Ok now it’s about time to write a post about this country. I have now spent about three weeks in Vietnam and it all started in Hanoi in northern Vietnam. My plan was to buy a motorcycle and then move south. I bought a Sun Bonus from another backpacker who had traveled from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi and I was thinking of doing the same trip in reverse. I got the bike for $ 300, which is about 2000 SEK. A pretty good price for a motorbike of this size in Vietnam. Most people buy a Honda Win, which is a smaller motorbike of 100 cc. The bonus is 125cc. The trip is now underway and the goal is, as I said Ho Chi Minh City. The route is about 2000 km so it’s quite a long way to go but it is an incredibly beautiful and scenic road. I think many of those who do this kind of thing has been inspired by an episode of Top Gear, I have not seen this episode myself and did not know about it before I came here, but if you want to get a feel for what this kind of trip is likea you should take a look at that episode. I’ve heard it’s very good.
The highlights so far have been many. The first stop after Hanoi was an island called Cat Ba and lies in an area known as Halong Bay. This is a very beautiful place with a large national park where you can go trekking in the mountains. This may be the toughest hiking I ever gotten myself into so far. Took about 4 hours to reach the top and then I had about 2 hours to get back the same way before it got dark. You do not want to get caught in the Vietnamese jungle in the middle of the night. I managed to get out before sunset, but it required a very high tempo and I have never been so sweaty in my entire life. I reached the top and before me stands a radio tower about 30 meters tall and I realize that this can not count as the top when there is a radio tower standing here. The rest you can figure out from the pictures.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang
A few hundred kilometers south of Cat Ba Island, you have a huge national park named Phong Nha-Ke Bang. Here is one of the world’s largest cave systems in the world. As a tourist you have access to the Phong Nha Cave about 1.5 kilometers into the mountain after this the cave lingers on 45km into the darkness but it is not open to the public.
Mui Ne is only 220 km from Ho Chi Minh City, as you can see I’m not far from my goal. Mui Ne is a cute little town on the water where you can chillax! One cool thing you can find here is the giant sand dunes outside of Mui Ne. Here you can rent quadbikes and sandboards. Crazy fun!
On the road
The journey has been long and adventurous on my motorcycle and I have been sleeping over at locals and driving through storms and fog, but it has still been one of my best experiences. You learn a lot about yourself and how to handle tricky situations, you learn a lot about motorcycles, I think I may be able to do some extra work as a mechanic when I get home. I recommend all those who come to Vietnam to do a similar trip, you don’t have to go all the way from Hanoi to HCMC. You can also rent bikes and run between individual cities. It’s really fun!
Tomorrow I’ll drive the final 200 km to HCMC, sell the motorcycle and in a few days I will put myself on a flight to Bali, it’ll be great! Talk to you soon.