After doing some research, we opted out of Halong Bay in favor of Cat Ba Island. Cat Ba, the largest island at the Southeastern edge of Cat Ba Bay, is known for its world-class climbing and adventure sports. So in lieu of sleeping on a questionable boat in touristy Halong, we decided to spend three days kayaking, climbing, and relaxing.
During day one at Cat Ba, we joined a full day kayaking tour with Asia Outdoors. Although not the cheapest tour in the area, this company was very professional and organized. They even asked us to sign liability waivers..which is unheard of in this part of the world!
We started our tour at 8:15 am when we headed to the dock then onto their boat, followed by a stunning 45 minute boat ride to our first kayak location.
I was so blown away by the beauty surrounding us, I had to be shooed down by Ben to our kayak.
We kayaked through the kaersts, looping through tiny caves and into small bays.
After a couple of hours and a few swimming holes later, we headed back to the boat for lunch!
Lunch was delicious and well deserved after several hours of paddling in the heat. After lunch we played around on the boat, taking turns jumping off into the water.
The last few hours were spent exploring a tiny island, paddling around, and of course swimming. We were truly sad when at 5:15 we docked and had to get off the boat.
Next up, we climb!