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Vietnam, Da Nang – City and Trip into the Mountains – VIDEO

Published: 17.5.2016
Da Nang (a city almost in the geographic center of Vietnam) is largely unknown. Which is unfortunate. An average tourist usually passes by there in a taxi on his way from the airport to his favorite Hoi An hotel…. I spent three weeks in Da Nang. And the city got on the list of my favorite places in Southeast Asia (right next to Chiang Mai). In Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson called the old road to Hue as the “abandoned fragment of perfection.” I absolutely agree.

Our flight was quite an adventure. After landing we hop into a taxi with a nice driver. He takes us to our new home. On our way we cross “dragon” bridge colorfully lit at the night. It looks kind ofLas Vegas there – hotels all over, expansive roads, blinking neon signs …

Da Nang

For about a hundred crowns a day we rent bikes on the following day’s morning. It wouldn’t be bearable without them here. The all locomotion takes place on the other side of the river. Three kilometers aay from us. For me it is bit adventure. I hadn’t driven bike before. On the bright side, it is easier than it looks …

život ve městě  life in the city

Upon our everyday breakfast ritual we have fresh smoothie with mango and avocado. It costs couple of crowns only. At the opposite stand we orders delicious central-Vietnamese noodles Mì Quảng. After this we set off for the first large trip. We cross the bridge back to “our” riverside. Then we set off along the beach to the north.

Da Nang

Lady Buddha” a white statue looks down up from rocky peninsula. It is a Buddha in female form. On our way we meet several bikes. We imagine how it is to lay around on white sand beach under the sun. However, the sun has been behind the clouds for several days. The forecast for the following days doesn’t look good either.

Da Nang

To take a break from work I leave the bike at the same place. I take my camera to see around the city and take pictures of mostly everyday street life. At every corner something is happening. There are many beautiful people, many nice situations, and occasionally there is a chicken, cat, dog and mostly children. Children are the easiest subjects to take pictures of. Were I asked to choose the best country for taking photos on the street then Vietnam would be my choice. There are almost no tourists in Da Nang. This makes taking pictures even easier. No one looks at me as at the source of income or alien.

street life street life

Eventually the weather improved and we hopped on our bikes to set off for a trip we have been looking forward to for couple of last days. The old road is heavens for bikers. It goes in the direction to Hue and a new tunnel was opened not long time ago. There were left standing couple of vans with Chinese tourists, gasoline trucks which are not allowed inside the tunnel, and several bikes. Once feared Đèo Hải Vân – Ocean Cloud Pass – thus became one of the most popular scenic route in Southeast Asiacom.

 mountains, Da Nang

Gradually, we enjoy beautiful vistas of green mountains, dark blue sea, white beaches and then I fully comprehend the words of Jeremy Clarkson.

beautiful vista flowing fog

We stand fascinated by fog streaming from the pass down to the valley. It looks like a river. Then we enter it. Next several kilometers we ride inside a cloud and stop several times to think if we should turn back. But our curiosity beats us. Soon we ride out of the fog. This time we don’t see sun but rather a herd of cows in the middle of the road. Then we ride down to the sea. After a short snack break we turn to ride back for 35 kilometers.

nature in Da Nang

Da Nang is certainly I city I will return to gladly. I know there are many other possibilities to go out for a nice trip – be it Marble Mountains outside the city, UNESCO city of Hoi An, Mỹ Sơn archeological site – there are stupas similar to those at Angkor, Cambodia.

GPS: 16°03'10.1"N 108°12'09.6"E

Text, photos, and video: Matouš Vinš

Music: Ketsa



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