The cities in Vietnam can get a tad overwhelming at times. For a day for fresh air, peace and a taste of village life, I definitely recommend a day trip to Tam Coc in Ninh Binh.
It’s about a 3-4 hour drive from Hanoi, and the starkness is breathtaking.
We arrived at one of popular villages by the river and hopped on one of these once vibrant coloured wooden boats, now bleached a charming pastel by the scorching sun.
The villagers rowed us through the long winding river, through their homes, old wooden bridges, all the while singing some old Vietnamese folk songs.
It felt like we were being transported back in to a simpler time.
They got everywhere by wooden boat. There were duck farmers, food vendors hawking their wares, and many even tended to water lilies that lined the river.
After an hour and a half of touring the village by boat, we hopped onto bicycles and explored the area on foot.
The villagers were friendly, and we rode through schools, farms, we even ran into a herd of goats grazing in the pastures! It was so refreshing to get a taste of rural life after all the comforts and bustle of the city. This slowness, this simplicity.. was quite literally a breath of fresh air.