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Viêt Nam instants borderline

Chosen instants along the Chinese and Lao borders. Last days in Vietnam and not realizing how immersive the experience is : travelling as deaf for the language, as a local for the choice of the motorbike, as a lifetime journey for the inspiring travelers and people met, as an explorer for the roads.

En longeant la frontière d’abord chinoise puis laotienne, instants choisis, et quelques flashs qui reviennent avant de devoir sortir du Viêt Nam.

 

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Speleo Viêt Nam 

2 days, 2 caves found on the road, and 2 different experiences :

1- Dong Tien Son : first experience, cave not enlightened, we advance with a torch in the underground river.

2 – Dong Pu Sam Cap : enlightened cave, easy ! But could not visit the second part of the cave as too much mud entered during the last days..

Pics are mix and match between the two caves.

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On the road to North Vietnam -on the way to Ha Giang

Of course we are too slow to get to our destination of the day, Yen Min, before the sunset. Though it is not a problem, as the road is still amazing. Sky gets dark, clouds get bigger, as if we were told to get away. But the colours get more vivid. We continue to stop everywhere, all the time to appreciate. 

Évidemment on roule trop lentement depuis la frontière chinoise pour arriver à notre destination, Yen Min, de jour. Mais ce n’est pas un problème, la route continue d’être belle, et nous fait arrêter partout, tout le temps. Le ciel s’assombrit, les nuages s’épaississent, comme pour dire qu’il faut partir. Mais c’est pour le bonheur des yeux, car avec ce temps les paysages nous offrent des images surréalistes. Entre l’épaisse couche de nuages qui laisse deviner un coucher de soleil imminent, les karsts, noirs, les cultures, dorées, et la jungle, verdoyante, la route contraste et trace son chemin.

2wheels rules

The Honda Win, made for winners !

« 2 people on this motorbike!? With the backpack?! » We’ve heard so many times and that is part of the game. Everyone has his style of traveling, and definitely motorbike is a great way to travel north of Vietnam. The roads invite you to a great journey, you can stop anytime to a place you like, and you can go off the beaten track. Here are a few things to know before starting :

First, get rid of the unnecessary. From the extreme temperatures of India to now in here, we could remove 6kg of luggage and send them back home. Then as we did in India, we transformed our 2 backpacks into one of 12 kg, and lied it down on a rack welded at the first day of the journey. If you still need something here, you can find it at any city.

Second, do like the locals. We may dedicate a post to this topic later on. The Vietnamese use their motorbikes for everything. Transporting bags of cement, food, a living pig, a box of chickens, iron bars lying on the road, 3 people… Many backpackers met on the road travel together on the same bike. But remember the road is dangerous and you can’t hit the road without the next steps.

Third, maintain your bolide. Garage maintenance is cheap, quick, easy to find. Oil change every 500km, daily chain lube and tension, daily brake and engine checks. This will make your journey safer.

Fourth, ride safe ride slow. The traffic can be hard, especially overtaking and trucks using the full width of the road. Moreover the views can make you stop at any time. So take it easy, shorten the daily distance and enjoy your journey.

Fifth, well no fifth, as there are only 4 gears on Vietnamese motorbikes 🙂

On the road to North Viêt Nam (N&B)

Sur la route des montagnes du Nord,

Il y a des flous,


Il y a des stops, des choix,


Et des moments oú il faut avancer,


Des moments uniques à deux,


Et des moments de partage avec des voyageurs,


Il y a des gens, partout,


Ou qui sont déjà passés par là.
Et surtout il y a la route,


Les lignes droites,


Et les routes qui tournent,


Celles oú l’on demande le chemin,


Et celles oú l’on s’arrête, un instant.

Good Morning Viêt Nam

90% humidity, 2000m altitude going up and down, you know you will then deserve it. And a 100cc motorbike to move around will make the most immersed way to travel around there : slow ride, eyes open, soul and mind open as well. This is now the beginning of a motorbike journey over the Vietnam and Chinese Border. 

Humidité 90%, altitude 2000m avec des montées et des descentes,  les kilomètres dans la région vont se mériter. Et une moto plus proche de la mobylette pour se fondre dans l’ambiance ne fera qu’augmenter l’immersion : rouler lentement, garder les yeux grands ouverts, tout comme l’esprit! Départ pour un voyage à moto le long de la frontière sino-vietnamienne !

New Country – Nouveau Pays

Welcome to another world. A place where colours seem more vivid, the roads curvier, the landscapes wider. Is it the effect of our local motorbike (a small but efficient 100cc mono cylinder) that makes you feel smaller ? 

The altitudes are not stealing the oxygen of your lungs, but the road and the views can be breathtaking.

The ethnies from the mountains  will not make a big conversation in English, but the hundred smiles a day you meet make memorable moments. Welcome to the Northern Viet Nam.

Bienvenue dans un autre monde. Un endroit où les couleurs semblent plus vives, les routes plus courbées, les paysages plus larges encore. Est ce l’effet de notre nouvelle moto locale qui nous fait paraître plus petit à cet endroit ?

Les altitudes à près de 2000m n’ont pas de quoi enlever beaucoup d’oxygène dans les poumons. Mais la route est à couper le souffle. La mâchoire se décroche avec un Waaaw qui se prolonge au fil des cols et des virages.

Les ethnies de ces villages montagneux ne vont pas faire une grande conversation, mais peu importe, comme les mots manquent pour décrire ce que l’on peut vivre ici. Et les centaines de visages souriants rencontrés font des moments mémorables. Bienvenue dans la région Nord du Vietnam.