The night bus arrived in Hanoi around four in the morning. Still groggy with sleep I rode my bike to the hotel which was completely dark. I rang the doorbell hoping someone would answer. After a few minutes the hotel owner, who I must have woken up, let me in and quickly ushered me to a room. I slept for a few hours then took the motorbike out to the airport to pick up Renegade Wife. Since she was tired after her early morning flight, we took it very slow during the day, just wandered around the Hoan Kiem lake and the busy streets of old town for a few hours in the afternoon.
The next day we stuck both our bags in the motorbike and set off towards the coast. I worked better than expected to fit all our stuff on the bike but I think we can work out an even better way for coming days. There are boats out to Cat Ba island from both Haiphong and Halong but we wanted to bring the motorbike. The only ferry that takes vehicles leaves from a resort island a short distance from Halong city called Tuan Chau. The last ferry leaves at 3:00 pm so we drove all the way without too many stops. We reached the ferry terminal with plenty of time left but it’s better to wait than be in a huge hurry.
The ferry took us right through the Halong bay archipelago so we got plenty of good views on the way out. Knowing we would take a tour the next day I took it easy with the camera but I still got a few photos.
Some photos from the ferry ride
When we had checked in to our hotel the sun was starting to go down so there was no point in doing much sightseeing. We took a walk along the waterfront, had dinner then called it a day.