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Old 01-15-2014, 05:54 PM   #91
Radioman
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Nice RR! Enjoying your travels!
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Chapter 3 of my life...... with Faith, Hope and Courage!

Ride of my Lifetime...... Thread started 5/11/2011 http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...0#post15950430
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:37 AM   #92
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Looks fantastic guys. Just booked flights to Hanoi so enjoying your RR whilst stealing ideas!!!
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:52 AM   #93
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Radioman!

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Originally Posted by Radioman View Post
Nice RR! Enjoying your travels!
Thanks Mark. Wow, I'm honored you found my Little'Nam RR

I've been following you from the get-go and you are a true inspiration. Thank-you so much for your positive outlook on life, your detailed RRs and your famous Radioman 'jump'. Mark - you rock! Keep your 'stick on the ice' (as we say up here in Canada), stay positive and keep us all posted, I wish you all the very best on your next chapter.

Cheers!

(should take me another few weeks to finish up this Vietnam RR so stay tuned)
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:55 AM   #94
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Hanoi!

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Originally Posted by nichio3478 View Post
Looks fantastic guys. Just booked flights to Hanoi so enjoying your RR whilst stealing ideas!!!
Thanks. When do you fly to Hanoi? Planning a Moto-trip?? PM me with any questions what-so-ever. And it isn't 'stealing ideas' here on ADV, it is more like, 'building your trip' based on what others have experienced... I did the same before this trip with other Vietnam RRs.

Such a great resource
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:09 AM   #95
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Cabo Break!

Hola ADVers,

It hasn't been snowing much in BC so I decided to fly down to Cabo for a week to wait it out. My OldMan is down here, and he is normally up to all kinds of no-good, so I figured I'd spend a week keeping an eye on the old boy and drink some of his cervesas.

I'll get on the next post in about a week.

Cheers

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Old 01-28-2014, 12:25 PM   #96
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Phong Nha Farmstay - our oasis...

Day 16 - Wednesday, November 20
Distance - 142 kms = total for day ~ 3.5 hrs
Trip Odometer = 1843 kms
Route - Huong Khe - Phong Nha Farmstay. South from Huong Khe on HCMT (Ho Chi Minh Trail) to Son Trach (for lunch) then to Phong Nha Farmstay.
Hotel - Phong Nha Farmstay (600,000d = $30)
Weather - Dry and cloudy and then wet and cold. By lunch it cleared up which was good.




We had a fairly quick zip to the Phong Nha Farmstay, our welcomed oasis. It was wet, yet again, but we managed to pound down the kms throughout the morning on the HCMT. We arrived to the town of Son Trach at lunchtime so we pulled up to one of the many street stalls in the main market area and sat down for a hot lunch before proceeding the final few kilometers to the Farmstay.




I had made a reservation at the Phong Nha Farmstay online as it was stated that they fill up quickly due to their popularity. There were also a range of accommodation options in the town of Son Trach, but we wanted the luxury of the travellers paradise at the Farmstay.


As it is stated clearly on both their website and on Trip Advisor, the Phong Nha Farmstay isn't really a 'farmstay' per-say, but instead a lovely traveler's oasis set in amongst rural farmland within this area of Vietnam (we weren't sleeping in barns with the local pigs and chickens if that is what you think of when you hear 'farmstay'). They offer a plethora of tours and trips that can be booked right from the hotel reception. Also, seeing that it is in a rural location, they offer a wonderful restaurant at the Farmstay with a variety of western and Vietnamese options in addition to a wide assortment of cocktails, spirits, wines and beers


Our plan was to stay at the Farmstay for x2 nights and to tour the Phong Nha cave systems in the Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park the following day. We booked this through one of the day long tours the Farmstay offers as we wanted to be on auto-pilot as tourists for the day.






