nature

Vicarious Vietnam: Riding motorbikes around Da Nang and exploring the peninsula

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It has been a long time since my last post – my apologies for getting off track, but I’m back! Don’t forget to check out my YouTube channel Ian’s Journeys where all my traveling/cooking/China videos can be found!

 Da Nang, Vietnam is an amazing city. The cost of living is incredibly low, the air is sweet, the beaches are beautiful, and the area is downright tropical! I started my day off by renting a motorbike from the hostel I was staying at, and it was 100,000 dong/day, which is around 5 US dollars. What a steal! Filling it up is even cheaper, 1-2 dollars.

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The motorbike I rented was surprisingly fast, and easily surpassed 110km/hour

I started off by riding around town a bit. I also found Da Nang bay and did a quick ride around. However I soon wanted to go and take a look at the peninsula that everyone was talking about where I could see the Lady Buddha, and possibly even some monkeys.

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After seeing the eye candy that is Da Nang bay, it was time to move on toward the peninsula. The ride was scenic, and very relaxing, except my helmet kept being blown off by the wind, no matter how hard I strapped it on!

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Riding to the peninsula
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Once you arrive at the peninsula everything turns an incredibly lush green and the ambience is overwhelming, like a rain forest!

Eventually I made it to the area where the statue of the Lady Buddha is located. It was an incredible sight. The statue must have been hundreds of feet tall, and I had never seen anything like it before. There were also a number of buddhist shrines there and I captured the moment (In the video at the top, you can see) when I saw a number of people chanting. It was very serene, relaxing, and made me forget about the hustle and bustle of life back home for just a moment.

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A beautiful buddhist shrine with chanting religious fanatics. Don’t forget to remove your shoes!

Eventually when I reached the end of the peninsula, I came to a beaten path off the main road where I was told I could find monkeys. Did I find any? Check the video at the top to find out! See you next time!

Hiking Wutong Mountain outside of Louhu in Shenzhen

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A few days ago I went with my expat American friend Loren and his brother to Wutong Mountain (梧桐山) which is a small mountain village outside of Louhu in Shenzhen. The village is home to one of the most beautiful mountains I have ever had the pleasure of hiking in my life. Wutongshan is a rainforest-esque climb chock full of bamboo, wild birds chirping, torrential waterfalls and an absolutely breathtaking view of Shenzhen and Hong Kong at the summit.

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It’s not an easy climb, either. In fact, Loren’s brother had to turn back about halfway up the mountain because he was too tired to continue. When I came to Shenzhen about two years ago and weighed 50 pounds more, I also could not complete this climb. There are seemingly endless sets of stairs that just keep going higher and higher.

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Me sprinting up one of the long flights of stairs during the mountain climb.

Probably the coolest part about the hike is the myriad of beautiful waterfalls you will experience (Provided you take the stair route – if you decide to just walk up the road to the summit base, you may not see any waterfalls)

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There are points where you have to practically rock climb to keep going. Once you get to the summit however, it’s pure bliss and satisfaction as you observe one of the most beautiful views I have ever seen in China.

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The view from the summit. Unfortunately it was a bit of a foggy day but on a clear day the view is even more beautiful!

Overall, I have hiked this mountain 3 times all the way to the summit now and it is an incredible workout, full of breathtaking views and an amazing  way to get into nature in Shenzhen. Check out the full video of our hike complete with music below!