From Hue to Khe Sanh

2017-08-04 at 20:42

Had a good breakfast at Vu Homestay at the outskirts of Hue. After that it was time to load the bike and drive to A Lưới to meet a friend for lunch.

Close to the Guest-house in Hue
Close to the Guest-house in Hue one finds the rest of a business idea that didn’t work to good.

Little village over the river
Thị xã Hương Thủy over the river

Farming cuts into the forest
Farming cuts into the forest

Up towards A Lưới

Stopped in A Lưới to meet Rin for lunch. Thank you very much – that was a nice lunch break. A Lưới is on the Ho Chi Minh Highway again. So up up North it was!

On the Ho Chi Minh Highway - The locals dry grass which will become brooms later
On the Ho Chi Minh Highway – The locals dry grass which will become brooms later

Not a lot of traffic here
Not a lot of traffic here

Lots of farmland left and right of the river
Lots of farmland left and right of the river

Not a lot of forest left at this part of the road
Not a lot of forest left at this part of the road

Tet decoration in the villages
Tet decoration in the villages along the road. Here we are in the outskirts of Ta Ay.

More or less original forest
More or less original forest

Blue sky and green forest
Blue sky and green forest

Still a lot of unexploded ammunition in the ground
In a little village in Quảng Trị province. Still a lot of unexploded ammunition in the ground.

A new "traditional" town hall
A new "traditional" town hall

Small village over the river
Small farming village over the river

The water does look clean!
The water does look clean!

I can not really see a lot of improvement. Looks almost like 1 year ago.
I can not really see a lot of improvement. Looks almost like 1 year ago.

A new dam will change things for sure
This was last winter

Empty roads
Empty roads – cruising the left right left right of the HCM Highway and sometimes the road is like this – so you do not have to steer for a minute or so.

On the way to Khe Sanh
On the way to Khe Sanh

Ngoc Chau Guesthouse in Khe Sanh
Ngoc Chau Guesthouse in Khe Sanh

My room at the Ngoc Chau Guesthouse in Khe Sanh
My room at the Ngoc Chau Guesthouse in Khe Sanh. Sports a TV, hot shower, toilet, fan, Wifi and AC for 6 US $. Much better than last year where I had to fork out 16$ for the worst nights sleep in Vietnam. But the other place was with breakfast – this one without.

My room at the Ngoc Chau Guesthouse in Khe Sanh

Ngoc Chau Guesthouse in Khe Sanh

Bathroom at the Ngoc Chau Guesthouse in Khe Sanh

Todays Drive

166 km in 6 hours and 16 minutes including lunch, photo stops as well as a Gas stop

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From Hội An to Hue

2017-07-30 at 15:31

Ready to roll
Ready to roll!
The rain was gone and I had a new iPhone. Maps loaded and the GPS tracker running. Time to hit the road up to Hue for a one night stop. Adios Su Shi and Mike – see you next time 🙂

The Marble Mountains close to Da Nang
The Marble Mountains close to Da Nang
How nice you might say but wait – check the next picture!

What is really going on
What is really going on. Tourist overload. Still I will stop next time to take a look at the caves – if they are not to expensive.

The Dragon Bridge in Da Nang
The Dragon Bridge in Da Nang (in the back)

Every Saturday and Sunday night the Dragon spits fire
Every Saturday and Sunday night the Dragon spits fire

Nhà thờ Ngọc Quang at the Northern tip of Da Nang
Nhà thờ Ngọc Quang at the Northern tip of Da Nang”

Detail with a Fish on top
Detail with a Fish on top

At the beach in Da Nang
At the beach in Da Nang – lots of traditional small fishing boats

They sell the catch next to the street
They sell the catch next to the street

Must be a Fisherman Temple? Đền Thờ Ngư Ông Phú Lộc
Must be a Fisherman Temple? Đền Thờ Ngư Ông Phú Lộc

View of the North tip of Da Nang
View of the North tip of Da Nang

Nice as long as you do not look down
Nice as long as you do not look down. They should clean that beach more often. Wherever you look there is trash – a lot of trash!

The bay of Liên Chiểu at the end of Da Nang
The bay of Liên Chiểu at the end of Da Nang

The bay from above. In the distance you can see the North tip of Da Nang
The bay from above. In the distance you can see the North tip of Da Nang

Surprisingly this place does look still unspoiled
Surprisingly this place does look still unspoiled

Going up the Hải Vân Pass
Going up the Hải Vân Pass – passing the clouds on the way. There are always clouds here so it is called ocean cloud pass as well.

A bunker at the Hải Vân Pass
A bunker at the Hải Vân Pass

Almost at the end of the Hải Vân Pass: The view of Lăng Cô
Almost at the end of the Hải Vân Pass: The view of Lăng Cô

Offerings for something at a bridge
Offerings for something at a bridge

The water up the mountain
The water up the mountain

Offerings on the sea-side as well
Offerings on the sea side as well
One can imagine where all the plastic and the rest will go soon. Down towards the sea. Since I own PEP I am happy to see they offer it here. But it would be much nicer if they use banana leaves and Bamboo cups.

The stream down towards the sea
The stream down towards the sea

Are they friendly?
Are they friendly?

At the Lang Co View Point or Địa điểm checkin Lăng cô as the locals refer to it
At the Lang Co View Point or Địa điểm checkin Lăng cô as the locals refer to it

Pig cooling station
Pig cooling station

Poor animals
Poor animals

They can lick some dirty water if they are lucky
They can lick some dirty water if they are lucky

You can not imagine the smell - or can you??
You can not imagine the smell – or can you??

