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Old 11-16-2012, 01:09 AM   #31
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from Parma (Italy )....Great Ride report!!
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Old 11-17-2012, 03:40 PM   #32
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Today Iíve got to have a cruise on the Bay: my hotel will keep my luggages till noon. Before 8 am Iím ready at the dock



my ticket clerk comes to me immediately



Ok so is how it works: youíve got to buy a ticket to visit caves and from the number of stop this people arrange the trip with the ship. In fact the panel with prices and itinerary is a little bit difficult to understand for western tourists


Legend says that while Vietnam people were fighting against chinese Army in the bay of Halong Divinity sent some dragons and they began to spit diamonds that became rocks touching the water: so a barrier was created against the invaders and they remained to this day



on my boat there are just two families and a couple



start



the bay is amazing



At the first stop I had a picture with this ( I think) High school/First year university class and they applaud to me when I gave my camera to the teacher...ok some minutes as a rock star!



first of my two visit to the caves







a stop to visit a barge of fishermans











ok Iím postin a lot of pics but the Halong Bay is something Iíve never seen before





With a japanese accuracy, the boat bring us back at noon and I get my bike to go to take luggages and come back in Hanoi



first of all the lunch







Just 40 km ( 25 miles) before Hanoi, along an highway, two cops on motorbike stop me. With some english words they let me understand that this strech of the road is forbidden to motorbike. They had check just the motorbike documents and after they showed to me (with the cellular phone) an alternative route. I gesture to them my intention to go to the next exit and then go to the right road. Surprisingly they indicate to me the previous exit , about 80 mt (500 yards) back: wrong way down on a highway ? Ok Itís better to push the bike. They make no non with heads and hands. Just start the bike and drive...ok the police said so and I did in this way, wrong way down both, road and exit. Ahhh Vietnam.
Back on the right road I stop to a little motorway cafŤ..you can always find one under the bridges of the street.



First thing when I arrived in Hanoi was to fix better the seat. The Flamingoís mechanic seeing the pillows undertand my problem. They solved it with 5 $ ( 3,9 Ä). They cutted an used seat and had fixed the pad on the seat. Brilliant: I have now this in Italy: a great souvenir.









Today is Friday first of june and Iíll begin my trip to the south of Vietnam. I donít know if will possible complete the come and back Hanoi-Ho Chi Min City, but in case of lack of time, the Flamingo Travel can arrange the drop off of the bike and Iíll can come back to Hanoi with the night train from Ho Chi Min City in 36 hours.
To reach Ho Chi Min City I decide to follow as much as possible the Ho Chi Min Trail. This was a group of road (about 10) tha allowed the North Vietnam Army to transporte to the south armies and any kind of support to the military operations in the south during the Vietnam War. ...for more informations please click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ho_Chi_Minh_trail

The trail run very close to the Laos border and in the mountain



I can rest for the breakfast: for sure the Trail will be marked in a cleary way









After 70 km (43 miles) I donít know where Iím: ok lost in Vietnam. I can take it easy: nobody is coming along this road.


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Old 11-17-2012, 03:41 PM   #33
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But it appears a women on a scooter and I stop her. With map and phrasebook she understand . She gesture to follow her and so we arrive to a crossroad. Here she indicate to turn right and go to Cho Ben and in Cho ben go to left. Ok very nice.









In this little city, I saw an internet point and with google maps I notice that the women was exact











snack stop

















No school club: kids stay with the parents while theyíre working





Itís going dark so I stoped in Bai Tranh



I found a Nha Nghi: on the signal therís the write Massage, but I didnít notice at my arrival.





After dinner one of the girls that are working here comes back: ohh she washed hair and had dress chíange: maybe sheís meting with with some friends.



She sit at my table. With phrasebook I try to ask if sheís going to dance. No she answer to me hammering softly my knees with his fist. ď Do you play drumsĒ I try to ask : no. Karaoke ? No. She say massage and point her finger in the direction of my room.. I smile but I say no. From her expression I can understand that sheís upset by my decision. She said in english ď Iím very good massageĒ, ok doesnít matter. Her parents were upset to. Rooms are in a line. My window is open and I can see a car arrive and people going in a room. After 20 minutes the girls knocks on my window: sheís smiling and says ďMassage massageĒ and went to the next room.

