Beautiful Ha Long Bay. Hiking Cat Ong (2 of 3)

steef-05
Stephan @steef-05August 2018 · 5 min read

Welcome fellow Steemians. In my previous post, I told you all about the first day of our Ha Long Bay tour. Like that our boat actually navigated through Lan Ha Bay, which used to be a part of Ha Long Bay but is now a bay on its own. Also, I showed some photos of the beautiful landscapes we encountered on the first day. Now it's time to talk about day 2!

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After spending the night on Cat Ong, our 'private' island, we got up early for breakfast in the main building. Just like dinner the night before, breakfast was very good. We were served chocolate pancakes and lots of fruits. We then prepared for a hike on the island of Cat Ong. The goal was hiking to two viewpoints. Since the beach is not that long, we were ascending in the jungle before someone could snap his fingers. It was crazy hot already and it was not even midday yet. The fact that it rained during the night did not make the climb easier. I'm always glad I have proper walking shoes with me for hiking because I would not be happy if I only had my flip-flops with me that day. The first viewpoint was on the eastern side of the island and offered some beautiful views on the little islands and rocks that lay further out in the sea.

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Great views from the first viewpoint

The second viewpoint was higher and was located a bit on the southern side. From there you could see the entire island at 360 degrees. We also had a good view of Cat Ba island, which is the biggest island of Ha Long Bay. The views were amazing, but we did not last very long since it was very hot where we stood. There was absolutely no shade to be found. I don't think I ever sweated more in my life than during that hike. It was literally pouring from my body like a river. I was surprised my camera survived because I always keep it in my hands during hikes.

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Second one was not so bad either!

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Cat Ba island in the dinstance

After the hike, the guys who booked the 2 days tour boarded the boat again and left us. For the afternoon there was no program and we just lay on the beach and canoed around the island (and again mine was taking water). It was a longer paddle than we expected and the sea was pretty 'rough' on the longer sides of the island. However, I did manage to see a big jellyfish I told you about in my previous blog. At first, I thought it was a brown-grayish plastic bag floating in the sea, but when I got closer I recognized it. From all the jellyfishes I've seen, this was definitely the less beautiful kind of jellyfish.

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Shot of Cat Ong from the 'top' and the beach we spend our afternoon

Later that day we hiked to the other side of the island to watch the sunset. We crossed the jungle and ended up on another beach on the north-western side of the island. The view was really great until some big clouds blocked it at the last moment :( When we got back to the main building for dinner, the new group had arrived. Fresh from the boat. We enjoyed a great dinner again and then went for the beers.

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Sunset beach

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Damn those clouds

Before I stop writing I want to share with you how we experienced the cottages on Cat Ong. It was practically a big house for an average of 6 persons (although we were with 7). We had 3 single beds, a two-person bed and 2 mattresses on the floor near the entrance. It was fine for the price we paid. It was clean enough but a bit moist (but everything is in the end due to the climate). There were some fans and I suggest you use them since it pretty hot during the night and it helps to keep the mosquitos away. Definitely bring mosquito repellent for the night (and for the hikes in the jungle). We had the windows and doors closed when we were not in the cottage and that definitely helped to keep them outside. Aside from the temperature and the mosquitos, the place was fine for the 2 nights we spend there.

On the last day of our tour, we went hiking on Cat Ba, the biggest island of Ha Long Bay. So stay tuned!


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Thanks for the support!


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niallon11
Niall @niallon11September 2018

The scenery out there truly is amazing. Such beautiful photos between the landscape and the bay it surrounds. The accommodation sounds a bit rough but i've stayed in some ready enough places in my time too. It's all part of travel and seeing the sights.


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steef-05
Stephan @steef-05September 2018

Haha yeah it was dorm based, so no luxury ;) I think there are also tour operators who have quite decent boats where you can sleep on. I can imagine not everyone is font of sleeping on just a matress on the floor. But for 2 nights it was fine.


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niallon11
Niall @niallon11September 2018

The boats sound like a decent option. But if it's just for the couple of nights you can sleep anywhere when it comes down to it. I'm easy enough myself and can go luxury or ground.


