Spoiler alert: We actually made it, we drove a scooter from Hue to Hoi An … uninjured and tired, but happy!
Travelling from Hue to Hoi An is quite straight-forward, since you have many options:
- The bus is the best if you want a cheap and relatively fast option but you will miss the many beautiful landmarks on the way.
- A private car is more expensive but comfortable and a good option if you are a group; for a bit more money you can even go in a good old Jeep left by the American Army.
- An easy-rider (motorbike with driver) will give you more sensations and freedom to stop in more remote places while being driven safely by an experienced driver.
- Renting a one-way motorbike will let you the complete freedom of stopping wherever you want, and is much cheaper (especially if you are 2 persons on a bike and a bit crazy!).
We chose the last option (of course). We grabbed the motorbike in the morning in Hue and left our bags with the company. They shipped our bags by bus. When we arrived in Hoi An, we called the Agency and 10 minutes later someone came at our HomeStay (Guesthouse) to give us our bags and pick up our motorbike. All for 400K VND (less than 20USD!!), to which you add about 100K for gas… For us it really was the best option as we could decide on our own itinerary, stops and rhythm … but let’s be honest: it was also very tiring as none of us is fully comfortable on a bike! We were driving slowly in order to be safe but also to enjoy the landscape. We made some detours on the way, which made the trip take much more time than we were expecting. Still, we would do it again the same way!
The fastest way to go from Hue to Hoi An is to follow the main road, but we decided to escape this busy road and to make a detour in order to ride between the lagoon and the beach. The road was definitely not of the same quality and many parts were being re-built but we loved passing by rice fields and villages. Count 1 to 2 hours more for this detour.
It was nice to observe the life along this smaller road: kids, farmers, workers, people at terraces… One of the funniest: we saw was a group of 5 older men drinking on a house terrace and laughing their ass off doing a karaoke, all this in the beginning of the afternoon!
Although I believe many tourists also make this detour every day, we didn’t meet that many and people (especially kids) were smiling a lot at us, screaming “Hello!” and waving. We even stopped at a gas station as I needed a break and the lady opened the back door for me super nicely; she didn’t mind at all that we were buying nothing, which is a big difference from the touristic places. Upon leaving she told me I had beautiful eyes and waved goodbye at us.
We were also surprised by the number of tombs and cemeteries we passed by. No fences around, sometimes it was just a full area of tombs and the road passing in the middle, sometimes isolated tombs next to houses. A
lso it is the first time we saw that many churches along the road and what seems like catholic cemetery: they look the same but there are crosses. We stopped at one the church to check the inside and were surprised to see many kids studying in it (it was a on Sunday).
The villages being located between a lagoon and the sea, water is very present. And also offers many beautiful landscapes even with this grey-ish weather!
We passed in front of a cute coffee place on the road so decided to go for a break. There was no menu so we ordered coffees and got 2 Coca-Cola… same, same but different! Strangely enough, although the place was beautifully arranged it didn’t seem like being a coffee place was the main activity of the family. We discovered a beautiful garden in the back, as well as a small poultry farm, and while we were there they were collecting honey from their bee hives. They gave us some to taste: it was gorgeous!! We really enjoyed our break at this lovely place especially that we got to play with 2 lovely puppies!
A few meters away we found a path leading to the beach that was hiding behind the houses all this time. The beach was lovely, but part of it was pretty polluted (the part that was not in front of the resorts). We enjoyed a little walk, which felt so good after biking for already more than 3 hours!
3 restaurants were available on the beach: a fancier one, a crowded one (we recognized the easy-riders groups) and an empty one (there was only one Vietnamese family), so we picked that one. You can choose your fresh seafood directly from the basins so we opted for the shrimps that we both love, simply grilled with salt and pepper: it was so good!!! Silviu also got a fresh coconut to drink.
Afterwards we had to ride again of the big road but luckily not for too long as we went through the Hai Van Pass: a mountain road offering beautiful sceneries. The main road now goes through a tunnel below so the traffic is reduced mainly to tourists by bike, car, or buses.
On the top you have a former observation base with bunkers where everybody literally stop and shops owners are fighting for customers. To be honest there is not much interest to stop there as there are much better panorama on the way. But it is one of the only place where buses and cars can park on this road…
For the last hour there is no way to escape the traffic. We crossed Da Nang, a pretty big and busy city with an international airport: we will fly out from there on the 15th. We choose to ride along the sea as much as possible and we got to cross a very nice bridge, parallel to the Dragon Bridge.
We got to the famous Marble Mountains half an hour before the closing time, but we were really not impressed by it so decided to go on.
After riding along a crazy amount of big big resorts, we finally arrived to Hoi An at sunset!