Vietnam - Ninh Binh

by - 20:55

After a four hour taxi ride which cost about £60, we arrived at Ninh Binh Hidden Charm Hotel & Resort which was very nice but alarmingly empty. Still, this worked in our favour as we were upgraded to a superior room. The food and breakfast was OK, nothing really that much to write about however, we did overhear another group complaining at the waitress about the cheese on their pizza and how they "couldn't eat it". You go all the way to Vietnam with all the lovely food they offer just to order pizza?

What the hotel did offer was bikes. Not the motor variety but pedal power. This enabled us to explore the area and wow, what an area it is!

Day 1 was to visit the local town and we went for a boat tour to the rice fields and caves. They did put a limit of no more than 'two foreigners' per boat to try and capitalise on it but as we were two anyway, it was no bother. The tour lasted an hour or so and I'll let the pictures do the talking. 

The Vietnamese never miss a chance to try and sell you something.

Afterwards, we went on the bikes and explored a bit further and found a pagoda set in the mountains complete with wonderful scenery.

We did find an area where we got a guided tour of a cave however, much to our amusement, our guide proceeded to do it all in Vietnamese which is great but we didn't understand a word. There was no-one else to benefit from it either. All he knew in English was "money" afterwards when asking for a tip. The cave is beautiful though.

Dinner was a cycle trip back to the local town where we had snails and goat which was stunning. And really cheap too!

The next day, we visited a local nature reserve before we had to return to Hanoi airport to fly to Ho Chi Minh or Saigon as it is still known to the locals. So once again, we took the bikes and cycled round. 

The nature reserve did have a 1000yr old tree

Lunch was back at the same place we had the snails and the goat as the food was amazing. The owners seem very pleased to see us again.

That's all in our two night stay in Ninh Binh. This place is recommended if you like the peace and quiet and to be surrounded by nature. The next stop is Ho Chi Minh which is the polar opposite and that will be covered in the next post. 

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