02 May Vietnam motorbike trip of 1.700 km across the mountains
After my first motorbike trip in Vietnam, I was dreaming to repeat it in the extended version. Three months later, I got in contact with Frank and set it up for March. He was very generous to give me a very good discount on the next trip. I felt so excited coming back to Vietnam! The closer it became, the more hesitations I had. I don’t know why, but I had a feeling that something dramatic has to happen there. Just to feel safer and to release my fears, I decided to buy a medical insurance, that has never done it before. Moreover, I went through a complicated process of getting Thai driving license just to be sure that my medical insurance will work in any cases.
Before heading to Vietnam, I’ve been traveling around Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai with my mom. We came together to Hanoi as well, where I supposed to start my motorbike trip with Frank on the next day, but my mom stayed in Hanoi to explore the city and to go on a boat trip to Halong Bay. We didn’t plan to get together again as by the time I’ve got to come back, she’s gone to Moscow already.
Frank came to our hotel to say hello to my mom and to spend, at least, a couple of hours together. We were so happy to see each other again! He took us to the place, famous with the best soup Pho in Hanoi. I really like Hanoi and I missed it in a way. It’s big and crowded city, but it has a nice vibe and a “homey” feeling. Struggling with a huge bowl of the most delicious Pho I’ve ever had, we finished our breakfast and said goodbye to my mom.
After all necessary preparations in Frank garage, we started our trip. I still felt nervous. I was trying to ignore it, but the tensions didn’t go away. On the contrary, they used to increase and it indicated by numbness in the shoulders and the neck. On the top of that, since it was a rainy weather and the road was slippery, I nearly got into the accident while overtaking the truck. Since it’s a right-sided traffic in Vietnam, I passed it from the left side, but scooter overtaking the truck from the right one and nearly crashed into me. I pushed the back breaks and was about falling down losing the balance. Intuitively I changed the gears and managed to balance the bike. Otherwise, having the truck on the back, scooter on the right and car in front, I can guess what could have happened…. Later on, Frank explained to me how to break in case of emergency. We did 220 km on the first day and I was happy to have a rest and to chill the following day.
Every day the road became more challenging. I loved it and came for it, to get more skills and riding experience on this kind of motorbike, but my tensions did go away. I was trying to be double cautious and praying to God every day to come back home healthy and in one piece. As a result, I was riding slower than it was expected and Frank often been waiting for me. He looked more and more grumpy day by day and eventually he told me that I’m riding like a turtle. I felt different! I felt as if I’m making a progress! That was sooooooo disappointing…. Well, on the next day, I decided to do my best. That was a highlight of my fears… Watch a live version of my trip: