The epic four day ride through the highlands to Hoi An didn’t start out too well. A looong day that included two bails and several kilometres of loose gravel and construction up a steep mountain got us to Dalat. By the time we got to the top I had road rash, some nasty bruises that stayed with me for weeks and an utterly sore body. With an intimidating 700 km left to the next big city I was ready to sell my bike and hop on the sleeper train for a few days. Luckily I persevered because the next few days were the best we’ve had in Vietnam. We had great roads (for the most part), traveled over several mountain passes with the most incredible views, and through some valleys filled with the most vibrant green rice paddies. We also stopped in several small towns for a lunch break and sometimes overnight which were … interesting.
The small towns we stop in rarely see tourists and are usually incredible welcoming. Although we lack a common language we get by on gestures, smiling and looking at our Vietnamese road map. Buuut, there is also a lot of alcohol to be had at these little pit stops as well. We are almost always offered several shots of rice wine (and that stuff is strong!) which is incredibly hard to refuse without feeling like you’re insulting them. We often play a little game of charades where we imitate falling off our motorbikes drunk and eventually convince them. Here are a few photos from those small town stops.
After many pit stops we eventually made it to Hoi An. Most people we met said this was their favourite place but I was a little disappointed. Maybe it was just over-hyped for me. It was quite expensive in comparison to where we had just come from and I found the sites to be mediocre. However it was fun to get custom clothes and shoes made; something Hoi An is known for.
After blowing our budget in Hoi An we took the High Van Pass to Hue. This mountain pass has an old war bunker that the French and eventually the Americans occupied during the war. The roads were amazing and riding through the thick fog was surreal.