Monday, 8 October 2012

Vietnam: Descending to Hoi An

It was an early start, we were leaving Hue and off to the coast and further south. My excitement increased a notched with the expectation of more sun and warmer skies.

After seeing a bunch of avid cyclists as we climbed the hills before Danang, I felt envious; i was feeling guilty that these rides were a little easy. We reached 500m in a cloud covered hill tops - the mist thick enough to feel between the fingertips - much thicket and it'd be like caressing cotton wool.

the descent was simple - breaks on all the way as the road zigzagged to sea level. Half way down and I felt the burn on my shoulders, which I ignored for the peddling when we reached the flat. Two hours later in the middle of a suntrap we had completed 18km.

Every town we pass is growing - here in Danang were two huge tower blocks under construction, a line of new hotels and a suspension bridge. Onwards towards Hoi An just as we approached China Beach and we were confronted with a barren beach coast on one side and small local wood shack properties on the other. As we moved further a long it was obvious that Corporates are renting huge plots of land building mega hotel resorts on this straight bland beach with no personality miles away from any town or external nightlife. These now private beaches barricade themselves in with 20foot high metal sheet fences  - obscuring the view of the locals. Some properties obviously had run out of money, falling apart in their unfinished state. This continued for at least 5km.

Then everything started to clear our as we entered a town/city appearing to have some history, a quaint personality with a small and welcoming smile - it was Hoi An.