We went biking today and after we finished our hike and went back to where we parked our bikes the guide said to take any bike it doesn’t have to be yours. Just pick a good one. Only Vietnam
14 March 2018
What I’ve noticed about Vietnamese driving is that generally you have expectations for other drives and it gives a sense of security. But here people drive irrationally. They never check their blind spot so at anytime a car or bike may swerve into your lane. The worst is parked cars because you expect them to use their blinker when pulling out but instead they just go for it. I’ve almost gotten hit twice by this and seen it happen many other times. The biggest thing I’ve recently had happen is a lot of the big trucks swapped out their traditional car horn for train horns. You’ll be driving along and then all of a sudden you hear a huge screech right behind you. It’s truly startling. They semi trucks also have no problems pass you with a few inches of space. Along with all that most drivers disregard stop lights, never use their blinkers, and a large portion of cars don’t even have brake lights
12 March 2018
In town they have a few weird things that have become popular with the tourists. One of the first pubs to open in town was around 10 years ago so they were called the pub with beer. 6 years ago they got a fridge and became the pub with cold beer. Because it is a small farm town and they didn’t have a fridge until recently they would have guests go out into the farm and catch their own chicken if they wanted to eat lunch. Since it’s become a tourist destination where you run around a catch then kill your own chicken. The girl in charge was around 9 years old and had to help a few people kill their chickens. I had a hard time grabbing mine and eventually cornered it in the chicken coup. I thought it might be pretty gruesome but it didn’t bug me. It felt similar to when you have to stab the fish after spearing it. Next stop was at the duck farm where you feed ducks who swarm around you. They also putt feed near your feet so the ducks “massage you”. Finally you catch a duck and throw it
9 March 2018
Pretty adventurous last couple days in Phong Nha National Park. We explored 2 caves one by boat and the other on foot. Both had amazing stalactites and war history. Following these we did a longer 12 km hike through the jungle and then went exploring inside two more caves. One by foot and we all shut the lights off and it was pitch black and the other we swam into which was also a really cool experience. Another day we hiked around the botanical gardens and saw some waterfalls. There aren’t any hikes open to the public for money reasons as well as the risk of potential unexplored bombs left over from the war. On the long trek we met some really nice Swedish girls who have had the worst luck ever (rabbies, multiple concussions, food poisoning, a UTI, and more). The hostel/bar easy tiger in town is fun. All the young people hangout here and there is a live band. They also serve western food which has been a nice treat.
8 March 2018
Phong Nha is a pretty incredible town tucked into the mountains. It is part of the National Park so there hasn’t been much development but recently it has exploded with tourism. Most of the activities are caving and hiking as well as biking trough the mountainside. They also filmed the recent King Kong movie here. I had an amazing time and look forward to going back one day. My buddy Alex from New Zealand happened to stay at the same hostel which was fun hanging out again.
Biking from Dong Ha to Vin Nha today was crazy. It was raining lightly in the morning so we hit the road but about a half hour in the rain started pouring down and the wind was blowing extremely hard. All of the trees and rice leaves we’re at 45 degree angles and our bikes were getting pushed around like sails because of the bags on the back. Eventually we made it to the tunnels used during the Vietnam war and got an excellent tour. 6 people would live in a tiny 4 ft by 6 ft rooms. There were three levels of tunnels because our bombs were able to penetrate the first level so they had to dig deeper. Off to the National Park now. We’re hoping to make it there by sundown