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A trip more human in the heart of Vietnam
By Pierre with Seinab

While I was preparing my route to explore the heart of Vietnam solo on my scooter, Seinab came to me.
This German girl came right from Vientiane on her motorcycle and was looking for a travel companion. We had the same plans in common, so I replied: "Why not?" Here is the story of a week of discoveries between Hanoi and Vinh.

2



Helping elderly people

We leave Hanoi, the capital city in the direction of Ninh Binh. On the asphalt road, some rectangles of rice grains are drying. I stop in a village to examine...
During this first break, an old lady went to us. She carries a yoke with two buckets hanging on each ends. We understand she would like some help to carry it until her house.
A mile walk and a happy Vietnamese after two hours of travel, what a departure!

3



Exchange with a Buddhist monk

We share the same curiosity; as soon as one of us slows down to propose an attraction that interests him, the other has already switched on the indicator resolutely ready to explore.
This time, we stop at a pagoda on the edge of the road. We enter in the temple near the pagoda and to meet its resident, a Buddhist monk. He makes bracelets, so we have exchanged! I received a precious memory Buddhist.

4



Making contact with local people

Seinab had already met a lot of Vietnamese in their village for one week. Since, she knows how to have a basic discussion with them.
This skill allows us to be regularly invited to drink a tea and to share bananas, durians, fruit of jackfruit, watermelons and lychees. This helps to learn more about their lifestyle, to stir up their curiosity and especially to spend good moments with them.

5



Ninh Binh, the Halong Bay on land

The two destinations are very similar. In Ninh Binh, we arrive in front of a sea of rice fields with waves of vegetation where emerged huge rocks in shape of "sugar loaf". Majestic!

6



Rock climbing up to the top

In front of these rocks, we want one thing: climbing! The path is steep, rocks are very sharp; this is a tough scramble.
And the reward is such: a beautiful views of the degraded of green lands extending to infinity, decorated with a few gray: the rocks rising of the earth, all at the same order of height.

7



Shipwrecked in a cave

We arrive in front of one cave which extends by groundwater. And we found just at our feet a metallic tray that looks abandoned.
Seinab is hesitant but I take then put the boat on the lake. Then we prepare ourselves to explore the bottom of the cave. But quickly the boat is flooded. I leave the ship while Seinab continue the exploration by herself.
The time passes slowly and when I see her back... The boat is sinking and Seinab drowning to try to keep the boat afloat. I persuade her to let it go and help her to come back.
We recover from our emotions and then recover the wreck, not easily and return on land all soaked.
A look like Robinson, right?

8



Romantic cruise to 'feet' our expectations...

A Ninh Binh, the great attraction of tourists is the cruise of Tam Coc in the mid-mountains... and with twenty other boats making the visit at the same time.
A cruise alone with the mountains of Ninh Binh is possible! We follow the indications of an adventurer who redirects us to a tourism port for local.
And we appreciate a cruise just for the two of us, enjoying the rhythm shots of the pagaye, handled with the feet by our rower. In addition to this, she drinks the green water from rivers, eats the lotus flowers,... Unforgettable!

9



On the road, everything is possible!

A local guy hitchhiking made us stop. He took my scooter, driving with me behind, and advanced us of five kilometers. Happy, he thanked us giving a shampoo that we refused... without success.
The bike also allowed us to observe a strange pagoda, recently built in the middle of nowhere. Pretty but why was it completely closed?

10



Hidden in the park Cuc Phuong

We reach the reserve Cuc Phuong, well known for its Muong tribe village and its vault monkeys and turtles. For a small hike in the park, we isolate ourselves. We discover a viewpoint on the reserve only for us.
Patiently and paying attention to the park, we succeed in being part of the decor: flush out a stick insect and a crab in the woods, to taste fruit with the locals, find a tree millennium... Another type of tourism.

11



Evening chilled out in the village

The language proficiency helps our exchanges with the population. In a bar, we have our dinner with appetising pastries and beer. The boss challenges us on the billboard, before we played against a coalition of fierced (and cheating) Vietnamese.

12



Living the local way

Our next destination is Keng Ga, a fishing village. Along the road, thousands of duck are watching us. A little further, buffalos are looking at our passing motorcycles as they stared the passing train.
We find the village pretty and decide to stop there. During our break while tasting lychees, elderny persons approach, install their hammock in front of us and stay simply there looking at us without a word and enjoying their sunbathing. Is it not a beautiful life?

13



Shepherd of the day

At the shadow, below a bridge, shepherds have collected their goats and sheep. It was just one more opportunity to delight local shepherds taking their kid the time of one picture.

14



Guests into the holy community

The town of Phat Diem is for centuries the location of the religious Catholic power. We admire the cathedral during the day and we go back to spend the evening.
I start to play guitar, when a woman approaches us with a clarinet in the hand. We invite her to play a few notes and she is joined by her fellow choir. It is nine pm, and we are invited to their repetition in front of the cathedral in the middle of the city. Sorry for early sleepers!