The owners are an Australian and Vietnamese couple and the Farmstay is located right in the village where Bich grew up. It employs all of her immediate family and many others from the Village and surrounding area. This is Ben and Bich's Ural pictured above. Ben mentioned that he took the family (they have x1 boy) on a trip throughout the north on this bike and it sounds like they covered a loop similar to our route in the north.












Next day - tour through the Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park visiting the Paradise Cave, 8 lady temple, and kayaking into the Dark Cave - a full day adventure off the bikes... can't wait!







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Old 01-30-2014, 03:59 PM   #97
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Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Parks cave tour

Day 17 - Thursday, November 21
Distance - 0 kms = total for day ~ 0 hrs by bike
Trip Odometer = 1843 kms
Route - Phong Nha caves tour excursion
Hotel - Phong Nha Farmstay (700,000d = $35)
Weather - Dry and cloudy.


We had booked our cave excursion at the Farmstay the night before, therefore we were all set for our 8:30am departure with a few other travellers staying there. We both loaded up on a delicious breakfast and promptly hopped on the passenger van which sat in the Farmstay drive. Our first stop was in the village of Son Trach where we loaded up a bunch of other travellers who were staying at various hotels in the town. Turns out, the owners of the Phong Nha Farmstay also own a travellers hostel in the town (the Tiger something??). They recently turned their dorm rooms at the Farmstay into private rooms and suggested to folks who want more of a budget option to stay at their hostel in the town of Son Trach.




Amanda's new friend eyeing up her tasty breakfast at the Farmstay...








Our tour guide asked us why the cliff face above wasn't covered with thick foliage typical of Vietnamese hillsides, mountains and cliff faces. Funny enough, I had just read the night before that US bombers would bomb the cliffs in order to expose secret cave systems. The cliff above was bombed during the war and has yet to recover.






Above: The River that flows with blood and diesel.




We had 2 tour guides for the day, a local Vietnamese guy named Hung, and a Vietnamese-American (above) named Dean who had been living and working at the FarmStay for a few years. He is originally from Seattle and had a wealth of knowledge about the area, about the war, and about the cave systems alike. Both of these guides were a pleasure to be around for the day.




We then stopped at a war shrine known as the Eight Lady Cave. Apparently 8 people (turns out, they weren't all ladies) got trapped in a cave after a bomb blast and they died there.












Above: Dean from Seattle was explaining details about the 8 Lady Cave. The National Park had a monument made for the people who lost their lives. It explained their ages and the villages they were originally from. You can see a bomb casing hanging in the tree to the left: Ironically enough, these were used as early warning signals, locals would hit them with a stick and they would send off a gong-like-sound that would echo through the jungle. Vietnamese villagers would also not speak in the jungle as they heard rumours that the American military had areas wire tapped, therefore they used simple and effective techniques as an alternative to verbal communication.




When arriving to the Paradise Cave (one of Phong Nha National Park's premier cave systems), we were whisked off in 'Jurassic Park' style buggies which followed simple, concrete pathways to a system of stairs (just over 500!) which brought us to the entrance of the cave system. We were both very impressed with how set-up and efficient this tour was.








The Paradise Cave was discovered in 2005. It wasn't until very recently in 2011that it was opened to the public. The cave system is over 31 kms in length and we were able to explore the first 1 km which was surprisingly vast. Travellers were also able to book custom multi-day trips in this cave system with private guides.




Above: This sign showed the 1km that we were about to discover with the inset map explaining the full 31.4 km cave system.






Upon entering, our jaws dropped with the size and scope of this cave system. Amazing. We followed a boardwalk style staircase deep into the main chamber and it was so large, it was breathtaking. They had a great lighting system that followed the boardwalks, lighting the walls and features just enough to see the details.












Photographs really don't do this cave system any justice.




We followed a series of boardwalks the full 1 km into the cave. It often pinched down and then would open up into another chamber and cavern, it was incredible. The caves were extremely clean, with rubbish bins and seating areas with benches for tourists wanting a quick rest.


