Your Ultimate Guide to Hong Kong’s Junk Season!
Summer in Hong Kong means outdoor family time, and there’s nothing we love more than some time on the water with the kiddos. From where and when to go, to which junk company to use, we’ve lined up some of our top mama tips to get you through it all (with minimal stress – hooray!). Though the choices can be a bit overwhelming, our Sassy Mama’s Guide to Family Junk Trips is here to help. With the best boat hires and convenient catering companies, here are all our need-to-know tips. Get that SPF ready, mamas, it’s time to hit the Hong Kong harbour!
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 in the day to really make the most of the sun, or hire a junk out 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), and they are far more likely to keep the little ones up and involved. It’s always great timing to have a junk on a long weekend or public holiday, but remember, junks get snapped up fast so you will need to book at least 1-2 months in advance.
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 (and that volatile 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 fresh seafood), Deep Water Bay (for some beach action), 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 ones are a little more expensive but we’d definitely recommend them – especially as they often do separate offers for kids! Also 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 is perfect. Just remember to plan well ahead and get stocked up on supplies from your local supermarket in advance.
Check out the different options below:
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 fun too.
Lazydays boasts a stylish 32-seat yacht kitted out with all mod cons (TV, karaoke and even an Xbox!) for bespoke trips around the harbour or to outlying islands. Though this one may be more adult friendly, their good food and drink packages, massages on board and an inflatable six-person lounge to relax on makes Lazydays a definite Sassy Mama family fave too!
Hello Hong Kong
If you’re looking for the ultimate day out on a boat, Hello Hong Kong’s got you covered. They have four unique boats to choose from (including luxury 47ft cruising sloop, Local Hero) and the option to go for a day trip, over night trip or even a romantic, evening package. And of course we’re always on the look out for budget-friendly options. That’s why Hello Hong Kong’s evening boat party packages and day junk rentals (like the grand, Michelangelo) are ideal for those looking to save on the waves, as unlike some junks which only provide all-inclusive prices, you can BYOB!
Hong Kong Yachting
With a range of unique boats and cruisers at their disposal, Hong Kong Yachting has loads of great itineraries – think exploring beaches in Cheung Chau, hopping around HK’s delish seafood restos, wine tasting cruises or even kayaking and hiking in Sai Kung. There is definitely something for everyone in the family!
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 expect a full menu of fabulous signature cocktails on-board. This is a particularly good option for family and friends visiting from out of town. The kiddos will also get a kick out of the beautiful red sails.
Aqua Luna, 2116 8821
Delicious junks live up to their name, providing high quality, deli-style food with healthy ingredients on board. The prices are pretty reasonable as not only do they include food, but they also include unlimited drinks, boat and optional speed boat, wake-boarding, and a banana boat! Your tweens will be super impressed! With seriously good food, the choice of three different junks and the option to go wherever you want (see here for more details), this is one junk company you definitely don’t want to miss out on!
A true Sassy Mama fave with packages to fit your theme and budget, including freshly-made food and drinks. It’s the small things like throwing drinks to you (which both mamas and papas alike will love!) while you are swimming that makes this junk trip truly memorable!
Breakaway offers a small, privately run luxury yacht for you to sail away on. This is a great if option if you’re looking for something intimate and bit more special. Apart from ‘A Day At Sea’ they also offer a variety of different 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 included – 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!
Their junks hold up to 50 passengers and offer both catering and non-catering packages. They can also provide sea-kayaks, snorkels and toys, plus waitresses, speedboats and even a Thai masseuse for your trip! Your tweens will love snorkelling around with you!
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. Their destinations include Deepwater Bay, Turtle Cove and Shek O, with banana boats, wake-boarding, DJ hire and even face and body painting services! They’ll even send a mini bus pick-up from Central if required (perfect for families who are lugging a lot!).
With four different junks and cruisers to choose from, book a trip of any duration, with a range of catering and drinks packages also available. This is a good basic but reliable option, and would recommend this if you’re looking for BYOB/a more affordable trip.
Standard Boat, 2570 1792 or [email protected]
Koh Thai Junk
With new, all-inclusive catering packages for 2016, you’re in for a Thai feast on-deck! Go all-inclusive or mix and match your boat, food and drink selections – with a Sunday deal including unlimited water-sports , games and on deck massages for just $580 each! Hello, Sunday Funday! P.S. The Seabreeze cocktails will guarantee a good time… trust us we’ve tried them.
Offers boats accommodating around 30 passengers (either a traditional wooden junk or more modern pleasure cruisers are available), with a speedboat that has banana boat, water ski and wake-boarding equipment all included. They also offer four different buffet options or an all new 2016 a la carte option for a lighter bite.
