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Saturday 12 Apr 2003
Cat Ba Island, Vietnam

A beach finally!!

Had the most annoying morning today... woke up 10 minutes before the time I was supposed to be at the bus terminal (for my tour to Halong Bay) since my alarm didnt wake me ... AARGH! Mad panic ensued to pack away my (grossly overstocked) clothes and other stuff... thus I was in a bad mood... dont think I left anything behind, but Ill find out when I get back to Hanoi (Im leaving my colossal bag in Hanoi and am taking a day pack for the 3 day tour of Halong Bay/Cat Ba island)

Anyhoo... today the tour of Halong Bay began and it was quite intense as we sailed through the mini-islands and little caves throughout. The tour was fairly packed, but I *DID* manage to bump into Staffen again before the tour started (Staffen is one of the Swedish guys Ive been bumping into constantly on this trip since Cambodia... this happens loads of times on this trip).

The tour went through the bay where we circumnavigated hundreds of mini rock-islands (huge columns of rock that jut straight out of the sea with green patches on top populated by eagles and butterflys) yet it was quite misty so visibility wasnt the greatest at distances more than 200 metres away.

We also stopped off at an island with the most amazing cave I have seen on this trip - gigantic stalagmites/tites abounded and the cave was very well lit with purple and blue-green lights. Much better value than the Perfume Pagoda I reckon since that cave alone was 8 bucks!

I got the tour for a really good price: 20 bucks for 3 days and 2 nights (breakfast, lunch, dinner, accommodation, guide and tour tickets all included).

Tomorrow Im off to the beach (I hope) to catch some zzz s...

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