From Hàm Tiến to Ðưc Trọng

2017-06-21 at 15:39

3 lazy days in Hàm Tiến – go to bed early and wake up early. Time to start the drive up north. Today I want to reach Hiệp Thạnh which is close to Dalat or Da Lat as the Vietnamese call it.

Along the way I took some pictures of churches for you and some landscape as well. The further I drove into the mountains the less traffic was on the road. A bit more traffic at the QL20 leading towards Da Lat. Lots of crazy bus drivers going as fast as possible but the road is wide and when you see one in the mirror you better stay as far left as possible.

Nhà Thờ Kim Ngọc
Nhà Thờ Kim Ngọc

Nhà Thờ Kim Ngọc
Hi there!

Nhà Thờ Kim Ngọc
They like to have a Holyland Park at the churches here.

Nhà Thờ Kim Ngọc

Nhà thờ Giáo xứ Hồng Liêm
Nhà thờ Giáo xứ Hồng Liêm. X-Mas decoration still in place.

Nhà thờ Giáo xứ Hồng Liêm

Nhà thờ Giáo xứ Hồng Liêm

Along the 711
Along the 711. More Dragon fruits in the back.

Further up north on the 711
Further up north on the 711 – as you can see – nothing is going on.

The mountains in Bình Thuận
The mountains in Bình Thuận – far away from any village they look still good.

The mountains in Bình Thuận
You can see how farming is cutting into it

Coffee is eating its way into the forest
Coffee is eating its way into the forest.

Redecorated! No water nowhere
Redecorated! No water nowhere

Church along the QL 28 in the Di Linh District
Church along the QL 28 in the Di Linh District

Church along the QL 28
Church along the QL 28. Poor church – it is not even on Google Maps – so I have no name for you

Church along the QL 28
Comes with a few figures as well.

Church along the QL 28
Nice and full of light

Giáo xứ Di Linh
Giáo xứ Di Linh

Di Linh
Not a lot of traffic in Di Linh

Giáo xứ Phú Hiệp
Giáo xứ Phú Hiệp

Giáo xứ Phú Hiệp

There is always some space to dry your harvest
There is always some space to dry your harvest

Nhà thờ Tam Bố
Nhà thờ Tam Bố

Nhà thờ Liên Khương
Nhà thờ Liên Khương

Nhà thờ Liên Khương

Nhà thờ Liên Khương

New Gold Hotel

New Gold Hotel
The arch to the left and right look similar to the ones of the church which is only a few metres down the road from the hotel. The Booking link to the New Gold Hotel

Room in the New Gold Hotel
My room in the New Gold Hotel. It is a Karaoke place but was not to noisy. Big and clean with a big bathroom as well. Not sure why there was no window in the bathroom. Fridge, TV and Air-Con as well – everything 12 US$.

Todays Drive

163 km in 4,5 hours including Photo stops as well as a Gas stop

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3 Days in Hàm Tiến

2017-06-18 at 18:45

Tet – when all of Vietnam is on the road to visit family. Tet – when most of the places close down. Tet – when the price for a ticket goes up a few hundred percent. Tet – when you want to be somewhere close to a tourist spot to find some easy food options and lots of open restaurants. The first 3 days of Tet 2017 I went to Hàm Tiến to visit a friend and his family. He gave me the master bed room – thank you Jake!

The house is a minute away from the water and close to me new favouriteplace for a  sundowner  in all of Mũi Né:  The beach bar of the Venus Hotel right at the beach.

I have to confess – I was too lazy to drive down to the city and stayed in suburbia for the 3 days I was here.

There is The Food Court Dong Vui and a few local soup joints, bakeries and coffees. Even with Tet in full swing still plenty of fresh fruit sellers along the main drag. And there is the beach as well. Now for that beach – I am not a beach bum but if I where – this is not the beach I would go. To much trash and shit here. But let’s have a look and decide for yourself!

The traditional Fishing Boats of Mui Ne

Fishing boat at the beach in Hàm Tiến
Fishing boat at the beach in Hàm Tiến.

The traditional fishing boats are double enders unusually build symmetrical from wood. Easy to spot with their pronounced overhangs fore and aft. Usually powered by a single cylinder Chinese engine and the cooling water supply is the typical pipe bent around to look straight into the prop wash. You see that at the left of this boat.

Eye at a Boat
They all have ornate nga, usually painted red with yellow accents.  At the front you see where they store the anchor. Flowers for good luck
There are not to many of those left and it is not easy to get them into the water.

