Whether you are looking for a junk or looking to organize your own, you can’t help but love the experience of the Hong Kong junk boat season.
New to HK or visiting? A junk trip is a must!
If you are new to Hong Kong or just visiting for a few days during the junk season – May to October, you gotta consider a junk trip. This is a very Hong Kong thing to do and is the perfect way to spend quality time with friends and meet new people, and to discover one aspect of the beauty of our vibrant city that you might miss otherwise.
Junk boat trips typically depart from the Central Ferry piers around 10-11am on Saturdays, returning by 7pm, leaving you in a great mindset to continue into dinner and clubs in the evening. A junk trip starts with a cruise through the harbour with great views on the way. Once out of the harbour you follow the coast line up to near or past Clearwater Bay depending on your destination. Once you arrive to your destination, you drop anchor and spend the afternoon taking in the atmosphere on the boat, or lounging on a floaty with drink in hand or maybe even doing a little wakeboarding. If your boat is not entirely alcohol-only, the afternoon will be accompanied by some tasty bites and nibbles to help re-energize after a few jumps from the top of the boat. And if your boat is super on top of it and has booked sound and discs then you’ll be able to bump some before the boat heads back to central. The trip back is usually around sunset so the mood, views and vibes are gorgeous. It’s not a terrible way to spend the day.
Download Pelago here and checkout our events list for any public junk trip events.
Organizing your best junk event ever
The team at Pelago love summertime junking! In fact part of the reason we invented Pelago was to make organizing our own junks easier! It doesn’t matter whether you’re organizing a private party or a large multi-vessel event, Pelago is the ideal platform for making your junk trip fun and easy to manage.
How do you make your junk the best one on the high seas? We have compiled some top tips for finding or organizing The Best Junk Party of the Summer!
Tip #1: Booking your perfect junk
The junk season has officially started and will continue until September-October. Most of us will go on a few junk trips during the season, one of the best ways to enjoy a hot summer day while socializing with friends, and a must do with any visitors.
First step when organizing your junk boat trip is to find the perfect junk. Junks can be hired for day or night parties but they get booked up fast, so make sure you book at least one or two months in advance.
Most junks have a capacity of about 40 guests, with boat hire ranging from HK$5,500 to HK$24,000. Most junk operators offer packages including food and drinks, as well as extras from banana-boat rides, wakeboarding, water-skiing to spa treatments or even a DJ. An all-inclusive package may be marginally pricier, but that extra cost buys convenience.
Checkout Timeout’s recommendations on The Best Junk Packages in Hong Kong.
We also love the new Orange Tree Cruises, providing a junk with a fully equipped kitchen and Orange Tree chef on board so you can enjoy delicious freshly made cuisine from the time you set foot on the junk, all day long. Free flow high quality food and drinks, the luxurious version!
Pelago Tip: Book your junk at least one to two months in advance. Whether private or open to the public, create your junk event on Pelago so people can book their tickets with ease. You can also manage the numbers with total control. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Tip #2: Top destinations
Another consideration is your destination. The destination can add time to the journey but also seclusion or protection from the wind if wakeboarding’s your thing. Junk companies have loads of advice – just tell them what you’re looking for, including the journey time. Most junk companies depart from Central, Aberdeen, Causeway Bay or Sai Kung. Destinations are ultimately down to the weather and the captain, but popular destinations to name a few include Lamma, Sai Kung, Clearwater Bay, South Bay and Lantau. Sailing to Sai Kung could take you to Millionaire’s Bay, Tai Long Wan, Long Ke Wan and Sai Wan. If you’re seeking a secluded spot head to the hidden gems of Ninepin Islands and Soko Island.
Find out more on SCMP’s article Five top destinations for a Hong Kong junk trip.
Pelago Tip: We love Tai Long Wan, Long Ke Wan, Ninepin Islands and the Soko Islands!
Tip #3: Getting your price right
Two key factors when organizing your summer junk are budget and how many friends you want to invite. Most junks have a capacity of about 40 guests, with boat hire ranging from HK$5,500 to HK$24,000. It’s vital you get the right number of guests. Bigger junks allow you to spread the cost, however they come with more financial commitment, so be sure to get your ducks in a row. Anywhere between HK$450 and HK$850 is an acceptable amount to charge guests depending on the style of boat and services such as booze, food, speed boat etc. Even your destination can add to the cost so factor this in.
