The worlds Longest Cable Car -Ba Na Hills 2017 

Day 1: Hoi An
Ba Na hills

Bana Hills Video link

I flew to Da Nang. I wanted to go to Han Oi and then look at Halong Bay but flights were mostly fully booked or too expensive for a 3 day trip, so off the Hoi An I went. I flew into Da Nang and took a 35minute cab right along the ocean to my Home stay. Yep, I picked a home stay. It was just like a hotel, except the lady who checked me in owned the place. It worked out pretty well actually, she cooked my breakfast (for $1AUD) when ever I liked and had a puppy named Lucky. I was left alone in the gigantic house just as I would be in a hotel.

On my first full day in Hoi An I took a day trip to Ba Na Hills. It was an incredible experience that I highly recommend. Your tour guide will drive you an hour or so into the Jungle and then you catch a 5km state off the art cable car to the peak where a French castle awaits. It has been bought by Russians who have turned it into a theme park (and scatterred Russian art alll through the joint) with roller coasters, countless restaurants and performances outdoors. If that doesn’t interest you then the view is well worth a look. 
Tips- if you aren’t great with cobble stones, steep hills or 40 degree heat while inside a flying glass box, this is not the tour for you.
Day 2 & 3 Hoi An

I cycled into the night markets in Hoi An to discover streets filled with coloured hanging lanterns and tok toks al about. It was beautiful, balmy and busy. 
It was nice to sit in a coffee house in Hoi An and take in the view of the river and travelling sales people balancing bamboo sticks atop their shoulders with various items in an upside down Vietnamese hat on either side. It was so busy with tourists but also many locals. Well, I assume they were locals, there were also many Asian tourists. If you want to go shopping this is the place to do it, but I’m not fussed about it. After a day or so every tailor store looked the same. I mean it, I really could not find which tailor had made the dresses I ordered! I discovered that the trick to getting tailor made clothing is to find a material or pattern you like and hope for the best. I found a beautiful piece of chiffon that I had tailored dresses made from. You can see the picture below. They’re good, but they’re not what you’d expect at home. I cant quite figure out why…. but when a ball gown is $50USD, who cares. Silk is the specialty here with every tailor claiming to have the best silk in the land that are hand dyed with natural inks. The business owners have no issue stealing business from their neighbour and yelling out “Thats SATIN! not silk. I HAVE REAL SILK! COME TO MY STORE.” 
Many tourists make a game of bargaining the Vietnamese products down to the lowest price with no intention of buying anything. While this may be fun for some, after my experience at the Ben Thann markets I wasn’t going to do that. I wish I could say it is because I have too much respect for their business, but it is truly because I simply dont have the patience to make a sport of it when I don’t want to purchase anything. That counts as respect, right? There are plenty of coffee houses, bars and streets to wander instead. 

Cycling was my mode of transport, I never did make it to the beach because I kept getting caught in Monsoonal rains. I found it amusing that as soon as it rain merchants seemingly appear out of thin air selling ponchos to tourists! See the pics!
Between Da Nang and Hoi An there is a 5-10km long construction zone along the beach. Imagine Denarau Island in Nadi before it was built. They’re building the Sheraton, Westin, and all of those Westerner hotels. i’m sure it will look amazing when its done and be sold as the new ‘Asian tourist playground”-good for Vietnam. Better for me next time I stay, if you like that Western feel…


Dont mess with the Vietnamese-Cu Chi Tunnels

Cu Chi Tunnels, Vietnam
The Cu Chi tunnels are worth the 2.5 hours drive thorough traffic. It was a lot of fun and a bit of a history lesson. I highly recommend it. It is no wonder that many soldiers sufferred PTSD and would never speak of their experiences. There were replica traps, tunnels, weapons that you can fire and tanks on display. I was on a tour with a very interesting guide and the impression I got was that they thought (and still think) the Americans were pretty silly, they basically lost the war to a bunch of rice farmers. 
During the tour we visited a factory that has been set up for victims of Agent Orange. Agent Orange was the defoliant used during the war by Americans so they could find the Viet Congh. 
After visiting the ‘Exhibition of Gifts received by Presidents’ and going in the Cu Chi tunnels, it appears to me that the Vietnamese people think the Americans are pretty silly. Being one of 5 Communist states left in the world, it seems the Americans lost against a bunch of Rice farmers. The tour guide at an exhibition laughed as she said “They needed to stop interfering in our country. They still haven’t learned their lesson.”
She told me of Vietnamese history which included 1000’s. Of years of War with other countries. They always won. She referred o China as ‘Big Brother’ which is probably how many Asian countries feel.