Monkey island is situated in the Halong Bay (Vietnam) and is a popular tourist attraction. Almost all the tours that leave from Cat Ba island will list or encourage you to visit this island. Neither Shawn nor I were particularly interested in seeing any more monkeys after our episode in Indonesia. You can’t however change a tour schedule and we reluctantly joined the troop. I can’t say that we didn’t have fun for we did!
Our first glimpse at the Vietnamese monkeys
Monkey island was the last island that we docked on during our Halong Bay tour. The shore is shallow and out boat could go only so far. Smaller boats arrived to ferry us to shore. It seemed a little surreal to watch the monkey’s darting to and fro on the soft sand. I even saw a few chase an unsuspecting tourist.
Be forewarned: Monkey bites are plentiful as the monkeys are used to having their way. It is prudent to stay on your guard.
Let’s just have some evening booze
It was part sad and part funny to see the monkeys imitate human behavior. They pick out cans and bottles from the dumpsters and drink in hopes of finding a sip of the sweet drinks that once lay within. Some of the monkeys will even make threatening noises when they see you. Others try to steal what you have in your hand. It is a routine that seems well worn into all South Asian countries where monkeys are the prime attraction. It is a routine that scares me silly.
IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT THE MONKEY
It is not as easy as it looks!
While tourists are inclined to believe that Monkey island is all about monkeys, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Monkey island has a short trek that takes you up to the peak of the island. This peak offers you one of the best views of the bay. Make sure that you have proper footwear if you want to attempt this trek. Flip flops make it extremely difficult!
The unexpected proposal
I’m not much of a climber because of my fear of heights so I stopped a few meters off from the top. Shawn made it up to the peak only to find a monkey perched strategically at the top. I think the monkey quite fancied my husband for she made a lunge at him. Luckily for me, he didn’t accept and made it back to me safe and sound.
SUNSET ON THE BEACH
Monkey island is also perfect for watching the sunset. With the end of the day closing in, we watched as the sun gave us her final adieu for the day.