Next Stop Vietnam...and Laos

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by 95Monster, Dec 11, 2019.

  1. jowul

    jowul Been here awhile

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    I have never traveled to Vietnam but am often in Laos. Since you mentioned the memories of some VN Veterans here, in 2014 I met two American couples in Phonsavan (the region of the Plain of Jars). The gentlemen were on a sort of pilgrimage in the region since they were bomber pilots flying from bases in Thailand to Hanoi and other destinations in Northern Vietnam. Often weather prevented them from reaching their targets and they would turn around, dropping their load of bombs indiscriminately over the Plain of Jars since they could not go back to base with their load. It is said that the region has seen more bombs that any other war theater in the world (WWII included). The land is still visibly damaged by the napalm bombs and forests have a hard time to grow. The two veterans were amazed about how well they were received by the locals despite the hardship they had caused. They were in tears when they told me this story and the reason for their visit to the area.
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    Northern Laos would definitely be a great area to visit with your motorcycle. I had followed you on your trip through South America and now found your RR in Vietnam and enjoying it very much
    Kevin S., oic, Bulldog Buddy and 3 others like this.
  2. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    I have pictures of the bomb holes in the 1970's. like swiss cheese, the holes in the landscape are little ponds today and brush has covered most of them, but not appropriate to post pictures here in a ride report.
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  3. zzzak2

    zzzak2 Been here awhile

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  4. 95Monster

    95Monster Long timer

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    Thanks for your comment Jowul! It’s definitely on my agenda.
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  5. Dryfuse

    Dryfuse Been here awhile

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    I'm laughing my butt off, BRAKES FINE, YOU GO NOW GI, you numba 10, can hear it, break not fine, Babyson, looky, just too funny.

    Tigit does get good reviews, your right, give me the shoes will do it myself, we would get along well.

    But a bowl of noodles, I love rice noodles. Great stuff papason.

    Dryfuse
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  6. Dryfuse

    Dryfuse Been here awhile

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    Monster, that is sad, and my guess his life was rough as he was targeted, or family was for reeducation, not the place here. I would have saluted him and a hug, best one could do.

    Lots of vets go back and actually meet combatants in villages that remember events, then stunningly remember each other from that day. Usually they instantly bond, this is hard to write, remember it like yesterday, ride on my friend.
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  7. Dryfuse

    Dryfuse Been here awhile

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    Great stuff. Some of the gun ship pilots from rattlers had monkeys and dogs as pets. I don't drink but turned the monkeys into beer drinkers. Guys did love their hooch dogs as gave some normalacy to life. Got some parachutes used to drop flares for us, tied it to the hooch dog, then dropped him from 4 000 ft over the base at Chi Lai. Then chopper would beat him to the ground and he would race over and they would do it again. He would be pissing as they threw him out, don't know if happy or trauma.

    Shoot, airborne guys now had a jump qualified bipedal quadruped, how cool is that.

    Don't let anyone kid you, booze, men, and animals will always find a way to lighten the mood.

    Chopper guys the best. Balls of steel. Come for you weather permitted, day or night, gives me bumps just writing it, the best.

    One company ripped to shreds Jan 9th, Capt on the ground told chopper pilot is to hot but have wounded, pilot says, are you going to pop smoke or do I have to come in blind, IM COMING IN, not making this up.

    Dryfuse
    oic, Lost Cartographer and 95Monster like this.
  8. 95Monster

    95Monster Long timer

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    First order of business was an oil change. At 1000km intervals, I’m now on my 4th and I kinda got what to ask and how much is it down pat. When the service tech quoted me 300,000 dong, I said “no way! 125,000 dong.” There was some confusion. Failed attempts at Google translate until he went off and came back with two liters of oil. He pointed at one and said “Sport 300,000!” I looked at it and realized it was synthetic and the other was mineral. Ah! “How much for this one?” I asked. 125,000 dong. Mineral oil please. 5F3ADFD9-5186-4406-9C8B-6BB729D60AA3.jpeg Lubed up I departed Lao Cai and rode southwest to the mountain village of Sa Pa. Maybe it was once a village but tourism has changed it into a bustling town. The place is a very busy spot for trekking being near Vietnam’s highest mountain, Phan Si Pan. They say it’s beautiful here but I wouldn’t know. We’re up in the clouds and the mist is pretty thick. And it’s wet; and it’s cold. Construction is everywhere as hotels sprout like mushrooms. The view from the hotel. 71CB591A-A78F-44C6-8234-C6735A9D0F60.jpeg The hotel 04A5921D-854F-488C-BA93-17664001A418.jpeg Wet stroll after dinner. 330985AD-FF95-4B3D-9DD9-5F1162437E2F.jpeg C706DDB7-BD97-49E5-A3B5-D34DFB9B61B1.jpeg Took a little walk to a phone store and refilled my SIM card for another month. Less than $5 bucks for 3 gigs. Makes me a little angry that we pay so much for cell and WiFi when it’s practically free here and in Latin America. E8A61114-BBA0-4E00-B0C6-CA345A61E073.jpeg
  9. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    1000 km oil change intervals! The bike takes just 1 liter? Do you change the filter every couple changes?
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  10. 95Monster

