The beautiful, stunning Cat Ba island

Trip Start Jan 17, 2012
Trip End Apr 26, 2012

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Where I stayed
Sunflower Hotel

Flag of Vietnam  , Hải Phòng,
Thursday, April 5, 2012

So what can I say about Cat Ba Island? From the dock Cat Ba looks just like any other island on Halong Bay, which theoretically it is, although it is the largest. Once you start moving further into the island though you can see just how incredibly lovely it is. One of the first things we saw was a wedding that was taking place on a rock in the middle of a lake, the building literally cut into the stone. Breathtaking and stunning, with hundreds of crops of rock, most as high as mountains, jut all along the landscape and it still manages to look unimaginably beautiful even though the weather is bad. Even this bad weather though manages to add to the beauty of the Island as the clouds hang low, sweeping mist across the tops of the peaks. It's green as far as the eye can see, although that's often not to far with the mist and fog! 

We started the day, after getting off the boat, by heading to the national park where we were doing a trek. We had no guide and lost all of the group within about 5 minutes so Hannah and I had to guess the route. We did pretty well until we reached a fork, we saw people coming down and they informed us the way they had just come was the easier way and the other side was the adventurous route. We picked the safe route and saw the girls we met on the bus come round the corner with their guide. On the way we were thinking that if this was the easy route then thank god we went that way. It was wet, had clearly missed the health and safety briefing as most of the route was pulling yourself up onto rocks or precariously balanced ladders. We also saw a really gross centipede, at which point the girls and their guide caught us up and she (the guide) immediately reliquinshed me of my belongings and carried on up the mountian. Oh yeah I didn't mention that we were trekking up a 225m mountain did I...

We eventually reached a very small and steep path that was made more difficult by the fact that people were coming down it while we were trying to go up. We eventually reached the top and it was pretty amazing. The scenery was gorgeous and you literally felt on top of the world, none of us really wanted to leave but that was partly to do with the fact that we didn't know if we were all going to make it down alive. Luckily we had been picked up by the guide as she took us a different route down which turned out to be the actual 'safer' route, whilst we had originally gone up the adventurous route, oops.Despite this being the safe route it was still touch and go most of the time as there were alot of drops and we were basically clambering around like monkeys trying not to slip on the wet rocks. 

We made it down and were then carted off to check into our hotels and had a pretty yum free lunch. Han and I had a sneaky nap and because we were still feeling lazy we rented some moto drivers for an hour and got them to take us round the island. They showed us some of the beaches on Cat Ba which was both great and annoying because they were beautiful but the weather was terrible so we didn't get to enjoy them. 

We then had another yummy free meal and went to find the girls that we had trekked with earlier. We found them, after almost getting attacked by a dog and headed out for a coffee. On the way we stopped to look at a resturants fish selection and kept getting chased by a deranged Vietnamese man with an octopus, who thought it was hilarious when we all screamed and ran away. Yes, hilarious. So yeah, Cat Ba is pretty epic, you should all go visit if you get a chance. 
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Hannah on

You nutter, I did this trek and was so fucked off afterwards.... Pretty much exactly the same things happened to me, just add in being barefoot, a bit more mud and rain, and a fucktonne of mosquitoes. I arrived at the hotel for our free lunch caked in mud, cut, bruised, itchy as fuck and angry. Buuuuuuut the view at the top was indeed amazing! xxxx

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