Friday, July 19, 2013

The Beauty of Ninh Binh

Today we went to Ninh Binh, south of Hanoi. It's been called the terrestrial version of Halong Bay or Halong Bay on land. It is beary beautiful!

First we got onto a traditional row boat...

I was the navigator pointing out where to go and where not to go. You never know when you might need a little bear navigator!

Ewwww... there were a tonne of weeds in the water - which made it hard to see what was down there... but I did my best!

It turns out I did a great job and we didn't crash into any mountains or rocks!

The mountains here are made of limestone and were formed a super-long time ago. Rainwater and groundwater can dissolve limestone over a beary long time so... which is why you get caves in limestone!

This time of landscape, with steep limestone pinnacles and lots of caves is called karst topography. It is beary beautiful and photogenic!

Ah-hah!!! I knew there had to be caves here somewhere! This looks a bit like the one in Phong Nha...

But a lot smaller and not as deep... we only went in for a few hundred feet and then...

Came back out again.

One thing I noticed along the waterline in the cave and along our route were these little pink things. Can you guess what they might be?? ... Snail eggs!! Yup, there are water snails here and they lay their eggs in little pink clusters. When the rains come and the water rises, the snail eggs will hatch. There were a LOT of snail eggs here!

So beautiful!!

And so hot!! Our boat driver picked a couple of lotus flower leaves to give us as hats... Mine is a bit too big...

But it does create some shade and keep the sun off my face... and...

zzzz.... whiffle... zzzz... whiffle.... (the sun also tires out little bears!)


  1. Nice post! The snaileggs are very pretty, I bet that our chickens would love them;-)! I like the picture with the hat-leaves! In your case they are almost a little tent:-)!

  2. Beautiful caves Sandy, and that lotus flower sure did come in handy...Sandy? ...Sandy? ...wake up!!!

  3. @Hammie - Thanks! Oh yes, the chickens would probably devour them. The hat leave was beary comfortable for snoozing.

    @Jerry & Ben - Heh-heh... I actually slept the rest of the day and missed the next boat ride adventure which had several caves! Little bears do not do well in the heat!

  4. That's ok Sandy, big people or human companions sometimes do not do well in the heat either!

  5. No kidding... human companions sweat buckets in the heat and drink tonnes of water and take naps all the time! Beary boring for little bears...

  6. We agree...but...when they're taking a nap, we sneak off and explore the house, Jerry knows where the cookie jar is hid (like anyone is surprised), but it takes two of us to open it. When papa asks who ate the cookies, we just look around with a surprised look on our every time.

  7. Wow!! That's a smart idea! Trust Jerry to think of it... and little bears have such innocent looking eyes too!