A Travellerspoint blog

Hello Moto; Two Weeks of Exploring Vietnam's Great North Pt2

Hey all!

So rather than give you a step by step account of the past two weeks of my life I will just concentrate on the things that played the biggest parts in my trip, including the scenery, the roads and the people I met along the way. Without further ado I shall get on with telling you all about the totally super awesome cool scenery that I encountered on my trip so sit back, relax and try not to fall asleep.

In the North of Vietnam I think that you'd struggle to find a place that isn't beautiful. From the low, terrace covered mountains near Thai Nguyen all the way up to the lush, tree covered behemoths of mountains that surround Son La and everything in between, it really is all just stunning. In Sa Pa, the mountains surrounding the town are so big that it can be a bitterly cold, dull day but if you head up out of town on the mountain roads you will eventually break through the mist. When you do so, not only will you be warmed by the sun's rays but looking down on the valley that holds the town and at the road that vanishes into the mist covering it, you get the feeling that you're above the clouds and it's at times like those that I like to stop for a while and think about just how lucky I am to be here and what an amazing time I've had so far on my travels.

After seeing what you'd think was the most authentic 'this is the picture that I had in my head of Vietnam' village complete with rice paddies, people in traditional clothing, smiling kids and animals everywhere and which is surrounded on all sides by jagged mountains that stretch off into the distance, you'd be forgiven for thinking that you're not going to see anything of the same calibre again. Just when you're not expecting it however, you'll round a corner and be greeted by the glowing reds, oranges, purples and pinks of sunset reflecting off the mirror-like surface of a glassy lake of epic proportions which is surrounded by even bigger mountains covered in lush greenery. Every day of my trip brought with it new sights and even when I thought that things couldn't get any better, they often did do and if you're thinking of visiting Vietnam for the scenery and you like jaw-droppingly beautiful sights then go up North, I guarantee you won't regret it!

Just like the scenery up North, the roads varied a lot. For the majority of the time it was like riding on a motocross track only without the good suspension and big tyres that a dirt bike affords. Unfortunately I don't have many pictures of the roads because stopping doesn't even cross your mind when you're riding over them, only thoughts of trying to keep the bike upright and hoping that you don't go careering off the side of the mountain. As I have few pictures I'll ask you to imagine very small, winding paths which are surfaced not with tarmac but with big rocks, gravel, sand, clay or mud and if you add in rain to the mix on a wet day it's ten times worse. Then imagine the same 'road' (I use the term loosely) with a thirty degree incline and hairpin bends that you have to navigate with precision if you don't want to fall the couple of thousand feet to the bottom of the valley below. Needless to say they were dodgy at best and downright dangerous at the worst of times. If you add in cars, trucks and buses that fly down the roads with careless abandon, animals that wander out into the road just as you get to them and JCBs that swing their buckets around without bothering to check if anyone's coming down the road first, it can be quite a scary experience at first. You do get used to the road conditions after a while though and there are a few, albeit very small patches of good quality tarmac up North. One section was between Ha Giang and Lao Cai and it was high up in the mountains with long, sweeping bends that you could see around and no other traffic at all for about twenty kilometres. It's sections of road like that where you can open the bike up a bit more and really enjoy the riding aspect of the trip but it's no good for taking pictures as you don't want to stop riding!

