We had lunch in Tam Coc at a very friendly family streetside restaurant, then headed down the road on the mopeds to the Bic Dong pagoda, we climbed up the steps and through the caves to find a great view from the hidden temple at the top.
Back on the road we headed back through Ninh Binh and north up the Ho Chi Minh Highway to Hoa Lu - it took a fair bit of finding, and a pretty scary ride up the highway, with the huge trucks with massive horns. But we enjoyed the riding through the paddy fields and the rural villages when we turned off the highway. When we did find the temple it was a long way up a single stairway and we were the only ones there - apart from the resident monk and his dog. But up at the top the temple the view was breathtaking; a panoramic view out over the fields and villages that we had enjoyed riding through.
Heading into the apparently legendary hotel restaurant now for a few drinks and a meal.