After visiting a few of the cave systems in the Ha Long Bay area in the north, we were both very impressed with the Paradise Cave in the Phong Nha National Park. It was a tour that is not to be missed, well worth it.








I had also heard before our trip to Vietnam, that the longest cave system in the world was recently opened to public and it is also in Vietnam. It is called the Son Doong Cave and it even has a fast flowing river within. In early 2013 a group went into the cave system for 7 days, 6 nights at a $3000US price tag per person. They are limiting access to the Son Doong Cave with a high price tag and a limited number of visits per year.






I found a nice, little, 2 smoker custom en route to the toilets after the tour.






Next up was the Dark Cave. The Dark Cave was accessed by paddling inflatable kayaks along a mellow river to the entrance, entering via a boardwalk and then swimming into the cave with only headlamps for light. It was a adventurous change from the lit-up Paradise cave system.




We were provided with PFDs, hard hats with headlamps, half-paddles ('cause thats all you need I guess) and sturdy one-size-fits-all Vietnamese footwear... we were SET!






'High-Ho, High-Ho... Off to the Dark-Cave we gooooooo!'








Entrance to the Dark Cave...




Our Vietnamese Guide 'Hung' getting down and dirty in the Dark Cave.


The Dark Cave was excellent. We swam along sections to get deeper into the cave and then we were brought along narrow, muddy, off-shoot tunnels that brought us up into other room systems before descending back into the main cavern which eventually brought us back to the entrance.




The full-day tour was fantastic. We arrived back to the Phong Nha Farmstay happy and spent. I decided to go with a pasta special for supper and it was great. The main hall (lobby, restaurant, bar, lounge area) of the Farmstay had a warm atmosphere complete with fire pit on one side. Both nights we were there, we had nice conversations with fellow travellers about our various trips throughout Vietnam and where we were all headed to next.










We both would have loved another day at the FarmStay to unwind and relax, but tomorrow, we would be back on the road, back on the bikes and this time, heading east to the South China Sea and back to the coast which we last visited when we were in Ha Long Bay at the beginning of our trip.


A couple of the guys who worked at the FarmStay suggested a great route for us east into the DMZ (Demilitarised Zone), up past the Vinh Moc Tunnels and then south to Hue along a more rural route - rather than taking the busy, hectic Hwy #1. We were pleased to get some good info and excited to follow this route.







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Old 02-02-2014, 07:19 PM   #98
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Our Palace in Hue...

Day 18 - Friday, November 22
Distance - 235 kms = total for day ~ 7 hrs
Trip Odometer = 2078 kms
Route - South on HCMT from Phong Nha to Ben Quan then east on #571 to Hwy #1. South along Hwy #1 to #572 to Vinh Moc then south along 576B to 49B and 49A to Hue (beautiful route).
Hotel - Hue Serene Palace Hotel (600,000d = $30) Nicest, newest hotel to date!
Weather - Wet in the morning, dried up as we approached the South China Sea - sunshine! Then cloudy and dry to Hue.


Leaving the Phong Nha Farmstay was tough, even though we had only been there for 2 nights. It was a warm place to stay with good energy and great folks. We met a fellow ADV Rider and his wife upon arrival. Craig (below) and his wife, both from Australia had travelled through Vietnam once before by bike and he and his lovely wife came back for more. They arrived at the Farmstay the same day we did and were offered a position to work for a week as a employee was going on vacation. They gladly took the position and this is Craig supporting his uniform in style.




Craig and his wife rented the exact same bikes they rented a few years prior... 'His' and 'Her' Honda 125s.




Another reason it was tough leaving the Farmstay was that we had to make another decision with our route. Originally, I had planned to head south along the HCMT through Khe Sanh, as I had heard this stretch of road was amazing, with the road at times literally touching the border to Lao.


We opted to head east instead and along the coast to enjoy the cities of Hue and Hoi An which included riding the famous Hai Van Pass between Hue and Danang. We also thought that the closer we got to the coast, the more rain we could potentially avoid. We were both a tad tired of all the rain, so to the coast it was... to the South China Sea and beaches... miles and miles of beaches.




