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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Hoa Lu, Vietnam

Feb 14, 2007 - Good Night China, Good Morning Vietnam!

After 6 days off the bike in Kunming it was back on the road aiming to cross into Vietnam on Feb 3rd when our visa kicked in. Our route to the border took us south and east from Kunming to Pingxian. It was a real unknown as we could find little info about this quiet corner of China and spoke to no one who had been there. As it turned out we could not have had a better cycle, it was fantastic!! We covered 961 km in the 12 days much of which followed the China Vietnam border and in that time the weather, countryside, local way of life was...

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Dec 20, 2006 - Good Morning Vietnam

We got to the Laos-Vietnam border at around 9:30 am. It was quite a process going through the check point. Four officials passed our passports back and forth and back again for about 20 minutes before anything got stamped. Despite the goodwill gesture of money we tucked into our passports, it still took a while. When we were all through we climbed into another bus for our 10 hour ride to Ninh Binh. The drive intitially strated out with us driving down mountains; twisty and turvey nightmare, not good to those with motion sickness (me, thank...

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Nov 29, 2006 - Tam Coc

I had a nice Indian curry last night to make a change from the Vietnamese food. It's interesting that Indian food feels like food from home. That is perhaps why I went to an English bar for a pint after. Today I went South to the Hoa Lu area near Nimh Binh to visit some temples and more karst limestone landscape. And all day I kept bumping into my Russian friends Vladimir and Marina, who were doing exactly the same thing. We all agreed it was like meeting old friends, which is a strange (though familiar) effect of travelling. After I have...

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Sep 24, 2006 - Ninh Binh

After a couple of days the other canadian and I headed down to Ninh Binh, a town south of Hanoi near a national park and other sites. For transport we signed up for a minibus through our hotel. Since it left at 7:30 AM and the ride was about 2 hours, we expected to get there by 10 or 11. Well after getting picked up, we drove around to a few more hotels to gather the other passengers. Little did we know, the bus that picked us up was not heading to Ninh Binh. Soon, we were dropped off at a travel agent, where we waited for the real bus....

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Ed in Asia

Aug 16, 2006 - VIETNAM: Ninh Binh & Cuc Phuong National Park

On our arrival in Ninh Binh Jo and I were welcomed by rain. Great. Percy-Poncho really is getting a good use! Our guesthouse was great..mainly due to the helpful owner, Kien and his lovely family. We had home-cooking everynight and "Ninh Binh Water" as Kien called it which was more like firewater! I passed mine to Jo to knock back, him being Irish! If you come to Vietnam I definately recommend a visit to Ninh Binh. Many tourists bypass it without realising how spectacular the scenery is. There are some great national parks in the area and...

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Jul 5, 2006 - Ninh Binh (Tam Coc Caves)

Superb scenery! The nickname for this place is Halong Bay on the Rice Paddy Fields, and from the photos, you can see why. Although Halong Bay will come later for us, and we can now not wait to get there. Also very pleased that we stopped at Ninh Binh to do this. Most people come here on a very long day trip from Hanoi, and we managed to avoid the hordes by getting in early in the morning at Tam Coc. And we had a fantastically beautiful day, which is rare for this time of year here. Although, it was really really hot. Both days in Ninh Binh...

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Apr 9, 2006 - Good morning Vietnam! - Ninh Binh

After about an hours drive on from the homestay we crossed the boarder into Vietnam. it was quite a long process, but Sakai did most of it and we just sat around! There was a different minibus waiting on the other side of the boarder and we then had a really long drive to Ninh Binh - about 9 hours! The first part of our drive took us near the Ho Chi Min trail, driving around the moutains for ages which made some of us not feel too great! Out of the countryside, you could tell we were in Vietnam and a country alot less calm than Laos! There...

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Mar 16, 2006 - Ninh Binh

Made our way down to the main train station in Hanoi and joined the queue for international and foreigner tickets. Well, when I say "queue", I use the term loosely as this is a concept the Vietnamese aren't comfortable with. Even walking in the streets they just seem to walk at each other and expect you to shimmy out of the way. I was calm until one small chap barged straight past me. My version is that I firmly moved him back behind me. Nige's version is that it was like a scene from the wrestling. Anyway, it had the desired effect and...

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Mar 10, 2006 - Ninh Binh - SE of Hanoi, another day trip

We started today's day trip with a 2 hour ride southeast of here to two towns on the outskirts of a city named Ninh Binh (pronounced Ning Bing). The first town, Hoa Lu (Waa-lou), used to be the capital over a thousand years ago. The king at the time wanted it to be far enough inside Vietnam so that the Chinese couldn't get to him easily and also close to the people. This visit, like yesterday's, emphasizes to me more the challenges of doing a trip like this without a local. It would be extremely difficult to do this trip on my own I think...

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Jan 9, 2006 - Ninh Binh

09 January - To Ninh Binh 49 years old today - what a nightmare! Where have all the years gone? Anyway, I woke up to a normal day (if this can be classed as normal). I had decided to go to Ninh Binh, but not in any rush. I went to use the internet and was chuffed to receive a few birthday messages, especially from Hazel and Ken who had composed a poem as they weren't able to send a card, which is as follows: First you ran the London Marathon and finished like a star. Then you did the Bhutan trek and proved how tough you are. You...

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Jul 31, 2005 - Ninh Binh

(click 'show all 7' to display all photos and double click photo to see a bigger version) Nimh Binh was not an intended stop, but ended up being a stop after Halong Bay social times. One of the fellow travellers (another solo traveller from the UK) suggested it was a worthwhile spot. Kate left from Hanoi the day before I did and emailed where she was staying and I went and caught up with her. The guest house was amazing, in the most part due to our host, Mr Xuan - his hospitality was outstanding. Kate had told him I was coming and they...

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simon goes global

Jun 19, 2005 - Vietnam (North)

Communist Country number 3... Let's just say that they have 'embraced Capitalism here'! They seem to try to rip you off every chance they get...:) which makes us laugh a little because they are usually trying to cheat us out of 25 cents or so... Jen has turned out to be a ruthless negotiator!! She is really good, I always feel we get the best price! After a boat trip out to the picturesque Halong Bay, Jen and I took the overnight train to Hue'. We stepped it up a bit and got the first class sleeper car. The clean compartment consisted of...

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