Great People, Great Food, Awesome weather in Hoi An

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.

Awesome having Mum and Dad here with us for the first 12 days. 
Refreshments needed! 
The owner of the hotel and a couple of her staff taking us and another kiwi guy out for lunch
Andy was was so excited to see what looked like Apple crumble only to discover it was sticky rice stuffed with  chicken offal! 
taking some of the staff out for a coffee.
Old lady trying to make a living selling a boat ride.
Corn drying on the front porch in the countryside.
A bike ride in the countryside with new found kiwi friends.
Refreshments required after a ticky tour on bikes. Great night with Murray and Gaye from Taranaki! 
Mr Hoang’s restaurant, our local dinner joint.
Teaching Mr Hoangs kids Minh and Vin English. They now have the kiwi accent going on. 
Beautiful old buildings.
Taking the staff out for coffee yet again.

Loving life in Hoi An

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.

beautiful Hoi An
Old town Hoi An 
Young boy fishing through the rice fields
Tour guiding through the Country side by foot


Finding a bike for our cycle tour
The local cyclo
The Nevs tour guiding through the country side. 
stinking hot but no complaints from us.
A little hot and bothered but awesome bike ride
Beer o’clock
Mum and dad’s hotel beautiful building and gardens


Andy hunting down the banana and egg pancake





The Nevs depart Nam

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.

Traipsing through the streets of Hoi An with our $1.50 boxes
Awkward every way I tried in scorching temps

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.

Outside the guesthouse, rack removed.

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.

Daily view from local cafe
Easy way to spend a few hours watching the world go by
Market sellers
Having a beer people watching.
final night at one of our favourite spots. We were kindly treated to green chilli rice wine.
Think that says it all…….super spicy!

Lunar Festival celebrations last night.  Traffic was at a standstill as 100s stop to watch. It continues for 2 days.


Here we are at Danang airport bound for Bangkok


24hour Flood in Hoi An

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!

One drowned rat.
Traffic still doesn’t slow down
The ponchos are on and the scooters are still in action
Water was lapping into guesthouse entrance 
Friends from our Palmy North motel days. Great catch up the day earlier. 
Great to catch up Susan and Brian 


100th day in Asia

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.

Yep that’s the AB’s in Hoi An sports bar 
Saturday night out and about 
We must celebrate 100 days with a craft beer and rose’ at the hill station bar.

Day 90 travelling Asia and an awesome birthday today in Hoi An.

Birthday carrot cake at favourite cafe 
Lei our lovely friend from mia cafe
First beer for the day.  
Great spot for a beer and people watch 
Craft beer and french rose….life is good 
Celebrations with the staff
Fun times. 
Our local favourite restaurant and lovely friend and owner Amy surprised me with a cake which we shared around the restaurant. 
Happy birthday sing song  with local diners 
Happy birthday!
Tueat, Amys mum and the most awesome cook and sweetest lady.
Oh my goodness arrived home tonight and in the room another cake! Downfall of giving the owner your passport they know your age!!!
How much cake can a girl eat in one day!

Absolutely fabulous birthday in Hoi An. Thanks so much for all your birthday wishes and our new lovely Vietnamese friends for making the day so special.

A day in the life of a static cycle tourist

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.

Below a snap shot of our daily routine.

Andy supervising breakfast being made by Nam our guesthouse owner and lovely host.
A great cook she is and a great start to the day.
Of course the pancakes were for Andy, alongside Vietnamese coffee, that looks like black sludge!
An hour later we are at the gym and he’s working off those pancakes!
Love our daily work outs for 50c each a day in what feels like a sauna.
Then it’s lunch time. Got to love Banh Mi. A baguette filled with lots of scrummy fillings with spicy chilli sauce.
These stands are all around town but ‘Madam Banh Mi’ is the best.
All for $1.25 each.
Then on the bikes we go for a bit of sightseeing.
At the beach ‘China Beach’ with Danang in the distance.
Through the fields we go.
Locals out for a spot of fishing
Fish farms in the countryside
Tra Que Herb Garden. Where all the local vegetables come from.
Vegetables so fresh and such immaculate gardens.
The main river in Hoi An


Fishing boats across the river in Hoi An
Oh and shopping……….have to throw a bit of that in every now and then and have to admit a few purchases have been made.
No problem spending a couple of hours at Mia Cafe watching the world go by, drinking coffee and eating carrot cake.


No day complete without beer o’clock
Now that sums up a great day in Hoi An (heavy rain tonight so stranded at reataurant next door to guesthouse).  Oops we were supposed to put dinner picture on but ate it too quick.



Hanging in Hoi An

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.

Not sure where we are but loving exploring Hoi An 
Managed to avoid being conned into a tour around the canals on these little boats.
Hoi An somewhere 
New cycle and scooter bridge linking Hoi An to outer island 
Riding over the bridge 
Riding through the rice paddie fields 
Rice drying on the roadside 
Hard work in 37 deg midday sun turning the cut rice with a stick to dry it out 
More roadside drying 
Another old local cruising the paddie fields 
Our guesthouse. This is our housekeeper/security who is 61yr old looks 80  not much taller than 4ft 6 and sleeps on the wooden couch to the left
Hmmmm what shall I have for brekki today?
Great lunch spot 
mama and granny making a fish shape waffle with chocolate in the middle that she sold for 25c each. 
This town is such a maze. Lost again in somebody’s back yard.
Favourite 18c beer watering hole
4pm rush hour, quiet break in traffic amongst the worst drivers 
Look what we found…….craft beer, Vietnamese style and french rose!not quite the sprig and fern but we were in heaven 
Lovely building at Hill Station bar! Our Hoi An Sprig and Fern.


Eating & Drinking our way around Hoi An

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.


This was our favourite spot 10yrs ago and it’s still here! 


Handmade jewellery. Great shopping here.
Hoi An Catholic Church 
Catholic Church Grotto 
The markets always so colourful


and always so crazy busy
Chickens, chickens and more chickens 
Our local cafe for a daily visit
not to mention the best carrot cake!
And the coffee connoisseur is very happy 
Pho – a Vietnamese staple. Noodle soup.
Lunch today put on at the guesthouse. Other guests from France and Netherlands 
Today is a meat free day in Vietnam. How funny would that be if we did that in NZ……
18c beers! Think he is in heaven but its no sprig and fern!

Cycling Vietnam is just crazy!

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 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!

Mountains to the right
Coast to the left
Seriously how hot can it really get and how much sweat can one lose.
The bike the only thing holding Andy up
This lovely lady came out of the shop while we were having a drinks stop and started fanning me. Didn’t want to leave.
The village last night.  Phuoc An maybe….
4pm rush hour on main street
The beach with a few seafood restaurants
Some form of rice soup for lunch
Lunch in the cage
Lovely at sunset
The small round boats dotted along the beach for them to paddle out to their fishing boats.
They are also called a coracle and it was very comical to watch them launch
Making their way to their fishing boats
Dinner last night. Very tasty marinated beef and cold noodles. Was OK but had better.


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.

Had to get our timing right to cycle through this tunnel to avoid trucks, buses, cas and scooters. Yes that’s a no cycle sign on the left but we didn’t see any other options.
Quiet back road departing Phuoc An
Start of the pass ready for action
Yahoo at the top! Looking back over Lan Co.
“Wow did we really just do that”
Yep we did and we have the photo looking knackered to prove it.
Drinks at the top
At the top the tourists doing their thing. We just took the photo.
View over the other side towards Danang
Danang out there somewhere
Nearly at the bottom and Danang in distance