On 5th April I ran a 5 day competition on my Facebook Page for the chance for one lucky winner to win a t-shirt. This was done in support of fellow motorcycle vlogger Maka The Cornish Emmet and the launch of his new Proapoc clothing range, in which he also kindly designed a ladies t-shirt with my logo on. All the entrants had to do was comment on the post with their most incredible journey motorcycle journey and what made it so special.
It wasn’t a huge competition and was in fact the 1st I had run on the site but I still got some good responses. What I found great was peoples different interpretations of motorcycle journey’s from just starting out and getting their licenses, enjoying time with friends and loved ones to taking journeys with others at the end of their life. But their could only be one winner and the story that stood out the most for me was that of Trevor Ford and his Vietnamese adventure. With his permission he has allowed me to share his story with you.
The thing that moved me with Trevor’s story wasn’t just because I have personally always wanted to do such a trip to Vietnam on the bike but also because he took this trip with a group of friends (6 of them in total) all aged between 58 and 68. It just goes to show you’re never too old too keep enjoying motorcycle adventures with your mates. I too hope I will still be doing the same when I get to their age!
It was suggested to me by a friend named Neil that we ride the Ho Chi Minh Trail. There were three friends that he used to go to school with and another local guy that went. We decided between us to do different jobs and mine was to plan the route which also had to take in account a couple of diversions to Ha long Bay and Da nang
We landed in Hanoi where we had a hotel booked. The next step was to buy our bikes off the street. Two of us managed to buy cheap bikes off dealers while the other four hired new bikes. This was the bike I bought:
We left Hanoi for Ha long bay and within 45 minutes were completely lost in Hanoi so had to stop for directions. When we set off again my GoPro captured one of the guys falling off his bike.
We left Hanoi for Ha long Bay and hired a massive boat for the 6 of us similar to this:
We then headed South West for the Ho Chi Minh Highway that runs through the mountains. It was here in the mountains I remember having a delicious bowl of Vietnamese soup.
Plans changed slightly in Son Trach when the group (much to my disappointment) decided they wanted to cut out a days riding and head straight to Danang. We spent all day riding over 200 miles in the pouring rain ending with a huge mountain climb around hairpin bends in the dark just before we entered Da nang,
The next day I headed south solo over the infamous Dragon Bridge towards Hoi An whilst the rest of the group had a mooch around Da nang.
It was with reluctance from myself again that we put the bikes on the train for Saigon whilst we followed behind the next day on a 24hr sleeper in a Victorian aged carriage.
We visited the War Remnants Museum in Saigon. This was a very moving experience as it showed the real affects the Vietnam war had on the people here in particular the effects in birth defects from agent orange:
Whilst the others spent time in Saigon I jumped on my bike and had a day riding around the Mekong Delta .
The following day I rode to the Cu Chi Tunnels and crawled around underground on my hands and knees. The Vietnamese guide shot through the tunnels like a sewer rat. This picture shows me in the command /control centre dug out underground.
Now we were nearing the end of our trip we needed to sell the bikes of the street so I put a for sale sign on the back of my bike.
The following morning a young French lad wanting to ride to Hoi An bought it off me.
Apart from a hotel at the start of and finish nothing else was booked which all added to the adventure. We all want to go back again and ride the other half of the highway. I now have a friend at Saigon Harley Davidson who has offered to act as a guide so I hope to meet him again and get some local knowledge of all the best places to go.
This adventure has opened up door to many more adventures, I am currently working on a few off road routes to ride the Pony Express Trail across America plus an off road South African trip. I have bought a Triumph Tiger XCx specially.
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