Danang, massages and the search for cake.
It’s pretty simple getting from Hue to Danang, on the Vietnam rail website it quotes $19 for the two and a half hour journey. Since the last train we got was loads cheaper getting the ticket at the station we risked missing out on a seat and did it again. Lo and behold we got our tickets for less than $4! The journey was great, rolling through mountains, along rough coastal tracks overlooking an angry looking sea and the ubiquitous water buffalo plodding around the rice fields.
Arriving in Danang the hotel looked close to the station so we opted to walk. After 5 minutes I realised we were heading the wrong way, but a quick detour sent us in the right direction. We had splashed out on a £36 a night hotel and it was worth it. Sanouva hotel was amazing. Towering over the neighbourhood we caught glimpses of the famous dragon bridge.
As we were waiting for our room we were given free 30 minute massage vouchers! A welcome touch and well needed after the trials and tribulations of the past two weeks.
The room was small but smart with a lovely shower. Liam experienced a phone drama due to a dodgy charger bought in Hue so had to go get it sorted at a nearby Apple store. Leia and I took the opportunity to chill out and watch crap tv.
Liam arrived back and we arranged our massages. It was the other guys first experience and we waited apprehensively to see what kind of massage we would be getting. Leia went for a leg massage whilst Liam and I went for back shoulders and head. Leia was taken away first shortly followed by us who went in the same room, tops off and told to lie face down.
Next thing we know two small Asian women are on all fours crawling up our legs! I had to stifle a laugh as hundreds of images from horror films such as the ring flickered through my mind. The problem with having an over active imagination. Pushing the laugh away and trying not to picture the others reaction to this I managed to relax as the masseuse started on my lower back and moved upwards. It was very hard but gentle, the girls chattered away in Vietnamese now and again gasping or giggling which was a little disconcerting. When we turned over they did our head, neck and upper chest. Then sat us up and scrubbed us down with rough, hot and moist towels. It was fantastic and we really enjoyed it.
At the end they said they really liked my tattoo which was what they were giggling about. They left us to put our tops back on and we headed up to the room.
Feeling lovely and relaxed we checked out top Vietnamese food to try in Danang and discovered this excellent video.
The food looked amazing and it got our stomachs rumbling. So list in hand we went out onto the streets of Danang on the prowl for food. After wandering towards the river a local guy came and chatted to us, we showed him our list and he told us to go to the market where we would find some of the dishes.
Near the river we went to look at the Dragon bridge. It is beautiful and such a good idea. After taking a couple of pictures we went in search of the market.
Entering the market we were assailed from all sides by pungent shrimp sellers, snakewine and the heady scent of spice. Spotting a little food area we asked for Ban Xeo, a crispy pancake you wrap in rice paper with herbs etc, the old ladies working just laughed at this, but they pointed at Bun Ma and gestured for us to sit.
We were then served up a big bowl of noodles, sauce, beef and greens. Topped with a splash of stock. It was soooo good! Wolfing it down with chopsticks we noticed it was also only 20,000 Dong! Around 75p, we were amazed, back home you’d easily pay 8-10 pounds on it.
Thanking the friendly lady we were satisfied but remembered some cake shops we had seen dotted about so we went in search of one. Just our luck we ambled about for half an hour or so before we stumbled upon a little bakery. After forcing ourselves not to buy a whole oreo topped cake we decided on three smaller cakes with funny decorations.
On a side note in the bakery the girls working there used google translate to communicate with us and Liam typed in slice, which got us some worried looks as I think they thought we wanted to slice them! Next time we’ll remember to be more careful hah.
Cake in hand I fancied a nice milkshake or smoothie type drink so we found ourselves on the river again, this time night had fallen and the bridge was lit up! It looked even better at night and frequently changed colour.
We got some drinks, milk chocolate with jelly,b blueberry tea with lychee pieces and jelly and cookies n cream flavour and with our treats we went back to the hotel. It felt like we had been out for ages but it was only half 6! A very early night back at the hotel, but it was quite nice and in keeping with our relaxing theme of the day.
The cakes were amazing with this thick light icing around a soft light sponge. Highly recommended. The drinks just as good.
We watched American TV and Captain America as Leia nodded off around 9pm! Liam followed an hour later. Must’ve needed sleep! The thing we’ve found so far is that even relaxing days are spent travelling and seeing things and constantly changing places and accommodation can take it out of you.
With that in mind the next day we were heading to a Vietnamese highlight. The cute and quaint Hoi An.
Danang was nice and the bridge really good, but unless you want to do excursions out of the city there’s not much going on. If it wasn’t for the massage and food I’d have struggled to write a post for the day.