We decided to do a day trip out of Hanoi while we were there, as big cities can get a bit repetitive at times. So we paid for a day tour to the Perfume Pagoda. After a 2 hour minibus ride, we arrived at the Perfume River and got into shallow metal rowboats, and were rowed for an hour along the river.
The trip down the river was cool, with a lot of really beautiful scenery and some cool houses and stuff, including this little shelther (not sure if it qualifies as a mini-pagoda) with a stelus (not sure… but whatever the singular of ‘stellae’ is) under it.
We arrived on land and then walked for another hour up and up and up ancient stone steps through the mountains, and finally arrived at the pagoda, which is inside a cave.
The pagoda was cool enough… nothing too special, but it was a fun walk anyways, and great exercise.
We then walked an hour back down the stairs and ate lunch, then walked around another pagoda near the mess hall.
We then got rowed back another hour to where the minibus was.
This dude was pulling in his crab traps by the side of the river at the end of the day.
There were 4 people to most boats, but 3 in mine. John, an Australian guy, was really interesting to talk to and we got along really well.
When we were about to drive off we had to wait a minute for these goats to get out of the way.
Then another 2 hours drive to Hanoi, during which our minibus hit a bigger bus coming in the opposite direction. Luckily, only the driver’s sideview mirror was hit and folded in, so the driver readjusted it. I think some of the mirror broke though. Close calls like this are very common in Vietnam and we’ve seen quite a few people fallen off their motorcycles at the sides of roads.
Righto, sorry for the somewhat dry entry, but next time will perhaps be a wee bit more interesting.