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Sunday, May 15, 2011

From the Back Seat: Memories on a Motorcycle in Vietnam

Riding a motorbike from the North to the South of Vietnam was an amazing experience. Now, while I didn’t ride the motorcycle on myself (Anthony did an amazing job!) it is still something that will remain with me for the rest of my life.

Each day we were faced with new challenges and amazing sights making the journey all the more incredible. I think what made it so momentous was the simple fact that we were in control of where we wanted to go on the trip. It didn’t have to be governed by train and bus timetables (how we normally get from A to B). We were able to stop anywhere we wanted to and take our time to stop and smell the rice paddies!

It was hard to pinpoint my favorite memories, but for anyone thinking of doing a trip similar to this, I hope this post inspires you! It was an amazing journey and loved every minute of it!

Rice Paddies
Rice fields in Vietnam
I had always wanted to see the bright green rice paddies that I seen in so many photos and our time in Vietnam I defiantly got what I asked for! We would ride for hours and hours through countless rice paddy fields, each one greener than the last. The fluorescent color of the neat fields would be on either side of us. We stopped often just to stare at the endless plains of the newly growing rice.

Road Butterflies

When we were riding on the Ho Chi Minh Road, there would be stretches of the trail where hundreds of butterflies would flutter up from the road and surrounding trees and shrubs. We would sometimes find ourselves riding through almost hundreds of them-I felt like I was in the forests of Narnia! Anthony said they were just moths but I still protest that they were beautiful butterflies just fluttering by!

Iced Tea

A common drink in Vietnam is Iced Tea or Tra Da, and it quickly became our favorite drink to rehydrate with whilst on the road. Rather than being a sweet tea it is usually just green tea or another kind of herbal tea with ice added. So thirst quenching and refreshing!

We would stop at little roadside cafes regularly to grab one of these cheap and satisfying drinks. Many a time the owners would continually top up our glasses with a big grin. They seemed to be so proud to serve us.

At one town, Kham Duc we stopped in and got ourselves tea from a family. Minutes later the wife brought out some freshly baked teacake for us to eat with cream-scrumptious! We had about three glasses of tea each and chatted to the family in broken English.

When we were ready to leave and went to pay they would not take our money. No matter how much we plead with them, they would not take our cash. This was true Vietnamese hospitality that we had experienced and were so grateful for.
Motorcycling in Ho Chi Minh trails, Vietnam
Getting Dirty

One day we were taking our motorbike through the countryside around Hue so we could independently visit some tombs and mountains. Since I was in charge of the map it was my job to get us to where we wanted to go. Bumping along a dirt road I soon realized we were going the wrong way and the actual track was on the opposite side of rice fields. We sloshed our way slowly through. We weren’t hurt-just dirty, but that didn’t stop us from continuing the day to see the tombs!

Being on the open road in Vietnam was unbelievable. Noisy at times, busy most of the time but such a great trip. We did over 3500km in the two months we were there. I love thinking that in years to come I can look back on my trip with Anthony on our trusty ‘Bullet’ and have great stories to tell the Grandkids!

Find our more Vietnam motorcycling videos here

Source: positiveworldtravel

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