In the morning I saw this panel that let better understand the services of this guest house



dry in the sun (and on the road) rice and hay is a very common activity in this days



I need to chíange my dollars in dong, but along the Ho Chi Min Path you donít find big cities, but in this I saw a bank. No bancomat, but doesnít matter, I can change my cash dollar. The bank is close: at 11 am ? Strange. Therís another one: even this is close. Ohhh today is Saturday, banks are close. At one crossroad I saw a luxury car and in front a jewellery store. The owner is very nice and change my dollars in dong.







This farmer,, during a rest lend to me an hammock











my friend the rain. This time I take cover under a wodden shed used by some lumberjack



I arrive in Dong Hoi a little bit late. Iím not sure wherís the centre city. Near a bar a girl says to me that she can offer to me a room at her home. So we go with my bike. After 20 minute of turn left and right finally we reach her home. The room is without windows, a bed with a very thin mattress and she ask to me 7 dollar: ok good bye baby. Driving along a big road I see some accomodation. ď guest house are full, but finally I found a hotel that will be the most luxury accomodation of my vacation: I got this shot in the morning.



By an incredibile interpretation I convinced the girl of the reception to reduce the price of the room: 6 $ (4,7Ä)instead of 8 $(6,2Ä).
The restaurant of the hotel is closed, but I had seen a little ďrestaurantĒ across the road. Very simple mený: just one course meal. Noodle. The owner asks to me as usual : ď An com ?Ē that means eat. Itís late, Iím tired and I donít undertand the question. So, surprisingly he asks to me :ĒEssen ?Ē I canít believe it: he speaks German. My memory of high school allow me to speak a basic German, enough to travel and so I could communicate with this man. Heís got even a good pronunciation...oh obviously I had to drink a toast.



before to go to sleep, I take a look at the hotel andÖ.a room for the karaoke.



they are a family at the endo of a 4 days vacation. Vodka as rain and snack.



After the twentieth toast I began to spill the vodka in the fissures of the couch.




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Old 11-18-2012, 10:06 AM   #34
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My target today is to reach HuŤ the ancient Imperial Capital of the Vietnam, builded in 1687.



With the daylight I can see something of Dong Hoi





breakfast with an excellent vegetables sandwich





At this pit stop I finally understood the problem in the reading the oil level: at the first change of oil the mechanic had put too much oil and so the little windows of plastic became of the same dark color and resulted impossible to read the level.



In HuŤ I had reserved a room in a hotel. To find it I stopped to the bus station, near the Ancient Imperial City. Insiade a Nha Nghi (no vacancy) a ten years old girl, using google translator on her laptop helped me to find the right address



At 2 pm I was ready to visit the Ancient City



Obviously the Forbidden City in Beijing (China) is bigger, but this in HuŤ is very pleasant to visit.



























Ok no touristic tour on the elephant with vintage clothes































The bombings of the Vietnam War left a mark on the Ancient City that is now in the list of the world heritage of Unesco











After the visit I went around HuŤ that is divided in 2 separated parts. One is organized for tourists,with pizzeria, pubs and clubs. This side had some point of interest but nothing special.









The other part is where live Vietnam people



A rest in a bar on hte riverside



Going around I had found the way to cut and replace the look used to secure the helmet to the bike





for dinner the duck






Very nice this little street market. No stalls, merchandises are putted on the round and the effect with lights was striking: as flowers floating on the river






In the tourist side of HuŤ I like a lot this floating restaurant


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Old 11-18-2012, 11:51 AM   #35
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Great report !!
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:50 PM   #36
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After HuŤ I had the last of my ďscheduledĒ stops: the My Son Sanctuary. On the map I can just show more or less where I had the rest: I donít know it exactly



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In 1968, durino the Vietnam War in one of the boroughs of My Son ( his name is My Lai) a brutal mass murder of Vietnamese civilians (farmers) was did from United States Army

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Lai_Massacre




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Vietnam tool gate: as in India motorbike, scooter and bicycle run tool free



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A break with an Ice Coffe



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Again on the road, but after few minutes I heard a big noise: Ohh my God, a punture ? No Iím lucky cause the bike is running well. Why stop to check ? If the bike goes everything is fineÖthia will be the most big mistake of my vacation: youíll see why.

Pit stop for a juice fruit...ok due the presence of hammocks the pit stop became a siesta



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I arrived at the Memorial in the first afternoon



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The Memorial entry



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Iím the only visitor

In a building therís a museum



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This is the third time in my life that I visit a place like this. First was in Vilnius (Lithuania) wherís a museum in memory of the genocide that Russian Army and the KGB did from late 40ís and 50ís: more than 150.000 people were killed or deported. Second time was in India in the city of Amritsar where , in 1919, the British Army shooted in the park of Jalianwalla Bagh ( a space closed by big walls) to indian people: almost 1516 killed or wounded(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jallianwala_Bagh_massacre)

The monument dedicated to people killed in My Lai



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You can see just the foundations of the original



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In every house you can read the names of people killed



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In a moment of rest I took a look outside the fence. A ricefield with people working and children playng: probably the morning of 1968 was very similar.