This is the boat to book when you want old school luxury. The restored eighty-foot classic motor yacht can accommodate up to 59 passengers over three decks. While its not cheap, it really is a stunning option for day, evening or overnight boating. They offer catering menus for cocktails and canapés, seated dinners and buffet dining, or you can organise your own.
Michelangelo, 6621 1691
Offers five different cruisers, teak junks, sailing yachts and speedboats with all-inclusive food and drink options from cool restaurants around the 852. Check out their new packages from Punkin, Souvla and Noodlemi!
What To Eat At Sea – Junk Catering Companies:
85 South are whipping up your summer favourites and delivering them on-board! Feast on healthy portions of southern BBQ-Style food including smoked ribs, mac ‘n cheese, pulled pork and more.
This one-stop online catering delivery platform lets you browse more than 1,000 different catering menus to suit any budget, cuisine or format! CaterSpot allows you to order from individual bentos and meal sets to canapés, trays and sharing platters – perfect for when you’re out on the water with the fam…
Add a bit of fiesta fun to your junk with Little Burro’s awesome food and bevvie deals, which include burritos, chips and guac’, cinnamon spiced chocolate brownies and of course, our favourite margaritas. They also provide Mexican, local beers and wine too.
These catering professionals can whip up a gourmet, handpicked hamper that’s sure to sate your appetite as you cruise the South China Sea. And if you really want to up your junk game, you can even have a four-course meal prepared on board by the team of chefs, servers and barmen. Fancy!
This awesome oyster bar is sure to bring the cool to any junk outing and is perfect for those who want a real taste of the sea. Packages include deliciously fresh oysters, shucking knives and their signature bottled cocktails to keep the party going – even with the kiddos around!
The Walrus catering packages must be ordered seven days in advance and a 50% deposit is required on confirmation. Pick up on the day of or night before the event. Email [email protected] for more information.
If you want to bring a bit of kimchi spice to your next junk, TaKorea mixes the best of Mexican and Korean food to create funky fusion dishes including Korean Tacos, homemade Kimchi Nachos and Spicy Chicken. Choose from three different ‘Eat Up’ packages and don’t forget to check out the ‘Drink Up’ packages to go with them!
Call 2362 1999 or email [email protected]
Want to keep it simple? Hit up Sunday’s Grocery Junk Packages and grab a couple of gourmet sammies, Korean Fried Chicken or Chickpea Salads before setting sail. Your picky eaters will definitely love the choices here!
Stone Nullah Tavern
After a full day out on the water, there’s nothing that we would want more than hearty American fare. The junk catering menu at Stone Nullah is the same as the a la carte, so you can literally pick and choose from their selection of homemade pastas, sumptuous sides and enticing appetisers.
Call 3182 0218 or email [email protected] for more info and orders.
If you’re after Mexican fare, then Cali-Mex is sure to fix your cravings! They offer four different catering packages, each with a different foodie options including various combos of burritos, quesadillas and churros. Their cheese quesadillas are a huge hit with the littles!
Order online here.
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 resto and the homemade salads, breads, wide selection of French cheeses and moreish cold cuts, and you can expect all this and more in the junk packages! Choose from $150, $200 or $350 a head and you’ll even get delivery to the pier, cutlery, plates and napkins. Bon appetit!
Order online here.
What to take on a Junk:
• Swimwear (Check out our guide to Swimwear for the Whole Family)
• Towel (don’t forget hand sanitiser and baby wipes!)
• Sunscreen (and remember to reapply throughout the day!)
• A change of clothes
• Flip-flops and sunnies
• Sea sickness tablets if necessary
• A blow-up life ring/noodle/swim vests/floaties
• Shampoo and body wash if you want to rinse your kiddos down
• 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 catch amazing photos!
• A ‘dry-bag’ can definitely come in handy, making sure your valuables don’t get splashed with sea water
A Few More Junk Trip Tips:
• Why not spice up your day out with some water-sports? Most junk companies will offer the option of renting wake-boards, speeds boats or banana boats for the day, whilst some of the more luxury junks will offer an inflatable water slide or chill out area included in the price! Your older kiddos and teens will love the opportunity to play in the water!
• Junks are a great place to meet new friends so if you are organising one, invite a wide range of people. Family playdates are the new kind of dates in our opinion!
• Make sure to collect 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 mamas, and jump from the top of the boat!
• Remember to keep your eyes on all the littles at all times when they’re in and out of the water. Call ahead and arrange for child sized life vests.
• Look out for the weather reports the day before and keep your fingers crossed! In the case of bad weather raining off your boat trip, the junk company generally arranges for your trip to be held on an alternative date!
Now all that’s left is for you to do is hit the waves with the fam!