Vinh, Vietnam - City to City Tour 087

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Vinh is a pretty big city in the north of central Vietnam. I didn't like this city very much. It was too big and busy and appeal to me at all. But I had a great time here. The locals in this city made my night here a highlight of the trip.

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The ride from Dong Hoi was longer than I usually liked. It was about 230KM and I was trying to keep my days shorter than 200KM. Soon after leaving Dong Hoi, I got back onto the Ho Chi Minh Trail and the ride was beautiful, and very hot.

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The roads were blissfully clear of traffic for most of the day.

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This house seemed particularly cool looking.

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There was a lot of farmland in the area outside of Dong Hoi.

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The area seemed very calm and peaceful.

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Not long after leaving Dong Hoi, I came across Phong Nha Ke Bang which is home to a famous cave. I was in too much of a hurry to do any tourist stuff, but I did pull in to take a few photos.

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There's a cool little town with lots of tourist infrastructure at the national park.

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This hotel had a super cool paintjob.

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I followed a little road next to the river, but I didn't go too far because I knew I'd have to turn around soon and double back to get back on my route.

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It definitely looked like a cool place to visit.

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In town was this billboard. I'm pretty sure it's about food hygiene. I don't know if there was a lot of food poisoning cases in this area or if these kinds of billboards were all over the place and I didn't notice them.

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Soon I was back on the road and on my way to Vinh. When I bought my bike, the lady from Tigit Motorbikes told me that this leg of the trip would require bringing my own gas. I would be taking a long stretch of road that might be difficult to find gas on. I always kept extra gas in a water bottle, but I wasn't sure if it would be enough.

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One section of road looked like it was also used as an aircraft runway.

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Next to this long, wide, straight road were a handful of buildings.

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There was also a volleyball net set up. I didn't see any people, but I had the feeling that this was a military area.

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The roads cut through these cool little mountains and I loved riding on them.

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It was definitely a breathtaking day of riding. The landscape was incredible.

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I didn't have to use the gas in my water bottle. A house was selling gas and I filled up there. A lady at the house wanted to try out my helmet.

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All the kids came out to say hello.

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After filling up my tank, I put some more miles behind me. The closer that I got to Vinh, the more populated the land became.

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I stopped to take a little break in the shade close to a lady who was selling produce next to the road. A group of kids came up to practice their English with me.

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One of the things that they had was a shuttlecock. I'd seen people playing with these in different parks. They basically play it the way I play with a hackysack. People gather around and try to juggle it without using hands by kicking it to each other.

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On the outskirts of Vinh was this statue. I wish I would have gotten closer to check it out, but I was tired from the long ride. It's got a really unique style and some cool shapes.


In Vinh, I had a hard time finding a hotel. I wasn't able to find a tourist or guest area of town. The streets were super busy and I was tired. I found a hotel and it had a pretty sketchy vibe to it. I really wasn't feeling Vinh. It just didn't feel like a place that I wanted to spend time in.

I searched online and found a place that sold pizza. I hopped on my bike and went to get some dinner.

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I went to the place and got a pizza. It was OK, but they put ketchup and mayonnaise on it! I'd never heard of anyone doing that before. It actually wasn't too bad, though I haven't had pizza with mayo since this one.

A funny thing happened at the restaurant. The place was almost completely empty. I may have been the only customer. After I finished my dinner, I paid the bill for it. The waiter at the restaurant talked to me for a little bit, then asked to take a selfie with me. I've never had a stranger ask for a selfie with me, so I said yes. I was surprised that someone wanted a picture with me and it was kind of funny to me.

I returned to my hotel and parked my bike. My room was hot and I wanted beer so I went across the street to a beer hoi (beer on tap). I was sitting at the tables outdoors, reading my book and drinking. Someone came up to my table and started talking to me. Suddenly I had a bunch of people coming over for selfies and to add Facebook friends.

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It was too funny. I felt like a mini-celebrity. Everyone was friendly and funny and cracking jokes. The guy on the phone called up a friend that spoke English and then gave the phone to me.

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It was awkward to try to talk to the guy on the phone. It was basically "Uh... hello". "Hello.... uh how are you?". "Uhhhh pretty good.". Eventually I just gave the phone back because I wasn't sure what to talk about.

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The guy on my shoulder cracks me up every time I look at this photo. It seems a little familiar for being strangers. He was a sweetheart though and it was fun to talk with all of them.

After a while, everyone got their photos and Facebook friends and I was left alone to finish my beer.

It's the closest I've ever been to being a celebrity. It was kind of cool, but not something I'd want to deal with every day. I had great time with everyone during my night in Vinh. I didn't care much for the city itself, but the people made it into a fun and special night.

That's it for my trip to Vinh. I can't really say much about the city, but I had a great time here. The next day I was back on the road, headed towards Hanoi. I hope you'll stick with me as I continue the journey.

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