    95Monster Long timer

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    1000km, 1 liter, no filter change. Oil and adjust chain. 125,000 dong ($5.40 approximately). When I return the bike I have to give Tigit receipts for service.
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  11. 95Monster

    95Monster Long timer

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    When the Sun peaks out, this place looks cool. 58686118-6898-4401-B71F-A3445EEF3B2B.jpeg 3BF6116F-2C90-419D-9CFC-E44D4834AC4E.jpeg 0D9FEBDE-1B86-4189-9729-96A6CE3AE529.jpeg
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  12. Grimreaper7

    Grimreaper7 Been here awhile

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    I’m going to be in SaPa at the end of February.
    My weather app says it’s between 16 & 25 degrees C (61 & 77 F) all this week in Lao Cai, is it lying?
    I was expecting T shirt & shorts weather.
    50C28674-F094-4657-99B0-5EC7DAF44A1D.png
    caribryder and 95Monster like this.
  13. zzzak2

    zzzak2 Been here awhile

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    How would anyone know if the Met Office was lying ?
  14. 95Monster

    95Monster Long timer

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    Be prepared for cold and fog. It’s mountains and In the clouds.
  15. 95Monster

    95Monster Long timer

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    I was walking out the hotel tonight headed for dinner when the manager stopped me and asked where I was going. When I told her I was going out for dinner she said “ please, will you join us for dinner?” Well, uh, I had my stomach set on the French / Vietnamese pub I saw on Trip Advisor but I can’t refuse an invitation.
    So TET, the Vietnamese New Year is a week or 10 days away. But the hotel was having a party for their employees and family and, as it happened, the American dude. First gifts and envelopes of money were handed out. 90DAC852-2703-4665-B2D2-41C6E93CE9C3.jpeg Then toasts for Happy New Year 38CE0250-8E85-487C-9D95-28515A158F3E.jpeg Okay, I’m game! 1893F365-1A37-4255-8E0A-BA70A5142A6E.jpeg and the hot pot was brimming with
    Beef and shrimp and chicken AC50ACEB-232A-4B3C-8235-EC9CF6246747.jpeg and they kept on roasting with the rice wine. At one point, the hostess asked if I was okay and I could refuse the shots without losing face. I told her I was game. 7B16515B-3107-4FAC-AD8E-DA70FBFE2C74.jpeg DC147DE3-AF1B-42B0-B98A-A397CC98106D.jpeg A lot of Happy New Year toasts were made. 483EFF1D-B4F5-4DB5-904D-7E715EBF93D7.jpeg E10863BB-1C49-40E0-9917-8B0823E7D5D7.jpeg
    Kevin S., thirsty 1, oic and 9 others like this.
  16. 95Monster

    95Monster Long timer

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    So if you’ve been following along for a while, you won’t be surprised that I got bored with the rice wine shots and skipped out and came back with some Jack Daniels to share with
    My new friends. 4432DC6F-F4EE-4EBC-908E-E668F9C60C9F.jpeg 33EE3B21-EDFA-4E85-BC89-043184EAA3A1.jpeg 37288E22-795F-4F6B-A68D-A0DD3985A2FF.jpeg 4714ED2D-4056-464A-84CC-78E105FE720F.jpeg AA0EC0A5-80EB-4022-B82D-8CE77C6FB17B.jpeg Then we got drunk and I don’t got more pictures:)
  17. third eye

    third eye back road loon Supporter

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    awesome, partying with the locals is always fun. On our tour in November, we stopped off for the night at a small city at the start of the ho chi minh trail. We walked into a local restaurant where a table full of middle aged men were drinking whisky. They took one look at us foreigners and I immediately got roped into having a few shots with them. How could I refuse???
  18. 95Monster

    95Monster Long timer

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    Kinda like Raiders Of The Lost Ark, right? . You just say “Fuck it,I’m here. Let’s see what happens!
    oic and Lost Cartographer like this.
  19. third eye

    third eye back road loon Supporter

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    absolutely! party like a rock star!
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  20. 95Monster

    95Monster Long timer

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    Right! I didn’t want to slip all the way into Full Metal Jacket but I am a product of military school.
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