Cat Ba Island: home of the Koala Bar.
Trip Start Jul 26, 2007
38Trip End Dec 10, 2007
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We made a boat transfer (and amidst the chaos I forgot the shirt I stole from Tim that I had left out to dry.) I was very upset. The smaller boat took us to Cat Ba Island, which is a beautiful island covered in lush green rice paddies, and little mud huts.
We returned to the ship, and had another fabulous lunch served to us. They whip up these meals in the tiny little ship kitchens: it's really amazing.
We then visited "monkey island." We were told to either swim (because we payed for it) or hike up a mountain to go look at monkeys. My general lethargy brought on by the extreme noon heat of Vietnam, surpassed my desire to see the monkeys and immediately barred the mountain treks.
We sat in a hut with the family who ran the local store, and had a beer. It turns out all those people who decided to go hunting for monkeys had the wrong idea. Just outside the hut, I spotted a herd/group/family of monkeys sitting and enjoying the company of a group of locals. I naturally, introduced myself into the group and started snapping photos of the monkeys.
The boat started off towards the Cat Ba resort area (where we were staying the second night) at around 4. We got to the hotel at about 4:45 and were informed that dinner was not until 7pm and that we had a few hours to explore. This we did. We explored our way to the Koala bar where a very amusing scene took place:
We sat down and the woman took our drink orders. She then began laughing. The next thing we knew she had hopped on the back of a motorbike with the only other waitress in the bar, and sped off toward the center of town. Matt and I speculated for a bit, as to why she and the only other waitress had up and left us sitting outside without explanation, when a few minutes later the two returned holding 4 glasses of different alcohols. They had gone to get the shots required for each of our drinks. When we ordered another round, we were careful to ask what they did have in stock at their own bar, and she explained that she would go get us more bottles. Instead of arguing, we decided on another round of the same. Off they went, returning 4 minutes later (as promised) with 4 bottles of alcohol.
We had dinner, and went to bed early. The next day we essentially made the boat trip back to the Bay and then the bus ride back to the city.
One funny anecdote:
Our guide somehow became the proud owner of an Australian flag (the kind the tour guides hold up to their group of australian tourists to keep them together.) For the rest of the day he waved it around at us (a group of non-australians,) beckoning us here and there. He waved it enthusiastically for the rest of the trip, stopping only once to generously allow another guide a go with it. It rode home with him in the front seat of the air conditioned bus.