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Day 65 to 66 – February 3rd to 4th: Sorrento Beach Club. Phan Rang

Our extra days at the Sorrento Beach Club meant we would skip Phan Rang and leave us with three rides to Mũi Né instead. It also gave Sharyn a chance to use the long, crystal-clear swimming pool just outside our door to test her arm and regain some strength in it.

Relax, have a swim, relax …
Plenty of beachfront to enjoy.

We also resumed the administrivia, with Sharyn working online and me doing the diary. It was the perfect place to do it as it was really quiet.

Breakfast was a real treat!
A time and place for Administrivia.

While we were here, we could see why the kite surfers loved the place. It was extremely windy! So much so we were told, a foreigner had been killed kite surfing this morning just up the beach at another kite surfing school, although we didn’t know the details.

Kite surfers make the most of the windy conditions.

As I had been doing several lumpy sections of the coast of late, Sharyn had taken my rack pack, the biggest bag I have. That gave me a chance to carry only what I needed for the day, with spares, tools, and an extra change of clothes just in case. Now I was coming to the end of the peninsula section of the coast, I re-packed my bags and put the rack pack back on the bike, lightening Sharyn’s load considerably.

Day 67– February 5th: Sorrento Beach Club, Phan Rang to Ca Na: 58kms

I was away by 9 am this morning, only to be met with a massive burn-off of rubbish, God, it stunk! It seemed everyone had the same idea, and the sides of the road were choked with acrid, black smoke. As I turned around the bottom of the peninsula, the westerly wind that was blowing the smoke all over me suddenly hit me in the face and made me work. I pushed past another five kilometers of salt flats until I found the bridge that crossed over into Phan Rang.

Salt collection ponds just outside Phan Rang.
Tough job; sunglasses required!
A view of the local fishing fleet from the bridge crossing into Phan Rang.

The town looked quite nice and colorful, but our extra day at Sorrento Beach Club meant I’d be cycling on through it today. I did stop a couple of times to take some videos and make some commentary, though. I couldn’t resist a video of me passing a herd of cows running down the main street, Nguyen Van Cu. It resembled Vietnam’s own version of “Running of the Bulls!” I also stopped to admire a huge monastery perched on a hillside overlooking the town.

Trùng Sơn Cổ Tự Buddhist monastery in Phan Rang.
A large Buddhist monastery overlooking Phan Rang.

Sadly, I was soon back out on the highway, which seemed busier today, probably because of the approaching Tet holidays. The route led directly south to the coast and was flat and featureless. All the shops on the side of the road were selling fish sauce (Nuoc Mam); the pungent smell was everywhere.

I stopped at a shop to get a bottle of cold water as my bottles were now warm from the strong sun. The locals left me alone, but I knew they were all talking about me, especially since I ordered the water in Vietnamese (Nuoc). That always gets a laugh!

Once around the peninsula, I had about five more kilometers to the Hon Cau Resort, where we had booked the night. Here the highway had a concrete barrier running up the middle, and if I wanted to avoid cycling another five kilometers up past the resort and returning, I’d have to cross early and ride up the wrong side of the road – just like the locals! Being well-versed in this now, I had no hesitation to cross in front of the oncoming traffic.

Even though Sharyn had taken a car, I managed to beat her here. Once again, I had to go through the ritual of where I’d keep my bike, certainly not in the dilapidated shed on the side of the road. After something of a deadlock, I finally managed to convince the young lady that my bike was clean AND worth more money than the half dozen old scooters parked in the shed with no security.

The Hon Cau Resort is situated right on the beach.
A late lunch and a beer while we soak up the sea view.

Realizing I wasn’t going to budge on this, she took me to the other end of the resort to a large room they had prepared. This end of the resort looked like it had been abandoned some years ago. I wondered whether we had been put down here to isolate us from the local guests (not that I could see any). The bed was like concrete and well overpriced at 700K VND. The swimming pool water was a green-brown color, and I gave it a wide berth. Unfortunately, there were no other places to stay around here, and it was at the right distance to ride for one day.

The pool hadn’t been cleaned in some time.

Soon after, Sharyn arrived, and I took her to the room where I now had the bike parked. It was pretty hot by now, so we rested and then went for a late lunch in their open-sided restaurant. On the other side of the resort were a number of well-landscaped villas with beachfront balconies and coded locks on their fancy doors. I figured this was what the 700K VND was for.

The view from the seafront restaurant.

The restaurant had a great view out over the waves, but it only had prawns and squid on the menu, which seemed odd. So, it was another early night and another lesson learned – things don’t always go in your favor, and you have to suck it up sometimes.

Onwards to Seafood and Sand dunes.