Ricefield in Quỹ Nhất
Ricefield in Quỹ Nhất

Nhà thờ Phước Tượng
Nhà thờ Phước Tượng

Small church in Đá Bạc
Small church in Đá Bạc

Vu Homestay close to Hue

This place was just opened and I was lucky to get the discount rates for my bungalow. It had a TV, water heater, fan, table and chairs. Hot shower and a bathroom as well. The owner and his family are super nice and try to help the best they can. From time to time they have a BBQ for all the guests in the evening. The place is really green and must look even better soon. All the green was just planted so it will be even better in the future. I paid only 5,60 US $ for a night with breakfast. Here is a link to the Vu Homestay page on Booking.com

Entrance of the Vu Homestay
Entrance of the Vu Homestay

Vu Homestay with my bungalow in the middle
Vu Homestay with my bungalow in the middle

My bungalow
My bungalow

Entrance of the bungalow
Entrance of the bungalow with a chair to enjoy the warm afternoon sun

Inside the bungalow
Inside the bungalow

Private shower
Private shower

Comes with TV, water boiler and fan
Comes with TV, water heater and fan

View over the rice fields behind Vu Homestay
View over the rice fields behind Vu Homestay”

BBQ in the evening
BQ in the evening – lots of vegetable options for me

BBQ in the evening
Some could not really handle the Rice Whiskey

Todays Drive

152 km in 4 hours and 54 minutes including photo stops as well as a Gas stop

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A few Days in Hội An

2017-07-25 at 14:45

After a few hours in the rain I arrived finally in Hội An. The rain killed my iPhone so I had to remember where the AirBnB from Mike was. Got really lucky since he walked up to the main street when I was looking for the place – other than that – no way I would go that far down the street.
Mike was looking for Laureen but she never showed that day – so we had a few beer at my favourite mini market. Turned out that he rented the house only a minute away from one of the hotels where I stayed last year. Great since I know the neighbourhood a bit. The next few days we spend with cooking, chilling and talking. Nice break with a big Pai vibe since we all meet there many many moons ago!

View from my balcony
View from my balcony

My room
My room – the usual mess 🙁

Terrace of the Sleeping Room on top
Terrace of the Sleeping Room on top

Courtyard
Courtyard

Hallway
Hallway

The Kitchen
The Kitchen

Living Room
Living Room

The gang in the Kitchen
The gang in the Kitchen
Mike told me it was OK to bring a few more people since we had 5 sleeping rooms. So I invited Jessica and Gilad.

The Pai Gang
The Pai Gang – Laureen finally managed to stop by

Mike with the kid
Mike with the kid

Family Picture 1
Family picture with Su Shi, Mike and the kid

Family Picture 2
Thank you guys for letting us stay!

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From Đăk Hà to Hội An

2017-07-24 at 16:15

Blue sky and sunshine – a great day for the next leg of the journey. Down to Hội An to meet friends that have rented a big house.

Buffalo a bit after Kon Tum next to the road
Buffalo a bit after Kon Tum next to the road

Not a lot of traffic today on the Ho Chi Minh Road
Not a lot of traffic today on the Ho Chi Minh Road

War memorial in Đắk Tô
War memorial in Đắk Tô

Detail of the war memorial in Đắk Tô
Detail of the war memorial in Đắk Tô

Detail of the war memorial in Đắk Tô

A tank at the war memorial in Đắk Tô
A tank at the war memorial in Đắk Tô

The famous Tank #377
The famous Tank #377

Tank #377

Wikipedia has this to say for that day: “On the morning of 24 April, one hour after the main PAVN attack on Tân Cảnh commenced, the PAVN began their attack on Đắk Tô. The PAVN penetrated the base perimeter suffering heavy losses, the remaining U.S. advisers called in air strikes as the morning fog cleared but by 10 am the 47th Regiment commander had lost contact with most of his subordinates and the command group evacuated the command bunker for a bunker in the inner perimeter. A T-54 moved into the base and began direct fire on the command post, the two remaining M-41s engaged the T-54, however their 76mm guns had no clear effect on the T-54 which quickly knocked out both M-41s. A relief column of M-41s supported by infantry arrived from Ben Het around this time, but all the M-41s were knocked out by B-40 rockets and recoilless rifle fire and the infantry dispersed. With the failure of this counter attack and the loss of command and control the ARVN forces began to evacuate the base towards the south.”

Đắk Tô 2 Airfield or Phoenix Airfield
Đắk Tô 2 Airfield or Phoenix Airfield
The actual site where the fight took place. Now farmers dry their harvest here and the rest of the former base is farm land.

Traditional house in Đăk Wăk
Traditional house in Đăk Wăk

You can see the fire place on the floor
You can see the fire place on the floor

Nice roof construction
Nice roof construction

Nice roof construction

Slow drip coffee and a coconut
Slow drip coffee and a coconut at the side of the road

Church in Đắk Kroong
Church in Đắk Kroong

A lot of small villages on the other side of the river can only be acceded over small bridges
A lot of small villages on the other side of the river can only be acceded over small bridges

You guess the purpose of the Guess House!
You guess the purpose of the Guess House!

Something went wrong
Something went wrong

Must have been a lot of heat to melt all the bottles in the trailer
Must have been a lot of heat to melt all the bottles in the trailer

Later it started to poor like hell and I drove down the QL14E. It got quite cold and the rain killed my iPhone as well. Nothing looks nice enough to take pictures off when it rains that hard. At last not when you going places on a motorbike. So that is it for today!

Todays Drive

265 km in 7,5 hours including Breakfast, photo stops as well as a Gas stop

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