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@steef-05 Beautiful scenery. What a wonderful experience. Jungle excursion climbing to the top and enjoying the beautiful views that can be seen from the top. What an amazing place. Fantastic experience. Thank you for making us part of your beautiful journey. Thank you for showing us the beauties of those islands. A big hello and a happy day.


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steef-05
Stephan @steef-05September 2018

Hello to you as well. Really glad you enjoyed it!


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Those islands definitely are beautiful, with spectacular views. These should be one of the most beautiful places I have ever see. Hiking up those mountains must be a really fun adventure, I guess you would have enjoyed it more if not for the extremely hot weather.

You did a great job capturing the beauty of these places, I especially love the photo of the sea with rocks in them.


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steef-05
Stephan @steef-05September 2018

Thanks for the compliment. The best thing is that everywhere you look, you will see these limestone rocks above the water. Such a magical place. And concerning the weather/climate, you just need stop worrying about the sweating because it’s inevitable haha. Makes everything a lot easier.


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Wow, that's amazing!! It definitely is a magical place!

Well, that's true. I am glad you enjoyed the hike regardless of the weather... Hahah!


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The beaches seem so serene and there is not much tourist. It must be very cool and refreshing to be there if the beach is not so commercialized. Though I noticed the beach to be stony, yeah? Is are good for swimming or just for fishing?

Don't curse the clouds. They actually look good on your photos so that is fine. 😊


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steef-05
Stephan @steef-05September 2018

Yeah this part of Ha Long Bay was really quiet. And it was just our group/ tour operator on the island. But it can be really crowded with boats during high season. Guess we were pretty lucky. And the beaces have some rocky stones yes. But mostly near the water. Further back meant more sand ;)


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More sand would mean good area for swimming or at least just playing in the water... 😊

Thanks for sharing you adventure.


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Thank you for sharing another day of your adventure! I enjoyed all your photos!


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One more to come. Hope you enjoy it as much as the first two!


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Can't wait! Congratulations on being curied! :)


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Thanks. Very happy with it :)


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Waking up at Cat Ong must be magical ! What a great tour. Looking hard forward to see some more later from you ;-)

I can also imagine that hiking was nutz. Awesome @steef-05


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steef-05
Stephan @steef-05September 2018

Yeah I always enjoy hiking during my trips! Especially if there are viewpoints included ;) Most of the time they are totally worth the effort. Thanks for stopping by!


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What an amazing adventure that must've been! Your photos are fabulous. I see in the one the photo there are people getting into a kayak, did you do that? I would love to kayak there!


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steef-05
Stephan @steef-05September 2018

Yeah we did. On the first day we did some kayaking trought somekind of tunnels in the rocks/islands. And with the people on the photo we went kayaking around the island. I love kayaking as well, but they usually provide me with a one that is leak ;D


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I rented one in Belize to take out through the mangroves and it came equipped with a rope and some sort of car engine part that could be thrown over and used as an anchor! But at least it didn't leak!😄


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steef-05
Stephan @steef-05September 2018

Lucky you! Where did you go kayaking in Belize, Ambergris caye?


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Thank you for showing all the photos of this trip and the very interesting narration. I do not think I would be up to this myself, so it is wonderful to be able to look on second-hand.


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steef-05
Stephan @steef-05September 2018

I'm glad I can be of service. I guess you never know. There are probably many different sorts of trips. So probably something for everyone!


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janton
Jonboy @jantonSeptember 2018

howdy there from Texas steef-05! this is a great post. The commentary is descriptive and detailed with good practical information like the mesquito repellent advice and the photos are stunning!

I particularly like the views from the second vantage point that you hiked up to, amazing!
overall a wonderful post, the question is..are you going to do more traveling and have more great posts like this or is this a one-time thing?


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steef-05
Stephan @steef-05September 2018

Well that's a long way from the Netherlands! Glad you enjoyed my post @janton. And about your question. I still have so many places to share with fellow Steemians. My last trip was to Sri Lanka and the Maldives and I can’t wait to start sharing all the beautiful places these countries have to offer. But first I will try to finalise Vietnam a bit =)


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janton
Jonboy @jantonSeptember 2018

howdy again steef-5! well that's going to be a blessing to all of steemit to be able to follow these adventures!


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