Saturday, October 17, 2015

Ninh Binh

My youngest son took me to Ninh Binh. We were going to go on a motorbike, me on the back, but sanity prevailed. 2-3 hours would have killed this grandma. A scooter's seat with a heavy camera and other stuff on my back would have been too much.

 So we went on the train to Ninh Binh. Up to there, everything is totally flat. Then the beautiful limestone mountains begins. Unfortunately very insensitive development with huge cement factories being built next to beautiful nature spots is a big problem.

 We stayed in Nguyen Shack, (photo directly below comes from the internet) owned by a Vietnamese family and the daughter's Canadian husband. Extremely pleasant, all of them, and a beautiful place to stay. We booked too late, and could not get a bungalow, and that is recommended. The rooms are open at the top to the other rooms, and because everything is made of bamboo, if someone walks in the next room, or walk past your room, everything shakes... Still, I will definitely stay there again! Just remember to bring the mozzie spray - it is on water. Beautiful fireflies in the evening.

On the little pathway to Nguyen Schack.

The limestone mountains begin!

I had to look twice at what this was... (if you click on the photograph, it will show bigger.)

My son and I travelled quite far on the rented motorbike to the Buddhist Bái Dính Temple. 

Then the stairs began...

We climbed and climbed and climbed. There were statues on the side all the way up. In the heat and very high humidity, we were streaming with sweat very soon.  And every time you think the next flight MUST be the last, but there will be a next one... Every statue has shiny bits where people have touched them, see the folds of the material below and the knees.    On the other side down there were the same amount of them, and each one looks different!

Some of the stretches between stairs....

The view from the top was stunning.

A selfie at the top of my son and me.  I can not remember when last I have been so exhausted!

Of course, once at the top, being from the Western world, I expected the little electric carts they have there to take us down. Oh no, we had to walk down, then the long motorbike ride home.

Ninh Binh, I truly enjoyed you!
On the train ride back, we had a little smelly companion between us: