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Thursday, 21 February 2013

Day 8: Easyrider from Hue to Hoi An

I look forward for my easyrider trip from Hue to Hoi An because it would be a private tour by motorbike! So exciting! Early in the morning at 8am, my ah pek biker waiting for me at the lobby while I having my breakfast. Made my payment at Stop & Go, then begin my journey! The ah pek biker is very caring towards me, perhaps I look very young and tiny. At first, he gave me his sunglass (I guess the road is too dusty?). 30mins down the trip, he stop by a mama shop and bought a bottle of water & mask for me because the road is REALLY dusty with tons of cars. Another 1hr later, he took off his windbreaker and asked me to wear it. He say the sun is too glaring and it is bad for my skin. SO SWEET RIGHT!
I will write the actual plan in blue against my initial plan...
1.Lang Co beach:The beach is a long stretch of fine sand, with a gradual slope and shallow waters. The average sea temperature here is 25 degrees. From here it is easy to reach other great beaches on the Son Tra peninsula. Boats leave from here for Ngoc Island, where there are many aquatic activities on offer.The Lang Co peninsula is renowned for its myths, history and spectacular landscapes; its where the Chan May and Hoi Cam rivers run into the sea.Here tourists can enjoy diving, mountain climbing, and expeditions with local fishermen. Actually I bypass this while going up Hai Van Pass. You look down from the mountain, you can see the beach.

2. Hai Van Pass  :  Hai Van Pass is one of the most scenic hillside roads in Vietnam. When braving the steep winding roads of a paved mountain pass, you will have a chance to discover peace, quiet and history along the way. Ok, done this. Because you need to pass this road from Hue to Hoi An.
3.Cham museum  : The Cham Museum was built in Cham architectural style, using thin lines that are simple and gentle. Cham architecture originates from the period between the 5th and 15th centuries, when a matriarchal society prevailed. At present, the museum displays approximately 300 sculptures, among which some are made from terracotta. I didn't go here at all.
4. Marble Mountains:All of the mountains have cave entrances and numerous tunnels, and it is possible to climb to the summit of one of the peaks. Several buddhist sanctuaries can also be found within the mountains, making this a famous tourist destination. Done this. If there is no one going up the stairs and you can't see the top. DO NOT GO UP! I must be feeling very adventurous so I climb the long flight of stairs. Around 3/4 of the journey, I'm crawling up LITERALLY! And if there is something up there, I still feel alright. But there is nothing at all! Just a bare spot! There is a sign but is in Vietnamese. I guess is some buddha will come here to medidate or something. Beside this, there are several mini caves, you can wander in and see all the deities statues. Outside the Marble Mountains, is full of vendors selling marble souveniors. I bought a tiger eye tian lu and a marble stone carving incense urn for my father. Cost me USD90! According to the shop owner, the marble stone is from Marble Mountain hence it is more expensive than the rest of the marble which is from Parkistan. And the reason that is more expensive is Vietnam government has banned anyone from digging marble from Marble Mountain. I feel ganna chopped but I guess is ok.

5.Non Nuoc Beach :It first rose to fame when its close proximity to Da Nang led to it being used as an R&R destination for American soldiers. an endless expanse of unspoiled white sand beach, is one of the best beaches in Vietnam. It is more famous among the American and Australian soldiers for being the landing ground during the Vietnam War. It lies a few kilometers to the south of Danang within close range to the Marble Mountains, one of the Vietnam popular destination. Done this but same as the beach above. I look down from the mountain to see the beach.
I guess I'm not really shortchanged. The ah pek biker brought me to Elephant Spring. But there is entrance fee of VND10,000 (if I remember correctly). Long time ago, before the Vietnam war, the elephants from the mountain will come down to this spring for water and relax. But due to the war, the elephants moved to North. So now, no more elephants but there is a stone elephant statue. Nice clean spring water for people to swim or just soak in while tiny fishes swim around you. You can also rent a tentage for VND200,000 and bbq or cook your food for 2D1N.
He also brought me to the American & French or Dutch bunkers at the top of the mountain. He actively asked me to climb up the bunker and took photo of me. Went into the bunker and asked me to stand some position and took "special effect" photo of me.
Lunch suppose to be own, but he treated me his favourite fish noodle. You can say the amount I pay can include the cheap lunch. You are right, but it is still a goodwill given by him.
Finally we reached Hoi An and it started to drizzle. Ah pek biker quickly stop at the roadside and brought out his raincoat for me. I put on the thick plastic top and bottom, end up look like T virus scientist in Resident Evil. About 15mins or so, he dropped to some tailor shop. I did find the tailor quite expensive. USD50 for each tailor dress. Because the ah pek biker's service is so good, I just tailor some dresses on his account. After paying the dresses, he brought me to my hotel - Thanh Binh 1. The first drama unfold - the hotel is fully booked! So they sent me to Thanh Binh 2 which is 5mins walk away. The room is quite horrible. You need to slam the door in order to get it close, the water from the shower is few seconds hot few seconds cold, electric sockets don't work, air con is very noisy and there is wires & pipes poking out of the hotel. I just stayed 1 night and move to Danang the next evening.

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