As soon as the school year ended, we decided to reward ourselves with a relaxing trip but it turned out more of a war with the weather but it was worth it for a great holiday. After probing our list of destinations we finally chose Thung Nai, a new tourist area in Cao Phong District, about 25 kilometers from Hoa Binh City and 110 kilometers from Hanoi.
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We departed from Hanoi by motorbikes and it rained during the day, making the sinuous journey tougher with the heavy rain soaking our faces, strong winds blowing through our hair and the mountain wall-lined road was getting more slippery by the moment and the surrounding area getting more romantic and colder. Finally we reached Thung Nai and the only means of exploring the valley is by boat.
In the past, this was a valley surrounded by mountains blanked in mist all-round year. People say that its name came from the story that there were many deer coming to the valley to take water and graze on the grass on the stream banks. Since the hydropower plant on Da River was built, the area has become a lake for the hydropower plant and when the water rises high, it forms many small islands amidst Hoa Binh Lake.
What to discover?
Our first stop was Ba Chua Thac Bo which is dedicated to worship a guardian goddess of the northwest mountainous region, who protects locals from drowning in the river.
After burning some incense, we moved to Thac Bo Cave. When the water rises high, tourists can take a cruise into the cave and in the dry season, travelers can walk into the cave to see stalactites in the darkness.
We took a cruise around the small mount, islands and islets like we were getting lost in Halong Bay. When noon came, we stayed at Coi Xay Gio house which offers services such as food, hiring boats and camp fire. This is also a place for us to take many snapshots of windmills, sunset views reflecting over the water and fishing boats.
The sky then became darker and the waves more golden. Thung Nai is home to ethnic people. So tourists will be also attracted by local cultures and the splendid scenery.