21.10.2010 - 21.10.2010 31 °C
I left Steph in Hoi An and took a bike to Hue, where I would meet her again after she took the bus later that day.
It is indeed said to be one of the most beautiful stretch of road in Vietnam and the ride has been made famous by the dudes from the TV show ‘Top Gear’. Jeremy Clarkson said, "It was a bit of a surprise, because you expect to find many things when you come to Vietnam; "communist-ical" farming, reminders of the war, stunning food, massive heat. What you don't expect to find is a deserted ribbon of perfection - one of the best coast roads in the world."
I initially wanted to ride the bike myself but it turned out to be way too expensive so instead, I rode on the back of a driver, with my backpack strapped behind me. This gave me more time to admire the scenery, which was rather good I must say.
We followed the old coastal road through small fishing villages and cemeteries, along windy passes and stopped several times to take photos. Along the way we stopped at Marble Mountains, 5 marble & limestone outcrops. All of the mountains have cave entrances and several tunnels and also have a few Buddhist sanctuaries.
We continued along the famous Hai Van pass. Hai Van means "ocean clouds" and when crossing the top of the pass we were surrounded by clouds on one side with ocean views on the other. Unfortunately for us, the weather on the day wasn’t great, very misty but no rain, but the views were still beautiful. At the top of the pass the old lookout turrets used by both the French and the Americans during the wars are still evident.
We pass through more villages and rice paddies often getting off the road to take smaller back roads to visit some more sites.
In all, we did about 150km during the day at a speed of about 50-60km/h and arrived in Hue about an hour before Steph did. A cold beer and light dinner and we were off again to catch a flight to Hanoi. Our first flight in over 5 months, my fear of flying is still there but I hope its getting better as we have 5 more long flights before we get back home.