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Itís 3 pm, time to go. Before to start itís better check the road with my map. And I want to go back on the Ho Chi Min Trail to continue towards Ho Chi Min City. The map, with the guide is in the left saddle bag...no: ok in the right..not even: in the rucksack ? Mhhh I donít remember. After 20 minutes itís clear that I donít have map or guide. Ohhh do you remember the big noise after the Ice Coffee ? It was the pack with map and guide, fallen on the road. Ok: go back to search them ? Noo, Ií near a city itís better try to look for another map. For the guide, this, in My Lai, was the last scheduled stop. From now Iíve got just geographical point of interest: the South of Vietnam ,Ho Chi Min City and so a map is enough.
In a bar, a man speaks english and so explain to a guy to bring me to downtown, to buy a map. First we stopped to a stationery store. After 20 minutes thay showed me their only map: a geografical map, bigger than me, to use in the primary school. Ok itís nice but bulky.
After we finally found the map in a supermarket: is perfect, made by the Vietnam National Tourism Center.



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Ok, again ready to go


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Itís dark, time to stop: if you can see a speed limit, youíll find even a bed.



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Bike in the hall



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I slept here.



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Old 11-21-2012, 01:04 AM   #37
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Great report thanks, I do like Vietnam the best
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:29 PM   #38
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Today is the 5th of June and is better for me to keep in mind that on 13th of June Iíll got the fly back to Italy. I continue to drive on the Ho Chi Min path



Iím in the mountains and the temperature is going down



A stop top ut clothes on andÖhave a breackfast





roads sign are always clear



But better safe thab sorry: is better update my paper GPS



Vietnam scooter









I saw this meeting, but I couldínt undertend what was it







This time I reach a city Gia Nghia but therís still sunlight and so I decided to go with the bike around it











In an Internet Point I was able to write to my brother my position. Outside there were some kids around my bike. With a map I explained (more or less) my trip and...with faces on fingers we became friend





this time I can see a Vietnam disco pub

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPAH0IF6m_E
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:31 PM   #39
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Today I want to reach Ho Chi Min City: yesterday I had reserved a room in an hotel: normally I use www.hostelworld.



a Vietnam Biker



gum tree











a coffee…the bar was in a total restyling


the really first sign that I’m really closet o Ho Chi Min City : the neon of Metro





Lucky: I’m on the Dien Bien Phu Boulevard and it’s on my map: reach the hostel was easy



http://www.mymyarthouse.hostel.com/




check inn and luggage in the room



Game plan: now my vacation is more geographical: so I’d like to can come back in Hanoi with the bike. For this reason I can dedicate just some hours to visit Ho Chi Min City: I can go in the most interetsing points of the City: I can use my map







Luxury hotels are very common here…even my hostel at 4,8 € ( 6,2$) isn’t cheap















very quiet this girl under the Vietnam flag





kids can sleep in any situation



is a little bit late, but I found a mechanic to ch’ange the oil




Thursday 7 of June: I’ve got to remain focused on come back in Hanoi



The way back begins with a typical Vietnam day…rain





This time is better to ch’ange in good time my US dollar and in a bank



The security guard looks at me when I stopped the bike in front of the bank: ok I understand to take out my muddy clothes..ohh I can even take my shoes out. Outside the bank ther’re some slipper for the clients . Ok inside the bank nobody speaks english, but it isn’t a problem for a tourist that’s travelling for 3 weeks in Vietnam,,,but to avoid pronunciation mistake I’ve written a slip



In some minute I changed the $..the only strange thing was a man that from the moment I got in the bank to now always was looking at me:::mhh military police ?



With my dong I greet everybody and I’m ready to go to my bike, when the man touch my shoulder and point hes finger at my slippers...My slippers ? Ohh my God this are his slippers !!! I bow and give back the slippers: he waited I had finished.



This night I rest in Dak Song : very comfortable this little vietnamese cities: on the main road you can find everything: sleep, shops, mechanic, food.



