Lang Co to Hoi An

Trip Start Jan 31, 2011
Trip End Dec 15, 2011

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

07:53 I didn't sleep very well last night, not only because of the noise of the main road, but also the temperature, that I was bitten on the arm which was quite painful and I had the dreams again, which is happening far too often. I got up at 7 and had a look through my bag. I discovered that due to the way Tri tightly ties it on so well, that I occasionally have a messy contents explosion. This morning it was the moisturiser, which I haven't needed since leaving the cold of Russia, so it was evicted and abandoned and I spent 20 mins cleaning up my bag and everything that got mess on.
It's early and already unbearably hot.
14:02 We drove along Lang Co lake for a while and then as we left and started driving up into the hills I looked back and I could swear this was in the Top Gear Vietnam episode- when he suggests it's a metaphor for Vietnam- the modern bridge and chugging boat. I'll check on the episode later.

As we continued up into the hills on Hai Van Pass we passed some American bunkers right at the top where we stopped so I could get off and have a look. The bunkers can see right over to Lang Co and also to Da Nang on the other side. After I'd finished taking pics we rode over the hill heading towards Da Nang which had miles of beaches. It's a bit of a dull town and in some places quite scruffy (and with a vietnamese mentality to just toss rubbish aside where they stand i'm not surprised, I had to stop Tri from doing it at one place, then he took me to a waterfall and threw his 2 litre plastic water bottle aside when I wasn't looking - thinking I hadn't seen. We were at a waterfall for goodness sake, not a touristy one with millions of roadsweepers, one near a village where that bottle will just sit! I told him off about that too saying "keep Vietnam tidy!") Da Nang seems to be a place with a huge amount of potential as a holiday resort (although there area some posh hotels and a golf resort there already). In amongst the beaches and the scruff there were a couple of surprises. A huge white Buddha statue looking toward the city, and a place called Marble Mountain- a small mountain (mountain in the Halong bay random 'hill' in the middle of flat land sense of the word) made, I believe, of marble. I took the elevator up (of course, it's effing hot, - have you noticed?) and then panted and sweated my way round a maze of paths leading up and down hills, round various pagodas and temples and to some huge caves with buddhas inside. It was all very pretty.

When I returned to the bike we set off for Hoi An and arrived nice and early at 1245. I took a shower, found more exploded bathwares in my shower bag so had to give that a clean too! This was the one and only day that me and Tri had to share a room since it's more expensive in Hoi An.

We then out onto the bike for a 1.30 ride into the old town for lunch.

17:26 I had lunch at a very nice place overlooking the river and all the fishing boats. Motorbikes and cars have been banned before 5 so I was able to sit out by the road and enjoy the peace and view. I had an actual pizza. ham and pineapple. stone baked. Delicious. Does this make me a poor traveller that at least once a day I like to eat something familiar? I think today no, considering my lack of sleep and the bad dreams leading to a lower than par mood today, having my fav pizza with a coke and a nice quiet view was just what I needed.

After lunch Tri took me to a tailor and I asked for a long sleeved linen shirt in baby blue and black linen trousers to be made for me. $65 for a couple of items I anticipate wearing plenty in the coming hot months. I have to return tomorrow at 8 for a first fitting, any adjustments, then we leave Hoi An at 10.30. If only I had more money I'd have some suits made.

Next stop the beach. Yes you heard, this is make you super jealous time. THE BEACH!! Indeed, I arrived at a white sandy beach with sunbeds and fixed banana leaf shades and I went in the sea which was blissfully warm and clear, swam about then lay on my sunlounger (in the shade, damned white burny skin! Argh! Someone get me some melanin injections please! Apparently this is actually possible!) reading the hitchhikers guide. I'm still reading it, because I'm a slow reader and as many of you know my fingers like to keep busy on any number of gadgets rather than sit still and read. As technology and sand doesn't mix I read (but confess I'm writing a good deal of this now on the beach holding on very tightly to my iphone and glaring at anyone that wants to come running near me throwing up sand behind them!).

The beach has been getting busier and busier since 5 with what seems like a constant stream of people and quite possibly the local population of Hoi An who are arriving with children, life jackets, crates of beer, and entire picnics.

There is a old lady about 4ft tall wearing a pink silk outfit and what looks like a dishcloth on her head, chewing betelleaf and collecting cans and bottles.
18:47 Having reviewed the top gear episode I totally did the ride they did today! Check out the very middle of top gear around 30 mins in! It's so cool to recognise it!
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Lizziekins on

Oh how I crave to be on a beach like that! Stunning Zoe - all of it!

helena on

beautiful and wonderful. (but you need to clean your camera lens. ;)

Mary Akehurst on

Zoe, this is pure magic. I'm so enjoying reading your travel stories....and the pics are wonderful. I'm travelling in my armchair!

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