Last Days in Ninh Binh

November 16, 2017 at 15:31

Only a few more days to go before the flight home. Drove back to Ninh Binh to my friend’s place. Will park the bike there to use it next year again. The last few days the sky was nice and we even had a few blue days here. With lots of haze of course – so again – no clear sky for nice landscape pictures.

Boats waiting for tourists in Tam Coc
Boats waiting for tourists in Tam Coc

Boats waiting for tourists in Tam Coc

The river in Tam Coc
The river in Tam Coc

Rice field with Hang Múa in the back
Rice field with Hang Múa in the back

Baby Ducks
Baby Ducks

Wild Horses - why here??
Wild Horses – why here??

450 steps to the top
450 steps to the top

View from the top toward Ninh Binh
View from the top toward Ninh Binh

Much better sky this way
Much better sky this way

The peak on the left (from the top) about half way. You can see workers constructing new stairs
The other peak – you can see workers constructing new stairs

The other peak
The other peak

More haze this way
More haze this way

You can see the city on the far right
You can see the city on the far right

Back at the hotel - cleaning
Back at the hotel – cleaning

Only one kind of meat here
Only one kind of meat here

With Gaelle
With Gaelle for a beer – or two…

The gang in front of the place. With Jordi Huysmans, Saci Kovách, Việt Tây and Andrew Pycroft.
The gang in front of the place. With Jordi Huysmans, Saci Kovách, Việt Tây and Andrew Pycroft.

One is working and one is sleeping
One is working and one is sleeping

View from my room
View from my room

Ready to go to Hanoi
Ready to go to Hanoi

 
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From Ninh Binh to the Ocean View Homestay in Đồng Hới

September 8, 2017 at 16:31

Good morning Vietnam!
Another Gray and cold day? I did not really expect it to be nice!
Last breakfast, pack the bag game and everything on the bike. See you in a few weeks friends! Adios.
And I was on the way. Had no real plan where to end up today but further down south was the plan. The day was still young and there is a lot of road to drive all the way to the water down south if one must. I wanted to get towards blue sky and nicer temperatures quick so I stayed on the big roads most of the time. Trucks, Diesel and dust! Some crazy drivers and a few near hits with them later something in my brain told me – why not hit it and drive to Ocean View Homestay? At last it is quiet and clean there! And so I was driving a bit faster than usually and took way less pictures. But on a day like this – most of the pictures would not made it to the Blog anyhow.

Planting rice
Rice planting in action close to Ninh Binh

Monument in Thành phố Vinh
Monument in Thành phố Vinh. Look at the sky. It was like that the whole day 🙁

Church close to Kỳ Nam
Church close to Kỳ Nam

Another Church close to Kỳ Nam
Another Church close to Kỳ Nam

Lots of today’s drive was not really pleasant. Not only the same Gray sky that was so Gray you could not even guess where the sun was! There was even some drizzle from time to time. I was really happy when I reached the Ocean View Homestay in Đồng Hới. My favourite down there. Relaxing garden with restaurant and quite. Big clean rooms and friendly staff. And only a few metres from the ocean and from the backpacker place at the beach for sundowners.

Today’s Drive

410 Kilometres in 9 hours and 11 minutes with coffee and gas stops

The next Day

Had my Vietnamese slow drip coffee and walked to the beach for a look.

Old bunker
An old bunker on the beach. Once there where no trees so you had a clear line of sight.
Look at all the Gray!

Fishing Boat

Fishing Boat

Well looks like I stay in today and do nothing!

The next Day

It was actually quite nice. Blue sky with a hazy overcast but sunny. Great for a bicycle trip down town. They have free bicycles at the Ocean View Homestay.

Getting better slowly
Getting better slowly

It is blue up there
It is blue up there

Advertising for a hotel in Đồng Hới
Advertising for a hotel in Đồng Hới – nice Old School 🙂

A fisherman paddles back to his hut
A fisherman paddles back to his hut

Fishing boat in Đồng Hới
Fishing boat in Đồng Hới

Put the net into the water
Put the net into the water

Loading ice on the boat
Loading ice on the boat

Loading ice on the boat
Zoooooom – now you see it too!

Fishing Boats

Fishing Boats

Monument
Another one of those monuments. But that makes a fine place to sample some brew and look over the ocean!

Saigon Special

Huda Beer

Until the cows come home
Until the cows come home. Well lets go home as well!

The next Day

The next day I was lazy at the garden for most of the day. In the afternoon I drove up to Phong Nha to help Trang bring down a dog, cat and some stuff. She is the owner of the Ocean View Homestay and has a Bar, Beauty Saloon and Supermarket in Phong Nha now.

