After boarding the tender at the Ha Long City port, we slowly moved away from the pier and weaved our way among the many boats moored near the port. There were many junk boats around; we couldn’t tell which one was ours. After few minutes riding and guessing, we finally saw one junk boat in a distance that we seemed to be heading towards, and as we got closer, we saw several of the boats crew in uniform standing on the boat expecting the guests to arrive.
We boarded our junk boat, called the Dragon’s Pearl 3, which was in really excellent shape. It looked like an old, classic junk boat, but I think it’s actually quite a modern vessel, just made to look like the traditional junk boats that everyone would expect to see in Ha Long Bay.
Smiley our tour guide had us gather at a big room in the middle level of the boat — the dining room and where we would gather as a group for the meals and any group activities. He called each group of passengers to give us the cabin assignment and our cabin keys. Then we headed down to the hallway of the lower level to collect our luggages and head to our cabin to get situated.
The photo below was taken from the tender as we approached the junk boat. You can see two of the Dragon’s Pearl 3 crew members welcoming us to their vessel with smile. There were six of them including Smiley the tour guide who came with us to take care of all of our needs during the three-day cruise.