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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Pho Chau to Huong Khe – 57 km

Very pretty hilly ride.  The region is very poor with lots of thatched homes with wooden slats.

We did find a nice hotel for $20 per night.

They had a banquet hall attached and hosted a wedding for 1,000 people.  The owner’s son said it cost about $10 US per person. They spent $10,000 USD and the whole thing lasted from 4pm till 6pm.

We had a nice lunch and dinner at the hotel.  I went in the kitchen to get some extra soya sauce and a rat ran in front of me.   It did not seem to bother the chefs.   Sometimes it is just better not knowing.

Example of housing.

Land that is why they call them water buffalo.  We love the water buffalo (and not to eat). When you get close to them, they are not skittish and look you in the eye with what appears to be wonderment.

Click here for a mini m...

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Tan Ky to Pho Chau – 84 km

We left at 6:00 am (before daylight) to get an early start. By 6:15 we started to see kids biking to school.  They go to school six days a week.

Undulating hills all day.

Lots of rice patties

 

 

We started to see lots of terraced tea plantations. Beautiful.

 

 

 

 

Click here to see video of HCM Highway

We were planning on staying at a cheap hotel where they sometimes try to put you in a room without clean sheets   Instead we found a new 4 star resort with a swimming pool for $17.50 per night   What a pleasant surprise.

Click here for a Mini Disney video

We spent the evening listening to Leonard Cohen on the iPad.

Bye for now

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Yan Kat to Tan Ky – 89 km

A lovely but tough hilly day down HCM highway.

A truck load of Cassava roots – tapioca

Click here for description of cassava roots

 

We found a three star hotel with comfortable beds in this town. KM0

hotel cost $15 per night.

We are getting more creative at dinner. We bought tofu at the local market for 25 cents and take it to a local resteraunt and ask them to cook it with rice and vegetables.

We passed a group of young chain gang inmates cutting  sugar cane.  We heard that addicts are locked up in prison and subject to hard labour.

 

We have corrected the issue with leaving comments on this blog.

 

Bye for now.

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Thanh Hoa to Yan Kat – 63 km

It was nice to get off highway 1.  It was a lovely quiet ride on why 45.

Eventually we hooked up to the Ho Chi Minh Highway.  We will be following this road for about 500 km.

We are now eating lots of Binh My.  They are a fried egg on a baguette, on the street.  When you eat on the street, you can see what they have in the kitchen. We are seeing lots of signs for dog soup and cat soup so we are on guard.

A man we met on the road.

We took the only hotel in Yan Kat.  We were the only overnight guests. We think there were people renting by the hour if you know what we mean

Janis organized a dinner for us by the hotel owner for 6 pm...

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Ninh Binh to Thanh Hoa – 63 km

Again this was all on Highway 1.   What an ugly stretch of road.

We plan on turning inland tomorrow and get back to good riding roads.

 

Click here for a brief video of Highway 1

 

Bye for now

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Ha Noi to Ninh Binh – 90 km + 18 km around Ninh Binh

We took highway 1 A out of Ha Noi and rode it to Ninh Binh. This is a very busy and industrious road (very flat)  

There was lots to see in Ninh Binh, including a UNESCO world heritage site at Trang An.

 

 

 

Click here for a brief description of Trang An UNESCO site

 

Click here for a video of Thang An

 

Bye for now

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A Few Days in Ha Noi and Cat Ba

It was too busy and too cold to go to SaPa so we spent s few days in Ha Noi and than went to the island of Cat Ba instead.

We went to the Ethnicity museum and they had lots of interesting facts about the 54 tribes in Vietnam and their history.

As well we went to the Hoa Lo Prison.  This was built by the French and was used when they occupied Vietnam.  It actually became the birth of the Viet Cong movement and the planned the revolution against the French while imprissoned.

After the French were expelled at Dien Bien Pho, the Viet Cong use the prison to hold Amarican pilots they shot down during the Vietnam/American war.  It became known as the Ha Noi Hilton. One of the most famous POW’s was Senator John McCain...

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Mai Chau to Ha Noi by Bus – 11km

We took a four hour bus to Ha Noi to get off the busy roads during TET.  It was a busy 11km ride from the bus station to our hotel.  Nice hotel called Charming II hotel.

bye for now

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Moc Chau to Mai Chau – 60 km

Another great day of cycling. Up and down in the morning and the last 25 km all downhill. We even had sunshine. Apparently this area has been cloudy no rainy for a week.

Moc Chau is on a plateau and Mai Chau is in a valley and off the main road.  Lots to see here including ethnic villages with home stays and lots of had crafts.

So we just completed 980 km mostly in mountains. Now we will be stopping for one week for TET. Tomorrow we will get a bus ride to Ha Noi  (120 km).

Leaving our Moc Chau hotel.

Below are some photos of the day.

Below is a sign for an Ethnic Homestay.  Sometimes you are not always sure of what you are being fed.   Janis saw a string of dead tree rats on their property so that may end up in the soup tonight.

Pizza lunch...

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