A couple of creepy-cats at our morning coffee break




By the time we arrived to the South China Sea, the weather was starting the break and it was getting warmer. We were both excited about this, we took a few layers off and enjoyed the warmth. Dean (from Seattle) who lived and worked at the Phong Nha Farmstay told us to head to the 'Vinh Moc' tunnels north of Hue as they were an interesting array of complex tunnels. More than 90 families disappeared underground due to heavy US bombing in this coastal area during the American War. We had heard via other travellers that it was an interesting stop and we both were keen on seeing the area and learning more about the history of Vinh Moc.


By the time we hit the coast, we had realized that we popped out closer to Cua Tung Beach south of Vinh Moc. We also realized that we still had quite the push to Hue, so opted out of backtracking north to the tunnels and we instead pushed south along the coast due to light and time.




My Honda XR 150 work-horse, a surprisingly fun bike to ride (aside from the horribly uncomfortable seat).




Loads of shrines and monuments dotted this section of the coast as did a plethora of deep pits.












Vietnam Tourism monument on the South China Sea






We followed stretches of roads that hugged the coast north of Hue. We were very impressed with the quality of roads along this stretch. We felt like we were following golf-cart tracks with little to no traffic. The traffic we did encounter was mostly other moto-scoots, bicycles and animals for the most part. Also, there were many roadside monuments, cemeteries and shrines in remembrance of those lost in the war. We found that these stretches of roads were ironically peaceful.








We pulled up to a woman selling various items out of a cart in a small village along the coast road. We loaded up for a picnic lunch, bought some fruit and mystery snacks from her and pulled off the road next to this man-made canal for a break just up the road. It was a great roadside stop and we were both ecstatic that it wasn't raining and we could enjoy our surroundings with a bit of heat and dryness in a tranquil setting. It was at times like this that made traveling Vietnam by bike worth every minute, even those minutes spent cold and in the miserable rain. On the bikes, we could stop where we wanted, when we wanted and as long as we wanted, it was perfect.








Travelling along Hwy 576B was excellent. It was mellow and peaceful with long stretches of road that were as straight as an arrow. Hwy #1 was paralleling this road roughly ~15-20km to our west, which is why this road was empty and peaceful. We were still able to hold a good speed and cover a great deal of ground even by avoiding the hectic main route of the #1. We were very pleased with the suggestion to travel along these roads, I would definitely recommend these as an alternate to Hwy #1 between Vinh Moc and Hue.






















We had started making reservations online and in advance for hotels before we stopped at Phong Nha. We knew we would be traveling along a more touristy route from this point on and almost all the way to HCMCity, therefore our choice, price and quality of accommodation would be fairly easy to research online and to reserve in advance, especially in the more popular locations.


We had read a good recommendation online for the Hue Serene Palace Hotel in Hue and we went ahead and made a reservation. I also plugged in the location onto my phone via Google Maps and figured I would have an easy time navigating the city and landing at our hotel. Turned out, the address that the hotel had listed on TripAdvisor or their website was wrong. Once in Hue, I circled the block 3-4 times in fairly heavy traffic trying to find it. I stopped in a couple of different hotels and businesses to ask, and still, I couldn't find this hotel. I was just about to snap and blow my top, when finally I asked the right person and they knew the exact location. The address I had on my map was wrong. We were x2 blocks off and hadn't traveled down the right skinny laneway. But we finally found our 'Palace' for the night. And a palace it WAS. The Hue Serene Palace Hotel was rated #1 on TripAdvisor for a reason.


