HAI VAN PASS; THE HISTORIC MISTY MOUNTAIN TOP
As soon as I’d heard about the Hai Van Pass I knew I wanted to go and see it for myself; it had become so famous at home in England after Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson had described it as “a deserted ribbon of perfection – one of the best coast roads in the world.” So when the opportunity arose, I jumped at the offer.
Will Ly Son Island Eat Itself?
At noon, the sun bears down on the narrow, largely deserted, streets of Thôn Tây – the harbor village of An Vĩnh commune on Ly Son’s big island. Prudently, most locals are taking a mid-day nap.
Paradise Found: A Cavernous Exploration
It could be a scene straight out of a Jules Verne novel. Gigantic stalactites, lit up in fantastical green and bluish hues, mushroom out from a slippery, dripping canopy. The natural detail of each limestone formation is extraordinarily surreal; similar to a 3D sci-fi flick, causing you to think for a moment you’re on the set of ‘Forbidden Planet’ or are, in fact, journeying to the center of the earth.
Awesome Monkey Mountain: Da Nang’s Untamed Backyard
On an incredible, stock-still, sparkling day the ripple-free East Sea mirrored like a monstrous pane of glass. As I stood at the peak of Monkey Mountain my gaze was drawn to the heat haze on the horizon as it yielded the only movement. Above this, I scanned a glorious gradation of deep cobalt blues smeared with fine white streaks, a heaven on earth, an empyrean descended. From my unsurpassable vantage this panorama loomed roundly and powerfully.
No Bucks, No Bang in Da Nang
It’s a big deal. Every two years Da Nang hosts an International Fireworks Competition. We’d been talking about it for weeks: ‘Apparently, Italy does its show with grand opera and the Chinese go for delicate floral patterns.’ ‘There’s not just fireworks and music, there’s dance and all sorts of acrobatics.’ Fireworks as the platform for cultural insight and difference, interesting.
To the South: Quy Nhon
Surprisingly off the tourist trail, Quy Nhon is one of the country’s most idyllic beach towns. White powder sands, azure waters and a quiet, slow-paced atmosphere make this township a truly worthwhile seaside destination about 4 hours’ drive south of Hoi An. The main municipal beach offers backpacker and small hotel accommodation.
Bus Service Between Da Nang and Hoi An
Bus Services between Da Nang and Hoi An: Schedules and Prices
Ba Na Hills Mountain Resort $$ – $$$
The most awe-inspiring aspect of Ba Na Hills for me was its amazing transplantation of European architecture, much of it medieval, to the top of a 1,487-metre high Vietnamese mountain.
Vintage Sidecar to Son Tra (Monkey Mountain)
I can see Liem’s smile widen out of the periphery of my right eye as he slides back into third gear to take on the sharp, ascending corner, then back again to fourth as we valley down a straight stretch of Da Nang’s famed Son Tra peninsula.
Life’s a Beach
If you love Vietnam but want a break from the hectic pace of travel, or just want to recharge your batteries, Life’s a Beach homestay is the place to go.
Elephant Springs (Suối: springs, Voi: elephant)
Elephant Springs is around 20 km north of Hai Van pass, not far from Lang Co.
Around Lang Co
If you’re planning a trip to Hue then you will undoubtedly pass through Lang Co – a seaside town that is rather famous in these here parts.
Helio Center $$
If you’ve got kids and half a day to spare, Da Nang’s Helio Center is definitely worth a visit.
Marble Mountain Marvel
The Marble Mountains’ religious significance and amazing views make it one of Hoi An’s most famous and popular destinations.
Vincom Shopping Mall $$$
Unless you’re a shopaholic there’s nothing mind blowing about the Vincom shopping mall from a tourist’s point of view.
Vinpearl Ice Skating Rink $ – $$
The heat’s overwhelming, the kids’ energy levels are through the Richter scale and like half the world, you still can’t get that song from Frozen out of your head – well for a cheap, half-day outing, literally ‘Let it Go’ and head straight to Da Nang’s newest chilled venue for kids: Vinpearl Land Ice-Skating Rink.
VinKE (That’s Eduta!nment), Da Nang is a must for families with kids. Inside there’s a brightly colored jungle play gym, arcade games, bumper cars, imaginative play rooms, and a 5D-cinema that will plunge you into the world of virtual reality.
Gallery: Waterfront Restaurant
The Waterfront’s restaurant (Vietnamese and International cuisine) is upstairs with beautiful river views while a lively expat bar operates downstairs.
Phong Nha – Sublime Scenery off the Beaten Path
Before the summer heat becomes insufferable spring is the best time to dig out your hiking boots and get into an explorer’s mode. And one of Central Vietnam’s most captivating World Heritage Area’s – Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park – remains the ideal location.
About Da Nang
Da Nang is Vietnam’s third busiest airport and the key transportation hub and economic centre for central Vietnam.
Hue Bars and Nightlife
In Hue, most drinking takes place in eateries – from the refined to the hose out style – but in both cases food is always part and parcel of the evening .
Da Nang Dining
Da Nang boasts a fine range of both International and Vietnamese Eateries providing something for every palate.
When we arrived in Hue four years ago we knew little about this sleepy provincial capital and I never would have thought one year would turn into three or end with both of us giving up our jobs.
Hue cuisine is one of the most distinctive in Vietnam, much of it with its beginnings in the Imperial kitchens of the Nguyen Dynasty.