Recently I had the good fortune to head over to Vietnam with a mate of mine and embark on a Motorcycle Adventure through the jungle villages on the border of Laos.
We travelled with a group called Hoi An Motorcycle Tours and were appointed a guide by the name of Kiwi Pete. They supplied us with a couple of Russian Minsk motorcycles which I am unsure were of post war vintage and introduced us to our mechanic Tein who we were to become extremely close with.
Then away we launched on a 4 Day DMZ Loop through the far reaches of Vietnam which were definitely off the beaten path.
I had lunch with Ee Kong who is the King of the Katu people and he insisted that I had 6 rice wines (straight rocket fuel) before I jumped back on the bike for the afternoon! Only to go Off-Road when I missed a turn later that same day!
We travelled ‘Highway 1’ in the middle of a torrential downpour with 100kph cross winds….the second deadliest strip of road/km in the world.
We hammered down Mountain passes on wet tyres with no brakes (and I mean no brakes) on numerous occasions.
We visited Khe Sahn and shook our heads at the futility of the War.
We travelled through a mud slush valley to get to a town that would not have seen one hundred caucasians in the past 5 decades so we could sleep the night.
We received a guided tour of the war tunnels from a tiny ‘mute’ Vietnamese gentleman who was born in the tunnels and spent the first 5 years of his life underground.
AND I have the lasting memory of climbing noisily up the mountain side on my Minsk to be met by hundreds of smiling kids waving frantically at me as I zoomed through their little village like I was some sort of returning war hero!