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Discovering Tam Coc

VIETNAM | Thursday, 28 May 2015 | Views [442] | Scholarship Entry

For me, a place becomes a treasure when you expect nothing of it. It's easy to fall for all the photographs you can see on a magazine, but what happens when suddenly you get lost and you are surrounded by beauty? That's what have happened to me and my travel companion Sara while we were in Vietnam.

We traveled from amazing Halong Bay to Ninh Binh, a place that had "nothing special", apparently. We arrived at night so the next morning we decided to rent a motorbike. We were a little bit tired of touristic packs and depending on others when distances where big. We started our trip, trying to follow a map while the other was driving. While we were getting into a road between the mountains I realized I was smiling and laughing. We discovered we were near Tam Coc, the "Halong Bay on earth" and we were delighted by the landscape. The mountains and the green sorrounding us while we were feeling free on the motorbikes was almost perfect. Something even better had to happen to complete our sublime experience.

We stopped on a park and we went to paddle on a little boat through the Ngô Ð?ng river. The water, the caves and the silence made me feel I was floating. The place was perfect, but it improved when I sat for a minute near a temple and I start listening to a flute. It was strange, since nobody seemed to be near by. The flute's sound became stronger and stronger until I looked into the direction where the music came from. Suddenly, a man on his own boat was playing the flaute with his hands while he was paddling with his feet. I felt really touched even though he never noticed my presence. It was somehow a gift, an unforgettable surprise.

In my opinion, there might be a lot of amazing places to travel to, but somehow places are even more special when you have anecdotes to tell, when magic things happen, when the atmosphere, the people you are with and the place itself make a unique piece all together.

Tags: 2015 Writing Scholarship

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