Changing Landscapes of the South

Distance: 77km
Temperature (max): 35°C
View the stats on Strava (Phần Ráng to Phần Ri Của)

Distance: 68km
Temperature (max): 35°C
View the stats on Strava (Phần Ri Của tổ Phần Thiet)

Total distance to date: 1,709 km

Like watching a child grow, we aren’t sure exactly when it happened but the landscape has changed. The lush jungle greenery has given way to powdery sand, both white and red.  We don’t see as many rice paddies, but instead it’s dragon fruit and other unidentified crops. The few remaining “mountains” now look barren & brown and massive sand dunes buffer the coastline. We now see more sheep and goats than the water buffalo of the central & north regions. It’s very windy—endless wind mills spinning round ‘n round remind us. Fortunately the wind blows in our preferred direction, generally north to south. It’s hotter and sunnier. 35°C again today with relentless sun. We see more Catholic Churches. Pink, white and orange Bougainvillea are blooming like mad. There’s more evidence of tourism—resort towns offer a few foods within our comfort zone (not frogs & snails).

We discovered a real-life grocery store yesterday after our 77km ride. Like kids in a candy store, we we started throwing things into that basket—bread, peanut butter, jam, cheese slices, crackers, gummy candies, green oranges, orange juice, more wafer crackers, yogurt, and peanuts! It was PBJ sandwiches for dinner & we were in our happy food place, grateful for simple pleasures. (Note to self—don’t shop when hungry)

Much of our time spent riding, the salty, sandy coastline has been just a stones throw away. Sometimes we actually see it, but mostly we don’t. We become very aware there’s a beautiful beach yonder when a town’s street becomes congested with tourist buses, people sport big wide camera lenses, massage parlours line the streets, swimwear stores abound and restaurants advertise hamburgers. Mùi Né is just one of those places. Dane warned us. We passed right on through, no stopping till we reached Phân Thiet

We met Dane for lunch today, along with his lovely friend Gian. (Yeah, Dane!) He has been travelling the same trajectory as us and today we met up with him 42kms into our ride.  We went to a little hidden gem of a restaurant off the beaten track and caught up on all our adventures. We talked ferries, Mekong Delta, cycling in the heat, and road safety (that’s a whole separate topic). It was a very nice way to break up the day’s long hot ride.

Tonight we ventured into a Vietnamese food restaurant for beef noodles and spring rolls. Feeling pretty dextrous with the chopsticks and exercising etiquette, we worked at scooping & transferring big long wiggly noodles into our individual bowls.  I twisted & twirled. Randy pinched & raised high into the sky….apparently my technique passed muster because the girl quietly dropped off a fork for Randy, but not for me. 😆 We’re still newbs.

Lunch with Dane and Giang in Mũi Né

Our cute little hotel in Phần Rang

Harvesting rice

Kem. (Ice cream). One of the few words we have learned.

Power utility

Goats wander at will

The hills we see now have lost the lush greenery

The Paris Hotel we stayed in last night

Dragon fruit plantation

At typical small house. This one likely abandoned.

Bougainvillea is exploding everywhere and also grows wild at roadsides.

Our room tonight at the Windy Homestay in Phần Thiet

Posted in Uncategorized, Vietnam 2024.


  1. Are you starting to look forward to coming home?? Whenever that happens, it will be a dramatic weather contrast I think.

    • The Catholic Church seems as narrow in structure as the hotels! 🙃
      The round fishing boats look cute, just wondering if they’re easy to maneuver ?

      • I bet those little round things must be tough to control. We haven’t actually seen one in use yet.

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