After spending an average day in Nha Trang, we took the local bus to Quy Nhon. It was quiet an experience taking this bus. There were 3 guys on the bus: 2 drivers that relay each other and one guy that look at the edge of the road to catch potential customers :D. He basically opens the door every time he sees someone next to the road and shout in Vietnamese. The scenery was amazing on the way.
Quy Nhon is a coastal city (~ 300 000 People) off the beaten track. There was not many foreigners here. Nobody is bothering you in the street. People are nice and helpful. We spend 1 day there and it was a lovely experience. We strolled in the street the first night looking for some food. We found the best street food ever, a sticky rounded rice cake which get fried in the pan and then filled with a kind of pork stew. SOOOOOOOO Yummy. We haven't found it anywhere else.
The next day was spent visiting pagodas (the best visit we had with a guy who randomly gave us a free visit ! His English was not perfect but we had the chance to see a beautiful pagoda), the local market and Thap Doi (Twin towers). We also walked the esplanade.
People living in this Pagoda. They were happy to see and take a photo for us.
Our next stop was in Phu Cat, a small city in the middle of nowhere... This was our first real homestay experience with a Vietnamese Family. The outside terrace at the entrance was beautiful and they were Hammock everywhere!
The room and the toilets/bathroom were ... rustic.. :)
It was a lot of fun and it would have been one of the best experience in Vietnam if they were able to speak English... The guy who organize the homestay was not there. We still think this is a great place for one night (if Mr. Happy is here, you might want to stay two nights.)
Anyway, they tried to do their best to welcome us. The food was yummy and we had way better crepes than in the Da Lat..
We also biked to see rice and peanuts fields, the market and they also drove us the next day to the beach.
This was good memories. And the drive at 2am to the bus by our drunk host was priceless.. 1 Scooter working for the 3 of us while the father and sister were cycling behind us with our luggage..
The night bus dropped us in Hoi An early in the morning. It's a beautiful city well conserved, and the lanterns in the old city give it a charming look, especially when it's the Full Moon Lantern Festival (Happening once a month). Other than that, it is well know for its tailoring. You can get anything from clothes to shoes, wallet, bags and more. Alban made a suit and some shirts. It's tailor made and extremely cheap. They are able to do it in 2-3 days which is impressive. I only decided to make one pair of shoes.
While waiting for our new stuff, we cycled around the town, ate some street food and enjoy some drinks in one of the multiple bars/restaurants along the riverside...
We also went to the beach. It's nothing much and they use bags to protect the beach from the waves.. It's not really great for swimming but you can enjoy a sunbath if you want to.
Danang is only 1 hour away from Hoi An. But it is way bigger (more than 1 million people against 200 000). It's also growing really.
We stayed in a lovely homestay hosted by Sandy and her family. She gave us a lot of advice about the city. They were lovely and they invited us to join them for lunch and we had one of the best noodle soup ever !! They also arranged a scooter for us so we were able to drive everywhere !
We followed the coast and went out of a city to visit Lady Buddha the first day. The view was amazing but there was so many people because of Buddha Day (once a year, so lucky !...)
We also went up the Marble mountains the next day. It's all about visiting a few Buddhist temples and enjoying the beautiful scenery. After sweating a few hours walking the billions of steps, we went back to Danang and stop on the way to the beach to jump into the sea.
And beach at the end of the day!
We stayed in Hue just for a day and visited the Citadel built in the 19th century, surrounded by a moat and thick stone wall protecting the imperial city.
It took us 3 hours to get all around the palaces, pagoda, royal accommodations and gardens. We could have stayed longer but it was too hot and we had to catch the bus to Phong Nha.
It is almost the end of our 3 months travel, only few more days in Hanoi, from where we flight to Venice and then to Slovenia.
Next article about north Vietnam will come shortly...