Back on two wheels

Having ridden more in a week than I have in the past 20 years it’s back in the saddle to enjoy some of the stunning scenery that Nihn Bihn has to offer.

The incredible scenery starts literally outside our little hotel with towering green hills and placid ponds.

So many shades of green to enjoy – and so many uncomfortable bikes!

The sky looks grey and sullen but the humidity is through the roof – so ideal conditions for my lardy backside to be on a saddle.

The lush green rice fields stretch as far as the eye can see and I don’t think I will ever get tired of that view.

Pro-cyclist hubby has barely broken a sweat while I am trying very hard not to cough up a lung . . .

But the scenery quickly puts a cheesy smile back on my sweaty little face!

We cycle past isolated little houses nestled at the foot of huge limestone stacks.

It really is some of the most incredible scenery I have ever seen in my travels.

Reflecting on all this outdoor space, while self isolating due to the current coronavirus pandemic is starting to give me cabin fever!

We finally make it to our final stop, a tiny little local restaurant where we are stuffed full of local cuisine, including a Ninh Bihn speciality which is sort of like a large savoury rice crispy cake that you cover in sauce. Lovely!

Here’s the husband trying some goat wrapped in leaves!

Bich Dong pagoda

During our enforced no travel due to coronavirus period 😦 I’m continuing to document last year’s amazing trip to Vietnam.

Having ticked off Ha Long Bay we’ve headed to Nihn Bihn.

It’s another early morning and we’re off to explore more of Nihn Bihn including Bich Dong pagoda.

This beautiful pagoda was built by two monks Tri Kien and Tri The in the early 18th century.

Bich Dong Pagoda is the perfect combination of ancient pagodas with cross-covered roofs, natural caves and majestic mountains, all hidden in the green of tropical forests

Bich Dong is a series of temples. The Lower Pagoda is located at the base, from which 100 steps lead to the Middle Pagoda, where there’s a shorter but steep ascent to the Upper Pagoda.

Lying Dragon mountain

Following our amazing trip to Ha Long Bay we’re heading straight into another trip, this time a private tour to Tam Coc – known as Ha Long on land.

Check out this incredibly laden moped – complete with very breakable vases! An everyday sight in hectic Vietnam.

Our first stop is to Lying Dragon mountain.

We’re about to ascend the 450 stone steps that wind up the mountain in the shape of a contorted dragon’s back.

Luckily the steps are fairly well-maintained and offer incredible views along the way.

There’s a far amount of steps to reach the summits. Hence some huffing and puffing and some rather red faces!

But it is worth it as the views are some of the best to be had in the area, if not in the whole of the north!

Heading down is easier than heading up! But it plays havoc on my creaky old knees . . . .

Ignore the beetroot face – enjoy the stunning views!!

Even the super fit hubby is perspiring a little bit – so I am vindicated!!

Below us the green rice paddies spread out as far as the eye can see like a verdant carpet.

The green mountains are so gigantic that we look like little ants when posing in front of them.

As dusk sets in we’ve reached the ground again, just in time to see all the cute little lanterns lighting up like a fairy tale grotto.

It’s all just too cute! Yes it might be set up for tourists, but as the sun sets and the lights twinkle, it really doesn’t matter.

Take a little stroll with us in the Nihn Bihn scenery.