We took the overnight train from Sapa back to Hanoi, arriving just after 5am. Our guide, Sinh, and driver, Tang, were waiting for us. It was a drive of about two hours from Hanoi to Ninh Binh, on good roads all the way. There was plenty to see and the agriculture was predominantly rice growing for the entire length of the journey. As we approached Ninh Binh, hill-shaped limestone karsts began to dominate the landscape. We stopped to view the Hoa Lu temples of the two ancient kings, Dinh and Le, who had ruled Vietnam from Ninh Binh over 1000 years ago. Dinh was assassinated and his queen replaced him on the throne with Dinh’s commander, Le. Many people suspect that the queen played a role in the treachery that befell Dinh.