Biking Through Vietnam

March 7, 2012

Day 10 to 12 – After the Bike Tour

Filed under: Uncategorized — scribblygum @ 11:07 am

Here’s the final part of our Vietnam trip. The motorbike tour is over and we are about to descend into being common tourists.

We left the bikes at Da Nang and the road crew drove us to the nearby city of Hoi An. This is a major fabric trading centre and where all the overnight suits etc are made – famous in the Top Gear show.

The city is built on a river with large islands connected by bridges to the city centre. We were captivated by the traditional architecture of the old fabric trader houses on the river, and also by the wooden boats.

We are on one of the islands, looking back to the city.

 

This is a rather delightfully named cafe on one of the islands.

And this young boy came running out of the shop and wanted his photo taken with the fancy suit.

We left Hoi An that evening and got the plane from Da Nang to Hanoi. The next morning we headed off to Halong Bay, the place with all the limestone karst islands poking up.

We travelled through a lush market garden area and our driver thought we would be impressed with the lettuce farm.

Seeing as we’d now become common tourists, we took a second photo to confirm his judgement.

It was quite cold up here in the north, it seems Hanoi has winter where the south of the country doesn’t.

This is what winter on the bike looks like.

This guy was crouching right over his handlebars as if that would warm him up.

He is riding the famous Air Blade. Here in Oz we have had the FireBlade for twenty years. But Vietnam gets the AirBlade.

We are now on the traditional Vietnamese junk cruise boat. There are five couples and we are seated separately as if we are on our honeymoon.

Views from the boat. Foggy winter weather.

The guide said that the week before the fog was so thick that visibility was down to about fifty feet. Nobody saw anything.

There are lots of cruise boats. Imagine what it’s like in summer.

The islands are all limestone and there are caves for us tourists.

A floating shop (and probably her home) alongside the parking wharf.

Golden Stig turns a jaundiced eye on the tourists. The tables are set with knives and forks, not a chop stick in sight.

We are up early the next morning. View from our balcony.

We pull up at the floating fish farm where the Top Gear trip ended. They reckoned it was a bar, it wasn’t.

The place has a woman living there

and a dog.

They all have a dog for guarding the place at night. The poor animals never get to shore.

The place is filling up with cruise boats as we are pulling out.

Our cruise guide likes being in the company of esteemed guests.

Local fishing boat.

Chock a block with cruise boats.

On the way back to Hanoi. Just a few things along the road.

Look carefully. Notice the doubled up rear suspension? This guy is used to carrying heavy loads.

Police bike, the largest we saw in the country, Honda CB250.

They’d pulled up our driver and had a longish chat in the little shed there.

He wasn’t happy when he got back, probably had to ‘negotiate a fee’ for something.

When they were talking to him, another copper was pulling up everyone behind us. Nobody else had ‘the conversation.’

Loads along the way.

Dogs on their way to somewhere.

Flowers that grow along the roadside.

The traffic lights have timers. Here’s a double set.

Hanoi.

We got back to Hanoi mid afternoon and had several hours to wander the old city around our hotel. It is totally captivating.

These are just a few random shots along the streets.

We have no idea what a Pun Shop is.

Real Vietnamese bakery in Vietnam

Motorbike helmet stall. They are about the strength of an emu egg.

I bought one, marked as a Piaggio Vespa. 60,000 Dong, about $2.85

It is very hard to get a photo of a helmet stall without a scooter running into the shot.

Nuff said.

Wedding photographer with wonderful old Citroen outside.

Men’s underwear shop.

Everything gets copied in Hanoi.

Honda shop, complete with AirBlade banner and weird slogan.

It was getting a bike delivery – two trucks like this were there.

The Santa Hotel. Hey, we saw it with our own eyes.

See that ladder out the window of the cab?

Here’s the rest of it.

Golden Stig tries to chat up one of the locals in our hotel.

She is even more aloof than Golden Stig, so he turns to go home.

And that is what we did as well. We were soon flying back to Saigon, then home.

This photo tour has been a production of the [B]Kim Do[/B]es Vietnam [B]Gallery[/B].

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