| Having been crossing all Asia mostly by thumb before, why should I come back to Vietnam for a trip?
Because, as you may have read in a previous chapter of my trip, I now have a Vietnamese partner. And after having been living more than a year here teaching, the idea to take to proper holidays, back on the road, was in my mind. But how to do it with a girlfriend, for me the lonesome cowboy of the Vodka plain of Central Asia ? Maybe a girlfriend needs more shower than I do, and won't be able to accept so many nomadic desires, or will dream of a place to sleep at the end of the day, a Point B at the end of every morning started from point A.
Coincidence I don't know, but Vietnam was the country I probably visited the most in a hurry, due to a wound which forced to me take some rest and spend almost 50% of my month traveling there, in a hostel volunteering. This is how I met the girl I was about to travel with, the one sharing my life since 3 years - when I'm not outside the country-
And be with a local. But she hadn't the chance like me to travel, even in her own country. So I convinced her to quit, and follow me for a while, as I wanted to explore every corner of this dragon-shaped country.
Vietnam is a very long from South to North country, about 2000km, whilst very narrow, with sometimes only 50km from the Western border to the Eastern shore. It means that only few roads exists to go from one side to another, and by taking a road, I won't miss much of what the country has to offer. The other interesting thing is that, the 2 main cities are located at the extremities, allowing anyone who'd like to ride around, to buy a motorbike in one of these cities, and travel to the other, and resell his proud stallion.
That's in fact what is famous in Vietnam, and pretty unique in the world : riding a bike, even without a proper license, without any problem except mechanical fixes, and experience a different way of moving around that the usual bus or train system. Make your own way, be free. Not something new for me. But that's how I finally got the agreement of my girlfriend, aware that there will be food, showers every day, and not to much wild crazy thing which are how I would defined my trip until then.
So, on February 24th, 2018, for 340$, we bought a bike in Cat Lai, suburb of Ho Chi Minh city, and started this very long trip.
Amazing was it, especially the Northern loop, bordering China, which definitly needs a motorbike to be enjoyed at its best.