  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 April 2018 via mobile

I corresponded with Thuy at Indochina junk via email to arrange my trip away. She worked with me to tailor the trip to my dates and needs. We did miss out on cruising on a smaller boat as it was booked out but the dragon legend 2 was beautiful and you could choose your own level of involvement in the activities. I don’t often hand over the entire arrangement of a whole trip but every detail was well thought out and they didn’t miss a beat. I would definitely recommend both the activities and the company.

3  Thank Silja-Lee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed 4 April 2018 via mobile

Staff was wonderful and very attentive. All of the food was wonderful. Mr. T was a great tour guide and Mr. Cai made very tasty drinks for us. Highly recommend this company for cruising Ha Long Bay. Mr. T and Mr. Cai were very informative and spoke good English. We had a lot of fun on the kayaks. All of the food was delicious, especially the beach barbecue.

2  Thank Iris O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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