citadels, karsts & cycle in vietnam

boy on buffalo in vietnamThere’s so much to see in Hanoi that you’d be struggling to do it all in 24-hours without the help of a local. Then in addition there are the outlying provinces that also have so much to offer, as Casey Wallen discovered on her Citadels, Karsts & Cycle Urban Adventure…

“I’d not actually heard much about the province of Ninh Binh before, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to go there. After leaving behind hectic Hanoi we hopped on bikes to wind our way along the narrow roads through the stunning valleys of the karsts. This was a wonderful highlight. We saw duck farms, buffalo having mud baths, plenty more gorgeous scenery, but there were no other tourists in sight. We rode through several small villages where the kids were happy to say “hi” or high-five us as we cycled past – what fun!

After a delicious local lunch another highlight awaited us, a visit to Tam Coc and the region known as ‘Halong Bay on the Land’, due the stunning karst surrounds. We were loaded into a small row boat of 3-4 per boat. Our local captain steered and did all the hard work as we meandered along the river the cuts through the breathtaking scenery. Of course he was obliging when we wanted to swap and take photos of ourselves rowing the boat.

The river trip took around 2-hours and we glided past the towering karsts and under natural caves to emerge on the other side. High up on the karsts you can see steps all the way to the top with a temple at the peak. There were local fishermen using very basic apparatus under the water to round up fish and catch them in nets. There were farmers tending to their rice fields on the banks of the river and water buffalo ploughing the fields. It was a very pleasant ride and wonderful way to finish off our extraordinary day!”

Tour Vietnam with Intrepid on great trips like these:
Citadels, Karsts & Cycle – 9-10 hour Urban Adventure
Hanoi City Break – 3 days

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* photo by KatherineWilkins – Intrepid Photography Competition

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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Christian Friborg / Reply

I’d like to try planting rice with local farmers. And ride the Carabao too!

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