Summer’s long sticky days are nearly upon us, which means it is also the best time of year – junk season! I love nothing more than sipping on a sea breeze cocktail while working on my tan in the middle of the ocean. But organising a junk trip can be rather tricky as there are many things to consider. Here’s Sassy’s guide to getting it right!
Choose the right date/time
Junks can be hired for day or night parties. Both are a bit of a different experience. A day junk is better value for the money since they last for seven hours compared with only four at night. It’s always fun to have a junk on a long weekend or public holiday (some people prefer them on a Saturday so they have all of Sunday to recover *wink*) but I’m all about spending my Sundays on the water. Planning one the day after someone’s big event when everyone will be hungover probably isn’t ideal. Junks get snapped up fast so you will need to book at least 1-2 months in advance.
Choose the right company
Not all junk packages are the same. They range from the all-inclusive junks run by restaurants like Jaspas and Mes Amis, which provide all the food, alcohol and music, to completely bring your own everything! Some companies also offer karaoke, wakeboarding, water-skiing and banana boat rides at an extra cost. The all-inclusive ones are a little more expensive but I’d definitely recommend them – it’s the small things like throwing drinks to you while you are swimming that makes a Jaspas one memorable. Also on the day of the junk, you can just rock up instead of organising the catering and carrying your own drinks on-board.
If you go for the bring-your-own option, remember to plan well ahead and get stocked up on supplies from your local supermarket (or if you’re cutting it fine, nearest 7-Elevens) in advance. Once you’re out on the junk, there are no longer any 7-Elevens just around the corner!
Choose a pick up point/destination
Most junks depart from Central, Causeway Bay (Noon Day Gun), Aberdeen or Sai Kung. Destinations are ultimately up to the captain and weather dependent, but some suggestions are Lamma, Sai Kung, Deep Water Bay, Clearwater Bay, South Bay or Turtle Cove (shown above).
What to take
Swimwear, towel, SUNCREEN (and remember to reapply throughout the day), change of clothes, flip-flops, sunnies, sea sickness tablets if this affects you, blow-up life ring/noodle/lilo. If you are bringing your own food, make sure it is on board before you set sail… we forgot once! See what’s in Sassy’s beach bags here.
- Junks are a great place to meet people so if you are organising one, invite a wide range of people. Get friends to bring friends to bring friends of friends… and by the end of the day, I can guarantee everyone will be best buds!
- Because there are a number of flaky/unreliable people out there, I would suggest collecting the money from people beforehand so you don’t get caught short on the day and end up having to pay for people who don’t turn up.
- If you feel seasick, the best place to sit is at the back of the boat. Alternately, try and bob about in the water for most of the day.
- Conquer your fears and jump from the top of the boat!
- Keep your eyes on the weather reports and keep your fingers crossed! (In the case of bad weather raining off your boat trip, they will generally arrange for it to be held on an alternative date – another reason to get money off people first so they don’t cry off later!)
Here are some of the companies in Hong Kong that offer junk trips:
Jaspas Junks 2792 6001 or firstname.lastname@example.org
A true Sassy fave, with packages to fit your theme and budget, including freshly-made food and drinks.
Island Junks 2877 5222 or email@example.com
Junks hold up to 50 passengers; they offer catering and non-catering packages and also provide sea-kayaks, snorkels and toys.
Saffron Cruises 2857 1311 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Offer both junks and luxury boats; food and drink packages available from catering company Shamrock.
The Mes Amis Junk 3170 7063 or email@example.com
Uses a 44ft Chinese pleasure junk that can accommodate parties of up to 32 people; includes a fully-equipped kitchen and fully-stocked bar!
StandardBoat 2570 1792 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Offers both junks and cruisers, with a range of catering and drinks packages also available.
Kos Kitchen 9758 4664 or email@example.com
Offers a full range of differently-priced food menus; speeds boats with banana boats and water skis also available.
Aqua Luna 2216 8821
Day cruises to Stanley, Aberdeen, Cheung Chau or Tin Hau Temple on a traditional red-sailed junk; run by the Aqua restaurant group with their signature cocktails available on-board. Good option for taking tourists.
Koh Thai Junk 6014 8460 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Offers four types of boats with Thai food and drink catering packages available for a minimum of 25 people.
Hong Kong Junks 2840 1588 or email@example.com
A new company with boats for up to 40 people and a variety of packages, including an all-inclusive option with unlimited food and drink. Their boats start from Aberdeen, with banana boats and water-skiing available as add-on extras.
Happy sailing, girls!