Kathie had to make a family-trip back to Arizona - so I had the chance to do a motorbike ride with my friends who had to do a "visa-run" to the Laos border.
We started from Cam Thanh (the district of Hoi An that we are living in) and headed north toward Danang. Danang was not a stop (as it's close to us) but the start of the road that goes over the Hai Van Pass (made famous by the 3 guys on Top Gear). Great views from here looking back toward Danang. After a coffee/potty stop - we continued north to the area of Lang Co - where we visited Elephant Falls. The road to the falls had been washed away in the "wet" and was being rebuilt - and presented us with some rough road and a water crossing. Back to Lang Co for lunch before continuing north to the ancient capital of Hue. There's a stretch of about 50kms of eucalypt forests that were planted after the "American" war. The eucalypts were one of just a few species that could tolerate the Agent Orange defoliant that had been used so much in this area during the war.
Entry in to Hue was chaotic - as we struck end of the school day when the Vietnamese families go to collect their kids. There is no school bus system in Vietnam - so unless the children have bikes or electric scooters - their parents come to pick them up. After checking into Jade Hotel, friend Garry and I rode out to see a disused waterpark. It was built in 2004 at a cost of US$3million - but failed dismally within a few year and has now fallen in to ruin. Story is that more people visit it now to see it than did when it was operational!! The evening was capped off with a nice meal at "Ninas" restaurant near the hotel. Then it was an early night to prepare for the 105kms the next day. This may not seem like a big distance - but when you see Vietnamese road conditions, drivers habits and traffic - you will understand 105 kms is a tiring day.
Travelled to Europe in 1975, entered the tour business as a tour leader doing camping tours all over Europe, Scandinavia and North Africa. After 10 years started my own travel company specialising in European travel - particularly to Austria. Our most popular tours are "White Christmas" tours to Austria, Germany and Switzerland. I still escort selected tours - which keeps me abreast of what's happening in the tour business. As they say..it's not the destination..but the journey that creates the memories.... full info