Cheap but fantastic junk boat trip for Ha Long bay - can anyone suggest some good companies to go through?
Handspan is a great company and leader in responsible excursions; I'd suggest them to anyone. A word of caution about "cheap"—I know it's a highly subjective word, but it's a fraught one, too. What appears low cost up front can have a higher long-term cost in a multitude of ways. That cheap price tag might mean that the company isn't taking precautions to protect the beautiful environment of Ha Long Bay. It might also mean that they're skimping on safety. The morning I came back from my trip to Ha Long Bay, we got news that the night before, one of the cheap boats had sunk and killed 12 people. Vietnam is so cheap to travel in generally that it makes sense to spend a little more on a junk boat trip with a company that's responsible.
While we haven't been on our tour as yet, we have booked through Indochina Junks. They came very well reviewed and the customer service has been excellent so far.
For Middle and good junk you can check V'spirit Cruise and Monkey Island, they have good price and services.
The cost is very low in Vietnam, so spend a little money and get a good boat, also what would help if you knew someone that lives there, because they can always get a better prices for you, also make sure to go off the main tourist attractions and see the real Vietnam, so much good food.