The mountain ranges in Ninh Binh tower above the green fields and is worth a stop in for a day or so, plus I don’t know about you but I’ve never seen someone row a boat with their feet.
This place is a gem! It’s a stunning little town on the edges of the Mekong with almost as many Buddhist monks as tourists. Actually that’s a lie, there are way more foreigners getting around the streets then anyone else, somehow despite the huge tourism the streets are clean and the place feels welcoming. This might have to do with the 32UNESCO heritage listed temples and monks wandering the streets offering soft caring smiles to everyone.
Halong bay was such a beautiful place but I just wouldn’t look too close. The footprint heavy unregulated tourism has left there is disappointing but It was the experience I expected, like seeing the great wall or the pyramids. You go there, hopefully with the understanding that this is sadly going to be ruined by tourism but is still an amazing place to experience.