From when to go, who to book with and what food to enjoy at sea, here’s your ultimate junk trip guide.
As fun as having a junk party with your friends can be, organising your own can be a real headache with all the different aspects to consider. From where and when to go, to which junk or company to use– the choices can be overwhelming. To ensure smooth sailing in the planning process, we’ve put together a junk trip guide with our pick of the best boat hire and catering companies in Hong Kong, plus loads of need-to-know tips.
When To Go
Depending on what kind of experience you’re after, you can either head out on a day trip to one of Hong Kong’s many beaches (here are a few of our faves) to make the most of the sun, or you can hire a junk in the evening for a fun night between the stars and the sea. Both are always great fun, but day junks are generally better value for money as they last longer (seven hours instead of four).
If the timing works out, it’s a good idea to organise your junk over a long weekend or on a public holiday (on a regular weekend, most prefer booking on a Saturday so they have all of Sunday to recover). Junk boats get snapped up fast, so keep in mind that you will need to book at least one to two months in advance. Peak junk season typically lasts from around May to September, so if you’d like to hire a boat for the summer, it’s time to get planning!
Where To Go
There are various locations that junks depart from, including Central, Causeway Bay (Noon Day Gun), Aberdeen and Sai Kung. You can usually request your stopping place, but it depends on the junk company and the captain (not to mention the unpredictable Hong Kong weather!) as to where you end up. However, if you do get a say in your final destination, we recommend Lamma for some tasty seafood or Deep Water Bay for some beach action. Sai Kung, Clearwater Bay, Turtle Cove and Stanley Bay are also excellent options.
Which Junk Company To Use
Not all junk packages are the same. They range from all-inclusive deals that come with food, alcohol and music, to BYO everything. Some companies also offer karaoke, wakeboarding, waterskiing and banana boat rides at an extra cost. The all-inclusive offerings are a little pricier, but we’d definitely recommend them for ease and convenience. This option also means you and your friends can just rock up on the day without having to worry about arranging for catering or lugging your own drinks on board.
If you are looking to enjoy a more budget-friendly junk, the bring-your-own option would work just fine. Just remember to plan well ahead and stock up on supplies from your local supermarket (or if you’re cutting it fine, the nearest 7-Eleven) as early as possible.
Check out some options below:
Online boat booking platforms always come in handy during junk season, and Yacht Holimood ticks all the boxes with its easy-to-use website. With a variety of luxury yachts, cruisers, junk boats, sailing boats, event boats, houseboats and speed boats available to choose from, you can search by price to find the perfect option for you. Yacht Holimood also offers regular promotions for different yachting services, from all-inclusive food and drink packages and night cruises, to tailor-made services, weddings, and even DJ parties. It also offers small group packages for more intimate get-togethers. Take your junk to the next level and guarantee the best experience, with a range of fun add-ons including floaties, inflatable beer pong tables and more.
Looking for good ol’ fashioned junk fun? Hong Kong Junks has got you covered! With plenty of room on its beautiful teak boats to accommodate up to 40 people, crowd-pleasing food and drink – and even an option to evade your friend’s terrible playlist by hiring a DJ. Hong Kong Junks’ friendly staff will help to ensure that you and your mates have a good time. Best of all, the company has a strict no-plastic policy, so you can enjoy your time at sea completely guilt-free!
Sassy Perk: Enjoy one free place upon signing up for an all-inclusive package by quoting SassyHK when you book.
Breakaway offers a modern luxury motor yacht for you to sail away on during junk season! A great option if you’re looking for something intimate and bit more special. Apart from “A Day At Sea”, the company also offers a variety of packages to suit any special occasion, including Afternoon Tea, Brunch, A Romantic Boat Trip For Two or a Birthday Party Outing. Indulge in the delicious homemade food for breakfast, lunch, afternoon snacks and drinks which are offered in the all-inclusive packages – and you can even choose which kind of food you want from the various menus. The sweet team at Breakaway will make sure to customise your F&B options to suit whatever you fancy and guarantee a pleasant boat trip! And with the option to have your own masseuse onboard, you’re sure to be left feeling relaxed and de-stressed after a day away with Breakaway.
A platform for all things junk related in the 852, Junks.HK is an easy-to-use platform that enables you to build-your-own custom junk experience in just three simple steps! Simply choose your date and customise your preferred catering and beverage options with the chance to choose from a ton of additional water-sports and other fun add-ons too.
Lazydays boasts stylish yachts kitted out with all mod cons (including a TV, karaoke and more!) for bespoke trips around the harbour or to outlying islands. With good food and drink packages available (hello free-flow prosecco!), plus the option to enjoy massages on board and an inflatable six-person lounge to relax in too, it’s no wonder Lazydays has become a favourite of ours. The company also offers the option to add on a $10 per person donation to your booking of all-inclusive packages, which will go to the non-profit organisation Plastic-Free Seas, with Lazydays matching any donations made.
