After a bumpy nights sleep on the overnight bus, we rocked up in Tam Coc at 4.30am. We walked through the town in darkness before finally finding the hotel and collapsing onto the sofa. Of course we couldn’t check in this early, but it did mean that we were able to watch the sunrise! Our hotel is right on the river, so we were able to watch the most peaceful start to the day, with boats floating by and locals washing in the water.

Luckily at around 7am some staff arrived to work, and we were able to check in straight away, and get breakfast! After we’d eaten we were in dire need of a nap, so we escaped the heat and chilled out in the room until lunch. Owen and I went for some food at Chookies beer garden and then for a wander around the town. In the afternoon we had planned to hike to Hang Mua, but minutes before we set off by bike, the heavens opened. They stayed open well into the night, accompanied by lighting and the loudest thunder I have ever heard. You could feel it through the floor and it shook the whole room and rattled the windows! We ate dinner at the hotel as it was impossible to venture out, and watched a movie with a few beers.

By the morning the rain had finally stopped so we made our way to the town to take a boat trip down the river. The way the locals row the boats here is incredible – using their feet and riding it like a bicycle! They literally go all Day long without a break, and must have the strongest leg muscles. The journey down the river was so beautiful, you’re surrounded by lush green mountains and deep, dark caves. There’s also mountain goats all over the place and even bats and birds in the caves.

Once we’d sailed back into town in the afternoon we headed back to the hotel to pack up our stuff. We ate lunch at Chookies again and then boarded our bus to Hanoi. We arrived in the evening and the three of us checked straight in to our teeny hotel room. For dinner we ate at the Green Farm restaurant and ended up being coaxed into leaving trip advisor reviews for a free matcha green tea creme brûlée (which wasn’t worth it btw).

sunrise in tamcoc

Ladies rowing with their feet and selling snacks

River journey

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