Our trip to Cat ba was a bit of an adventure, we arrived at the bus station at the time stated but the bus had already left! Lucky for us, it came back for us! The bus itself was pretty comfy :), just don’t panic when they stop and tell you to get off nowhere near the ferry terminal and don’t really tell you what is going on! All of our group were looking around and talking in whispers, trying not to panic, another bus collected us and brought us to the pier where our ferry was waiting 🙂 The ferry trip was a great experience as it went along calmly and we got great views on the approach to beautiful Cat ba. Cat ba looks very similar to Halong bay, with its towering limestone rocks but is way less touristic and commercial 🙂 As soon as we arrived, we got a good feeling about the place and decided to rest here for a few days so we would be ready for another round of whirlwind traveling 🙂 I feel it is necessary to take time out sometimes to stay grounded in the one spot and get some energy about yourself when you are on a big trip 🙂
We arrived at Green Cat ba hostel and met our host, a chilled guy who wore a shirt wrapped on his head like a turban! Our room at the hostel was double booked so they upgraded us to a sister hotel (can’t really complain about that or so we thought until we got bedbug bites!! ) Suffice to say we moved the next day to a very old, rundown hotel but with the bonus of no bedbugs 🙂 Meanwhile, we went exploring the town and stumbled upon dolphin restaurant where the staff were lovely and the food was delicious, it became our go to dinner joint 🙂 Along the waterfront there are a small few street vendors selling streetfood and shakes, as well as boat restaurants out on the water and there’s a great atmosphere in this area 🙂
The next day, after moving home, we went in search of some breakfast, we chose to eat at My Way and neither of us were disappointed 🙂 They had wonderful french toast and omelettes and frys along with an extensive coffee menu. We dined on fancy coffees, superb pancakes and a french toast fry-up and were fuelled up for our day 🙂
We decided to head down to the dock Beo to get a boat out to monkey island, woohoo 🙂 It’s a good walk out to the dock but a pleasant one as there is very little traffic 🙂 When we reached the dock, we were approached by a friendly, young woman who told us about boat tours they offer. She invited us in for coffee and although we were a bit dubious, we were tired and in need of caffeine so we obliged! She was very sincere and lovely and so we chose to do the boat tour with her brother, )Chi I think was his name, he spoke little English but had a very kind face) as our captain, it would just be the two of us so was rather romantic and only cost us 17 dollars (bargain for all we did and all the fun we had :))
We started off with a task of getting our row boat out to water, the anchor was very heavy and it took all three of us to pull it up (free workout too haha!) we sailed out along the bay and it was one of the nicest boats trips we have ever been way. We sailed by the fishing village which consisted off houses floating on the water and even a floating shop, some owners even had dogs 🙂 We sailed by Chi’s house and waved to his wife, he told us that nearly everyone there was a fisherman 🙂 Next we arrived at a restaurant where our tandem kayak awaited us 🙂 We had an hour and a half of blissful us time kayaking around the bay, admiring the scenery and taking selfies of course haha! Now I have to say Phil did most of the work, most of the time I was just working out how to kayak or half doing it whilst trying to capture the beauty of the place on my Iphone! We kayaked around a small island, that was lush and green and then arrived back at the restaurant 🙂
Our next stop was our own secluded beach, where we sunbathed and swam and frolicked for a couple of hours in the lovely Vietnamese sun. We then woke Chi up who had nodded off on the boat and sailed to monkey island, our final destination.
Monkey island was a real treat, the monkeys were something else! They were stealing people’s beer cans, climbing up on the restaurant roof, drinking the beer and firing the empty cans off the roof! Nothing really like a drunken monkey lol. We walked up to the top of the cliff to get a panoramic view of the area and it was definitely worth the climb (even in barefeet as I had forgotten my flip-flops on the boat!) Chi was making himself a few extra bob by ferrying people back from monkey island as we enjoyed our time relaxing and he was unbelievably grateful to us for letting him, we were just happy to be on the island, having a tonne of fun.
We then returned back to dock Beo, bid Chi goodbye and headed back home for a nap!
The next blog will feature the rest of our time of this stunning island 🙂