Upon landing at the hotel, the bell boy was battling us to unload our bikes and bring our luggage up to our room (something we weren't used to). We were sat down in the lobby and offered their 'Welcome Drink' upon arrival which they seemed to take a great deal of pride in. I whispered to Amanda that I was keen to get up to our room to grab a shower and unwind, so we both guzzled our passionfruit bevies and headed to the elevator. We paid $30 for our room and were immediately upgraded to a higher priced room 'with city views' upon arrival (I had read that they do this often when rooms are available as they wanted good reviews in order to keep their TripAdvisor #1 standing). We were both very impressed. It was our nicest hotel to date. It was clean, new, and shiny with a huge breakfast spread included in the price. I would highly recommend the Hue Serene Palace Hotel


Trip Advisor link...






After showering we started to unwind with a cold beer after our long day on the road. We then headed out and into the streets of Hue for a nice supper. We headed to the Golden Rice Restaurant and had an excellent meal. After supper, we walked the streets of Hue, enjoyed a few mojitos at Hue's popular DMZ Bar and then called it a night.





Next Day - the Famous Hai Van Pass into Hoi An for a x2 night stop over... closer and closer to our final destination Ho Chi Minh City.



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Old 02-03-2014, 02:25 PM   #99
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Flat Tire and the Hai Van Pass

Day 19 - Saturday, November 23
Distance - 140 kms = total for day ~ 5 hrs
Trip Odometer = 2218 kms
Route - South from Hue on Hwy #1 to Hai Van Pass then south on #1 to #608 east to Hoi An.
Hotel - Ha An Hotel - Hoi An ($55 x 2 nights)
Weather - Nice weather in the morning out of Hue. Then rain like it has never rained before, the hardest, most intense downpour yet as we approached the base of Hai Van Pass. Skies opened up to sunshine and warmth once over the pass on the Danang side, then sunny to Hoi An.















Social Media. It can be a royal pain in the ass at times, and at other times, an amazing resource for people to connect and reconnect. Well, a simple post on Facebook allowed a long-lost traveler friend and I to meet up... 14 years later, ... in Vietnam.




I met 'Henning' from Norway in 2000 in Ecuador. We were studying spanish at the same school in Quito and we ended up traveling together throughout South America for about 3 months. We kept in contact over the years via Facebook and when Amanda and I arrived to Hanoi, I posted a pic on FB, Henning saw it, and then sent me a message stating that he and his better half were headed there as well and perhaps we would meet up. We had a fairly tight schedule on the bikes to travel throughout the north and then all the way south to HCMC but the timing would work out. Henning and his gal Pernille were arriving to Hue by train the morning we were set to leave. We told him to meet us at the Serene Palace Hotel and it was a great, although very brief reunion.




Henning and Pernille had tried to reserve at the Serene Palace, but for some reason their booking via an alternate website didn't confirm the booking and unfortunately the hotel was fully booked for that night. The folks at the front desk still invited them in, had them sit for the free breakfast and they helped them find an alternate hotel for the night. (Henning told me that they headed back to following night and he too agreed that this hotel was incredible).



After our brief reunion with Team Norway, we loaded up our bikes to head south to Hoi An and over the famous Hai Van Pass which I was stoked to ride. As I put a final bungee on Amanda's bike, I noticed that her back tire was completely flat. (You can actually see this in 3 pictures above). The bellboy-door-dude saw me pointing at it and without hesitation, he hops on her bike, fires it up and starts riding it down the road, away from us, without gestures or words. I look at Amanda, she looks at me, and we smile... 'I guess he is going to get it fixed, eh'?!




We sat down in front of the hotel to chill and wait. The timing of the flat tire couldn't have worked out better. Amanda then tells me that she saw a small North Face down jacket the night before while wandering around Hue, and it would be perfect for her 2 year old niece for Xmas. We load up on my bike x2 up, head to the shop around a few corners, make a sweet deal for the jacket and hammer back to the hotel moments later. Within a full 10min max from when the bellboy took Amanda's bike, he was coming down the road back to the hotel. Back tire, fixed! 70,000 dong ($3.50) for a brand new tube and the repair... done and done. We then tipped the bellboy another 70,000d or something of the sort, we all highfived and were on our way south. Amazing. Didn't even get our hands dirty. In all of my travels over the years, the hospitality we experienced in Vietnam was exemplary...



