HCMC Dining Guide

Sunday, April 7, 2013

H2H 2013 Day 4: A highway blast

This day was a 68km cycle from Quan Lao to Tinh Gia, the first of our two days on the coast. The first 26km stretch was an easy jaunt to Thanh Hoa, a fairly large city, where we turned onto notorious Highway 1, the dangerous road that stretches from Hanoi to Saigon. We scrabbled together an early lunch/late breakfast and hit the road.
Traffic on Highway 1 is infamously dangerous, and on a bicycle it can be downright terrifying. Fortunately things weren't as bad as I was expecting, and with a strong tailwind at my back I was able to absolutely blast down the coast. There wasn't much in the way of scenery to look at anyway, so I was perfectly content to just put my head down and finish the day off.
I was the first to arrive in Tinh Gia, and after a few more riders arrived we made our way down a small side street to the bizarre Xanh Ha hotel, an H2H landmark. I don't know how the first H2H riders found this place. The stretch of beach it lies on is utterly desolate, with hardly a soul in sight and a handful of seemingly abandoned hotels. The Xanh Ha is a bit ramshackle, with random furniture strewn about and an owner/manager who is famous for watching porn in the lobby. (He has been nicknamed 'Hef' by H2H.)

The ride had been a rather easy one and we were at the hotel by mid-day, so we spent a while shooting the shit and drinking beer.
After a decidedly mediocre dinner at the hotel (there is nowhere else to eat) I ended up drinking with a few other riders and the DHL van drivers until almost midnight, which is massively late when you consider how early we get up and how much energy we expend in a typical day. I figured I'd pay for that the following day, but you're only in Tinh Gia every so often...