Towers in the Mist

Trip Start Dec 01, 2011
Trip End Apr 02, 2012

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Sunday, January 22, 2012

Over the next couple of days we explored further a field, dropping in at more temples in and around the ancient city of Hoa Lu. We walked around little villages and out along paddy paths with their bright green seed rice ready to be planted out.  We walked past groups of tombs which dot the landscape throughout Vietnam.  The veneration of ancestors is very strong in their culture and whether they be Buddhist or Catholic the tombs are maintained and visited particularly at Tet. 

Ninh Binh is a very Catholic province, churches abound here just like in Kontum and many of the tombs although in the Vietnamese style support the catholic cross.  The town houses of the rich support an ornate chapel dome where they can worship and venerate their ancestors just as the Buddhists worship theirs in adjoining temples.  Looking out across the roofs you can be excused for thinking that you are in an Italian city full of baroque chapels.

On the eve of Tet we climbed up the dragon's back, a long winding staircase leading right to the top of a karst with great views back over Ninh Binh and down into Tam Coc where most of the river trips go.  Up high in the mist we held our breath and listened for the dragon.

At night the town welcomed the dragon in with parties in the streets and fireworks over the lake and crackers banging loudly.  I partied till the early hours whilst the BG and P snored in their beds…….
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