rolling down the river
One of the highlights of our Hanoi trip is our day tour to Tam Coc. Tam Coc is a small farming community just a couple of hour's drive from Hanoi. The main attraction here is a boat ride on the river that runs through the rice fields.
The scenery is amazing. Being the start of summer, the rice crop is halfway grown, lending a bright green carpet of paddy that sprawls across a scenic landscape of fields and limestone hills melding at the horizon. A river weaves through the fields and cuts through the rocks offering a most wondrous journey you can have on boat.
Mae and I get into a boat with a middle-aged boatman and his niece. While Uncle rows the boat upstream, Niece chats us up - getting us comfortable for the kill! After an hour upstream, we take a break in a "lagoon" (for lack of a better word) where other boats
On the way downstream back to the pier, another sales pitch begins. This time Niece opens this huge tin chest and brings outs an assortment of embroidered articles, which is a booming home-industry at Tam Coc. It's reasonably cheap here (after strenuous haggling, of course!) with an embroidered tablecloth costing anywhere between USD 7.00 and USD 9.00.
At first I was hesitant about leaving Hanoi for Tam Coc (I'm a boring guy, what can I say) but Mae coerced me into it. Okay, she practically twisted my arm! But boy, I'm glad she did!