After lunch at a French restaurant that served Vietnamese food with my international diving group I set off to rent a motor bike for the afternoon. I found a family renting them out of their living room down the alley way to my hotel for 50,000 dong or $2.50 US Dollars for the afternoon – is that nuts or what less then 50 cents an hour. With a deposit of only my MA Driver’s license, a quick instruction of how to snap the helmet on and turn the bike on plus the purchase of 2 liters of petro I was about to take my life into the hands of the streets and people of Vietnam, can you say Holy Shit!!!
With only a few close mishaps, I quickly mastered the bike and learned how to maneuver around, through and in the traffic. Jordan – My driving style fits in perfectly in Vietnam, no rules and common sense is even optional. Signs and the few traffic light are total only a suggestion only and simply distract you. I love the people who drive the wrong way down a 2 lane highway, just because it is shorter… All and all my kind of driving! Simply an experiencing an adrenal rush (another life experience AKA a bar or dinner party story).
The bike gave me the ability to explore the sights and sound of the city streets and more important the sights just outside walking distance. First up was a drive along the coast to a great little spot for a beer or two, being 47 and a “little” smarter – I had a coffee and a mango smoothie. Next was a Cambodia style temple on a match box scale – Nothing like my last trip and they would not even let me climb to the top of it?
Off to the market – This is the largest and was the most importuning market per the guide books, I found it to be a tourist trap, but still interesting as I find all markets. This time I was able to see it while driving a motor bike – fun fun fun – Note to self – Do not try and eat while driving in Vietnam – So far I only bumped one car, a very normal event in this country. With a few hours of save driving under my belt I felt I was ready for the so called highway and trying to find some of the rice fields I say on the train yesterday morning on my way into town. This was a very different experience, you had cars, buses, truck with pig, chickens and everything you can image intertwined with thousands of mortar bikes and me in the middle! The rice patty were cool too!
On the way back into town I stopped at this place and walk up some 200 steps to get to the top for this picture.
After an afternoon of driving, I was as hungry as a day in Scotland with my mom! I had spied a blogging and dinner spot from the bike early and set off to find it again. I had a curried chicken dish that was out of this work and did a little blogging.
Next up was a 150,000 dong (about $7.50 USD) massage – after leaning driving I need professional help!
On the way back to my hotel booked the bike for another half day for the same $2.50.
Stay tuned for a few videos of me trying to drive – if I can ever get them to up load – No damn bandwidth in this country.
The next morning started off with breakfast at the hotel at 6:30, back on the bike for a spin around town, a coffee and to find a spot on the beach for a nap and a similar view from the other day, if you get my drift! I found a spot in the shade and after a nap it was 10:30AM – I was not disappointed with the view upon awaking – it was real and fabulous! I ordered a lunch / snack of grilled shrimp and some type of shelled thing from a woman walking on the beach. Back to the hotel, packed and in a taxi by 12:00 for the 45 minute drive to the airport. Uneventful flight –
Next up Hanoi