Harley Davidson… Eat your heart out!!

“Get the motor running, ta da ta da, running on the high way… (okay god knows the rest, so I’m gonna skip to the chorus )…Born to be willlllldddddd!”

Okay enough with embarrassing myself…(Coz that’s so unlike me Anj is saying in the background)

Well before we get given the title of old foggies, it was time for some serious adventure…

It started with our first ever sleeper bus to Hoi An. Now a lot has been written about how uncomfortable these buses are, especially for tall people like me…but to be honest they aren’t that bad…okay they’re not 5 star, and agreed, you may get whiplash as you’re thrown up and down off the bed as the bus speeds over bumps…but you’re asleep for most of the journey…so another tick off the daring list for me and Anj!

Hoi An, if you don’t know is the clothes making capital of Vietnam, where you can get shoes, boots, suits, dresses…in fact even if you wanted a gorilla outfit they probably would have made that too…

However as cheap as it’s meant to be, its not really! Well for men’s suits anyway. In London, you can now get a tailor-made suit for under 100 quid, while Hoi An prices were around 50-70 and the material was not necessarily what they said it was. Hmm. Plus, with the reviews we had read about fitting, we decided it was better to stick to London where we can return it if it isn’t right!

After seeing the small number of sights and the main town (which only took half a day), have to say it truly is a beautiful, quaint little place. Absolutely loved the atmosphere.

Okay doesn’t sound too adventurous so far, I admit, but here’s where it gets fun…

During our bus journey to Hoi An, two girls we met from Germany told us about some wacky “easy rider trip” they took and told us we should take it too…

Now let me explain what easy rider is, and this will also explain my little intro song (as i sing it to myself again!)…

Easy rider is where you jump on the back of one of those random biker dude’s Harleys (okay…Honda) and they take you out on the open road..

You commit to staying in a random hostel chosen by them (god knows how bad that would be), eat where they eat (remember we’re veggies), do what they do, go where they go and literally give these strangers your lives in their hands…as they speed around remote places with you holding on to them for dear life…

…Well guess what we decided to do? Yep we booked it and not only for one measly day, but 2 days and 1 night… They would take us from Hoi An to Hue (another massive city in vietnam)…But instead of the normal, safe, city roads, they would take us through the mountains and villages so that we could see Vietnam in a completely different light (via the Ho Chi Minn trail)!

Those 2 days were the best part of Vietnam so far, without a doubt. Apart from just the pure adrenalin rush (and butt pains) you get from sitting on those bikes (head out of gutter again people…come on! :)); the views were spectacular and the things we experienced amazing.

We had the opportunity to see some breathtaking temples (including the hindu “My Son” temples), a few surrounded by beautiful serene lakes and wonderful forestry, that included pineapple trees, and other plants which close just from your touch.

We also crossed a lake on a motorbike ferry, met a cute family who make fresh rice paper like crepes….(mmm boy was that tasty), ate real cinnamon leaves, saw waterfalls, met 2 snakes and stopped at boiling hot water springs which are used by the locals to drink, shower and just have pure fun messing around in! Absolutely zero tourists, just real Vietnam life!

In fact, we also went to one village where the spice girls wouldn’t be too popular. In this village, after the men get married its apparently tradition that they do nothing but chill… the wife works and brings in the money, cooks, cleans, raises the children and does everything… so I did what every caring husband would do..I asked Anj if she wanted to move there… Don’t think I can repeat what she said here 🙂

…And how about the food…well it was proper street food, surprisingly tasty and didn’t make us ill…

Another surprise was the guest house, it was a lot cleaner then we expected too! What a relief, can’t imagine how Princess Sparkle would have dealt with it otherwise… Actually let me rephrase that, what she would have made me do otherwise! 🙂

But in all seriousness, one of the key things that truly hit us was the difference in the people we met…

Everywhere outside the city, people welcomed us with open arms, expected no money and even waved at us with a smile when we zoomed past. Stark contrast to many of the city people we had come across!

And getting to know our easy riders; Uncle 9 and Mr Trong was great. They were loads of fun, and they gave us some insight into really how people live in Vietnam, what they think and believe in. Was great!

If I could make one suggestion in vietnam…do Easy Rider, but make sure the drivers have a valid easy rider id!

(For those that want to know, here’s the people we used:

Truong Van Trong’s tour
http://easyridervietnam.wordpress.com
Email: trongn59@yahoo.com
Tel: +84903597971)

Our easy rider trip ended in Hue, where they showed us some stunning pagodas and the massive citadel.

Here one tourist from China decided to run at me and hand me their baby and asked if they could take a picture! RANDOM (even though for some reason i did kinda feel chuffed :)).

Well after our previous few days adventures, Hue has provided a day of rest…especially before we hit the next sleeper bus to, the capital of vietnam, Hanoi in a couple of hours! Can’t wait…NOT!

Good Morning Vietnam

wow, that was some baller status bus we took right there…okay maybe i’m exaggerating a little but so far the best bus journey we’ve taken…it included water, a latest hollywood filum, reclining seats, air conditioning and a person leading us through the whole border process all for 12 bucks! (So use mekong express shuttle buses if you can)

Yes we arrived in hoi chi minh city a.k.a saigon in vietnam on the eve of chinese new year!

This is the first place we had a real nice hotel upgrade by the chance of half price due to there being only half the normal staff working there! (We’ll take whatever we can but well done anj for the clever spot :))

Neway enough about us being cheapos…So off we went to explore this beatuiful city!

We started with the amazing sight of highlands coffee house (mmmm chocolate milkshake, mango smoothie) followed by the street of flowers.

This street stretches nearly a mile long and was planted with some of the most beautiful flower displays we’ve ever seen, and all dedicated to the cat (year of the cat).


After many posed photographs, (well that’s what everyone else was doing and as they say when in rome…)… off we headed to quickly see the amazing architechture of the post office, the cathedral and the war remenants museum.

To be honest the post office and cathedral in my view were…well okay…the war museum on the other hand had tanks, war planes and helicopters but it wasn’t till we walked into the museum and saw the gruesome pictures from the war that it really shocked us!


It really does make you question, if this happened so recently, where else in the world is it happening now? And why?! There truly is no need for such attrocities in this world! Peace and love can reside if we have respect for one another!

Neway after that we strolled back towards the flower street in anticipation for the massive celebrations that were about to happen!

The streets were packed, rammed and filled with motorbikes! The flower street was jammed with people, it was like normal new years but an amazing new experience!


We talked with locals, sat on the dirty pavement, wedged between loooads of motorcycles and bought a pink balloons as we waited in one tight spot for 3 hours for the fireworks! Was well worth the wait though…at 12 am we were bomblasted with an amazing array of colors in the sky with the crowd cheering each bang! Wow! Seriously words cannot describe!


After a good 20 mins they finished…and then came the bigger task of the night, our survival (thanks for warning Neera – you were right, its mental). Me and jackie bauer (anj) were on the move, as we had people, cars and motorbikes coming at us from all angles, we swiftly dodged all of them and moved in between the small gaps to get out! This bit is NOT an exaggeration!

Was one of the craziest things ever! Well we’re now back at the hotel its 2.23am! Time for sleeeepp but what an amazing day, can’t wait till tomorrow! 🙂