Wednesday, Jan. 13th (Quy Nhon Day 1)

  • Woke up early to find a beautiful beach setting just beyond our dorm room door (we arrived late last night and couldn’t get any sense for the scene).
  • Explored the village, which is actually 10km South of Quy Nhon proper, looking for a cheap breakfast. It’s a unique setup, the likes of which I have only seen in movies, where each street is simply a narrow alleyway with buildings and shops towering on either side, never opening up into a larger communal space. At first it feels claustrophobic, but once you get used to it, the village and its happy people start to feel quite homey.
  • After a simple breakfast of two fried eggs, coffee, and tea for 25K VND (~$1), a group of us: Aura from Finland, Drieson from Belgium, and Bart from Holland, decided to try swimming to a large island visible from our hostel’s beach.
  • It was a significant stretch of open water swimming and none of us were 100% sure that we would make it… but 40 minutes later we landed on the island with no problems.
  • In bare feet we hiked up and over the ridge of the island where we discovered a small private beach. We hung out there for a while, talking and basking in our successful ocean passage.
  • The swim back was harder than expected due to arm fatigue and the current (which had helped us on the way to the island, unbeknownst to us) but we still managed to make it back to shore in roughly the same amount of time.
  • Had lunch and relaxed for an hour before I decided to join a group that was hiking to a nearby waterfall. Cory stayed behind to relax on the beach.
  • There were 8 of us hiking to the waterfall, all following a screenshot of a map that someone had saved on their iPhone… it wasn’t long before we had completely lost the path.  
  • Shortly later we abandoned the map completely, instead opting to boulder hop our way up the river.
  • It was slow going but fun exercise. We even had to make a new path of our own to circumvent an impassable bend in the river. 
  • Finally, after second guessing many times, we arrived at the waterfall and were rewarded with a nice, fresh-water swim in the deep pool of the falls.
  • Unfortunately, we were only able to enjoy it for 20 minutes before the sun started to set and we had to rush back to the road before darkness set in.
  • Arrived back at the hostel just as the last of the sunlight was fading, all of us exhausted but satisfied with an intensely active day.
  • For dinner we went next door to Life’s a Beach hostel and had a delicious, communal DIY BBQ. There were plates of rice piled high and large bowls of spicy pumpkin soup. We each had a plate of raw vegetables, pork, shrimp, and beef which we threw on mini, clay-pot grills using chopsticks. It was a feast befitting the day, and the massive fruit plates for dessert nearly put us over the edge of satiation.
  • After dinner I did some writing while Cory played Jenga with a small group of backpackers.
  • Later, we discussed our motorbike route for the morning and decided to join forces with Drieson, who is also travelling North by motorbike.
  • Once the route was settled we all headed to our respective dorms, eager for a well deserved sleep.

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