A Travellerspoint blog

Hanoi to Cat Ba: Phase 1

Neither here nor there

overcast 12 °C

All I know is that I am half way to where I want to be. It’s cold. I believe I’m in Hai Phong. I’m wondering whether a tour may have been a better option after all. This brave travel-there-alone thing is likely the type of thing recommended to groups or couples even, but I’m somewhat skeptical about lone female travellers carrying a stupid amount of Dong and Dollars, a lap top, a cell phone and a camera.


So the bus conductor and the lady who believes I’m going to her school in Hanoi for their Christmas shindig told me to go with “the boy”- he will get me to Cat Ba. I’m ever so curious as to why the Lonely Planet suggested a “simple” bus-boat-bus trip in the first place. I’d correct this: bus-meet stranger-drop off in the middle of nowhere-street café- wait an hour- go back to dodgy ticket office-bus- then boat then bus- then Cat Ba. At the moment I’m still at the street café, hoping that my last drink isn’t an old Pepsi in a glass last washed with mud.


I wonder if I even got on the right bus. The driver indicated to the other one.

At this point I question whether to trust a series of strangers and a potentially broken understanding of what I want or whether I try call a local hotel and get them to direct me.
It’s freezing. The only thing I’m remotely reassured about is the fact that I found some tights this morning to wear under my pants. I hadn’t quite expected an arctic storm from the north combined with packing informed by a stubborn desire for a summer holiday. I hope this is still a holiday and not my initiation into slavery.

Terrified would be the wrong word to describe how I am feeling. Sunday angst is the closest comparison.

Damn, he’s coming over here again. Scared. A simple word that. Sraightforward also.

The man with brown teeth

The man with brown teeth

Posted by JayneHol 02:33 Archived in Vietnam Tagged boat bus lonely hanoi lost hai_phong cat_ba

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