The 4 of us set off to Ba Vi National Park which was a 1hour, 45 minute journey from our hotel in Hanoi.
The views once we got out of Hanoi were pretty spectacular. We were in rural Vietnam and heading towards the hills and mountains of the National park. So far so good, it was shaping up to match Yosemite National Park! The weather was also amazing.
When we arrived we had to buy tickets for about £3. Our driver then drove us up to the top of the National Park which took another 30 minutes. The place was absolutely huge and there was a single road (dirt track in parts) leading to the top. There were a lot of tourists that had hired scooters/mopeds to drive around the National Park. It looked cool but I didn’t want to risk it with being in a foreign country, driving on mountain top roads and probably not being covered by my travel insurance.
We eventually reached the top and were told it’s a 30 minute hike up to the main point so we began to walk up. It was very cold at the top and the hike reminded me a bit of the Inca Trail in Peru.
At the top there was a temple and a memorial to Ho Chi Minh. It was cool to see and there were also a few viewing platforms where you could get an amazing view over the National Park. However, for me personally it did not live up to my expectations and it definitely didn’t compare with Yosemite.
I found that a lot of the key parts at Ba Vi National Park were difficult to get to, not really well signposted and quite disappointing when you finally got there. Parts of it (especially the road) still seemed to be under construction.
On our way back down we stopped at a “waterfall” as it was explained to us. But it was no more than water trickling down some rocks. It was the least inspiring waterfall you have probably ever seen.
A slightly disappointing day all round but I guess you have to go and see these things to realise if you like them or not. This time, it didn’t work out.
We went back to the hotel to run round the market stools one last time before our final night out in Vietnam. A few people were leaving the group tomorrow so it will be a big party tonight.