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!!

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From Ninh Binh to the Ocean View Homestay in Đồng Hới

Good morning Vietnam!
Another Gray and cold day? I did not really expect it to be nice!
Last breakfast, pack the bag game and everything on the bike. See you in a few weeks friends! Adios.
And I was on the way. Had no real plan where to end up today but further down south was the plan. The day was still young and there is a lot of road to drive all the way to the water down south if one must. I wanted to get towards blue sky and nicer temperatures quick so I stayed on the big roads most of the time. Trucks, Diesel and dust! Some crazy drivers and a few near hits with them later something in my brain told me – why not hit it and drive to Ocean View Homestay? At last it is quiet and clean there! And so I was driving a bit faster than usually and took way less pictures. But on a day like this – most of the pictures would not made it to the Blog anyhow.

Planting rice
Rice planting in action close to Ninh Binh

Monument in Thành phố Vinh
Monument in Thành phố Vinh. Look at the sky. It was like that the whole day 🙁

Church close to Kỳ Nam
Church close to Kỳ Nam

Another Church close to Kỳ Nam
Another Church close to Kỳ Nam

Lots of today’s drive was not really pleasant. Not only the same Gray sky that was so Gray you could not even guess where the sun was! There was even some drizzle from time to time. I was really happy when I reached the Ocean View Homestay in Đồng Hới. My favourite down there. Relaxing garden with restaurant and quite. Big clean rooms and friendly staff. And only a few metres from the ocean and from the backpacker place at the beach for sundowners.

Today’s Drive

410 Kilometres in 9 hours and 11 minutes with coffee and gas stops

The next Day

Had my Vietnamese slow drip coffee and walked to the beach for a look.

Old bunker
An old bunker on the beach. Once there where no trees so you had a clear line of sight.
Look at all the Gray!

Fishing Boat

Fishing Boat

Well looks like I stay in today and do nothing!

The next Day

It was actually quite nice. Blue sky with a hazy overcast but sunny. Great for a bicycle trip down town. They have free bicycles at the Ocean View Homestay.

Getting better slowly
Getting better slowly

It is blue up there
It is blue up there

Advertising for a hotel in Đồng Hới
Advertising for a hotel in Đồng Hới – nice Old School 🙂

A fisherman paddles back to his hut
A fisherman paddles back to his hut

Fishing boat in Đồng Hới
Fishing boat in Đồng Hới

Put the net into the water
Put the net into the water

Loading ice on the boat
Loading ice on the boat

Loading ice on the boat
Zoooooom – now you see it too!

Fishing Boats

Fishing Boats

Monument
Another one of those monuments. But that makes a fine place to sample some brew and look over the ocean!

Saigon Special

Huda Beer

Until the cows come home
Until the cows come home. Well lets go home as well!

The next Day

The next day I was lazy at the garden for most of the day. In the afternoon I drove up to Phong Nha to help Trang bring down a dog, cat and some stuff. She is the owner of the Ocean View Homestay and has a Bar, Beauty Saloon and Supermarket in Phong Nha now.

The next Day

Trang with Peppy
Trang with Peppy. She had to go back to Phong Nha. But she left the dog and a cat as well. I went to the beach again and biked a bit.

Beach in Thành phố Đồng Hới

Not too much going on at the hotel
Not too much going on at this hotel Looks like a Vietnamese-Laotian joint venture? The other places looked like this one. Abandoned!

 
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From Đồng Hới to Phong Nha

After opening the doors at the dorm of the Ocean View Homestay in Đồng Hới it was clear – another hazy day in Vietnam. Had breakfast with the little ones for the last time. Got everything on the bike and drove back up the mountain to the Ho Chi Minh Road and on towards Phong Nha.
The clock: 61263 km.

Another day with blue sky at the beach
Another day with blue sky at the beach – here comes the morning flight.

Cutting down more trees
Cutting down more trees – not sure if they make way for agriculture or just sell the wood. Today I did pass a lot of big old cut down trees.

This way please
This way please

More and more agriculture cuts into the forest
More and more agriculture cuts into the forest

Another clear stream somewhere down the mountain
Another clear stream somewhere down the mountain

Green as far as you can see
Green as far as you can see

Not too much traffic - in fact - no traffic at all
Not too much traffic – in fact – no traffic at all

From here on it is downhill
Driving this road was like a dream again. Left – right – left – right again. You do look for obstacles on the road. Go slow most of the times and look over the forest. Uphill and downhill. Apart from a few locals on their bikes and 2 wood trucks with a few workers the road was empty the whole day. And great views even with the haze – can you imagine how it would be with blue sky? Jungle as far as one can see. That can only mean one thing – I have to do the whole road again – with blue sky!
From this point of the road on it is all downhill to Phong Nha

Haze over the river
Haze over the river. Took this picture from the last bridge before you turn right down the last few kilometres to Phong Nha

And haze over the rice fields down in the valley
And haze over the rice fields down in the valley

And it was hot and sticky
And it was hot and stick

Interesting way of reuse the cans
Interesting way of reuse the cans

Heavy rain for a few hours just minutes after I got to the hostel
Heavy rain for a few hours just minutes after I got to the hostel

My bunk bed at Thien Phu Hostel
My bunk bed at Thien Phu Hostel. Another night for 5 US $ and for a night it is quite OK. 6 bunk beds do share one bathroom and it comes with a simple breakfast. Took this picture in the morning. The sky was the usual gray but at last – no rain!
The clock: 61390: 127 kilometres yesterday.

 
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