After a long day's riding it was always a welcome sight when I finally got to the town that I had planned on reaching and I saw a sign for a Nha Nghi (guesthouse). It was great being able to unload the bike and stretch my legs and the hot shower, food and beers that I knew were to follow just made the whole thing even better. The majority of the guesthouse owners that I've met have been nice people, with a couple being not very nice and a couple going above and beyond to make my stay as good as they possibly can do. The hotel owner in Sa Pa actually found me after riding around town and bumping into me, as did the owner of the hotel where I'm writing this from but more on that another time. I don't know what it is about people that find guests on the streets but both times they have been very friendly people and I'd say the nicest hotel/guesthouse owners I've met in Vietnam. There was the time it was cold outside in Sa Pa and earlier in the day I'd slipped into a river and soaked one shoe and sock. I'd just came in from outside and I got invited to sit with the owner and his family around their coal fire bucket where I was able to dry out the offending soggy items of clothing. After a while the conversation topic changed to music and the owner got out his guitar, I got my harmonica down and we had an evening of music (with him playing and me attempting to) with lots of Vietnamese tea to help us stay warm. The owner helped me out with lots of things over the course of my stay there including directions to the hospital when I needed an x-ray, recommendations for places to visit nearby and where to go out in the evening and in return, I took some business cards when I left which I have been handing out to anyone I've met that's been thinking of going to Sa Pa.

It's hard to think of many specific things to talk about with regards to people that I met as pretty much everyone was so friendly and helpful, even though my Vietnamese is pitiful and I attempted to communicate with hand gestures and miming, accompanied by single words from my English - Vietnamese dictionary. I didn't meet many other Westerners on my travels but when I did it was always fun. In Sa Pa there was the group of French courier employees who invited me to sit with them and proceeded to buy bottles of vodka and shisha before moving upstairs to a private room where we sang the night away on the Karaoke machine whilst I attempted to remember what little high school French I still have stored somewhere in the recesses of my memory. Another meeting that sticks in my mind is in Son La when I met a Finnish guy and an American; Juri & Ben who were riding around the North but in the opposite direction to me. We spent a day fixing up our bikes in the hotel car park before heading out to try and find some caves. After asking locals and getting sent this way, that way and every way in between we began to run out of sunlight so instead we did some off roading and after going down a tiny dirt path through a small village, we came to the steepest hill I have seen in my time in Vietnam (which has a path on it). After two failed attempts to get up said hill, Ben finally managed it in first gear and with a huge run up. Juri did it no problem and as they were both on heavier bikes than I was, I managed to get up it without much of an issue although the hill continues on for quite a while, twisting and turning and on slick mud and rocks it's pretty treacherous if you start to slide backwards :| After another hour riding around we headed back to Son La where we had a huge meal and then spent the rest of the evening drinking rice wine and rice vodka, chatting and singing karaoke (which Vietnamese people love, much like the Chinese do!). It was really nice to meet people that speak English and have some company after spending nearly two weeks without being able to have a proper conversation with anyone and it was also good to be able to share some knowledge of the roads and routes with them before they left.

Overall I had an absolutely amazing couple of weeks up North and I just hope that things continue to go as well when I head down South and then further West across the rest of SEA. Although I'd love to continue to recall tales and I'm sure you'd love to continue reading (or not), it's 5.10am here and I've been typing for nearly four hours so I shall call it a day and get some sleep.

Bye for now! :)

PS. You're probably thinking "Four hours? For this? Is this guy being serious?" and I'd just like to say that yes, I am being serious and no, the reason for it taking so long isn't that I have the typing speed of a one armed sloth. Instead, I'd like to thank Bill Gates and the whole team at Microsoft for making an operating system with updates that restart your computer automatically. Needless to say it waited until I had typed out my blog post and then went to brush my teeth before resetting and I, like a silly person didn't bother to save it first. Ah well, smile, breathe, ZzzzzZzz

Posted by UKtoCA 14:21 Comments (0)

Hello Moto; Two Weeks of Exploring Vietnam's Great North Pt1

Hey all!

So I've been back in Hanoi for a few days now since my motorbike trip around the North and I think it's finally time for me to tell you all about it. Now I could never do as good a job as my photos can at detailing the stunning views that I saw but if you keep on reading, I will take you through some of the most memorable experiences that I had on my trip.

