Last week my cousin and her friend came out for a visit. They only had a week, and they wanted to see and much as possible, so I thought “Why not hop on the bike and drive north?” Here’s a few of the highlights from our Da Nang to Hanoi adventure:
Da Nang to Hanoi
Driving to Hue
Hue is a perfect first stop on any trip north from Da Nang. It’s not too far, so you can get a feel for the road, and there’s some great scenery. Everyone in Da Nang knows that taking the Hai Van Tunnel on the way to Hue is a huge mistake; the Hai Van Pass is epic! Seems like it gets shorter each time I do it, but it never gets old.
Eating Bun Cha in Nam Dinh
I know Hanoi would like to claim bun cha as a ‘Hanoi food’ but I had the best bun cha of my life in Nam Dinh. The meat was literally bursting with flavor, and I don’t use that phrase lightly.
Driving through Ke Bang National Park
Phong Nha is rightly famous for its caves, but the park itself is gorgeous. It was like Ha Long Bay on land. Very photogenic.
Drinking fresh beer on Cat Ba
Sorry Hanoi, but you just lost another feather from your cap. I’ve drank ‘bia tuoi’ – I mean ‘bia hoi’ – on the shores of West Lake, and I get it, it’s good. But so many fresh beer shops in Vietnam (and especially Da Nang!) serve beer that tastes less than fresh. Not this place. It’s the combination of ice-cold glasses that actually cool the beer as it goes in plus having a guy who actually knows how to clean a tap.
Got a free night in town on your way from Da Nang to Hanoi? Come on a Da Nang Food Tour!