Saturday, June 16, 2018

Our First Vietnam Adventure

Red and I have now been in Danang, Vietnam for almost three weeks and haven't really gotten to see much outside of our immediate neighborhood and a whole lot of each other. We are a little tired of each other. Since we are not on vacation and actually live here, this time has been spent performing mundane tasks that really aren't much fun.
  • Deciding which bank we should use
  • Locating nearby grocery stores
  • Learning our way around the city
  • Discovering where the post office, hospital, pharmacy, police station, et cetera are located
  • Comparing money exchange rates around town to get the best deal
  • Applying for jobs
  • Exploring all the little back alleys to find where the best goodies are
  • Trying to make new friends
  • Discovering where I can go that she won't follow me
It's not been miserable by any means, but we've been itching to get out there and start seeing some of the sites and beauty of this wonderful country. Yesterday, we decided to take a day off and do just that. Since I have now started work, we know the money will be starting to come in and we don't have to be quite as tight with our finances.

We rented a motor scooter first thing in the morning and decided to tackle the city traffic to get out of Danang.

I recorded that video the first time I was here back in March. Since then, I've decided I'm just going to have to get used to it.

We hopped on our hog and drove off into the jungle-covered mountains of the Son Tra peninsula with no idea what was out there other than the monkeys that I was really hoping to run into.

But we never saw any
However, we did discover lots of other things. First, we stumbled upon a large Buddhist temple, Chùa Linh Ứng.

Nestled way up in the mountain

Inside one of the smaller buildings

Many statues of Buddha on various animals

The main temple

Inside the main temple

The entire area is covered in beautifully-kept gardens

The tallest Buddhist statue in all of Asia

All signs are in Vietnamese.
If you want to know what they say, 
you have to learn Vietnamese.

We eventually ventured further up the mountain and just enjoyed the view. Vietnam really is a beautiful country.

My wife likes to remain anonymous online.
Because of...ISIS, I think.
We tackled a few jungle paths.
After running around the jungle for a while and not seeing even one single stupid monkey we came out to discover we had a flat tire. We were parked at a small lean-to where three guys were hanging out in hammocks renting life vests to people who wanted to venture down to the water. Luckily, one of them had a tire pump. He pumped us up and frantically pointed down the mountain.


We got about halfway down when I could feel that the tire was getting low again. There was no way we were going to make it back into town. We were way out in the middle of nowhere on a jungle road in Vietnam and had no idea what we were going to do. We pulled up to a little shack that had drinks for people venturing up to see the temple.

Using our skills of American pantomime that we perfected while living in China, we got the guy running the shack to understand our problem. We needed a tire pump to get us a little further down the mountain. Our plan was to do this as many times as it took to get us back to Danang.

Instead of airing up our tire, he parked our scooter to the side of his little place and started taking off the tire.

Twenty minutes later, we were back on the road. He had patched the leak and charged me only 50,000₫ (just over $2). That patch took care of us for the rest of the day. Thank goodness for people who know how to do stuff.

From there we headed south to the city of Hoi An to check out the ancient city and explore their marketplace.

I wandered off while Red was negotiating prices for some cinnamon boxes and was grabbed by a woman who told me my ears were too hairy. Not the best pick-up line, but she was cute so I followed her to a small bed. She sat me down and set to work on cleaning me up.

My ears were hot the rest of the day.
That was not at all what I was hoping for and it cost me 60,000₫, but now my ears are really sexy.

The rest of the day, we ate amazing food, saw more beautiful sites, discovered places to go back and visit later and got horribly sunburned (the tropical sun will do that when you spend the day on a scooter). It was an amazing day and we cannot wait to venture out and tackle it all again.

Once our peeling skin grows back, of course.


  1. So... it cost you more to get your ears de-fuzzed than to fix a tire?

    1. Yes, it did. It almost cost a lot more. She then moved up to my eyebrows and I had to stop her. She was just going to do more and then charge me for it.

  2. just found your blog last week via your wife's blog - really enjoying reading about your adventures!

  3. This is a slightly different adventure than the stories and photos my brother had of his recent trip to Vietnam---some "funny" scooter stories, but no hair threading tales! lol

    1. You just never know what you're going to run into when you get off the main roads.

  4. Eventually the novelty will wear off but for now it looks like you're having fun in Danang and stumbling across interesting things while learning how to get around.
    As a bit of a billiards fanatic it occurred to me that Asian countries are known for being thick with pool halls so I did a quick check but only found three in Danang.
    Well, if pool isn't your thing at least you know where to get sexy ears.

    1. We just spent two years in Beijing and you are exactly right. After a while, it's just the place you live.

      I know of one of the pool halls here. I've walked by it many times. Haven't ventured in yet. I played pool a lot in my younger years, but I am very out of practice.

  5. You and Red are on a life changing adventure for sure!


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