I’m continuing to follow the Vietnamese coast south.
As I’m traveling, I found myself preferring the Vietnamese spelling of city names because it gives a clue to how it is pronounced.
Hanoi is actually Hà Nôi, Halong Bay is Ha Long Bay, Danang is Da Nang, Hue is Hui (pronounced ‘whey’). But Hôi An remains Hoi An.
I took a train from Hue to Da Nang. Very green and wet for 2.5 hours.
Da Nang is the third largest city in Vietnam, and for years for known more for being a port than cultural centre. It has a great location with a wide river running through the city and the sea on one side.
Lots of new construction now! There are great modern bridges. My favourite was the Dragon Bridge. At 9 pm on the weekends it spews fire and water!
There is also a beautiful suspension bridge further down the river.
This is the Promenade that stretches along the river. It was a nice change from the ‘sidewalks’ lined with scooters, which are the same here as every city so far.
There is also a nice place to walk along the seaside.
There are kilometres of beautiful sandy beaches. I rented a lounge chair in the shade and just listened to the waves. There were red flags up to indicate no swimming, but the lifeguard was kept busy calling people in.
I took a taxi along the coast out to Marble Mountain. The route along the sea was lined with huge hotel complexes.
Marble Mountain has some pagodas but there were a zillion tour buses so I choose not to go in. There were also lots of ‘shopping opportunities’ of big and small.
It’s been a ‘Pho’ couple of days. There is little place on the corner that makes the best pho I’ve had. 40,000 for the soup, 20,000 for the beer, so less than CA$4 for the meal.
I’ve been loving the fruit too. Banana, watermelon, dragon fruit, passionfruit, oranges and mango are the most common.
There is a big market a block from my hotel.
I think the big flower arrangements might be part of the preparation for Tet, which is like Chinese New Years February 4. Not sure how much extra delivery is…
Just what I would wear to deadhead roses…
A couple of little cuties
Then a big thirty minute ride to Hoi An! Along the seaside route the huge mega resorts continued. Which means that Hoi An, with its lovely French colonial old town streets, is a day excursion for thousands of tourists.
It is saturated with cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops and anything else that might sell.
But it is very pretty town with a river
Japanese covered bridge originally built during their occupation in the 1590’s.
There is also a temple or communal house on every street.
Giant incense coils
There are also countless ‘cloth shops’ that offer made to order clothing. I had a blouse and dress made in washable silk, and it was interesting experience to have it done two days with three visits. This was a small shop but mine had an army in the back. Women worked front of house, men did the sewing.
I also had a hem replaced for 20,000 dong (CA$1.20) in minutes at the market, where all the sewers were women. Better bargain!
Noodles are the base of two famous Hoi An dishes. My favourite was Cao Lau, which had chewy udon noodles, some bbq pork, lots of herbs and a small amount of sauce to which adding chilies was encouraged!
The other dish was Mi Quang, which had chicken and shrimp but just rice noodles.
Com Ga is their ‘chicken and rice’ dish. Rice pilaf, shredded chicken, herbs and optional chili sauce.
Then I discovered Che Chuoi Nuong and I was in heaven! I’ve only seen it at this one stall. Sticky rice wrapped around a baby banana and grilled, then sliced and coated with warm coconut sauce and roasted peanuts.
Tomorrow morning I have an hour drive to the airport, headed to Ho Chin Minh City (HCMC). But I’m going to go directly to Mui Ne on the coast for two days before I tackle the big city. One week left in Vietnam 🇻🇳