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Old 09-09-2010, 05:07 PM   #16
RunningBare
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Keep it coming! I love VN, I was at that same intersection 15 years ago and a guy was walking across the centre of it and found some shoes so he sat down and tried them on for about 10 minutes, everybody just went around him, nobody blinked an eye, must have decided didn't like em, threw 'em away and walked off. Love the live and let live culture.
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:34 AM   #17
Mullet5 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indochine
Americans? Canadians? All same same to Viet, I guess.

OK, I'm subscribed. Love VN trips and especially food. Lots of food shots, please, and see if you can show us the "hammered chicken".

Will be doing similar trip in coming year. Ride on, brothers and sister.

If you are into the food aspect of the report, stay tuned for my next update, it's all about food. Hopefully I'll have time this evening...
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Old 09-13-2010, 08:53 AM   #18
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That night in Con Cuong after we stopped riding for the day. We checked into our hotel, got cleaned up, started charging our Chatterboxes (which by this point had already started to get a bit annoying, batteries not lasting a full day even with minimal use, etc.), and wandered out of the hotel to find somewhere to eat. It was dark by the time we got out.

Larisa snapped this photo while we were walking


In rural Vietnam, it seems that most restaurants really only have one kind of meat. Beef and Chicken are the two main ones. The sign in front of the restaurant will say Pho Ba (Ba being beef) or Pho whateverthewordisforchicken.

We only got a few buildings down the street before this older lady started gesturing for us to come in to her restaurant. We didn't recognize any of the words on the sign, but she was quite insistent, and after our problems finding food the night before, we figured we should probably just go for it. We went inside with her, and she sat us down in little plastic chairs at a little plastic table. This was pretty common, kindergarten furniture seems to be the norm for most restaurants and coffee shops. After a week of this I began to have an overwhelming urge to draw with Crayons.

The building itself was cement with a flat tin roof, no windows, just a sliding garage door at the front where we had come in. The woman and her daughter began preparing food for us; the "kitchen" was right across the room from us, maybe 15 feet away. It consisted of a large prep table, a shelf, and one burner.



The first thing she brought us was a big plate of sausage. After a few days of noodles, rice, and hammered chicken, Aivars and I were feeling a bit malnourished, so we dug in. It was dark colored ground meat, a bit strange and grainy, but not bad.



Larisa, being some sort of a vegetarian, just watched us and waited for something else to come along. "What kind of meat is in that?" she asked. "Don't know, just glad to have meat"

At some point we noticed an older guy, sitting at the back of the room on a kindergarten chair, sort of facing a wall. He was blind, and he was talking to himself, then he would explode with laughter at whatever hilarious thing he just said. Over and over, talk for a few minutes, then BAAHAHAHAHAHAA!

Then came the most amazing lemon grass soup, warm noodles, cold noodles, rice, salad, and at least one more plate of sausage. All of it was delicious, and our host seemed ecstatic to have the Big Strange White Folks in her place. Whenever she wasn't cooking she would come over and sit with us and show us how to eat certain items. I'm sure we were a train wreck, like watching someone try to eat a cheeseburger with one chopstick and a spoon.

When we finally convinced her to stop bringing us food, she rounded up everybody in the building so we could do a group photo.


From left to right: Blind dude, the chef, Larisa, me, chef's daughter, daughter's boyfriend, and Aivars.

Then she ran into the back room, and came back out holding this picture, and wanted us to take a picture of her holding it. Not sure why...


After this she got Larisa to follow her into the back room somewhere. While they were gone, Aivars and I decided to try to translate the sign out in front, which we could see from where we were sitting. The biggest word on the sign was "Dog". Oh, that's what that sausage was...

Right about the time we figured that out, they both came back out, in dresses!




This was definitely one of the highlights of the entire trip. If anybody is going to ride through that area, let me know, I would love to have someone bring her these pictures.
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Old 09-14-2010, 06:13 PM   #19
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"The biggest word on the sign was "Dog". Oh, that's what that sausage was..."

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Old 09-28-2010, 01:41 AM   #20
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Sorry for the long delay...

The next morning we headed out on foot to find some breakfast.

I just think this is a cool shot


We came across this lady just around the corner from our hotel. I got a sandwich with a bunch of delicious unidentifiable things in it, and Aivars and Larisa got delicious unidentifiable things over rice.


At this point in our trip, we were far enough off of the beaten path that we were something of an oddity to the locals. I don't think many of us White Devils wander through this town. In the time it took the lady to assemble our Delicious Unidentifiables, a small crowd started to gather. Everyone wanted to have their chance to smile, wave, and say "Hello!". They are very fond of "Hello!"; at least half of the people we came across seemed delighted to show us their best "Hello!"

Larisa pointed the camera over her shoulder and snapped this


Then on the way back to the hotel we stopped by this lady's stand to buy three bananas, but accidentally bought the whole bunch. Oh well, the whole thing was something like 30 cents. We ate a lot of bananas that day.


Aivars and his breakfast stuff. It was some kind of chicken pate? with crushed peanuts? The most confusing part was some kind of garnish that was kind of a beige fuzzy stuff that was a little spicy. Maybe it was shredded ginger? If I had to describe it, I would say it looked like the pubic hair from a Swedish hamster.

Anybody have any ideas?

Left to right: Aivars (making a mental note to find smarter friends), our half of a banana tree, and me, showing off my impeccable manners.


Out on the road, it was a great day for riding. Warm weather, great meandering road that followed a river, gradually gaining elevation all the time.



We stopped to enjoy a couple knock-off Red Bulls.
From For advrider


From For advrider




Wow... It's almost 1 in the morning and I'm only half way through this post. I'll finish this one tomorrow because this turned out to be quite a day, I have much more to write.
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Old 10-15-2010, 01:12 AM   #21
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Old 10-15-2010, 10:28 AM   #22
Mullet5 OP
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I know I know, I've been working on the Minsk too much to work on this thread... Maybe this weekend.
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Old 10-15-2010, 10:39 AM   #23
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No, no, not good. To have harmony in ones life grasshopper, you must have a balance of all things so as not to upset that harmony.


ps: beware the sausage.



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Old 10-15-2010, 12:57 PM   #24
hnguyen
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That sausage you guys had is blood sausage stuffed with couple different kind of herbs.
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Old 10-15-2010, 03:41 PM   #25
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Your pictures bring back some fond memories as the wife and I took a bus trip through Vietnam a year ago. Great people, food and crazy traffic. Looking forward to the rest of your report!
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Old 10-15-2010, 05:16 PM   #26
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I love this part of the world. Looking forward to the rest of your trip.
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Old 10-16-2010, 03:58 PM   #27
pirate63
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Awesome report,brings back a lot of memories from our trips in the same places,those memories will stay with you for ever
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Old 10-16-2010, 10:38 PM   #28
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Stoked to see another group of happy Minsk riders out of Cuong's garage. Here's a link to our trip (still in progress)....

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=625389

look forward to seeing how your trip winds up.
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Old 10-19-2010, 09:35 AM   #29
FoothillRyder
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Subscribed! Take all the time you want lad, it's just plain fun.


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Old 10-27-2010, 07:25 PM   #30
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My friend and I are trying to budget a trip like this. What is a good estimate at a per day cost. I plan on buying the bike and going for at least 3 months to the Big 4 (buy minsk in Vietnam, hit Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and back), so I'll probably be staying a couple of days or longer in a lot of places instead of riding every day. We were guessing 30-35. I went to Thailand/Cambodia in 2006 and taking out internal flights I only spent about 25 a day, so I'm thinking 35 might be the max. I could be way off though, I don't know.
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