A steady rain soaked the city as I caught the earliest train out of Hanoi Station and made the bumpy three hour journey south to Ninh Binh.
While researching day trips from Hanoi, I stumbled on this “Ha Long Bay on Land” and was inspired to see the countryside and explore the waterways and rice paddies. Thankfully I arrived just before the first tour busses started pouring in, grabbed a quick breakfast pho at the Mua Caves Lodge and headed straight for the mountain. 500 steps later I was soaked to the bone from the rain and the valley view was obscured by fog. Such a shame! The karst formations are a stunning sight and I hope I can return here someday in better weather. Also just missed the rice harvest- a few weeks earlier and the muddy paddies would be full of golden-green rice. With the rain turning to a heavy downpour I decided to skip the other outdoor sights in Ninh Binh and headed back to Hanoi. Next time!