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Reviews and safety notes for Halong Bay Junks
01 May 2013
 
Named and designed after an authentic Chinese Junks, the original  Red Dragon Junk plied the rivers, seas and harbors of the Far East, from Singapore to northern China

Our Red Dragon is complete with five deluxe cabins and designed to resonate with superior class and grandeur. Larger than The Prince and Princess it is still small enough to get up close to the natural wonders, pocket lagoons and small fishing communities of Halong and Bai Tu Long bays.

As soon as you board the Red Dragon, you will be surrounded by traditional handmade artisan woodwork. Whether you are relaxing in the comfort of your own cabin, lounging on the spacious sun deck, or dinning in the cozy restaurant, you will feel treated like royalty.

This masterpiece is a wonderful option for those who need a little more space for a small group cruise of up to 11 people.

 

Reviews from customers:

Fantastic! I was skeptical going into this Halong Bay cruise based on all the reviews of Halong bay tours in general but boy, was I blown away by how fantastic this cruise was, We booked thru our hotel with the Indochina Junk the Red Dragon II. It is a little more than some of the other cruises but trust me, it is SO worth every penny. First, the trip was mostly thru Bai Tu Long Bay, which is less crowded and cleaner (see travel itinerary). There are only 5 cabins (10 persons total) so you don’t feel crowded out. There are sunning lounge chairs on the deck where you can relax and enjoy the view, as well as option for both indoor and outdoor dining on top of the boat. Think about that, meals with the bay cruising by you. Second, the crew and our guide were very friendly, helpful and just all around great people. Our guide Hoang Nguyen was always there to provide information (very informative which was a plus), guidance and help when you needed it but not around so much that it was annoying, most of the time you just felt comfortable and taken care of and not bothered at all. He had the perfect balance for a 2 day 1 night trip. Third, can we say delicious food! The food was so so so amazing! (that’s three “so”‘s folks). It was the ultimate never-ending delicious meal. Finally, we felt so pampered. The itinerary, crew, guide, the rooms (each room had panoramic windows and the bathroom had a window that opened) the food, the views…everything was so “Zen,” peaceful and great. Look at this review, I clearly cannot say enough about the Red Dragon cruise. I don’t rate things often but this experience was just perfect.

Read the information and consulting before choosing Itinerary

1. Two Day/One Night Itinerary

On the first day, those 3 activities, including Cave Visiting, Kayaking and Swimming, are continuously placed upon itinerary. There is no any alternative activity, the passenger can only choose to stay on boat, or, relaxing on the beach. Others request for visiting around the area by tender can be fulfilled upon request, but extra cost is a must. On the second day, a short visit to Fishing Village is taken placed, there is no alternative activity, the passenger can only choose to stay on boat

2. Three Day/Two Night Itinerary and Longer Stay

red dragon cruise photo

red dragon cruise photo

 

Elders or Guest with health problems (eg. Kidney problem), or Guests with no kayaking experience, are not recommended due to the long kayaking excursion (1.5 hour on the first day and 2 hour on the second day). Special Offer, including BBQ Lunch or Dinner in the Cave, is served for the whole group at the same time so individual Guest is not allowed eating on the boat separately during this activity.

 

Weather in Halong Bay

1. General Climate

Halong Bay belongs to the Northern Patterns of Vietnam so it is generally cooler than the Southern of the country. It experiences two main distinct seasons. In winter months, the weather gets colder and colder from November to March and considerably warmer in April (a leap into summer). This is also time to observe much cloud and frequent drizzle. The average winter temperature is 17.2°C (62.9°F). Particularly, deep inside bay is often colder; temperature may keep below 10°C (50°F) for long period. In the summer (from May to October), the whole region is quite hot. Temperature may rise to 37°C (98.6 °F) in the peaks of June and July. Halong City enjoys equitable weather with high average humidity (80%) all year round though they may occasionally be subjected to typhoons and heavy rain in late summers (September to November). The distinct features: pleasant spring (typically March-April) and autumn (October-December), a chilly winter (December- February) and a hot summer (June – July).

2. Best Time to Travel

It is possible to visit Ha Long Bay year-round, with the best time to visit from October through April, although during the winter months of December, January and February, the weather can be cool and overcast with low visibility. During the summer months from May to September, temperatures rise and storms are more likely during the rainy season.

