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Hanoi to Vinh

There are much nicer roads to cycle than Hanoi to Vinh, I admit that. That said, the fact few travelers come here except passing by train makes it a good way to experience a whole different kind of Vietnam, a Vietnam without overpricing and cheats. It's a Vietnam I really enjoyed, where I met some amazing people and help for a problem I could not solve myself.

Slideshow of photos when cycling in Vietnam from Hanoi to Vinh

It all started with cycling out of Hanoi. The idea was simple: follow the railway out of the city. It was busy but for the most it was all fine and easy. And soon I had left the city center behind me. A few km out of the city center I passed a new and beautiful temple. It was the octagonal tower that attract my attention.

Hanoi to Vinh, temple complex just outside Hanoi
Just outside the city I found this beautiful Vietnamese temple

The new temple complex was obviously build as a replacement of an older temple of which the remains were still available.

Further south the AH1 (there is no need to cycle on the QL1 motorway at all) I passed many villages until at 95 km I arrived in Ninh Binh.

After Ninh Binh my next stop on the way from Hanoi to Vinh was Thanh Hoa, 60km further south.

Legacy of the French colonial times, big cathedrals in small villages
Legacy of the French colonial times, big cathedrals in small villages

I was a quick ride over good roads. After checking in at one of the several hotels at the main street, I explored the town a little.

There were a few interesting things to visit. The first was a large square pool with a small tower in the water. Along people took their time to take a step back from their normally busy activities.

The second very interesting thing was an over 100 years family temple Dan Sach Cac Liet Cy at the back of one of the market areas.

Than Hoa city center
Thanh Hoa city center

It is true that Thanh Hoa does not offer much for travelers but it's a nice overnight stop but it is a nice relaxed city (see the video for more photos)

My next stop would be Vinh. It would be a 140 km journey through basically flat lands. Here and there I crossed bridges where I saw the results of the monsoon rains earlier the year. The mountains were far away but the road itself was more the most very quiet except in some villages.

War memorials Central Vietnam on the road from Hanoi to Vinh
War memorials on the road from Hanoi to Vinh

And what to say about Vinh? Nothing much. The best I can tell is my dinner. I walked for an hour or two through the streets but saw nothing that was worth a click of the camera. But despite the lack of extremely interesting things (leave Ninh Binh out), I had really enjoyed cycling from Hanoi to Vinh. It was certainly not wasted time or energy.

Family temple Thanh Hoa BBQ sticks in Thanh Hoa
Left: Inside the family temple, hats hanging on the ceiling
Right: Lunch of ...??? When I first looked I thought it was cockroach so
obviously I tried, had 4 sticks and was delicious

The next morning I left Vinh going south to Dong Hoi. And with me the rains disappeared and more adventurous things started too. Moral of the story? Don't ever think the problem is too big, there's ALWAYS a solution!! And despite a few bad moments, I realized soon enough how lucky I had been to get the problem right there in Can Loc!

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