Day 22 – Ninh Binh – Wednesday March 23rd 2011
Our drive to the national park took about an hour (In the car above). It cost about a pound to get in to the park, which included a guide for the primate and elephant conservation areas. Elephants and primates were rescued and returned to nature wherever possible.
We were driven to cave where ancient human remains had been found. We got to just go in and explore. There were hardly any other tourists in the whole park.
We had lunch at the top of the park and then went for an unguided walk through the forest. The start of the walk was on a concrete pathway, but it soon gave way to dirt tracks. Along the route we saw a big old tree, some scenic views and another cave. Palace Cave.Luckily I had my head torch so we were able to go into the cave and have a look round. We were only a few hundred yards in when I couldn’t even see my own hand in front of my face.
Frank went off a little further into the cave, with only a tiny LED light, which stopped working halfway. This cave seemed to be sucking the light from our torches so we made a speedy exit.
Thinking about Vietnam
If we hadn’t left Hanoi, then I would have much positive to say about Vietnam, but Ninh Binh has shown me a different side. Maybe Hanoi is just another big busy city. Maybe we were silly and unlucky. We definitely didn’t have a great time there and can’t wait to get back to happy, easy Thailand. I can’t wait for another happy Sawasdee from a smiling Thai.
Tomorrow we will hire some bikes or mopeds to have a look round Tam Coc. I am thinking of trying a geared bike, as I’ve always wanted to learn to ride. The main problem is navigating the busy 1A road to get fuel before we leave. That will be fun.