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Valentine Junk or Ginger Junk

germany
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53 posts
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Valentine Junk or Ginger Junk

Hi,

I have a big question. I got an offering for Valentine Junk ? Is it a good junk in the old style or is it nicer to go with the Ginger Junk ? More traditional . Is there anybody who took a cruise on one of these boats ?

Thank you so much for your reply.

Best regards

germanchris

UK
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27 posts
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1. Re: Valentine Junk or Ginger Junk

Hi germanchris

As you probably know, with just 5 cabins, the Valentine is the smaller of 3 boats operated by Indochina Sails. I personally sailed on the Valentine last November and also inspected one of their larger boats. They are all gorgeous - very luxurious with wood panelling throughout and certainly "feel" traditional (though I imagine living on a "real" junk would have been a LOT less comfortable ;-))

I can't comment on the Ginger Junk as I haven't experienced it myself but the service and food on the Valentine were really second to none (and I mean seriously 5-star). Indochina Sails also say that they travel to quieter areas overnight (I can only assume this is true as we saw no boats other than their own when we moored) and they also have their own private departure lounge in Halong.

If you're looking for an exclusive and fairly private experience, I honestly don't think you could do much better than the Valentine, although if you want more of a lively atmosphere, then maybe one of their larger boats might be better.

The Valentine is definitely not one of the cheapest options but if visiting Halong is likely to be a once in a life time experience, I personally felt it was worth every penny.

Hope this helps and have a wonderful trip.

TigerLily

England
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3 posts
2 reviews
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2. Re: Valentine Junk or Ginger Junk

We got back from Vietnam a couple of weeks ago. Had a really wonderful time but the most enjoyable and fantastic experience there was on the overnight cruise in Halong Bay on the Valentine junk. Beautiful air-conditioned cabins with separate shower and bath/jacuzi and very polite crew. The guide, Tuan (not sure if I spelt his name right...) was v knowledgeble and helpful. The Valentine is less than a year old and everything looks new but feels old ... if you know what I mean. We loved the food, the kayaking trip was amazing and the views all round the bay during sunset when we moored for the night was breath-taking. It's a bit pricey but worth every penny for once in a lifetime trip. Enjoy!

BTW we booked our whole Vietnam/Angkor trip through Tonkin Travel.

California
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172 posts
10 reviews
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3. Re: Valentine Junk or Ginger Junk

We were on the indochina sails junk 3 weeks ago. It is the same company who operates Valentine. The room is very clean, and nice, the food is excellent and the service is exceptional. We did spot Ginger anchored next to us while we were kayaking. The boat looks the same as indochina boat. Valentine is one grade more than indochina, therefore, you should take valentine if the costs are the same.

germany
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53 posts
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4. Re: Valentine Junk or Ginger Junk

Thank you so much for your replies and information. It is so helpful for me because as you know there are so many offerings. Now I know what I have to book and I am really looking forward to seeing Vietnam and the Halong Bay.

Thanks a lot.

germanchris

los angeles
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511 posts
6 reviews
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5. Re: Valentine Junk or Ginger Junk

WE were on the Valentine 2 weeks ago. It is definitely 5-star, especially the bathroom. We saw the Ginger and had actually also been trying to decide between the 2. We ended up on the Valentine for 2 reasons: thought a smaller, 5-cabin (vs. I think 20 cabins on Ginger) would be more intimate and there wouldn't be any issues of a crowded tender AND the Valentine carries their own kayaks and charges $15 when you are on board. The Ginger wanted the kayaks booked in advance and they were either $35 or $50 per person -- ridiculous price. I think it may be that they don't carry them on the junk and contract with an outside agency for the kayaks, but that's just conjecture on my part. So, the price difference on the kayaking meant that the Valentine cost the same as the Ginger and was newer and smaller.

We were very happy with our choice. Only 2 other cabins were occupied. The dinner was excellent, the lunch was good and the breakfast was okay.

But we really enjoyed the overnight experience and the accommodations and public areas were top-notch.

I'll be posting a full trip report soon.

Bottom line: you will be happy on whichever one you pick -- the Valentine or the Ginger. (and I think the Ginger docked near the Valentine in a quite cove, but I could be mistaken.)

BTW, both depart from the same pier -- very nice a/c waiting area.

Beware of the cost of extras. We brought our own water. Drinks are very expensive.

Hamilton
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1 post
17 reviews
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6. Re: Valentine Junk or Ginger Junk

My husband and I have just had a 2 night stay on the Valentine (April 2009).

We paid US$ 660 for the pleasure. The valentine is smaller than other boats - 5 cabins only. Same style as ginger - older wooden with mock sails. We had a fabulous time. We were lucky in that the first night there was one other couple, who had only booked one night, so next day we had the day boat all to ourselves and were taken to quiet area further out (stunning) where we kayaked to our choice of idyllic small white sanded beaches for swimming and relaxing, then back to boat for 7 course lunch - all meals we had were excellent vietnamese style food - a real highlight (all meals included in tariff). Also taken with guide through some caves that only Indochina has access to. Then back to main boat.

I absolutely recommend this cruise, and if you are able to then book for 2 nights - you are missing out just staying for one.

Staff were very attentive and helpful while keeping a low profile.

Suggest you take a couple of big bottles of water with you as although water is provided for outings you will have to pay extra at meal times. Only negative is the cost of wine, expensive - plus $15US corkage which in insane.

7. Re: Valentine Junk or Ginger Junk

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