Showing posts from 2019

Mua Cave / Hang Mua

Mua Cave is one of the key visiting spots in Trang An ( Halong Bay on the land) in the Ninh Binh province in Vietnam.  It is my most favourite place during my trip in Vietnam. The views up the 500 steps are stunning.  The sights over Tam Coc and the landscape of Ninh Binh are gorgeous. Green fields, river and mountains compose harmony and beauty. Everyone wants to stay longer. We joined a tour to Trang An. Sampan ride along the river with  spectacular  limestone karst  peaks was amazing. It is the key offer provided by various tour companies. Other options include a visit to Hao Lu (the ancient capital), Bai Dinh Temple and Mua Cave (Hang Mua). I made the best decision of taking the Mua Cave to the temple. The awesome views on the hill top rank much much higher than the temple. We arrived at Hang Mua in the late afternoon, one of the two best times (morning and evening). The biggest challenge was to climb up 500 steps. But believe me, it's really worthwhil

Trang An 寧平 / 陸龍灣

When I was preparing for our Vietnam trip, the beauty of Trang An pop up upfront. A small boat is surrounded by emerald green water and trees. What a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere! With more research we decided for a visit.  It turned out as a very good decision. An amazing day! Trang An is located at the Linh Binh province. It is a landscape complex of spectacular limestone karst peaks permeated with valleys. Many of the peaks are partly submerged and surrounded by steep, almost vertical cliffs.  The landscape can be navigable with small boats. It is an awesome experience to flow through the various spots of the great nature along with caves, temples and the other colourful boats. Trang An is also called the Halong Bay of the land. It is about 150 kilometres from the famous bay. Hundreds of islands form a natural wonder is another  impressive landscape but much less known. Traces of human activity over a continuous period of more than 30,000 years were found a

Hoa Lu 華閭

I visited Hoa Lu (an ancient capital) alone in 2007. Last time, I just picked an agency at the Old Quarter of Hanoi randomly to arrange a tour. On the day, a small car, may be for maximum 7 persons, took us to Hoa Lu and Tam Coc . Lunch with dishes served at home was served at a small restaurant. The surroundings were rather primitive. People were riding their bikes around, old women sold fruits, etc. The experience was very good. In 2019, my trip partner and I visited Hao Lu , Trang An and Mua Cave . With these 12 years, the temples look more or less the same. But the surroundings have changed. Only tourists were around. We did not see residents anymore. Buffet lunch at a giant restaurant was much inferior to the family run restaurant. The surroundings have been cleared up. The views of the limestone mountains nearby remain beautiful. One funny incidence: I saw the same man riding on a cow around the entrance of the temple area. Both the man and cow are older.

Hue - Tuc Duc Tomb 順化 嗣德陵

Tu Duc is the 4th emperor of the Nguyen dynasty . Though facing many challenges (such as rebellion, French encroachment, court intrigues), he ruled the country for over 30 years and its the longest in the Nguyen history. Tu Duc created a fantasy land as his tomb which he often spent his his time there with his many concubines during the last years of his reign. The Emperor’s sepulcher Tu Duc Tomb is immense and exceptional. No other tombs can compare with it in terms of size and luxuriousness. The design goes in harmony with the nature. The emperor could walk undisturbed; pleasure pavilions where the Emperor could write verse; and a lake with its own small island, where the Emperor could hunt miniature animals if he so wished. His joy was built on heavy taxation and tiring labour. But at the end, his body was not even placed in the humble tomb within the beautiful palace like tomb area but somewhere which nobody knows. The 200 labourers who buried him were all beheaded.  It