From who to book with, when to go and what food to enjoy at sea, here’s your ultimate guide to Hong Kong’s junk season!
As fabulous as junk trips can be, organising your own can be a bit tricky with all the different aspects to consider. From where and when to go, to which junk company to use – the choices can be a bit overwhelming. Luckily our junk trip guide is here to help, and we’ve rounded up of some of the best boat hire and catering companies in Hong Kong, plus loads of need-to-know tips.
When Should You Go?
Depending on what experience you’re looking for, you can either head out to one of Hong Kong’s many beaches (see our favourites here) for a day trip 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 experiences are always great fun, but day junks are technically better value for money as they last longer (seven hours instead of four). If you can, it’s a good idea to organise your junk over a long weekend or on a public holiday (some people prefer them on a Saturday so they have all of Sunday to recover!). Junk boats also get snapped up fast, so keep in mind that you will need to book at least one to two months in advance, and high junk season typically lasts from around May to September, so if you are planning a day time junk, it’s time to get planning!
Where Should You Go?
There are various locations that junks depart from, including Central, Causeway Bay (Noon Day Gun), Aberdeen and Sai Kung. You can usually ask for a certain destination, 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 stay in your final destination, we recommend Lamma for some delicious seafood, Deep Water Bay for some beach action, or Sai Kung, Clearwater Bay, Turtle Cove and Stanley Bay.
Which Junk Company Should You Choose?
Not all junk packages are the same. They range from all-inclusive junks that provide food, alcohol and music, to bring-your-own everything! Some companies also offer karaoke, wake-boarding, water-skiing and banana boat rides at an extra cost. The all-inclusive offerings are a little more expensive, but we’d definitely recommend them for ease and convenience. This option also means that on the day of the junk, you can just rock up instead of organising the catering and carrying your own drinks on-board.
However, if you’re looking to enjoy a more budget-friendly junk, the bring-your-own option can work perfectly. Just remember to plan well ahead and get stocked up on supplies from your local supermarket (or if you’re cutting it fine, the nearest 7-Eleven) in advance.
Read more: 5 Junk Packages To Book For Under $500
Check out some options below:
Online boat booking platforms always comes 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 cruise packages, to tailor made services, weddings, and even DJ parties. 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.
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 a stylish 32-seat yacht 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 on too, it’s no wonder Lazydays has become a total 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 Plastic-Free Seas organisation, with Lazydays matching any donations made.
After a year off in 2018, the much-loved Jaspas Junks are back in business for 2019! 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, as well as evening cruises.
Hong Kong Yachting
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 HK, 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.
Aqua Luna, 2116 8821, www.aqualuna.com.hk
Delicious junks lives up to its name; providing high quality, deli-style food with healthy ingredients on board. The prices are pretty reasonable as not only do the packages include food, but you can also book your boat, and drinks packages, along with the option to add on a speed boat, wake-boarding, or a banana boat! With seriously good food, the choice of three different boat options and the choice of multiple destinations (see here for more details), this is one junk company you definitely don’t want to miss out on.
The junks 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 for you 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.
Hong Kong Junks
Hong Kong Junks offers night and day junks for up to 40 people, and a variety of packages, including an all-inclusive option with unlimited food and drink. The destinations include Deepwater Bay, Turtle Cove and Shek O, with banana boats, wake-boarding, DJ hire and even professional photography services all available.
Hong Kong Junks, 2840 1588 or [email protected], new.hongkongjunks.com.hk
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 also available with StandardBoat. This is a good, basic but reliable option, and we would recommend this if you’re looking to BYOB or for a more affordable trip.
StandardBoat, 2570 1792 or [email protected], www.standardboat.hk
Koh Thai Junk
With all-inclusive catering packages available you’re in for a Thai feast on-deck with Koh Thai Junks! Go all-inclusive, with drinks, food and boat hire for $680 per person (minimum of 20 people), or mix and match your boat, food and drink selections – with plenty of delicious Thai treats and added extras to choose from.
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 four different buffet options or an a la carte option for a lighter bite.
What to Eat – Junk Catering Companies:
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 also includes snacks, platters, cold cuts and a choice of two hot dishes). There are also Classic ($250) and Deluxe ($350) options to choose from. Or you could go down the bespoke route and design your own menu. Just make sure you ask about the donuts made with cricket flour (trust us, they taste much better than they sound, plus it’s a great talking point!). You can also opt for 25%, 50% or even 100% vegetarian menus. This is definitely a great please all (and planet-friendly) option.
Sassy Perk: If you’re ordering the “Deluxe” buffet menu package, use the code SASSYFOOD and for every ten people paying full price you’ll receive a bottle of bubbly. This offer is valid until the end of November 2019.
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, breakfast, 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! On the easy-to-use website you can place your order online with no fuss, meaning you’ll have more time to plan the rest of your junk hassle-free.
Sassy Perk: Sassy readers can enjoy a 10% discount on all online catering orders! Just select “Sassy Perk 10% off” at the checkout to make use of the offer. Valid until Friday, 31 May, 2019.
If you’re after Mexican fare, then Cali-Mex is sure to fix your cravings! Offering four different catering packages, each with different foodie options including various combos of burritos, quesadillas and even churros.
If you’re wanting to take some of your favourite tapas dishes out to sea, then look no further than 22 Ships’ catering menu. With canapés and a la carte dishes on offer to choose from, including dishes such as freshly shucked oysters, braised chorizo, pork and foie gras burgers and even a whole suckling pig.
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.
Le Petit Saigon
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 are also now offering junk catering menus. Contact [email protected] for more info and to place your order!
Le Petit Saigon, call 2455 2499 for more details or to place your order, www.legarconsaigon.com/le-petit-saigon
Bread & Beast
Looking to party (and feast) like a beast? Offering up three packages – Chill Beast, Beast Surfer and Beast Boss – Bread & Beast’s epic junk menu is a winner. With package prices starting at $165 per head, you can enjoy delicious offerings such as Hainanese Chicken Burger, Char Siu Pork Neck and more, along with sides such as Doh Caesar Salad, Coconut Lime Caramel Chicken and Ovaltine Brownies. If the set menus don’t take your fancy, á la carte options are also available (individually priced), and include a range of burgers, rice and pasta dishes, starters, salads and more.
We’re huge fans of Little Birdy and can think of few better options for junk catering. With a menu full of a range of succulent chicken burgers and sandwiches, along with a variety of sides and salads to enjoy, it’s sure to be just what the doctor ordered after a couple of drinks.
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 which you can to find on its junk packages! Choose from $150, $200 or $350 a head (minimum 20 people), and you’ll even get delivery to the pier along with cutlery, plates and napkins.
What to Take:
- A change of clothes
- Sea sickness tablets if necessary
- A blow-up life ring/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 updated on 17 May, 2019.
Featured image and image 1 courtesy of Dan Gold via www.halfhalftravel.com, image 2 courtesy of Yacht Holimood, image 3 courtesy of Breakaway, image 4 courtesy of Dan Gold via www.halfhalftravel.com, image 5 courtesy of Invisible Kitchen, image 6 courtesy of Knead, image 7 courtesy of Le Petit Saigon