Hoi An to Quang Ngai - 116km
Brief : Flat road. Our route combines some muddy tracks along thanh Nien and then a smooth surface on ql1 with accompaniment of horns and pollution. Plenty of eating options. Alternative sleeping at Tam ky (47km from Hoi An) or otherwise scattered options along highway.
Always wanting the option of a midday swim, we chose the most coastal route possible. However, the reality is that the locals don't go to the beach, so why would there be a road down to the beach? Despite being dry - it was still a great cycle through the smaller unseen parts of Vietnam. We have a lack of photos on this route, due to the minimal stops as we were trying to cycle so many kilometres. This is also the reason why there is two maps.
Leaving Hoi An, we kept north of the river and headed towards the bridge - Cau Cua Dai. Along here we ate breakfast, a noodle soup at 10, 000 Dong. Crossing the bridge will be the biggest climb of the day!
Immediately after the bridge take a left turn and follow this through to a t junction joining Thanh Nien. The road passes through lots of small towns and villages, then through a strange, surreal graveyard in the sand. Riding along here for several km, the map shows no sign of a natural join to the highway. Instead presenting several bridges to rejoin the QL1. We took the penultimate of the bridges - why? - Far enough to avoid the highway for as long as possible. Secondly, incase the last bridge doesn't exist anymore! The bridge we took was 45km from Hoi An.
Taking this bridge there is an immediate village in front of you. You should take a right on the TL 614. But without a GPS we were a little lost for directions... but
managed to pick up wifi in a cafe to get our route figured out. We then zigzagged through little lanes and stumbled upon another big road. Definitely not the QL1... Hmm asking a passerbyer "Saigon" (the general direction and easiest word for us to pronounce). We followed the hand gesture, left, passing by a huge soviet style monument, Nghĩa trang Liệt sĩ xã Tam Phú. Eventually merging with the main hwy QL1. This road just came up past Tam Ky, but this is an ideal place to sleep if you don't want to be doing a long ride. We're sure you'll have better luck navigating between the two roads.
There is little to write about the QL1. We didn't enjoy our time on it. We had to keep single file the majority of the time and were deafened by the horns on the trucks. We seemed to cycle faster than usual with less chat and distraction, and soon arrived in Quang Ngai. This is home to the infamous My Lai massacre. We arrived just before dark and didn't have time to see this memorial site and instead opted to see it the following morning. We found a Nha Nghi for 150, 000 Dong, 200 metres from the train station.
Quang Ngai is actually quite an intresting stop off on the coastline. There is a fantastic kilometre-long stretch of street bars and snacks along the riverfront. The ride to the My son village is definitely worth it, we rode in the morning along the river My Tra My Kai) to the coast and then looping back along the QL24B. This is where an atrocious war crime was committed in 1968 and is an important reminder of the horror of war.
After the previous day of highway riding, we looked into the next available route on the map. There were little options of a detour from the highway, so we decided to skip a section and took the the train to Tuy Hoa. This is a picture of the ticket. The cost was 171, 000 for passenger and 11,000 for bicycle. It took 6 hrs. We originally wanted to take the train to Quy Nhon but there was no direct train. At the time we didn't understand but there is the option to go to Dieu Tri and then ride to the coast.