Exploring the Amazing Caves in Vietnam

We saw many fascinating things during our trip to Vietnam, but one of the things that we found interesting were the different caves that we explored. We went to caves in the Ninh BinhPprovince as well in Halong Bay. Some of them were caves where we went through the cave by boats or canoes as well as others where we walked through the caves. Each one of them was a unique experience in their own ways and it was it was interesting not just from a geological perspective, but from a cultural perspective as well. There are other caves that can be explored, but these are the ones that we visited during our time in Vietnam.

Going Through a Cave
Rowing with Their Feet in Vietnam

Tam Coc Cave – One of the more popular day tours from Hanoi is to go to the Ninh Binh Province, especially to do the Tam Coc caves (which actually means three caves). There are a couple of styles of boats that will take you along the Ngo Dong River, but the ones where the oarsman rows with their feet are different from anything else that we’ve done. The caves themselves are quite interesting as they have been carved out by the river and they actually create tunnels that take you under the mountain by boat.

The Second Chamber, “Serene Castle”
Contrasting Formations

Sung Sot (Surprise) Cave – Of the many fascinating places that we visited during our Halong Bay tour, seeing Sung Sot or Surprise Cave was certainly unique. There are many caves throughout the region, although most of the other ones that we visited were on the water. Surprise Cave is completely different as it is more of what we would consider to be a cavern with large ceilings, stalagmites, and stalactites. It is another very popular location, so the earlier in the day that you can arrive, the better off you will be.

Exiting Huong Tich Cave
Chua Trong Inside the Cave

Huang Tich Cave – Perfume Pagoda is a complex of Buddhist temples located about a couple of hours outside of Hanoi in Vietnam. At the heart of the complex is Huong Tich Cave and within the cave is Chua Trong or the Inner Temple. During the festival time, from late January through early March, thousands of people visit the temple and the 2.5 km (1.5 mile) path that takes you up to the cave is lined with vendor stalls selling food, gifts, and objects to use as an offering. In order to reach the Perfume Pagoda complex, you need to take an almost hour-long boat ride (less if you take a motorized boat) through the beautiful countryside.

Amazing Views of the Ninh Binh Province
The Lower Viewing Point

Mua Cave – A visit to Mua Cave in the Ninh Binh Province isn’t only about seeing the cave, many of other caves that we saw were more impressive, but it is all about climbing the over 540 stairs to see the incredible views of the countryside. To be clear, the steps are steep and uneven throughout much of the ascent to the top, so bring plenty of water and take your time. Despite the effort to reach the summit, the views along the way as well as when you reach the top are well worth the muscle pain. At the base of the mountain is a beautiful park with statues of horses and a fountain. It is a perfect place to sit in the shade and unwind after completing the long climb up the staircase.

Entering the Cave
Monkeys Walking Along the Shore

Luan Cave – Another popular excursion when doing a cruise on Halong Bay is to explore Luan Cave (Hang Luan). You can either go by rowboat or by kayak depending on your preference, but either way it is an enjoyable experience. After passing through the cave, you enter an isolated inlet with stunning cliffs and turquoise water. Near the mouth of the cave, you will likely find several monkeys who climb across the rocky shore hoping for some treats from the many tourists who visit.

Boats Going One After Another Through the Caves of Ninh Binh Province
Tiger Cave

There are obviously many unique places to see during a visit to Vietnam, but if you take the time to get out of the cities and go to these interesting caves, you will be well rewarded. Seeing them was certainly a highlight of our two-week trip to this wonderful country.

Adventures on the Water

There have been many different times during our travels where we either had to travel by water to reach our destination or we chose to take a tour on the water. Generally speaking, travel by water is not our first choice, but looking back it is amazing how often we end up in a boat. In fact, at least recently, almost every trip we’ve taken has ended up with some sort of water excursion. Here are a few of the different water adventures that we’ve enjoyed, but it is certainly just a sampling. Do you enjoy traveling by boat or taking cruises?

You Can’t Go to Amsterdam Without Taking a River Cruise
Taking a Ride on a Pirate Ship in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Taking a Cruise Ship Down the Nile River in Egypt
Taking a Boat from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean Through the Panama Canal
Doing an Overnight Cruise in Halong Bay in Vietnam
Canoeing the Tributaries of the Amazon River in Ecuador
Whitewater Rafting in Colorado
Rowing with Their Feet in Vietnam

Unique Ways to Get Around

We are all used to traveling by airplane, car, boat, and trains, but sometimes you find yourself having a unique way to get from one place to another. Some might require a sense of adventure and some are just for fun, others are literally the only way to get from point A to point B. Throughout time, people have found ways to improve how they travel or overcome obstacles that keep them from getting to their destination. Even in this age of technology and modern innovation, simple travel solutions can still be found, especially in remote areas. Here are a few of the unique ways that we’ve gotten around, but certainly not all of them. We aren’t sure which of these might considered the most unique because we enjoyed them all for the experience that they provided. What is the most unique way that you have travelled?

Paddling in a Small Canoe in the Amazon

How About a Horse-Drawn Sleigh or a Snowcat

Cable Car Ride Across the Rhine River

Whitewater Rafting

Riding Camels in the Desert

Rowing with Their Feet in Vietnam

Riding the Funicular in Budapest

Getting Into Carrasco National Park in Bolivia

Sailing in a Faluka

Horse-Drawn Carriage or a Tuk-Tuk

Trolly Car
Trolley Car in San Francisco

Soaring Through the Jungle

Pirate Ship in the Marina

Not Necessarily Unique, but Bicycles Outnumber People in Amsterdam

Check Out Line of Snowmobiles

Cable Cars in Gibraltar