Be awed by the Hospital cave, as the name suggests the cave served as an underground hospital during the war. Even if you have had too much of caves while in Vietnam, you must visit this because of the historical importance it holds. Ticket price is 15000 VND.Kayak your way through the floating village, rest at one of the tiny islands in the middle of nowhere, reach the Lan Ha Bay and click loads of pictures! We rented a kayak on our own as that gives one much more freedom to explore (and adds a pinch of adventure). Renting a 2 person kayak for the whole day would cost you $6 and for half a day would cost you $5.
Watching the numerous limestone karsts around there would come a point when your intrepid heart would be tempted to climb one! Rock climbing can be done through any of the operators around the area.An island life is incomplete without its beaches and after all the tiring activities nothing beats a quick dip in the ocean or the endless stare at the horizon. Beaches are accessible by a motorbike.
Indulge in some seafood and tiger beer at one of the many restaurants at the harbor, the food is fairly priced with every other restaurant running discounts (and happy hours) post 5:00 pm.There is so much more that can be done at the Cat Ba Island and one can easily spend 2 nights and 3 days here, if you are planning to visit the place for just 1 night I would suggest you to rethink as that would result in missing out on a number of things in the mad rush.
The one word that can describe my experience here is- trouvaille (a lucky find) it is not really an extraordinary island and Vietnam sure has places equally breath-taking, but there was something about the experience; may be the impromptu plan with two travelers I had just met a day earlier taught me to trust well or the fact that I learned something new (Kayaking) or it could be the moment when I thought the kayak will crash into one of the karst but I managed my way out or yet it may be that flash at the bay when realization struck that I was actually at a place which I had only seen in movies and magazines. Whatever it may be, the island was a lucky find- one of many.
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