If you fancy getting out of Hanoi for some fresh air, green scenery, and peace and quiet head to Cat Ba island. Just three hours out of the Vietnamese capital, it’s ideal for that mini-break you have been promising yourself.
When I say island, it’s actually an archipelago of over 370 mainly uninhabited islands. I can thoroughly recommend visiting as a way to relax and recharge those depleted batteries. Just be comfortable with hopping off and on boats and you will be fine.
To the east of the main island is the world-famous Ha Long Bay, but further south is the equally spectacular, but much less crowded, Lan Ha Bay.
We stayed at a friend’s sister’s best friend. For the sake of clarity, it was the Cat Ba Corner Homestay
Can thoroughly recommend this place. Good location to explore Cat Ba and quiet. Phuong and her husband are great hosts and looked after us well; organizing our various trips, and generally ensuring our stay went smoothly.
Above: Day cruise on a private yacht
Below: Cat Ba Corner Homestay accommodation and the lake with resident eagle population that like to go fishing.