ASEAN: Vietnam’s Phuket “Look-Alike” Halong Bay “Junk Cruise” now offers massage, cooking class & Tai Chi

Junk in the Halong Bay, Vietnam

Image via Wikipedia

By Pooky, Thai Intel’s economics journalist

I have long heard about Vietnam‘s Halong Bay-that looks a lot like Phuket, with its lime stone small island sticking out of the ocean.

Well, I have been to Phuket many times-and really love it. But when it comes to crusing in the ocean, around Phuket, it is either super modern yacht or those converted Thai fishing boat.

At Halong Bay, it is quite different, where most of the cruse are done on these Chinese type “Junk.” It looks a lot like the Hong Kong bay really, but instead of tall sky-scrapers-in its place are these lime stone towers.

The twist is that these junk is starting to offer messages, cooking classes and Tai Chi right on the junk. Like can you imaging to wake up in the morning, and do some Tai Chi exercise on these Chinese junk-among hundreds of lime stone towers that takes you to some ancient China.

The problem with Halong Bay, is that the beaches are nothing like Phuket. In Phuket, it is like a total package-yes a little too modern-but Halong is like getting lost on the junk-and really get some spiritual awakening.

The trips run from US$50 to US$500 per cabin that sleeps 2. Many of the globe’s travel agents are saying the interest in these Vietnamese junk cruse is like very popular at the moment.

The Vietnamese currency, had been devalued many times last year, as the Thai currency hardened-making the Vietnamese vacation really cheap and the Thai ones sort of more expensive.

While the junk cruse reminds one of how “Still the Same” Vietnam is to tourist-do not be fooled. Most of the junk cruse are connected to travel agents-and you can access them on-line.

Those that went on the cruise says if you decide to go to Halong, better pick up a Lonely Planet Guide. Also, the problem with these old junk, is that while they are sea worthy, “You better check out the safety and emergency equipment the junk offers, because Vietnam is no Western country with high safety standard.”

For the guys, like Thailand, Vietnam has a thriving night-life and lots of pretty women around and available for a price. Many guys, like in Thailand, in taking girls from Bangkok to Phuket, in Vietnam-what is very popular are these long cruises with a Vietnamese babe-with the rooms in the junk, usually much better than the modern yacht in Phuket.

The rooms in the junk, really takes you back in time and with a Vietnamese babe on your side-you really really get to know Vietnam.

Just do not rock the boat too hard.

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