My bike tour of Vietnam was a visit that turned out to be all I didn’t need however the whole lot I wanted.
I used to be travelling via South East Asia – my final large roundtrip earlier than turning 30 – and I wished to profit from it. So, following within the footsteps of TopGear, driving a motorcycle from Saigon to Hanoi appeared becoming.
Nonetheless, once I landed in Saigon my expertise with two-wheeled motorized autos was restricted to a day tour in a abandoned Cambodian Nationwide park, a month earlier. Earlier than that I had by no means even sat on one.
It could have been apparent to do one thing else and proceed dwelling a snug life, however I knew I had to do that. I knew life had extra to supply than what I might discover in my consolation zone, and I decided to make a change.
Shopping for a Motorcycle in Vietnam
“I need THAT one!” I exclaimed with pleasure and pointed to a tough bike, that appeared like Indiana Jones himself might have pushed it there.
“Certain.” The proprietor replied with ease, barely wanting up. “It’s a handbook and the keys are within the ignition. Simply take it for a take a look at drive”
“… I’ve by no means pushed a handbook… I’ve really solely pushed a motorcycle as soon as earlier than…” The scenario dawned on me as I spotted the huge distinction between driving an computerized scooter on open roads and a handbook bike within the notorious Saigon visitors.
The proprietor checked out me “…OK… You’ll be able to have this one.” He pointed to a semi-automatic bike that appeared like a scooter.
Ending up with a Scooter…
In all equity: it’s not doable to purchase bikes which might be greater than 125 CC anyway (which isn’t that a lot), so there was little distinction between the engine energy of the 2. However after all, I wished to look cool.
It’s troublesome to be a renegade outlaw if you drive a shining white scooter.
But it surely’s additionally troublesome if you don’t know easy methods to shift gears, so I put aside my vainness and selected the constructive choice.
Gearing up for my Bike Journey
After I purchased my bike I learn up on what you want so as to drive it safely and realized I used to be hopelessly unprepared. Beside the helmet I had gotten with the bike, I had no safety gear.
In line with the web I even wanted particular boots for driving… apparently upgrading flip flops to sneakers wasn’t sufficient. So, I improvised what I might and purchased motocross gloves in addition to elbow and knee pads in a skate store.
I doubt they might have made a lot distinction, however not less than I appeared the half.
First Day of My Nice Journey: Began with a Fizzle
The subsequent day I proudly drove out of Saigon, my cellphone duct taped to the dashboard for an improvised navigation machine, main me via the chaos of visitors. It took me 2 hours to drive 20 km, however I had lastly made it out onto the open street and I used to be able to gear up!
I placed on my elbow and knee pads. I placed on my gloves. I placed on my 5 USD “real” Ray-Ban aviators, discovered my headphones, pressed play to listen to the music I downloaded the evening earlier than and saved my hand on the throttle, ready for the lyrics to begin…
“Get your motor runnin’. Head out on the freeway” – I did simply that.
“Lookin’ for journey. And no matter comes our manner” – I used to be prepared for no matter got here my manner. I used to be on the open street and my journey had lastly begun!
“Born to be wi…”
The motor spattered, heaved for breath and choked. I had pushed 2 km and hadn’t even made it via the refrain of born to be wild. Because it turned out, I used to be not prepared for no matter got here my manner. My journey appeared over earlier than it had even begun.
However I had decided to make a change in my life, and I wasn’t going to let this cease me. I walked the bike to a mechanic and after some time they obtained it working once more.
The wonderful thing about doing all your motorbike journey in Vietnam as an alternative of anyplace else is there’s all the time a mechanic shut by as a result of everybody has a motorcycle or a scooter. Which got here in helpful as my bike broke down once more. And once more. And once more.
It broke down so usually I turned anxious of driving since I by no means knew if I’d break down in the midst of nowhere. This wasn’t the journey I hoped for, and I wasn’t having fun with the journey in any respect.
Quickly I Settled In
However after a handful of days I reached the attractive mountain metropolis of Dalat. So excessive into the mountains the climate goes from scorching and humid summer time to tempered autumn, and the rainforest turns into pine forest. All the pieces adjustments in a single hour of driving, and it feels such as you’re in a unique nation.
I discovered a mechanic who mounted my bike for good and I rode off with elevated spirit, able to lastly begin the journey as I had imagined it. I drove down the winding mountain roads having fun with the spectacular view of lush valleys, blue skies, steep rockfaces and splashing waterfalls surrounding me.
I beloved it… For one hour. Till I crashed, fell of my bike and injured my arm. Variety locals got here to my help and helped me however I used to be shocked, scared and simply bored with issues not going my manner.
However once more: I had decided to make a change in my life, and I wasn’t going to let this cease me, so I continued and drove 4 painful hours to a hospital in Nha Trang.
Fortunately it was solely delicate tissue injury and never damaged bones however I couldn’t transfer my arm for per week, which meant an involuntary break, and placing my bike on a bus to Hoi An to avoid wasting time.
Hoi an is gorgeous and talked about by some as one of the romantic cities on the earth. Located on a quiet river, with its colourful lanterns lighting up the outdated historic streets, I see why.
It was an important place to get better however I had a decent deadline and even with the bus I wanted to rush so I pushed my ache apart and as soon as extra drove off.
However this time the whole lot was completely different. I used to be in ache sure, however the bike was working, and as soon as I hit the highlands of the outdated Ho Chi Minh freeway I witnessed the splendor of Vietnam and why driving a motorcycle is such a precious expertise.
Driving a Bike Via Vietnam Modified my Perspective
I’ve spent superb weeks on seashores, consuming coconuts and chilly beer whereas the ocean rolled in and I felt the nice and cozy sand between my toes… I don’t bear in mind these days anymore. They’ve escaped my reminiscence and wandered into oblivion.
However I’ll always remember being by myself, on a three liter motorbike roaming via the plush rainforest-covered mountains of Vietnam, whereas the solar was setting and it felt like I used to be the one individual left on the earth.
At first the journey sucked, and I hated each second off it, however I endured it and ultimately, it paid off.
If I hadn’t endured the ache I’d have by no means seen the surprise of the mountains of Ninh Binh that rise from the rice fields, or stopped within the highlands to look at monkeys leap via the cover.
I had by no means pushed a motorcycle earlier than however I decided to make a change in my life, and obtained a an incredible journey out of it, and so are you able to. So are you able to.
Your greatness awaits you simply across the nook if you’ll decide to make a change.
All one of the best, you’re one of the best. Rasmus from EZ Philosophy.
Rasmus Bjergegaard is an avid believer that everybody – with out exception – has it in them to vary their life and discover extra achievement. They only want a spot to begin from. And on that perception, he based EZ Philosophy, a weblog for individuals who wish to make a change of their lives however don’t know the place to start.
He’s travelled or lived in Europe, Asia, Australasia, Africa and the Center East, and all the time attempt to be taught from his experiences and to share them as actionable recommendation.
Observe EZ Philosophy on Fb and Youtube.
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