I don’t think setting an alarm to voluntarily get up at 5.15am is something I’ll be doing again anytime soon, but this morning was an exception. Last nights stay on Cat Ba island as part of our Ha Long Bay cruise was lovely and we were told the sunrise at 5.30 was unmissable. Our bungalow was in a perfect setting overlooking the secluded sandy cove of the island and it’s calm waters. Each bungalow was suspended above the water with a terraced area so we only had to walk two steps to get a great view (which also meant I could watch it in my pjs!).

We sat waiting for the sun in what I can only describe as the most peaceful setting I’ve ever been in. We was awake a little before anyone else on the island and the whole bay was absolutely silent bar the lapping off the waves. Our neighbours then joined us, Matt and Cerys, and we all watched as the sun rose above the mountains in front of us. What a good start to our time in Vietnam!

They like to get you started early on this cruise so by 8am we’d already enjoyed breakfast on the beach and we’re boarding a boat to be ferried back to our original cruise. Or at least that’s what we thought, we ended up back on a different boat and lucked out as it was much more luxurious! This last stretch of the cruise involved a cooking class in the morning followed by lunch. We skipped on the cooking as the weather was too nice and instead spent a couple of hours on the sun loungers on top deck, this was probably the most relaxing time we’d had in the last 4 months!

As with the rest of the trip, it was all very organised when we docked up and within minutes we were back on the coach to begin the 4 hour drive to Hanoi. We did plan on going out for dinner in Hanoi with Matt and Cerys and another couple from the cruise, Warren and Freida, but with as we had an early start planned tomorrow we ended up going solo and just popped out for dinner and a look around the local market and old town. Dinner gave us our first glimpse into just how cheap Vietnam is when our four dishes came to a grand total of £7! The prices on the market were also crazy, I reckon I could have got a full outfit including shoes and a hat for under £5 🙂