Blogs from Cat Ba Island, Hai Phong, Red River Delta, Vietnam, Asia - page 3


Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hai Phong » Cat Ba Island January 31st 2012

So here we are, Halong Bay ... after years of reading about it and admiring photos we are finally here. Even thinking about it gave us goosebumps – we were that excited;-) Of course we knew, we did not come at the right time of year so there was no expectation of amazing turquoise water etc. but never the less we were confident that it would look stunning. When you embark on such a long trip as ours, you cannot expect to always have fantastic weather, we just had to get over it. Tomek was a little bit disappointed with visibility and light for his photos but what else could we do. We got to Cat Ba town by bus-bus-boat-bus combo from Hanoi (see previous blog for details) and Lorraine and myself walked around to find ... read more
Halong Bay
floating villages
Cat Ba Island

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hai Phong » Cat Ba Island November 2nd 2011

Jo woke me up at 0500 to catch the sunrise. I’d slept pretty well with only the hum of the generator at the stern breaking the silence of the bay. The day broke with the misty haze that we’d become accustomed to since arriving in Hanoi – not a full on fog but just enough to take most of the colour out of the layers of limestone islands in the distance. Quite mystical. Jo went and woke Josh (the kiwi) up as requested and he appeared on deck blurry eyed, almost immediately regretting his decision to ask for a wake up call. Our boat was at anchor and slowly drifting around in circles so we followed the sunrise around the boat. About an hour or so later the sun peaked over the top of one of ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hai Phong » Cat Ba Island October 18th 2011

Andy says: We have now been on Cat Ba Island for 3 nights after spendng a few days in the mountains in Sapa. It seems that everywhere in Vietnam closes down after about 9pm so it's lucky we've had some nice scenery to look at! It was a long journey to get to Sapa from Hanoi on the overnight train. I'm not sure the rest of our sleeper carriage were impressed at the smell of mine and Dan's feet when we took our shoes off! It was actually a lot more comfortable than we expected if you could handle the UNBEARABLE heat! Got to Sapa 8 hours later and jumped in a minibus who's driver was typically Vietnamese....mental! This journey included a whole new level of danger however in the form of mountain roads and sheer ... read more
Andy and some scenery
Dan contemplating (or farting)
Sapa sunset

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hai Phong » Cat Ba Island September 16th 2011

It's hard to describe Ha Long Bay and Cat Ba Island with words, I think the pictures say more than I ever could. The beauty is immense and never ending, we really feel like we've stepped into a tropical paradise and we never want to leave. We traveled from Hanoi by bus to Ha Long Bay where we transferred to a boat and began making our way through 1000's of limestone islands jutting out of the South China Sea. I think they might have filmed Jurassic Park here, it has that vibe and you can see what we mean from the pictures. Stunning. We were awestruck as our boat puttered its way through the maze of islands. Our guide stopped us half way through on an island that has massive caves inside and it was pretty ... read more
Fisherman in Ha Long Bay
Cat Ba Island Coastal Highway

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hai Phong » Cat Ba Island June 19th 2011

If things could not get better in Vietnam well they already did and I have just finished my journey in style! Since my last blog I've biked from Ninh Binh to Cat Ba, Chilled out and done some incredible rock climbing (more later) and finished my Bike ride in Style making it to Hanoi completing almost 1900km of riding. So to start, My journey to Haiphong to catch the ferry to Cat Ba was a complete disaster culminating into my most stressful day yet.... It all ran smoothly until I arrived in the metropolis of Haiphong and trying to locate the ferry was a complete nightmare!! Haiphong is the biggest port in Vietnam and it was slightly neieve of me I guess to expect only one ferry to Cat Ba. I was sent on a wild ... read more
Halong Bay
Me Hanging On

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hai Phong » Cat Ba Island June 16th 2011

We arrived in Cat Ba Island after a 4 hour journey. A bus from Hanoi to Haiphong then a short boat trip from Haiphong to Cat Ba followed by a bus ride into Cat Ba town. Most tourists just book a trip to Halong bay from Hanoi and do not venture out this far, so they do not make it to Lan Ha bay which was recommended to us by many travellers who said it was more beautiful than Halong Bay. We arrived on a Friday and the weekends are a busy time in Cat Ba as the local Vietnamese tourists come swarm the place. We spent the next hour trying to find accommodation which proved to be difficult as most had been snapped up and Hotel owners were asking ridiculous amounts like $30 a night. ... read more
View from cannon fort
Cannon fort
In Cat Ba town

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hai Phong » Cat Ba Island April 15th 2011

On the 15th we left the boat after breakfast and headed over to Cat Ba island across from our anchorage. This is the biggest island in Hao Long bay, probably about 30 by 50 kilometers. We took another minibus into the center of the island where we stopped for a bicycle excursion. While Carolyn slept on the bus, Jacob, CC and Ted (and the other tourists) took some bicycles for a 5 km ride across the island to see the sights. We stopped near the hospital cave. This was a big natural cave that ended up being expanded into a 3 story underground hospital during the war. The kids weren't interested so we just cycled a bit further down the road before returning to the bus. The cycling was easy and flat, but the bicycles made ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hai Phong » Cat Ba Island April 9th 2011

Breakfast was an early start this morning so that the junk could drop us and the other three day passengers at the harbour on Cat Ba island. Having moored up we had to leap from the roof of the first floor onto dry land. I went first and tried to shoo the ladies selling trays of goods out of the way so I could catch everyone else's bags. Once safely disembarked, we followed our tour guide to the bus and watched as a Taiwanese gentleman that had appeared in the night tried to fight to keep his bicycle with him. He was fully kitted up and obviously doing a tour as he had many different pannier bags strapped to the bike. Once aboard myself and some if the younger guys in the bus were asked to ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hai Phong » Cat Ba Island November 4th 2010

Halong Bay, in the North of Vietnam, is famous for its picturesque scenery and unwinding ambiance. The preferred route of passage is an overnight stay on one of the luxurious small boats. Or, if you're a budgeting backpacker like myself, you catch a public ferry to Cat Ba Island and find the cheapest accommodation possible. Who would of thought the dark side of Vietnam would rear its ugly head in such a beautiful place? My friends and I find a room, and begin exploring. For those of you who haven't heard of Cat Ba Island, try to picture Jurassic Park! No, Sam Neill isn't riding shotgun with the Colonel from KFC, but that doesn't make it any less amazing! The majority of the Island is National Park and the best way to get around is by ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hai Phong » Cat Ba Island October 11th 2010

Got a bit sidetracked the last 2 weeks it seems... We had a remarkably uneventful and kind of downer last 6 days in Lao. There is a massive complex of caves near the Vietnamese border where the revolutionary soon-to-be government of Lao lived during the massive US bombing campaign called Pathet Lao. We tried 2 times to go see them but ran into funny hitches along the way. Lao is the kind of place where the phrase later doesn't nessesarily mean later today and often mean much later than you thought possible. This is fine as long as you realize that you may just not get to do what you thought you could. We were, after 3 1/2 weels in Lao very aware of this but it still hung up our Caving plans. The first day ... read more
brian's new friend
guard lion
Hanoi Hilton Enterance

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