Well I was going to start a new blog for this trip but in the end decided not to. So for those folks not interested in my non-sailing endeavors please feel free to ignore my posts for the next 2 months.
I know what you are thinking; Why motorbike around Vietnam for the summer instead of working? Well why not?
I spent almost a week in Saigon/ho chi Minh finding a decent bike for this trip. Most of the backpackers use a Chinese copy of a Honda win, these things have usually been handed down many times and run up and down the country many many times. The good news is that they are easy to fix, the bad news is that you always need to fix them… I was hoping to get something a bit more substantial, and ended up with this Honda xr125.
It’s super high mileage but atleast it was maintained well. Still can’t believe I bought a 125 with over 52000 kilometers on the clock. Anyhow I brought along my Altrider saddle bags which fit real nice. I will get better pictures of the setup later on. The bike also came with really handy side racks, which I will show the details of later as well.
It was a midday start out of Saigon and for the first 2 hours or so I only got to use first and second gear, eventually the roads got straighter and less crowded so I could actually use the top gear for cruising.
Navigating city traffic here is quite the adventure in itself, basically you just go slowly and try not hit anybody while they try not hit you. Traffic lanes, signs, following distances, common sense and street lights are all only suggestions here. The saying that keeps popping into my head is : ” if you don’t like the way I’m driving then get the F%#@ off the sidewalk”. The sidewalk here is fair game and I’ve used it several times already, when in Rome…
So I got in about 90kilometers today and it started to really rain hard, so I called the day about an hour early and stopped at a convenient guest house.
This is the sort of place I will be staying while riding around, it doesn’t look like much but it’s clean and about $4.50 us for the night. It has a bathroom, wifi, and the bike is parked in the hall right outside my door. The owners are very welcoming and naturally don’t know a single word of English, why would they?, I’m already well off the tourist routes. This is the sort of immersion I need to kick start my Vietnamese phrases, so by the time I leave here I can ask where the toilet is and how much is that watermelon.