A few posts back I said that Vietnam’s roads aren’t as bad as what I thought they were… I take it back. The roads are absolutely mental.
If you look closely at the photo above, you’ll see there are actually piglets in those baskets. I did get a closer image but I deleted it because it was more sad than anything. They are so squished in there and it’s way above 30 degrees.
If anyone reading this remembers taking the hazard perception test for their theory, the roads are a bit like but more extreme and bizarre. For example, in the space of one hour I would of had at least three near death experiences, dodged cattle/goats on the road, seen a few people transporting piglets/chickens in baskets, dodged building materials (such as 7ft pipes) being transported by bike, driven on roads still wet with fresh tarmac and avoided countless pot holes and sudden steps in the road. To say you get used to it after a while sounds ridiculous but you sort of do. At least you get used to checking your surroundings constantly.
All of the craziness makes it worth it when you get to ride places like the Hai Van pass.
This was easily the best motorcycle ride I have done. The views were stunning. I think I rode the whole way with my mouth open. I remember seeing this view point on the Top Gear challenge and thinking, I want to go there. As much as I dislike Jeremy Clarkson, he had a point when he said this image sums up Vietnam perfectly. A new engineering project, the traditional fishing boats, amazing greenery and beautiful coastline is Vietnam.
The views are getting better and better the further north we travel.
Here’s the view without me and my chicken legs in the way.
Before you get the to Hai Van Pass, you will see the Hai Van Quan which was built in 1826 by King Minh Mang. It over looks the pass and gives a sneak peak to what you’re about to drive. (If that’s the way you’re travelling that is!)
As you can see, it’s pretty packed with tourists, so when you get a photo opportunity just take it. Don’t try and wait for the area to clear because people will get in the photo whether you want them to or not.
We arrived in Hue quite late in the afternoon and left early in the morning so I didn’t get to explore as much as we wanted to. I did make sure we drove past the citadel though which was pretty cool.
I keep having to remind myself I’m in Vietnam every time I see a church because it just makes me think of Europe. The baguettes every where don’t help with the confusion either.
After a quick stop in Hue, we were on our way to Dong Hai then through to Vinh. Again we were just passing through these towns so we weren’t very good tourists but we did enjoy the ride. Especially with the clear skies and dry weather! It rained on us so much at the start of the trip I thought I would be a prune by the end.
We are getting closer and closer to Ha Long Bay and I can’t wait. Out of all of the places in Vietnam this is the one I’ve been most excited about. Here we will definitely be tourists and look into going on a boat ride.