A little bit of luxury on Halong Bay

Dragon Cruise Halong

Halong Bay, a place that conjures images of towering limestone giants, remote floating fishing villages and traditional Vietnamese junk boats sailing elegantly amongst it all. It was somewhere that inspired us to visit Vietnam and right at the start of our RTW trip I announced to Paul that when it came to experiencing Halong Bay we were going to do it in style.

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A Halong cruise trip with Indochina Junk will satisfy you

I’d heard a ridiculous amount of horror stories from tourists on bay cruises that ended up in crowded areas on dirty, rat infested boats. It didn’t paint a pretty picture and I was worried it would spoil the experience altogether if we didn’t find the right cruise. During the trip, if we met anyone who had been to Vietnam we’d always ask “which company did you use for Halong Bay?” The same name kept cropping up again and again and once we’d seen photos we were sold immediately, Indochina Junk would be the company for us.

Cruise deck
Cruise deck

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Great amenities and exceptional service

What most people don’t realise is that the area we know of as Halong Bay is actually a 1500m² giant landscape made up of a number of different bays. Only a small portion of this is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the rest is pretty much fair game. The vast majority of junk cruises head to Halong Bay proper and from what we’ve heard it can be massively overcrowded and sadly swamped by rubbish brought in by the tide.

Spa on cruise ship
Spa on cruise ship

We were picked up from our Hanoi old quarter guesthouse bright and early to begin the 4 hour drive to Halong City where we would board our home for the next 3 days. The Dragon Pearl III is a traditional Vietnamese junk that could accommodate 18 guests plus 12 staff. A we stepped into our cabin I was literally bouncing around with joy! After spending nearly a year backpacking and staying in budget accommodation you really appreciate it when you find yourself surrounded by a bit of luxury. Anyone who has travelled in South East Asia will understand the happiness I felt when I saw that we had an actual shower cubicle!