Tuesday, Feb. 9th (Hanoi to Cat Ba Island)

  • Had a quick workout in our hostel’s (Hanoi Rocks) Yoga room, then headed down for the complimentary buffet breakfast (which was much better than the buffet dinner the night before).
  • Cory joined for breakfast shortly after.
  • We packed up and checked out, then spent the rest of the morning frantically trying to figure out logistics for our trip to Cat Ba Island with our Belgian friend Dries.
  • A couple hours (and several phone calls) later we had determined that the ferry to Cat Ba Island from Hai Phong was in fact running (despite the National Holiday, “Tet,” which is Vietnamese New Year), Dries had successfully fixed the gear shifter on his motorbike at the only open mechanic in town, and we had picked up our friend Sarah who had dropped out of the trip then rejoined last minute.  
  • We strapped Sarah’s bag to my bike which freed up space for her to ride on the back of Cory’s motorbike.
  • Finally we hit the road with a 4pm deadline to catch the last ferry leaving from Hai Phong to Cat Ba Island.
  • The drive didn’t have any natural beauty, but it was interesting from an urban perspective.  We passed cities, bulldozer graveyards, and huge industrial parks on our way to Dinh Vu port in Hai Phong.
  • We just barely made it on to the ferry before the doors closed, joining many other scooters and cars in close quarters.
  • The ferry dropped us at Cat Hai island where we had to speed from coast-to-coast along the main road in time to catch our next ferry to Cat Ba Island.
  • After arriving at Cai Vieng port on Cat Ba Island, we had a beautiful 40 minute drive along the coast, which led us straight into the main strip and up to our hostel’s front door: Cat Ba Central Hostel.
  • The four of us (Sarah, Dries, Cory, and I) checked in then went for dinner a few doors down from our hostel at Phuong Phuong.
  • Shortly after we were all in bed to catch up on the rest we missed in Hanoi over Tet.

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