Army-green Ural with sidecar:
One stop on the tour was this wreckage of a U.S. B-52 bomber that was shot down and crashed into a small lake in downtown Hanoi:
Hanoi is a city of lakes, large and small and we circled several of them (if I could figure out how to put these 2 pics side-by-side...)
Another great meal that night at the Ly Club Restaurant (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ly-Club/92742586181
). Digby and Mark are strong believers in good food and drink wherever possible.
Next morning visited Blue Dragon's Hanoi premises where head Mike Brosowski spoke about his work and we met some of the kids his group has rescued. In Hanoi he operates what's basically a safe house for the kids in an unmarked building. They don't make their location public -- last year local press reported that Chinese criminal gang members were in Hanoi hunting for it. Some of the trafficking is across the border into Chinese brothels and sweatshops.
Then our group went by minivan to the Ho Chi Minh Trail museum on the outskirts of Hanoi where our bikes were waiting for us. Good idea to avoid someone getting lost or injured in the first minutes of the trip in Hanoi traffic. I opted out of ther van and rode on the back of Digby's Minsk, where I go to witness his Ninja-like riding skills in Hanoi traffic which included side kicks, elbow strikes and the like in the traffic throng. Also a lot of riding up on sidewalks including once actually through a store's entrance and out a side door.
Shot from the back of Digby's bike:
At one point I saw sitting in the middle of the street a clear plastic bag filled with water and a gold fish swimming in it. Then a little while later the scooter with dozens of bags of fish tied to a tree on back. Not quick enough to snap a pic.
The museum was the official launch. By pure chance it coincided with a visit by schoolchildren, so it was perfect for purposes of the Rally (and a lot of excitement for the kids).
Bikes lined up. Mostly mid-to-late 1960s vintage surplus Vietnamese police bikes, Urals except for a few Dniepers, painted matte black. More on these machines later:
Tour of the museum. I found this very poignant. Who were Arthur & Dianna and what became of them?