We don’t know where the last 3 weeks have gone and can’t believe we have less than a week here left in Hoi An. Most definitely don’t want to leave this town that has the loveliest people, fantastic food and although we are pushing mid-high 30deg temps every day we love the weather also.
No probs at all filling in our days here running, gymming, biking, swimming, shopping and eating/drinking around the town.
One week in Hoi An and as in the past loving it. Mum and Dad joining us on their first Asian experience and coming out of a cold kiwi winter struggling with the heat. They also quickly realised that the green man flashing on a pedestrian crossing doesn’t mean you can automatically cross the road……. as Dad let out a “bloody wanker” bomb at the truck that nearly Skittled them. Weather incredibly hot and humid but no complaints from The Nevs.
Such an awesome place to hang out, the friendliest people, tastiest food, cold beer, beautiful countryside to have our morning run and got to love the crazy chaotic lifestyle of the Vietnemese in their daily routine.
What an amazing 5 weeks it has been in the beautiful historic Hoi An. The food has been oh so yummy, the weather has been incredibly hot and the beach stunning. No doubt the highlight has been the warm welcoming hospitality from the locals. We have had so much fun we don’t want to leave this magic spot.
However it was time to pack up the bikes and get them ready for their 5 flights. First challenge was of course tracking down a couple of bike boxes.
Then it was off to get them cleaned another $1.50 per bike later including tip! Then let the fun begin seeing if we can get them to fit.
A couple of snaps of our last few days in Hoi An and lucky enough to experience the annual Lunar Festival. The photos don’t show the noise but the incessant beating of the drums was crazy. The kids do this, dance in their Lion costumes and then ask for money.
Lunar Festival celebrations last night. Traffic was at a standstill as 100s stop to watch. It continues for 2 days.
We have been so fortunate this trip to see hardly any rain but boy did the heavens open yesterday. The forecast was for 190mls in 24 hours and to batten down the hatches as a typhoon expected this morning at 10am. Well it heaved down yesterday that’s for sure and the instant flooding in the street was amazing. We woke this morning and the typhoon had passed through during the night and back to a blue sky day and no damage we can see. All kids have today off school in preparation for the anticipated typhoon.
‘Some people feel the rain, others just get wet’ – Roger Miller
With a bit of cabin fever we headed to the gym being careful not to trip over the many buckets set up to catch the rain coming through the numerous holes in the old tin roof.
Then it was coffee time and wow what a hoot. Cycling through the flooded streets as the rain pelted down. Talk about feeling alive!
Here we are still in the lovely Hoi An, Vietnam celebrating this amazing adventure and 100 days in Asia. What better way to enjoy 100 days than eating ‘Bun’ (pork with fresh noodle and soup) cooked up for lunch today by Nam our guesthouse owner.
Then it was off to watch the All Blacks and wow what a great win.
Well these two cycle tourists are having absolutely no problems filling in their days in Hoi An. Temps still sitting high 30s with a storm most nights.
Any doubts we may have had about continuing riding through Vietnam soon disappeared when Andy was knocked off his bike by some idiot on a scooter here in Hoi An. We were only going snail pace through the town when he was cut off so he was totally fine with just a spectacular fall to the deck! A few more ‘F’ bombs once again had to be released at the driver. After reading about the drivers here the size of what you ride is how the road rules seem to operate. Starting with trucks and buses at the top of the transport heirachy with no consideration at all, followed by cars then scooters and bicycles are down the transport chain alongside pedestrians also battling to stay safe.
Well it’s a tough life but we are loving living our dream…………Hanging in Hoi An which is now home for 5 weeks.
Having a great time exploring the area by bike, sampling some lovely cuisine, poking around the many shops. Have also got ourselves into a great routine with the running shoes back on and also hitting the gym which at 50c a day each is a crazy bargain! Loved the All Blacks win on Saturday and look forward to doing it all again this week at the Hoi An Sports bar that was packed with frustrated Aussies and over excited Kiwis.
