Winter 17/18 – Quite Days at the Beach in Đồng Hới

After Tet was over and Vietnam was “open for business” again it was time to pack the bag and move on towards Dong Hoi! My trusted bike was parked for the year in Ninh Binh and Viet was so kind as to move her from time to time.

Put the big orange bag on my Yamaha Exciter 135 and rode to the next gas station. Fill her up and down South it was towards the blue sky and more sunshine.

There is not really a nice road and I only wanted to get to Dong Hoi fast. Last time I drove the 410 km in one day but that is kind of a lot in Vietnam. Especially on the A1 with all the trucks and fast buses.

This time I only went half way down to Vinh and stayed there for one night.

My bike has now 26932 km on the clock
My bike has now 26932 km on the clock
The Yamaha Exciter 135
The Yamaha Exciter 135

The bag looks big but inside is my brown bag. The same small bag I use all the time. The orange bag served me quite well last year. Keeps the rain and dust away from the actual bag and you see the big orange square much better. A kind of safety feature if you will.

This year I shipped all. A new helmet, a mask to keep pollution at bay, rain trousers and waterproof boot covers
This year I got it all. A new helmet, a mask to keep pollution at bay, rain trousers and waterproof boot covers

A night in Vinh

Since I took the scenic route another time (on the way up North) and wanted to go down South fast it was the QL 1A again. It is terrible to drive and I only recommend it if you really have to go fast. Other than that – stick to the smaller roads and enjoy the ride!

From my friends place in Ninh Binh to the hotel in Vinh it was 213 km. Took me 4 hours and 52 minutes with food and gasoline stops

Thanh Dat 2 Hotel
My room at the Thanh Dat 2 Hotel

Took a room at the Thanh Dat 2 Hotel for 7 US$. You get A nice clean room, 2 chairs and a table, Aircondition and a TV as well as a private bathroom with hot shower and toilet. The hotel has his own parking and a coffee as well. Great for a night or a few nights. If you are lazy they also have an elevator!

The Bathroom
The Bathroom

At the Beach in Dong Hoi

The next morning I continued down south. If you go easy it is almost a day with breaks and lunch. It took me a bit over 4 hours for the 208 km from the hotel to the next hotel. Arrived in the late afternoon at Ocean View Homestay.  My favorite place along the coast of Vietnam. It is so quiet over there so I can sleep without earplugs. They have a small garden to hang out and you only cross the road and walk in less than 5 minutes from your room to the beach.

A big nice room - the bed is 5US$ a night
The dormitory at Ocean View Homestay! A big nice room – the bed is 5US$ a night

 

Dorm at the Ocean View Homestay
I took the one on the lower left

 

Part of the garden
The garden

 

Restaurant at Ocean View Homestay
The restaurant at Ocean View Homestay

Most of the day I spend at the terrace and worked on the computer. The staff was so kind and made some nice food every day.

Happy Hour at Beachside Backpackers

Not too far down the beach is the Beachside Backpackers. They had Happy Hour from 17:00 – 19:00 and this is where I went every day. The dog was happy to tag along but usually 30 minutes or so after we arrived it was too boring for him to wait for me and he went home again.

My partner in crime - we went to the happy hour every day
My partner in crime – we went to the happy hour every day
At the beachside backpackers - Jo and her boyfriend
At the beachside backpackers – Jo and her boyfriend
Fried Tofu with Lemongrass, Rice and a Pumpkin dipping
Fried Tofu with Lemongrass, Rice and a Pumpkin dipping

