Wednesday, 22 January 2014
Day 169 - The DMZ Visit That Wasn't
The weather was nice so I set out to finally visit the DMZ area near Quang Tri. Not wanting to take the boring QL1 road, I found a route alone the coast on QL49.
It started off promising with not much traffic and nice scenery, I even found an old grounded ship while exploring a bit the area.
I took the wrong tun a few times but it was never too far off and it was nice getting lost in some little villages.
You do want to use Google maps and nothing else when driving around Vietnam, the caching is good enough to provide you with reliable directions. Other map apps are missing huge portions or roads and some roads don't even exist, like half of the Ho Chi Minh trail is missing on Apple maps. Google maps is no perfect but it does provide quite a lot of information and has a lot of roads available.
Up until stopping for lunchtime, I made very good progress and was almost at the Vin Moc tunnels to start my own DMZ tour.
To get a quick lunch, I stopped off at a small restaurant on the beach where they had people singing so I figured it would be nice. Nice it was, a company had their New Years party there and they were more than happy to invite me to join them for drinks, dancing and singing.
I said it before but Vietnamese people are some of the friendliest and nicest people you will find, they always make you feel welcome and are open to have a chat and drink with you despite not always speaking much English. It was great fun to hang out with them and celebrate.
Needless to say that my quick lunch turned into a very long lunch with a lot of drinking so afterwards it was the best to just turn around and head back to Hue. I did stop off quickly in Quang Tri to take some photos on the way and given the time, I headed back on the QL1 since it was the quickest way.