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Old 06-05-2008, 04:57 AM   #46
SteveRed
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Fantastic Josh... A mate of mine just spent three weeks in Vietnam riding with his girlfriend and loved it! It's on my list of must do experiences. Thanks
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Old 06-05-2008, 05:04 AM   #47
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Loads of ducks.
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Old 06-05-2008, 05:08 AM   #48
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And chickens.
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Old 06-05-2008, 05:18 AM   #49
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Continuing the ride and heading out of town, I stopped the bike at the top of a pass and got off to take a picture of the view below me. In less than a minuite a kid turned up and had a look at the bike, then loads more turned up!
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Old 06-05-2008, 05:20 AM   #50
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Anyway, here is the view I stopped for. It look like tea bushes they are planting - I'll be seeing tea plantations again later in the trip.
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Old 06-05-2008, 05:32 AM   #51
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Restricted Areas

Highway 14 travels quite close to the Cambodia and Lao border - I'm in south Vietnam in this leg of the trip, so it is near the Cambodian border, about 10km at the location of this picture.

The original Ho Chi Minh Trail of the Vietnam War era of course was a network of roads, some of which were fully in Laos. The modern HCMT - Hwy 14 skirts the border. There is also another road - Route 14C which travells right next to the border; right next to (metres away) from the border according to the map.

Now, a lot of these border areas are restricted and you need a permit to visit them. I found this out earlier the hard way, which I'll talk about a bit later.

Minsk Club Vietnam
Before the ride I had a 1/2 hour phone conversation with a guy from the Minsk Club Vietnam
www.minskclubvietnam.com

They ride Russian made Minsk off-road motorbikes: 125cc 2-strokes. Take a look at their website - lots of useful info, even if you don't ride a Minsk.

He was really helpful and let me know that Route 14C is one of the permit-only roads, so I gave it a miss for this trip.

Here however is a sign in the direction of Cambodia telling you not to go there.
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Old 06-05-2008, 05:37 AM   #52
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Pressing on along Route 14, the next small town and an obligatory Chinese temple.
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Old 06-05-2008, 05:40 AM   #53
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Ooohh...

This is good.

More please.
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Old 06-05-2008, 05:41 AM   #54
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And a water tank factory.

Unfortunately I didn't get a pic, but I can state for a fact that it is possible to fit a 1000 litre stainless steel water tank on the back of a 100cc Honda Wave.
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Old 06-05-2008, 05:45 AM   #55
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Time for some natural scenery now.

Dray Sap Falls.
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Old 06-05-2008, 05:48 AM   #56
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Vietnamese are quite friendly. I wasn't there long until some girls waved me over.
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Old 06-05-2008, 05:55 AM   #57
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Great pics.
Do you have any trouble with the police stopping to check your papers. Seems like all I read about when people travel to South America is being stopped continually by the police just to check there paperwork.
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Old 06-05-2008, 06:00 AM   #58
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Wow - more people turn up. Somebody brings a carton of beer! Everybody has a drink.

I spent about 1/2 an hour with them. There was no common language between us, but with a few smiles and hand signals it really is amazing how much you can communicate. Knowing if I have more than 2 beers, I tend to have about 10 beers so I excused myself after the second drink. This was a Saturday, so what better way to spend a weekend day than a few beers by a waterfall.
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Old 06-05-2008, 06:09 AM   #59
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Random fact - Vietnam has one of the lowest rates of obesity in the world, something like only 4% of the population are considered overweight - unlike about 40% in my home of Australia (and I'm a bit of a jabba myself).

Another guy at the waterfall.
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Old 06-05-2008, 06:16 AM   #60
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Bike in the waterfall car park. I just left it like that with the jacket on the seat and tank bag with another $400 camera lens inside. I did that several times during the trip. Nobody touched it. Actually once I left it parked for about 30 mins in downtown HCMC and forgot to take the keys out of the ignition! Nothing happend then either, although I wouldn't recommend doing that regularly.

That's a monk in the background on the left, btw.

On each side of the tail case I put on some stickers from a medical clinic in HCMC. My theory was if I had a crash and was unconscious, somebody would call them up.
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