Sitting on a sofa, looking at a map of Vietnam, we listened as Linh explained the best route. There were 30 days on our visas and a flexible schedule to go from Ho Chi Minh, (or Saigon, depending on who you ask), to Hanoi.
We were minutes away from beginning our journey motorcycling south to north through Vietnam. But first, Saigon.
Ho Chi Minh is a large city, but not as big as Bangkok. I honestly didn’t love it. It was a constant go of traffic and people. Our thing is to see the skyline at the highest point of every big city we visit. We located the building on the map and since we didn’t have our motorcycle yet we rode on someone else’s.
Over here, horns are used as a signal for I’m not slowing down or watch out I’m coming through. It’s like a warning for other drivers. The longer the horn is held the more serious the driver is, I’m going super fast and I’m really not stopping. Also, bigger vehicles have the right of way. That being said, the vast majority of people ride motorcycles.
Tigit Motorbikes is the place to go to buy a motorcycle for adventure travel through Vietnam. They have a buy-back policy with reliable bikes and helmets. We chose a Honda Blade and shoved our must-haves into one and a half bags, leaving the other bag to be shipped to Hanoi when we arrived. Just another perk of this company!
We strapped on our bag, buckled our helmets and were on our way just as a heavy rainstorm began. It didn’t stop us, we were headed towards Da Lat.
James likes big southeast Asian cities, but this one was just too busy, dirty, hot, and muggy for me. We were feeling very ready to see the beautiful landscapes that Vietnam has to offer.
It certainly wasn’t easy leaving Saigon. Traffic was thick and packed with huge trucks, buses, cars, and countless other motorbikes. We bought scarves so as to avoid choking down exhaust. James is a natural though and kept us super safe!
It wasn’t long after we left Ho Chi Minh until we found endless green mountains and vast valleys. Spoiler: it only gets prettier!
Be on the lookout for the next post about Dalat, a cold mountainous city. We toured an interesting place called The Crazy House and motored to some waterfalls!