A lazy day in Đồng Hới

According to the forecast it will be a sunny day with blue sky. I am so happy to stay at the beach. Until I open the doors to the terrace – it is Gray and misty – AGAIN.
There is more blue sky and sun back home in winter than the last few weeks here in Vietnam!

Good Morning Vietnam
Good Morning Vietnam and thank you for the coffee

Breakfast with friends
Breakfast with friends at the Ocean View Homestay – better than breakfast with Facebook that is.

Today I have a free day to explore the city – and the gas is almost empty so I have to fill up.

Nice day on the beach
Nice day on the beach – did not bring a towel – to bad! Looks like another day than.

That is all there is left
That is all there is left – and it looks like they did not want to restore it. So they left it as a monument.

Not sure who decided to use that font but he is an idiot!
Not sure who decided to use that font but he is an idiot!

Different kind of fisherman
Different kind of fisherman – and a lot of work for a few shells

A very small home
A very small home – but the commute to work is extremely short

And another one
And another one

A lot of work today!
Waiting for customers

American bomber
American bomber that looks small on the picture. It is a single-seater but really big.

American bomber

Air sucker
Air sucker

Russian jet from the North Vietnamese AF
Russian jet from the North Vietnamese AF. Compared to the bomber it looks like a toy.

Dog show room
Dog show room

Sandwiched between 2 Karaoke buildings
Sandwiched between 2 Karaoke buildings

How can one do another blog post like that?
How can one do another blog post like that?

At last the dog stays away from the keyboard
At last the dog stays away from the keyboard

2 times a day there is some action in the airspace
2 times a day there is some action in the airspace

 
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From Khe Sanh to Đồng Hới

After a not so good night in Khe Sanh but a better breakfast: the good old pack the bag game. If you do it every day you get used to it and it goes quite fast. All the stuff you do not need is at the bottom and it stays there. Everything you need will be in the bag in a few minutes.
Today’s mission is to cover 240 kilometres on the Ho Chi Minh Road and there will be no gas station on the way. So I did fill a 1,5 litre plastic water bottle for a few extra kilometres.
Quick look at the forecast an it was promising down at the beach. Another break on the way – why not. So Đồng Hới it was. The clock: 61065 km, the sky: the usual Gray and the road: dry and dusty. Lets drive!

Take a left at the monument
Take a left at the monument. There is actually one more gas station about 10 kilometres after the monument. But it does not make sense to stop and fill up again.

MacArthur Foundation
Would have been interesting to know what the MacArthur Foundation sponsored over here. Since they are from the US one would think they would write something in English as well. No no no – not here in Vietnam they do not!

View over the valley
View over the valley as the road turns into the mountains

Imagine that place in the rainy season
Imagine that place in the rainy season

A lot of green again
A lot of green again

The next village is far from here - you can see it if you look at the forest
The next village is far from here – you can see it if you look at the forest

Driving towards the clouds
Driving towards the clouds. They just put power poles here. Still no line but that will be the next step.

Guess that is why they call it Rain Forest?
Guess that is why they call it Rain Forest? It did not rain but it was super humid.

More forest
More forest

Driving was quite relaxing. No traffic, no sign of civilisation  - not even power poles! Very rare in Vietnam where usually you find them at last at one site of the road.
Driving was quite relaxing. No traffic, no sign of civilisation – not even power poles! Very rare in Vietnam where usually you find them at last at one site of the road. Now you know you are far out!

A stream with water
A stream with clear water – should be a nice stop on a sunny day for a refreshing dip

After hours the first settlement again. Still no power and very simple.
After hours the first settlement again. Still no power and very simple.

At the end of the village you can see the first power pole. Soon they will have power - satellite dishes will come next!
At the end of the village you can see the first power pole. Soon they will have power – satellite dishes will come next!

Back home people would leave these remote villages - here they even build new houses
Back home people would leave these remote villages – here they even build new houses

A star with a heart - how nice
A star with a heart – how nice

No fear of a sun burn today
No fear of a sun burn today

Soon I will turn away from the mountains and head to the coast again
Soon I will turn away from the mountains and head to the coast again

The mountains in the back after I took a right - the road takes me down to the coast
The mountains in the back after I took a right – the road takes me down to the coast

My bunk bed at the Ocean View Homestay in Dong Hoi
My bunk bed at the Ocean View Homestay in Dong Hoi. Since last night was way to expensive I have to make the money back. The next two nights I pay 5 US $ each with WiFi, fan, AC and shared bathroom with hot shower.
Upstairs they have the private rooms but this one will do for me for the next two days.

