- Encounters with locals
- Hiking / Trekking
- Culture (paddy field, coffee, tea ...)
- Unesco World Heritage
Once settled in my boat, I let the smiling 'Wonder Woman' (boatwoman) take charge as she began to row with her feet.
I was won over by the calm that pervades Tam Coc, otherwise known as the 'terrestrial Ha Long Bay'. I really enjoyed crouching down in the boat so that I could peer inside low-roofed caves and admire their glittering stalactites.
The karstic landscape in this region is breathtaking. Submerged in its beauty, listening to the rythym of the oars slicing through water, I was transported to another world. My day dreaming was interrupted when the boatwoman stopped and told us it was time to disembark. This was one of our stopoffs. We clambered up to the first pagoda, from where we got a panoramic view of boats on the emerald green water surrounded by forested, rocky peaks.
Getting to the "wharf" means crossing through the small and charming village market.
I went to visit the Tam Coc Caves in the evening in winter - in other words, there weren't many visitors with me! The grey skies, the flat, verdant rice fields, the calm river: we climbed aboard the boat with a Vietnamese lady. The unusual thing about the women who work on the boats is that they use their feet to row!
Nature is all the more striking when you are completely surrounded by it! The boat trip, being so sow, gives you time to appreciate each detail of the landscape.
Silently you travel along canals that are interspersed with immense "rocks" that come out of nowhere, taking in the luxuriant vegetation, the ducks that follow you around and the traditional fishing huts: time stands still! If you're looking for somewhere to relax and somewhere quiet, this trip is made for you! The lighting at the entrance to the caves gives stunning photos.
During a trip to Vietnam, it's a good idea to couple the classic visit to the Ha Long Bay with a visit to Ha Long Bay on Land.
You begin at Ninh Binh, where you should hire a bike to take a pleasant ride to the Tam Coc caves. Saddle up and follow me. 30 minutes later you get off the bike at the port. The locals offer trips on the river. They row in the traditional way, using their feet. It doesn't look very practical but I have to say they seem to manage very well.
The boats glide silently through the rice paddies, hills and sugar loaf mountains for two hours. There are even three places where you have to go under the mountain. The ceiling is so low that you have to dip you head. It's a fantastic trip through wonderful natural scenery. How did nature create such amazing countryside? It's the most beautiful that I have seen in Vietnam.