Trang An Landscape ComplexJuly 4 in Vietnam ⋅ ☁️ 27 °C
Tiring day today! Our WHS for the day was Trang An Landscape Complex, an area of natural beauty just outside the village of Tam Coc. About 9am we grabbed some free bicycles from the hotel and rode the hour outside of town through sporadic to the main entry.
This spot is another karst landscape, similar to Ha Long Bay but on land this time. Lots of limestone pinnacles towering over the area, with little rivers carving through the canyons and dense foilage all around. It's a fairly big tourist attraction too, with lots of buses in the carpark.
We had a quick look through the museum and bought our tickets for the boat trip which left shortly afterwards. The only way to really see the landscape is via rowboat, so you buy a ticket and get rowed around by a local in a little wooden boat. We were joined by a young Vietnamese couple that didn't speak much English, but they could at least speak to the boat lady so we knew where to go at the various stops.
We went through several caves, visited a couple of temples and even spotted some monkeys playing in the trees. All very cool, though the day was extremely hot and since it was raining when we left home we hadn't done much sunscreen. I could feel myself roasting which wasn't ideal!
One of the temples was over a ridge sort of thing which required a 200-step climb, then a 200-step descent before you could see it. Very interesting, but I could definitely have done without the 200 steps up and down back to the boat!
Finishing up with the tour, we rode our bikes back into town in what was now blazing sun. Felt like 45 degrees so we were both pretty hot and uncomfortable - plus I was quite stiff from riding the bike. Since I don't ride all that often I find it much more tiring than just walking.
Another late lunch of banh mi before spending the afternoon again back at the hotel. Had to kill quite a bit of time in the end, because our overnight train down to Hue didn't leave until 9:45pm! We stayed at the hotel until about 7pm, had dinner nearby and then rode a taxi over to the station. Amusingly, the station was full of young Vietnamese kids wanting to practice their English, so I spoke to a pair of 10 year olds for a while who had quite good skills. Lots of people ask, so I assume it's actually part of their schooling or something.
Train arrived and left on time and we settled down for the night. Unfortunately we didn't have sleeper berths, just regular seats like on a plane. It was full but our seats were comfortable enough. A little noisy at first with kids running around but eventually they tired themselves out. Shandos dropped off pretty quickly while I didn't manage any sleep until about 1:30 or so. And even then it was mostly dozing before the sun came up at 6am. To be continued in Hue!Read more