From Phố Châu over Dân Lực back to Ninh Bình and a visit at Bái Đính

Had a good rest at the Ly Ha Hotel in Phố Châu. Since I had a kettle I could make some coffee in the morning. How nice if you do not have to leave the room and have a cup of coffee before you take your shower. After shower and Pack the Bag Game it was time to strap the bag on the bike.
Downstairs where two more guys with bikes on their way down to Saigon. And the son of the owner as well and he could speak English.
My bike did refuse to start and I had to kick-start it. It was not happy and after 5 minutes I was not happy as well. It was over 30 now and quite humid. I started to sweat! So down with the bag and walk the bike to a shop – but give it one more try before. There – it did start. Up with the bag again and the friend of the son drove with me to the next Yamaha shop.

Not enough battery water and an old spark plug
Not enough battery water and an old spark plug was the diagnose after opening the cover on one side and pulling out the battery. So they filled it up and put it on a charger. Than in with the spark plug and with the help of a spare battery it did start like new.
Another 15 minutes and a few test drives later they put the old battery back in the bike and fixed the plastic parts on the each side of the bike.

That is 4€ Sir!
That is 100.000 Dong Sir! 4€ if you are not familiar with the exchange rate. Not to bad if you consider that 3 guys where working on the bike and I now have a new spark plug! The clock: 61573 kilometres
The sky: Gray
The road: dry!

There was nothing interesting on the way to Dân Lực so I did not take a picture or I was too lazy?

My room in Dân Lực
My room in Dân Lực. Fan, TV, Hot shower and a bed. One of the simple rooms but it was only 5 US $ for the night and it was away from the street and quiet.
The clock: 61702 km: 129 kilometres today.

The next morning the bike did not like to start again but now I only needed 2 kicks to start. Off towards Ninh Bình. Looking forward to that blue sky and sun that the forecast predicted. Well the whole day was Gray again and in the afternoon I reached the Chez Beo Homestay.
The clock: 61893 km: 191 kilometres today. The sky: Gray the whole day!

Free welcome back beer
Free welcome back beer at the Chez Beo Homestay – thank you Viet! I am back after almost 4 weeks and the sky is still the same. But it is warm now.

The bed - different colour :-)
The bed – different colour 🙂

Table, chair, fridge and closet
Table, chair, fridge, hair dryer and closet

Dinner in the making
Dinner in the making – got 10.000 Dong more expensive but for 50.000 Dong it is still a steal! You can eat as much as you like and I never saw nobody leaving the table hungry.

A visit to the Bái Đính Temple

The next day a group of 4 Polish people left with Viet for a day trip. I did tag along. Our first stop was the Bái Đính Temple or Chùa Bái Đính as the Vietnamese call it. In the compound you find the original old temple and a newly created larger temple. Covering about 539 hectares it is the largest complex of Buddhist temples in Vietnam.
Over 1000 years ago Buddhism was the state religion in the Ninh Binh area. Many ancient temples date far back – and so does the old Bai Dinh Pagoda in the mountains of Chang’an.

Trip to  Temple
From parking you take an electric bus to the entrance. This is the entrance of the new complex.

Window detail
Window detail

One of the walkways
One of the walkways

One of the many statues in the temple
One of the many statues in the temple

There are 500 Arhat statues in the Temple grounds. They all have a height of 230 cm and were carved from Ninh Bin stone.
There are 500 Arhat statues in the Temple grounds. They all have a height of 230 cm and were carved from Ninh Bin stone.

If you touch them it will bring health or good luck. The belly for example wealth, good luck, and prosperity. The guys do carry alms to offer
If you touch them it will bring health or good luck. The belly for example wealth, good luck, and prosperity. They did not bring picnic in the plastic bags – they carry alms to offer

No clue why the animal needs to be touched too??
No clue why the animal needs to be touched too??

No clue why the animal needs to be touched too??

Bái Đính Temple view
Hmmm blue sky would be nice to have a few good outside pictures of the Bái Đính Temple!

Hmmm blue sky would be nice!

That is a really big bell - The 36-ton bronze bell in the Bell Tower
That is a really big bell – The 36-ton bronze bell in the Bell Tower. Underneath is a big drum

This statue is made out of one really big tree
This statue is made of one really big tree

That is the lower part of the tree
That is the lower part of the tree

Detail of a lamp
Detail of a lamp

Statue
The thousand-armed Avalokiteśvara. Quite an interesting story: Avalokiteśvara vowed not to rest until he had freed all sentient beings from Saṃsāra (The repeating cycle of birth, life and death. And the consequences and actions in the past, present and future after rebirth)
He gave all he could but he realized after a while that there are to many unhappy beings out there and he is to slow to help them all. As a result of that struggle his head did split into 11 pieces. Amitābha (The Buddha or A-di-đà Phật in Vietnamese) saw that and gave him 11 heads. This way he could hear the cries of the suffering.
He did hear all those cries and wanted to reach out but as he tried he saw his arms shattered into pieces as well. So Amitābha did help again and gave him thousand arms to help the suffering.

Avalokiteśvara
Avalokiteśvara

Statue

Another building
Another building

Another statue
A lot of gold

More gold

Another statue with two guardians
Another statue with two guardians

Devotes pray
Devotes pray

The many small buddhas you see in the back here  and in the walkways are bought by people. If you have enough cash to spend you can get your own. But you must hurry - soon they are sold out - unless they build another hall
The many small buddhas you see in the back here and in the walkways are bought by people. If you have enough cash to spend you can get your own. But you must hurry – soon they are sold out – unless they build another hall

Upps - nobody told me!
Upps – nobody told me!

Do you want to stay up to date and not miss a post?
Subscribe to the blog on the top right or all the way down on this page!

