The Photogenic Day Continues
Trip Start Nov 08, 2006
209Trip End Ongoing
Sorry, I didn't take any photos of the primates. It makes me rather sad to photograph them through bars. But they did seem well taken care of and at least had large clean cages with lots of poles and ropes for them to get plenty exercise.
It was already time for us to head back to Ninh Binh. Retracing our path might be tricky, and it'd be exponentially so in the dark. I tried to snap a lot of photos, but taking them from the back of a moving motorbike isn't ideal, so some of them are a bit blurry. Still, I think you can get an idea of how incredible the area was, especially as the sun descended and a rosy glow filled the sky and was mirrored in the surface of the water. Everything was bathed in soft pink light.
As I thought back on the amazing day we had had, the warm reception we had received from the locals stood out, particularly because it is in such stark contrast to the rude and sometimes abrasive attitude of Hanoi residents. Here we were met with smiles, waves, and greetings. Children wanted to shake our hands and would run after our bike, clinging to our arms, not because they were begging, but because they simply found us interesting and fun. We were an anomaly, something of intrigue, not just a walking dollar sign or another white face among the irritating and intrusive tourist crowd. But soon, I suspect, that will all change. The construction of smooth, wide concrete roads are already in progress - roads that will accommodate large tourist buses. Just as the area is currently inundated with water, it will be inundated with tourists. The natural beauty will be spoiled as stalls and restaurants line the roadside. The local economy will become dependent upon tourism, and then the residents will find themselves victims of a strange paradox. They will grow to need the tourists yet loath them at the same time because their pristine world will never quite be the same again.