On my first day I got all packed up and headed out onto the chaotic streets of Hanoi with a plan to cover some distance and get up to Ba Be National Park where I would spend the night, however it wasn't to be. I'd gotten about 80Km North by way of roads that I would have thought too small to call a highway, dodging trucks all of the way and getting some serious use out of my horn but I was getting to know how the traffic moved and everything was going well. Fast forward a couple of kilometres and I was riding through a town near to Thai Nguyen when a lady on a scooter coming the other way decided that she wanted to turn across my lane and go down a small road that led off the highway. She indicated then stopped in the road so I gave her a honk of the horn to let her know I was coming. There was plenty of time for her to cross before I got to her or she could've waited until after I had passed but instead, she waited until I was literally a couple of meters away from her and then decided that it was the right time to pull out into my lane. The soundtrack that accompanied my world turning sideways and me coming to land with a bump on the road was one of metal and plastic breaking and twisting, followed by scraping as the bikes slid for a very short distance then finally an "Ow!" from me as I realised that I'd crashed.

I got up and checked myself for damage but bar a sore foot and a few scrapes I was ok and the woman who caused the crash was ok too so things weren't that bad. My attention then turned to my bike which had definitely came off the worse of the two and the front end of which was now in pieces with fuel leaking out of the tank. A crowd of people soon formed around us and they helped clear the bikes out of the road and they pushed mine about twenty metres to a garage where it could be fixed. Now with regards to crashes in Vietnam, if a foreigner is involved then they normally have to pay off the other party involved whether or not the crash was their fault as legally you need a Vietnamese license to ride on the roads of Vietnam but police don't bother with foreigners and a license is all but impossible to obtain so people just don't get them. Because of this I did think that I may have to pay the woman off but I thought it was worth a try at getting her to pay up first and it turned out that all of the witnesses were telling her (in Vietnamese which I couldn't understand) that it was her fault and that she should be the one to pay for the damage so she did do.

She paid me 500,000VND which is about £16 and I took a look at how damaged my bike was I was doubtful that the amount would cover the repair costs however I didn't want to push too far as if she was to have gotten the police involved it would've taken a while to resolve. In the end I accepted her offer then I made my way over to the garage where my bike was, followed by about ten of the people that saw the crash. It turned out that they were all local business owners and soon my bike was being fixed, I was being offered food and drink, a woman was tending to my scrapes with ointment and plasters and everyone was smiling and laughing at my attempts at speaking Vietnamese. Three hours later my bike was fixed and the time had come for me to pay up. Now if you take into account the three hours of labour, a new speedometer unit, a new clutch lever, straightening my very bent front wheel, fixing my lights so that they all worked and fitting a new front tyre, back home the costs would've easily ran into the region of £3-400 but in Vietnam the cost only ran to 300,000VND or just over £9. I tried to give the mechanic the full 500,000VND as he and his family had been very kind to me but he wouldn't accept it so I got back on my bike, revved some life back into the engine and pulled away feeling a bit apprehensive but happy to have met such nice, friendly people who turned a bad situation into one that could be laughed at and remembered as a good experience overall!

Unfortunately the engine got a pretty hard knock when the bike fell onto the floor and a few days of engine problems and trips to mechanics followed but after a while there was a loud "Bang!" from the engine and some smoke came out, then for the rest of my trip it was fine. I had a couple of weeks of pain in my foot and my ribs as a result of the bike falling on me but I had them both x-rayed and nothing was broken so no harm done really and I'm just glad that both myself and the woman involved were ok.

Right folks, I think that's all for now as I don't want to put everything in one long post then have you fall asleep halfway through it. The other main reason is that that I'm very hungry and I feel myself being pulled towards the lovely aromas wafting in my window from the restaurants down the street so I shall refuel and then post part two of my trip; mountains, minorities and a-mazing views! (note: the incorrectly placed hyphen is intentional)

Until then, adios amigos!

Posted by UKtoCA 20:58 Comments (0)

A Week's Worth of Hà Nội-an Observations

Xin Chào all!