Our original plan was to head directly to the coast from Hue and along a more rural road that would eventually link up with the #1. After the flat tire, the reunion with Team Norway, we decided to just hop on the busy #1 south and head directly to the Pass. It turned out to be reasonable riding. It was busy and hectic as the #1 always is, but it wasn't out of control, or perhaps we were just getting used to Vietnam by that point.


As we approached the base of the Hai Van Pass, the skies completely opened up. We encountered rain like we had never seen before. I half thought of pulling over, but we were literally soaked from head to toe in a matter of seconds, so we pushed on. Amanda pulled up to me at one point with wide eyes and we started to laugh, we were creeping along at a safe snails pace, and we had a hard time hearing each other due to the sheer noise of the rain. It was incredible. We started heading up the famous Hai Van Pass and the rain mellowed.


In 2005, a large scale tunnel was opened for larger truck traffic and cars to avoid the 21km Pass. The tunnel is closed to all motorbikes and bicycles, only open for large vehicles which makes the Pass perfect for scoots. This stretch of highway was notorious for bad accidents which occurred regularly every year. Most of the accidents were largely in part due to the constant thick fog on the northern side of the Pass.


As we gained elevation, the rain subsided, but the fog set in. At times, it was so thick, you could barely see in front of you. As we approached the summit, we opted not to stop as we couldn't see a thing anyway. As we started down in elevation on the southern side of the Pass, a magical thing started to happen...




The skies opened up again, and this time, without the heavy downpour of rain. The sun started beaming and we could see blue skies in the distance. We couldn't believe it. I had read that this is quite common, rain and fog on the north side and sun and blue skys on the south side. We were amped. It was crazy to look left over our shoulders to see the grey, loomy skies we had just passed through and now we were cruising down in elevation, warming up, drying out and enjoying the curves without any truck traffic and very few cars.




Looking south from the Hai Van Pass towards Danang. Amazing.




Amanda giving the AOK, thumbs up to some beauty weather.



I started opening up my XR on the way down the Pass enjoying every twisty curve with little to no traffic, giving my 1-Fiddy a run for its money - (or is it a 'run for it's dong'??!) It was hilarious to see packs of automatic scoots heading up the Pass in the opposite direction all piloted by flip-flop and tank-top clad travellers coming up the famous Pass they saw on the BBC's 'Top Gear' in Vietnam Episode




Looking south - you can see the city scape of Danang in the middle (roughly 900,000 people). As our plans and routes were constantly changing with our go-with-the-flow-attitude, we yet again, changed our original plan. Dean at the Phong Nha Farmstay told us a route where we could avoid Danang altogether. We were planning on skirting the city to the east and right along the coast. By the time we arrived to the city, we opted to head straight through to get a jump on Hoi An as we wanted to arrive at a reasonable hour with our shorter day on the road.


I was so impressed with Amanda's skills in Danang. A city of just under 1 million people, the traffic started getting quite thick and heavy as did the traffic lights as we headed through. Amanda was rocking it, she would pull up next to me at traffic lights in the middle of packs of at least 50-100 other bikes and she was talking and chatting to me like she had lived there for years. Light would turn green, we would start out with the other riders like a flock of seagulls all heading in the same direction. Funny enough, going through Danang was actually fun, we both enjoyed it for the most part.







We continued along Hwy #1 out of Danang and we arrived to our turn-off on Hwy #608 east not before long.


Pulling into Hoi An was interesting to say the least. There were SO many tourists and a great deal of action for a smaller town. We knew it would be busy, but we were both very surprised with the layout, it was beautiful. Hoi An's old town is another Unesco World Heritage site with over 800 buildings that have been preserved and restored in the city's Old Town. The town was literally destroyed during the Tay Son Rebellion but was rebuilt as it continued to be an important port until the late 19th century. It was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1999.