15



The dam of Ben En National Park

With the will to recharge us, we take the road of the Ben En NP. We arrive in front of the large lake, when stupor! A large hydroelectric dam stands there in the middle of a National Park. Let's say this was not really a natural park...

16



Welcomed by the inhabitants

Really motivated to have a bath, we into the basin under the dam (it is not very recommended). We ask the inhabitants, permission to host our motorcycles and we bath.
When out of the basin, a surprise happens: children of the house offered us nicely some jackfruits! We replied directly by offering our lychees and our watermelon.
Some talks later, we were invited to stay for dinner and the night. A nice experience in homestay!

17



Music time

I am invited to play my guitar. After my "super" concerto, the father shows us this instrument, a hollow bamboo with a rope attached to a nail on the one part and the other part a flexible stick.
A toothpick in the right hand, the man plays beautiful melody, that we guess, is related to funeral rites. I invite you to discover the video:
https://youtu.be/12OdKpDYCeQ

18



Complete immersion in their daily life

For the occasion, we catch the most beautiful chicken (very lean to me), we pluck it, we empty it and... amazing thing: the volatile is massacred with the machete. Who would like to taste meat full with small bones?...
Early wake up and harvest of whelks in the lake. Washed, they will give some taste to our breakfast soup.
Have a look at the photos of their house in the gallery. Here is an amazing experience!

19



Second homestay experience

Despite the separation with Seinab, I repeat the experience, but this time only by myself. After a few parts of cards, they share with me their "happy water", a strong alcohol flavored with... wasps. Yum!

20



The advantages of a trip closest to the population

Leave the touristic trails is a way to peddle generously our joy to travel to thousands of people.
Crossing countries gives the opportunity to see smiling children, shouting proudly "Hello", one of the few words in English they learn, and remember from school.
Learn their language, repels the language barrier and brings you closer of these simple and generous people that appreciate this exchange unique in their lives.
Follow your own adventure living fully present time and discover three times of unusual experience, this is beatific!
As well as meditate on the simplicity of these villagers living happily without big concerns in community in their hamlet, which is somehow their paradise.
Above all, share this adventure with an extraordinary travel buddy, Seinab that I thank to have shown me the way and give me this fabulous lesson of life.
Here are the videos of this week:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-CUk3xAtkr6n0OTXgtz6rwTP-OdNE4sr

1


A trip more human in the heart of Vietnam
By Pierre with Seinab

While I was preparing my route to explore the heart of Vietnam solo on my scooter, Seinab came to me.
This German girl came right from Vientiane on her motorcycle and was looking for a travel companion. We had the same plans in common, so I replied: "Why not?" Here is the story of a week of discoveries between Hanoi and Vinh.



Helping elderly people

We leave Hanoi, the capital city in the direction of Ninh Binh. On the asphalt road, some rectangles of rice grains are drying. I stop in a village to examine...
During this first break, an old lady went to us. She carries a yoke with two buckets hanging on each ends. We understand she would like some help to carry it until her house.
A mile walk and a happy Vietnamese after two hours of travel, what a departure!



Exchange with a Buddhist monk

We share the same curiosity; as soon as one of us slows down to propose an attraction that interests him, the other has already switched on the indicator resolutely ready to explore.
This time, we stop at a pagoda on the edge of the road. We enter in the temple near the pagoda and to meet its resident, a Buddhist monk. He makes bracelets, so we have exchanged! I received a precious memory Buddhist.



Making contact with local people

Seinab had already met a lot of Vietnamese in their village for one week. Since, she knows how to have a basic discussion with them.
This skill allows us to be regularly invited to drink a tea and to share bananas, durians, fruit of jackfruit, watermelons and lychees. This helps to learn more about their lifestyle, to stir up their curiosity and especially to spend good moments with them.



Ninh Binh, the Halong Bay on land

The two destinations are very similar. In Ninh Binh, we arrive in front of a sea of rice fields with waves of vegetation where emerged huge rocks in shape of "sugar loaf". Majestic!



Rock climbing up to the top

In front of these rocks, we want one thing: climbing! The path is steep, rocks are very sharp; this is a tough scramble.
And the reward is such: a beautiful views of the degraded of green lands extending to infinity, decorated with a few gray: the rocks rising of the earth, all at the same order of height.



Shipwrecked in a cave

We arrive in front of one cave which extends by groundwater. And we found just at our feet a metallic tray that looks abandoned.
Seinab is hesitant but I take then put the boat on the lake. Then we prepare ourselves to explore the bottom of the cave. But quickly the boat is flooded. I leave the ship while Seinab continue the exploration by herself.
The time passes slowly and when I see her back... The boat is sinking and Seinab drowning to try to keep the boat afloat. I persuade her to let it go and help her to come back.
We recover from our emotions and then recover the wreck, not easily and return on land all soaked.
A look like Robinson, right?



