I’ve got some new visuals from Vietnam this week, having juts spent the last two there. While the long-and-skinny-ness of the country forced a few more flights than I like to normally utilize for getting from A to B, my husband and I decided to take advantage of the scenic drive between Hue and Hoi An (in central Vietnam).
Our hotel in Hue, the spiffy clean Serene Palace, provided two options: public bus, or a $65 private car. A backpacker at heart, I wandered into a hostel around the corner, knowing they’d have less expensive tour itineraries. For $11 each, Francis and I booked a mini-bus tour with Tannhat Travel to take us (and one other guy from Korea) the 140 kilometers, but with an English-speaking guide and four stops en route.
First up was the village of Thanh Toan, just outside Hue. Highlights there included the local market, the carved-wood Japanese-style covered bridge, and the teeny tiny woman in the museum, who turned the tutorial on traditional rice farming into a memorable five-act play.
Next we made a pit stop at Lang Co Bay. Given that the resort hotel was dead quiet and there wasn’t another soul on the beach, it seems like the public toilet in the souvenir shop is what sees the most action these days.
Our diesel mini-bus chugged up some serious switchbacks to deliver us to Hải Vân Pass, which means “ocean cloud” in Vietnamese, and sits at an elevation of 500 meters (1627 feet). The trickiness of the road has led to the construction of a tunnel for regular commuters, but the views keep the tourists coming. Notable was an old brick structure that was pock-marked with war wounds.
The final destination was the Marble Mountains, which lie just outside the city of Da Nang. After climbing the main staircase to the top of one of the five mountains, caves, tunnels, buddhist sanctuaries and an Australian high school rappelling expedition all came into view.
That’s all for now. Hope you enjoyed these. My current location is Siem Reap so stay tuned for some Cambodia posts, too!
p.s. I will end with a small cat on a chair.