We are properly settled into cycling in Vietnam now. It’s so different from Central Asia, and feels so crowded with people! Unfortunatly we can’t camp here, so we are staying at motels and guesthouses, eating out a lot, and as we only have a month we are pressing north doing big days.
It’s the start of the northern rainy season, but so far we have only had one day when it has rained constantly. But it’s so warm here it’s not too annoying being soaked through. Otherwise the rain comes quickly, in short heavy bursts, and we are getting good at quickly ducking into a cafe or under a roof to stay dry.
We have tried to stick as close to the coast as possible and avoid the main QL 1 road. The small coastal roads are quieter, often a little more rolling, and take us through rice paddies, quiet little villages and along some gorgeous beaches.
The heat and humidity means we have a lot of cafe breaks, enjoying lazing in a hammock drinking ice cold sugar cane drink and often being given dragonfruit to snack on. There are cafes and restaurants everywhere here.
The sea is really warm and the beaches are beautiful but unfortunately usually filled with rubbish. We have managed to get a few swims in though, when we have stayed at backpackers resorts on the beach front.
We are heading north into a perpetual headwind, however this isn’t as bad as usual because it does cool us down! And as we head north Vietnam is becoming hillier. The best roads we have discovered follow the hills next to the sea, up and down along the cliff side.
The only thing Vietnam has been lacking so far is decent supermarkets. Central Asia had drilled the need for a constant stock of food and snacks into us, but here it’s hard finding good snacks! Luckily there is an abundance of food stalls, cafes and restaurants, so we can always eat.
When we did finally find a big supermarket (and I bought so many biscuits…) we bumped into Danny, the first other cycle tourer we had seen in Vietnam! We spent the day cycling together, on a tiny coastal road. Really pretty and quiet! This took us to Trung Lyong, where there is a huge Buddha statue up in the misty green hills.
So far, so good.
Jim’s words – Rain, Boats, Sarsaparilla, Wet, Noodle, Swim and Achey.