As summer approaches and the bright sunshine floods Hong Kong, there’s only one thing on our minds — junks! There’s no better place to be during Hong Kong’s heat wave than out on a boat getting tan, cooling off in the sea breeze and enjoying fun water activities. Thankfully, Hong Kong doesn’t just do booze cruises — most of the junk companies here cater to families as well, allowing for the perfect weekend day trip as you top up your tan (but don’t forget that SPF, mamas!) and watch the kids frolic in the waves.
As awesome as junks are, they can sometimes be challenging to organise! From where and when to go, to which junk company to use, the choices are overwhelming. Our Sassy Mama Junk Trip Guide will help you plan the perfect boat trip for you and your family. Happy sailing, mamas!
Junk Trip Basics
When should you go?
We recommend heading out in the morning for a family junk. They kids will be able to get the most out of the day, and you won’t have tired tots on your hands to deal with. You’ll also get more value for money as day junks typically last longer than the night time ones (seven hours instead of four). They’re also more child-friendly. A long weekend or a public holiday is a great option: everyone’s off work and the kids are off school anyway, so a junk trip is something everyone can look forward to. Junks get booked up fast, so you’ll also need to book 1-2 months in advance.
As you’re making inquiries about your junk trip, check the company’s weather policies to make sure you don’t get rained out. Some companies will postpone your trip to another agreed date if there are bad weather warnings hoisted the day before or the morning of your junk trip. Others may refund you all or part of your deposit if you wish to cancel completely due to bad weather. And don’t forget to notify your other passengers of any updates to the plans!
Where should you go from?
Most junks depart from Central, Causeway Bay (Noon Day Gun), Aberdeen or Sai Kung. Destinations are ultimately up to the captain and are weather-dependent, but popular spots include Lamma, Sai Kung, Deep Water Bay, Clearwater Bay, South Bay or Turtle Cove.
Which junk company should you use?
Not all packages are the same. They range from all-inclusive junks that provide 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 we’d definitely recommend them. Also on the day of the junk, you can just rock up instead of organising the catering and carrying your own drinks on-board. You’ll have plenty of other things to bring, such as extra clothing, sunblock and some water toys for the kids to enjoy in the sea, so it’ll be less stressful to think about organising food and drink for everyone.
However, if you’re looking to enjoy a more budget-friendly junk, the bring-your-own option is perfect. Just 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. If you’re planning to go in a group with other families, it might be worth coordinating with the other mamas to organise who’s bringing what to share the load and ensure there’s no doubling up.
Family-Friendly Junk Companies in Hong Kong
Hong Kong Yachting
Hong Kong Yachting owns and operates some of the most unique yachts & boats in Hong Kong. From Dragon, a 50-foot traditional wooden junk and the cruiser Mega, to their newest addition Jungle Jane, a 65-foot West Coaster… they have some of the coolest rides in Hong Kong! Families will love Tiger, a 46-foot Schionning Catamaran with three double cabins that arrives this autumn, which can be chartered for the weekend.
Tel: 2526 0151 or email info@hongkongyachting.
Tel: 6621 1691
This sleek cruiser has Cantonese and English-speaking staff and is beautifully appointed, with large beanbag loungers and great all-inclusive food and drink packages. Sassy Mamas will love the optional massage and beauty treatments while more active passengers will appreciate the staff’s knowledge of the best hiking spots in town.
Tel: 3488 1534
This 44-foot Chinese pleasure junk can accommodate parties of up to 32 people. It includes a fully-equipped kitchen and a fully-stocked bar. You can pick and choose from their food menu to create your own buffet on the junk; we know kids will love the hamburger, penne bolognese and chicken wings options!
Tel: 3170 7063 or email [email protected]
This is a popular option for Sassy Mamas, as they have packages to fit both your theme and budget. Jaspas Junks include freshly made food and drinks. Each junk can carry up to 38 people.
Tel: 6014 8460 or email [email protected]
Sassy Mama’s Tips for Staying Safe!
1. Lifejackets save lives… But only if you wear them!
Make sure all kids wear a lifejacket when the boat is moving. Children’s lifejackets come in different sizes appropriate to the child’s body weight. Get into the habit of putting the kids in their jackets before boarding the boat and make sure friends know its a non-negotiable part of kids being on the boat you take out.
2. The Captain’s in charge
Make sure the kids know that there is only one Captain, and it’s important to follow his or her orders.
3. Boat rules must be followed
No running on deck. No sitting on the side rails, foredeck, dashboard, sun pad or swim platform when the boat is under way. Instruct children not to walk around while the boat is in motion.
4. Keep your eyes peeled
When you tow kids behind the boat on a banana, water skis or a wakeboard, designate one adult to be the official watcher, keeping their eyes on the towed rider at all times. Teach the kids hand signals they can use to tell you to speed up, go slower or stop.
With special thanks to Claire Melwani!