Let’s go Junk Boating in Vietnam
Looking back at trip pictures of Halong Bay makes me want to skip the holidays and find a cheap ticket back. Most Vietnam vacations include the not so traditional overnight stay on the famous Junk boats found in northern Vietnam. Most trips can be arranged by a tour company in Hanoi and usually don’t require more than a few days notice. The company who arranged this trip was the “real” Kangaroo Cafe in Hanoi. The tour was just ok, but I signed up after being so taken with my tasty veggie burger and fries in Hanoi. Pho is great but sometimes a good burger and fries is needed. I recommend using the internet to find a tour company that gives back to the local villagers whose livelihood depends on only the bay. There are plenty of them out there and a little goes a long way.
The Bay itself is beautiful and taking great pictures requires little effort no matter what time of year. Overall, it’s best to double-check on the weather before booking. In May, when I was there, it’s usually on the chilly damp side. There was little temptation to swim and/or kayak chilly, dark and gloomy water. Many tour and fishing boats with diesel engines tread those waters on a daily basis and it’s a good time to become vegetarian unless you want to be like Andrew Zimmern and eat the toxic catch of the day and chase it down with some local moonshine. Cheers!
Travelers can never go wrong doing some online researching to sites like Trip Advisors LP Thorntree and other online forums which offer up to date tour information like ones to Halong Bay. Ownership chances or just getting into a hard copy guidebook like the LP guide can change places for the better or worse. In Halong Bay, particularly look out for things like the condition of the boat, kayaks and quality of the food and staff. I also may add that being a vegetarian or just a picky eater is always tricky on these group tours, so don’t go hungry and bring plenty of snacks and whatever else provides a more comfortable experience.