After the noodles broth for breakfast we went trekking for about an hour. We walked in a small road surrounded by limestone and a river with lotus flowers.
We were heading to a place located two km away of Tam Coc. There, we did a paddleboat tour similar to the previous day. The tour included going through grottos and of course enjoying the beautiful scenery made mostly of limestone karsts. Below are the pictures.
Today I am off to Ninh Binh, a citylocated in Northern Vietnam, justfewhourssouth of Hanoi. It is a quick get away from thecapital, but I’vedecided to gothere with thesametravelagency (Ethnic Travel) I used in Mai Chaubuyingthe 2-days/ 1 night package. Thistravelagency in Hanoi is known (supposedly) fordoingthings off thetouristtrackincluding a betterexperience of thelocallife. I look forward to visiting Ninh Binh, not somuchthecity itself butratherthesurroundingarea; I heardthe scenery is amazing.
Thetrip from Hanoi took 2.5 hours. I arrived around noonandhadlunch at a restaurant with Ok food (not worthanypictures). After thelunch, I wentforboatsride in two differentrivers. Thefirstride was about thedailylife of theinhabitants along the river. An old Vietnamese dude drovethemotorboat. Hewasveryexcited about showing me thescenery, andevenlet me drive; I’ll realizelater that was to pumpthetip up. Pictures are below.
Thesecondboattourwas in anotherriverandwasmore about thelandscape as well as going under grottos. Thistime I was in a rowing boatdriven by an oldladywhopaddledfor an hour plus non-stop – Simply amazing! Oh yeah, thesightalsowasamazingjustseefor yourself.
After thesecondride, itwas getting dark, my guideand I went to the homestay situated in a small village forty minutesaway of Ninh Binh. The homestay wasmore like a lodge, which was a bitdifferent from where I stayed in Mai Chau. Indeed, I didn’t seethelocalfamilyitwasreallymore like a hotel – verydisappointing. Thatbeingsaidthelocationwasgreat. Althoughitwasalreadydarkand I could not captureanypictures I got to seethedailyroutine of the Vietnamese by lateafternoon in a smalltown. Similarly to the Western countriesit consisted of kids cycling back from school, oldfolksplayingsome kind of dicegame with a TV nearby showingsomelocalshows. On theroad, I‘vealsometfarmers bringing back their chickens, cows, thelattermakingsure to leave their traces; there were also a lot of workers drying rice on the floor (pictures below).Lastbut not least I can onlyrememberthecountlessnumber of scooters on the roadandthenoise that goes with it.
After thedinner, I wentback to my roomhopingfor a moreexcitingandadventurousnextday.