From Hoi an we took a short flight to Hanoi and then a taxi transfer to Tam Coc. Our Homestay was along the Main Street so handy to shops and restaurants.
On our first day we realised the the mayhem of Tête wasn’t quite over. This is the Chinese and Vietnamese New year celebrations and is the largest festival in the calendar. We planned a trip to a nearby town a journey which was to take us along a narrow road and then to a much larger one. The congestion was quickly quite crazy so much so we never reached the destination.
On another day I painted along a narrow lane overlooking flooded rice paddy fields. The women in Vietnam seem to do a lot of the work or at least it appears that way. Here they were removing rice saplings from a nursery and washing the roots to plan for planting. This seems to be ther job. The men do clearing of the waterways and removing weeds and debris. They also play cards and drive around on motor bikes as well as trying to get tourists to take motor-bike-taxi fares from them. Frequently would be asked ‘hello motor bike’.
This area has many waterways and with waterways come boats. Hundreds of them. And tourists like boats and the locals like it when they spend money. These boats are taken by the score with a rower rowing with their feet. Very clever as then they have hands free to catch up with their friends by mobile phone. The more organised have a camera boat alongside the one with the tourists. Fleets of young men on motor bikes collect and relay camera cards back to base in time for the tourist to return and be sold the picture.
From Tam Coc then to Cat Ba island before going to Hanoi.