Pork Noodle Soup pho Breakfast

Distance: 67km
Temperature (max): 33°C
View the stats on Strava (Van Già tổ Nhà Trang)

Total distance to date: 1,462 km

Days start out hot & humid. Low 30’s at 9am and no cloud cover. Riding along, we scan roadside stands for bánh mì and a place to sit for a reprieve from sun. Found! The lady didn’t speak English (and we still don’t speak Vietnamese) but we delivered our entire vocabulary.  “Xin chào! bánh mì?”  Her face lit up and she talked a mile a minute to us, pointing and revealing she had pork noodle soup in the cauldron. We scored some pork Pho for breakfast (plus the bánh mì we sought). She was so excited about our presence that she took pictures of us from all angles, and sat directly in front of us eating some bread herself, giggling the while. We were her only two customers and we are certain she videoed us while eating too, but it’s okay. We understand—we are a novelty. She laughed with delighted encouragement when she saw we knew to drop the greens & sprouts into the soup and stir it around. She proudly assisted us by spooning in a little of this & that to season the Pho.

We knew there would be some climbing today (there always is on the “scenic” route) so this time we were prepared—green oranges (cuz they are the best), plenty of water, some Oreos—and we stood at the beginning the climb under the cool shelter of a tree waiting for some sweat to dry off and psyching for it. Hydrating. Making sure we’ve covered all the essentials. Then we went for it—slow & easy, just keep moving, walk if necessary—we were underway, up the ascent. “Just go to the top! Whatever you have to do to get there! I’ll meet you up there!,”  This climb will not defeat us! Up, up, and then…. Hey! What? Its over? That was it? We’re done?  Easy peasy. Much ado about nothing.

Typical throughout the country, are narrow, elongated “tube houses”—as was our hotel last night, and most nights as a matter of fact. They are a result of limited building space and property taxation policies assessing only the first floor width of a building. Appearing to have only three rooms from the front, what it lacks in width it makes up for in depth and there was a long hallway and several rooms on each floor. It’s always an odd sight to see tall skinny houses reaching up into the sky. Sometimes one wonders if a fierce wind could blow them over.

Nhà Trang—We’ve reached what will become our three-day “beach vacation” where bikes stop rolling. There have been far fewer tourists than expected in Vietnam outside of Hồi An and Phòng Nhà and Danang. Yet, we continue to see mega-building projects underway in what could be perceived as a developer’s utopian dream, or hopeful optimism about the future of tourism—or big money gone horribly wrong. Having become accustomed to half-full (or near empty) hotels we don’t know how to feel when we see dual 35-storey buildings partially built and not a soul in sight—tourist, worker, or otherwise. No matter—this is a busy city with lots of cultural vibrancy to take in. We will just bob up & down in the waves while we contemplate it all.

Our “tube house” hotel in Van Gia. Typical Vietnamese architecture.

Typical Vietnamese breakfast, Phố can be found on every street corner.

Massive pond of lotus flowers blooming

One of many large cemeteries

Yet another building project may or may not ever reach completion

Pre-inspecting the beach at Nhà Trắng to decide if we stay, or go

Yes, that’s a large propane tank balancing on the back of a motorbike.

View of Nhà Trắng from our 14th floor hotel room

View of Nhà Trắng in the wee hours of night

Posted in Vietnam 2024.


  1. It would be interesting to know more about the somewhat incomplete but huge building projects. There appear to be so many.

  2. Vietnam was once occupied by France going way back to Napoleon and their influence can still be seen…hence the baguette. When Margaret and I were there we were actually able to converse with some of the older folks in French.
    I love your descriptions of interactions with the people Anita.

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