Dong Hoi: Food, Honking, and Motorbikes

The Buffalo Hostel was our favorite we’ve stayed in thus far, however, there is one caveat. It is so, so loud. We stayed a total of four nights, and were pretty happy to leave. While our room was located in the perfect spot (or so we thought) facing the ocean, it was also facing a busy street.

Quick background… Traffic laws don’t seem to exist here. They are more… general guidelines by which drivers abide by. The person in front can do as they please, and the person behind, if they want to pass, honks incessantly letting them know. You also honk if you’re turning. You honk if you’re going through an intersection. You honk if there is a hottie on the street. You honk if you’re hungry.

You get the point.

Needless to say, we were pumped to not wake up to horns blasting at 6am. We are currently at the No. 19 Hostel, situated in an attic-esque room where its quiet and the AC is icy cold. Kind of a funky place, but does the job on a budget.

Back to the honking. We rented motorbikes the other day, and during the rental process, were thrown to the wolves. We a) didn’t know how to turn the bikes on b) didn’t know how to put gas in the tank c) didn’t know the ‘rules’ of the road and d) didn’t know essentially everything you should know before hopping on a motorbike in Vietnam.

We quickly got the hang of the bikes and scooted our way up the coast to Jumping Rock Beach—about a 30 minute drive. It was absolutely beautiful, minus the 53 dump truck loads of trash strewn everywhere. It has the potential to be stunning, but is unfortunately a dumping ground for trash. :- (

Once we found a place by the rocks away from the trash, it was absolutely picturesque.

After we flopped in the ocean for a couple hours, we saw a dark cloud and decided to head home before the rain hit. The second we left… it started raining. For the whole drive home. Classic.

We have actually found the most perfect beach—where we spend our time now—only a short walk from our current hostel. It is right next to (not in front of, we got kicked out immediately) the Sun Spa Resort. Boo on the Sun Spa. At our beach spot, there are cute little swings to read on, a bar for beer, and fun waves to play in.

The food here is ridiculously good. By food I mean the two restaurants we’ve gone to and can’t seem to stray from. We are regulars at 7th Heaven (first name basis here) and The Tree Hugger for breakfast/lunch. Honestly, the best food in the city, and the only reason we are eating elsewhere tonight is because 7th Heaven is closed. My favorite meal so far is rice noodles, veggies, and beef. Yum.

One more day in Dong Hoi, then we are off to Phong Nha!