So I know it's been a while since I last blogged but I will attempt to pick up where I left off and tell you a little bit about the week that I spent in the Vietnamese capital city of Hà Nội prior to setting of oop North on my xe moto. As I spent seven days in the city I will tell you seven things that I observed whilst there/here. The reason I say here is that I seem to find myself back for another week whilst I sort out my visa extension but more on that in a bit.

So my eight observations, in no particular order are:

1) Vietnamese men can go from placid to violent in a matter of seconds. I know this because on a hostel bar crawl I observed a Westerner on a scooter acting like a prat, pulling out in front of a car making it stop then backing up and doing the same thing again. After doing it about five times he got bored and let the car pass but it didn't go very far, instead it went around the corner and a guy got out from the passenger side, walked up to a table full of beer bottles and started throwing them at the guy who had been on the scooter. After chucking a few of them he smashed one and proceeded to chase the guy down the street with the broken bottle whilst screaming obscenities at him in Vietnamese. Luckily the other guy was a faster runner and a minute later the Vietnamese guy returned, smashed what was left of the bottle on the floor and then jumped back into the car which sped off. I don't have much sympathy for the guy who was acting like a prat but messing about on a scooter shouldn't be enough to get you bottled!

2) Even if you agree on a price with a xe om (motorbike taxi) driver and confirm it any number of times before setting off, you shouldn't expect him to remember or honour the agreed on price when you get to your destination. Whilst I would like to believe that all xe om drivers just have bad memories and that they're good, honest people really I sadly do not. One evening after the hostel bar crawl had ended at 12am, everyone decided to head across to Lighthouse; the one bar in Hanoi which has a late license and can serve until 3am (read: has paid the police a big enough bribe to let them stay open later that is normally allowed) and so we all got onto xe oms in twos and we agreed with our driver to pay him 40,000 VND for the three minute trip which is a fair price and after our short journey, we got off and each handed him a 20,000 VND note as payment. Now whether all the rice wine he had been drinking earlier that day had affected his memory or not I don't know but he suddenly thought that the price we had agreed on was 400,000 VND rather than the actual price of one tenth that amount. What followed was him shouting at us in Vietnamese, pretending to swing punches at us, grabbing us and making cut throat gestures. In the end we gave him another 10,000 VND note which seemed to placate him a bit and we made a hasty move inside the club and enjoyed the rest of the evening/early morning. Adding on an extra zero or two is common practice amongst xe om drivers and if you have the exact change and it's daytime it's easy to just pay the agreed price and walk off but if you only have 100,000 or 500,000 VND notes it gets a bit difficult and drivers have been known to just speed off with all of the money rather than give you change, although I haven't experienced this myself.

3) The quality of tofu in street-side restaurants can vary wildly. I know this as rather than take my chances with the dodgy looking meat/entrails that are available to eat/kill yourself with I have mainly been eating a vegetarian diet whilst in Hanoi. As you have a choice between Pho Bo (noodle soup with beef), Pho Ga (the same but with chicken) or Com (boiled rice) with a variety of different accompaniments that you can choose from, the food can get a bit plain but in Hanoi there's a good choice of restaurants serving Western style food which is ok price wise but the portions of which are always very small. Getting back to my observation however, the choice of accompaniments for with Com normally consists of the following; tofu, egg (small omelettes), cabbage in vinegar, other assorted vegetables, spring rolls, chicken, beef, pork, various entrails and other unidentifiable things that I wouldn't touch with a barge pole. (or a chopstick in this case) I normally get the tofu, egg and various vegetables and whilst eggs are eggs and vegetables are vegetables, the tofu has ranged from being chewy and burnt to being like a fishy tasting wet sponge. Up North it's nice as it's normally served with tomatoes in a sauce which give it a bit more flavour but some of the times I've had in in Hanoi it's been horrible and after eating it I kind of wished I had picked the dogs' testicles instead. (note: I probably have seen them on sale but as the food items don't have labels on them I wouldn't know. In fact I wouldn't know anyway as I don't know what the Vietnamese for dogs' testicles is)

