Hoi An and the Hai Van Pass

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Hoi An by night

Hoi An is one of the prettiest, and also one of the most touristy, cities we have been to. The ancient town is also a UNESCO world heritage site. It’s based around a river, and used to be a trading port. The old buildings are colourful and beautiful, the streets are narrow, with no cars, and at night the whole city is lit up with lanterns. It’s really pretty and romantic, and we enjoyed walking and biking around. The town is also known for its tailor shops, but after doing some research Mike decided against having a suit made, as apparently the quality is not always the best.

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Hoi An lanterns
GOPR1991
Biking to the beach

After exploring the old town we biked through the countryside, past ricefields and water buffalo (some of them are absolutely enormous!) and had lunch on the beach. After dark we walked through the old town admiring the lanterns and enjoying the atmosphere.

Hai Van Pass

After having watched Top Gear drive across the Hai Van Pass in their Vietnam episode, Mike was very keen to rent a proper motorbike and drive across the pass from Hoi An to Hue. As the pass is known for being very misty – there’s a great view of the ocean from the mountains – he checked the weather and decided that we had to leave on Tuesday, as it would be sunny.

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Mike finally got a proper bike

We both would have liked to stay in Hoi An longer, but leaving after two days was worth it as the ride over the pass really was amazing. On the way up there’s a fantastic view of Danang’s skyline, the ocean, and the beach, and the view from the other side is also amazing.

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Views

Elephant Springs 

After we crossed the pass we drove for a bit into the woods looking for a place called Elephant Springs where Mike wanted to take a swim. It was pretty hard to find, but after a while we found it. The sping was a little natural pool created by the river, with a big rock that kinda looked like an elephant. Then we drove on to spend the night in Hue.

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Riding the elephant
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