Happy New Year from Viet Nam

Mike and I went to Ba Vi National Park for New Year’s. It was great to get out of the city. We had a really lovely and wonderful time.  I have a bajillion pictures to post, so here goes:A 1

We arrived after dark on December 30th.  It was about a two hour ride from Ha Noi.  This picture was taken on the morning of the next day.  We’re just getting on the road to go find some coffee somewhere in the small town outside the park.  It was a hazy and really cold day. →

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There were poinsettia bushes everywhere.  Huge!


After coffee and some breakfast, we headed to Ba Vi.

A 3Views from the road.



Looks like the entrance to the Secret Garden!

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While taking this next pic, the camera focused on Mike’s hat rather than the scenery…..and I like that.  One of my favorite places to be is on the back of a motorbike with my bestest buddy…..

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Road companions as we climbed into the mountains……



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(Remember, double click!)

A 15Views into the valley.A 16

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“Mom, you’ll never believe it…..


…..today we spotted some Wild Tay on a motorbike….!”

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Solid jungle. →

A 22The Vietnamese Narnia?

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Crazy, crazy vines ~ these were enormous.  We thought the ruins in the background might be part of some old settlement or …..?  We took a side road here and found….

A 27….this.  I’m assuming an old French (probably Catholic) church.

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A 32Some of the glass still in the windows.




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We were going to a temple, but not this one.  It would have been quite a long bike ride and neither of us were up for it.  But a beautiful sight, nonetheless.

A 34These vines were at the entrance to the temple we went to.  Just massive.

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This is the entrance to the steps to the temple        ….oh my…. the steps….

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←The rail system you see here is for transporting supplies up to the temple site.  No free rides for tourists….!

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No, it was all about walking ….up……


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….am I getting the message across?


It.  Was.  A.  Hike.

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Omigod!  Finally!!  


A temple sighting!


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….and a view to the other temple across the valley….

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The whole time I’d been climbing I was thinking the supplies being brought up were for renovation of an old temple but, as you can see, it’s brand new.

A 52I think the rock behind the temple is beautiful, too.

I walked around for a bit and unintentionally walked into what I think was one of the workers’ homes!  I apologized profusely, but he was very kind about it and directed me to…….

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……yes……more steps…


These were practically vertical.  Really steep.  I was very grateful for the railings.



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A 56The steps were carved right into the mountainside in some places.




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…..okay….I won’t torment you with any more pictures of steps.  I’m sure you’ve got the idea!

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Once finally reaching the top, there was just this simple temple….

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….where I saw one of those bells I’m obsessed with.

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Of course, now there was the question of down….  I much prefer walking uphill than down.  My sprained ankle is obviously feeling better.  It doesn’t hurt to stand or put weight on it, but twisting or turning it is still painful….so I took it very carefully.  On the way down I noticed this step which had some cement repair work on it….and the repairman’s dog’s paw print, I suppose!  Cute!

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A 66When I got back to the previous temple, these kids all wanted to have their pictures taken with me…..so I suppose my mug is on all sorts of facebook pages at this point!

Anyway, I asked them to pose for me, too and of course, they kindly obliged.

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On the way back down hill, we ran into…..er….bad choice of words….we saw more water buffalo.  They’re everywhere in the countryside.

JalopyAll over town we saw these ‘jalopies’ ….at least that’s what we called them.  We saw quite a few, but I never had my camera out ’til we saw this one.  They reminded us of those cars you see in Dr. Seuss books ~ you know, the ones that make all the squeaky, crazy sounds!

Speaking of Dr. Seuss….A 18

…..I think I hear a Who….→




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Finally down the mountainside and warming up by a nice, warm barbecue.  It was a really cold day and Mike did great getting us up the mountain and back into town safely.  We intended to have a bite to eat before settling in for the evening, but one of the folk at the restaurant had a different idea……

A 69…..he just had to take our picture.  ‘Please don’t drop that camera!’

Happy New Year!

2 thoughts on “Happy New Year from Viet Nam

  1. Happy new year! Great, great photos! I love the forests, vines, steps (yes really!) and the old church in particular. Gorgeous. Alva went out with friends and I had a quiet evening at Jack’s house for new year’s eve — perfect! xoxoxo


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