1. Cat Ba Town, April 2018. At first glance, Cat Ba Island’s overdeveloped main drag is little more than an uninspiring stretch of toothy low-rises, beat-heavy bars, tout-inhabited tour offices and kebab carts. Easily the least impressive area of the island, I’m amazed that so many visitors choose to base themselves here. Having set myself up at a charming hostel out in the rugged countryside, it was nevertheless comforting to come into town for dinner at one of a handful of excellent cafes.