The costal line from Hue to Hoi An is supposedly one of the most beautiful in Vietnam and after talking to a guy from our hostel in Hue, we found out that plenty of the so-called “easy riders” can take you while also making a few stops on the 100-or-so km ride down the coast.
Being kind of sick of the train after our 14h trip from Hanoi to Hue, we decided that this was the way to go. We booked a trip online and this morning at 8am we were picked up by Tu (not to be confused with the Tu from our Hanoi food tour – in Vietnam the family name is often used) and his companion.
First stop was the laguna a little outside of Hue. Tu explained to us that the people living here were very poor. A whole family could live in one of these boats, fishing at night, selling the fish in the morning and sleeping at day (which was why it was so quite when we came)
He also explained to us that the reason they have so many children is because they drink a homemade rice wine called “happy weather” Apparently “Happy weather” makes you happy and then … well, you know the rest …
Next stop was Elephant Springs which is a natural waterfall a little up the mountain. The place has got its name from a rock standing next to the river which had a slight resemblance to an elephant (and since then has been cosmetically enhanced to look the part)
The place was a true heaven on earth and we even got to take a swim in the clear, refreshing water before heading off again.
I’m kind of ashamed that I don’t remember the name of my driver, but I can say that against all logic I felt really safe cruising up and down steep mountains with this guy as he navigated in and out through the no-rule craziness that is Vietnamese traffic. He was a man of few words (unlike Tu who talked almost non-stop) but a good driver indeed.
Our next stop was for lunch at a seafood restaurant which was located literally in the laguna balancing on wooden poles.
We didn’t know what to get so Tu ordered some squid with tomato and pineapples for us along with some steamed rice and garlic vegetables.
After getting a strict look from Tu when we tried to leave the squid-head behind we went all in and ate the whole thing. It was … good actually, once you got over how weird it felt. But also kind of crunchy at times when you accidentally bit in an eye ball … The rule “don’t think, just do it” was once again applied.
Next stop was an American bunker from the war. Or the remains anyway. There wasn’t really much too see except for maybe a lot of tourists, but the view was great anyway.
Our last stop (officially anyway, more on that further down) was “marble mountains”. Here, marble from mountains all over central Vietnam is carved into any possible figure you could imagine. On the picture below is a guy hand carving a gigantic “smiling Buddha”. Pretty impressive work.
Above the village was a cave with some more Buddha statues and a couple of view point over the city. We didn’t get to see very much of it as we were both pretty tired and dehydrated at that point, so we went back to our two guides who stood patiently waiting for us at the bottom.
We drove the last short way into Hoi An where we made the last (unofficial) stop. Aka. we were let right into the claws of two tailors one of whom spoke better Danish than the prince consort of Denmark. A real tourist trap. Jonas ended up ordering two shirts (you won’t believe how pushy they are!)
Oh well, I guess you can’t go to Hoi An without getting something tailored can you?
Apart from this it was a really nice trip. At 90$ for the both of us (minus the small admission fees and the two tailored shirts) we both think it was money very well spent 🙂
Book your own tour at www.hueeasyridertour.com