I plan to do some voluntary work in Hanoi in December i finish on the 5th dec and have to be back in Hanoi for the 19th i have 18 days in btw does it make sense to to go directly to Halong bag from Hanoi or where should i go after Hanoi i havent done that much reading up on my intinerary
On Cat Ba Island you can do some hiking in the NP, there are also some fine beaches, and the trip in the bay itself is already worth the trip.
A two or three hour ride from Hanoi brings you in Ninh Binh, Halong Bay in the rice paddies. This is a perfect place to rent a motor bike to tour the surroundings!
And if you really have enough time (18 days seems enough to me), you can make your way down south (by night bus) to Hué and Hoi An. In Hué you can visit the forbidden city and the Perfume river, and Hoi An is just a splendid city with marvelous restaurants, and with the marble mountains and Danang beach on spitting distance.
HOw far is cat Ba Island from the Bay. Would it make sense to stay on Cat Ba island instead of a boat on the bay?
Any advice on how i get there, cheap tour companies and accom on Cat Ba Island??