Nghia Lo - Ngoc

Episode 8

"I’d rather go to Vietnam than get married."
--Joe Namath

We spent another day in Nghia Lo province with Mr. Ngoc, the owner of our new homestay. We asked him to take us for some hiking, so you can imagine how big our surprise was when he showed up wearing flip-flops. We drove to the middle of nowhere behind the next village and parked motorbikes on a crossroad.

We started our tour walking one of the roads, disappointed with where we were heading and with Mr. Ngoc’s short legs. Thus we tried to push him to higher and higher hills. Surprisingly, we had always heard his funny “o-kay” and climbed up a bit higher. Feeling sorry for his poor equipment, we had made it just to a smaller hill, but still 5 times higher compared to what he had planned.

On the way back we met with a bunch of local buffalo shepherds, who were having tea on the hillside. They made some fun from us being fat (but nicely) and invited us to their home village, but we had returned for our bikes down the hill. There, Mr. Ngoc surprised us with a proposal to go up the hill to Suoi Giang to see some ancient trees. ⛰

Trees were hidden and locked, however the road up the hill was tremendous. We met local Hmong people and also had a nice cup of coffee with an amazing view on the valley. Satisfied with the trip we had returned back to our homestay, where we had a nice late lunch.

In the afternoon, we visited Triam’s family home for the pre-wedding party. We had few shots of happy water, danced on some Vietnamese techno music and ended the day singing some Slovak folk songs on karaoke.

Travellers tip: Vietnamese people have no idea what real hiking is. Guides will almost always take you somewhere by motorbike and leave you to take a short walk there. Try to explain your expectation before the trip. 👣