Ninh Binh, The Inland Halong Bay

Last week we ventured out into the countryside and the relatively unseen paddy fields of Ninh Binh. We were staying at Nguyen Shack Homestay, a great little place in the middle of nowhere on a fish farm. We stayed in lovely little shacks, complete with hammock on the edge of the water…paradise!

We weren’t too sure what to expect from the food as it was such a small set up, but we were very pleasantly surprised! Each dish we ordered was freshly prepared and we even had a couple of things we hadn’t tried before.

First was grilled chicken with lemongrass, wasn’t expecting it to look like this!

It tasted as good as it looks! Next up was chicken wrapped in la lot leaves that were growing in the area. They look strange and we weren’t sure whether to take the leaf off first, but you eat them whole after dipping in a sweet chilli garlic sauce.

During our stay we went on a bicycle tour round the local village with our host Maxime. It turned out to be one of the most interesting things we’ve done so far. This is a real Village with real hard working people, no tourist traps. We cycled through the paddy fields and learned how they grow the rice. We also went to see a lady who makes tofu and the process of de-husking rice.

Such hard work but such great quality, we really take for granted the process of making rice.

All in all a fantastic experience in beautiful Ninh Binh, no picture can do this place justice. We visited Halong Bay but Ninh Binh is equally if not more beautiful. If you’re in Vietnam it’s a must see.

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