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Danang & Hue • Travel Lush

After shifting overseas in July 2014, I started compiling monthly roundup posts about life as an expat in Southeast Asia and all of the nitty-gritty that goes on behind the scenes right here at Travel Lush. Take a look at my most recent month-to-month roundup posts March, April and Might.


The most effective factor about working remotely is that I can work from anyplace. Nicely, in my case, I must be in Asia, however that provides me loads of options! Aaron and I both agreed that we needed to spend the summer time somewhere aside from Saigon. We have been tempted to do what we all the time do and guide it to our beloved Bali, however as a result of we’ve spent so much time there over the past few years we felt it was time to do something totally different. As an alternative, we opted to get to know our current adopted country better and base ourselves in the beachside metropolis of Danang for the summer time. Except for a fast journey to Hue on the finish of the month, we spent all of June in Danang.

Per traditional, I spent nearly all of last month cooped up in an house working. But in contrast to my days in Saigon, I’ve been capable of dip within the ocean each afternoon, take in the very intense solar and discover a completely new metropolis.

So what did I rise up to in June? Let’s get to it.

Falling for Danang

Danang tends to get passed over by vacationers, however now that I’ve spent the past month right here I’m stunned it doesn’t get more love from vacationers. It has the longest stretch of white sand seashore I’ve ever seen, the riverside setting and all of the colourful bridges are a photographer’s dream, and there are all types of wonderful issues to do both in and across the metropolis. I’ll be writing a full publish on the whole lot Danang has to supply soon.

Exploring Son Tra Peninsula

One in every of my favourite issues I did final month was lease a scooter and discover Son Tra Peninsula. The peninsula is situated a couple of kilometers north of the town so it’s super straightforward to get to. There are a bunch of lovely temples, near-deserted beaches and critically beautiful vistas. Oh, and there are plenty of monkeys too. To be trustworthy, I have an irrational worry of monkeys but they have been fun to view from a distance!

son-tra-peninsula-danang

It felt nice to be on the back of a motorcycle again (Aaron did the driving). We actually needed to make it to “the peak” of the mountain which supposedly provides unreal views of the ocean and the town of Danang. We began going up the tremendous steep hill and shortly realized our brakes were not outfitted to handle the steep hills. We’ve had a number of (very minor) scooter accidents in our time so our motto is certainly safety first. Despite not making it to the top, we had a great time gawking at the beautiful surroundings and swimming within the space’s critically fairly beaches.

Getting tremendous sick

Truly, I used to be wonderful but Aaron acquired actually sick for a few week. After a number of days, he actually wasn’t wanting good. He wasn’t consuming, had a fever and an intense cough that basically concerned me. Finally, I pressured him to go to a clinic and get some meds. Thankfully, the antibiotics labored their magic and after a number of extra days he was alive again! It was unhappy seeing him so ailing. We principally spent that week housebound, so it type of threw off our plans to get to know Danang higher. After which…

No operating water for five days

Actually, the day Aaron began feeling higher the water in our building went out. At first, we thought nothing of it. It was a Friday night time and we figured it will come again on in the morning.

It didn’t.

It didn’t assist that neither of us had washed our hair on Friday. By Saturday afternoon, after walking around within the warmth for hours, we have been feeling fairly gross. We referred to as our landlord and he stated one thing concerning the Danang water manufacturing unit shutting water off to the town (??) and that it will come back on at 6pm.

It did…for like 20 minutes. And then it went off once more. I used to be kicking myself for not showering the second it got here again on.

street-scenes-danang

On Sunday night time, our building made an announcement in Vietnamese. We heard the words nước (water) and thứ năm (Thursday). All we might guess is that something main was happening in our building and water wouldn’t come back on until Thursday. Ugh.

At 6 pm that night time, I checked the water again and it was on. I didn’t need to danger it so Aaron and I shortly executed our previously devised plan. Aaron showered whereas I in a short time washed the crusty dishes, flushed the bogs, crammed water bottles so we might flush the bogs the subsequent day, arrange basins so we might wash our palms and faces, and then I took a much-needed shower. The water went off three minutes after that.

That was how we spent the subsequent two days earlier than shifting to our next Airbnb. This place has operating water. Yay! It was truly fairly comical at first but going that long without showering in this insanely scorching climate is gross and it made us not need to depart the home. I might have liked to go wander across the city throughout those 5 days however the “feels like” temperature of 113 degrees (45 levels Celsius) stored us indoors. Alternately, we might have beloved to go swimming within the ocean, but we had no guarantee that the water would come again on so we didn’t need to danger it.