We had a reservation at the Ha An Hotel in the heart of Hoi An's Old Town and it was a perfect choice. It was close to our most expensive stay, but we decided to splurge on something really nice. At $55/night, it was a perfect fit and a great choice.














Top notch choice of hotels in Hoi An - the Ha An Hotel. Hoi An has an incredible array of hotels at any range, and any price, most in the heart and proximity of the Old Town.














After unwinding at the hotel after our shorter day on the road, I dropped a bag of laundry at the front desk as it had been quite a few days since we had any laundry done. We then headed down the street from the hotel and quickly arrived at the local market. It reminded me of the Sapa Market but much more spread out. The perfect equation and combination of foreign tourists + locals was present, which made it easy to shoot photographs in every direction possible without offence or rudeness.










Locals were piling onto these boats right off the market, heading along various waterways and heading home to various villages in the area. We were told that some were living as far as the adjacent islands 15km from Hoi An known at the Cham Islands where they lived in settlements and villages as well.


















Hoi An's famous 'Japanese Covered Bridge'...




And Hoi An's Famous lit-up paper lanterns...








After a few cold ones and a bite-to-eat at the tasty 'Miss Ly' restaurant, we made our way to one of the many custom tailor shops in Hoi An. We figured we couldn't leave Hoi An without a custom tailored 'something', so we both decided to get fitted for warmer wool jackets (petty coats) for home.
















The options were endless, you could get them to make you whatever you could dream up and in whatever material you wanted, whatever colour, with whatever buttons... the list went on and on and on...












On our way back to the hotel I made a jack-ass comment joking our 'laundry had better be done or I'll snap-show at the front desk'... we both had a laugh, opened the door to our room and whammo... our laundry was done. Amazing. We both had a huge laugh. Only a handful of hours since our arrival and well before the 'next-day-service' the hotel stated.


Again, Vietnam, number #1 in service!




Our plan for the next day was a relax day in Hoi An... tour around, hit the beach in the morning and we had a fitting back at the tailors in the afternoon for alterations and the rest.







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Old 02-03-2014, 07:35 PM   #100
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Great ride report SS.
Really makes me want to go back and do it all over again
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Old 02-04-2014, 11:42 AM   #101
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Cheers!

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Great ride report SS.
Really makes me want to go back and do it all over again
Thanks Stan. 9 more days to post on this long, drawn-out 'Nam RR... I'm enjoying re-living it too even though it is only 2 months old now

Hope your winter is going well in the PNW
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:37 PM   #102
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Beds

I have been meaning to ask. How are the beds in the nice hotels? $30 and up?
I have been working in Tanegashima, Japan and staying in decent hotels and in some small hotels and the beds are hard. Not to great for a side sleeper like myself.
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:50 PM   #103
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...Like sleeping on concrete...

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Originally Posted by 10ecjed View Post
I have been meaning to ask. How are the beds in the nice hotels? $30 and up?
I have been working in Tanegashima, Japan and staying in decent hotels and in some small hotels and the beds are hard. Not to great for a side sleeper like myself.
Good question... and my answer, whether it be a $10/night place, or a $55/night place, the beds were all over the map in terms of hardness - price didn't seem to be much of a factor.

I would say though, remembering back, that most of our 'soft as concrete' beds were in the $10-$20/night range and we encountered a few of those. Most of the $30/up places were softer (for the most part), but there were still some concrete slabs thrown in there too. I like firm, but a few were literally like sleeping on a wooden platform with a layer of cardboard for softness... youch. All part of the adventure.

Beds in 'Nam were like that 'box-o-chocolates' Forest Gump talked about... you never knew what you were gonna get...
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:07 PM   #104
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This report is a treasure. I have always wanted to go back but never had the resources. Thanks for sharing.

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Old 02-04-2014, 09:47 PM   #105
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I think Hoi An is a nice place despite the number of tourists, been there twice.
Lots to do around there, did you go to Marble mountain for a look?
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