Since arriving in Vietnam we have learnt:
- Walking 6 or 7 km (to get bus tickets) when you don’t really know where you’re going is a very long way in 35+ heat
- Never get a taxi from the bus station in Hanoi (big money scams – charging 10x the normal price)
- Withdrawing cash from ATMs is much more difficult here – these cash points do not like our cards!
- Sleeper buses in Vietnam are a big no! Quotes from trip advisor go something like: “travelling long distance on a sleeper bus is a death wish” “suicide” “never again” “crazy lunatic drivers” (keep reading for pictures)
- We are both definitely vegetarian… The sights we’ve seen of how they keep animals, prepare and store meat are a BIG NO. First class ticket to salmonella and food poisoning
The trip to Cat Ba Island
We had an early start to catch a 7am bus from the station in Hanoi.
The journey breakdown:
1 way ticket: £7.50
Method: 2 normal buses. 1 sleeper bus. 1 boat trip.
Total journey time: 5hours
Outcome: completely worth it
Highlights: the second bus we caught was a ‘sleeper bus’ which instead of seats has make shift bunk beds that are roughly 5ft5 in length, I assume created for the typical Vietnamese person rather than a western male. We only travelled on the bus for half an hour max but that was enough of an experience. There is no way you could sleep on one of these things.
The walk was uphill, and extremely hot leaving us covered in a glistening layer of sweat but it was worth it for the incredible views.
We’ve got 2 nights here and plan to spend tomorrow exploring a bit more of the island.
Katrina and Liv