The weather still hitting 37deg daily but late afternoon storms are becoming more frequent with the rainy season just around the corner. We definitely made the right decision to stay here in Hoi An with floods over the past week in other areas of Vietnam, Laos and Southern Cambodia. These were areas we were looking at biking to so right decision made as wouldn’t be much fun pushing through mud.
After the brutal day of riding over the Hai Vanh Pass and getting over the virus we have been loving hanging out in Hoi An. We have great digs for $25 per night including brekki, and although the temps are still mid 30s it feels a lot cooler and far more pleasant than the scorching heat of Hue and Dong Ha.
We have now biked 2400km and have come to the conclusion that the Vietnamese drivers are just outright bloody crazy. We see accidents or near misses daily and have seen enough accidents on this trip to last a lifetime. Therefore at this stage we don’t think we will ride much more in Vietnam and as we are loving Hoi An we may stay here for a month. We will use our bikes to potter around, might be time to get the running shoes out and join the gym also.
Anyway here are some pics of the lovely Hoi An. Great restaurants, lovely cafes, good shopping and great vibe. Can’t believe how much has changed in 1o years and how much busier it is especially with Asian tourists.
Yesterday 10th August, Hue to we think it was called Phuoc An but not sure = 60km
We finally got ourselves out of Hue after a great relaxing time there. The relaxation was well and truly a distant memory from the first pedal as we fought the traffic for 10km out of Hue and then started barreling down the highway making our way towards Danang. As this distance to Danang is approx 120km including going over the Hai Vanh pass we wanted to break this up over 2 days. So thanks to maps.me we found a fishing village to spend the night 60km down the track (8km off highway). Was nice to be off the highway and some peace and quiet. Felt like being back in Laos a real step back in time, very remote and finding something tasty to eat a struggle. Once again the heat was a killer so a very quiet afternoon mentally preparing ourselves for the big pass tomorrow. Nice to see the ocean again, first time since Southern Thailand. We checked the temps yesterday and they were 40deg saying pfelt like 56 no wonder we were in bed at 8.30pm!
Today Thursday 11th August
Phuoc An – Hoi An via Hai Vanh Pass and Danang = 82km
Up at 5.45 as we want to get this show on the road early before it gets too hot. We have both also been battling a bit of a virus the past day or two so not sure how the energy levels will hold out today in the heat.
Back blazing down the highway for the first 16km before we start the Hai Vanh pass. We had read so much about this pass known as one of the best passes in the world. So we were both anxious and excited. It is 21km over the top and has gradients of 8-10% the entire way. Now for those of you that don’t know what that means…….it’s bloody steep!
So off we go and right from the get go it’s tough going with absolutely no respite, flat or downhill for the 10km up. The mercury once again rising rapidly and without a doubt hitting the 40deg this was a grovel. No its a challenge we kept telling ourselves! Now I know we have gone on about how hot it was but to give you and indication we could both wring our shorts and shirts out. My wrists were like a tap and we have never been so exhausted but with only 3 stops we made it to the top. There we see all the other tourists sitting in their lovely air conditioned vans looking so fresh checking out the view and a few clambering over an old US army bunker which we just waved to!
So a huge buzz getting to the top and with it being so steep and the drivers here so unpredictable we took it easy going down the other side taking in the lovely view of Danang. The body is a funny old thing once down the other side of the pass we had forgotten about the energy exerted and how shagged we were. Approaching Dannag and seeing how crazy the traffic was on the outskirts of this city of 1 million people we changed plans to push through another 35km to Hoi An. One wrong turn on the overpass and looking down at where we should have been, a few F bombs were let out and we sat down for a drink to contemplate how to attack the overpass and back track.
All good though and despite both of us not feeling 100% we have had an awesome day and here we are in Hoi An which was our goal for this cycle tour. Found ourselves some digs and chilling out. Will spend at least a week chillaxing here while we contemplate our options for the next part of the adventure. With the traffic here being absolutely nuts (saw another crash today) we are finding we are riding for the destination not the journey. Having said that we are loving our time in Vietnam.