I can’t believe how cheap it is to hire a bike in Vietnam, today we picked up two bikes from our hotel at a cost of £1 each for the whole day! Ok, so one of my handles was missing and the breaks were a little iffy, but that’s all part of the fun right? Thinking back, in Vancouver we hired bikes for a day and spent near on £35, what a difference. Even motorbikes are only £3 for the day, although we haven’t dared get on one of them yet.
Anyway, the purpose of the bike was to get to An Bang Beach which is about 4km away from he Ancient Town in Hoi An. We could have got a taxi but thought it would be fun to go by bike and enjoy the ride. We actually ended up going a very similar route to yesterday’s trip to the village and passed it on the way. When we did reach the beach it didn’t take more than a few seconds until people were after our money, women lined up offering to park our bikes for the day but feeling like we were being taken advantage of as tourists we rode a little further up and parked up for free. This wasn’t before I managed to ride into a wall and cut my toe open quite badly, that’ll teach me for riding a bike in flip flops!
The beach was lovely, it was very quiet with barely anyone on it. I would have gone in the sea but the thought of how badly my foot would sting put me off quickly. Instead we had a few power naps, enjoyed the sun and read until the sun started to come down. As there is no lights on our bike we thought we best head back although we did want to eat at the Purple Lantern restaurant near the beach as it’s rated highly. Instead we got back whilst it was still light and headed out to a more local restaurant with rave reviews on TripAdvisor. This place was quite run down inside, but then again most restaurants are like this over here. The food was delicious though and by far the cheapest we have had to date, I think it was around 90p per dish. We had 3 traditional Vietnamese noodle based dishes but was obviously doing something wrong as the waitress came over mid way through to mix one of the meals together. It seems today I can neither ride a bike nor eat properly.
The rest of the evening was quite interesting, we left Hoi An and headed to the nearest train station in De Nang to catch our overnight sleeper train. Not really knowing what to expect, we entered our cabin to find 2 bunk beds with a space of about a foot in between. It was very cosy to say the least. Nick and I had the bottom bunks so we made our beds with the supplied bedding and settled in for the 9 hour journey. It must have taken me about 3 hours, and 2 chapters of my book, before I finally nodded off. I can imagine the noise of this train isn’t too dissimilar to tying to take a nap on a building site, but with the added sounds of 2 random men snoring their heads off above me 🙂