Viet Nam News
NINH BÌNH - It may be less than a hundred kilometres away from the capital city, but Ninh Bình seems a million miles from Hà Nội.
With its unique rugged landscape and an air of calm, Ninh Bình may be a near neighbour to Hà Nội, but in reality they are polar opposites.
Take a boat trip for example, a popular choice for visitors and locals alike.
When you climb aboard the bamboo vessels your legs may give way like spaghetti. But once safe in your seat, with a life jacket wrapped around you, your journey begins. And this isn’t a journey into the Sào Khê River, it’s a journey into the unknown.
Our captain doesn’t need satellite navigation, and never once checks google maps, she knows these waters like the back of her hand.
Breathtaking landscapes, mountains to make your knees shake, and when it comes to the caves, you will need a 64Gb phone otherwise you just won’t have enough space to share your snaps on Facebook.
But we’ve only just scratched the surface, the tip of the iceberg. Sure, a boat ride through the outrageous scenery is a must on your itinerary, but Ninh Bình is so much more than a paddle and a life jacket.
Forget about Kong: Skull Island. Yes, it’s a Hollywood blockbuster that’s helped put Ninh Bình on the global map, but this place has an abundance more to offer than Tinsel Town portrayed.
There’s temples, there’s treks and there’s tradition. And this week just past, it was all about tradition. Ninh Bình, for those not familiar, was once the capital of Việt Nam.
It may be small in size, but in stature, it’s gigantic.
This is where things began. This is where united sovereign Việt Nam was born. This is our past. Today, it’s our present.
Ninh Bình is a Vietnamese secret many don’t want to reveal. Just a few hours away from Hà Nội by moped or motorcar, it really is a different world.
This is Việt Nam. This is what we want the world to see. It’s another planet that would not look out of place in Avatar 2. A place many have never seen.
This week Ninh Bình has been celebrating its past with an eclectic mix of now and then. Visitors to the province were in for a treat. This was Ninh Bình full throttle, Ninh Bình in all its glory.
It may not be the normal but this is a once-a-year celebration that means more to this province than the rest combined.
One thousand and fifty years ago things were a little different. In one thousand and fifty years from now, who knows what the world will bring.
But in Ninh Bình, rest assured, the landscape will remain breathtaking. The scenery will still be picture-postcard. The caves won’t change. The waters will still be beautiful. And while the rest of us will be long gone, Ninh Bình will always be Ninh Bình. VNS