Getting to Viet Hai Village is half the adventure
We were over it. My husband and I stopped for a pizza (yes, a pizza in Vietnam) in Cat Ba Town. We needed a minute to rest and rejuvenate our brains after a long day of travel and it was only noon. It was time to decide if this quest for the Whisper Nature Bungalows in Viet Hai Village was really worth the hassle. Already we had taken a local ferry from Tuan Chau Island and a bus to Cat Ba Town (in which we were hassled by two thugs to pay $20 for the free local bus). We still had to catch one more local ferry and find our way to the village. After lunch we were refreshed and ready to continue on our mission. We waited at the local ferry to no avail and finally just paid a boatman a little extra to get us to the pier on the other side of Cat Ba — this after we had been told multiple times that long boats with tourists will flip over and we'll die. They were trying to scare us into taking the junk boat tour, but we wouldn't give up or give in. Finally my husband and I made it to the pier where we rented a moped from a local and made our way down the windy road that dead-ended at the Whisper Nature Bungalows. We stayed in a bungalow for three nights, kayaking, trying fresh oysters at the nearby fishing village and finally hiking up a tall peak in the Cat Ba National Park. The stunning view from atop, overlooking Ha Long Bay, was well worth the ferry, bus, long boat and moped it took to get to that point.