Offering a choice of three traditional junk boats, Jaspas operates out of Pak Sha Wan pier just outside Sai Kung and promises a day of sand, surf and sea with its great packages. Boats are priced at $750 per person (for between 14 and 40 people) and include free-flow drinks and a buffet of freshly cooked food. Coach charters to Sai Kung can also be arranged.
With a range of unique boats and cruisers at its disposal (we love the Jungle Jane, one of the best party boats in Hong Kong!), Hong Kong Yachting has loads of great itineraries – think all-inclusive junk packages, romantic evenings cruises or even wedding parties out at sea.
This iconic red-sailed junk offers 45-minute harbour trips plus longer day cruises around Stanley and other parts of Hong Kong. And since it’s run by the Aqua restaurant group, you can even book in an evening cruise followed by dinner at Hutong, or a day-time dim sum cruise, with gourmet delights on offer from Dim Sum Library. This is a particularly good option for visiting out-of-towners.
Delicious junks lives up to its name; providing high quality, deli-style food with healthy ingredients on board. The prices are pretty reasonable as the packages include food. You can also book your boat (see here for more details), and drinks packages, along with the option to add on a speed boat, wake-boarding, or a banana boat.
The boats at Island Junks hold up to 50 passengers and offer both catering and non-catering packages. The company can also provide sea-kayaks, waitresses, speedboats and even a masseuse to complete your custom trip, along with offering set island cruise packages to Lamma Island and Po Toi Island, which include a delicious seafood lunch.
With one of the largest fleets of junk boats in Hong Kong, Saffron Cruises offers a wide range of junks and luxury boats at different price points, with food and drink packages available from catering company Shamrock.
With four different styles of boats to choose from, you can book a trip of any duration, with a range of catering and drinks packages. This is a good, basic-but-reliable option, and we would recommend this if you’re looking to BYOB.
Viking Charters offers boats accommodating around 30 passengers (either a traditional wooden junk or more modern pleasure cruisers are available), along with a speedboat that has a banana boat, water ski and wake-boarding equipment all included. The company also offers three different buffet menus as well as drinks packages.
What To Eat
When you think of NOSH, healthy, sensibly portioned meal plans probably come to mind – but it sure knows how to feed a crowd as well! NOSH’s all-new Junk Platter menu has arrived just in time for summer, with a nutritious menu that will satisfy your whole crew. At $190 per head, you can enjoy a guilt-free feast with your friends, with crowd-pleasing items such as Cornitos Nachos, Lemon Herb Pulled Pork, Chicken Wings, New York Cheesecake Bites and more. Appealing to a range of diets, there are also a number of gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian options to choose from.
Sassy Perk: Sassy readers can receive free delivery on their orders this summer (to piers within HK Island and Kowloon area). Simply mention the offer when you place your order.
What better way to spoil your guests than with great-tasting wine? Wine Brothers have done the hard work for you, sourcing the highest quality small-batch wines straight from Australia and delivering them straight to your home (unfortunately, the company does not deliver to any piers). We love that this company is fierce. Trust us, you’ll find no mass-produced labels here. We can’t think of a better way to set your junk apart from the rest
Sassy Perk: Wine Brothers is offering an exclusive Sassy Summer Sips Special to readers. Enjoy $250 off an order of $750 with the code SASSYSIPS. Offer is valid until Friday, 31 July, 2020.
With a range of packages (starting at $180 per head) featuring different cuisines (European, Mexican and seafood) and options to mix and match, you’ll be spoiled for choice with the offering from Bistro Concept Group. Take your pick from Mini Pulled Pork, Lobster Sliders, Orange Glazed USA Baby Back Ribs, Quinoa and Pomegranate Salad, and more from the likes of Flying Pig Deli & Social Club, El Macho and Lobster Shack. If the set menus don’t take your fancy, a-la-carte options, including burgers, pasta dishes and salads, are also available. You’re sure to find a junk menu that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters!
With shops in Quarry Bay, Wan Chai, Sheung Wan and Sai Ying Pun, La Rotisserie has long been our go-to takeaway for when we’re peckish for poultry. From the farm to your junk, all of the ingredients are selected and imported directly from France, ensuring the highest quality. Its corn-fed roast chicken and hearty sides are all made in-store and have no added MSG. The best part? With La Rotisserie, the bigger your order, the bigger the discount – enjoy up to 20% off your order upon a spending of $10,000 and above. Don’t forget to also take advantage of its great wine and beer deals to complete your order, which you can pick up in store yourself or have delivered anywhere in Hong Kong.
Sassy Perk: Receive one free bottle of rosé with any order above $2,000, two bottles with an order above $4,000, and three with an order of $6,000. Simply place your order here, then send an email to [email protected] to redeem your free gift. Offer will run between Monday, 22 June, 2020 to Sunday, 15 November, 2020.
