Motorcycles diaries through Vietnam

Motorcycles diaries through Vietnam

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Day -1

We’ve decided to change our way of traveling in Vietnam. While we were surfing the Internet, we saw many videos and descriptions of motorbike expeditions. I got excited, Iza was less enthusiastic. However we’ve decided to buy kind of a motorcycle and a scooter. Our plan is to go from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City.

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Hanoi is definitely not the best place to ride a motorcycle for the first time. We kept it in mind and set off at 5am to avoid the morning rush hours. Unfortunately the weather did not favor us. Motorcycle started running really poorly after heavy rain. First, we had to repair lights, 30 kilometers later I got a flat tire. In the end we had to leave the bike at the mechanic shop for a night. For the last 30 km to Ha Long Bay we took a bus.

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Day 5-6

To avoid going a busy “highway” we chose the narrow road through the villages and rice fields. The only problem was that we were not sure if we can find a bridge connecting the two roads on both sides of the river. So we were driving ahead with hope that somehow we can get across the river. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any bridge anywhere in sight. After a while Wiola noticed a ferry. Well, raft, which she intended to take to go to the other side. I couldn’t change her mind …

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Day 7

We tell all travelers heading in the opposite direction how beautiful is area around the Tam Coc. I don’t what we were thinking about, that we didn’t take more photos. I guess the feeling of the wind whipping in our hair distracted us.

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Day 9

Ho Chi Minh road is the only alternative to Highway 1. Most of the expedition choose it to go across the country because it’s less busy and more scenic. The same trail was used by the North Vietnamese as a supply route for weapons and equipment. Currently the road is fully paved and most of the time empty and calm which makes it great alternative for novices like us.

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Day 13

That moment when you are not sure if you are able to pass another scooter and the car i coming from the opposite direction.

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Day 14

That day we didn’t make more than 30km. Shortly after we left the hotel it started to drizzle, but it quickly turned into a downpour. We decided to stop next to something that looked like a community center. At that moment it was closed, but it had covered terrace, so we made ourselves comfortable outside the front door and we started to watch House of Cards. We had to wait over 2 hours before sky cleared. And when we finally moved off, we managed to make 500m when Iza’s Yamaha dived into the mud. “Fortunately, the only thing that’s hurt was a pride”.
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Day 15

That day we chose to take road less traveled which according to our map it was a national road. What we actually got was a dirt trail that it took us almost 2 hours to clear a 10km stretch. There were rocks and branches everywhere but somehow we managed to move forward until the time we we saw a river ahead of us. We knew that there is no way to go back…

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One of the best routes which we have driven so far in Vietnam. 30 kilometers of flat, gravel road just off the beach south from Dong Hoi. When we finally decided to drive up the few meters to the coast, we found a wide beach, where only fishermen were spending afternoon working on their boats.
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Day 18

That day, the temperature was so hot, despite the fact that we were driving on motorcycles, we couldn’t stand the hot blasts of air. So after a few kilometers, I came up with an idea to take a bus. Iza didn’t believe that it is possible: D

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Day 21-24

The historic center of Hoi An is open only to pedestrians and bicycles, so you can enjoy the colorful, narrow streets of one of our favorite places in Vietnam without disturbing scooters. We confined sightseeing to finding a small restaurant with the river view and trying specialties of Vietnamese cuisine. We came back there twice just for the taste of fresh spring rolls.
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Day 25

After Vietnamese heat, storms and subsequent lack of electricity we managed to see My Son, the ruins of Hindu temples. The old sanctuary was occupied by the partisans during the Vietnam War, and then bombed by the American army. We’ve found first Polish trace in Vietnam. Polish architect and conservator, Kazimierz Kwiatkowski, worked on My Son’s restoration in 80′. Currently only few buildings of sanctuary are left, but it was great to see temples before going to famous Angkor Wat, Cambodia.
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Day 27

On the way to Dalat we were caught in a drizzle…

Day 31

Our eyes have seen a lot in Vietnam. Cow falling from scooter, families with many children riding single-track, scooter transported on another scooter and even a coffin … Unfortunately, only in the case of this picture, we were able to pull out the camera on time.
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Day 40

We arrived in Ho Chi Minh City, sold our bikes, and now we know what does it mean that traffic is heavy.

Iza&Wiola
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We've met each other during classes the least associated with our faculty at the university and it couldn't be an accident. Silly grinning at our English teacher telling about his hitch-hiking adventures, we haven't known yet that we will begin to travel together. The series of unfortunate events made us share a tent, a camera and memories. Now almost nothing can stop us from hitch-hiking.

Iza&Wiola
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