Rather than visiting the bay off our own backs, we decided to bite the $105 bullet and take a 3 day tour from our hostel in Hanoi. The running of the tour was poor but thankfully failed to take away from the beauty of our surroundings.
Peering from our boat window at the spectacular rock formations in the sea was quite an experience:
As part of the tour we also got to go cycling on Cat Ba Island:
One of the highlights was staying a night on this remote island: