I woke up with a very heavy headache. When I opened the windows, the sky was dirty white, and I couldn’t even fanthom further than a few hundreds meters away. The Air Quality Index said “very unhealthy” a health alert signifying that everyone may experience serious health effects.
My 7 years old was feeling deezy and nauseous and my 5 years old son was caughing and complaining of chest pain.
We stayed locked in the first day. The second we decided to escape this hellish weather. Took me a few minutes to book our train tickets and eventually find an hotel in Ninh Binh, 2h 1/2 away from Hanoi.
And because pictures will always be worth a thousands words .. Here is a snapshot of the revigorating weekend we had, for less than 200 US all included (hotel, train return from Hanoi and visits!) :
There are dozens of sites to visit in Ninh Binh. To make it really kids friendly, we sticked to a very few, mainly boat touring and cave exploring. We visited a few temples and pagoda, to stretch our legs and get our share of stories and legends. We filled our lungs with pure air, detoxed our ears from the incessant noise of the neighbouring construction sites, and had long walks without the fear of being rolled over by a scooter. Such a bliss! And icing on the cake, the kids went to bed super early those nights.
We have been twice in Ninh Binh. The first time it was only me and the kids and we stayed in Vancouver hotel (50 US a night with a breakfast a volonte). Very kind family run hotel, they organised our 2 day visit on motorbike. I rented 2 drivers and 2 motorbikes for 20 US a day. I can’t recommend them enough, they are super kind, very adaptable and patients.
The second time we moved to La Belle Vie nearby, in Tam Coc. Because the rooms were bigger to accomodate my 2m husband 🙂 I couldnt believe how large ours was! 3 large beds for 50 US dollars, breakfast included.
To travel from Hanoi, we opted for the train. It’s your usual Occidental standards but cheap, convenient and my son will always remember the fun he had chasing a chicken that had escaped the rice bag of our neighbour!
Look at our pictures before and after. Does the place need further advertising ?