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ninh binh

VIETNAM | Friday, 3 October 2008 | Views [1263] | Comments [1]

me on tam coc

me on tam coc

well we left hanoi on a sleeping bus. but he had to get a mini bus to it. we were travelling around picking up people and piling them in to it. there was no seating room left, we even had a couple sitting on each other. when they stopped for one more person, we were wondering where they were going to put him. the door opened but who walked on but shay. it was really funny, he was getting the same sleeping bus as us. he was going all the way to hoi an though while we were stopping at ninh binh. but it was nice to see him for the last time.

the sleeping buses are mad. three rows of bunk beds of reclining seats all the way to the back. they aren't bad. though we were only on it for 3 hours until we had to get off again. arriving in ninh binh quite late and taking the first hotel there was as it was quite late and the hotel wasn't in too bad shape.

the next morning our plan was to rent bicycles and go to tam coc. which is considered, halong bay on the river. when we went to rent them we got presuded to rent motorbikes with drivers as we only had one day and this way we could see several things instead of maybe just two. so we decided to do it.

i'm so glad we did. we had a great day, one of my favorites. our drivers were so nice, pointing out things along the way. first we went to tam coc, it really is like halong bay with out the big boats making loads of noise and pollution. we got on our own row boat, with two rowers. one guy in the back with the big rows and a girl in the middle rowing with a small paddle. aoife sat in the middle also and i was in the front. it was beautiful and very peaceful. the scenery was fansatic. we even saw a wedding couple getting their pictures taken there. in all it took about 2 hours. through 3 different cave grottos. at the end of course there are shops on boats that try to get you buy something off them by crowding around you. but maybe we looked poor cause we only got one shop boat and we didn't buy anything. aoife and i swapped seats then so that she was in the front on the way back. half way back is when the woman helping to row starts to take out her wears trying to sell them. i have to say they were beautiful, the table cloths and t-shirts. but there is only so much that you would fit in to our bags. or more like only so much i can carry. the funniest part was at the end of the boat trip she was looking for a tip saying she was tired and her hands were sore and blistering, when it was the guy behind who did all the work. she hardly rowed at all, she was talking to the girl in the boat beside us instead.

after that we were brought to the bichdo^hu padgoda, where there were like 4 different levels of padgodas. the biggest one was on the ground all very beautiful, then you climb steps up to another one that was built into a cave mouth, quite impressive. when you think that is it. you go into the cave and up steps to another one in the cave up higher and then you come out of the cave to climb more steps to the last padgoda near the top of the hill. the view was beautiful. the cave was quite dark and aoife said she could hear bats in there. i didn't mind as long as they stayed were they were.

after lunch we were brought to mua cave. the drive there was fab, we went by little villages and people working away in the fields harvesting the rice. kids were waving and saying hello as we drove by. i saw my first graveyrads in the fields by the road and we nearly ran over some ducks being herded along. the cave itself was very disappointing. nothing in it really although i'm sure it means something to them. but there were loads of steps going up the side of the hill and the climb up was just amazing. at the very top we had some great views and could even see into tam coc on one side.

after that we were brought off to hoalu which used to be the capital of vietnam years ago. most of it is destroyed now, just a couple of temples left. the temples were very much like the temple of literture in hanoi. it was a quiet end to the day, after our highlights of tam coc and the climb at mua cave. as we were leaving we saw a family of water buffallo in the water cooling off. just like what we wanted to do after the hot day.

on the way back to our hotel, we were brought back through ninh binh city. so we got to see it from the back of the motorbike. we didn't get to walk arough ninh binh itself as it wasn't very nice and instead we get to remember it the way we want to. driving through small villages with children waving and saying hello, the beautiful scenery and seeing the people at work, harvesting their rice and leaving it out to dry on the road.

it was then back to out friendly hotel,xuan hoa hotel, where we relaxed for the evening until our sleeping bus arrived to bring us off to our next adventure.

Tags: bichdo^hu padgoda, hoalu, mua cave, ninh binh, tam coc




Hi guys,
Really impressed with all ye have been getting up to!! You have been busy!! Great blog Trish can actually imagine you saying the words to me!! Not much craic from here weather is s*** as usual Moycullen was even flooded last week so enjoy the sunshine and keep us all updated!! Have fun enjoy it all and take care xxx Carol

  Carol Oct 16, 2008 9:12 AM

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