Since I’m working five days a week for the entire duration of our time in Vietnam, our chances of seeing much of the country are pretty limited. So I’ve had to come up with a short list of places we want to go. What we’ve decided on, and hoping to make it work, are visits to:
- Ha Long Bay
- Sa Pa
- Cuc Phuong National Park
- Sam Son beach
- Hoi An
- Tam Ky
- Da Lat
We’ve been to all but Cuc Phuong and Da Lat on our last trip. And after the adventures of the weekend, we can cross the national park off our list of places to go. Been there, done that.
I’d been trying to figure out how to get us to Cuc Phuong all week, hoping that I could find some student (past or present) to accompany us on the bus, then taxi ride up there, but that never quite worked out. As of Friday afternoon, I was thinking we’d just be stuck on campus for the weekend, the sole remaining residents who didn’t have somewhere else to go. Then it struck me. We’d been up that direction before, two years ago with Keith, and I remembered that the hotels offer tours out to Cuc Phuong, Tam Coc, Phat Diem, and Hoa Lu, among other area interests. I figured we could get up to Ninh Binh, stay in a hotel overnight and then hit the park in the morning on a tour arranged by the hotel.
And that’s just how it worked out.
My former student Thanh helped me get to the right bus and they dropped us off along Hwy 1 in Ninh Binh. I knew we hadn’t reached the area where the hotels were, having been to the city before, so we just kept walking up the road until I found the familiar intersection and within 10 minutes we were checked in and drinking water. We spent the evening strolling the area and enjoying a bit of ice cream a few doors down from our hotel.
Our detailed travelog (plus pics!) is on our Vietnam With Kids site.