Like always we booked our accommodation way in advance. With the Christmas season closing in on us we were worried that the home stays on Cat Ba island (Halong Bay, Vietnam) would be booked out. Shawn settled on a quaint home stay called the Little Cat Ba.
We did run into a little trouble when booking our home stay. Since most of the tourists prefer the use of ‘JUNK’ boats, the accommodation on Cat Ba is not plentiful. This might also be due to the development restriction that the government has laid down to protect the heritage site. At $35 the room at Little Cat Ba was slightly more expensive than the other places we had booked in Vietnam but I think it was really worth it.
LITTLE CAT BA
Situated at the side of a tiny stream, Little Cat Ba is far away from the noise of the city. A few tables by the stream ensured that I got to soak in the peace at leisure. It was also a great place to interact with the other guests who were staying in Little Cat Ba.
The welcoming team includes 2 dogs and a cat who are closely followed by their master. Our journey to Cat Ba island was a long and tiring one. This made the welcome plate of fruits and tea particularly refreshing.
GLANCING AT THE AMENITIES WE WERE OFFERED
You rarely talk about amenities when it comes to home stays but I think that they are equally important. Take little Cat Ba for example. It provides a number of amenities which makes the price that we paid for the room very economical.
THE ROOMS: We soon found out that the rooms could be classified as garden facing rooms and stream facing rooms and were prices at $30 and $35 respectively. The only garden facing room that was available when we arrived had moisture on the walls so we were not inclined to take it. The stream facing rooms on the other hand were in tiptop condition and we quite enjoyed our stay in them.
THE BIKES: One of the most attractive amenities was the motorbikes/bicycles that came with the room. This meant that we did not have to pay an extra $4 to rent the motorbike and brought our actual room rent to $31. Now that made the room even more attractive.
FOOD: Breakfast was included in the room rate. The breakfast menu was standard and included fruits, a pancake, eggs and toast. You also had a choice between tea or Vietnamese coffee. I preferred to have bread and jam rather than the heavy breakfast. The home stay staff were quick to accommodate my request.
You can also order home cooked meals from the kitchen. The only clause is that you need to order an hour in advance. We found the prices slightly expensive so we chose to eat at the local shops. The aroma of the food however was always enticing.