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Lang Son, Cao Bang and back to Hanoi

with 4 comments

Hanoi has three train stations, a fact that can be good and bad in the same time. The good thing obviously is the variety of trains and the flexible timetables and the incovenience is the confusion it might cause. In our case it did cause a lot of confusion. Looking for the train station that had departures to Lang Son we had to go to two of them before getting to the right one. Also they have strange opening times, so our ticket could only be bought from 13.15 to 13.45 during the day. In any case we did it the same day of the departure and we were on our way to the north for the first time.

Bus to the North

Bus to the North

Exiting Hanoi you are soon confronted with a greener scenery and the your mind soon forgets the noise and crowds of the capital. It is one of those train trips that make you want to write in your diary and sit back smoking a cigarette while you are at it. After some hours and after having reminded myself how much I love train travelling we reach Lang Son in the evening. We look for a hotel and go for dinner while planning the next day. For the latter we visit the Tam Thanh cave (one of the two caves; the other being Nhi Tham) and luckily enough as we wanted to save some time there was a public bus to Cao Bang at 14:00. It was a good move because after about four hours we are in the real north and the only place in Vietnam we were to meet no tourists at all.

Cao Bang

Cao Bang

The next couple of days we explore the Cao Bang province with motorcycle. What a place! I haven’t been to Halong Bay yet but from the photos it looks something like it but without the water element. Instead of it rice fields and rivers. It is trully breathtaking! The absence of tourism makes the negotiations more difficult but the people are more open hearted than ever. On the first day we visit the amazing Thang Hen lake which is part of a complex of 36 lakes altogether. When we went they were building some infrastructure around it so if you want to visit go as soon as possible. We tried to reach the Bang Gioc waterfall but it was too far away and too crazy a road to do by motorbike. In any case everything next to the borders with China was of breathtaking beauty so even the ride itself was worth the day. The next day we took another direction and reached the Pac Bo cave and surroundings that is of special importance to the Vietnamese. There Ho Chi Minh used the place as the hideout while waiting for WWII to finish. Being literally on the borders with China he ensured his safety from that side at least in case the French would come after him. He sure knew how to choose his hideouts as the place is magical. Even today the mountains around it and the river crossing it remind of something out of the Lord Of The Rings movie. Later we catch a bus to return to Hanoi. Now we wanted to do more of the North and tourist attractions like Halong Bay and such seemed further away. Thus Sapa province was to be next…


Written by csm2mk

August 22, 2009 at 5:26 AM

Posted in Vietnam

Tagged with , , ,

4 Responses

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  1. Σα το Ανώι της Δράμας δεν είναι πάντως!

    Γεια σου ρε φίλε!!
    Να τα περνάς καλά!


    August 31, 2009 at 4:25 PM

  2. Hanoi to ximerino katoi e? Filia kai stous treis sas, ta leme se dio treis mines!!!


    September 1, 2009 at 1:28 AM

  3. i have a very busy lifestyle too, and i would always frequently eat on Fastfoods ~–

    Petite Tops ·

    November 14, 2010 at 2:49 PM

  4. Erm… ok… ;PP


    November 15, 2010 at 5:02 PM

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