After our amazing discovery of Hanoi and a solid night sleep it was time to hit the road across the north eastern portion of Vietnam to the port city of cat hai where we boarded our junket boat Ginger.
Mystical landscapes arose out of the water to form an eternal garden of majestic limestone formations that are awe-inspiring. Suffice it to say that the immediate scenery exceeded my wildest expectations and it only got better the further we traveled.
Our scenic 3 hour cruise took us around cat ba island which is now a national park to protect the fewer than 60 white headed langer monkeys left in the world.
A short 4km bike ride brought us the lovely village of Viet hai with its 400 fishing families.
We watched them demonstrate the traditional rice wine making and tasted the results. Some daring folks in the small group even tried the snake wine which I stayed as far away as possible – literally at the other end of the table.
Our ship Ginger offered a surprisingly modern and minimalist take on traditional Vietnamese dishes that was right up our alley. The gorgeous presentation was rivaled by the fresh taste of every element.
A stunning 24 hours I highly recommend to anyone coming to this part of the world.