Cat Ba Island

Trip Start Jan 07, 2008
Trip End Jul 22, 2008

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Where I stayed
Thoa Minh Hotel

Flag of Vietnam  ,
Saturday, April 12, 2008

Three hour bus ride to Halong City then a 2 hr cruise on a boat with a stop at a cave, to Cat Ba Island. I was basically forced to take a mini-tour from Hanoi which i don't like as i like to do what i want when i want and taking the same transport as the locals. But taking the local transport is risky as you're gonna get ripped off and charged who knows what by the bus people and end up who knows where. Either way the Vietnamese get you though cuz the cost of tourist transport is ridiculous.. i can't believe it. I keep forking out sums of $25- $38 US just to get from point A to point B, maybe 10 hr travel time. In Laos it might have cost equivalent to $8.

Anyways enough moaning...made it to Cat Ba Island, in Halong Bay which is lovely. Only a few thousand residents i believe and you can scoot around the entire island easily in a few hours as i did...rented a motorbike. There's some nice rice paddies, beaches, scenery and that's aboot it...found a lovely cheap hotel ($5) with a balcony and seaview, i enjoyed that the most i think. The weather wasn't nice so that put a damper on things as well as my mentality with the Vietnamese at this point. I just get the feeling they don't want you here as they balantly try to rip you off and treat you like dirt while the locals get premium treatment. Example.. for breakfast on the mini-tour, we got bread and jam while the Vietnamese tourists got omelettes, tea.. that's just one example. It's just an uneasy feeling to have when you constantly think people are out to get out and i'm never really certain what's gonna happen.

I know there are good people out there...just a challenge to remain upbeat and positive and to enjoy. Im really gonna try to take things like a grain of salt, and i'm hoping the genuine nice people will shine through...just keep lauging - mind over matter!
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