4) Sitting on your motorbike all day and shouting "Hello, motorbike?" at every passer by classes as being employed in Vietnam. Judging by the standard of driving of lots of the xe om drivers I doubt any of them have ever passed or even thought of doing a driving test/driving training and I think that you're way more likely to have a crash on the back of one of them than on a bike by yourself. Now Vietnam actually has a low unemployment rate of 4.4% in 2010 compared to a rate of 7.8% in England and most of the shops and businesses in Hanoi open early and stay open until late, however I wonder just how many xe om drivers there actually are in the city and how you are able to register as being self employed as a motorbike taxi driver without any sort of formal training? I mean if it's that easy then in a few months when my money runs out I may be found in Hanoi sitting on my motorbike all day shouting at every person that goes past in the hope of earning a few VND!

5) If you don't either live in Hanoi or know somebody that does, you cannot possibly expect to find the correct street on which to buy a multi adapter/motorbike helmet/fake Christmas tree. Oh and finding it by blind luck doesn't count. I know this as similar to in China there is a separate street for everything, from kitchenware to tools and from clothes to baseball caps. I went out looking for a new motorbike helmet yesterday as a light fingered person took my (two week) old one from behind the hostel desk a couple of nights back and I was firstly directed to Don Xuan market; a huge two building, three storey market but after spending two hours walking around every stall there and finding only clothes and food I got a bit bored and headed back to the hostel to see if anyone else had any ideas about where to get a helmet from. I got told about a street some way South of the hostel which is the only place in Hanoi where you can buy Western style (aka of some use in a crash rather than a plastic baseball cap style hat) motorbike helmets and accessories, so I set off walking and when I found the place it was like motorbike heaven. There were spare parts, tyres, super loud horns, HID lights (high intensity discharge lights - very bright ones basically), chrome bits and anything else that a budding boy racer may want. I managed to steer myself away from the Aladdin’s cave of goodies and after some searching I found a good quality full face helmet which is a lot comfier than my old one and which cost a grand total of 430,000 VND or £13. What a bargain! If someone was to make a map of Hanoi which listed what goods are sold on each street I'm sure it would be a big seller, at least for the first twenty four hours anyway or until someone scans it in and starts selling a fake version of it on the streets! (note: book and map piracy is huge in Vietnam)

6) If you want to develop a prescription drug habit then Vietnam is like a paradise island amongst a sea of opiates, morphine, ritalin, vicadin and whatever else you may want to get your hands on. I know this as when I went to the pharmacy for some painkillers to try and ease the pain in my foot, the young woman behind the desk proceeded to pull out three different boxes of different coloured pills and say "These very good, only 390,000 VND." Whilst I'm sure they would have been very good painkillers, I had never heard of two of the types of pills that had "By prescription only" written on their boxes and when I asked the woman working at the pharmacy what they were she didn't seem to be too sure either. She picked each one up and read the name and the usage/dosage instructions from the front of the boxes then handed me them to look at. Whether they were compatible with each other or whether they would've given me liver failure I don't know and I turned down her offer of the super strong happy pills and instead opted for some co-codamol instead. Looking at all of the tablets and vials of liquid in the seemingly untrained pharmacist's counter, I managed to count morphine and codeine amongst others and from speaking with people in Hanoi who have had serious things wrong with them it turns out that a whole host of other things are freely available and you no more than have to ask for them, tell the pharmacist your symptoms and then pay up and you can have a stomach rattling full of pills in no time. I'm glad I only went for co-codamol tablets in the end as I've even had to stop taking them as they made me dizzy and confused (more so than normal) so I shudder to think what the other pills would've done to me!

