Day 17 #solovietnamadventure | I woke up early, quietly grabbed my stuff and got ready for my day trip. I had a quick pancake breakfast at the hostel and was picked up by a nice tour guide right on time. I followed him around the corner and joined some other tourists on a comfortable small bus. We picked up some more and were then on our way to Bái Đính and Tràng An in Ninh Bình. I would have preferred a less touristy way of seeing that region but it was the most efficient and practical way to do it with an organized tour from Hanoi. The group was nice and a mix of different nationalities (Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Danish, French, German (me!), Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese - which in a group of ~22 is pretty impressive). Our tour guide was funny and seemed pretty genuine.
Our first stop was Bái Đính - a massive and very new pagoda. It was impressive and had stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Though the humidity was incredibly high which made climbing all the stairs up to the top and very sweaty exercise. Afterwards we were rewarded with a decent (buffet) lunch. The 2 Korean men offered some Korean spirit and mixed it with Hanoi beer. It tasted pretty good and we had a good laugh together even though we could barely communicate because their English was limited. We then grabbed some (crappy) bikes and biked around the gorgeous karst stone mountain landscape for a little bit. Then we went to Tràng An and paddled around in little boats. The landscape was absolutely gorgeous and I'd say the karst stones must be every climbers dream. We went through a couple of caves and had a few races between different boats of our group. I really enjoyed myself.
Chùa Bái Đính -Ninh Bình