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The Junk and liveaboard Facilities available

The best way to describe a project such as the Junk 'June Hong Chian Lee' is as being, 'authentically renovated' but she is much, much, more than that. Nowadays mixing together the old and the new has become somewhat of a traditional necessity but inconspicuously blending them together creates pure magic.

Just imagine your treading the same boards as those intrepid sailors did over fifty years ago; although instead of having to carry heavy charcoal about and endure hot and cramped living quarters, its quite the opposite. The liveaboard cabins are now more than ample with their own private bathrooms, and the heaviest thing you will need to lift are the pages of a book or magazine! As for sweating? forget it, the boat's air-conditioned throughout and there's always plenty of shade on the decks. If however, you need to escape the sunshine (and lets face it everyone does at some point!) and the shades just not enough, there's a selection of onboard entertainment lurking behind the hand carved facades of shelves, cabinets and draws in the salon. There's an extensive library of books, Mini Discs and Video's all readily available; many a returning guest now familiar with the systems, know they are more than welcome to bring their own choices.

One dreads to think what the food was like in those cheerless days but not to worry, today I found the same quality you find in top-notch hotels; a truly comprehensive menu of appetizing local and international flavors; add the panoramic splendors, a touch of nostalgia and a slight sea breeze, and alfresco is the order of the day.

The interruption between the seemingly steady flow of meals and snacks is of course, the diving, the quality of which speaks for itself, particularly as the majority of the sites visited are listed in the 'Top Ten' destinations in the world. The dive crew are not only well-versed in their highlights, but have a few secrets as well. Accessing these underwater treasures is done from a safe distance, that is to say, without the boat dropping divers straight onto the site and then maneuvering slowly, and noisily away. The June Hong Chian Lee' has the answer; dinghies, the routine is so meticulously handled by a well trained crew, any hesitations are quickly brushed aside and the benefits become quite clear, if not obvious.

On a final note, it escapes me as to why a splendid vessel such as this has to maintain a label generally associated with unsatisfactory consumables, it appears that not everything is accepted for what it is. I personally feel that The junk is setting the standards for others to follow, and follow they will, and after all they say that opposites attract!

Paul Lees

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