A Rainy Adventure (Day 4)

Our last day in Ninh Binh before we head back to Hanoi and onto Sapa. Woke up nice and early as sunrise was about 5ish. Breakfast as usual – baguette and omelette and Terence tried something different, pancakes with banana and honey. It was a good thing we had a filling breakfast as the day proofed to be energy draining.

The weather today was a disappointment – it drizzled the entire day, with little sun light and lots of fog. Visibility was poor on the road but we were determined to get on the bike to visit at least one village.

21kms from the hotel, Kenh Ga boasted of its floating village and narrow canals along the main river stream. The ride there was an adventure in itself. From the main highway we turned into narrow gravel roads, dirt terrain along paddy fields and rich vegetation. Did I just mention dirt roads – after being here for 4 days, I can officially say that Vietnam is full of dust. It’s everywhere, on cars, bikes, shops, alley ways – you name it!

Getting to Kenh Ga, was a mean feat as we stopped a ‘million’ times to ask for directions. Since locals can’t speak English, directions were almost incomprehensible. All they could do was point and advice us in Vietnamese. It was a great relief to finally reach the village after 45mins on the bike.

We paid 40,000d per person and hopped onto a mean looking motor boat. The ride started, I was expecting lots of life but only found ourselves cruising into a quiet village small houses on the right and left. The weather wasn’t helping either as it was freezing cold with droplets of rain coming into the boat with winds billowing. There wasn’t much to shout about, perhaps Lonely Planet overrated this place.

After 1½ hours in the boat, we decided to head back to the hotel with not much time to spare as our van back to Hanoi was in the afternoon. The rain got heavier and this time we used raincoats – it was a smart move but not enough to keep us dry. Back down the narrow alley, this time puddles of water formed on the roads. Terence had to swerve to avoid muddy splashes – he did quite well except for one or two.

Alas we survived the rain, unfamiliar terrain and merciless traffic. Here’s a victory picture after the “war” on the road.


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