7) You can expect to get lost when wandering the streets even if you have a map. I have been officially lost no fewer than three times whilst out and about and it is even easier to get lost when riding a motorbike about than when you're walking. I say this because the maps provided by the hostel cover quite a large area of the touristy part of the city however if you take a wrong turning down a one way street you can end up way off the map and just trying to find out from people whether you need to go North, East, South or West to get to the general area is hard enough, never mind getting any sort of proper directions. I've now figured out that it's perfectly ok to go the wrong way down a one way street here as long as you honk your horn whilst you're doing it and you stick to the side of the road so from now on if I think I'm getting lost I'll just turn around and go back the way I came but if you actually follow the traffic system through the maze of streets which change their names at every junction you can be guaranteed to spend quite a lot of your time wandering about trying to find the way to where it is that you actually want to go to.

That’s all for now folks. I hope you've enjoyed reading about my time in Hanoi and if you check back in a day or two you can expect a blog post telling you all about my motorbike adventures oop North :)

Tạm biệt!

Posted by UKtoCA 22:33 Comments (0)

CN to VN - Border Crossings, Motorbike Madness & No Sleep

It felt great arriving in Hanoi on a warm night four days ago after twenty four hours of buses, walking and waiting around. Not to say that the trip from Kunming was a chore at all, in fact it was actually quite enjoyable. The Chinese side of the trip took me through small villages where people living in shacks stopped what they were doing to look as the coach passed by. There were tree covered mountains overshadowed by even bigger mountains which stretched off into the distance and there were industrial towns, coloured black by soot and pollution but in which people were still smiling and in the streets of which children were still playing and having fun.

When I reached the border crossing I was half expecting there to just be a hut in which a fat, sweaty border control guard would be sat and whose eyes would light up at the sight of a foreigner whom he could extort money from for the night's alcohol and cigarettes by way of a 'stamping fee' but the reality turned out to be as far from my expectations as you could get. The border crossing at both sides was a very new, very modern operation and the staff that I dealt with were all extremely professional and friendly. The whole crossing process took no more than five minutes at each side and before I knew it, I had arrived in Vietnam and my fate passed from the hands of the border control guards into the hands of a very over-enthusiastic motorbike taxi driver who was to take me to the nearby Lao Cai train station.

Having spent the last month traversing almost the entire width of China and witnessing first hand the mayhem that is their road system, I thought that things would be similar in Vietnam and they were, kind of. To coin a phrase that I've heard kicked around here quite a bit, the traffic in Vietnam is "Same same, but different." It's the same in the sense that normal road rules don't apply such as stopping for traffic lights, going the right way down one way streets and every other rule in the highway code, and at first it can seem quite a daunting thought to even get on the back of the motorbike taxi whose driver snared you with the two English words that I think are known more in Vietnam than any other; "Hello, motorbike?" Once you've spent some time on the roads however, be it as a pedestrian, a pillion passenger on a motorbike, cycling around or even just on a bus you start to notice how the different vehicles flow around each other like fish in a pond, with drivers always moving into the space in front of them and stopping only when they have to. One other important road rule that I've noticed is that the bigger the vehicle, the more right of way it has.

Pedestrians are at the bottom of the pecking order and they must give way to everything, although don't expect any vehicle to stop at pedestrian crossings or traffic lights to let you cross, instead just walk out into the road and walk across very slowly, looking at the oncoming traffic so that you can (hopefully) jump out of the way if a kamikaze scooter rider who is on his mobile phone, smoking and riding his bike at the same time doesn't happen to see you. What you'll find happens is that as with fish in a pond, if you put an object in the middle of said pond they will swim around it rather than going head first into it. After pedestrians the pecking order goes pushbikes, motorbikes/scooters, tuk-tuks (although they go so slowly that everyone just drives/rides around them), cars, vans, then come the top dogs; buses and trucks. If you are on any road either as a pedestrian or as a driver of a vehicle and you value your life then you should get the hell out of the way when a truck or bus approaches. (note: some people, like the suicidal minibus driver that I had back in Chengdu obviously do not value their lives [geek content] but like anomalies in a computer program, sooner or later the day will come when they are identified and deleted [/geek content])

