Lara's Blog

Friday, 29 December 2006

Halong Bay at Cat Ba (crap ba!) Island

Well that was completely different from our last tour! Arrived at Halong Bay wharf thingy after only about 4hrs on a cramped mini bus. There were about 100 or more wooden boats all cramed in together and the wharf was too small to accommodate them all. In order to board our boat we had to climb over two others WITH our packs (me with my wheelie duffle bag!!). So close to killing ourselves. The french canadian almost got crushed between two boats!!! Anyway we're on the boat phew. So cruising around was quite nice. The weather wasn't brilliant and visibility was reduced but it was interesting to see the floating village. We were then told to go on a little putput boat and pay 30 000 dong (a "donation" to the school) and we would go through a cave and see the school. We sorta putted around, diesel fume asphyxiation and apparently we went past the school. I never saw it and it wasn't pointed out. They would've made a fortune and i doubt any of it found its way to the school.
Later we went kayaking - only there weren't enough life jackets to go round!!! Very well organised trip this.
What else..... Lunch was ok i guess! Our cabins were fine too. The bathroom doors didn't close but at least there were ensuites.
Stayed the night on the boat....
next morning got to Cat Ba island

We had chosen to do the 15km bike ride (and paid extra) rather than the 6km hike. So we were separated off (without any warning mind u so were still wearing our thongs!! not exactly appropriate biking wear) and the others went off on their hike. We got to the bike place and they only had HUGE men's mountain bikes. Laurelle and i were too short to ride them. The only way of stopping was to fall off! The guide thought we were idiots but it was dangerous! Nat must've gotten the smallest bike and Cassie's really tall so they said they'd go. Laurelle and I refused. So the guide told nat and cassie to go past the bus and turn left and just go.
They got HUGELY lost (no guide, no map) and ended up on the other side of the island. they had to pay 150 000 dong to get a bus to drive them back and were INCREDIBLY annoyed.

Laurelle and i wanted our money back too cos there was no way we could have gone on those bikes. Oh and we missed the hike cos apparently you were only allowed to go with a local guide.

i better go ppl are waiting for the net
email me!


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