Friday, 2 April 2010

Ninh Binh 26.03.10 - 27.03.10

Greg's in his element again because we hire another motorbike here in Ninh Binh to tour the surrounding countryside which is extra special because of it's impressive array of limestone crags that protrude out of the landscape of water fed rice paddies. It's known as 'Halong Bay on the paddies' and it doesn't disappoint. Although the sun refuses to come out to play we still very much enjoy riding off the main road and following our noses down some side routes through the green paddies to come across pretty vistas and very amiable people. The area is being heavily developed with the emergence of many new hotels and access roads. We find it ironic that the very cliff scenery the tourists are coming to see is being quarried into non existance to construct the hotels they'll stay in. There are still pockets of traditional life to be seen, ladies tending their rice crops knee deep in water that must be pretty cold, judging by the air temperature and hidden valleys where all the tourist buses on the main road cannot be heard anymore and people are living in a tranquil green paradise as they've always done. It's a very idyllic place, soothing to the soul you might say.

a small temple in the valley is a popular place for wedding banquets