Vietnam: Along the Chinese Border. Real Time Report

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by mb300, Mar 27, 2019.

  1. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    We asked the nice lady if we could moto back from there, and she said "yes yes yes" (of course) but we had our doubts until some Vietnamese guy had his bike loaded onto the boat, and google said there was a road there too, so we went for it.

    It was totally worth $8.70 just to watch them load the bike and to get a good story out of it.
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  2. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    While we were waiting for our boat to depart some local fisherman pulled up beside us and were selling their catch (and probably farm raised fish too) right there dockside.

    This ended up being the most entertaining part of the day. Locals were there buying up the fish and squid in a very loud and argumentative Vietnamese manner. The whole time their diesel skiff was idling in FWD to hold the boat up against the bank.

    The ride through the bay was beautiful and all, but the commotion of the fishermen and the locals haggling was just as good, if not better.

    [​IMG]

    Lots o' fish:
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    Squid by the kilo:

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    Fish juice:

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    Boat idling, somehow I didn't get the spinning prop in the frame, sorry:

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  3. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    In 56 minutes every single fish on that boat was sold.

    Here's the last basket being hauled away on the back of a scooter.

    They put a piece of cardboard down on the seat and up against the riders back, then 2 people lift the basket and set it on the pillion seat, and off he goes. No bungees or any other way of holding it there. Gravity + smooth riding is how they do it.

    [​IMG]

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  4. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    I'm pretty sure every ferry disaster story starts this way:

    "the crew departed without properly securing the bow ramp and water came over into the boat..."

    [​IMG]

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  5. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    No photo, but this was great:

    We departed the dock on Cat Ba and headed towards the mainland.

    About 5 minutes after we departed we heard/felt a big BANG and vibration and looked around - someone had missed the ferry so they hopped onto another boat and that boat caught up to the ferry and BEACHED ITSELF on the back loading ramp (because of course they don't raise the ramps when at sea).

    The guy who missed the ferry jumped off the bow of the other boat onto the ferry ramp and strolled aboard like it was just another day at the office.

    The boat that brought him reversed itself off the back ferry ramp and went back towards Cat Ba.

    It was brilliant.
  6. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    Back to when we were on the supply boat.

    The supply boat is pretty big, so to make deliveries it just cuts the throttle and coasts to a stop, and the floating villagers come to the boat to pick up their orders. It's like a floating walmart. Here is an example:

    Little boat approaches supply boat:

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    Little boat goes directly under the bow of the supply boat, almost completely out of sight.

    Little boat passes up empty 5 gallon jugs.

    Supply boat crew passes down cases of supplies/food and jugs full of fuel.

    [​IMG]

    Little boat motors away, supply boat goes a couple of miles along and repeats.

    [​IMG]

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  7. KL_ARRR

    KL_ARRR Adventure Piggy

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    Ha! That ferry did the same thing when I was on it!
    [​IMG]

    And then the captain played a game of chicken with a much larger boat only giving way at the last second.
    [​IMG]

    Great ride report! Your route was fairly similar to mine and you're making me want to go back badly. :beer
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  8. appliance57

    appliance57 Long timer

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    A pony, a mauser, and a guy in a speedo - this is a magical country!
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  9. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    [​IMG]

    Also:

    [​IMG]

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  10. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    More pics from the supply boat (Lan Ha bay):

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    Attached Files:

  11. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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  12. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    Randomness:

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    Sextoy OK Pharmacy:

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  13. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    Views from Cannon Fort:

    [​IMG]

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    The Fish Sauce Store (yellow Nuoc Mam sign is in the background):

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  14. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    Back to the big ferry:

    Off in the distance we saw what appeared to be a single wide trailer pushing a junkyard thru the water:

    [​IMG]

    There were a whole string of them heading north, all incredibly overloaded. One passed right behind the ferry:

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    Zoom in and check out the details- the midsection of the boat is swamped.

    It looks like a dredger with some sort of screen. I'm not sure what the screen is for- I don't know if any seafood would make it thru the pump alive, or if it is just to filter garbage out of the sand that they suck up. Ideas?

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  15. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    Day 14, Wednesday 10-April, Ha Long to Hanoi

    Stopped for oil change #2, it's been 2055km so far.

    They used a vacuum pump to suck the oil out of the sump.

    This was a quick one - it took 4 minutes from the moment I handed off the bike until it was back in my hands, and that included paying the cashier.

    Again, the sidewalk is the service bay :

    [​IMG]

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  16. Seth S

    Seth S Will _____ for _____

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    Be careful if you want to swim in Ha Long bay. The water quality in many places is not good and as foreigners we are more likely to get sick given we are not used to the bacteria in that part of the world....that and a lot of times the pollution in the water there just isnt good for anyone.
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  17. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    More on this subject in a few days when we are back home and protected by the 1st amendment...
  18. Seth S

    Seth S Will _____ for _____

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    [​IMG]
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  19. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    We took the Duong River dike for a good portion of our trip back to Hanoi:

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    Ever wonder where those ceramic dogs come from? We found the pottery town on our way back to Hanoi:

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    For when your yard needs better protection than what a ceramic dog can provide:

    [​IMG]

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  20. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    Train crossings here are pretty cool - we haven't seen any automated gates (that doesn't mean that they don't exist here, it just means that we haven't seen any), but we have seen a few manned ones.

    Gate down:

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    Gate going up:

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    Attached Files:

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