This week would be my final riding in Vietnam, as I make my way to my final destination before handing back the keys to the stead and heading for greener pastures.
My time in Vietnam has been mixed.
Undoubtedly the country is absolutely beautiful.
The people are wonderful.
But the food, for me at least, hasn’t been to my liking. Noodles and soup aren’t for me, and the thought of seeing the word Pho one more time gives me shivers down my spine.
There’s also some slight resentment in the mode of transport I chose to travel through Vietnam with. The bike has been wonderful, but there have been days where I’ve done nothing but sit on a bike and pray for my life.
Would I revisit Vietnam? Most definitely.
Would I choose to do it on a bike again? Definitely not.
After being caught up in the rain, it was going to be a big day in the saddle to see if I could make up some lost travel time and make it all the way to Phong Nha.
It would be close to an 8-hour drive, in not the most spectacular part of Vietnam, but necessary to get to the best caving spots in the entire world.
Phong Nha is home to some of the largest cave systems in the world. The world’s largest is Son Doong, which was only discovered in the 1990s and they’ve yet to explore the wet parts of the cave, only the dry parts.
Some of the caves here weren’t discovered until the last 20 years, which makes you think, and question, what else could be hiding, waiting to be found?
I chose to go to Paradise cave. A 31km long cave that is nearly 100m tall in parts. Impressive features and the drive-in felt like I’d been transported to Skull Island in King Kong. Only later to find out that in actual fact, some of it was filmed here!
One of my most unexpected experiences for the entire trip has to be this one in Phong Nha. I was debating whether to go or not, and after getting back from an afternoon of walking around the town and doing some mini-exploration.
I decided that yes I would go, despite how tragic it is for a solo, 29-year-old male to go to…
THE DUCK STOP!
I’d seen this all over Vietnamese blogs, IG accounts, and things to do. But I didn’t realize it was in Phong Nha.
Essentially a tourist trap, but a bloody good one.
For less than £3.50 you get a meal, a drink, a small snack, and an opportunity to become a Duck Leader.
Donning my new rice hat, some jelly shoes, and armed with a bucket full of feed I was let loose as the duck leader to around 50 cute little white ducks.
I have no idea why it was so much fun, but let’s just say that it was and move on from there shall we?
As a side note, Phong Nha was a really nice stop off and I ended up staying an extra night.
I stayed in a lovely homestay which is essentially a Bed and Breakfast and the total cost for two nights came to £37.80.
That’s two nights. Two breakfasts. Two dinners. Multiple drinks. AND my laundry.
Less than £20 a day. Crazy!
Phong Nha to Hue
Finally, the weather decided to go back to what is expected in Asia at this time of year.
Sweltering hot, humid, and almost unbearable. I wonder if I will ever actually be happy, ha!
The drive next up wasn’t supposed to be long, but as I cannot ride on a motorway here (proper ones) the satnav doesn’t account for that and what was meant to be just over 2 hours, turned into nearly 5.
Hue was really nice. A lively city, but felt small and not too big.
With an impressive amount of history and culture here, I stayed an extra night and had a good wander around the Imperial Citadel which was home to all the important people during the various dynasties.
After Hue, it was down to Hoi An.
First exploring the abandoned waterpark. Some crazy project that cost 3 million to build, only lasted a year, and then has been left for nature to reclaim for nearly 20 years.
From there it was over the famed Hai Van Pass which was immortalized by the boys from Top Gear when they came on their Vietnamese road trip. The only thing that I saw was thick clouds and fog, ha! Typical.
But to be fair, having spent a few weeks in the north, this pass is an absolute baby in comparison to some of the roads I was fortunate enough to ride in the north.
Finally in Hoi An, and a big few days of work with the second quarter of 2023 upon us.
Catching up with clients over the phone, planning new training phases, and putting new plans in place. Always a good, but busy time, to be a coach and I’m excited to see what the next few months have in store for each and every one of them.
Monk Mode Week 5
If you’re unfamiliar with Monk Mode it’s basically 90 days of trying to commit to the following:
– Create a video every day
– Write an article everyday
– Run 1 mile every day
Creation not Consumption
Videos have been easy, but admirably consumption is back on the rise. But I am OK with it as long as there is a creative output too.
This week I’ve written every single day and it is becoming harder now that I haven’t got such a catalog of photos and videos ready to be used.
I need to go through the hard drive, edit a tonne of photos and get them ready to be written about.
Blog Views: 148
One Mile a Day
Some tougher days on the feet this week, and still not finding that morning stride to get things moving early.
Running Totals: 13km
The next adventure…
I was supposed to be flying to Hong Kong on Wednesday. But me being me, I had left flights to the last minute and means that they’ve risen by £300.
It looks as though I’ll be going through to South Korea early by a week and then having a few extra days in the last and final destination in May…
Till next week.