Dong Hoi today, Dong Ha tomorrow.

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Where I stayed
Ha's Hotel

Flag of Vietnam  ,
Thursday, February 17, 2011

We were kept awake ALL night by the staff at the horrible guesthouse shouting outside our room. As soon as we switched the light on in the morning, they then had the audacity to bang on our door and try to barge in as soon as Mikey opened it. Apparently we had unplugged something so that they couldn't watch their TV! Mikey pushed them back out of the room and said tough luck. We hit the road as soon as possible, desperate to get out of this bleak area. (Having said that we later read a blog of a cyclist who had stayed at the other hotel in town 2 weeks ago, and he’d had to pay 20 dollars for the privilege of a foul noisy room. At least our pit was only 6.)

It rained for the first 15 miles, making for muddy boring riding, but after that point Highway 1 hit the sea and the scenery started to get a bit more interesting. The beach looked much better than it had up north, and had it not been grey and cold, I think we would definitely have had a dip. For some reason the traffic had dramatically decreased as well making for relaxed riding. However, the tiny towns on route were clearly very poor and people were living in grim looking shacks.

We stopped at the bottom of a small pass crossing through a hill range and made friends with some cheeky little girls playing with elastic bands in the road. At the top of the pass we saw two young boys and a very old and stooped lady waiting using her hat as a begging bowl. The smallest boy ran to help us, pushing our bikes until we got to the top. Mikey gave him an orange which he pocketed with a big smile. When we gave the grandma some change, all three thanked us and waved after us. As we cycled off we felt really happy, other encounters with beggars have involved aggressive demands for more money but this time we actually felt that the money might go to feeding and helping them. Later in the day we reached Ba don, a fishing village where hundreds of colourful fishing boats further brightened our day.

At the end of 60 miles,  Dong Hoi was smaller than we had expected, but we managed to find a clean, good room in a hotel with a lovely receptionist who actually spoke English. They were very excited to have us and even prepared a special 'English-style’ Vietnamese supper for us -  more beef and rice with carrots cut into flower shapes!

A much more positive day, thank goodness!

Miles cycled: 60 with a hill in the middle

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