Putting the fishing boat into the water at the Beach in Hàm Tiến
Putting the fishing boat into the water at the Beach in Hàm Tiến

Putting the fishing boat into the water at the Beach in Hàm Tiến

Putting the fishing boat into the water at the Beach in Hàm Tiến
They swivel it towards the water

Putting the fishing boat into the water at the Beach in Hàm Tiến
Finally ready to go. Works but takes time. Safety helmet is not required but I guess he knows why he put his one on his head!

Woven Bamboo Basket Boats

A simple round bamboo basket coated with tar or varnish to make it waterproof. I only found two of them at the beach here.

Traditional fishing boat at the Beach in Hàm Tiến

Not really a happy camper this one…

Traditional fishing boat at the Beach in Hàm Tiến

And this one must have seen better days as well…

The Modern Version of the Bamboo Basket Boats

Fishing Boat at the Beach in Hàm Tiến
Fishing Boat at the Beach in Hàm Tiến”

Fishing Boat at the Beach in Hàm Tiến
Some even have a engine as well

Fishing boats at the Beach in Hàm Tiến
Glass fibre has replaced the bamboo boat

The Fisherman at Hàm Tiến Beach

So far there are still plenty of beach front properties without hotel or “Resort” buildings. This is where the local fisherman parks his boat and has his little hut. Here he works on the boat and gear – here he has his BBQ and beer with his friends.

Fishing Boat at the Beach in Hàm Tiến
Fisherman working on his boat

Fishing Boat at the Beach in Hàm Tiến

Fisherman Hut at the Beach in Hàm Tiến
Fisherman Hut at the Beach in Hàm Tiến

Fisherman Hut at the Beach in Hàm Tiến
This one does not come with air-condition but you are never to far away from the water!

Fisherman at the Beach in Hàm Tiến

Rope in a fishing boat

Fishing nets in a boat

Fishing nets

There are Tourists as well

Most of them where Russians when I was there. The next biggest group where the Chinese the third biggest I can not tell you since I really did not meet bigger groups of one nationality.

Russians in Hàm Tiến
Russians in Hàm Tiến

At the Beach in Hàm Tiến

Cement tubes at the beach
There where two guys renting the hut behind the tubes. Why do you want to do that? If you have a concrete factory at home and miss it!!

The best part of the day - a cold beer at the Venus MuiNe Hotel
The best part of the day – a cold beer at the Venus Hotel right at the beach.  And some nice Russian girls doing their fitness routine make the sun set even better. An ice cold Saigon was only 15.000! At the beach!!

At the Morning at the Beach

Jake told me the best time to hit the beach is the morning when the fisherman come back from sea. I can imagine and on day 3 I finally had the courage to get out of bed at 5 in the morning. Only – it is Tet and the fisherman do not work for a week…

Morning at the beach in Hàm Tiến
Morning at the beach in Hàm Tiến

Fisherman in morning at the beach in Hàm Tiến
Still sleeping – might be their only holiday in the whole year??

Public toilet in morning at the beach in Hàm Tiến
Public toilet in morning at the beach in Hàm Tiến. The good thing is – they have plenty of this ones. I walked about 20 minutes down the beach and found at last 15 of them!

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From Long Hải to Mũi Né

2017-06-17 at 17:11

Had a good nights rest in the Hoa Sua Motel in Long Hai. Todays trip is not far so I can take it easy along the coast for most of the time. But somehow the Google lady had a mind of her own again and decided for a small detour inland. Well – you can not really look into her brain but sometimes she drives me crazy. After I found out I was too lazy to turn back and it was very hot on the road as well.

Far East tourist area Khu du lịch Viễn Đông
Far East tourist area Khu du lịch Viễn Đông – that is what it said on the map – hmmm not sure if this is the place where you want to go for vacation??

Far East tourist area Khu du lịch Viễn Đông
Does not really look better on the other side. But I do not like this kind of beaches anyhow – so it might be just me?

A few kilometres before Hồ Linh lake in Bình Châu, Xuyên Mộc District
A few minutes before Hồ Linh lake in Bình Châu, Xuyên Mộc District. Nothing on the left – water on the right.
Every few kilometres you find a new resort project along the road. Some are work in progress, some look open but are more or less empty and some look like nobody worked on them for years. It is so close to Saigon but somehow it looks like the Vietnamese are not a beach loving nation.
This continues along the coast – never saw that many resort ruins on one coast line.

A few minutes before Hồ Linh lake in Bình Châu, Xuyên Mộc District
From time to time you see one of the small fishing boats out in the sea.

A few kilometres before Hồ Linh lake in Bình Châu, Xuyên Mộc District
Or you see nothing at all. And there is next to no traffic as well.

Church in tx. La Gi
Church in tx. La Gi

Harbour in La Gi
Darling – do you remember where we parked the boat last night??

