Sunday, 11 June 2017

Cycle Saigon to Hanoi with EXPLORE! Hoi An and Hue

We had two nights at the Van Loi hotel in Hoi An.

Hoi An was a big surprise. 

I did not know it was a wonderfully preserved world heritage site, with fascinating architecture and a law that all local businesses have to dangle lanterns from all facades, so the town is full of lantens. We had a walking tour of Hoi An, went to the famous Tailors and had clothes made, ate good food and generally had a fascinating day in what felt like a film set.

EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Hoi An
EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Hoi An


EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Hoi An
EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Hoi An

EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Hoi An

EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Hoi An

EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Hoi An

EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Hoi An

EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Hoi An


EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Hoi An

EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Hoi An

EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Hoi An

EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Hoi An

EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Hoi An


EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Hoi An



The next day we cycled from the hotel in Hoi An; I like the days when we cycled out of the towns, it was exhilarating to be in the mad traffic and it was faster than on the bus.
It took about 20 minutes to reach the road junction at the beach. This is where many upmarket hotels have built resorts, Hotels like the Four Seasons are in this area and every spare bit of land was being developed. We cycled towards Danang - or China Beach where the US forces had R&R in the war- and there was building work taking place the whole way.


EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Danang
EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Danang


EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Danang
EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Danang


EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Danang


EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Danang

In Danang we passed Marble factories carving marble into many shapes.The old US Military Base, still not used and the famous China Beach, the beach was fantastic with large surf it would have been good to stop but we did not have time for a swim.
Went over the Tran Thi Ly Bridge and stopped at the end of the beach to get on the Bus to go up, and down, the Hai Van Pass. This had been the best cycle of the trip so far and we did the 45KM in record time.
At the top of the pass there is a collection of Pillboxes and other defensive structures left over from the French and Americans.


EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Hai Van Pass
EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Hai Van Pass

EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Hai Van Pass

EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Hai Van Pass




Following lunch at a beach resort on the other side of the pass we cycle again through paddy fields and villages, again we had a good pace and made good time so we were not late when we checked into the hotel Thanh Lich in Hue.
This was our last full day of cycling and had been the best yet, I was exhilarated that we had completed the 80KM in a good time. I went and had a full massage and facial for £15.00 then still have the energy to go out in the evening and have a good meal with the group to celebrate a Birthday.

Our last day on the bikes was spent in the city of Hue.

Early morning we cycled through small villages and paddy fields ending up at the Tomb of Nguyen. At this point we gave our bikes back to the hard working crew who had supported us for the last 10 days. It was also where my camera battery died and I realised I had not charged another one!


EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Hai Van Pass
EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi-



EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Hai Van Pass
EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Hue

EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Hue

EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Hue

EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Hue

EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Hue


EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Hue

EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Hue

EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Hue

We then visited the Old Imperial City before a quick dash back to the hotel to pick up our bags and get to the station. Tonight we were getting the train to Hanoi. 
EXPLORE! Cycle Saigon to Hanoi- Hue Station