South East Asia

Da Nang

The journey to Da Nang, was eventful to say the least….unbelievable. Why? We rode late into the afternoon, due to the fact we had spent much of the time early on in the day at the abandoned water park. We left Hue at 4:00pm hoping to avoid the rush hour.

As we set off  (the three musketeers) The weather was just perfect a little sun, a little breeze and no rain,  just perfect weather for bikers. We left a little later than we had originally planned and so decided not to use the  Ho Chi Minh Trail, as there isn’t much visibility when night has fallen, we were going to use the highway as logically this was the quickest route to get there.  but apparently the highway is closed to motorbikes overnight for safety reasons. What a blessing that turned out to be we had  to go via Hai Van Pass, what a ride WOW……. Even in the dark and the fog the bends in all the twists and turns and what must have been the smoothest road in the whole of Vietnam that i have ridden on.  ….Just wow, it was amazing to ride on, the smoothest road I have ever ridden on in the whole of Vietnam. The whole journey took us approximately 2 hours 20 minutes and around 96km (60 miles) to get to Lucky Bee Homestay. The owner of this homestay speaks excellent English and are so welcoming.

The three of us, talked about what to do the next day and we all agreed to get up at 4:45am. (are we mad) Why? Why not, we want to go back to Hai Van Pass and watch the sunrise with our own eyes. Oh my word it is the most beautiful thing I have seen in my life.  And to have witnessed such a spectacular  sunrise with 2 great friends, was breathtaking we spent a good  2 hours up there, just sitting, watching and wondering if we will ever see anything so spectacular again.  The photographs I took, are just, remarkable and unbelievable.

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The Three Musketeers!
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Chilling on a hammock, enjoying the view at the top Hai Van Pass

 

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Marco admiring the view with Jackie the motorbike
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The view from Hai Van Pass

The views are just so incredible, it was so worth it to get up very early in the morning.  You must really experience this even in the middle of the day when the sun is shinning in a clear blue sky or there are a few clouds the scenery is just so magnificent. The smoothest quietest road (apart from the occasional lorry beeping their horn to encourage you to move over so they could pass in safety).

Later on in the evening, that is where “What the hell happened in Da Nang” comes in. After the meal out with my great friends, Gabriel and Marco. We were on the way back and I am in the lead  navigating back to the home stay. No more than 3 minutes of leaving the small, Vietnamese restaurant (It was really tasty and yummy). I was about to the turn onto main road from the side road, out of nowhere, a lady driver on her Japanese Honda motorbike merged from main road to the side road, hit me from behind without breaking or using a signal to indicator to show me where she is going. I got hit badly from behind,  I hit the kerb, whilst trying to brake hard, before hitting the street light pole, but I ended up using gas, everything happened so quickly. Then I fell to the right, my leg hit the kerb, i was a bit dazed, luckily no broken bones. I also hurt my left chest badly when I hit the bikes handle bars, again luckily, no bruises or discolouring on my chest. I am so grateful to be alive and no major injuries. Just a bruise on my right leg and i felt stiff for couple of days. I was wearing a helmet and that was damaged, it now  has a big hole which I will show you later on. And the bike is not so good. The front of the bike is badly damaged, the front wheel is bent, the tyre popped. Headlight broken smashed into pieces, the speedometer fell out, hanging on the side, barely holding. being held by the electric wires on the side of the bike. The gear box is very loose. Other than that, the rest of the bike is fine and working. And I grateful to still be alive.

A local, stopped and helped us , he spoke excellent English and helped us get organised, he arranged for a truck to come,  pick me up along with my bike and put it in the back of his open truck back to the homestay.

Next day, we got a bike mechanic to come and pick up the damaged bike  to get it repaired, it  only cost £50 for a full repair and everything will be done by the next day. Shame on you United Kingdom! For any transport repairs (Cars, Vans, Motorbike) You are talking about sometimes a week or more, depending on what need doing. To wait for your transports fully repaired. In Vietnam, everything will be done within 24 hours.

Next day, we went to Packo Hostel, this is in the centre of Da Nang, a good 20 minutes away from Lucky Bee Homestay. This hostel is pretty cool,  there’s an open kitchen, so you can cook your own food, do it yourself breakfast all in with the price. They have a basketball court in the yard, spacious garden and most important of all, they have two, of the most loving, adorable and friendliest golden retrievers!  The hostel itself,  use es shipment containers to make dorm rooms, it is built under the concept of nature conserving and eco friendly.

Within 48 hours, of my 1st motorbike accident…I had another accident! This again was, not my fault.  I was turning left onto a path, to park up my bike, I used signals, checked mirror twice.The guy behind me wasn’t looking where he was going, he was supposed to right, not left. So…Baaaam, got hit from behind, again! This time, my brake light and back signals don’t work. So now, I got a cut behind my left thigh, luckily no bruise or broken bones, just pain in my chest and back from the previous accident. So now, I had enough and  have decided to sell my bike and it sold within 2 days for a reasonable price. (Time for public transport!). But I will be back to Da Nang in the future and finish my Ho Chi Minh Trail for my bucket list. I WILL BE BACK!

I ended up staying there for 6 nights, because the area is decent, everything is within walking distance to beach, bars and shops. The beach is incredible, nice soft sand, clean water and many waves, only small waves but there are surfers out there that want to surf, to find a perfect wave and enjoy! And you can see the the “White Lady Buddha” from a long way off.

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White Lady Buddha in the middle

The hostel is really cheap, only 100k per night, including food. What more can you ask for? (Maybe include a towel would be huge bonus!) The staff are friendly and helpful, giving  tips on where to go for activities ranging from Lady Buddha to Marble Mountain. There are many activities!

We went to see the Lady Buddha, which is the largest Buddha in the whole of Vietnam, the entrance is free, and definitely worth doing. The Lady Buddha stands over 232 feet tall. You just have to see it, and it is incredible how it was built using the white stone, the statue, stands over 232 feet high!

 

 

Da Nang itself, is an amazing city  not to be missed! There is  a Dragon Bridge which shoots out Fire and Water at 9pm every Saturday and Sunday. We only missed that by a couple of minutes,  they have to stop the traffic for 5 minutes or so, so that the the giant man-made dragon can shoot out fire and water in the middle of the road.

I know the photos are not great, as it was last minute decision to go there as I didn’t have my camera on me for Dragon Bridge.

Next day, I made my journey towards Hoi An, but that will be another time to write!

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