It was an early start for us and a very rushed breakfast before our Halong Bay tour arrived and hurried us on to the bus. After a long drive down to the coast and then a boat, bus, boat journey, we finally arrived on Nam Cat Island.

It was like a little slice of tropical paradise as the boat pulled up to the rickety jetty. The island is tiny, with just one place to stay. And the resort is made up of lots of little wooden bungalows with a bar / restaurant in the middle. It’s a bit dated to say the least, with a pool table that’s probably the worst I’ve ever seen (lumpy balls and wooden cushions) but the setting is just too beautiful for it to matter. We spent the day relaxing on the beach, swimming and kayaking. Me and max saw two big jellyfish, which put us off swimming for the rest of the afternoon! We got to see the most amazing moonrise over the Bay, and then had a big buffet for dinner.

We had an early start the next day and set off straight after breakfast for a boat trip around Lan Ha and Halong Bay. It’s one of the most spectacular places we have seen on our trip, with hundreds of rocky ravines and lush green islands. It’s a shame that the water is so polluted with petrol from the many boats that pass through, and rubbish from the locals and small floating, fishing villages.

After our trip through the bay, we docked next to a big cruise ship and boarded it along with all of our luggage. We sunbathed on the top deck and enjoyed the view before heading down to the restaurant and taking part in a cooking class. We got to make our own fresh spring rolls, stuffed with noodles and salad and then had lunch on board. We sailed back to the port and after a long wait in the boiling hot bus station, hopped on our coach back to Hanoi.

Once we’d arrived back in the city and checked in to our hotel, we headed out to explore. We had dinner at the Hanoi Social Club and planned how we would spend our final few days in the city.

Our little island getaway on Nam Cat

Moonrise over Halong Bay

Halong Bay

Kayaking around Nam Cat

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