Halong in the paddyfields – Ninh Binh, Vietnam

Today we’ll mostly be posting boat photos! The spectacular limestone scenery of Vietnam’s Ninh Binh Province, which certainly lives up to its name ‘Halong in the paddy-fields’, is…..well spectacular, but unluckily the weather was a bit overcast on the day we visited so our photos conspicuously fail to do justice to the landscapes. With our somewhat limited photographic capabilities, (we’ll blame it on a dodgy lens), we had a lot more success taking close up photos of boats and boat-persons than the awesome vistas of rugged, albeit mist-shrouded, crags, mountains, caves and lakes that comprise the picturesque area of Northern Vietnam’s Ninh Binh.

An inland Halong Bay
Truly, an inland Halong Bay

Several areas of this limestone range have been set up for visitors and where small rowing boats take you across lakes and waterways and through underground tunnels amongst the cliffs and crags, such as above and below at Trang An.

That's about it for landscapes - now the boats
That’s about it for landscapes – now the boats

Judging by the number of boats some of these sites can get pretty busy with local tourists at weekends though there are always less known, but equally scenic, alternatives.

Boats at Tam Coc
Boats at Tam Coc

 

Mobile snack shop for visitors, Tam Coc
Mobile snack shop for visitors, Tam Coc

Good to see that locals still make use of the waterways as well as visitors though.

Interesting rowing technique - Tam Coc again
Interesting rowing technique – Tam Coc again

Also very pleasant is taking a bicycle along the narrow lanes that run aside many of the waterways which as well as providing a different viewpoint also gives the chance to ride through some of the local villages and farms as well. Needless to say there are plenty of pagodas  scattered amongst the lakes and hills too so there’s a  bit of walking involved as well as cycling and boating.

Entrance to a pagoda at Trang An
Entrance to a pagoda at Trang An

 

Thung Nhang - one of the quieter spots
Thung Nhang – one of the quieter spots

 

Another landscape shot where we spent ages trying to make the sky blue!
Another landscape shot where we spent ages trying to make the sky blue!

Sublime scenery and a wonderful place to spend an afternoon, the caves and mountains of Ninh Binh are not to be missed if you’re travelling through northern Vietnam and are included in both our Vietnam tours: Hanoi to Saigon and World heritage Sites of Vietnam as well as an optional 2 day extension from Hanoi for any tour beginning in Vietnam’s capital.

Cheers!

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