Day 15 to 17 – Hoi An and Hai Van Pass to Hue

During one of the days in Hoi An I was fully convinced that I was going to buy a motorbike (they sell here for about $250 USD and then you sell it again to another backpacker in Hanoi – very popular thing to do amongst backpackers) to ride all the way up to Hanoi with the gang. Nathaniel and Ryan were teaching me for about 45 minutes how to ride one, from starting it up, how to change gears, etc. 


After the tutorial was over I went on the hunt for bikes. I had found some and test drove them but the entire time I’m not feeling the most confident. Now I’m all up for adventures and getting out of that comfort zone but this was a different feeling. I just had this real bad gut feeling about it all. One mistake on the road and the consequence could be pretty bad. So flash forward a couple days later and here I am with a scooter instead! A little more easier plus this way I can snap pictures while riding πŸ˜‰

Before leaving for Hue however, I said good bye to a wonderful woman who ran the homestay I was at for two nights.  


Meet Lyna, an amazing 25 year old sweetheart and the owner of the homestay I stayed in called Sac Lo. When she realized I knew some Vietnamese we had a plan to only speak in viet so I can hopefully learn some more. But it was very short lived – she would say one sentence and by the time she finishes I was still processing the first 2 words! Lyna makes her home yours, and it is definitely the most comfortable stay I’ve had in Vietnam so far! Thanks Lyna!!


“I came here on Feb 4th. Lyna didn’t have a room available for me so she set me up with another room for a couple of nights. I then came here…and fell in love with Lyna and her family and haven’t left since!”. Meet Ben, a 28 year old from Australia who has stayed over two weeks at Sac Lo homestay with Lyna and her family. When asked how much longer he has in Hoi An, he replied “I think about 5 more weeks” , all at the same place. Talk about commitment! Be aware when you start a conversation with him though. Once he starts he will not stop! A great guy. 


Meet Evan, a twenty-some year old American who was my roomie at Sac Lo home stay. He was looking to ride the Hai Van Pass with someone and as any good mate would do, I invited him to join Ryan, Nathaniel, and I. A soft spoken American too, which was a first for an American I came across this trip! Great kid and it’s unfortunate he has a job to go back to as his trip is only for two weeks πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰


We left for the ride around 9am and words can’t describe how amazing it felt. It’s disappointing as well because although it was amazing for me, both Ryan and Nathaniel (as well as others who rode the entire Vietnam so far) said the Ho Chi Minh trail is by far a better drive. So in that sense, I do wish at times I bought a bike and rode the whole way up through Vietnam. Oh well, always next time!    
When I arrived into Hue I was prepared to not do any sight-seeing and just chill around until my bus to Phong Nha departs in less than 24 hours. However Hue surprised me. I had some of the best Vietnamese food here and the imperial city was quite amazing.  



At my hostel in Hue, I ran into my roomie from Nha Trang! Meet Ellie, a 22 year old German currently on her semester break studying Economic Psychology. You will often spot her causing many guys whiplash from all the heads she turns and breaking their hearts all over. Don’t worry, my neck is sturdy and heart already taken so I’m immune. Ellie was quick to join our mission as we find more mates to bring over to Brown Eyes!  
I was told that if you go out you must go to this bar called Brown Eyes where a lot of the locals go to party. So the night started off by us going to the major backpackers hostel (it was fully booked when we arrived) to grab some drinks and socialize with other backpackers. From there, we went to a nearby bar called DMZ. This is where Sheldon came out to introduce me to 4 friendly girls from Denmark.  


Meet Charlotte, Emma, Amalie, and Line. These 20 and 22 year old girls met while travelling and I guess when you find out you’re from the same country you just bond. I convinced them that the next stop is brown eyes, to which they responded “we just came from there! It was dead”. Bitch please, it ain’t no party til Sheldon arrives. It didn’t take much convincing to get them to agree to the plan and simply said “okay grab us when you leave”…done!  

Shortly after, two girls came up to me with hugs and it turned out to be my dorm roomies from my two nights in the hostel in Hoi An! These two German 19 year olds are Hanna and Anna. And this fucked me up slightly because literally 5 mins ago I just met two Dutch girls who are my dorm roomies here in Hue, named Hanna and Anna. So when I realized that I’m not just trippin and that there really is two pairs of girls with the same name, I did what any person would want to do – introduce them! And take a pic of them with Sheldon. 
Of course, a trip to a new city wouldn’t be complete if I don’t run into somebody who Sheldon and I have met elsewhere in Vietnam. It was here I ran into Frank and Dexter, the two Dutch mates who I met in Mui Ne. We shared some laughs, discussed Sheldon, and added them to the squad heading to Brown Eyes.

Brown eyes is a club that plays rave and techno music that the Vietnamese love to dance to. It was a cool experience and as any typical club night would have it – a fight broke out. The two combatants threw some punches before being broken up. Then as one fighter leaves the other gets on his motorbike to chase him down. Entertaining night to say the least! 
The next day Ryan, Nathaniel, and I went to walk to the imperial city. We saw that the cost was 150,000 VND and quickly thought “no way, we’ll just snap pictures of the building outside”. But knowing that our stay here is short, and that we needed some pics in Hue, we bit the bullet and paid the fee. And it was definitely the best decision I made while in Hue. The sight was so much bigger than I had imagined and had a lot of history! We spent about 2 hours there before having to make my way back to the hostel to catch my bus to Phong Nha. Here are a few pics I snapped from that visit to imperial palace as well as a couple pics of this abandoned stadium that we walked by earlier in the day.


an abandoned stadium


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