You like cat - you like dog? We have both!
You like cat – you like dog? We have both!

Cat lift
Cat lift

They will manage to take a lot of time out of your day
They will manage to take a lot of time out of your day

Again the forecast – where is the sun – and the blue sky?
The clock: 61243 = 178 kilometres.

 
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From A Lưới to Khe Sanh

Did sleep quite good and got up before 09:00 again. Since I did not see any interesting place for breakfast last night and no Bánh mì stand as well the decision to find some breakfast on the way was very easy.
Pack the bag game, pay for the room and put the bag on the bike. Today I not even have to worry that the Google lady sends me somewhere where I do not want to go. The border to Laos is on the left. Sometimes less than 2 kilometres away so everything that goes left goes to Laos. And there is nothing bigger than a path going to the right. Just stay on the main road and you can not go wrong.
Today this road leads to an area that was once at the centre of the ‘American War’ as they call it here. And only a few kilometres out of A Lưới the first reminder of one of the many battles here towers on the left of the road.

Hamburger Hill
It is Hill 937 or “Hamburger Hill”. This hill was of little strategic value to the US but the US command ordered to capture it. What followed was a 10 day battle from the 10th to the 20th of May 1969 that left more than 700 people death on the slopes of the mountain. And this are only the ones that were counted. After the US got the hill they abandoned it quietly on the 5th of June 1969.

At last it is green
Not pristine forest but at last a lot of green

Breakfast stop
In a little village I saw a shop that sold bread, fruits and vegetables. Had the idea of a pick nick so I told her I take 2 baguette. Saw some cut tofu and soja sprouts as well. Great! Told her I want some of that as well. She did not speak English so you point to everything. She got some tofu put it in a small bag together with a hand full of sprouts. She reached for the scale – paused – looked at me and walked into her house in the back of the shop.
No idea what she did that for. After a few seconds her son waved me to the back and her husband pointed to the tea pot. Well that looked like a longer shopping stop. Did put the helmet on the bike and went to the table in the back. From there I could see her in the kitchen cooking! Quick I fetched a few tomatoes, garlic and onions and gave it to her son to bring it to his mother.
Got a glass of ice water and hot green tea. The man did offer me even cigarettes but I still do not smoke. After a few minutes they put a big plate of food and some baguette on the table. And this is not even a restaurant! I sit on their table in a shop and they made me food. Imagine a Vietnamese guy would stop at a shop in your home town to get some groceries. Would they ever make him food on the spot?
Did manage to eat 3 breads stuffed with her really good vegetables. Cleared the rest of the bread and had another tea.
After a very good breakfast she wanted 20000 Dong – that is 0,81 €!!!

Long and winding road
Long and winding road

Of course they have to burn as well
Of course they have to burn as well

Add smoke to the haze
Add smoke to the haze

Low water
Low water

A new dam will change things for sure
A new dam will change things for sure. No more fish migrating will be one of the results.

Only a few kilometres more
Only a few kilometres more to the hotel

My room at the Khanh Phuong Hotel
My room at the Khanh Phuong Hotel. I have no clue why this is 16,50 US $. There is a TV, fridge, chairs, table, closet, AC and private bathroom with hot shower. I had all of this for 5 US $ as well here in Vietnam. But at last the other rooms had a window. This one here is smaller than a half news paper page. And it was so noisy the whole night. That does prove it again. Only because your hotel has 2 stars does not mean it is any better than one with no stars. It is only way more expensive!

At last the best breakfast set of all the hotels so far
At last the best breakfast set of all the hotels so far

The clock: 61065 km: 109 km. You might ask why only 109 km today. Because the next 240 km there is no place to sleep unless you find a kind local that put you on his floor.

The Wood Grave of a Rice Farmer

Well I have no idea if this is a grave of a rice farmer. But if you look at the construction and details of the grave. And at some of the stuff they put under the roof I can only picture a rice farmer. One of the farmers that works in the small rice paddies – ploughing with his buffalo.

Wodden grave
Heads of water buffaloes at the end of the roof construction. Buffalo yokes as main parts of the grave under the roof.

Wodden grave
V

Water buffalo head
Very detailed – would love to see it when it was new

Looks like the yoke they use on the buffaloes as well

That means grave in Vietnamese
That little basket is still used every day. Did pass so many people who have them on the back all over the mountains here. The writing means Grave in Vietnamese

Detail of the roof
Detail of the roof

 
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