Pelago Tip: You will want 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, especially if the weather is not in your favor which sometimes happen. Hosting your junk on Pelago will help you just do that and also track your finances. Find more info on how to create and manage your event here.
Tip #4: Invite guests with Pelago’s help
Getting your friends to sign up early is key. Getting people to commit is tough unless they’re worried about losing their spot. A first-come, first-served system works best. Pelago is excellent in this area as it monitors how much you have raised so you can keep track of numbers. The great feature of pre-selling is you’re assured a full junk come rain or shine! So whether you’re planning a private charter with friends or a commercial event, create your Junk Party on Pelago and share the link with friends on social media, via email or messaging.
Pelago Tip: Public invitations are also shown on the Explore Page on Pelago! Download the app, and start inviting people with ease! Click the video here to see an easy step-by-step guide. You may use early bird tickets to incentivize people to book early, check our article on Ticket Pricing Strategies to Maximize Ticket Sales.
Tip #5: Food for thought
Junk operators offer a variety of food options to suit your budget. Whether you want a special destination for lunch or just want to drop anchor for a fully-catered lunch, great food is a must. The good news is Hong Kong has a great selection of catering and food-delivery options. Checkout Sassy’s Junk Trip Guide providing a list of Hong Kong’s favorite catering companies for junk party fans.
Pelago Tip: One tip to keep things chilled and sweet on the high seas on a hot day out junking is to bring N’ice Pops. Drop them a line the week before as all pops are made fresh to order. Prices range from HKD45-55 for the boozy ones. Grab a bunch and Contact: www.nicepops.hk or 68754334.
Tip #6: Cocktails and mocktails a plenty
Having the right drink options on your junk is crucial. Keeping drinks cold is even more crucial so make sure you have plenty of ice. Most junk companies provide ice and water so make sure it’s ordered in advance and best to order more than you think you’ll need! There are a number of ice suppliers, depending on where you need to have it delivered. A good bet is Hong Kong Ice & Storage. Contact email@example.com 27755282.
Some junk operators cater for your liquid needs and typically offer good advice on how much you’ll need. If ordering your own drinks, order plenty! A good rule of thumb is six to 12 cans of beer, one bottle of wine and a third of a bottle of spirits per person. Don’t forget a few bottles of Jagermeister, a nice bottle of spiced rum or maybe a little Aperol to mix things up a bit.
Pelago Tip: Ask for twice as much ice as you initially plan and get ice for drinks and for cooling cans and bottles! Oh and don’t forget water!! Plan for at least one liter per guest.
BottlesXO: A great option for a last-minute delivery of chilled white or delicious red, BottlesXO delivers directly to the Central Pier within an hour, so if you’re short a few bottles or need a full compliment, call them on your way to the pier. Download the app here.
Tip #7: Music to your ears
If you really want to hit a high note on the high seas, music is a must. The first step is to check options with your junk rental company. Most junks have a basic built-in system that makes it easy to plug directly into your music source. Be sure you’re fully charged and have plenty of mixes ready for at least six hours of fun. We like discovering mixes on Soundcloud and Mixcloud but we’re sure you’ll have some bangers to play. If your junk operator allows it, hire a sound system and DJ to take the party to the next level. The following options can lift the vibe:
Junk Parties HK: These boys have nailed it. They do the complete package including junk hire, drinks packages, sound system and the all-important cracking DJ. Give them your budget, what you want and they make it happen. Contact them here.
Sol Passion: The lads at Sol Passion can provide nice mid-sized systems using Native Instruments controllers for easy set up. They also provide top DJs to make your junk the most memorable of the summer. Contact them at www.solpassionmusic.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or 94220367.
V Group: The crew at V Group can provide everything you need to make your junk rumble on the water. Whether it’s a small system or something large enough to power a small country, these guys can deliver.. straight to the pier! Contact them on 94612091.
Pelago Tip: A music set up usually needs approval from the junk operator, so get the green light from them to avoid unwanted surprises.
Contact Pelago at email@example.com with any questions and please click here for more information. Time to get your party on the water! Happy Sailing!
– Brent Pottinger Photography