2/26/18: Cat Ba Island

I woke up at 6:15 for my bus to Cat Ba Island.

Cat Ba is the “chiller version of Ha Long Bay.” It’s a huge island, mostly covered in jungle, near the famous Ha Long Bay. You can do a lot of hiking, rock climbing, and water activities on and around it.

I waited about an hour after breakfast for my bus pick-up. I called the tour company to make sure someone was coming for me, and they assured me there was. A guy on a motorbike finally came about 30 minutes after he was supposed to.

He dropped me off next to an empty bus. The bus then took me about 300 meters further up the road to a bigger bus. It was all very bizarre, but my guess is that the bus company forgot about me, got a guy to pick me up on his motorbike, the guy didn’t know what he was doing, and dropped me off at the wrong bus. But then he talked to the driver, who agreed to take me up a little further to the right bus.

I got there just in time because they were just finishing putting bags under the bus when I walked up. We left as soon as I got on.

We got to the ferry terminal after 2 hours of driving. We would be taking a ferry to Cat Ba Island, and then getting back on the bus to get to our hotels.

While we were waiting for the ferry, I saw a couple with matching tattoos behind their ears. I wonder why people do dumb stuff like that. I don’t find it cute. Maybe I’m just bitter.

The ferry arrived and first the buses got on, then a bunch of scooters, some cars, and then the people.

Walking on to the ferry


Gloomy day

We inched our way toward Cat Ba– the ferry was ridiculously slow.


We eventually got to the island, got back on the bus, and I was dropped off close to my hostel.

I arrived a little too early for check-in, so I just dropped off my bags and walked to town. The walk was about 30 minutes with lots of hills. Not the easiest of walks to town.

I went to Buddha Belly, a vegan/vegetarian restaurant, for lunch. I got the vegetable noodle soup and a passionfruit smoothie. I really enjoyed my meal. I felt so clean and nourished afterward. And they had soy milk! Always a win.

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I went to find a boat tour to book for the next day. I first stopped in Asia Adventure, but their tours were way too expensive; their kayaking/rock climbing tour was $60. I checked out Full Moon Party Hotel down the street, and their boat tour was only $16. The only downfall was that they wouldn’t be able to pick me up from my hostel, so I would have to walk the 30 minutes to town early the next morning to join the group.

I was going to try to cycle to the national park after that, but I was feeling under the weather so I decided to just find a cafe with a coconut and read there instead.

It took me a while to find a cafe with a coconut: I asked 5 different places, some which even had coconuts in the front (usually an indication that they sell them), but they said they couldn’t give them to me. I was very confused.

I finally found one after about 20 minutes of searching. The coconut was a bit expensive: 50,000 dong ($2), when I’m used to paying more around $1 for one. I read my book until about 4 pm, and then walked back to the hostel.

I met a couple people who were chilling in the room when I walked in. 1 was German and 2 were dutch. We all hung out for a bit and then walked down to get dinner from the hostel kitchen.

I ordered veggie fried rice. No egg and no peanuts. It was a big portion, but it was mainly rice and barely any vegetables.

I crashed around 9. I was so tired.

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