A little bit of heaven

Trip Start Feb 21, 2012
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12
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Trip End Sep 20, 2012


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Where I stayed
Le Pont

Flag of Vietnam  ,
Monday, March 26, 2012

Three days ago we had the worst day of our travels so far. We had left Hanoi early in the morning with the exciting idea to take a tour to Halong Bay and then be dropped off at Cat Ba Island afterwards to spend some days there. After a four hour bus journey to the famous bay our tourguide informed us that the boat was cancelled because of bad weather, we should wait till after lunch to see if it would clear up. However, the breeze that we could feel ashore was still there about an hour later and according to the guide would now stay at least for the next three days, so no boats would go out then either. The only choice we had was to go back to Hanoi so that we could at least claim our money back. Unfortunately the bus that had dropped us off at Halong Bay had already left so we had to wait for a long time and then take the local bus back to the capital - that took about 5 hours. 

After a lot of stress and frustration we got back to our hostel where claming the money back didn't turn out to be the easiest thing. Good thing I had kept a lot of anger during the day (cause the day was just badly organized and obviously the agency just wanted to rip us off) which gave me enough strength to argue with the organizer until he literally paid us back every penny.
 
The day after that we tried the whole trip again, this time without a booked tour but by ourselves. We took a bus to a different port from which a speedboat took us to Cat Ba island - no stress and no effort, contradicitng everything they had told us in the hostel just to convince us to take their tour. At least any struggle to get to Cat Ba island was worth it. It is the most beautiful place on earth. Most of the island is a national park so it comes close to the vision of Jurassic Park, except it houses monkeys instead of dinosaurs. 
We rented motorbikes and sped over the island like lightnings with an average speed of 30-40 kilometres per hour, climbed the peak of the national park, explored caves in kajaks and fed monkeys on monkey island. It is an absolutely amazing, idyllic place, untouched by too many tourists... we are in paradise.

xxx


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