Kangaroo ..Rabbit .. now Monkey !!
Trip Start Oct 18, 2009
132Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
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An early start this morning (how many times have I written this?) as there was no doubt an action packed day ahead, though we had no idea what this might entail. After a nice fry up washed down with another ridiculously strong Vietnamese coffee we sailed for an hour or so to meet up with another boat. Some of us were doing a longer tour and we headed off to an Island called Cat Ba Island.
It was a lot bigger than I expected and after a 30 minute drive the bus stopped and our guide announced that we were going on a bit of a walk. He pointed up to a tower at the top of a distant hill (slight exaggeration) and said that's where we were heading. I tried to explain what he had said to the older and very French group that were travelling with us and by their reaction they were either surprised at the prospect of trying to get the 20 stone French women up a hill or offended by my lack of French ability
Half way up the hill we chose the 'adventurous’ route which didn’t really live up to its name, but once at the top the rusty, rickety old tower with the sign saying ‘Maximum 5 people’ and at least 15 people on it, was getting close to an adventure sport. I seem to be getting more frightened of heights as I get older but I climbed up anyway in the hope that the original designers had not only known what they were doing 30 years ago but also known that future maintenance was never really going to happen.
After we had all made it back to the mini-bus we headed over to the main town. Now I was expecting a fairly small village with a few hotels, however it turned out to be a pretty large town with some big and swanky hotels, one of which we were actually staying in!
After a great lunch at the hotel we were heading out to ‘Monkey Island’ home to amongst other things ‘roguish monkeys’ according to an advertisement. A small boat took us the 30 minute journey through more of Halong Bay’s islands and also passed small fishing communities which were floating on the sea
We walked the plank back onto our boat, (all ferry and boat boardings carry a certain element of risk in SE Asia) and headed back to our swanky hotel for a slap up meal and an earlyish night.