#eastcoastwearehere: Chinese Junkboat Tour leaves us “hungering” for more

Chinese Junk Boat, PEI

Can beat the view of a glorious sunset over the harbour in Charlottetown, PEI.

Later August 27, Charlottetown, PEI —  After a full day in Cavendish it was time to make our way to the harbour in Charlottetown where we’d booked a 2 hour Sunset Chinese Junk Boat with Dinner. Mike had been craving Chinese food and we were intrigued by the promise of an authentic experience as had been described in the promotional literature. After I had stressed everybody out about getting us all to the dock on time (the boat won’t wait for us!), we were told we’d have to come back in an hour rather than boarding at 5 pm as our ticket had said. Still in good spirits, we spent the hour at Peakes Quay. This is a pretty spot overlooking the harbour that’s quite popular and we sampled some oysters as well as some local beverages. We were starving as we’d all saved our appetites in anticipation of the Chinese food we’d paid extra for as part of the cruise.

Pipa players. Mike is looking worried about dinner.

Once aboard, we were warmly greeted by the boat owners and hosts, Monty and Danielle and were  impressed by the young woman who was playing an authentic pipa — and even more so, when the boat owners’ super cute daughter disappeared and returned with one of her own.

We had checked the reviews before we dropped $85/person for this little jaunt around the harbour and were confident it would deliver on the promise of “trip back in time of authentic Chinese culture.” It wasn’t long before we began to clue into the fact that the online description of the cruise may have been a wee bit overstated. But, we were in for the tourist experience and that’s what we got. We had a blast as we cruised along the bay and got some amazing photos as the sun set over the harbour. Captain Chris let our daughter have a turn at the wheel and we heard some of his stories as a fisherman in the area for most of his life. The cruise hosts were friendly and attentive – especially so as we were the only ones on the ship!

Something to drink? Our host Marty.

While all this was lovely, it wasn’t quite the cultural experience we were expecting evidenced by the meal, which ended up being fried rice, some PEI potatoes and a small side salad. Me thinks it was an off night for the cook. We’d been told Danielle’s father, the real cook of the family, wasn’t with us as he was busy preparing dinner for a large group the next night. Sigh. We laughed about this afterward but it was still a painful for frugal travellers like us who take pains to stay within our budget. Any extravagance comes with very high expectations, which I expect few could satisfy.

Still, we were together in a boat on the edges of the Atlantic Ocean and the sunset was spectacular. What more could you ask for? Um…pass the egg rolls please?

Check out other #eastcoastwearehere posts on the stories page.

Our daughter sailing us through the harbour, with Captain Chris at watch.

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