The Road to Saigon

Trip Start Nov 02, 2011
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Trip End Ongoing


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Friday, January 18, 2013


It's a relief actually to get back on the bike and moving again, the weather is fantastic, clear blue sunny skies and lots of lovely scenery. These are cycling notes really so won’t interest everyone but even have a wee look at some of my pictures, the beaches and scenery down this part of Vietnam were beautiful.

 

On leaving Nha Trang I passed all sorts of resorts and ended up out on a peninsula as I am trying to stick to the coastline as much as possible.  I pass Diamond Bay resort which has a golf driving range in it, someone is using it at the minute swinging and whacking golf balls out into the sea, I didn’t expect to see that here in Vietnam.  The road is pretty remote which I like, it has an old bridge which brings me back off the peninsula to mainland via interesing fishing villages

 
I stopped at the side of the road to take a picture of a temple when fellow cyclist Franco from Taiwan, stopped to say hello.  We ended up having a good conversation and in fact spent the next 5 days travelling down to Saigon together as we’re on the same route.  He’s funny and calls me his 'hero’ because I’m out here cycling on my own, he just can’t believe it.  So from Nha Trang I cover 110km and stayed out at Cam Ranh near a deserted beach, I bargained a good price for the guest house for the night and Franco was taking pictures of me, he’s never done it before and couldn’t believe the deal I got.  Massive luxury rooms, cable TV, fridge, ensuite etc and all for 200,000 VND (6.40), at night we ate king prawns and clams for dinner which were cooked up in no time and cost less a quid, delicious.

 
Off to an early start next morning and plan on getting to Mui Ne around 130km away, once again the weather is perfect, and we have some eggs and bread before we leave.  What a day, following the coast road down as far as we could, the map shows a possible road into Mui Ne which will let us get off the main road so we just go for it and I am so glad we did.  Although pretty much just a dirt track it took us out to the sea and sandunes which we were then able to follow the whole way down to Mui Ne… stunning.  Riding along with the sand dunes on one side, and the sea on the other, through tiny villages over the dunes eventually coming across amazing white dunes and lake which is a big tourist pull, by the time we get to Mui Ne though it’s getting late on, we’ve had that much fun on the road today, taking loads of pictures and generally just enjoying every minute.  Unfortunately it took us a while to find somewhere to stay, but was nice when we did and once again went out for some nice seafood for dinner, I could get used to this.

 
Mui Ne is a lovely place and I should probably stay but the momentum is keeping me going so we start off for Binh Chau (140km) enjoy the kite surfers on the way in, and sledging down the dunes and the market and it has a nice feel to it.  The road out is lovely again, and along the coast which I am really enjoying although it was too long a day and I was thoroughly exhausted by the time we had found and booked into a guest house.


From Binh Chau we cycled via Vung Tau before heading onto Tan Phuoc (120km), Franco shows me around Vung Tau as he has been here before.  On the mountain there is a massive statue of Jesus which can be seen for miles around, we cycled the whole way round the headland viewing other Buddha’s and Our Lady with Child which were lovely, peaceful and I really enjoyed.  We started then to make out way to Saigon to take some time off our journey the following day, today we’ve eaten Pho Bo every meal, but it’s been great every time.

 
And to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) a hard day on the main busy roads, especially when we had to merge with the main 1A… nightmare, need to keep your wits about you!  It really was frantic and fraught and held plenty of challenges.  As we were heading to Franco’s friends house we took a ring road which brought up over the highest bridge in Vietnam which had spectacular views of the whole city.  I was relieved to arrive and it was nice not only meeting Gerard but in the evening I was invited to join a group of their friend and I was delighted when I was presented with the Taiwan Tornado Team colors, a real honor.

 
I would like to thank Franco and his friends who made this part of the trip a real memorable experience which I thoroughly loved.  I will miss his fun and inspiration on the road… that’s for sure.  



 
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