My favorite way to end a week is to slow down things.It’s either hooking up myself into good reads, fidgeting my laptop from writing or getting lost in the place where I’ve never been to.Because I find myself grabbing my attention to Facebook notifications and email inboxes, jam packed schedules to keep up with everyone else and sometimes just overthinking from weekday job.So, the kindest thing you can do for yourself is to travel away from the city.
And these places are the ones that we most need to see how wonderful and beautiful world we live in.When we manage to notice the beauty of God’s creation even how the stars appear to be very tiny to me and the most vivid rainbow I had ever seen was right in front of me. And most of all how these people smile and say hi to every place I go.
1. Pac Bo village is truly a gem
After an hour of beautiful drive and following the curved road along with gigantic mountains and rice puddies with smokey background was absolutely worth the ride even if we almost lost our way to China.But still, we ended up on this beautiful spot hatched in the bottom tip of the northeast of Vietnam.
Once you reach on the site, you will never miss to see the huge pagoda-esque shrine with a long-staircase on your left before entering the place.But before anything else you have to pay 15,000 dong (US 0.5) to enjoy the beautiful walk from a long queue of stalls selling delish delicacies to turquoise water covered with green bushes to Pac Bo Cave where Ho returned and lived for several weeks after 30 years of exile.The entire place will not only moved you how Ho Chi Min fight for his beloved nation but also by nature itself, as the source has never gone to every Vietnamese person and forever be grateful to him for his bravery, no wonder I can see his statue wherever I go in Vietnam.
Ho’s rock table where he writes poem while sipping a cup of tea and enjoying the beautiful Linen creek.How I wish everything in the plaques I stumbled in was written in English so that I know how he starts and ends his poem.
I want to swim but I am not allowed to do so, I ended up walking with my bare feet to feel the coldness of the water and the water tastes good, by the way. Lol.
2.Ban Gioc Waterfall on the Chinese border
I can’t explain how child-like I was when I saw the beauty of the rainbow in front of me, which is a sudden and a slow fading moment. It touches my heart to the core, even if my friend told me that I can make an artificial rainbow through a product of sunlight and small droplets of water.Trust me, it was surreal and it seems like the angel is sending me a message of validation or an answer that I’ve been looking for, aside from the pot of gold that you can find at the end of the rainbow as what the most rainbow myth goes.Kidding aside, this jaw-dropping waterfall is more than valuable than gold because it has actually three sets of waterfalls with more than 300 meters wide and has a drop close to 30 feet which is surrounded by lush green grass and mossy rocks.Such a sight you never saw!
Take a picnic to enjoy along it’s bank at Ban Gioc Waterfall
3.A long walk within Nguom Ngao Cave
I have been to some caverns around Vietnam from Da Nang’s Marble Mountain to Pac Bo cave (unfortunately I missed the Ha Long Bay’s cave) but this one is absolutely amazing, huge and visually appealing with various shaped stalactites and beautiful formations along the pathway of one kilometer of tunnels and chambers not to mention that this is the longest cave I’ve walked so far.This cave is called Nguom Ngao cave, it means “tiger’s cave” in the language of the Tay ethnic people.Legend has it that many fierce tigers used to live in the cave in the old days.But the cave has been left me puzzled by the existence of the cave tigers in this place since I can’t find even hints like fur or bones.Perhaps I was blind to the facts that I needed to know.
The beautiful upside down “Lotus” formation inside the cave
4. Wearing the traditional costume of Cao Bang people
I would be lying if I were to say that the entire place is not truly blessed with unspoiled landscape and its warm-hearted people.Believe me, sometimes we take so many things for granted in our own country-like even having the clean water, which we fail to value.But meeting the people in Cao Bang, which is peacefully inhabited by ethnic groups such as Tay, Dao and Nung reminds me of how they simply live in their small houses nestled at the foot of the limestone mountains or even on top of the mountains, where they use the land in a sustainable way to survive for a day.Sure, the flowing water and growing crops are such a treasure for them.Because they never take things for granted and if they do, happiness gets taken away from them.
Same goes with wearing their traditional costume is a part of the quick decision that I wanted to try because every time the sight of the woman wondering around the city with their traditional garb on, it makes me feel old. I feel desperate to experience as if I belong to another era.And I know the oldest women are considered to be the ablest advisers and possessed with a lot of life hacks.It’s just a little piece of clothing but it’s HAPPINESS!
Kotona and I are taking a decent pose with a traditional garb on from Dao and Nung.
5. Go nuts with Hazel nuts
Has anyone tried hazel nuts before? It is absolutely wonderful if you get some bunch of hazel nuts straight from the orchard.If not you can purchase the freshest hazel nuts with shell right along the famous spots that I mentioned above.If you’re trying to snack smarter and looking for foods that can sustain your road trip, nuts are the answer.You would simply go nuts with these munchies and even me, I can’t stop eating even inside the car while watching the hazel nuts trees from green to shade ones along the road.I believe there are many reasons to include nuts in your trip to keep you kicking all day.
I don’t pick them straight from the orchard but I ate them straight to our tummies.Lol.
Have you ever gone to Vietnam? Any hidden gems we still don’t know about? Please share those ideas and places to visit in Vietnam with us through the comment section below.