Hue to Hoi An

Left this morning for Hoi An, Vietnam’s answer to Savile Row (and where the Top Gear guys got their suits made).  They can make you pretty much anything, pointing to it in a magazine, choosing your materials and getting measured is all thats required. I met a Serbian girl in Hanoi who had thigh-high strapped sandals made. It took her 15 minutes to put them on, but i’ve got to tell you, the effect was worth it. Everybody seems to be getting suits made, but all i actually want is my army boots repaired. I’m easily pleased.

Anyway, Dan and Brian (the Canadian guys) were a day ahead of us, but we arranged last night to ride down with 2 guys (Phil and Joe) from the Isle of Man (who’re obsessed with C90’s, have bought a Dream and a Wave here, and wheelie them everywhere), and Charlie, a very nice guy who made the tragic error of buying a Minsk.

Topping up the tanks before we left. Phil and Joe in the foreground. We took the scenic route out of Hue, which was lovely, although slightly misguided in retrospect…

Charlie. Look at him there, proudly displaying his ride, which he’d christened Tatiana.

Tatiana’s first breakdown, after barely half an hour of riding. As soon as you get out of the cities, foreigners are minor celebrities, so in minutes we were totally surrounded. Thankfully, you’re never more than about half a mile from mechanic, so after an hour spent getting the carb stripped and cleaned, we were off again. Joe entertained the kids wheelieing down the street as we left.

Second, or perhaps third Minsk breakdown, you lose track after a while. Again a mechanic. Again half an hour of pissing about. At least the scenery was nice. And then we found…

A coracle! Which we forced Joe to get in so we could take a pic. Its nice to see the Vietnamese are finally catching up with the latest Welsh technical advances.

After this, Charlie’s bike broke down again. Phil and Joe stayed with him, and me, Steffan and Laurens went on ahead, hoping to get to Hoi An before it got dark. We later found out that after a number of further breakdowns, Charlie just filmed himself rolling the Minsk off a cliff and got on the back of one of the other guys. And actually, the scenery around the Hai Van pass on the way to Hoi An was so amazing we made rubbish time stopping to take pics every 5 minutes. Time for a double thumbs up pic!

View down at the road we’d just ridden.

More curvy road fun.

At the top. Once we got there, we switched the engines off and rolled all the way down the other side, doing our best to overtake each other along the way. No idea what speed we hit though, since the speedo is kaput.

Then we went all out for Hoi An, through the industrial city zone that is Da Nang in rush hour traffic. Steffan managed to film part of it on his camera too, so i’ll have to get a copy of that one. Since we’d been so slow, the last half hour to Hoi An was in darkness, which would have been fine, except for the tiny glow they laughably refer to as my headlight, and the fact that my visor was stinking. So i had to ride with it up. Just as all the insects come out. I think i collected about 20 species in my beard by the time we found our hotel.

Thankfully the hotel, when we got here, is amazing. It has a pool, carved bannisters, and balconies for each room. Its costing me $5 a night. I love Vietnam.


~ by zendog888 on 21/11/2010.

4 Responses to “Hue to Hoi An”

  1. You need to get me a high res image of that road! Epic twisty road is epic and twisty!

  2. Are there any crap views over there, are there no views consisting of council estates and piss covered matresses?

  3. I have a slightly bigger pic, and i’m sure Steffan has some seriously high res ones. Will try and email you some. And little bro, there are plenty of shitholes. If you want a post about horrible rubbish, unpleasant looking food and crappy shacks, i’ll be happy to oblige. In many ways, thats the real Vietnam.

  4. Hi
    on the sick with a touch of “flu” son. Hope alls well with you, its all lookin good!! xx

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