How do you take a an ordinary design for a bridge and make it special?
Put a dragon on it, of course!
In Da Nang there is a statue. And her name is Lady Buddha.
She stands 72 meters tall and dominates the landscape for up to 35 kilometers. She can be seen everywhere in Da Nang and surrounding areas, including out to see. She is thought, by the locals, to be the protector of sailors. Continue reading
Hoi An, also known as Faifoo, is a beautiful old town with a population of around 100,000. Even better, it feels smaller, cozy even. Originally a port and trading city, the influences from countries around the world are omnipresent. The Old Quarter is also a UNESCO World Heritage site, so hopefully the charms will remain in the face of Vietnam’s rapid growth everywhere else.
My friend Keren and I were recently discussing how the people we meet on the road can shape the opinions we have of certain locations. And while I agree in principal, I try to separate those personal interactions from my views on a town. It’s not always easy, but in the case of Nha Trang, it was.
I love the people I met. And now, as I leave, I can tell you with equal confidence, I do not like Nha Trang.
Cruise ships, amusement parks, a wannabe Miami Beach strip, and lots of Russians. Continue reading
But wait a minute; I thought Vietnam was all jungle??
Today was the greatest day on a motorbiking in my life. It was spectacular for these reasons: landscape, solitude, variety, and the physical and mental challenges it presented.
There is a quick route from Mui Ne to Lien Huong. I didn’t take it.
Google maps says to get on the A1 and head north. Everybody knows the A1 is the least desirable way to travel Vietnam for reasons of traffic, the lunacy of truck drivers, and unpredictable construction or road conditions. Besides, the last time I took Google Maps advice, I ended up in a Vietnamese Prison. Continue reading
Mui Ne and the surrounding communities of Ham Tien and Phan Thiet are….well…in a word……“contrived”.
Phan Thiet is a respectable town in it’s own right. However, it does boast a laundry list of high-end resorts, a severe and growing bent towards tourism. The buildings and community on the beachfront look like any other beach destination in the world. Thing is….there are a lot better places to go if this is what you are looking for.
And the 60kms of beach to the south of it are all under development similarly.
In a word, “contrived”. Continue reading