The bus and boat combination to Cat Ba town was a lot easier than we expected. We had heard bad things about the town but it turned to be pretty enough (while not the most inspiring place we have been, it is certainly not the least!) and we managed to score a room with balcony and sea view for only $6. That’s off season prices for you!
Unfortunately, we hadn’t been there for long when a stomach bug struck. We ended up spending much of the next few days in bed or recovering and were largely unable to explore as much as we would have liked.
We did however, feel well enough on one day to manage a boat trip (with Cat Ba Ventures) out into Lan Ha bay and Ha Long bay to sail amongst the stunning limestone islands. Sadly we had been ill through the good weather, so it was a little grey, but atmospheric! We even braved a bracing leap from the boat into the rather chilly sea. You only get the chance to swim in Ha Long Bay once! The highlight of the day was a couple of hours kayaking through caves, especially the one marked ‘Danger Here, No Entry’ which our guide enthusiastically paddled off into armed with a head torch per kayak.
We made the return trip to Hanoi and unfortunately had to spend a few more days there as Andrews stomach bug came back.
So, not much to tell about our time, but Ha Long and Cat Ba were as beautiful as expected and luckily we are now both back to fighting fitness in time for one last adventure.