Lang Co to Hoi An - 67km
Part 2 of route: Hue to Hoi An
Brief: Tough morning with 10km of uphill riding to an altitude of 500m. Little eating/drinking options on way up pass. Flat afternoon ride but congested through Vietnams third largest city - Da Nang.
We were later on the road than we wished, due to the haggling of food prices in Lang Co... Anyway, excited to see how this pass would test us, we pushed forward. There is clear signage between the tunnel and Hai Van pass. Note: bicycles are not allowed through the tunnel - enjoy the climb!
With fresh memories of the Thai mountains, we mentally prepared ourselves for what was to come...
However, it wasn't that bad... Maybe because it was so early in the day, or that our expectations had been too high. The odometer had helped to control our endurance - it was reassuring to know when we were quarter/half way into the pass.
The views back onto Lang Co are fantastic, but the summit is somewhat of an anticlimax. The top is full of tour buses and pushy shopkeepers trying to make their quota. However there are drinks if you need some.
The view on the descent is just as incredible with the skyline of Da Nang perched on the horizon. There are more options for a coffee or a coconut on this side of the pass. 10km downhill is great - fresh air cooling you down and a very satisfying feeling to know the hardest part of the day is done.
Back at zero elevation, there is plenty of eating options and opportunities to get to the beach. Riding through Da Nang is quite the contrast to the last hundred kilometres. This is a thriving city and there are numerous lanes and junctions to keep you on your toes. Navigating was easy enough though, with a compass and an idea of where the coast was.
We stopped for a quick lunch and carried on cycling. For us it was just another big city, but it's worth researching into if your on the look for something in particular. Neither did we bother to see Monkey island and carried on down the coastline along Truong Sa/Nguyen Day Trinh. It's a great shame that resorts block off access to the beaches and even the developing resorts put up mile long barriers, which prevents a sea view whilst riding... On the plus side there is a small local market along this stretch and we had some of the interesting delicacies this part of the world has to offer. Riding further on we came to a cross road - cluttered by other travellers going to and from the beach. Realising now we were only a stones throw away from Hoi An we jumped in the water and celebrated our days work.
From the beach to Hoi An we followed a huge convoy of backpackers on rusty bicycles into the town, where we were met by a bounty of accommodation options. The town of Hoi An is spectacularly pretty and boasts some of the finer street foods Asia has to offer.