Asia,  Vietnam

North of Hanoi: Hoa Lu and Tam Coc

If it hadn’t been for our fellow Filipino travelers that we met during the Hanoi trip, we wouldn’t have known about the Hoa Lu-Tam Coc tour. It simply didn’t come out of my pre-trip research (which might also mean I didn’t research good enough). Anyhow, I’m glad we met them there, because if we hadn’t, then we wouldn’t have seen the beautiful countryside. 

All five of us – Paolo, Aiza and Joyce plus Nico and I – rented an AUV to drive us to the north of Vietnam. It was a road trip. And it was very refreshing to not see 5 million motorcycles on the road, seemingly trying to kill you all the time.

Part of the road leading to our destination was submerged in water. The water in the river was kind of high at that time for some reason. I don’t know why, but the driver decided to risk the possibility that our would float in the river and passed through it anyway. He failed. We looked for an alternative route.

After more than 2 hours on the road, we finally arrived at the Hoa Lu Temple. We were lucky because we came at a good time. Having left Hanoi a bit late, we got to the temple at noon. Everybody was having lunch and the place wasn’t that packed. We know it’s a good time ’cause upon leaving around 1-2 hours later, there was a surge of tourists arriving.

The entrance.

Upon getting in, there were a lot of stalls where you can buy souvenirs. Also, it was very, very hot and there is little shade. You will need your shades and a hat or cap.

A bike deserving of a photo.

A taste of the countryside life. This guy was wearing a polo and slacks which he folded so he can pass through the field. I wonder where he is headed and whether this is what he does everyday.

Nico got pretty excited upon seeing this carabao (she loves animals). For a small price, you get to ride it and have your photo taken.

Walking, walking. Off to another temple.

Me, my oily face, and my excited soul.

This was prior to to entering the Temple of Dinh Tien Hoang.

Vida is a restless, universe-loving, forever-child with a very short attention span. She is mostly enthusiastic about travel, adventure, technology, fitness, and lately, life hacks. Most of her days are spent on tech partnerships in a telco, and most nights practicing capoeira (or yoga, or boxing, or trying some other unheard of art of movement). She likes experiments, little projects, and writes too, sometimes, at And if you're interested, sh... Hey, look, a flower!

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