Weekend on our Vietnam Volunteer Vacation

By Francoise

Since this is the 1000th anniversary of the city of Ha Noi, I decided to pay a visit to the original capital of Vietnam; Hoa Lu, which was the capital under the Dinh Dynasty between 968 and 1009 AD. The site was situated about 2 and 1/2 hours from Ha Noi on a kamikaze bus ride on bad roads. We had about 25 tourists, I being the only American. Some of the sanctuaries have survived the years and temples have been built on the old foundations of the original palaces in the 11th and 12th centuries. After walking around the peaceful gardens, we had lunch then went on to the tour of Tam Coc nearby to enjoy a ride on the Boi river. Our “boatman” was a lady who rowed with both her hands and feet. She spoke some French, as does my Korean companion who went to school in France. The limestone formations are similar to those of Guilin China and HaLong Bay. The ride is lovely, quiet away from the Ha Noi hustle and bustle.

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