|11-09-2012, 08:36 PM||#17|
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Back in Louisville, Kentucky USA
Wonderful Vietnam report, and I enjoyed your India report as well. Thank you for sharing!
|11-09-2012, 08:50 PM||#18|
Joined: May 2012
Location: canyon country, ca
Very nice, beautiful pics, thank you for sharing, you made a most excellent bike choice!
Just some dude...
|11-10-2012, 03:00 PM||#20|
hey can you tell me how can I publish the link of the video showing the preview ?
Despite is Sunday I woke up at 6 am. The sky is cloudy and this is normal in this days, but why should I start today ? Sunday means market and here is right beheind my Guest House. Ok today free day and let’s go to the Meo Vac market.
I’m gonig on the right side of the vacation: every day I prpare a schedule that always change. Perfect.
At 6,30 am I’m at the market
As in every market/bazar of Asia since the first moment you’re overwhelmed from sounds and colors
sweets…mhh this remino me that it’s breakfast time
two of the england bikers of Ha Giang
Life isn’t easy for vietnamese womens. Look at this young mom: she’s breastfeeding and serving clients at the same time.
furtively I tried to take a pic of this two children, but one had seen me and she had coverei the face. Immediately I thought “ very bad pic”, but after a while I changed opinion. One of my best shot .
strange: they are selling gas and in the city there are 2 big gas station: ok it wasn’t gas , but something very similar to italian grappa, a kind of brandy distilled from wine or must. This should be distilled from rice. Vietnam is a great country, you can have an happy hour even before 8 am: I paid and they let me taste it
How time flies: is noon. Time to lunch
how many crafts you can see
I was looking for somebody able to repair my boots, and at my guest house they wrote on a slip the phrase “ I need to repair my boots” in vietnamese
I found the cobbler, but my boots are too thick for his machine
I can try to repair myself: so I bought some superglue for tires
Behind the market ther’s a place in that you can buy and sell every kind of animal
Back to the Guest House and I can notice that everibody is very busy in preparation of the brunch...ok Vietnam brunch. Remember that today is Sunday
They don’t want I help in any way: I’m the guest. Ok I can try to repair my boots: here’s the results
Now I can read my guide, write my daily diary, relax...wrong the children come around me. Ok baby sittering for food !
paper and felr-tip pen
they offered to me fresh fruit: note that even a little children in Vietnam is able to use a big knife
they didn’t know the play to paint faces on the fingers
One of the children showed me her hands: ok picture #1
we sat in the hall…20 people more or less..ok this means at least 20 rounds of drinks
this is the Guest House owner
after the brunch I helped to wash the dishes…every man was looking at me as a man from Mars: I was doing awomen job !
I relaxed for half hour ( ok I had more than 20 drinks), but the sky wasn’t bad and so I took the bike to go to visit a a little temple on the top of the hill and after I’ve driven out of the city, an the road, without a destination
finally a city: I don’t know both name and position
always pay attentino on the road in Vietnam
after some hours I was back to Meo Vac
After lunch I begin to help with dishes, but the owner grab my arm and shake his head: ok is a women job, and I seat with him in the hall. After a while, in quick succession every children walked through the hall and every children said something to the father. He answered to everyone, always interrupting to read the newspaper. Finally even the wife went through the hall and said something. I watched this man , for some minutes, smoking and reading his newspaper but after I gave to mžhim a slap on the back. I showed to him one finger that means him and after 5 fingers that mean 4 children + 1 wife: he smiled and nod to me. Situation are the same all over the world: I can’t imagine The president of the USA, Barack Obama when the First Lady is angry...mhh even my brother is married but I can imagine the same situation
Now I can go to sleep..ohh no before is better to tidy up the room
|11-11-2012, 04:39 AM||#22|
This morning, Iím not very happy to start again, but Iíve got to drive. Unforgettable Meo Vac. I canít tellyou where I had the stop over at the end of the day, cause it was dark and I have not seen any signal. I should have been more or less near Cao Bang.
I can start
Iím driving eastward. Full tank, sky not bad beautiful landscape, everythingís fine. But the world is a big balance, that follow the Murphyís Law, and immediately comes the offset: the engine of my bike stops to work.
Big silence in the Vietnam mountains, just me and mt (not working) bike: what can I do ? First I take a picture
With my mechanical skills, Iím able top ut gas in the tank, check oil level ( ok not here in Vietnam) inflate air in tires and check pressure, put oil on the chain transmission. So now I just can wait and try again to start: It has worked and the bike started again
This is the second ďtechnical pit stopĒ
At the end of the day I had 10 pit stop, but after the fifth this situation looks like a sign from the sky that push me to keep going. Once I could heard the voice of Vietnam Divinities
Iíts one o clock: to take a rest I went in the backyard of this desert school
After a nap I met a family of teachers that also works in the school as caretakers
In Vietnam working in the road maintenance is very hard: not a lot of machinery
My t-shirt and my ass are burning: Iíve got to stop
Dark Itís coming, but Iíve seen what in my map I marked with a ?