Wow, I've managed to ramble on for quite a while and I've not even got up to my arrival in Hanoi. Well to cut a long story short, there were no sleeper beds on the overnight train from Lao Cai - Hanoi and whilst I'm sure spending eight hours overnight sat on a plank of wood (hard seat in Vietnam really does mean hard seat, unlike the coach style seats on trains in China) in a non air conditioned carriage with my bags and a couple of hundred other sweaty people would've been an 'experience', I didn't quite fancy the idea after being on a bus all day so instead I booked a ticket on the sleeper bus, got myself a nice cold Bia Hanoi and waited until it was time to board my bus.

Now I've heard stories of people being drugged and robbed on sleeper buses (not so with trains, I wonder why?) so when a local guy on the bus kindly (or not so kindly) offered me a pear I refused it. What he did next was slightly worrying in that once he had finished the pear that he was eating, he took a token bite out of the one that he had seconds ago offered to me, then I saw him spit it out and put it in the bin along with the rest of the pear. Now at this point I thought maybe I was just over-thinking the situation, I mean maybe the pear had been bad and had I taken it, I would've just been left with a sour taste in my mouth rather than the loss off my money, phone & other personal possessions but what happened next made me glad that I had erred on the side of caution when dealing with his offer of food. He had started a conversation about where I'm from and what I'm doing in Vietnam etc and he was leaning onto the bunk next to me whilst talking to me which put him at a comfortable distance away from me but then in a split second, he reached out and grabbed at my trouser pockets, my bag and my money belt then he motioned that I was a skinny guy. This was definitely crossing the line and although it's common to see Vietnamese men or women walking around with their arms around one another (although not a man and woman unless they're married), this was more than just friendly physical contact and I told him in no uncertain terms to leave me alone and not to put his hands on me again. He went back down into his bunk and didn't bother me again but needless to say I had a night without sleep. I turned my money belt around and put both my phone and wallet into my back pockets just in case I should fall asleep but I still had no more than a few minutes at a time, instead opting to watch the Vietnamese films which were shown on the bus and then stare out of the window at the sleepy neighbourhoods that passed by covered in a cloud of darkness.

Right, it's nearly midnight here in Vietnam and although I'd love to get right up to date with my blog I think that my laptop keyboard could do with a rest, as I'm sure your vision could too. Mine's going blurry now staring at the screen and I've only had two beers today so that can't be affecting it! I've been for my first motorbike lesson today having put a deposit down on one yesterday and I will try to blog again after my lesson tomorrow.

Over and out.

Posted by UKtoCA 06:55 Comments (2)

Blog Changes Afoot!

Hey all!

I've been thinking about making some changes to the way that I write my blog as reading back through my previous posts it seems that for every paragraph that I have wrote detailing something that I did/somewhere that I visited that was interesting, there are five or six that simply go on about normal day to day things and tasks that can't be that interesting to read about.

I've decided that rather than do a daily blog, I will now blog once a week and each post will contain simply the highlights of the week gone by without all of the "I went to the shop, then I went back to my hostel" kind of stuff that isn't much fun to read. One of the other reasons why I think blogging weekly will be better is that whilst there has been wifi freely available on my trip up to now, I am in the process of trying to buy all of the gear I need for a motorbike trip around Vietnam and in the smaller villages that I visit I don't foresee there being any wifi access however I think that I should be able to find somewhere to blog from once a week.

Cool, well in a few days time I will tell you all about my final day in Kunming, crossing from China to Vietnam, Partying it up in Hanoi and hopefully about my having bought a motorbike and all of the necessary gear to go with it in order to be able to set off on my one man, two wheels expedition around Vietnam.

Until then, au revoir!

Posted by UKtoCA 01:07 Comments (0)

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