We have just had a 9 day holiday in North Vietnam.
What a buzzing place this has become, even more so since our last visit 2 years ago.
This time we wanted to see more of the country, having seen only Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City the last 2 visits.
One particular example of the way the country is rushing forward was a day when we went on a day trip out of Hanoi to a tourist destination called “In-land Halong Bay” – actually named Tam Coc, which is a river through some stunning scenery that has these huge volcanic burps that form a valley and the tourists are rowed through the area by the locals.
The really interesting part though, was getting there. It was a 3 hour drive from Hanoi, but the first hour was like driving through a movie set of a war zone in Iraq or Afghanistan, or even Vietnam for those who remember the 70’s movies of that war. To get out of Hanoi via the main road (Highway 1) to the south entailed more pot holes and mud tracks than I have ever encountered outside of off-roading. In truth, this was all done weaving through the building sites that are the new overhead highway that is being built, but still . . .
Then once one is out of the city the road also has a character that is interesting. The following is an excerpt from a travel book that pretty well describes it.
Here’s some pictures of the place that we went to – Tam Coc.