What we have learnt so far in Vietnam (and the journey to Cat Ba Island)…

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.

After we settled in to our hostel, we walked up the hill to the Canon Fort on Cat Ba Island which was used in the war in Vietnam.

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.

view on the way up

from the top

and again


We’ve got 2 nights here and plan to spend tomorrow exploring a bit more of the island.

Katrina and Liv


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