Theyíve got a bed and a place for my bike
Do you think that in a restaurant, in Vietnam, a touris can remain alone without a drink ? ?
I was lucky, just 6 people at the table. The Guest House/restaurant is also a karaoke point. In a little room downstairs therís everything
This morning, with the sun itís easier understand where Iím
Even today will be har reach Ha Long: in fact Iíll reach Dinh Lap
Ohh finally a Vietnam Pin-up
I reach Dinh Lap and first I look for a Guest House
the room is really big
even the bugs
|11-11-2012, 05:49 AM||#23|
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: friuli ITALY
bravo Momi . Grande giro, ti seguo sempre. Hai ancora il mitico DR 350????? In questo sito siamo pochi italiani....pochi ma buoni. Ciao dal Friuli.
|11-11-2012, 12:20 PM||#24|
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: brandon manitoba canada
wow .this is now on the list .friendly people, interesting food, lots of drinks, and no one will every see me again so i can get into the karoke great trip all the best.
|11-11-2012, 06:46 PM||#25|
Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Killeen, TX.
Lovely report, you have a great eye for photography!
74 TY250 89 GB500 03 KDX220 06 DRZ400 08 DL1000 09 XR1200 Abandon all hope, it will help you focus.
|11-15-2012, 01:51 PM||#27|
Today is May the 30 and I woke up very early the roosters of the city are still sleeping. Last night I was surprised by the sound of a trumpet that was playng some military music. This morning I can ear two voices, female and male that are speaking with a military background music. Shit, right near a barracks I had to find to sleep. When I was preparing the bike I understood that therís no one barracks, but public loudspeakers that are broacasting national governament programs.
For some minutes I rested near the bike, thinking how little we estimate in my country ( and in the rest of western world) the right to can speak free, to organize demonstration, read any newspaper and so on.
I think that sometimes people that cover theirs faces and walk in to the streets breaking cars and shop windows should live for some month in this kind of country.
Ok sorry for this digression, but at the age of 7 years I read the biography of Martin Luther King and even today I admire black and white people that in the 60ís walked along streets askings for human rhigts
Ok Iím 120 km (75 miles9 far from Halong Bay: sounds reasonable to can reach it around noon. Ok itís easy have resolutions: the difficult part is to comply with them. Suddendly I saw schoolchilds that are walking into the school. This is the first time that I can see this: ok I can reach Halong Bay even around 1 pm
I look at the boys and it seems to me that the age goes from 4 to 13 year. Nobody speaks english, but some adult (teacher ?) invited me to take a tea. In my italian-Vietnamese phrasebook there are 4 names of job and one is techer: correct, they are teachers.
Finally I can comunicate. A teacher speaks alittle bit of english and she eplain to me that the school takes kids from 4 to 15 years old. Almost all the kids are very poor, from farmer families and someone has to walk for two hours to reach the school.
This remind to me my father, that after the 2nd World War from 6 to 10 years old had to walk for 7 km ( 4 miles) to reach the primary school.
Today is a special day: is the final day of the academic year, and there will be a party. I had seen a mike and two big loudspeakers and this is the reason. The teacher ask to me to remain as ď special guestĒ. Mhh my schedule includes to arrive in Ha Long Bay by noon...sorry schedule, but Iíve got to change something and I decided to remain
I was sitting in the lateral desk, with the teachers
the kids were lined up in rows, divided by age...a little bit military, imo
One of the teachers goes to the mike and (I think) introduce the party
After 5 minutes of speech the party starts. In turn little groups of kids perform songs, little ballets with some backgrounds music. Iím impressed: with very few material means they prepared a very nice exibition.
This little group was very funny: they were dancing pantomiming some animals
|11-15-2012, 01:52 PM||#28|
After a hal hour of show a teacher, totally black dressed came to the mike and everibody
Hush...could be the principal. Whitout one expression on the face, she begins to speak. By the time the sun is coming out. After 30 minutes of speech some of the most littel kids begins to turn down the head and support each to other. Some teacher wake up: ohh I think they are bringing kids in the shadows of the trees...no teachers are bringing some umbrella to the most little kids to can protect from the sun !