Quite Days – Happy Evenings in Dong Hoi

My two other playmates at Ocean View
My two other playmates at Ocean View
Waiting for the evening
Waiting for the evening
Cats - everywhere Cats
Cats – everywhere Cats
Not a happy dog!
Not a happy dog – but loads of other happy animals moved next to him
More dogs to play with on the way
More dogs to play with on the way
He looks happy
He looks happy
Every day you meet new people at the Beachside Backpacker Bar
Every day you meet new people at the Beachside Backpacker Bar
The staff cocked nice Vietnames food for me every day
The staff at Ocean View cocked nice Vietnamese food for me every day
On the way to the bar - Happy Hour is aproaching
On the way to the bar – Happy Hour is aproaching
The evening flight to Saigon
The evening flight to Saigon
He loved that plastic flower
He loved that plastic flower
Very relaxing - you only hear waves and can sip on a beer. What else do we need?
Very relaxing – you only hear waves and can sip on a beer. What else do we need?
Onion rings with Beer
Onion rings with Beer
More food at Ocean View
More food at Ocean View
Until the cows come home
Until the cows come home
The morning flight
The morning flight
He gets lots of visitors, csrbs and other dogs
He gets lots of visitors, mostly crabs and other dogs
Calm waters
Calm waters
Happy hunter
Happy hunter
There is not to much going on at the beach
There is not to much going on at the beach
Today some fries with my beer
Today some fries with my beer
Lunch at Ocean View
Lunch at Ocean View

Time to move on – further down South to meet other friends. Thank you Trang for making this another special time at your place at the beach!!

Winter 17/18 – The last Days in Pai

The BLACK HOUSE Sessions

Arno and Jason have rented a house a bit outside of Pai. The house is black – hence the name – you guessed it! Since there are so many musicians in Pai they invite some of them all the time to the house. They make some music videos and Arno posted them on facebook.
The interesting thing is the mix of different styles and ideas. I filmed a few of the videos. If you have time check them out here:
->Ramon & the Hot Gang de Pai – Chocolate Jesus
->Hot Club de Pai – Latcho Drom
->John Taney – Tennessee Whiskey
->Bamboo Tambourine – Belleville Rendezvous
->Saint James Infirmary
->Hot Club de Pai – Misrelu
->Gipsy Fish

There are MANY more videos up! Check out the music love!

The BLACK HOUSE Sessions: Kam Kamil with the Sound Guru
Kam Kamil with the Sound Guru

Mr. Guitar Jason and Arno on the bass
Mr. Guitar Jason and Arno on the bass

2 or 3 rehearsals and they where good to go
2 or 3 rehearsals and they where good to go

It was already getting quite hot in the afternoon
It was already getting quite hot in the afternoon

Charly Clerentine on the strings
Charly Clerentine on the strings

Lots of different styles on that balcony
Lots of different styles on that balcony

You never play alone
You never play alone

One more try?
One more try?

There we go
There we go

Norton makes sure the sound is right
Norton makes sure the sound is right

Look at this historical MacBook! Still working like a charm
Look at this historical MacBook! Still working like a charm

The smoke getting more dense day by day
The smoke getting more dense day by day

Ready for action! Camera - lets roll
Ready for action! Camera – lets roll

The big one with Alice Alouette and Wiriya Wiseatkun.
The big one with Alice Alouette & Oosamu Sakurai as well as the one and only Wiriya Wiseatkun

The interesting thing about the BLACK HOUSE Sessions is the mix of styles and people all the time
The interesting thing about the BLACK HOUSE Sessions is the mix of styles and people all the time

Florence and Sam
Florence and Sam

rehearsal for an outdoor video
Rehersal for a outdoor video

And after everything is recorded there is time for a beer and a smoke and of course we have to listen to the recordings as well
And after everything is recorded there is time for a beer and a smoke and of course we have to listen to the recordings as well

In other News

This cat!
This cat!

The yellow flower field
The yellow flower field

Rahel on her last day
Rahel on her last day before leaving Pai

Another sunset beer
Another sunset beer in my hammock

Looook
Looook

That is what we need! More fires!
That is what we need! More fires!

Good Morning Pai
Good Morning Pai

Warming up after a cool night
Warming up after a cool night

Khao Soi cashwe
Khao Soi cashew

Picnic at the River

On the way to the waterfall
On the way to the waterfall

Dee and Gerben are back in Pai. Of course, the monkey is with them and Dee’s brother with his girlfriend. The monkey loves to play in the fresh water so we went a few kilometers upstream for a picnic.

Gerben looks for the best picknick spot
Gerben looks for the best picnic spot

Dee with her brother and his girlfriend
Dee with her brother and his girlfriend

The monkey was so happy in the cold water
The monkey was so happy in the cold water

Back in Pai again

Just look at this happy face!!
Just look at this happy face!!

