Advertisements

Monthly Archives: May 2018

Hanoi

We went back to Hanoi and the following day decided to take a tour south to Ninh Binh.

Our first stop was Hoa Lu, an ancient Capital of Vietnam and the temples of the Dinh and Le Dynasty.

img_20180324_1201200811590347025.jpg

img_20180324_1139110771811733316.jpg

Woman with her Ox

img_20180324_122325405_hdr549791638.jpg

img_20180324_113444293_hdr161430201.jpg

img_20180324_112545428_hdr1895772921.jpg

Melanie styling her Rice Paddy hat

Both of these temples were built to honor two revered Vietnamese rulers.

Our next stop was to Tam Coc, known as Vietnam’s “Halong Bay on Land”. We were taken down the river in small boats that would hold between 2 and 4 people. Our boat was piloted by an old woman. I felt guilty. I felt like I should be rowing her down the river.

img_20180324_1511463811204712884.jpg

Foot paddling

img_20180324_1510410561406296577.jpg

Once our boat was underway, she leaned back in her chair. She used her feet to row the oars in a bicycle pattern. The trip upstream would take 45 minutes, then turn around, and row all the way back. There were at least 100 boats on the river, all being propelled the same way. The ages of the people rowing ranged from probably 20 to 80, both men and women.

The river snaked through the marshes and fertile, lush green rice paddies. We were surrounded on both sides by mountains and limestone columns pushing abruptly skyward.

img_20180324_152349489_hdr744027293.jpg

img_20180324_1522065921708312234.jpg

img_20180324_1525313251053666531.jpg

As we continued down the river we came to limestone columns blocking our way. Nature had provided us a way thru the mountains. Narrow tunnels, carved by years of the waters flow. Some passages were just wide enough for two boats. It was a very memorable journey.

img_20180324_153203413847152702.jpg

img_20180324_1530446662062708021.jpg

Paddling through the tunnel

img_20180324_154742052_top1627269389.jpg

Once back in Hanoi we spent our last day walking around the lake and people watching. We sat by the lake for a couple minutes watching the kids play.

img_20180318_115334058968833403.jpg

img_20180318_101800573_top486176129.jpg

img_20180318_1941254141423423664.jpg

img_20180318_115424579_top966958030.jpg

Several people came over to us and asked if we were Americans. Yes, we are. They asked us why we were there. What we thought of their country. They were from a local TV station and wanted to interview us. We loved Vietnam and had learned that the truth of the history will always remain hidden somewhere in the middle. Vietnam is a wonderful, beautiful country. They have their own problems and are still communist. But, the people are friendly and always willing to help. The wars are over and in the past. That’s the way they want it. They have peace and prosperity now. They are growing and very modern. Crime is low. We will return.

img_20180323_164633177698189235.jpg

Notice the fish in the back of the toilet

img_20180323_16164317439649111.jpg

Afternoon drinking with new friends from Belgium. Beer was US$0.30 a glass

img_20180325_123807603_hdr100910285.jpg

img_20180323_164650428522210739.jpg

 

img_20180325_123215230240477025.jpg

We finished off our trip with a visit to Hao Lo Prison. This prison was built by the French at the turn of the 20th century, in classical French prison design. This is where the French imprisoned and brutally tortured and executed Vietnamese freedom fighters.

IMG_20180318_090501267

Guillotine

img_20180318_090643393665245200.jpg

Decapitated heads placed in baskets outside or the prison. This was done by the French as a gruesome reminder to the Vietnamese

img_20180318_085537149161196529.jpg

img_20180318_083909222903756001.jpg

Now a museum,the prison was also known as the “Hanoi Hilton” during the Vietnam War as it held American POW’s. While we were there, an old Vietnamese man and woman were also there, for the celebration of his escape from this prison. He was a political prisoner of the French. He escaped by crawling out through the sewers.

img_20180318_09135590992309149.jpg

The Vietnamese man crawling through the sewers to freedom

img_20180318_091027432_hdr318745336.jpg

img_20180318_0954001911975492285.jpg

Political Prisoner

img_20180318_0928083261093611082.jpg

Free, many years later

His gaze met ours as we passed. He slowly made his way toward us with a smile on his face and a hand of friendship extended.

Cheers,

2WANDRRs

Advertisements
Categories: 2-up motorcycle travel, 2WANDRRs, adventure travel, backpacking, Hanoi, SE Asia | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.