I’m going to skip right over Hue, seeing as I only spent about 14 hours in that city – half of which were spent trying to sleep while the dude in the next bunk over was snoring insanely loud through a sleep apnea machine while simultaneously trying to ignore the guy on the other bunk near me who not only sleep talked but sleep striped and had removed all his clothing in the middle of the night…
Sooo onto Da Nang it is. After a rainy few days, it was quite refreshing to pull into Da Nang and see not only a clear blue sky, but to be within walking distance of the beach. My first day was spent relaxing on the beach. This was your typical beach, besides the palm trees and the mountains off in the horizon, it looked like a beach I would see at home. I was longing for those crystal clear blue waters and white sands… I still had a nice beach day though- reading, journaling and a little yoga.
After watching the sunset, I set out for a little solo date night. I stumbled upon a place near my hostel that looked nice. I was getting some weird looks though when I told them it was just me. They seemed very concerned. Just assuming they didn’t understand what it’s like to be an independent lady, I dismissed the looks of concern. As everyone hovered around me confused, I ordered the fried rice and tried to just enjoy myself. So it turns out this was a family-style restaurant. That became apparent when they brought out the huge platter of fried rice, accompanied by 3 serving spoons. So that explained the looks…
Feeling a little dumb I was determined to eat the whole thing. I came pretty damn close. After feeling sufficiently stuffed and a tad sick, I left with my head held high. I guess that’s what I get for not consulting Trip Advisor before I blindly walk into a place. Traveling solo is 50% ‘Hell yeah, this is empowering and awesome’, 50% ‘WTF am I doing?!’
The next morning I spent wandering around and exploring the city. Later in the day, Eric and Martin arrived. We spent the day exploring, enjoying the beach and later checking out the nightlife of Da Nang. Da Nang is a cool city at nighttime – very lit up. There is this awesome bridge across town that is shaped like a dragon which is also lit up. On Saturdays and Sundays it breathes out fire, unfortunately we were not there to see that but it was still pretty sweet. We also hit up the highest rooftop bar in Da Nang (36 stories high) that overlooked the city. Not really my scene, but what a great view.
The next day we rented motorbikes and were headed for the Hai Van Pass. This road has become quite the bucket list spot after being dubbed “a deserted ribbon of perfection—one of the best coast roads in the world” on the show Top Gear. While our bikes were in questionable condition, the views did not disappoint. It was a perfect day weather wise – clear blue skies as we rode up the lush mountains with spectacular views of the coast. It was truly stunning. The sky and water blended so seamlessly into each other it looked like a watercolor painting.
Later we rode up to see the famous Lady Buddha statue on the Son Tra peninsula. Standing tall and proud at 220 feet, she completely dominated the landscape. She looked so fierce and powerful looking out over the sea. She is said to serve as a protector for the sailors. Favorite Buddha statue so far.