In Motorbiking Part 8 I talked about our overnight train ride from Dong Hoi to Ninh Binh, and how it wasn’t exactly our favorite city in Vietnam. There were a few factors that played into this. First, Breada was sick most of the time we were there. For 2 out of the 4 days we were there she didn’t leave the room at all and I only left to get us food and drinks. Another reason was we just didn’t give it a proper chance. Since Phong Nha was so amazing I think Ninh Binh just felt like a more dull version of that. We did go to some sites and they were nice, but they just didn’t live up to the beauty of Phong Nha. Anyway, our time in Ninh Binh came and went and it was time to move on to the last part of our road trip: Hanoi.
This post isn’t so much about us motorbiking, but considering it was a leg of our motorbiking journey I figured it was only fair to include it in the Motorbiking segment. We spent 5 awesome nights in Phong Nha, eating delicious farm to table (literally) chicken and riding around the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, but after that it was time to move on and continue our trip north. Our next stop was Ninh Binh, which is about 500km north of Phong Nha and unfortunately there’s not really much going on in between those two stops.
We left Hue one morning for Phona Nha, roughly 225km (140 miles ) away if you take Highway 1. If you’ve read any of these Motorbiking posts, you’ll know I loathe Highway 1 so we decided to mix the route up a little bit. We still had to take a little bit of that dreaded highway, but when we had the opportunity we veered off onto the more scenic and longer Ho Chi Minh Road. The Ho Chi Minh Road, named after the country’s most famous leader, is a small two lane road that spans from Hanoi in the north all the way to Saigon in the south. While it’s not as direct as Highway 1, it is in my opinion much more beautiful and worth the extra couple hours it would take us to get to Phong Nha.
Leaving Hoi An was nearly heartbreaking. We spent 10 days there (11? I don’t know I’ve lost track of time) and we loved every single one of them. If it wasn’t a small town and had a decent market for English teachers it would be at the top of our list of places to stay long term, but it doesn’t so it will just have to be a weekend vacation stop.
I’ve been slacking hard in the post department lately. It’s not that I don’t want to write, because I do. I enjoy keeping my friends and family up to date on what we’re up to, but sometimes the last thing I want to do after a long day in scorching Southeast Asian heat is to bang out a post or two. I will try to be better in the near future, but for now i’ll be playing catch up for the next few posts.
In Motorbiking Part 4 I talked about Breada’s unfortunate gas issue. For whatever reason her bike burns gas faster than mine, though when we got oil changes today the mechanic told me my bike burns more oil than hers. I’m no mechanic, but I found that interesting. While the bikes have been pretty good overall, we have had some rough patches along the way, which is more or less the topic of this post.