Out of Hanoi, Hanoi
On the way to Halong Bay, your bus may make a pit stop at this place where a group of local girls and women are embroiding painting of scenery and other themes.
What is special is that they are all victims of the effects of Agent Orange which was used by American forces to deforest during the Vietnam war.
Favorite thing: If you have time while in Hanoi you must head up to SaPa and do some trekking. SaPa and its surrounding areas are home to Vietnam's minority people/hilltribes, including the Red Hmong, Taym Dzay, HaNhi, Red Dzao, and many more. See my other tips for some more information and pictures of SaPa trekking.
Hanoi is the place to start your trip to the north. The easiest way to do so is take the night train to LaoCai, and from there to go by car to SAPA, BacHa, or both. You can spend tim in Sapa, track around the area, visit some of the colorfull minority vilages, take part in the sunday market in BacHa. 3 days is the minimum, but you can spend there much more
Fondest memory: See my TaVan page
ha long bay would be the most must see activity to do in hanoi. then the Huong Pagonda would be the best also to see.
Fondest memory: the people and the general sites of everyday life in the city and in the small villages.
-TAKE THE TOUR TO HA LONG BAY (belong to Hai Phong city ) or you can fly direct to Hai Phong and take a boat go to Ha Long bay.
-Must see all of attractions here,please don't miss,you will loss your half life if not see all of these.J/K.
1/Scorched Beach (Bai Chay)
Upon arriving in Ha Long city, the u will be driving along 'Bai Chay' or scorched beach. The sand on this stretch of beach is dark. And judging by the name the visitors may mistakenly think that this is due to the dry climate or lack of wind in this area. However, contrary to this interpretation, the area is quite pleasant during the summer and fall months and the temperature here is around 70 deg F. According to the locals, Bai Chay got its name long ago, based on another historical event. Bai Chay was once a forest. In 1287, the Mongols led by the great Truong Van Ho,(a Vietnamese name for this Mongolian general) attacked Vietnam and was driven back by general Tran Khanh Du. Many Mongolian ships were set afire and drifted to shore aided by high wind setting the forest on fire. Since then this stretch of beach became known as Bai Chay or scorched beach.
2/ Hang Dau Go (Wooden Stakes Cave)
Hang Dau Go is one of the most beautiful cave at Ha Long. The name, Dau Go or Giau Go, has direct ties to the history of Vietnam. According to the locals, while preparing for the Mongolian attacks in 1288, general Tran Hung Dao, sent a convoy to this area to cut wood from this region. Wooden stakes were then fashioned from the wood and hidden in Dau Go cave. The stakes were embedded in Bach Dang river to form a barrier against the attacking Mongols. According to legend, general Tran Hung Dao dealt a great blow to the Kublai Khan when he tricked the Mongolian army into chasing him deep up Bach Dang's channel. When the tide were down the enemies were stuck in these wooden stakes driven into the river bed. Dau Go was also the site where general Tran Khan Du hid his force while waiting for the Mongols led by Truong Van Ho in 1287.
Dau Go is located on a limestone islet 8 km south of Bai Chay. The islet itself stands 187 m above sea level.
3/Pelican Cave (Hang Bo Nau)
Bo Nau cave is not as deep and large. Looking out from the cave the visitor can enjoy the scenic beauty of Ha Long. The clear blue water with rocky formations rising forms a picturesque setting. Bo Nau is a compound word derived from two words, bo cau meaning pigeon and nau meaning brown. Bo Nau literally means brown pigeon. For some reason, many foreign translations refer to this cave as Pelican cave.
4/Cave of Awe (Hang Sung Sot)
Sung Sot cave is on the same island with Trinh Nu cave. The path to Sung Sot is quite steep and is lined with shady trees. The cave has 2 chambers. The outer chamber is square and is often referred to as the waiting room. The cave's ceiling is approximately 30 m high. The walls are almost perfectly smooth as if it was built by man. The walls generate a variety of colors that blend with the setting of the area.
5/Hang Trinh Nu (Virgin Cave)
Hang Trinh Nu or the Virgin is also known as Mid Gate cave. According to local lore, an old couple lived here long ago. The husband made a living fishing around the bay. They were very poor. They had only one daughter. She grew up to be a beautiful young woman, so beautiful that people from all around knew of her. There were many suitors and her reputation reached the local mandarin. The mandarin immediately sent his soldier to her home to capture her. She was forced to marry the old mandarin.
After much cajoling and threats the fair maiden still steadfastly refused. One day, she escaped from the mandarins home, however she was afraid to return home for fear of retaliation. After much thought, the maiden decided to go to Mid Gate cave to commit suicide. Her body turned into the stone statue lying atop a flat surface. Since then, Mid Gate cave became known as Virgin cave.
6/Dong Hang Hanh
Dong Hang Hanh tunnels through mount Quang Hanh 9 km from the township of Cam Pha. The tunnel and cave is approximately 2 km in length.
To visit this cave the visitors must take a small row boat to access the entrance. On the way the rower must maneuver through a variety of rock formation often so narrow that only one boat can fit through at a time.
7/Tuan Chau island:
Tuan Chau island or Sentinel Chau Island is 3 km west of Dau Go cave. The island is approximately 3 km2. This island is inhabited by people. The nurturing hands of humans have turned this island into a fertile farm producing vegetables and fruits for the outlying mining and fishing villages of Ha Long Bay
Fondest memory: FELT LIKE I'M IN A HEAVEN.HA LONG IS SO GORGEOUS and SO FRESH !
of course there are alot of tour operators in vietnam, let check out their website does it look nice, do they have international tour operation licence or not,one more importance thing how is the way the respond your request you will see are they profestional or not? anyway my favorite travel company in vietnam is VIET VISION TRAVEL company, let check it out
Fondest memory: Have coffee on foot pass and walking long the road in French old quarter, enjoy great food of Bun Cha, smile and talk with local people
Picture at left is the the border-wall of China.
Hanoi is a city look just like any city of China if you replace their Roman words but that's my personal opinion. We don't actually stay in Hanoi because we came all the way from Cambodia, Saigon, Mui Ne, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Hue and finally we arrive here. Our plan is to enter China for further travels, so we decided not to stay in Hanoi for long. But it doesn't mean Hanoi is boring to us, it's just that we want to see something different after so many days in Vietnam. Anyway enjoy my Hanoi page!
Kenh Ga is a 10km canal in Ninh Binh province - the South from Hanoi. It take about 2 and a half hours drive from Hanoi.
There are not much atraction there, you just sit on a concreat boat and they will take you along to the canal. The sight seeing beside the canal are just only rice fields & grass ...
I will send you some images of Kenh Ga next day when I have time Online.
On the road to Halong Bay the stop we made was by a Cafe that had these in a shed in the yard - probably strategically placed as a photo opportunity. But I couldn't resist.
They are wicker traps which are placed in rivers and lakes to catch fish. But what an amzing collection.