Exploring Ninh Binh and it’s Surroundings

There we were, standing on the street after jumping of the bus. No plan. Where should we stay? We found this hotel around the corner and we were offered a tea, bananas and sightseeing tips, even before we confirmed to stay with them. They did a good job so we checked in. Big hotel, almost empty. I love to travel in low season. The evening should begin with some walking around the city. We passed tailor shops, the local market, an artificailly created local leisure lake and, most importantly, a place to get fresh beer. 🙂 Some folks invited us to sit with them… we talked in Vietnamese only. Or shall I say we talked with body language only. Haha. It was quite funny having some beers together.

The city and it’s beauty:

Surely, it will be also easily possible with five guys: 🙂

We started the next day with a breakfast at the hotel and then rented two motor bikes to explore the world around us. A special world, full of visual beauty and helpful people. We went to the world heritage site Trang An Caves where we explored the water, stones and King Kong movie set site on a boat and on land.

On the boat, we met Till and Larissa, two very nice South East Asia traveller.

Then, we drove further the Bai Dinh Temple, which was absolutely stunning. This keeps up with our German Swansea Casle “Schloss Neuschwanstein” in terms of beauty and definitely in terms of detail and gold. I walked up the highest temple tower in Vietnam on stairs. Nice workout.

 

 


 

 

If you have blond hair and ever want to know how a celebrity may feel, this is the place to experience. People want to take pictures with you – all the time. The young children as well as the grown up ones. So cute.

We jumped back on our motor scooters to drive to the Mia Cave. Melli went inside. I don’t like caves. The good thing, there were stairs. More than 400 of them brought us up 75 meters to the top. I ran up in 7 minutes and breathed like a hippopotamus. A stunning view was the gift. 

 

 

 

 

 

After we had some dinner we drove back to the hotel where we agreed on a cheaper rate for the scooter for the next day to head to the Nationalpark Cúc Phương.

After a small breakfast, we went to the Nationalpark Cúc Phương, starting early morning. The sun was strong already. We got some gas for the scooters. 45 km to reach the entrance and another 20 km through the park. The way offered some original Vietnamese countryside. Very beautiful landscapes and places with very poor people – however they were all smiling. Just after the entrance to the park we payed a guide to visit monkeys, turtles and some other endangered animals. People used to hunt these animals for a variety of reasons, including medicine and pleasure. Some of the monkey species population is below 200 animals world wide. To help the population grow again, they raise the monkeys to re-settle them in nature.

After we shook hands with some monkeys, we drove up the jungle road to reach the end of the park and a lunch place. We ate and drank for around 6€ for 2 people. On our way back we stopped at some resting place where a woman sold fresh sugar cain juice. I skipped that part. 😉

 

Well, I really miss the quality and safety of the German “Autobahn”, I must admit. The travel speed is so slow and you need to take care a lot.

 

After returning to our hotel, we took a shower, had three beers and some filling dinner (for 170.000 dong which is like 7€) The hotel manager drove us to the train station where the night train trip started. 13 h on the train south bound. Good night and shake well. Deutsche Bahn, you may be late quite often and not even able to keep up with Vietnamese punctuality, however traveling is way more comfortable with you.

We reached a place where they have thousands of lanterns, creating a beautiful scenery in an UNESCO world heritage city centre – don’t miss Hoi An.

 

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