I arrived by bus from Hoi An and set out to find the guesthouse my friend Garth had recommended to me. Bit of a mess as my moto taxi driver didn’t know where it was and it took us forever to find but find it we did, eventually. Hoa’s Guesthouse, about 4kms outside of Danang, sits about 30 meters up a dirt road from China Beach (famous for having been a R n’ R spot for GI’s during the war), and about a 10 minute walk from the Marble Mountains. It’s a beautiful beach, super wide, mostly clean and virtually empty. Hoa’s is a blast. I meet a few lovely people and we formed a very nice group. I’d planned to spend only a couple days in Danang but it ended up being about 10 and could have been much longer.

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One of these lovely people that I met was named Jack, a (then) 18 year old from England and who celebrated his 19th birthday just a few days after I met him. That bakery I found in Hoi An came in handy as we drove the half hour (by motorbike) into Hoi An and picked him up 5 pieces of cake, each one different, and surprised him with them. Pretty happy kid.

My friend Garth took me out on a tour by moto one day, we visited the beautiful “Lady Buddha” that is so big she can be seen from all around Danang. I call her the “Lady Buddha” because I think she is just so stunning but perhaps I’m wrong, perhaps she’s a he?

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He also took me deep into a jungle trail to a shrine which had been built around a really old tree. I don’t know what these trees are called but they grow slowly and intertwine with each other and take over anything that surrounds them, making it a part of themselves. Smaller trees grow up from the ground around and join with the main tree, creating an almost veil like effect. There was a feeling around this tree that is indescribable, an aura of calm, an oasis….

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Four of our group went to Hue on motorbikes for an overnight visit, Jack and I stayed behind as both of planned to head that way anyways, eventually, when we could tear ourselves away from Danang. But we arranged to meet up with the gang at a National Park. We rented a motorbike and had a blast getting lost and then eventually finding our way there, we met some cute little oinkers at a restaurant high in the hills,

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We did actually manage to meet up with the others, had a hike and found a sweet swimming spot to cool us down and clean the road dust and sweat off. Made it back in one piece to Danang and I finally decided it was time for me learn to ride my own motorbike, I was tired of having to get people to double me. So the next day I rented a bike and took a Jack and Roger into Hoi An for the day. I was so nervous at first, but I did it and it’s so much better then being on the back of one, my thanks to the boys for coaching me along!

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Eventually you have leave and keep moving, Jack and I both wanted to head into Laos soon but we had a couple more stops in Vietnam first and a German guy named Tobi was going to join us for those.

Hoa….after a few beers.

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