Monkey Island. Where dreams come true.
After waking up rested and ready for our next adventure in Halong Bay, we set sail for the illustrious Monkey Island Resort. First stop, Cat Ba Island. Cat Ba Island is one of Vietnams’ national parks, which is home to mountainous landscapes and vast rainforest. Unfortunately the rain rolled in while on Cat Ba, so we used the time to relax and enjoy the 45 minute bus ride across the island to the port in which we would embark to Monkey Island!
After a short stop at the port, we boarded a little boat to cross the sea (which was a little rough- especially for us who get sea sick easily!!!) but it was all worth it when we saw where we would be spending the next 24 hours! Gobsmacked, excited and ready to jump off the boat onto the white sands- we had arrived! We scrambled off the boat wondering which of the bungalows would be ours and again- were amazed to discover that mine was the BEST with views of the whole harbour, big beds and huge shower- the earthy, naturalistic vibe made you feel so exotic! I wanted to cover myself in dirt and be one with nature!!
With the rain, our adventure tours for the day (choice of hiking, kayaking and beach volleyball) were postponed. Disappointed, we decided to go out on our own and DO IT OURSELVES!! Don’t be afraid of an adventure- you will be surprised of your strength. We hiked from west to east, north to south, bottom to top. Up steep cliffs, rock outcrops and slippery mud slopes, were we made it to the peak of Monkey Island. The view was unbelievable. I must say- I felt accomplished. Not only was it my birthday and I was one year older (I may have forgotten to mention that!) but I had grown as a person. I had realised what one body can do when you push it to the limits- and how worth it that is!!!
From the top- we saw them. Monkeys!!! On the opposite side of the island! So our second adventure began. We made our way down the cliff and steep slopes to the secluded beach where locals were having a beer and laughing at the monkeys trying to steal their belongings. We said hello, watched the monkeys play and then headed back to our resort. What a day! But it hadn’t finished yet… we still needed to celebrate my birthday!!
Monkey Island Resort has its own Karaoke bar and Club- perched on the top of a mountain! After dinner, we decided we needed to dance and sing (and drink) the night away- how often can you go clubbing on a private island- on your birthday!!!!
We sang the classics (my debut of ‘Wannabe’ by Spice Girls was a crowd pleaser) and the bar tender, along with Tiger our guide, serenaded me with a birthday song- complete with hand held fire works. Only in Vietnam!!!!
Midnight struck, the bar closed- but the night was not over. We made our way down to the beach with our new found friends and were met with the security guard. Instead of a bed order- we were given two bottles of Vodka and demanded to drink. All I can say is… Best birthday ever.
After a (very short) sleep, we awoke to the beautiful Halong bay from our private balcony, ate another delicious buffet breakfast and checked out for the day. Back on the boat and back to Cat Ba- our prior journey in reverse. Again, we boarded the cruise ship and spent two hours cruising back through Halong to catch our ride home. All I can say is that this was an unforgettable experience. Honestly, this one is for the adventurous (and fit) traveller who wants to meet people and enjoy being a part of a unique environment. I cant thank Tiger enough for putting up with us, he was a gem.
Who this tour is NOT for: Somebody who wants to relax for three days straight (we did relax, but enjoyed a drink as well) and 100% NOT FOR FAMILIES!
The three day- two night tour cost just $160 per person for the DELUX suites, Bay view rooms, all meals, activities and transportation.
Contact Monkey Island Resort Direct to book yourself in- you won’t regret it!!
TREKKING TRAVEL, INC
Head Office:3rd Floor, 47 Hang Be Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel:(+84)4.39260572 Fax: (+84)4.39260617 Hot line : (+84)913096281