3/2/18: Exploring More of Ninh Binh

I had breakfast with Sabrina, packed, checked out, and then got coffee at a cafe down the street called Hot Potato. It was the cutest cafe– see pics below– and it was cheap!

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I mean… does it get any cuter

We rented bikes– the first one I rented didn’t have an adjustable seat, so I took it back to the shop to swap with a new one. The second one seemed fine at first, but I quickly realized that the gears were permanently on the highest gear so it was super hard to pedal. It was almost impossible to pedal when I was going uphill. Plus the handle bars were way too low that I was basically parallel to the ground because I had to lean forward so much to reach the handles.

We rode to Mua Caves: a cave/temple that takes 500 steps to get to the top. It had a really pretty view, and we spent a good 30 minutes exploring around and taking pictures.

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Path to the caves

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Lots of climbing!

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For lunch we went to Chookies, a place I had bookmarked with vegan options. I got a mango passion fruit smoothie. It was one of the best I’ve had in SE Asia. It was on par with the ones I got at Moon 2 in Bagan, Myanmar. It was cold, smooth, and just sweet enough. I’ve really developed a love for passion fruit in the last few months of my travels.

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I also got a falafel salad, which was ok. The falafel didn’t really taste like falafel– more like mushed chickpeas. Not the crispy, flavorful kind that you find at other places.

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Sabrina got a fruit salad and carrot cake. She said the carrot cake was the best she’s ever had, which I found pretty funny considering she’s Swiss and we were in Ninh Binh, Vietnam.

We went back to the hostel to drop off our bikes, and I went to a cafe to work.

I chose Tutu’s cafe. It was a bit dark and expensive, but it had good WiFi.

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Funny sign I saw on the street

I ran into Sabrina again in the evening. We went to dinner at Binh Tay again, and I got noodle soup.

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While I was washing my hands in their bathroom, I noticed that the faucet worked but the hole at the bottom of the sink wasn’t connected to a pipe. So whenever you turn the faucet on, the water goes right into a bucket underneath the sink. It was pretty funny– they just don’t care enough to fix it I guess.

There was also a crazy bar next to the restaurant that always starts playing intense EDM at 6 pm every night. There are no customers, just loud music. I’m willing to guess that there is probably just one old guy laying there, waiting for someone to walk in.

Oh Vietnam. What a treasure.

I waited for my bus to Hoi An: It was supposed to come any time between 7 and 8:30. Pretty ridiculous gap of time, if you ask me.

It got to my hostel around 8:15.

I sat at the very back, by the bathroom, which smelled really bad of pee. I had to plug my noise at certain points when it got really bad.

16-hour overnight bus story to be continued…

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