From the day we arrived in Hanoi, the strangest thing keeps happening to me, I keep getting lost. Apparently it’s not just me, this city is just a bit confusing with it’s streets that seem to not make any sense. But that has it’s charm and fun. Hanoi has been the city for us to be social, go out for lovely Vietnamese food, drinking some Hanoi beers and meeting other travelers.
From Hanoi we took a three day trip to Cat Ba, one of the Islands near Halong Bay. Halong Bay is famous for it’s limestone Islands topped by rain-forest. After a long trip, bus, ferry and another bus, we walked into our room looking out of the fishing bay. That was already stunning! The next day we rented a scooter and drove through this miraculous landscape to the hospital cave. You might guess what this cave was for. The cave gave first shelter against the bombs in the war. Then the Chinese came and built a three story concrete structure in the cave, not visible from outside, and it became a hospital during both wars. Next stop was the National park. It’s a big rain forest park on the middle of the island with an 1 hour climb to the peak for an amazing view. The climb is quite intense but totally worth it. I think it’s one of the best views I’ve ever seen. Very magical.
After that we drove to the north side of the Island for a nice view on Halong Bay and lunch. The moment we sad down it started to rain. So perfectly timed. It’s was a beautiful site. And the rain took it’s time, even the ducks came into the little restaurant looking for shelter. It only took a small hour or so. Last stop of the day was on the south part of the Island, about 30 minute drive. We went to the fort with views on the west and east coast of the Island. Again just amazing.
The second day we booked a day trip on a boat. Apparently there are around 8000 boats everyday, taking tourists out between the islands. And I totally understand it. We were so lucky with the weather. The whole day sun and blue skies with some beautiful little clouds. The moment we started sailing I felt special. This was a once in a lifetime moment. It felt like I walked into Pirates of the Caribbean and Lord of the rings and Game of Thrones at the same time. When your on this emerald colored water, sailing through these limestone islands, I have no words, It’s amazing, It’s magical, It’s so f*cking beautiful! And even better, not only did we sail there the whole day, we also got to kayak through little caves taking us to huge blue lagoons in the islands. And jump of the boot for a nice cooling swim. They took us to see the fishing villages on the water and to a fish market. I think I must have said a thousand times “I’m so happy that we came here, this is just amazing”