Read what other Viator.com travelers think about the Halong Bay Overnight Junk Boat Cruise. What they loved, what they liked and what they think could be improved, it's all here to help you make the most of your next trip.
It was an interesting experience. My wife and I were concerned with the pollution in the bay. The Jewel of the Bay Junk was very good and the food fantastic. We were lucky to meet some lovely people on the Junk as well. The walks that were conducted were good. The drive to the bay could have lent itself to a few explanations of the sites on the way, instead of nothing, which was not the case when my wife did the Malacca straights with Viator. Also, getting onto the junk is organized chaos. On the bus ride back, we were cramped into the back of a mini bus and sat on top of the wheels, which was painful. I am glad we have made the effort to see Halong Bay, however the other experiences that await exploring in Vietnam are equally good and considerably less in price.
The boat was a bit run down. They did not put up the sails which were not needed for movement, but were part of the feel of the trip.
Hmmm...so easy for this to be the most amazing trip, yet so royally messed up by the tour company. The actual boat was great, with much nicer cabins than I had expected and especially good food. The staff were helpful, but only when they had to be. And here is the problem. Once they had done their duty (e.g. served dinner), they disappeared into their private quarters. So if you wanted a drink, you had to go and rouse someone and it felt very awkward, particularly if you wanted a hot drink that they then had to make. They also did not conduct any kind of 'tour' - we were told nothing at all about Halong Bay, or the boats etc. When you get to the caves, the guide just gave us the ticket and pointed the way. When we were in there, there were loads of other groups with their guide explaining and pointing out interesting things. It got worse too - they started making repairs to the boat doors whilst we were sat there enjoying the tranquillity (literally, man turned up with a drill and just set to work next to us), and then they tried to charge us for all of the drinks we had had. This included tea and coffee - eventually they relented as I still had our booking form which clearly stated 'free tea and coffee throughout', but even then they tried to argue that this only meant 'free at breakfast'. And drinks were expensive - a good 3 times more than you'd pay on land. Also be warned that this is not 2 days - on the 2nd day, you get served lunch at 10.30am and then you're off before 12. Do this trip - but with a different company.