Vietnam (Part 1)

I was ready to head out from Ho Chi Mihn in the morning and was actually quite nervous! A new bike, in a new city, with a whole new way of driving. Every bike handles differently and it takes me a while riding a bike before I get comfortable and trust the bike.

Quickly, before we come to how I get on, I do want to add a few interesting things about Ho Chi Minh. HCM city has a bunch of interesting little alleyways. They beckoned to me while I was walking around. They played on my fantasies of snake charmers hidden in the alleys and new sights I had never before seen.

I explored those alleys, when I saw them, and found peoples houses tucked into the walls. Sometimes they would be eating a bowl of soup and look at me oddly. Farther down I would find these very secluded spas were the lady out front begged me to come in. There were little fruit stands, barbershops, and even little restaurant with a very special aura that the alley uniquely bestowed upon them.

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It was really cool being transported to this place that took me away from what I was more used too.

This was just before the night I was set to leave. Outside of the alleys, along the main strip, I met a group of 5 guys who were trying to by bikes like mine to do the trip up North.

I thought that originally this trip wasn’t something tons of people would be doing and I would really be in the thick of it being among people that didn’t speak my language or were used to seeing people that looked like me. Hmm… I guess we will see.

Now where was I? Ah Yes. Timid and afraid! Even with all the motorcycle trips I had done… One thing goes wrong and boom, you get seriously hurt or may owe someone a lot of money. What!? That’s not the right attitude!

I set off excited but extremely cautious. I started driving with a LOT of traffic trying to pay attention to the GPS, road, and all the scooters around me. If I hadn’t been driving the last 4 months in Indonesia and Thailand getting used to people being 1 foot away from you it would have been much worse! A little down the road I started to feel a little more comfortable, and as I entered a tunnel, couldn’t help but make a little shout as the feeling of adventure poured over me.

I wanted to take a picture for you lovely readers, but knew it wouldn’t be safe. :/

Just down the road I stopped to capture some interesting buildings on the way out.

I was heading East! To the coast! Before long I came to a ferry and people were walking between all the bikes collecting money for the ticket. I was very nervous about getting charged more and was feeling very out of place. Looking around, I took out the same size bill as the local to the right of me. Handing the gentleman 5,000 Dong, he gave me back two. Sweet. That’s a cheap ferry!

The swarm of bikes in front of me had been cut off by an official guy saying the boat couldn’t take any more and I waited maybe 5 minutes in cue to drive onto the next one.

I was so thirsty and bought a nice Tang like drink on the ferry, from a woman who was walking around with them. In less than 10 minutes we were at the other side.

I stopped for a coconut drink at a place just down the road and was pleasantly surprised with all the looks I got. The lady didn’t understand anything I said, and I had to point and smile. There is a nice and more exciting feel to be the trail blazer instead of just someone following along a very well blazed trail.

Pushing on, there were the most amount of hammocks I have ever seen along the road by these little rest areas. Look at them all! Vietnam is CRAZY about hammocks!

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The road brought many interesting building into view along with these two. Pictures really don’t show the scale well. They were huge!

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This road East had thinned out with traffic and I couldn’t be feeling better. As I was cruising along people who saw me would smile and 2 young guys even gave me the thumbs up or enthusiastically shouted hello!

The road got pretty quiet, and I finally hit the coast; soaking up the cooler air and enjoying these beautiful views.

There was some wild and extremely luxurious hotels that signs said were coming soon.

Heading further up the coast I was getting close to my destination for the night of Coco Beach Camp. In Vietnam you can always expect to see some exciting stuff being carried by motorbike. Earlier in the day I saw one guy carrying about 5 truck tires.

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I made it to my little home for the night and was blown away by how nice the spot right on the ocean was.

If you click on the photos you can see which one I had. (Its the little house with the beach chair out front) Anyway… if you are just south of Mui Ne by La Gi, you should stay here! My room was 17 dollars. I had AC, my own hot shower, bathroom, queen sized bed, little chair out front, two free waters, and they even had sealed toothbrushes and soaps in the bathroom!

Until the next part then!

P.S. Here’s a bonus picture!

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And one bonus bonus picture FROM Ho CHI MINH

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