Riding north east out of Hué we are headed for the narrow strip of land between a long lagoon and the sea. Fish farms line the north western banks. We watch children play in long boats from a road bridge. Agriculture and fishing are the main industries here. Wooden fishing boats are built by hand using huge thick tree trunks that are cut, shaped, connected and painted. Buffalo tied to stakes cool off in smelly ponds. And long boats of varying quality are moored near the shore.
At the transition between lagoon and mountains we eat beef noodle soup at a roadside stall. And then begins the Hài Vân Pass, made a household name in the west by Top Gear. While some tourist attractions are over rated, this isn’t. Dreamy sea views appear at every turn. The roads belong to scooters and motorbikes save the odd dangeroua goods truck that isn’t allowed into the Hài Vân Tunnel. It’s like a festival on wheels with people stopping to take photos and stare into the distance in awe.
Top tip: Don’t be put off by the hype. This is a must do.