Support my blog -> Book your room here:



Booking.com

The little Tempel next to Chez Beo Homestay in Ninh Binh

Next to Chez Beo Homestay is a small temple. It has its own entrance on the side of the big pond next to the restaurant. They had a little temple celebration while I did stay at Chez Beo close to Ninh Binh. More information about the Chez Beo Homestay in this post!
They did burn a lot of paper offerings, the little band did play most of the day and they did sing and pray.
Here are a few pictures from the day.

Offerings get burned at the temple
Offerings get burned at the temple

Offerings get burned at the temple

Offerings get burned at the temple

Prayers
They do pray most of the time. The priest does change his coat many times and gets up and down and talks, sings and is praying as well.

The priest

The musicians
Did try to get him when he was playing his instrument. But every time he saluted and stopped to play so after 3 attempts I gave up and took this one.

More stuff for the fire
More stuff for the fire

The priest in blue
The priest in blue

Above the temple
Above the temple – great place to build it.

More offerings
More offerings

Another shrine
Another shrine

The temple

Under the watchful eye
Under the watchful eye – these guys did just sit there and did nothing.

Here is a video for you:



 
Do you want to stay up to date and not miss a post? Subscribe to the blog on the top right or all the way down on this page!

From Pom Coong Village to Ninh Bình

The sky was still gray after a few days so I decided to go to Ninh Binh. Looked at the options on the map. Did not want to go the same road again. Decided to go on the QL 15 from Mai Chau – along the river and then the QL 217 towards the QL 45 and then to the Homestay. Turned out that this was a really stupid idea. Construction almost all the way till the QL 217. Average speed less than 20 km/h. Road conditions: mud and deep puddles of water or sand and dust – both not nice to ride a motorbike. The last 80 km I had to drive in the dark – took more than 2,5 hours since there are so many holes in the street and too much traffic and the bad light of the Yamaha. Most of the cars and trucks have the high beam on so you can not really see the road – a nightmare when the side of the road is wet and muddy.
The last kilometre was a dirt road between the rice fields. Without the smart phone impossible to find. Turned out that Chez Beo Homestay was more clever than the Homestay I intended to go. They where on Google Map and the other one not. So I went to the wrong place only to find out that there are no rooms.
The same second the manager told me that there are no rooms two girls left their room to announce that they have to go NOW to Hanoi Airport. Something happened back home and they needed a taxi right away. Good for me – now there was Room #8 – all empty and waiting for me.

Sand production
Sand production somewhere on te way

Too many bamboo sticks
Too many bamboo sticks – easy to fix! Unload till the truck comes down again. Carry up the hill and load the truck. Repeat at the next hill.

Lunch on the way
Lunch on the way

Sugar cane harvest
Sugar cane harvest

Propaganda on the way
Propaganda on the way

Chez Beo Homestay

Chez Beo Homestay is not really a Homestay – more a bungalow place with a restaurant. They offer dinner for 40.000 Dong – 1,65€ and it was “All you can eat”. Nobody leaves the table hungry. A big bottle of Ha Noi beer is 12.000 Dong – so we managed to empty the fridge ever day. Breakfast was included in the room rate (5 US $, double bed, table and a few chairs, fridge and a closet – shared shower and toilet) and lunch was 40.000 as well. For lunch they will prepare a meat dish with vegetables or a few vegetable dishes for the vegetarians. For dinner you can choose yourself from the table since everybody eats at the same time in the evening at 19:00.

Dinner at Chez Beo Homestay
Dinner at Chez Beo Homestay Everything I had was really good!

View from my room in the morning
View from my room in the morning – it was not cold but damp and misty. Imagine all the flowers when in season!

Cat in Ninh Bin Room no 8
Cat in my room – not like Pai but friendly as well.

One of the bungalows at Chez Beo Homestay
One of the bungalows at Chez Beo Homestay – they are really big and 12 US $ a pop for two people. Hot shower, toilet and breakfast included. Great value for money.

View from the restaurant towards the valley at Chez Beo Homestay
View from the restaurant towards the valley at Chez Beo Homestay. Two bungalows and two rooms are in the front of the place. The other bungalows down the valley along the river.

Further into the valley at Chez Beo Homestay
Further into the valley at Chez Beo Homestay

More bungalows at the back at Chez Beo Homestay
More bungalows at the back at Chez Beo Homestay

Water buffalos next to the hospital in Ninh Binh
Water baffalos next to the hospital in Ninh Binh. Looks like a scene of an end of the world movie. The gray sky for days does not make it better. Had to get my last rabies shot. Drove to Ninh Binh and went in the first hospital I found. A really big complex and they still build more as you can see in this picture. Had to wait a while for a Doctor and he explained to me that they do not have the rabies vaccine at the hospital. But round the corner in a separate building where all the kids get the shoots they have. He wrote everything down so no more explaining was needed. So after looking a while for the place and ask one guy that on the road I was in a waiting room full of kids and a few mothers. The Doctor asked Indian or French – I took the french – paid about 10€ – got my shoot and back to Chez Beo it was. It started to drizzle on the way back. Hmmmm

View from my room at Chez Beo Homestay
Fish outside my window at Chez Beo Homestay

View from the restaurant at Chez Beo Homestay
The next day rain in the morning – it was the day I wanted to drive back to Hanoi to meet Scott. My room was taken so there was no way back.

Lunch at Chez Beo Homestay
Last lunch – food was really good at the restaurant!

Adios Chez Beo Homestay
Midday the rain and wind stopped. Time to move. The place is on the left of the picture. Good Bye Chez Beo!!
If you want to stay at Chez Beo they have a homepage or you book them right away at the Chez Beo site at booking.com!

 
Do you want to stay up to date and not miss a post? Subscribe to the blog on the top right or all the way down on this page!