Monkey Island, Cat Ba

Now, this is what I was looking forward to the most. Our friend Tom had recommended this tour and his photos from Monkey Island Resort were dreamy: beach! resort! warmth! We arrived to the hotel which just looked great…. until we walked into the lobby and saw the receptionist in her winter coat. They showed us our room which was no bigger than 2 twin beds and a curtain to the bathroom. Cozy one would say. Luckily Yemi took a look at the rooms our tour mates had and realized that something wasnt adding up. And here started the series of upgrades. It should be noted here that plenty of tours/companies are solely after money and will show you pictures of one thing and then your reality is something very very different. We were extremely cautious to double, triple confirm what we were supposed to have. The first room we moved to didnt have working heat so we finally ended up at a sea view room. Score.

Once settled we did a mini hike over to the other side of Monkey Island. The island is divided into two parts: one where the monkeys live and the other more developed side where people tend to live/stay. Twice we got the warning that the monkeys are “wild animals”. They have been known to snatch things out of your hands (phones, snacks, small bags) and to steer clear of them. They did not need to tell me twice! I know how monkeys can be (Hey Kem – remember when you got attacked by a monkey in Nigeria? I learned my lesson then, years ago). We strolled along the beach for a while and then decided to climb up some rocks for an amazing view of the island. Unfortunately, right as we were getting ready to leave, a girl we had just been talking to got chased and nearly attacked by a monkey. My cue to hike back to the other side.

After dinner, we hung out with some of our tour mates with bottles of local wine, gin and cake. It was one of the girls birthdays so about 5 of us huddled in their room with the heat on full blast drinking Dalat wine and playing card games. I think we were the only 5 people on the island.

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