The boat begins the journey to Cat Ba Island at 6am. Prior to this I had been sitting on the upper deck for an hour enjoying the sunrise and a cup of Vietnamese coffee. (Vietnamese coffee is sweetened with condensed milk and is sensationally good). I was surprised to find that small trader boats approached our houseboat even at that early hour. Any sign of life will attract them. It must be hard trying to eke out a living selling small items to tourists who usually have everything they need provided by boat and crew.
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