Total Distance to Date: 1,486.15km
Total Time to Date: 84 hours, 24 minutes
I took some advice for my ride today.
I made sure I paid a little stop to expat Bob who runs a restaurant in Tuy Hoa (and who has been on plenty of motorbike rides around the country) who gave me the idea of hugging the coast on my ride to Van Gia rather than sticking to Highway 1 the whole time. While I hated him a little when I was going up that first hill, by the end, I decided the route was the best decision!
On top of that, Bob (and his friend Paul who I also found at the restaurant – both for dinner and breakfast the next morning) had been in Vietnam during the war and were pretty open with talking about things. I finally started hearing a little more of the story from the other side.
These guys are definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area (for good food and some interesting conversation). Bob’s place is simply known as Bob’s Cafe American. You’ll find it on Google Maps.
So, the stats* from day 23:
Riding Time: 3 hours, 56 minutes
Average Speed: 17.1 km/h
Average Temperature: 29°C
There’s a couple of reasons why the route Bob suggested for today was great, even if it added a couple of extra (and exhausting) hills to my ride… Along with an additional 10km or so.
The first reason, of course, is the views. Hugging the coast meant I could see out over the ocean for the majority of my ride. I would have missed half of this had I continued along Highway 1. Check out some of the photos below.
The second, and probably more enticing reason to follow this same path if you’re ever riding in Vietnam, is that it avoided travelling along Highway 1 when going up the biggest hill of the day. Bob had warned me before I started that this hill was going to be a menace. It’s got just two lanes (one for each direction) and curves around the hills. Naturally, this means Vietnamese drivers pass other vehicles around these blind corners with abandon. And with only one lane going in each direction, this causes some problems for a lowly cyclist trying to make her way to the top…
While I hated those hills (and basically walked up the bigger ones), I was glad that my ascent was along the quieter roads. I still had to go downhill along Highway 1 though… But fortunately I’d timed things well and reached the peak around lunchtime (when a lot of people are taking a short lunch break), so I didn’t have too many trucks to worry about. I think I deserve a “I survived Vietnam” T-shirt once this ride is over.
Now as promised, some photos from along the coast:
Read about the full journey of cycling Vietnam here.
If you’re looking at doing this ride yourself, or just want to delve into the stats a little more, head on over to my Garmin Connect page.
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*I use a Garmin Edge 810 GPS Bike Computer to track my journey – it’s a great little GPS and saves me when I’m lost (most of the time). This link to Amazon is an affiliate link, which means that if you click on it, I’ll receive a little something that helps me keep this blog going (with no impact on you). Thanks for helping to keep the adventure alive!