I would dedicate today to visiting the nearby Han Citadel ruins. Getting to them was a nice ride through the countryside. I saw farmers working in the fields, and driving carts pulled by oxen.

But it is gray and bleak. The weather is cold and the sky is gray. And the villages I pass through are gray and bleak too. The buildings are cinderblock with corrugated iron roofs, and old gray houses. It seems bleaker and less welcoming than in the south. Maybe that’s just the miserable winter weather.

I passed friendly farmers on the way to the citadel.
I passed friendly farmers on the way to the citadel.

The ruins, a UNESCO World Heritage site, were interesting. And there were no tourists. I only shared the site with farmers working in their fields around and inside the citadel. Unlike the huge rice fields of the South, the fields here are small. They are a patchwork, with each one growing something different.

I walked on the wall all the way around. People were busy planting rice. Everybody were friendly. Some women invited me to plant rice with them. My walk took the whole morning.

Tomorrow I would make my final approach to Hanoi, accomplishing my main goal in Vietnam of riding the Ho Chi Minh Highway.

Farmers worked in their fields outside the citadel's crumbling walls.
Farmers worked in their fields outside the citadel’s crumbling walls.
Inside the walls I met more friendly farmers.
Inside the walls I met more friendly farmers.
Everybody was so nice and welcoming.
Everybody was so nice and welcoming.
Women planted rice.
Women planted rice.
Farmers fertilized their fields.
Farmers fertilized their fields.
A man made pottery near the ancient walls.
A man made pottery near the ancient walls.
The wall was quarried from the mountains in the distance.
The wall was quarried from the mountains in the distance.
A line of people planted rice.
A line of people planted rice.
Cows took a break on the wall.
Cows took a break on the wall.
The rice fields looked glassy and green.
The rice fields looked glassy and green.
A bike near the fields.
A bike near the fields.
Terry
I'm Terry, former cubicle-dweller, and now traveler, photographer, writer, and entrepreneur. I quit my job in 2014 to travel to US national parks, then to South East Asia. I write about independent, flexible, long-term, budget travel. Sign up to my newsletter to get the latest news on what I'm up to. I hope you join me on my trek around the world.

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