Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Day 4 - Hoi An when it is flooded.

I woke in the morning hoping that the water level will subside but instead the condition got worsen. The water had entered into the verendah. And there goes our plan of islets hopping with our bicycles.
We took a boat out to a drier area of Hoi An and the boat fare has been consistent with their charges 50,000 Dong per person per trip. The morning remained wet with stronger wind and intermittent drizzle. 
I guessed almost all the houses along the river banks were flooded just like Long Life Hotel, the boatman changed his decision to stop at Japanese Bridge probably it was crowded or the current was too strong and we had to go a little farther at another road for our disembarkation.
We had a chance to witness a funeral procession, I have never seen such a colourful Chinese funeral before the people were wearing traditional Chinese costume in the procession.
Hokkien (it is spelt as Phuc Kien in Hoi An) Assembly Hall one of the 5 prominent assembly halls in Hoi An. It houses the Goddess of Ocean Thean Hou.
Hoi An Old Market, the rear was flooded but it was still busy and crowded with people in the morning.
The food looks very tempting and how I wish I could have the appetite to eat at the moment.

Little did I know that I have to pay for entrance fee into this ancient town then I realised the same for Georgetown of Penang where a similar fee for UNESCO listed places found in the bill when I was in Penang couple of months back. Only after paying the fee I managed to get a copy of the town map.
Entrance fee or rather contribution for UNESCO The World Heritage the Ancient Town of Hoi An which comes with five entrance passes and costing 120,000 Dong per person.
One of the many old houses we visited and I could not remember this one.
A memorial relief of Polish architect Kazimierz Kwiatkowsky, who lived in Viet Nam for 16 years and helped popularise the ancient town of Hoi An.
This small covered bridge is an icon of Hoi An. A bridge was first constructed in the 1590s by the Japanese community to link them with the Chinese community at the opposite side of the water.
There were a few mobile stalls selling banana and prawn fritters. Between Malaysian prawn fritter and Vietnamese's, I prefer our Malaysian cucur udang.
Our second round food savouring at this shop, the pricing is all attractive and obviously it was crowded, sharing table is common. The food wise is good though in a smaller portion.
It was time to go back to the hotel for a rest. Our original was to cycle to the islets of this charming country side but due to the flood we were unable to do it this time. Actually we were not allowed to board the boat at that time, I guess it was considered dangerous as the water level was pretty high. Our boat operators had some argument with the Police then they lead us to this narrow lane to board the boat where we secretly rowed off.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Day 3 - Let's Cycle to Hoi An from Da Nang

After staying here for the first 2 nights we had to leave for Hoi An. We left some of our stuff here as we will be back here again in 3 days time.
A delicious chicken and beef noodle with plenty of green vegetable, the weather continued to be wet with drizzle on and off.
The coffee shop that we had for our breakfast and there are many of this kind of shop in the area.
The wet day persisted and we continued to move on.
Taking shelter at this coffee shed, this time the rain was rather heavy, fortunately it did not last for long. After finishing our coffee we proceeded with the pedal. The lady operating the coffee business was also having a good sale of raincoats, we could see many unprepared motorcyclists stopping by to buying these raincoats.
We not only used the secondary road we also used narrow alley of such.
Marble Mountains at the coastal area that is renowned for stone-cutting and sculpture which is about 9km south of Danang.
 One of the accesses to the mountains. The caves within the mountains hold many secrets including bullet holes from when troops used to spy on the US soldiers relaxing on My Khe Beach below and buildings standing within the caves.
A cluster of five hills made from limestone and marble, Marble Mountains are a well-known pilgrimage site with peaks, caves, tunnels and temples.
The surrounding development and new sights of Da Nang at Non Nouc Beach.
We stopped by at this homestay for a coke, had a chat and were introduced to this place for future stay.
We enjoyed the ride meeting the locals on their bicycles from young to old. The weather suddenly turned better. The houses here are relatively new and road are new.
Hitting a new engineering structure, a beautiful bridge at a remote part of Da Nang.
The veiw from the bridge overlooking the Marble Mountains and a river.
As we went deeper into the interior we could see older settlements, narrower roads.. It seems like an old village settlement.
More and more roads encountered with flooded water some passable some not.
The surrounding houses are unique, small with interesting design and each having a plot of land in front of it. 
We made a couple of turning back rides due to the flooding condition and this was one of them. We were advised by these people to use other way, my plan was to use the route along the water line to get to Hoi An. 
Another road that we had to skip and turn away.
We bumped into this mobile bao seller several times on the road and the last time we saw him was when we stopped for a coffee break. His bao was steaming hot, meaty and delicious.
This old settlement has a pottery village nearby but due to the flood we were not able to visit it. This place looks pretty popular with many locals trading and marketing at the road side.
Then the rain came back again as we were getting closer to the ancient town of Hoi An.
The sight of the ancient town crowded with foreigners and indeed a testimonial of a popular touristic place in Da Nang.
We were supposed to cross the river using the bridge in front but it was impossible to do so, the alternative mode of transport was just right in front of us.
The boat ride to Long Life Riverside Hotel and goodness we will be staying there for 2 nights in this condition. I was glad we managed to reach Hoi An by bicycles despite the wet and the flooded roads.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Danang - Day 2 Let's See More of Danang

