Now we live in Cambodia and, for the rainy season, decided to buy a motorcycle and drive to the neighboring country of Vietnam. Our goal is to explore a new country and find something interesting and informative. Like us, many people have traveled along a similar route, but we go by the whole family, on a small moped, with luggage and camp kitchen.
We bought a Chinese copy of the Honda Wine, 97cts, weighing about 100kg and weighed on ourselves and about 40 kg of luggage. The motorcycle is not new, requiring repair, but we had no other options.
We are vegetarians and prefer to eat homemade food. Therefore, we have in our luggage a gas stove, pots, crockery, a blender, and other kitchen utensils as well as clothes, tools, laptops, cameras and many different articles.
I do not have the experience of driving a mechanical motorcycle and that’s why the first couple kilometers of our trip were given to us quite hard. It’s still very hard to sit in a small seat, and the engine’s power does not allow maneuvering with ease, but we left and now only look forward.
Having crossed the border of Cambodia into Vietnam very quickly and without any problems, we headed north. Our final destination should be Hanoi. We have been living in South-East Asia for six years already. Approximately four years were spent in Thailand, then two years in Cambodia, and now we are in Vietnam. We thought we would not be surprised, but the new country was striking in its beauty and hard-working, slightly harsh people and their attention to cleanliness.
All roadside cafes in which we stopped to rest have hammocks for a short sleep, a simple meal, and of course coffee and green tea. It’s just a cult of coffee. Sometimes it seems that coffee is drunk absolutely everywhere. Even the young people sit at the tables in the cafe in the evenings and prefer coffee instead of beer, which is just what we really like. The Vietnamese drink very little alcohol.
The main discovery for us is that there are vegetarian cafes everywhere, owing to its vegetarian inhabitants numbering more than 2 000 000. There even is a religion that rejects the eating of animals, Kaodai. An agrarian country with a lot of vegetarians is wonderful.
For two weeks we visited 10 cities and each of us liked it. For example, Ratzia is quiet and very comfortable for a quiet stay. There are no foreigners there and few speak English. Ho Chi Minh City is a big and interesting city, but with great traffic and people. We liked it more than Bangkok. Vung Tau is a coastal resort with a promenade for walks and beautiful views. The only city that we did not like is Nha Trang. There are too many tourists, hectic traffic, some streets are dusty, and there are almost no green corners or pedestrian areas. Also, the sea is not very clean.
Going alone on a motorcycle is easy and fast. It’s hard, uncomfortable, but very interesting. And we decided to try climbing the mountains to a height of about 1.5km and look at the most amazing city in Vietnam – Dalat. Almost 100 km of road along the serpentine up. Our small motorcycle drove us along the narrow road, but with every kilometer it was getting heavier. The weather changed and instead of the usual heat, it became colder. Then it began to rain, then the slope of the road became even steeper, and then our motorcycle stopped. We were only 30km to the city, and we got wet, tired our iron friend could not go on.
But miracles happen and our Honda was able to find strength and drag us through the rain to the doors of our hotel, which we booked for one day. So we reached the city – Dalat. The next day it was raining again, it was cold and our motorcycle could not bring us back to the hot coast. We decided to stay here for a month, rest and repair our friend. What is remarkable about Dalat, how to repair bikes in Vietnam, read more about vegetarianism and our future journey in the following articles.
All good mood and interesting travel!
Sincerely yours, Alex, Martha and Victor