July 29, 2020
We wake up on the ship before 6:00 am. The plan is to watch the sunrise above Ha Long Bay, which is said to be very impressive. Unfortunately, we are not able to experience this. Clouds still cover the bay. At 7:00 am a boat arrives to take us to the ship to Cat Ba Island. We are the only ones going there, as the rest of our trip returns to Ha Long City today. Breakfast is waiting for us on the boat. The transport to the ship was supposed to take 20 minutes, but our skipper could not find his destination and it all took an hour. Thanks to this, we could enjoy the views of the rock giants rising out of the water.
After reaching the island, they pack us on the bus and go to the local national park for trekking. From the very beginning, the nature of the island is noticeable. Everywhere is green, hilly terrain, in one word wonderful. After reaching the gates of the park, we start our march to one of the peaks. It is not high, just over 200 meters. The trail goes through the jungles, and the terrain is steep from the very first meters. We are at the top after about 30 minutes. But it doesn't stop there. There is a thirty meter tower from which we admire the amazing view of the island. The sun, which wanted to show up for some time, adds charm. At the top of the tower there is a platform built of several planks separated from each other. Our legs soften a bit, which adds additional emotions to this place.
After returning from the park, we go to check into the hotel and have lunch. After that, we have a choice of beaches or a trip to the Island of Monkeys. We choose the island on which we pass a floating village. People live there in very primitive houses, set on wooden platforms with barrels attached to the bottom. It all floats on the water. This is the first time we see something like this. Amazing view. We wonder if these people live there because of duress or choice. Would they be happier living in a crowded city poisoned by civilization? The Island of Monkeys isn't too big. There is a beach surrounded by rocky hills. We would not be each other if we had not used the opportunity to climb one of them. The decision was a bull's eye. At the top, a breathtaking view of the bay was waiting for us.
Having been on the island for almost an hour, we haven't noticed a single monkey that gives the island its name. After climbing, we take a canoe and relax in the waters of the bay. A few minutes before the end of our stay on the island, some monkeys miraculously jumped out of the trees. They rushed straight to the beach bar, emptying the soda cans and bottles that people had left behind. A crowd of onlookers gathered around them, giving them food and taking pictures. Somehow, the whole situation with monkeys did not suit us. We suppose everything is arranged and the monkeys have been released from the cages. It is sad to watch what a man has not come up with to earn money. Poor little monkeys. We do not approve of such ideas, although we took the photos as well 😉 In conclusion, it is worth going to the island for the views from the hill and canoeing in a beautiful scenery.
Tomorrow we are going back to Hanoi, from where we start our 27-hour trip to Laos. Time spent in Vietnam is about to end. We will miss this country for sure, but the time for summary will come soon ...
“Better to see something once than hear about it a thousand times.” – Asian Proverb