Saturday, January 14, 2017

Day 3 - Let's Cycle to Hoi An from Da Nang

After staying here for the first 2 nights we had to leave for Hoi An. We left some of our stuff here as we will be back here again in 3 days time.
A delicious chicken and beef noodle with plenty of green vegetable, the weather continued to be wet with drizzle on and off.
The coffee shop that we had for our breakfast and there are many of this kind of shop in the area.
The wet day persisted and we continued to move on.
Taking shelter at this coffee shed, this time the rain was rather heavy, fortunately it did not last for long. After finishing our coffee we proceeded with the pedal. The lady operating the coffee business was also having a good sale of raincoats, we could see many unprepared motorcyclists stopping by to buying these raincoats.
We not only used the secondary road we also used narrow alley of such.
Marble Mountains at the coastal area that is renowned for stone-cutting and sculpture which is about 9km south of Danang.
 One of the accesses to the mountains. The caves within the mountains hold many secrets including bullet holes from when troops used to spy on the US soldiers relaxing on My Khe Beach below and buildings standing within the caves.
A cluster of five hills made from limestone and marble, Marble Mountains are a well-known pilgrimage site with peaks, caves, tunnels and temples.
The surrounding development and new sights of Da Nang at Non Nouc Beach.
We stopped by at this homestay for a coke, had a chat and were introduced to this place for future stay.
We enjoyed the ride meeting the locals on their bicycles from young to old. The weather suddenly turned better. The houses here are relatively new and road are new.
Hitting a new engineering structure, a beautiful bridge at a remote part of Da Nang.
The veiw from the bridge overlooking the Marble Mountains and a river.
As we went deeper into the interior we could see older settlements, narrower roads.. It seems like an old village settlement.
More and more roads encountered with flooded water some passable some not.
The surrounding houses are unique, small with interesting design and each having a plot of land in front of it. 
We made a couple of turning back rides due to the flooding condition and this was one of them. We were advised by these people to use other way, my plan was to use the route along the water line to get to Hoi An. 
Another road that we had to skip and turn away.
We bumped into this mobile bao seller several times on the road and the last time we saw him was when we stopped for a coffee break. His bao was steaming hot, meaty and delicious.
This old settlement has a pottery village nearby but due to the flood we were not able to visit it. This place looks pretty popular with many locals trading and marketing at the road side.
Then the rain came back again as we were getting closer to the ancient town of Hoi An.
The sight of the ancient town crowded with foreigners and indeed a testimonial of a popular touristic place in Da Nang.
We were supposed to cross the river using the bridge in front but it was impossible to do so, the alternative mode of transport was just right in front of us.
The boat ride to Long Life Riverside Hotel and goodness we will be staying there for 2 nights in this condition. I was glad we managed to reach Hoi An by bicycles despite the wet and the flooded roads.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Danang - Day 2 Let's See More of Danang

The date was 13 December 2016. Danang during a raining season where most of the time it was wet and the Vietnamese wears huge poncho while riding their motorbikes.
We started the day early but was hampered by the rain and ended up here for a breakfast. This was our first time eating a Vietnamese sandwich popularly known as "Banh mi" a food influenced by the French people. This was the best among the many we took during our stay in Danang. The Banh Mi was warm, spicy and well toasted. Of course not forgetting the concentrated black coffee of Vietnam.
 Some of their daily scenes in Danang.

Our first visit to the touristic spots of Da Nang was the Zone 5 Military Museum which covers all the wars in Vietnam and has so many exhibits to see from small weapons to jet planes. 
 Entrance fee is 60,000 Dong for non-Vietnamese. It is free for the local.
Jo shopping for local helmet.
Da Nang Museum of Cham Sculptures has the largest collection of Cham Art in the world. It is located near Han River where the Dragon Bridge is also located.
It was time to look for food and this attractive chicken delicacy shop managed to convince me try the food. It was indeed a good choice the poached chicken was truly delicious which was eaten with some pickles, spices and lime.
Jo had a puncture at her rear wheel, it was a tiny puncture and a spare tube was available for the replacement.
Da Nang Cathedral was built by French priest Louis Vallet in 1923, with a pink-painted edifice that earns its reputation as one of the most unique catholic churches in Vietnam.
Trawler boats seen at the River of Han from the Dragon Bridge.
On our way back to the villa, we went to My Khe Beach. The sea was rough I doubt it is good for a swim. This clean sandy beach apparently stretches very long for miles and it was named by the US soldiers during the Vietnam War.
We found a travel agency to book for a day tour to Hue on the 5th day of this stay. So Day 5 is taken care, tomorrow we will cycle to Hoi An but the weather is expected to continue to be wet.
As we were cycling towards Lotte Mart from My Khe Beach we saw this temple with a huge white statue at the main road and I found out that it is the Chua Ba Da Pagoda.
At the proximity of Lotte Mart we saw this amusement park known as Asia Park with a huge ferris wheel together with a few sport complexes.
As we were about to reach our villa we bumped into this house which is a bicycle repair shop. Though we could not speak with one another but we managed to convey as what was needed to be done. He patched Jo's inner tube for a fee of 10,000 Dong (RM2.00). I had to thank him for saving my time and effort for doing the patch and in fact he did it better and more professionally.
Banh Mi sandwich again and it is so easily found on the streets of Vietnam. This one is just near the bicycle repair shop. We packed two and bought a few cans of beer back. Hoi An is next on the list for tomorrow's itinerary.
The route we took for day 2.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

First time to Vietnam and Welcome to Danang

My apology for the long silence here, Sometime August last year I have committed into something back to school and would be busy until mid 2017 but I will try to post a few. First of all, a Happy New Year 2017 to you.
I decided to visit Vietnam especially after hearing so much of Hoi An from Cheng a couple of years back. We took a week off for the trip together with our Bromptons. It was via Airasia we flew from Kuala Lumpur to Danang. Here we were at the Danang International Airport after setting up our bicycles and ready to roll looking for our accommodation. 
The traffic system is different from Malaysia everything is in the opposite direction just like the American traffic system. Many times we were on the opposite direction.
The accommodation we were staying isn't too far from the airport but our GPS navigating device took us for a longer route to avoid busy and major roads. We stayed at Cosy Riverside Villa, Thong Long Road (Lotte Mart is about a km away) 
Immediately after checking into the villa we went out into the busy streets of Danang. Jo was fearful of the traffic but after some coaxing she felt calmer and  was slowly getting used to the system.
At the Dragon Bridge over River Han and this is one bridge one would not miss when they are in Danang. It was raining but kind of a light rain.
We went roaming in the city of Danang and it went into the night as we passed by this beautiful Dragon Bridge again with its various lighting effects.
A simple meal at a chicken rice shop not too far from the Dragon Bridge for dinner.
Day 1 - we rode for about 32km exploring Danang with our Bromptons including the route from the Airport to Cosy Riverside Villa. The biggest challenge of the day was to cross a busy street of Danang. You just need to bravely push the bicycle across the zebra crossing, they would not wait for you to cross but they will accommodate your crossing.