One of the little girls looks at me desperately. I read my Italian-Vietnam phrasebook and write on a shit paper the words ďHelpĒ and ďGet outĒ she smile. After the first hour finally thechers take little kids to the shadow of trees. Gradually all the kids move back to the shadow
The principali s an Iron Woman and continue to read to the empty square: this is the situation after one hour and half
Ok this i san insane situation and I begin to go away: the sound of the voice is alwys the same. But suddendly I understand what incredible experience Iím having. Iím not in a Vietnamese school, but as Pinocchio Iím in the belly of the whale, the belly of the monster. Iím speaking of the the orrible monster that with different colours and slogan you can find all over the world, always during the human history: the dictatorship. This person with the mike isnít a principal: she is the voice and the arm of the government.. Ok the Vietnam of the present days is very very different from the Vietnam of the 70ís and 80ís but this situation reminds to me the dictatorships of Russia of Stalin, or the Cile of Pinochet, or the Cina of Mao or the Cambodia of Pol Pot, or the iran of Saddam Hussein. This is an amazing chance to experience first-hand the real life of the country: Iím lucky. After two hours (really) clouds cover the sun...and the teachers bring the kids on lines in the square. This Vietnamese kids are tough: all live. After 2 hours and 15 minutes the torture is finished and the teachers are preparing the shool award ceremony
A teacher goes to the mike: I think to call the kids...ohh my God: another hal hour of speech !!!!
Finally begins the award delivery and as in ever dictatorship the bureaucratic machine misfire. The awards arenít correctly separated by ages and so after every group delivery the teachers had to check and most of the time change the award. With the awards the kids receive even some album that they can paint
Ok the ceremony is over and I can go: Iím a little bit tired, but I think to these kids that had to come back home and probably help the family in the work. The principal smile at me, I smile too, but Iíd like to can lash she and force to listen again her speech for almost ten times. Ok I can drive now...without forget the rain...Iím in the monsons time
Ha Long is a must see not only for foreign tourists, but for every Vietnam people.
The seafron is full of luxury hotel (real 5 star) , but my guidebook drive me to a road full of cheap placet: ok 7 $ for a night. I leave my stuffs in the room and go outside to undertand how it works the reservation of a boat journey in the bay. Ha Long is a seaside resort: very interesting to can see the Vietnam people on the beach.
Obviously is a no-topless zone
I reach the point of embarkation. At the tourist office nobody speaks english, but a lot of people approach tome: Iím the only western tourist at the moment. Rates are from 20 to 100 $( 15 to 75 Ä). Ok a old woman tell to me 18 $, 4 hours of tour and two visit to the cave in the islands around the bay. Tomorrow at 8 am. Ok
Itís dinner time, but befor to eat I want to see almost one 5 star hotel: just the hall. I choice one and in fact is a really 5 star location. Staffvery good dressed, english speaking, inside shops, gym, restaurants, piano bar ecc.. Ok after 10 minutes I get out and right outside the hotel, a young man comes close to me and in a not bad english asks to me ď Hey mister, would you like to have some funny boom boom tonight ?Ē He thinks that Iím a Hotle guest.Ok always you can find pimps near luxury places: maybe could be fun to speak with this guy. ď Would you like to have a nice girl mister ?Ē And he begin to show to me pictures of girls with a cellular phone...ok the screen is very big, more similar to a tablet: heís a professional pimp. After some minutes I tell to him that Iíd like to have fun, ( boom boom) but I need of 3 girls. He had a big big smile: low season and he can place not 1 but 3 girls at the same time. He asks why 3: I explain that I need of 3 girls and 2 big beds. Ok he understood: 2 girl togheter in one bed and me and the 3th girl in the other bed. ďAlmost correct my friendĒ I answer, but while the first 2 girls play togheter, the third has to rope me and cut my skin with a little special knife that Iíve got with me and hit my back with a whip or a belt. Now heís looking at me with wide-eyed...stammer for a moment, but suddendly says:Ē Ok mister the price is higher, but therís a girl in Ha Long that does this kind of activityĒ I canít belive it: in the North of Vietnam, the traditional Vietnam you can find sado maso fun. He shows me a picture with a masked girl hanging a whip. The problem is check if sheís free tonight. A short call and he says that tonight the girl isnít avilable. Ok I answer: no problem, organze everything for tomorrow night, becuse Iím having a week of rest here in Ha Long . Ok for tomorrow at 6 pm and we shake the hands.
Ok now is really time to eat
|11-15-2012, 04:41 PM||#30|
Joined: Jul 2008
Loving the report , did you eat the tiec canh vit ( fresh duck blood pudding ) ? When you return your bike please say hello to Mr Hung from mr Paul of Australia. I cant wait to get back next June , also your photos are excellent , thank you very much for the report.
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