- Posted by Jacobus Du Plessis
- On February 3, 2017
- 0 Comments
Picture yourself in flip-flops cruising on a motorbike through the mountains and jungles of Vietnam and then at some point you become an addict.
Picture yourself in flip-flops cruising on a motorbike through the mountains and jungles of Vietnam. For fourteen steamy days and chilly nights you explore the heart of Vietnam. Days are slow-paced but exciting. You greet the smiling faces of the indigenous mountain tribes and play with the children before falling asleep next to the fire with a full stomach and happy heart. You chat with and learn from the experiences of old Vietnamese war veterans while drinking a freshly made traditional Vietnamese beer together. You explore the ancient stupas and brick temples of the now gone Cham civilization, their walls whispering stories of a sophisticated civilization and their ruins mourning their tragic disappearance.
I remember the first time I travelled through Vietnam. I was inexperienced, I was daunted, and honestly I was scared. I had seen the war movies, the sweaty dark jungles of Vietnam and the tenacity of the Vietnamese people. How would they respond to a foreigner like me after all they had been through?
I arrived in Hanoi by plane and things were hard in the beginning. The culture and language are so different from my own that I did not know how I would fit into this world. But just three weeks later when it was time for me to leave, I didn’t want to. I wanted to stay in Vietnam and never leave. I don’t know when it happened and I don’t know exactly how, but at some point Vietnam opened her soul to me and I couldn’t look away. Her ‘otherness’, her exotic charm was like a drug to me. I think it happened one morning at about 5 a.m. I was slowly along the streets of Hoi An after having had a couple too many beers. The sun was just rising when I got to the riverfront and I sat down. Vietnam was waking up around me and I was tired so I sat down next to the river. The fresh morning chill around me was mixed with entrancing sounds of the old man playing an ancient Vietnamese string instrument. I don’t remember how long I stayed there for, but something happened to me that morning and I never wanted to leave Vietnam again.
The rest of my motorbike tour through Vietnam passed by in a haze.
I wouldn’t want to see Vietnam in any other way than on the back of motorbike. By going by motorbike I was able to have unforgettable experiences off the beaten track that would not have been possible any other way.
Your days on a Vietnam motorbike tour will stay with you forever. The things you experience in Vietnam will touch you, teach you and change you. The people you meet along the way will be your friends for life because together you experienced something unique.
This article was written by Marco Van Den Heever a satisfied motorbike tour participant and is published here with his permission.