Nhà thờ Bình An
Nhà thờ Bình An

Nhà thờ Bình An

Nhà thờ Thanh Bình
Hello stranger! Jesus waits to great you at the Nhà thờ Thanh Bình church

Nhà thờ Thanh Bình
Quite different design again. I think they have the most interesting churches here in Vietnam. Mind you interesting is not something like the best looking ones or something! Still….

Giáo Xứ Truyền Tin
Giáo Xứ Truyền Tin

Giáo xứ Tinh Hoa
Giáo Xứ Truyền Tin

Maria at Giáo xứ Tinh Hoa
Maria here

Maria at Giáo xứ Tinh Hoa
And Maria here

The home of the Dragon Fruit
The home of the Dragon Fruit

Giáo xứ Thuận Nghĩa
Giáo xứ Thuận Nghĩa. I know I am lazy. But the last few churches are on the highway and there is a divider in the road. So you have to find a gap and drive back to get to them and somehow most of them are on the other side of the road. And driving in the sun for hours makes you want to get to your destination for the day. So this was the last one that I took a picture today and – yes I took it from the other side of the road and did some Photoshop magic to get all the wires out of the way…

Rolled into the suburbs of Mũi Né in the late afternoon. Had to wait for Jake so with the help of my off-line map I found a small place on the beach for a few beers and views of the waves. Nice! The next 3 nights I will wait out the worst of Tet here.

Todays drive

168 km in 5 1/2 hours including picture stops and a gas stop

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Hello Vietnam! Back again in Saigon and off to Long Hai

2017-06-01 at 20:11

8 weeks Thailand – most of it up North in Pai. Meeting old friends and making new ones. It was a very good time – I come back again 😉
The next few days should go down like that: Fly to Saigon, find a motorbike and get out of the city before Tet starts. The goal was to get to Long Hai with my new bike in 5 days from today – the day I left Bangkok. Sure enough that is more time than you need but I had a few friends coming in to Saigon as well and wanted to meet them. And I wanted a 135 cc bike which is a bit more complicated to find than your good old 125cc that you find in every street.
Boarding AirAsia BKK to SGN
Boarding AirAsia BKK to SGN

Quite busy at the old airport
Quite busy at the old airport

Enough space for me - they gave me an emergency exit row seat :-)
Enough space for me – they gave me an emergency exit row seat 🙂

Adios Bangkok
Adios Bangkok

The plane was not too high up so we had clouds above and under the plane for a long time. Nice to look at them – they change all the time – a dream land in the sky.

In the clouds over Vietnam
In the clouds over Vietnam

Over the delta in south Vietnam
Over the delta in south Vietnam

You can almost see the heat down there. And it does look quite humid as well.

Golf course close to Saigon
Golf course close to Saigon

Welcome to Saigon

The flight was smooth as silk – even on AirAsia 🙂 however immigration in Saigon was a big mess. I had my Visa on arrival papers from Vietnam Visa Pro (They are the BEST – use them!). Went to the counter and gave everything to the guys behind the glass. Waiting and waiting. From time to time an angry officer shouted at us: “Do not stand here – sit there” for no reason.
Most of my plane was gone with their passport stamped and my application still somewhere in there.
All the time some guys cut in-between with Fast Track Service. For 15 US$ you get the next slot. And for 30 US$ you get your papers worked on right away. That is worth looking into if you fly into Saigon. No need for it in Hanoi!!
One hour later – more planes arrived, more people waited. Only 3 guys from my plane left. At last I am not the only one. 90 minutes later an immigration office tried to call me with my name – but that was to complicated so he only yelled “Germany”. “I can not find your name!” We talk about 2 pieces of paper – printed only on one side each. With 18 names! And he could not find mine – I could without my glasses! A half hour or so later I got my passport. The 2 guys that had to wait as long as I had got a Uber into town and gave me a lift. The car did stop close to my hostel. So I walked over there and checked in. Time for some food and beer – what a welcoming country!

My 1st Bia Saigon for this trip
My 1st Bia Saigon for this trip

Bánh mì - Vegetarian
Bánh mì – Vegetarian

Day One in Saigon

There is a Vegetarian restaurant under the hostel. It turns into a sleeping room for the staff and parking hall for staff and guest motorbikes at night.
There is a Vegetarian restaurant under the hostel. It turns into a sleeping room for the staff and parking hall for staff and guest motorbikes at night

Morning market in front of the hostel
Morning market in front of the hostel

Distribution centre round the corner
Distribution centre round the corner

I walked to the gold shops at the side of Bến Thành Market. One of them had even a better rate for the € than the rate was for credit card cash!! And they are open the next few days before Tet. If you are in Saigon and want to change money try Dntn Vàng Hà Tâm next to the market! Here is a link to Google Maps.
Tet is the Vietnamese new year. If you ever travel to Vietnam make sure you do not have to move before or after Tet. The roads are full, many accidents, everything gets more expensive and most of the shops and restaurants close. So it might be a good idea to go to a tourist place along the coast. Over there at last the restaurants will be open. But I still had a few days to go. And the plan was to escape to the beach!

