This section from La Gi to Vung Tau is the twenty-sixth instalment of my bicycle ride from Yunnan to Cambodia – if all goes according to plan. Titled “Slap the Belgian!”, it is simultaneously published on Crazyguyonabike.com, where you’ll find a map with the itinerary and many other bicycle diaries by me and others. I hope you’ll enjoy.

We get up at 5.30, snooze until 5.40 and then begin our drowsy ritual of packing. After a breakfast of oddly sweet pho – the worst we’ve had – we’re on the road by 6.50. We hope to avoid the heat this way but it’s already disgustingly hot out.

We want to get to the metropolitan area of two major cities called Vung Tau-Ba Ria, located on a peninsula on the east side of Saigon’s port channel. We’re in for a 100 km ride today, or a bit less if we follow the main road all the way.

Fellow riders
Fellow riders

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This section from Phan Thiet to La Gi is the twenty-fifth instalment of my bicycle ride from Yunnan to Cambodia – if all goes according to plan. Titled “Slap the Belgian!”, it is simultaneously published on Crazyguyonabike.com, where you’ll find a map with the itinerary and many other bicycle diaries by me and others. I hope you’ll enjoy.

Bit of a late start today. Nine by the time we’re out of bed and at 10 we’re still eating lady fingers (some sort of long, pointy bean) and drinking beer at the cold beer place across the road.

By the time we’ve said goodbye to Jean-Paul, a Dutch military man with a few months off and a cheap city bike of questionable quality, it’s almost 11. No problem, I think. We’ve planned eighty-something kilometres but my degenerating brain thought there were only 70.

Jean-Paul getting his unusual touring ride ready
Jean-Paul getting his unusual touring ride ready

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This section about Phan Thiet is the twenty-fourth instalment of my bicycle ride from Yunnan to Cambodia – if all goes according to plan. Titled “Slap the Belgian!”, it is simultaneously published on Crazyguyonabike.com, where you’ll find a map with the itinerary and many other bicycle diaries by me and others. I hope you’ll enjoy.

Nothing really happened and I didn’t take any interesting pictures. Here’s what we wanted to do: see the red sand dunes, swim in the sea, explore the city, get a massage. Here’s what we did: get a massage, drink beer.

Funny anecdote: apart from Katya, Mirek, Tu and I, there was another Dutch riding couple in the hotel and by the evening another Dutchman who had just two days on the clock checked in.

Phan Thiet harbour
Phan Thiet harbour

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This section from Di Linh to Phan Thiet is the twenty-third instalment of my bicycle ride from Yunnan to Cambodia – if all goes according to plan. Titled “Slap the Belgian!”, it is simultaneously published on Crazyguyonabike.com, where you’ll find a map with the itinerary and many other bicycle diaries by me and others. I hope you’ll enjoy.

Di Linh in the morning
Di Linh from our hotel window

We are woken by the sunlight peering through our curtains. I had chosen this hotel because of its excellent view over the valley behind Di Linh and with this morning sun drenching the fields and mountains in white gold, I’m even happier with my choice.

Katya and Mirek are also awake but since managing vegetarian food is becoming increasingly difficult, we each find our own food. Given the freedom of choice, we try something entirely new for me: Hu Tieu, a kind of goulash-like noodle soup. The beef inside is stewed to the point of falling apart and is very tasty. We load up on a few litres of water blended with tea drinks and then set off. Our two riding companions are still loading up, but we’re sure we’ll see them on the way. (more…)