Friday, Jan 29th (Hue to Khe Sanh)

  • Woke up to our alarm at 6:30am.
  • Packed up, had breakfast in the hotel lobby, then hit the road.
  • We decided to hit a few sights that we didn’t have time for yesterday on the way out of town.
  • First up was Bao Quoc Pagoda.  A quaint temple and monastery in a small forrest off one of the main roads.  We got many strange looks from the pupils as we explored, but they were all smiles once we said hello.
  • Next stop was an abandoned waterpark in Ho Thuy Tien.  We haven’t done much urban exploration, so it was a welcome change from the ancient ruin scenes that we have become accustomed to visiting.
  • On the road out of town we passed many of the Royal Tombs, jaw dropping structures built by former emperors for the sole purpose of housing their dead bodies.  We would have liked to stop and explore a couple, but they all charge an entrance fee and we were short on time, so we settled for the view from the road.
  • Our ultimate destination is Phong Nha National Park but it is too far to do in one day.
  • Our route takes us directly West from Hue, approximately 70km, to the Ho Chi Minh Highway in the mountains.  From there we turn North for another 110km and spend the night in the middle of nowhere before completing the final leg of the journey to Phong Nha (another 230km) the next day.
  • Today’s riding was possibly the best we’ve done so far.  Everything went smoothly.  Well paved roads, little traffic, cool but comfortable weather, beautiful scenery, and fun engaging driving along steep winding roads.
  • The majority of the Ho Chi Minh Highway was alongside a fast-paced river with towering jungle-covered mountains on either side, the tops only faintly obscured by mist.
  • We arrived at Thanh Binh hotel mid-afternoon and spent the rest of the day relaxing and eating.
  • We are excited to get back on the Ho Chi Minh Highway tomorrow for another great day on the road.
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