Finally Jose gets his hair done!
Finally Jose gets his hair done!

Maria is not so sure about it
Maria is not so sure about it

Hmmm - do I like it?
Hmmm – do I like it?

You can see the smoke in the valley
You can see the smoke in the valley

Heating up in the morning rays
Heating up in the morning rays

Morning shower
Morning shower

Yin and Yang
Yin and Yang

White is hiding inside my bed
White is hiding inside my bed

Does not look really comfy
Does not look really comfy

Sleep sleep sleep
Sleep sleep sleep

And more sleep
And more sleep

Best view? From the roof!
Best view? From the roof!

Chiang Mai

Dee and Gerben gave me a lift to CNX
Dee and Gerben gave me a lift to CNX

Look who I found in Chiang Mai!!
Look who I found in Chiang Mai!!

Last minute room - well not a lot to expect for that kind of money
Last minute room – well not a lot to expect for that kind of money

Dinner with friends
Dinner with friends

The next day - the guest house I booked in advance
The next day – the guest house I booked in advance

A bit better
A bit better

And a fan!
And a fan!

Comes at last with a private bathroom
Comes at last with a private bathroom

My birthday breakfast
My birthday breakfast

My little birthday party with Nattinee and Khemphirat
My little birthday party with Nattinee and Khemphirat

There is a new Bear in town
There is a new Bear in town

And it is snowy Weizen
And it is Snowy Weizen

Winter 17/18 – More Pictures from Pai

Every day something new is happening in Pai. And some days there are even too many things happen to attend them all. Here are some more pictures from the Winter 2017/2018 trip.

Burns Supper

A Burns supper is a celebration of the life and poetry of the poet Robert Burns, the author of many Scots poems. John was the Super Host of the evening and it was quite a night out!

Far to many pictures to show here but you find many more pictures in this album.

Hi there!
Hi there!

Looks like Sandra is not the biggest fan of the bubbly
Looks like Sandra is not the biggest fan of the bubbly

John with the best dressed woman in Pai: Puifai Petprapai
John with the best dressed woman in Pai: Puifai Petprapai

Everybody happy
Everybody happy

One sip at a time: Arno
One sip at a time: Arno

The speech - John in Scottish and Jason translated into English
The speech – John in Scottish and Jason translated into English

Lots of video going on
Lots of video going on

And it was a funny one
And it was a funny one – the speach that is

Very funny
A very funny one

For sure there is the traditional dancing as well
For sure there is the traditional dancing as well

Round and round that dance goes
Round and round that dance goes

More Pictures from Mojo Bar

Back at Mojo: John on stage
Back at Mojo Bar: John on stage

Good mix of locals and farangs
Good mix of locals and farangs

Not to miss - The Tip Box
Not to miss – The Tip Box

Stephen doing what he loves to do
Stephen doing what he loves to do

The Band!
The Band!

What is happening at Twin Hut?

Twin Hut

View from my bungalow
View from my bungalow

New batch of coconuts
New batch of coconuts

White lounging at my bungalow
White lounging at my bungalow

Marcin and Mendel
Marcin and Mendel

That is what we need! More fires!
That is what we need! More fires!

Only a few more weeks before it gets to hot for them
Only a few more weeks before it gets to hot for them

Nina and Julian on the way out
Nina and Julian on the way out

Organic Hill Tribe Coffee
Organic Hill Tribe Coffee laid out in the sun to dry

The Twin Hut gang: Jose, Guillem, Berta, Maria and Constantinos
The Twin Hut gang: Jose, Guillem, Berta, Maria and Constantinos

Sophia’s Birthday Party

Brigitte and Addye
Brigitte and Addye

Happy Hot Pot is coming up
Happy Hot Pot is coming up

The Boss doing what she does best
The Boss! Doing what she does best

Foooooood
Foooooood

You know what is next!
You know what is next!

As long as you laugh you can not blow the candles
As long as you laugh you can not blow out the candles

Everybody waits to snatch the biggest piece
Everybody waits to snatch the biggest piece

Sai Sin or the Sacred White Thread
Sai Sin or the Sacred White Thread

Just a bit of cat hypnosis
Just a bit of cat hypnosis

Some cat brain
Some cat brain for dessert