In the little restaurant I’ve chosen this dish





In Vietnam is impossibile to avoid the social drinking



I’m fine with food, but the owner brought to me another dish and insit I taste it. This meat isn’t boiled : could be hare or rabbit. When I’m outside the restaurant I notice for the first time the neon...ok the second dish was’nt cow and so...




momi20 screwed with this post 11-24-2012 at 04:38 PM
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:01 PM   #40
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Friday 8 of June





salad breakfast





a funeral





not bad this car crash



my foot rain protections work good, but sometimes I had to take out the shoes, cause they arenít really transpiring





sometime, durino my motorbike trips I had to stop to let go cows, buffalos, goats, but never goslings











Nha Nghi (guest house) in Plei Can



this time no toilet in the room



motorbike in the reception



no mistake for dinner: I can see wings





Nice this days in that youíve got just to drive: how many aspects of the normal life of the population you can notice











the only pothole Iíve seen on the Ho Chi Min Path



road is perfect, but zero traffic jam



when I reach this church, it stop stops to rain



the father of this child was building his home





rain again



on the side of the road you can often find this altars...better to stop and give thanks to Divinities of Vietnam








a marriage







stop to drink



everybody in this city was having a nap except this restaurant





I could listen to a local musical group




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDB54hKzPN4

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Old 11-25-2012, 12:28 PM   #41
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I heard some sound from the skyÖbetter take a rest



herís how vietnamese kids have fun: up and down on cliff







I have noticed lack of gas station, except some point were you could buy 1 to 5 liter. I had in mind as stop off, A Tep, a big name on my map...big name = big city = gas station !!! After one hour in the middle of nowhere I finally saw a big road sign with the name A Tep and the altitude and nothing else. Wherís the city ? Wherís my gas station ?
If you write on Google Maps Latitude (lat): 15į59'0"N and Longitude (lon): 107į31'0"E you can find A Tep, that isnít a city, but a geographical point.




No one building, no one man, no one animal (I hope), no one veichle. Just me and my bike with more or less 3 liter ( less than 1 gallon) of gas. Ok I can drive for almost 100 km (62 miles), but on my map from A Tep I donít have any distance indication. But I see two military walking on the road. With some gesture I let them understand I need gas and they bring me to their barracks. It comes a sergent and say me the price: ok .



finally I reach a local motorway cafŤ and I can full the tank and buy some food











I sleep in A Luoi







Today is Sunday and this to Vinh will result my longest leg: 452 km in one day (281 miles)







the streets in the mountains, here in Vietnam, are amazing









the European Championship of Soccer, here in Vietnam , is a very famous soprting event: today Italy will play against Spain, but due the time zone, very late in the night.









the road flanks a railroad and the train drivers greet to me. Immediately I speed up, overtake the train and so I reach a grade crossing before the train



and I can take a picture of the train !



In a crossroad, two cops help me to find the right way to Vinh



dinner in this restaurant run by a family, on the river and with hammocks















Vinh is a big city , about 500.000 people



my guest house is in little street, but is very nice



I stroll around, looking fora n internate point







in Vinh there are a lot of counterfeit Italian Clothes Shops





Ohh the dinner: just in time in one of the few restaurant open





Around 9.30 pm Iím back in my room. One of the guy remember to me that Italy will play against Spain: ok but around midnight. Iíve got the television in my room, but the game is too late and I go to sleep.
Suddendly a scream breaks the silent of the night: somebody knock at my door: ďMister mister !!!!!Ē : a fire broke out ? I get out of my room and in the reception 2 guys are jumping and screaming around the television... the italian striker ďTotÚĒ Di Natale scored a goal: Italy 1 Spain 0



I went back to sleep: after a minute Fabregas scored for Spain.
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:52 PM   #42
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Lovely country, people, food, where you will go next year?.


Congratulations for this RR Momi.
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:53 PM   #43
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Thank you again for so generously sharing another vacation with great pictures and stories.
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:08 PM   #44
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Awesome experience with great write up and photos.
You have come quite deep into rural Vietnamese people's life. When I saw the dish you had in DakSong, I was really supprised. Don't know what was your feeling when knowing what it was. .
It's kind of a good one here
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:19 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VietHorse View Post
Awesome experience with great write up and photos.
You have come quite deep into rural Vietnamese people's life. When I saw the dish you had in DakSong, I was really supprised. Don't know what was your feeling when knowing what it was. .
It's kind of a good one here
Ok probably if I had known I would'nt have ordered it, but once I had eated it it was fine. It tasted very similar to rabbit.
Your post is a high praise, very special because it comes from Vietnam resident.
I appreciate it
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