Hué to Hoi An

The goodbye at breakfast was more difficult than I thought. We were leaving Veronica and Jo behind in Hué while Beth and I would go on to Hoi An. It was even more difficult since Jo kept on sleeping and only Veronica showed up. So the three of us went for breakfast and while Beth and I tried the Bun Bo Hué, Veronica had some rambutan.

  

While in the bathroom of the small restaurant I found this statement. If there was some deeper meaning behind it, I couldn’t find it.

And then it was really time to say goodbye, we waved for a bit but then were already out of the city.

Shortly after we stopped at a lagoon to hydrate and watch the local fishers.

            

Fishing happened only at night we were told, probably because of the heat during the day. In my protective gear of jeans and long-sleeved shirt I was sweating already early in the morning.

We were driving on Highway 1 which was under construction. And construction here meant real business. Not just one sector, no all along the road houses had been torn down to broaden the road. And dust was everywhere.

            So I was glad when we left the big highway and were driving on smaller roads again. We were on the way to the Elephant Springs, which were beautiful and refreshing, and had lots of locals in swim vests. Here we stayed for at least an hour with Phuoc guarding the luggage on the motor bikes and Chung guarding us. On the trail to the springs were a lot of food stalls where all kinds of living things were sold (and could all be made into a little snack). Next to the springs were small huts with large wooden boards in front where we left our stuff and later changed into our bike gear again.

                Of course I had to try some food on the way back to the bike. After the Chung told me that the banana leaf package was a local specialty, I just had to. It was rice paste with one shrimp (including the shell which gave it a slight crunch) and a small piece of pork steamed in said banana leaf.

Super yummy and I liked the crunch especially. From Beth I learned that I can eat the shell without a problem which I did right after when we went for lunch (you just need to get used to the idea).

      

Even though the place didn’t look like much it was one of the best lunches I had. Alone for the choice of fresh fish, shellfish and seafood it was worth going there. Since Beth was allergic to shellfish we shared squid, prawns and had a crab each. It was pure bliss!

                

On the way out we saw some fruit that we didn’t know, tried it and bought some.

Next we had to climb up to the Pha Din Pass where we could see beaches on both sides. But not only is it a good view-point it also has a long history.

          

Chung told us that near Da Nang the French tried to land the first time (I should look that up and check) but were repelled by the locals. Later they came back and tried around Saigon.

The view from up there was great and invited us to try all kind of antics.

        It must have been the coffee before which gave me so much energy. When we left the pass we were going down to Da Nang, a well know beach resort town. Here the bushes that lined the main street were cut in all kinds of shapes and the bridge was shaped like a dragon (I have learned here that the four most important animals in Vietnam were dragon, phoenix, unicorn and turtle).

          

We made a quick stop at the beach to admire the sea and the fine sandy beach before we were on the road again to visit the Marble Mountains. Phuoc gave us the tickets for the entrance and the elevator on top and off we went. First we visited the little Pagoda on top and then Beth astonished me with her cave experience. Not only did we crawl through a tiny hole, she went first to make sure there was even a way through. I couldn’t have wished for a better companion on top of the Marble Mountains.

           

And with the visit to this underground Buddhist temple our Easy rider experience was basically over. We slowly made our way down the mountain and after another 20km bike ride we got dropped off at our hotels. I am so grateful to have said yes to this unforgettable experience, I really had the best of times with Phuoc and his team as well as Veronica, Beth and Jo. Yours, Pollybert

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Driving to Hué

We met for breakfast at 7:30 on the top floor and upon Phuoc’s recommendation I ordered the eggs (sunny side up in tomato sauce). This guy really knew what I liked.

Today we started with a museum visit and I heard Beth grumbling about it, because it was hot and who wanted to go to a museum in this weather. But the museum was so much more than just a building. It was a history lesson for me because what do I know about the Vietnam War (the Vietnamese call it the American War)? Veronica and Beth knew a lot about it since Australia was also involved in it.

                

The mother of Veronica’s daughter in law had fought here and an American marine who had stayed at the Farmstay as well. And these two who had been on opposing sites met with an interpreter and Veronica. So to hear Veronica talk about the thoughts of these people while we were on site was amazing. History came alive!

From there we went further south to get to our lunch stop. But until then there was still a long time to once again enjoy the scenery.

      

But also to get a glimpse on how the locals lived.

Suddenly dark clouds loomed on the horizon and I was sure we would need to change into rain gear again. But we drove through the first rain drops and made it to the lunch place just seconds before the big rain. Click here to see.

Lunch was delicious again. Phuoc really knew where to take us. So while the rain was pounding on the roof we enjoyed our food.

  When the rain had stopped and we had finished our meal we were off again to get to Hué. But until then there was still a long way to go. Dark clouds were rolling in again, so somewhere along the way we had to put our rain gear on again.

      

When we stopped for coffee it had also stopped raining and we used the time for a swim at a nearby waterfall. Coffee in a hammock, then swimming with an inbuilt spa (while sitting on a rock little fish were nibbling on my hard soles).

But it was really time to go and get a move on Hué. Phuoc wanted to arrive before the dark and we made it easily.

                

It was our last evening together and we celebrated in style. We went for dinner at “Le Jardin de la Carambole” and shared some sparkling wine along with an excellent meal. And with Jo entertaining us with some hilarious stories, time flew. Rather soon it was time to say goodnight with a promise to meet for one more time at breakfast. Yours, Pollybert