Romantic cruise to 'feet' our expectations...

A Ninh Binh, the great attraction of tourists is the cruise of Tam Coc in the mid-mountains... and with twenty other boats making the visit at the same time.
A cruise alone with the mountains of Ninh Binh is possible! We follow the indications of an adventurer who redirects us to a tourism port for local.
And we appreciate a cruise just for the two of us, enjoying the rhythm shots of the pagaye, handled with the feet by our rower. In addition to this, she drinks the green water from rivers, eats the lotus flowers,... Unforgettable!



On the road, everything is possible!

A local guy hitchhiking made us stop. He took my scooter, driving with me behind, and advanced us of five kilometers. Happy, he thanked us giving a shampoo that we refused... without success.
The bike also allowed us to observe a strange pagoda, recently built in the middle of nowhere. Pretty but why was it completely closed?



Hidden in the park Cuc Phuong

We reach the reserve Cuc Phuong, well known for its Muong tribe village and its vault monkeys and turtles. For a small hike in the park, we isolate ourselves. We discover a viewpoint on the reserve only for us.
Patiently and paying attention to the park, we succeed in being part of the decor: flush out a stick insect and a crab in the woods, to taste fruit with the locals, find a tree millennium... Another type of tourism.



Evening chilled out in the village

The language proficiency helps our exchanges with the population. In a bar, we have our dinner with appetising pastries and beer. The boss challenges us on the billboard, before we played against a coalition of fierced (and cheating) Vietnamese.



Living the local way

Our next destination is Keng Ga, a fishing village. Along the road, thousands of duck are watching us. A little further, buffalos are looking at our passing motorcycles as they stared the passing train.
We find the village pretty and decide to stop there. During our break while tasting lychees, elderny persons approach, install their hammock in front of us and stay simply there looking at us without a word and enjoying their sunbathing. Is it not a beautiful life?



Shepherd of the day

At the shadow, below a bridge, shepherds have collected their goats and sheep. It was just one more opportunity to delight local shepherds taking their kid the time of one picture.



Guests into the holy community

The town of Phat Diem is for centuries the location of the religious Catholic power. We admire the cathedral during the day and we go back to spend the evening.
I start to play guitar, when a woman approaches us with a clarinet in the hand. We invite her to play a few notes and she is joined by her fellow choir. It is nine pm, and we are invited to their repetition in front of the cathedral in the middle of the city. Sorry for early sleepers!



The dam of Ben En National Park

With the will to recharge us, we take the road of the Ben En NP. We arrive in front of the large lake, when stupor! A large hydroelectric dam stands there in the middle of a National Park. Let's say this was not really a natural park...



Welcomed by the inhabitants

Really motivated to have a bath, we into the basin under the dam (it is not very recommended). We ask the inhabitants, permission to host our motorcycles and we bath.
When out of the basin, a surprise happens: children of the house offered us nicely some jackfruits! We replied directly by offering our lychees and our watermelon.
Some talks later, we were invited to stay for dinner and the night. A nice experience in homestay!



Music time

I am invited to play my guitar. After my "super" concerto, the father shows us this instrument, a hollow bamboo with a rope attached to a nail on the one part and the other part a flexible stick.
A toothpick in the right hand, the man plays beautiful melody, that we guess, is related to funeral rites. I invite you to discover the video:
https://youtu.be/12OdKpDYCeQ



Complete immersion in their daily life

For the occasion, we catch the most beautiful chicken (very lean to me), we pluck it, we empty it and... amazing thing: the volatile is massacred with the machete. Who would like to taste meat full with small bones?...
Early wake up and harvest of whelks in the lake. Washed, they will give some taste to our breakfast soup.
Have a look at the photos of their house in the gallery. Here is an amazing experience!



Second homestay experience

Despite the separation with Seinab, I repeat the experience, but this time only by myself. After a few parts of cards, they share with me their "happy water", a strong alcohol flavored with... wasps. Yum!



The advantages of a trip closest to the population

Leave the touristic trails is a way to peddle generously our joy to travel to thousands of people.
Crossing countries gives the opportunity to see smiling children, shouting proudly "Hello", one of the few words in English they learn, and remember from school.
Learn their language, repels the language barrier and brings you closer of these simple and generous people that appreciate this exchange unique in their lives.
Follow your own adventure living fully present time and discover three times of unusual experience, this is beatific!
As well as meditate on the simplicity of these villagers living happily without big concerns in community in their hamlet, which is somehow their paradise.
Above all, share this adventure with an extraordinary travel buddy, Seinab that I thank to have shown me the way and give me this fabulous lesson of life.
Here are the videos of this week:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-CUk3xAtkr6n0OTXgtz6rwTP-OdNE4sr

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