Friday, 17 June 2011

Bike Ride Day 11 - Ninh Binh

We spent a day in Ninh Binh today. We were meant to get up early but we didn’t as we were knackered from the long drive the day before.

Ninh Binh is quite famous for Tam Coc- an inland version of Halong Bay.

This was our first stop of the day. The owner of the hotel gave us a detailed map of the area and showed us a few nice roads to drive on rather than riding on the highway which have many lorries and buses trundling up and down 24/7.

Tam Coc is a beautiful place. We went on a lovely 2 hour boat ride, rowed by sampans (Vietnamese people who row the boats). The scenery was amazing.

We rowed between karsts and through caves.

It was a very relaxing experience until the lady rowing our boat decided to try and sell her handicrafts. She was very persistent and pretty much wouldn’t leave us alone until we bought something! They always seem to target Abby to her dislike...not sure why!? In the end, Abby bought something to shut her up!

In the afternoon we visited Hoa Lu- an ancient kingdom in Ninh Binh. This was not as impressive as expected as it was just a couple of temples, but we did climb up Saddle Mountain for a panoramic view of Hoa Lu.

The day didn’t end so well as there seemed to be a problem with the bike. A strange noise was coming from the engine. We need to take the bike to a mechanic tomorrow, so plans have changed and we are going to stay an extra night in Ninh Binh and will make up time elsewhere.

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