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Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Trousers with zip on/off legs are very useful as you need to wear long trousers in the temple and you might not want to wear them during the rest of the day when it can get very warm.
Photo Equipment: Bring your best camera. The photos you will take will be out of this world
Written Mar 23, 2006
Favorite thing: Although all the sights around Ninh Binh are worth visiting, Bich Dong Pagoda was my favourite as it is a great mix of an unusual temple set on and in the cliffs coupled with the chance to climb to the top of the cliffs and see the scenery for miles.
Fondest memory: On arrival in Ninh Binh town at our hotel, we felt immediately as if we were in the middle of a little community of 'out of the way' travellers embraced by the locals. It is increasingly rare when travelling, to find places less travelled and providing you avoid the day trippers, this is one of them.
Everywhere we went around the town or province, there were so many waves and shouts of 'hello', that you can see the local people do not see many foreigners. Those that could speak English, attempted conversations with no ulterior motive such as trying to sell us something, only curiousity.
As there are not many places to stay, our hotel had a great community spirit. The owner, a really friendly guy, continually gave us free shots of the local brew as we ate gorgeous food cooked by his wife and chatted the night away.
The fondest memory, though, is of the scenery and villages as we toured around on mopeds. Locals going about their daily lives in the villages set amid looming limestone cliffs and never-ending paddy fields. The area is beautiful and with a good local guide, we went all day without seeing any other foreigner.
Written Mar 20, 2006