Halong Bay Four Seasons: Spring: February to April: Temperature ~ 17°C – Misty with drizzle Summer: May to July: Temperature ~ 28°C – Clear blue sky with occasionally pouring rain Autumn: August to October: Temperature ~ 25°C – Partly cloudy, partly windy, high chance of storm Winter: November to February: Temperature ~14°C – Cloudy, cool and rainy

3. How to Wear

It is highly recommended that you check the weather forecast before packing up, some tips are: The hot season is from May to September with the temperature is 25 – 35 degree: Shorts and skirts and short sleeve shirts The cold season in Halong Bay is from October to April and the temperature is 10 – 15 degree: Sweaters, jumper, light jacket, scarf During kayaking/swimming: Swimming suits, sun block, hat, anti-insect repellent, sunglasses During visiting the cave and grottoes, visiting fishing village: Walking shoes, crocs shoes, scandals, comfortable clothes

4. Cancelation Due To Bad Weather

Without prior notice, the cruise trip could be postponed, shortened or canceled due to unexpected bad weather, including Storm/ Typhoon (summer), Foggy days (winter), Monsoon (winter). The cruise operation is out of Indochina Junk’s control so we suggest that Guests should check the Weather Forecast at least 1 day before the cruise for better preparation of backup plan.

There are 3 situations we mentioned below as most popular occurrence

4.1. Cancellation news is confirmed 1 day before the cruise (Refund is made in full by Indochina Junk- Red Dragon)

Indochina Junk will keep contact with Guests to confirm the cancellation news, and then Guests could choose the next availability to cruise or plan for any alternative options such as Hanoi City tour, Hoa Lu- Tam Coc / Trang An ( Ninh Binh), Cooking class, Perfume Pagoda tour, Mai Chau

4.2. Cancellation news is confirmed after Guests arrive at Halong Bay. Indochina Junk- Red Dragon will serve lunch and transfer Guests back to Hanoi. (refund will based on service that has been delivered to you)

Options are: Stay in a hotel in Halong city, and then cruise the very next day cruise upon weather condition and boat availability. Visit Yen Duc village, which is located 70km from Halong Bay, on the way back to Hanoi. There is 2 hour tour, 5.5 hour tour option and even overnight trip in Viet House Homestay. If it is not rainy, Yen Duc village can be an ideal alternative option closed to Halong Bay. Get back to Hanoi and enjoy other alternative tours: Sapa, Hanoi, Ninh Binh

4.3. Cancellation news is confirmed during your staying on Indochina Junk boat (refund will based on service that has been delivered to you) If the weather is expected to be better on the next day and you are on the first day of the trip, you could stay one night in hotel (Halong city) then continue your cruise on the next day If the weather is too bad, Indochina Junk arrange the transfer you back to your hotel in Hanoi and you choose yourself other alternative options.

 

Safety Notice

1. Particular individuals

For safety reasons, these below Guests are not recommended to cruise overnight in Halong Bay: People with disability, such as blindness, two hand amputee. People who are unable to walk on 2 m high stairwells People who have health problems, including people with sleepwalking syndome, people who have Illusions, people with epilepsy, people who have got anxiety when being in a small place. People who are on medicines that need to be stored at a special temperature and without it their lives are in danger People who is older than 80 People who is more than 100kg weight People who is over 2 meters height

2. Poisonous plants and animals

During summer, especially May, June, July, before going to swim, Guests should ask the guide or captain for advice because it is when the poisonous jellyfish are most active

3. Emergency Storms: when storms come during the tour Guests should be calm and follow instructions of the captain and guide. Guests need to move to the highest open areas of the boats or clear space or dining areas When engines are heard operating at night when the boat is anchored Guests need to rush out of their cabins because a storm is possibly coming or there is a potential boat collision.

4. Safety Facilities Life vest in each cabin, at public area, life buoys, life raft that enough for guests and crew on board. Lighters and hammers for emergency case in each cabin. Fire alarm, fire extinguishers at different areas on board, following the standard guide and ready to use Diagram to exit in emergency case . Marine equipment: VHF radio, GPS plotting, walkie-talkie, Walter licking alarm system, water pump system, fire alarm system and fire extinguishers.

5. Onboard safety Brief introduction about the trip with itinerary, crews, activities and safety, weather information Activity warning: our guide will give short introduction and warning to visitors, depending on weather conditions and seasons features, we recommend you to listen carefully to this information. The speed canoe to transfer guest immediately to harbor in the short time regarding health safety.

Medical aid available on board Marine Search and Rescue team with essential skills and training, equipment to deal with emergency.

 
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