A 24/7 Vegan Restaurant! Next to the market!
A 24/7 Vegan Restaurant! Next to the market!

Only a few days to go before Tet. The park is a big flower market
Only a few days to go before Tet. The park is a big flower market

More flowers in the park
More flowers in the park

Waiting for tourists
Waiting for tourists

Ice Coffee
Vietnamese Ice Coffee – well deserved after my stroll to the money changers at the market.

WiFi was not working at my hostel so I did spend quite some time at the $nob Coffee
WiFi was not working at my hostel so I did spend quite some time at the $nob Coffee

And did try a few of their cakes as well
And did try a few of their cakes as well

Friends in Town!

Scott doing another visa run
Scott doing another visa run

Misha at the beginning of his Vietnam trip and Konstantin at the end of his visa run.
Misha at the beginning of his Vietnam trip and Konstantin at the end of his visa run.

Scott at the soup place
Scott at the soup place

My new Ride

My new ride - a Exciter 135 with a 5 speed manual gear box
My new ride – a Exciter 135 with a 5 speed manual gear box

14599 km on the clock
14599 km on the clock

Buying the bike was faster than expected. Took only 5 minutes – most of the time we did count money – 33 Million Dong. Some paperwork later the guy was happy and I only needed some elastic strings to get my bag fixed. Yes – it is the same bag I had last year.

Finally on the Road

There are not to many roads out of the city with the motorbike. You are not allowed on the fast highway so I opted for the ferry from Cat Lai Port to the other side and continue on the DT769 and the HL13 towards the QL51. Looks like the fastest way out of the city to me.
Once on the QL51 I only had to drive down to Long Hai. Since I had no clue how long it would take to get the bike and move from Saigon I booked a room in Long Hai for a night.

This is where rich people will move in soon
Somewhere in suburbia Saigon where rich people will move in soon

Waiting for the ferry
Waiting for the ferry in Cat Lai Port

Crossing the river
Crossing the river

We had about 34 degrees - but the Vietnamese do not want to work on their tan.
We had about 34 degrees – but the Vietnamese do not want to work on their tan

Time to check the phone
Time to check the phone and do all the little things before the race is on again on the other side

New church in Xã Tân Phước
New church in Xã Tân Phước. After all the years before Vietnam did open up again after the war they do construct the churches the same way as they did before the war. In the years after the North won the war the new churches looked nothing like that.

A bit further down the road - a church from the good old communist times
A bit further down the road – a church from the good old communist times

Maria
Maria with her baby boy

And her son
And only a few years later he was a man! Friendly with a big heart and a huge smile he waves at me.

Another minute down the road
Another minute down the road

Further down the QL 51 in Xã Tân Hải
Further down the QL 51 in Xã Tân Hải. The tower is not always on the right!

Happy to have visitors
Happy to have visitors

Giáo Xứ Long Hương Catholic church in Bà Rịa
Giáo Xứ Long Hương Catholic church in Bà Rịa

Salt production close to An Ngãi
Salt production close to An Ngãi

Salt production close to An Ngãi

Cathedral Parish Hailin Nhà thờ Giáo xứ Hải Lâm
Cathedral Parish Hailin Nhà thờ Giáo xứ Hải Lâm

Hello water - close to Ap Bung Rieng
Hello water – clost to Ap Bung Rieng

My ride Yamaha Exciter 135
New and clean – lets take some pictures – just in case…

Yamaha Exciter 135

Looook!

Vung Tau in the back
Time to get to my hotel – coast road with Vung Tau in the back

Hoa Sua Motel in Long Hai

The Hoa Sua Motel in Long Hai was the stop for tonight. It is on the smaller street so not to noisy in the night. Check in was absolutely no sweat. The owner took the passport – showed me the room and a minute later I was in the shower. Great! The room was super clean, the shower as well. WiFi fast and stable, nice table with a chair. A good place. Left the window open at night with a nice breeze coming in from the ocean.
The room was 10 US $ for a night – check it out on booking.com.

The Hoa Sua Motel in Long Hai
Bed, chair, table and a closet – which I never use

The Hoa Sua Motel in Long Hai

The Hoa Sua Motel in Long Hai

The Hoa Sua Motel in Long Hai

Todays Drive

111 km in a bit more than 4 hours with all the picture stops and some gas station time for the bike

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