The date was 13 December 2016. Danang during a raining season where most of the time it was wet and the Vietnamese wears huge poncho while riding their motorbikes.
We started the day early but was hampered by the rain and ended up here for a breakfast. This was our first time eating a Vietnamese sandwich popularly known as "Banh mi" a food influenced by the French people. This was the best among the many we took during our stay in Danang. The Banh Mi was warm, spicy and well toasted. Of course not forgetting the concentrated black coffee of Vietnam.
 Some of their daily scenes in Danang.

Our first visit to the touristic spots of Da Nang was the Zone 5 Military Museum which covers all the wars in Vietnam and has so many exhibits to see from small weapons to jet planes. 
 Entrance fee is 60,000 Dong for non-Vietnamese. It is free for the local.
Jo shopping for local helmet.
Da Nang Museum of Cham Sculptures has the largest collection of Cham Art in the world. It is located near Han River where the Dragon Bridge is also located.
It was time to look for food and this attractive chicken delicacy shop managed to convince me try the food. It was indeed a good choice the poached chicken was truly delicious which was eaten with some pickles, spices and lime.
Jo had a puncture at her rear wheel, it was a tiny puncture and a spare tube was available for the replacement.
Da Nang Cathedral was built by French priest Louis Vallet in 1923, with a pink-painted edifice that earns its reputation as one of the most unique catholic churches in Vietnam.
Trawler boats seen at the River of Han from the Dragon Bridge.
On our way back to the villa, we went to My Khe Beach. The sea was rough I doubt it is good for a swim. This clean sandy beach apparently stretches very long for miles and it was named by the US soldiers during the Vietnam War.
We found a travel agency to book for a day tour to Hue on the 5th day of this stay. So Day 5 is taken care, tomorrow we will cycle to Hoi An but the weather is expected to continue to be wet.
As we were cycling towards Lotte Mart from My Khe Beach we saw this temple with a huge white statue at the main road and I found out that it is the Chua Ba Da Pagoda.
At the proximity of Lotte Mart we saw this amusement park known as Asia Park with a huge ferris wheel together with a few sport complexes.
As we were about to reach our villa we bumped into this house which is a bicycle repair shop. Though we could not speak with one another but we managed to convey as what was needed to be done. He patched Jo's inner tube for a fee of 10,000 Dong (RM2.00). I had to thank him for saving my time and effort for doing the patch and in fact he did it better and more professionally.
Banh Mi sandwich again and it is so easily found on the streets of Vietnam. This one is just near the bicycle repair shop. We packed two and bought a few cans of beer back. Hoi An is next on the list for tomorrow's itinerary.
The route we took for day 2.