Hoi An is lovely, though its very well known for its shopping and tailored made suits. I didn't buy a suit as i dont see the point yes its cheap but really you pay your money n it sits in the cupboard at home. We had two days here did abit of shopping bought some singlets, chopstick resters, chopstick box to keep them in and a hand made puppy. The puppy is a stuffed toy but has some lovey sewed designs into it. Other then that i sat by the pool played in it for a while n chilled.
So after the the dinner we set off to the over night train to Hue. The train wasnt the most comfortable but hey its better then nothing, the train had 2 sets of bunks to fit four people. We arrived in Hue at about 9 am and once at the hotel we had breaky n set off on our bikes for a 20km ride around the city.
We did about 5 km before we did a 2 hr city walking tour around the old imperial citadel where the former emperors lived. Unfortunately most of it was destroyed in the war.
After this the day was ours to enjoy. Most of us sat by the pool and relaxed then it was dinner time we went out into the town.
28 October 2017
Well today we set off to ride to Hoi An from Hue. During the travels we went through a number of interesting cemetery's one of which is huge and the deceased family member is burried in a beautiful mossiac shrine its hard to explain but it costs about $200,000 to build. With this being said they start building these before the person dies.
As we were riding it became rainy so we had to stop get on the bus n drive to lunch. To our surprise (sarcasm) it cleared up and we did a lovely 10 km around the lake before the big challenge the Hai Van Pass.
A little aboutthe Hai Van Pass is it is a 20 km stretch of road with a 8% gradient going up one way. I'll be honest and say it was a challenge but a bitch to climb.
After this we descended the other side the guide (long) says dont go infront of me though as per usual that falls on deaf ears with Patrick n Chris but yeh. Then we are off to Hoi An.
Though one thing is i have noticed is Patrick my room mate always has to make everything a race.
25 October 2017
Today is actually my BIRTHDAY!! and we were riding 50km before lunch. Today we ventured into the villages that grew pineapples, i didn't know that they grew in the ground. Anyways so we got a bus to our bike location and started the ride, most of this ride was free again so a few of us raced the first 16 km got some great speeds though the little hills kill you. We stopped for snacks then done another 18 km which again was free since the roads are straight n flat we are able to go. We stopped for snacks again then headed for the last leg of the journey where we would say good bye to our northern bikes and team as they would not be following us into the south.
After lunch was free time from 2pm till 7pm which was dinner. Dinner was at a family home where they cooked us duck and chicken it was ok just the duck n chicken were very under cooked as in still chewy n red (Sorry for the details) we also had snails which wasnt too bad and my birthday cake which was delicious
24 October 2017
So today we set off on our first big ride 70km in a day! So we got the bus from Hanoi about an hour and a half later stopped and go onto the bikes and rode our first 50km of the day whilst stopping at either 20 km or 30 km for a short rest abd then back out on the road.
Riding is abosultley chaos but fun busses, trucks, cars and motorbikes all over taking on the wrong side of the road beeping there horns at you!!
Once we finished our first 50 km we stopped for lunch delicious btw. We got back on the bus and were off to our next stop ontop of the hill looking over Mah Chai a small village in the rice fields. We rode down a 700 metre above see level hill for 10 km then across the back roads behind the rice Pattie fields which were amazing!!
Finally got to the village and checked in 12 ppl in one room sleeping together but separately of that makes sense?
We had a walk around the markets i bought bamboo chopsticks 😊😊 then we had dinner with some potent Rice Whisky 40% had 2 shots
Today we set off from Mai Chai to Nin Binh which included a 80km ride. So we got back on the bus and we set off up the mountain where we woukd collect our bikes and ride down the hill.
At the bottom of the mountain we rode into a small village which had been recently affected by the latest floods which caused a massive landslide which killed 8 families with in the village they say it hit at abiut 1 am in the morning. As we travelled along we found it hard in some places to ride due to the landslides.
After this we rode through some small villages and mingled withthe local ppl. Most of this ride was free as in you just ride at your own pace until you reached the bus. We stopped a few times just to have snacks and refuel. Once we reached our final stop we dumped the bikes and got on the bus and travelled the hotel where we rested up.
Today was the first actual day on tour. There are 12 of us on the tour and my room mate is from Switzerland. So today we went out exploring the other parts of Hanoi. So we went to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum where the president himself is buried. Usually able to see him though they had reno's there for the next 3 months. We also went to check out the presidential palace massive line but was super fast. Interestingly we met a group ph high school students from near the Chinese border who had never met westerners before so they took a million photos of us.
After this we set off to find our mountain bikes and set off for a 20km ride back to the hotel. Was fun and interesting a few near misses due to traffic but hey all in the name of fun.
We stopped at a location where part of a B-52 bomber was shit down and landed in this pond in the middle of this little town square. Then set off back to the hotel.
Me Richard n Lynne went for dinner where the restaurant couldnt speak English
So to start off flew in from Sydney to Ho Chì Min City about 8.5 hrs then transferred through to the domestic terminal with just the right amount of time to fly north to Hanoi. Met my transfer who had to pick up 2 others who were on my tour Richard and Lynne who are traveling brother and sister. Made it to the hotel surprisingly without an accident and then went to bed finding out there is a 4 hr time difference between here n home being home ahead 4 hrs
21 October 2017
So today was the first actual day adventuring in the city of Hanoi. The first rule in Vietnam when crossing the road is just cross n dont stop they will stop for you or drive around you. Abit of an unnatural feeling but was fun in the end. Had breakfast and then headed out to explore the city with Richard and Lynne. I was told they booked a cooking class at 11 am so i joined in after walking around the city. Bought a Northface rain jacket really light for like $20 aus which is super cheap so was pretty stoked.
The cooking class was at a place called apron up was abosultley amazing walked the streets and bought the fresh food eg: meat, veg and herbs.
Pretty amazing the food is quiet literally fresh only just had been cut up was an experience. We collected everything then returned to the kitchen to cook a number of different traditional Vietnamese meals was great fun well worth the experience 4 hrs cooking and an amazing lunch.
After this we set off to the hotel to meet the tour