Laos & Vietnam – Part 6
My last excursion in Vietnam was to Ninh binh. It is a mountain system similar to Ha Long Bay, but instead of bay, it is in the river.
Our guide for the day, Ant was extra enthusiastic, and he made our day memorable. He started with some basic language lessons for us. The Vietnamese language uses Roman script but they do have lot of accent marks and that makes it difficult for us to read and pronounce it correctly. Each letter has five different accent marks and those many different pronunciations and of course those many meanings too.
The journey, as usual in very comfortable mini bus, took about two hours. We reached an ancient palace. Well, it could hardly be called palace, but whatever was that, it was well maintained.
Later on we went to our main attraction, a boat ride. The place is very well constructed and the small boats are rowed by young ladies. Each boat can accommodate 4 persons apart from the lady. There are various roots to choose from. We had opted for route no 3, which would take about two and half hours.
The young ladies, I guess may be in their forties, look very fragile. But when they did row slowly but steadily, continuously for two and half hours, I did salute them.
Once we enter the system of mountains and rivers, it is another world altogether. The mountains are greener and the water is crystal clear and calm. There were many spots, where I felt, I could spend my entire life. I did help the lady with rowing but when there was too beautiful a spot, I would drop it and start clicking.
This route passes thru three different caves of various lengths. I had to bow down as the roof is too low, but inside those caves, it is cooler. The caves are adequately lit up. To sum up, it was a fantastic experience.
We then had our lunch. The food was awesome as usual but the place was lovely too. The way Vietnamese, decorate the table, the dishes is just beautiful.
Our net mission was an eco park. Everything about this place was very romantic. The lotus lake and the pathway. The hotel, the mountain peaks, which I climbed. ( There are two peaks actually, I climbed the higher of the two.) The hike is bit challenging, but not very difficult. The view from top is fantastic. The surrounding area was so beautiful, that I felt like spending few days there. (Maybe next time.)
On the way back, our guide Ant took us to his family home. His father and uncle played traditional instruments for us and his wife served us with tea and goodies. This was not part of our tour program, but this is how hopelessly sweet those people are.
Net day, I left the country. The Hanoi airport is vast, beautiful still very simple. Truly in the line of Vietnam.