Hoi An is 150 KM away from Hué – based on previous bus rides we expected this ride to take 2 hours, at the worst, 3 hours. As it turns out, it was the longest unnecessary bus ride ever.
First was an unexpected stop at marble mountain, a sort of miniature Halong Bay in the middle of a field in the middle of nowhere. As the name suggest, there is marble in the mountain and so every inch of the “town” is covered in carved marble statues. And with the holes made with all of that marble excavation, they’ve created a system of caves for the tourists to visit. Stop number two was at Danang, a city between our start and final destination. Stop number three was a ridiculously fancy rest stop on the hillside, overlooking the countryside and ocean.
Needless to say, we started our day at 8 AM and arrived in Hué at 12:30 – hungry and frustrated. It didn’t help that the ride had been in a sleeper bus, which was quite uncomfortable and did only horrible things to my back.
To every bad bus ride story though, there usually is an upside. The upside in this case was incredibly stunning scenery. The road was treacherous – steep incline, long tunnels, sharp turns – but just jaw dropping. Deserted beaches, sand dunes, fishing villages, rice fields, muddy buffaloes, salty lakes, cloudy mountains, thick jungle. The ride was filled with hundreds of photos that were never taken, which would have never done it any justice anyway.
If you are to go from Hoi An to Hué (or vice versa), I would recommend to do it slow – real slow. Slow enough to really take in all of the views and to try your luck at capturing it. Otherwise you might regret it… I sure do.