Vietnamese FOD: Vietnam is considered to have the lowest unemployment rate of any third world country.
Everyday Randomness: seeing a ridiculously high end road bike just onba stand at the side of the road!
Satisfying is how I would describe breakfast this morning. We haven’t had rice since the first day in Vietnam but this was covered in succulent pork and near juices making it a very tasty dish.
The first 40km were nothing like yesterday. It was a hard slog into the wind on a road so bumpy that you’d be forgiven for thinking you were on a mountain bike trail!
Thankfully the place Liam spotted had excellent hammocks, which I learnt the word for yesterday: vông. The coffee was as good as the western people sized hammocks and the price was just incredibly cheap: 30 cent for coffee and ice tea served in a delightfully cute pot.
Refreshed, we got back into the saddles and the pace increased with the improved road surface. We paused for a few dragon fruit which involved sampling the fruit with the seller (he tasted some too just for good measure) before buying three! One for later!
We also passed a wedding which is always an entertaining experience for us! Last year we seemed to have a knack for arriving at wedding photo shoots such as:
This year, we’ve only seen one photo shoot and that was at one of the temples in Angor Wat where the pure groom was sweating buckets in the heat and the attention! However, we have passed by a number of actual weddings like today. The general formula seems to be: a marquee, weighted down with flowers, must be literally on the side of the road, must play very loud music and a picture of the bride and groom already in their wedding outfits must be at the entrance:
Durians have been mentioned previously in relation to their pugent smell but let me tell you as I smelt some today I was relieved. Relieved that I didn’t have to touch or eat one. I forgot to mention that in the hostel in Saigon we were offered free (thankfully) samples of durian. Now these fruit are the most expensive fruit in Vietnam but it literally looks and feels like a raw chicken thigh. The taste is slimy, awful and uncomfortably lasting. A very unpleasant experience all round!
The road surface didn’t last too long unfortunately but the quality of views hit an all time high for the trip:
The bumpiness, potholes and headwind continued but we were literally cycling on the coast so at least we had something appealing to look at as we slogged on. Eventually the town just appeared and we had arrived before we even knew it! We cycled straight to the place we had bookmarked for lunch as it was just after 2pm.
The Oasis bar is owned by an expat who married a Vietnamese woman. Very friendly and helpful guy and the place served good food. We were parched when we got in so ordered orange juice straight away and then got baguettes with tuna and sausage respectively. It was refreshing to get something a bit different and the tuna flavour was so much stronger than I had tasted before. We chilled there for a few hours ordering coffee and beers, it was the ideal way to relax after a tiring day on the bike!
We said to ourselves that we better leave eventually so we checked in at the hotel which was conveniently only 2 minutes down the road. We intended on going back to the Oasis bar for dinner but seeing as we are going to go there for breakfast tomorrow we probably should do three courses in the same place!! The budget was tight enough anyway because we only have a certain amount of Dong left and we don’t want to have to take out anymore!
So we found a place that is one of the busiest places I’ve seen in Asia, ever! There was a large array of choices of different types of noodles (and macaroni pasta as well of all things!), but everything came with chicken it seemed which is unusual for Vietnam. The dinner was exactly what we needed and was quite light.
We did return to the Oasis bar but only for a couple of beers which were very cheap! We were feeling a bit peckish after our light dinner so we wandered around the night market to see if something would take our fancy. We were just about to give up when we saw this “pizza* stall. Well to be fair it is pizza, they just use rice paper as the base which makes it nice and crispy and probably healthier as well! It tastes as good as it looked! Here’s hoping breakfast will live up to the hype; more on that tomorrow!