Distance this section: 250km | Distance total: 2,580km
Our nightbus experience was fun though made for a short night as we left the bus 3.30am just outside the center and close to a petrol station to refuel (transport requires an almost empty tank). Good news was that the bike was in good shape – mirrors back into position and good to go.
Now there were two options – stay awake or find a hotel. Turns out 👧🏻 there is really only one option – find a hotel. It didn’t take too long and we dozed off into the remainder of the night.
What to see in Ninh Binh?
- Bai Dinh Temple: What an amazing place! I didn’t research the place much beforehand and expected to see yet another pagoda. Turns out to be the largest temple complex i have seen yet. It is in fact the largest in Vietnam. The whole place is arranged on a hill and you climb endless number of stairs (all lined by stone figures) until you reach the tower at the top. Along the way are loads of other huge temples and pagodas 🏯.
- Hoa Lu ancient capital: Was the capital in the 10th and 11th century.
- Boat trip in Trang An: Around Ninh Binh you find some amazing Karst landscape that also featured in King Kong movies (skull island etc). Get on a boat trip to see the rocks, paddle through caves and visit some amazing temples.
BBQ & goat vietnam style 🐔🦶+🐐
Apart from Pho soup, we bumped into a place with local BBQ similar to what they do in south korea. Crucial difference are ingredients with some weird stuff on offer like chicken feet.
Apart from the BBQ, goats that graze in the limestone mountains are a local speciality. We passed though.
And off we go to Halong Bay – this time in nice and dry conditions (the sun remains shy though). 🏍 ☀