We went with the Treasure Junk for 2 main reasons. The first reason was the route. The route was not the traditional route, therefore we were able to miss the hundreds of boats that follow the same path. Our first night we were the only boat around and the second night there was only one boat near us. The second reason was the amount of Kayaking. The first day we kayaked for 2 hours and the second day we kayaked most of the day with an option to do another 2 hours in the late afternoon. We were able to see so much this way and since there were no other boats around we were the only kayakers in the water. Many other boats only allow 30 minutes to an hour kayaking and on some boats it is an extra fee.
Once we were on the boat 2 other things stood out. The staff on our boat were excellent. They were friendly, helpful and professional. Our guide spoke great English and was able to tell us a lot about HaLong Bay. The other thing was the food! We were served 7 course meals and were given so much food that at times we couldn’t finish it all. They customized everything for a vegetarian which meant Simone ate well too.
The boat surpassed our expectations. It was a newer boat, only 2 years old, which meant the interior was in great condition and our room and bathroom were very nice. We had two windows that let in a lot of light and although we weren’t in there much it was nice to have. The boat only had 15 rooms and the first night there were 26 people on board. Only 6 of us stayed for the second day and did the kayaking. We were then joined by another group of 20 that afternoon on the boat.
The only touristy thing we did was the fishing village stop with the pearl farm. At this stop on the way back to the harbor we saw 7 other boats! We were taken around in small bamboo boats by a local to look at the floating fishing village and then learned about the pearl making process before heading back to our boat and back to the harbor.
We are so glad we chose to do a HaLong Bay cruise. It was relaxing and far away from the honking horns of the past few months. The Treasure Junk was a good choice for us and we highly recommend it.