Yên Bạc

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6 travelers at this place

  • Day2

    Tam Coc

    April 20, 2015 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    The ride to the tầm coc start was about 20 minutes south / south west. We wanted to just take a boat out by ourselves, ideally a kayake but they had local things that looked good enough. Me and Jack eventually got into one, Pim wanted to save money I think and didn't join us.
    A guide hopped in with us which we didn't want at first but we were so glad he did. After figuring out the ores were orientated backwards, so that rowing was more like pushing, we had a crack each at getting down stream. We got maybe 250 meters before the guide took over and started to show us how it was done..

    He sat up on the boat and used his feet and legs to push the ores! Genius. Once we got going under some bridges and around a few corners we understood why it was one of the top trip advisor things in the area. A river boat cruise through rice fields between sheer cliff mountains. Goats climb the side walls and cranes fly off at your approach. I took my go pro assuming we might get wet so I didn't take my phone, but the battery lasted 30 seconds. Bummer. Thankfully Pim took a couple of us from the riverbank.
    You'll have to Google search for more tam coc images, I'm sure there will be hundreds.
    There was a cemetery to one side of the way. I thought to myself; that's where I'd want to be buried, I've never thought that about a place before. it was that beautiful. I felt if someone wants to visit my grave, they should go on this epic adventure to the other side of the world once in their life to come and see it. I'd want my grandchildren to see what I've seen and make their own quest for adventure here.
    We carried on and came to a cave opening the river ran through, the guide said we were going through 3 caves and it would take about 2 hours. We told Pim we would be gone for 1, but we had plenty of time till the bus left that evening so no drama.

    The journey through the glades of rice were too beautiful, we saw sunset from the boat and chatted shit for the whole time.
    Jack's one of the few people I can talk to for hours openly about anything and everything, and the beers from a side boat on the river were a welcome addition to our cruise. We had to borrow the cash from the rower as we hadn't brought anything with us!

    We pulled up to the side after the 3rd cave for a nah veh sinh (toilet) stop, and the souvenir and snack vendor invited us to have our first Vietnam smoke pipe experience. I'm not a smoker so for me it was such a hit, and even for Jack who smokes all the time anyway. My head rush was huge, never thought tobacco could do that but it was good in a way, no filter though so I've been coughing for 3 days already. Worth it for the local experience though.

    When we got back the guide took us to his home / bar for some draft beer (the first pint was all head but we had it anyway) and ordered beef and rice from next door.

    Pim caught up and told us he ended up playing footie with the locals, and apparently they're really good. It didn't surprise me if they were doing it every day. The food and beer was great and the guide had lent us money to get the beers on the boat so we had to tip him!

    We rode back to the backpackers just in time for the bus and got the bikes on, ready for our next sleeping journey south to Dong Hoi.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Yên Bạc, Yen Bac

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