Out of Hanoi, Hanoi
ASEM 5 is an oppotunity to enjoy a lot of cultural activities from many countries in the world for free. But the traffic in Hanoi is horrible, so we head out of Hanoi for a little fresh air. This is a middle of autumn and havest season, nothing is more suitable than a trip by bike to villages. We went to a village called "Chuong", in Hatay province, about 30 km from Hanoi - where is very famous of making Vietnamese traditional hat. A very new tourist company called "on bike" helped to arrange bikes. All their bikes are kept in a friendly family in the village. The village is like a moving painting with yellow fields, green bamboos, children, buffalos and cows. We really enjoyed the fresh fragrance from the rice fields, the lively scence in rush time of harvest. Everything here seems to be very simple. On the way, we passed a so called "floating bridge", being kept floating by 3 empty barrels and 2 boats:-).
Dien Bien Phu is located app. 400 km north-west of Hanoi. The area is largely populated by Thai. This small town is famour for the 1954 battle with the French who were defeated and were forced to leave Indochina. In chinese Dien Bien Phu means Chies Frontier Post, but the Thai call it MUONG THENG - "Heavenly Spirit".
You can visit a small museum there and some remnants of the battle - tanks, cannons,.... and numerous graves around.
While on the Perfume Pagoda trip we were also taken to the beautiful Thien Tru (Heaven Kitchen) Pagoda.
Trek up or take a moto to Mountain No 1 from Cat Ba Town - about 10 mins via moto. U can have a spectacular view of Cat Ba Town and take a look at HCM Monument.
Cat Ba Island is the largest island of Ha Long Bay. I decided to write and share more about Cat Ba Island as there is little info about this peaceful Island. I have stayed in Cat Ba for 3 days :)