A Travellerspoint blog

How to kill 12 hours in Ninh Binh

...on a rainy day

rain 21 °C

Jens and I are wasting time on a rainy day.

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Phat Diem cathedral that Jens wanted to visit is closed (thank goodness) and the Floating Village at Kenh Ga that I wanted to see will be wetter than it normally is (devastating), so we ambled around a very uneventful town and have ended up at the Gallery Café for what seems like it’s going to be 100 cups of complimentary tea. Tea gets delivered roughly every ten minutes.

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We did attempt to have tea at a local spot, but got shown mounds of noodles and what I’d guess was a chunk of beef and were refused tea, so we had to find a more accommodating alternative. We found complimentary tea in a courtyard filled with giant Bonsai trees and a Koi pond with motionless Koi. Okay, they’re not entirely motionless- two of them changed direction in the last hour. Now they are motionless.

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Jens was telling me about Vietnamese wedding photography. The aim is to pose dramatically- like an early Hollywood movie- and be ‘photoshopped’ into places you aren’t. Luckily, wedding shops are quite common, so this gives a vague idea of what he was explaining to me, although, apparently, these are quite conservative examples.

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Another thing mildly interesting when one is bored is how words are translated between Vietnamese and English or French even. We combine syllables into one word e.g. Halong Bay instead of Ha Long Bay as it is written here. The opposite applies to English. From the bus the other day I spotted a sign for a Pho To Co Py Shop. This image of a hotel-to-be gives an idea:

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We are due to take a sleeper bus to Hoi An tonight. One like China. Made for shorter people to sleep and longer people to lie uncomfortably. With any luck, the bus should have Kung Fu movies also and some karaoke. Jens will be delighted. So will I. I left my ear plugs in the drawer next to my bed at home.

We're now drinking Ha Noi wine for the third day in a row. What I really mean is that it is 3 days old. This is not recommended.

Posted by JayneHol 02:56 Archived in Vietnam Tagged bus town tea raining garden bored bonsai coffee ninh_binh

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