In April 2010 I rode the inaugural Rally Indochina in Vietnam. Digby Greenhalgh, an Australian living in Hanoi who also runs the motorcycle touring company Explore Indochina, founded Rally Indochina as a non-for-profit to raise funds for charities in Vietnam. The rally raised $43,200 in 2010, with proceeds going to the Blue Dragon Children's Foundation, which fights child trafficking and child slave labor in Vietnam. Each of the participating riders was asked to contribute $1,600 to the charity (plus pay the cost of the trip).
In 2008, I rode the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos with Digby (some of you might have read my ADV report on that ride). I jumped at the chance to ride with Digby again on the Vietnam leg of the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
In Hanoi, we stayed at the Army Hotel.
Digby and I and the other riders convened in the Army's courtyard. Digby (at right) and I reminisced about our ride in Laos. he has been back since and says there have been big changes to the trail in Laos.
Organizers and leaders of Rally Indochina. On the left is co-founder Mark Wyndham, Australian, who runs his own motorcycle touring company out of Hoi An called Hoi An Motorbike Adventures. Digby and Mark were very earnest about this venture -- not only did they contribute their time and effort, but they each also ponied up a $1,600 charitable contribution like the other riders. Glen (center) was a guide who rode in front and led the way; Cuong (far right) is Digby's business partner and helped put together and run the rally. Ms. Linh, in sidecar, was indispensable in handling logistics.