On day four of our trip we travelled to the port of Haiphong. Here, we boarded a hydrofoil, for a 1-hour journey to Cat Ba Island, the largest of the 366 islets and islands of the Cat Ba archipelago which spreads over an area of 20,000 hectares.
Our vessel's propellor got snarled up with fishing nets not far from Cat Ba island and we had to be towed the short distance to shore.
The cruise around Ha Long Bay, which means Bay of the Landing Dragon, was supposed to be the highlight of our day. With 3,000 islands rising from the calm, jade coloured sea it is often referred to as the Eighth Wonder of the World. Unfortunately the weather let us down again and it rained continuously. We had to settle for postcard pictures of Halong Bay since ours looked like it was, grey & misty.
We arrived back in Hanoi later in the day and were looking forward to the Water Puppet Show which we were visiting later that evening at the Kim Dong Theatre in Hanoi. At least we didn't have to rely on the weather for this jaunt! The water puppet theatre form of entertainment was created during the 11th century when the Red River Delta farmers needed some activity to occupy them during the regular floodings. The wooden, brightly coloured puppets depict legendary creatures, warriors, peasants and kings and queens who perform acrobatic feats, fight battles and tell moral tales and folklore. I must say we really enjoyed the show and it is a must if you visit Vietnam.