The next Day

Trang with Peppy
Trang with Peppy. She had to go back to Phong Nha. But she left the dog and a cat as well. I went to the beach again and biked a bit.

Beach in Thành phố Đồng Hới

Not too much going on at the hotel
Not too much going on at this hotel Looks like a Vietnamese-Laotian joint venture? The other places looked like this one. Abandoned!

 
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A few more days in Ninh Binh

September 5, 2017 at 16:07

A few days in Ninh Binh and the sky was gray – all the time. What to do the whole day? Hard to say but before you realize it – the day is gone – the sun goes down and dinner is on the table. So for you this post with pictures from two days.
Wake up late – check the sky – GRAY 🙁
Have coffee and cookies and if I was up early we went for a soup next door. Waiting for dinner and talk to the guys. Sometimes we did something.
And sometimes something happened at the hotel. One day a wedding was underway and the soon to be husband with family stayed at the hotel. They all dressed nice and lots of decoration was brought to the hotel. I took some pictures for you.

Wedding Decoration
Gifts for the bride. In Vietnamese beliefs the red colour will bring luck to the young couple.

Wedding Decoration
Betel leaf with areca nut as traditional gifts

Carved Mellon
The words “song hỷ” are carved into a mellon as the Chinese character 囍. Here they used hearts and not squares. That means double happiness. Or happy together if you like 🙂

Details

Waiting for the rest of the family
Waiting for the rest of the family. You see a decorated lacquer boxes, covered in red cloth on the right of the table. And some more gifts on the left.

Dinner at Thanh's place
The other night I was invited to Thanh place for dinner. The whole family prepared a meal. That was interesting since I could take a look at another house and the customs there again.
Food was good and so was the local firewater.

Happy at the YAMAHA shop
Happy at the YAMAHA shop. Viet brought his scooter in for repairs and we had to wait for it to be finished. The girls were happy with me and needed a few snaps. I like that – it is an easy way of making a few ppl happy with absolutely no effort!

King Roti
Next we went to a gold shop to change money. And on the other side of the street, I see this. Ahhh Indian Food! Let’s go there quick. Turns out that they serve something strange which I really want to eat only once. Some baked little pastry or something.

Ninh Binh
Gray with a few drops of rain. Well – another one of these days…

At the park in Ninh Binh
Next stop: the park in Ninh Binh. Not sure if it is the only one but it is big and is in the center. As you can see the Vietnamese learn to drive very early. Still, it does not help. I would say they are in the lower 10% if it comes to proper driving.

At the park in Ninh Binh
The wheel saw better times as well. There were a few girls playing and they where happy when we walked past it. Time to try some of the English they learned in school.

Poor animals at the park in Ninh Binh
This was the saddest thing of the whole winter 2016/2017 trip: Poor animals at the park in Ninh Binh

Monkey in a cage
A few cages with monkeys

Sweets for the monkey
Sweets for the monkey. There was a woman selling sweet stuff to feed the monkeys. Should sell bananas or whatever the monkey needs. But not sweet stuff with sugar…

Birds
Rare birds? Nope – the usual city birds. In a small cage…

More monkeys
More monkeys

Boats in the park
Well together with the sky this makes for an another sad display

Breakdance kid's
The Breakdance kid's had fun. A few minutes later one of the gardeners saw me and gave me two 10 liter cans of water and signaled me that I should follow him. He brought me to a small patch of land with some seedlings and instructed me how to pour the water over them. Strange but a lot of fun! Since I have my personal Vietnamese translator I could ask all the questions about the strange park I wanted. Which is nice.

That looked better a long time ago
Searching for a coffee place – a local one – we stumbled over this nice pool.

The Mikoyan-Gurevich 21

The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 Fishbed
Better know as the MIG-21 or the Fishbed as the soldiers from the US called the plane in the last war. It does not look much but they managed to shoot some US planes out of the sky. Hit and run – do not wait for an air fight. You might lose it! That was the name of the game. Usually, the North attacked head-on with some MIG-17 and the MIG-21’s came from the back. The F4 Phantom was easy outmaneuvered and the NVA shoot down a lot of them.
After almost 1000 lost US planes America had to change something. The NAVY opened their “TOPGUN” school and the USAF started a similar program. And they put different planes in the sky as well that could deal better with the light and agile MIG-21

The cone moves relative to the speed to control air intake
The cone moves relative to the speed to control air intake

The cabin is pressurized and air-conditioned.
The cabin is pressurized and air conditioned

Since the tank is very small they usually carried extra fuel tanks
Since the tank is very small they usually carried extra fuel tanks

Details on the MIG 21

Rear view
Rear view – looks like you ride a jet engine with a pair of super small wings.

All sorts of stabilizers on the plane
All sorts of stabilizers on the plane

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