Category 2017 Cycling SE Asia Again (what the heck)

Lang Co Beach to Da Nang – 45 km

This ride more than made up for yesterday’s ugly ride.

Sunrise at Lang Co

Checking the brakes before we do the pass

We started  to climb about 4 km after leaving Lang Co Beach.  Today we ride the Hai Van Pass.  The weather is prefect, the view at the top appears to be clear (no clouds), and the traffic is light.  Busses and most trucks use the long tunnel through the pass  therefore only tourists and fuel trucks use the pass.

We we settle in for the ride up.  We both felt this was one of the best engineered passes we have travelled with littl of the climb over 9 %.

Starting the climb

We we made it

And met a group of cyclists

After a nice stop on the top we enjoyed the ride down to Da Nang.

Click here for a brief video Lang Co to Da Nang

Bye fo...

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Hue to Lang Co Beach – 69 km

Well it was raining when we left this am. We had two choices, a 90 km scenic ride in the porpuring rain or an ugly 70 km ride on Hwy 1.  We chose the ugly route as we rode in the rain the day before.

 

It it was not enjoyable by made the destination any way.

 

Click here for a brief video to Lang Co

 

Bye for now.

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A Day in Hue

Hue use to be the capital of Vietnam until the Emperor abdicated to France in 1945.

The key thing to see here are the Citadel, the royal palace inside the citadel, and the royal tombs.

Click here for a description of Hue

 

 

 

 

 

Above are photos at the citadel and tombs.

 

A monk rode this car to Saigon and set himself on fire during the American / Vietnam war to protest the war.

 

A big Buda we met.

Someone got a haircut for $6 including tip.

 

Click here for a brief video of a Day in Hue

 

Bye for now.

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Cue Viet Beach to Hue – 86 km

Another lovely ride day.  The only issue was a strong headwind that added lots of time to the trip. We took back roads that had little traffic and very narrow.

The three biggest things we saw were 100’s of large grave sites stretched over 30 km, many ornate temples, and lots of large shrimp farms. We thought they were tilapia but found out later in the day they are shrimp farms .

We think Vietnamese people who fled to first world nations are brought back for burial in this region.  Very large and elaborate grave sites.

The soil is sandy so maybe the plots are not very expensive to buy.

We grabbed a photo of our menu this am.  Swamp Eel.

Here are the swamp eels

They definately need a turtle and frog trauma Center.

Poor turtles and frogs.

Our lovely hotel staff

Leaving Cue...

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It is more than raining ‘Cats and Dogs’ here

In the north they eat a lot of dogs, and it is now a very big business.

Below is a very detailed description of the dog as food business in South  East Asia.

Click here for a link to the article

 

Bye for now.

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Dong Hoi to Cue Viet Beach – 103 km

Well it rained almost the whole day and the ride included about 20 km on highway 1 (the busy road).

We are starting to see more artifacts of the war.  Unexplored war heads (with the charge removed), signs of Unexploded Ordinances.

We made a stop at the Vinh Moc Tunnels. Due to the heavy rain we did not take photos, and only did part of the tour.  These tunnels were a place for civilians to hide during the bombing raids.  They lived in the tunnels, went to school and there were 17 births in the tunnels. Six of the people born in the tunnels still live in the village.

Above is a map of the tunnels.

Click here for a description of the Vinh Moc Tunnels

We are now in the DMZ or de-militarized zone of Vietnam...

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Phong Nha to Dong Hoi – 46 km

Short ride day again with some beautiful scenery.   We are starting to head back to the east coast of Vietnam.

Bathroom stalls, we don’t need no bathroom stalls.

We met Klaus from Austria along the way.  He is a European cycle tourist and asked lots of questions.  He may do SE Asia in the future after our conversation.

We stayed at the Gemenia Hotel. The young owner was telling us about his grandmother being bombed while planting rice in their family rice field during the American/Vietnam war.  It is a reminder of the devistation on all sides of that war.   We blogged a lot about that war in our 2012 blog so will not go into that again.

Bye for now.

 

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Waiting out the rain in Phong Nha

We rented a scooter and did some cave excursions.

We went to the Paradise cave (an amazing walking trip) and Phong Nha cave by boat.

Below are photos of Paradise cave.

 

Below low are photos of Phong Nha cave.

Above were our two boat operators.

Check out the second last rule.  We think something got lost in the translation.

 

Click here for a brief video of Phong Nha

We did not visit Hang Son Doon cave.  It is the largest known cave in the world.  It is massive and costs $3,000 USD for the 7 day treck and cave stay.

Click here for a write up on the worlds largest cave

Bye for now.

 

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Phoe to Phong Nha – 55 km

We woke up this morning to the sound of a hard rain. We delayed our start by 30 minutes but knew we could not spend any more time in Phoe (for our peace of mind).

We rode the whole morning in the rain, arriving at Phong Nha at 10:30.

Pit was flat for the first 21 km and than a climb followed by a sweet downhill. With wet rims, and the positioning of our brakes, neither of us had much braking ability. Instead of stopping in the driving rain, we rode down the mountain at a much slower pace and will fix the brakes when we arrive.

What a contrast, Phoe and Phong Nha. We found a nice cafe at the bamboo resteraunt and had lates with 1.5 inches of foam. What a treat.

We actually stayed about 1.5 hours, ordering western food as if we hadn’t eaten in a week.

The other day we were cycling and Larry...

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Huong Khe to Phoe – 78 km

For some reason, both of us are still having sore sits bones from 4-6 hours per day in the saddle. Usually by this time in a ride we have built up resistance.

So Janis took an Aleve and I wore two pair of padded biking shorts, with the second pair inside out.  A little restricting but it worked out ok.

Yesterday we passed this sign and thought about heading back into Laos for a week or so, but decided not to take on that hardship. It is very rural Laos (south of the Plain of Jars).  This is one area of Laos we never got to.

Click here for a review of Plain of Jars

We bikes into this tiny rest area and were the only ones there  all of a sudden 3 sleeper buses full of people going to Laos arrived and we found out they sold hot food  we had a nice rice and vegtable lunch for $1...

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