Mar 022017
 

Before I was able to take this photo, my friend Shannon and I, following a decision to rent a kayak, had navigated through rough waters and squeezed ourselves through a narrow gap in the rocks to find safe harbor. Following that drama, we got to glide past the floating villages that surround Cat Ba Island.

We came across this fisherman towards the end of our trip and I asked if I could take a photo. He was kind enough to slow down as he pulled his nets to pose!

Fisherman using net trap, Cat Ba Island, Vietnam

 

Jan 162017
 

Typically, the idea of eating seafood at a street food stall would not even be up for consideration for me. However, Cat Ba island is known for its super fresh seafood. So, we stood looking at the array of street kitchens that line the harbour you can see below. Eventually, a German family of four gestured us over and told us that the clams they had just eaten were incredible. With that unsolicited review, we decided that would be the spot. Sure enough, the clams were incredible.

I took this photo the next morning, as we prepared to ship out back to Hanoi.

vietnamese-boats-in-cat-ba-island-harbour-with-karst-islands-in-misty-background

Jan 092017
 

Watching this sunset from this spot was not part of the agenda. While still in Hanoi, we had booked a ferry/bus combo from Ha Long Bay out to Cat Ba island. We had decided to bi-pass Ha Long Bay for the less trafficked but similar Cat Ba island.

I’m normally pretty good at avoiding getting ripped off when travelling, but this time we fell into a bit of a trap. We were promised a direct boat trip to the island, as we wanted to get there and be able to explore at our own pace. Instead, after getting to the port we discovered that we were being bundled onto a tour boat, which made numerous stops. The hour long trip was going to take us a whopping 8 hours!

We weren’t the only people to fall into this trap as there were about 6 others who were also stuck on this boat unintentionally. The worst part was, as we’d paid for a transport and not a tour, when they gathered everyone together to tell them what the plan was, we discovered that there was going to be food served, but there was none for us. As we thought we were on a 1 hour boat ride, we had no food with us at all, and we were already hungry!

So, when I look at this beautiful sunset I can’t help but feel a little bitter about the fact that I was starving, captive, and miserable.

It got worse though, once we got to the island we needed a bus to take us to the main area. Our bus arrived, we boarded it and it promptly broke down. Cue another hour wait for another bus to arrive!

cat ba island sunset on tour boat with kayak and tour boats in foreground