Rather restless night initially on the junk last night, v.humid and only a fan in the small room with no opening window. Got used to the heat after a while though, and got a good 7 hours; jet lag seems to be wearing off now.
Then set off to Cat Ba island while having a breakfast of watermelon and omlette. Arrived on Cat Ba at 9 o'clock; very hot - 30+'C; got a very sweaty minibus journey to the national park and climbed the 220m ascent to an old watchtower at the centre of the island; with around 70% humidity this too proved to be a rather moist affair to say the least! But well worth it as after a rather sketchy climb in flipflops (not sure why PiPi our guide said they would be alright - bit of a little joker we think) the panormic views were absolutely stunning.
Back on the sweatmobil (aka minibus) we headed for the hotel on Cat Ba, only to be blocked by two men on motorbikes as the road ahead had demolition works going on - you don't get that in the uk! it seemed like we were in the Vietnam war with the explosions going off just a few hundred meters away, but they were over in about ten minutes and we continued down the newly widened road.
After lunch at the hotel we went by moto to the nearby beach - bit of R&R in the sun was great, before heading back to the hotel when the sun had gone to have dinner. Halong bay continues to impress!