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Travel & Tracks

POSTCARD FROM THAILAND: PART DEUX

Lisa Bamforth quit her job, flew to Thailand, bought a bike and headed off with a rough destination in mind. Here’s part two – over to Lisa!

One of the biggest adventures I was most looking forward to was the highly acclaimed Hai Van Pass – I since learned this is the road Jeremy Clarkson deemed ‘the best road in the world’. It’s a contender, Jezza, but you clearly didn’t spend enough time inland. The pass climbs from Da Nang along a tarmac’d road and sweeps round the face of the mountain in huge S-bends followed by a series of hairpins the higher you reached. It’s 21km of pure unadulterated views across the ocean, dropping down into the white sandy spit of Lang Co on the north side. With the pass closed to big traffic it is a great opportunity to stop and soak it all in at your leisure. It was pretty good I gotta say.

The most dramatic scenery has been over the last couple of days through the Ho Chi Minh Highway. You’d be mistaken for thinking this is a typical ‘highway’ but for the most part this is a single lane track cutting through the most remote jungle and rainforest you could imagine. The road follows stunning rivers, climbing steeply and turning back on itself as it meanders the contours of the mountain face.

It undulates and drops away from you, revealing steep valleys and limestone crags. At times you are in the clouds and you can make out the canopy on the highest peaks, in the valleys you pass wooden stilted houses with children playing, men fishing in the rivers with nets weighted down with stones and in the evenings that comforting wood burning fire smell.

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