Indochinajunk are an outstanding company. everything was excellent from start to finish. The mini van we were picked up with was the most luxury van I’ve ever sat in. It’s a fairly long drive from Hanoi so it was nice to be comfortable.
The boat itself has 9 cabins, but one was empty so there was only 16 passengers who came from wide ranging backgrounds and of all ages from 18 to 65. we had a Canadian TV reporter and his producer girlfriend, 2 New York Lawyers (amazingly, for American lawyers, they were really nice people), a waiter, a carer, some retired people, computer programmer, etc. American, British, French, Austrian, German and Dutch nationalties were there, but luckily everyone spoke English. Probably the best thing about the tour was how friendly everyone was. we moved around at mealtimes so that everyone ate with everyone by the end of the trip. My wife and I are not always that sociable but it was natural here and we really enjoyed the company.
We did the three day two night trip and I recommend this as you go further away from the tourist areas and it also gives you more time to get to know everyone. The kayaking on the second day was a highlight, and we saw no other boats apart from a few local fisherman. Indochinajunk seem to have a special license so that their customers get to go to the best places first. we had a beach bar-b-que and visited a cave on the island. There was nobody else there, but just as we were leaving, a flotilla of at least a dozen boats arrived full of tourists.
The food on board is very good and the young chef takes a lot of care about what he produces. You also get a huge amount of it so you definitely won’t go hungry. The service from the guide and the rest of the crew was also exceptional. Nothing is too much trouble for these guys or their company. There was a young girl on board who got ill – not the boats fault – and had to spend most of the trip in bed. When we arrived back to Halong, Indochinajunk not only gave her a lovely bunch of flowers but some if not all of her money back. They didn’t have to do that, but it was impressive that they did.
Nothing is perfect of course. The cabins are very small, but we only slept in them anyway, and the drinks prices are high for Vietnam, although not so bad compared to UK wine prices in restaurants.
If you are considering which tour to go with, I suggest this one, you will have a fantastic time.