The luxe catering company and private kitchen is renowned for its tasty Mediterranean fare. Full lunch menus of zaatar roast chicken, organic salmon and a whole host of sides are also available and will go down well on any junk. Its Feasting on the High Sea junk boat menu starts at $100 per head, which includes a selection of dips, Freshly Baked Turkish Bread and Pomegranate Brownies. And if you’re feeling extra peckish, you can add a Cheese Platter for an additional $1,200.
If you’re after Mexican fare, then Cali-Mex is sure to fix your cravings! There are three different junk catering packages to choose from,starting at $88 per head and featuring different combos of burritos, quesadillas and plenty of chips and guac.
Looking to feast like a beast? While its Wan Chai outlet has sadly closed, you can still get Bread & Beast catering for your junk! Offering up two packages – Chill Beast and Beast Surfer – Bread & Beast’s epic junk menu is a winner. With package prices starting at $200 per head, you can enjoy delicious offerings such as the Black Garlic Fried Rice, Thai Grilled Pork Neck and more, along with sides such as Yuzu Wings, Pineapple Pop and Ovaltine Muffins. If the set menus don’t take your fancy, á la carte options are also available, and include a range of burgers, rice and pasta dishes, starters, salads and more.
Maison Libanaise’s “Bateau et Mezze” features favourites such as Maison’s Falafel and Za’atar Fried Chicken, Roasted Cauliflower, Pita Chips and Dips, and more. We’ve sampled the Roasted Cauliflower on numerous occasions and can’t recommend it enough! Available for 10 guests or more and priced at $318 per head, orders need to be made 48 hours in advance and can be picked up at 9:30am or delivered to Central pier for 10am.
Another Black Sheep favourite that’s taking its food to the seas is Le Petit Saigon. The “Banh Mi Onboard” menu is priced at $208 per person and available for groups of 20 or more, with food offerings including your choice of pork, chicken or tofu banh mis, along with Shredded Chicken Cabbage Salad, Salt & Pepper Chicken Wings and even some freshly-baked cookies to finish.
And if you’re after a Thai or Vietnamese feast to take your junk to the next level, Chôm Chôm and Soul Food Thai also offer junk catering menus. Contact [email protected] for more info and to place your order!
A go-to of ours on any given lunchtime, Knead is always going to be a popular choice for catering, and it’s one of our favourites during junk season too. There are countless options for fresh sandwiches, salads, wraps, canapes, sweet treats, drinks and boozy beverages available, so you’re sure to be left satisfied. And don’t forget to request some of Knead’s famous brownies for a little late afternoon treat!
R&R’s catering bundles (which cost around $57 per head) are just the thing when you have a group of hungry junkies to feed! Pick your favourites from the menu (ours would be the Bacon Jam BLT), or leave it to the experts to rustle up a variety options for you and your crew.
We’ve been lucky enough to sample some of Invisible Kitchen’s creations here in the Sassy office and can fully vouch for their tastiness, plus we love Chef Tom’s commitment to sustainability. All ingredients are ethically-sourced, so do check out its buffet packages for your next junk. Prices begin at a very reasonable $200 per person for the Essential menu (including sandwiches, salads and desserts) and go up to $500 per head for Premium (which includes additional snacks, platters, cold cuts and a choice of two hot dishes). Alternatively, you could go down the bespoke route and design your own menu. You can also opt for 25%, 50% or even 100% vegetarian menus. This is definitely a great please-all (and planet-friendly) option.
Add a bit of French flair to your day at sea and try out one of Monsieur Chatte’s Junk Packages. We’re huge fans of this little French restaurant and the homemade salads, breads, French cheeses and cold cuts on offer, all of which you can find in its junk packages! Choose from $150, $200 or $350 per head (minimum 10 to 20 people), and you’ll even get your food delivered to the pier along with cutlery, plates and napkins.
What To Take
- A towel
- A change of clothes
- Sea sickness tablets (if necessary)
- A floaty/noodle/lilo
- If you’re picky, your own shampoo and toiletries for the end of the day
- If you’re bringing your own food, make sure it is actually on board before you set sail… we forgot once!
- A camera or phone to take photos
- If you’ve got one, a “dry-bag” can definitely come in handy, making sure your valuables don’t get splashed with sea water.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on 1 June, 2016 and was most recently updated on 15 June, 202o.
Featured image courtesy of Drew Dau on Unsplash, image 1 courtesy of Vicko Mozara on Unsplash, image 2 courtesy of Holimood, image 3 courtesy of Hong Kong Junks, image 4 courtesy of Breakaway, image 5 courtesy of Dan Gold via www.halfhalftravel.com, image 6 courtesy of NOSH, image 7 courtesy of Le Petit Saigon.