Escaping to Hue by way of the Hai Van Cross

hai-van-pass-danang

The Hai Van Cross that leads from Danang to Hue might be some of the well-known stretches of street in Vietnam. The views are epic. You’ll see uninhibited glimpses of the brilliant blue ocean, lush jungle mountains and dangerously curvy roads. It’s fairly cool. I needed to make the journey on motorcycle but determined to err on the aspect of warning and take a automotive. The only disadvantage is that I didn’t get to take a ton of photographs alongside the best way.

hai-van-pass-viewThe Hai Van Cross from a distance.

After performing some analysis I discovered that the Hai Van Cross was once often known as the “street without joy,” because it related the war-torn cities of Hue and Danang through the warfare. During our drive, we stopped off at previous American outpost used in the course of the Vietnam Struggle. It was riddled with bullet holes and a stark reminder of this nation’s tragic past.

Melting down in Hue

Once I say melting, I imply I felt like I was melting the entire time we have been in Hue. In fact, we traveled there on what should have been the most well liked weekend ever. It was 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40.5 levels Celsius) all three days. Strolling outdoors felt like we have been in a furnace, even at night time. Since we solely had a few days to explore the town, I used to be determined to see a minimum of a number of things, regardless of the warmth.

imperial-city-hue

The first day we visited the historic Imperial City. The walled city is very large and I attempted so exhausting to discover it all. After about an hour we have been each drenched in sweat and felt like we have been going to move out. We gave up, beelined it to a drink stand and hydrated. The subsequent day was equally as sweltering however went a lot better.

Exploring the quirkier aspect of Hue

street-art-hue

I’ve a factor for offbeat journey locations so once I came upon that Hue was residence to a creepy abandoned water park, I simply needed to go. The water park opened in 2004 and was operational for a number of years before mysteriously shutting down, even if it value hundreds of thousands to develop. Since then, it’s sat dormant. Quick forward to 2019, and the dragon that emerges from the middle of the lake has turn out to be a well-liked hangout spot among Vietnamese teens. It’s now overgrown with timber and coated in graffiti, creating an amazingly dystopian-esque scene. It’s the stuff of (my) goals.

abandoned-water-park-hue

So we rented a motorcycle and made the 20-minute drive to the water park. I used to be stunned to discover a dozen or so different individuals there snapping selfies. It’s undoubtedly develop into one of many prime Instagram spots in Hue for tourists. I liked it although. Strolling around the lake is simply eerie and there are a couple of different deserted sites to take a look at. You possibly can even go inside the dragon and explore the caverns of what was a once-thriving aquarium. One of the best half was climbing to the top of the spiral staircase and standing within the dragon’s mouth. The views are epic but standing on that platform was a bit sketchy. I felt like there was a great probability it might collapse at any second.

abandoned-water-park-hue-1Inside the dragon’s mouth!

In fact, we have been there through the hottest time of the day. We have been so dehydrated and thirsty we had already polished off the bottle of water we brought. I by no means drink soda, however the second I saw a lady selling drinks I fortunately chugged a can of Revive (it’s a factor here) in about 30 seconds.

Consuming all the vegetarian Vietnamese meals

fresh-spring-rolls

One factor that has been great about spending a lot time in another region of Vietnam is that I’ve been capable of pattern totally different native meals. Being a vegetarian who loves meals is usually a bummer in a place like Vietnam that’s so famous for its food. However because of the Buddhist affect, there are tons of vegetarian Vietnamese eating places. Since arriving in Danang we’ve been stuffing our faces with veg variations of cao lầu (meat and greens served over thick noodles) and mì quảng (a turmeric-infused noodle soup) which the region is legendary for.

Hue is principally a vegetarian’s paradise. It’s truly probably the most veg-friendly locations I ever been to. We ate at a special vegetarian restaurant day-after-day and sampled all types of tasty dishes: bánh khoai (a fried crispy pancake traditionally full of shrimp), bánh cuốn and món bánh ướt thịt nướng (sort of like recent spring rolls but wrapped in thick, moist rice paper) and gỏi thập cẩm (principally an assortment of veggies and (mock) meats drizzled with a candy sauce). All of those are utterly totally different than anything I’ve had in Saigon.

vegetarian-restaurant-hueGỏi thập cẩm is a factor of magnificence.

That about sums it up. We’ll spend about one other week in Danang and certain head right down to Hoi An, the place will spend the remainder of July. I’m excited to revisit Hoi An and hopefully do some exploring in the countryside. In case you have any Hoi An travel ideas please be happy to go away them in the comments under!

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Most Fashionable Posts

Most Well-liked Instagrams

Listed here are the two most-liked Instagram publish from last month. The primary is of my favourite buildings in Saigon and the second is a snapshot taken proper right here in downtown Danang.

How did your month shape up?