Biking around with easyriders on the Ho Chi Minh Trail
I never thought of doing it but once Tuya told me about it, I knew I would go for it!Easyriders..I don’t know if you have them in other places but Vietnam, but here it is pretty well known. The idea is to drive through (a part of) Vietnam by renting a motorbike and an easyrider, whome will also be your guide during the easyrider tour. You can choose to drive the motorbike yourself or to be the passenger on the easyrider’s bike. We went for the 2nd option. We initially planned on a 1 day tour Hoi An-Hue, but than again, Andy (at the end our guide/easyrider) his selling skills were sooooo good, that we ended up booking a 4 days/3 nights Hoi An-Hue loop, going all west on the Ho Chi Minh Trail with plenty of stops on the road! Meals were not included in the price. Sometimes we cooked ourselves and another time we went to a local place and shared the bill. No mather which it was, each time it was supertasty! Usually they tag our backpack on the back of the motorbike but for some reason we were only ‘allowed’ to take a small daypack with the needs for these 4 days. The big one would be send to our final destination, which is Hue. Meaning I pretty much worn the same clothes for 4 days.. Anyway, we started the first day with a coffee at a charity coffeebar Ong Vang Charity, a Hoi An based organisation helping the poor of this city and where our guide Andy is helping out when he is not on the road.
Further on that day we stopped at a pineapple farm and one of the minority villages in the area. The day before our visit, the people of the village caught and killed a boar. They sold most of the meat but kept it’s head as food for the villages.
The next day was really really cold! Well it started only cold, and than without any notice a wall of mist shows up right in front of us! But even though, I wouldn’t have want it different. Mountains covered in a white silk blanket makes me wondering what secrets lays behind this blanket.. Anyway, layered up with clothes, stockings, jeans, windjacket, rainjacket…(pretty much everything I had in my small daypack!) we headed for 2 more minority hill tribes, the A Luoi and the Prao.
The route brought us really close to a Vietnam/Laos border. Andy’s dad hasn’t been to this particular border yet and as he is a Vietnamese citizen he didn’t need a visa to enter Laos. Me, on the other hand, SHOULD need one but because I look so Asian, I crossed it without one 😉 Well, we only crossed it to take some pics, we did came back to the Vietnamese side after only 10 minutes, where poor Tuya was waiting for us as she, white as she was, was not allowed to even sneak into Laos. 😆
3 other things were planned on the morning of New Years Eve. An old military US base, a military cemetery for Vietcong soldiers and a visit to the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone).And of course celebrating 2013 was coming to an end!! We did it in style on the beach with a nice campfire and a few bottles of good Lao ricewine! Celebrating with locals, yeah! Mot, Hai, Ba, Yo!!!!!!
HAPPY 2014! CHUC MUNG NAM MOI!! It felt unrealistic being in a foreign country for new year. Don’t think I’ve ever spent NY outside Belgium :-)We started this day with going to the Vinh Moc tunnels, a tunnel complex in the past located on the border of North Vietnam and South Vietnam. Other than the Cu Chi Tunnels, walking through the Vinh-Moc-tunnels is a lot more comfortable, because the height of the tunnels allows even non-eastern people to stand upright. The tunnels were more than 2000 meters long and included wells, kitchens, rooms for each family and spaces for healthcare.
These incredible 4 days ended with a short walk in Hue, visiting the Imperial Citadel andthe Thien Mu Pagode. Maybe we should have stayed an extra day in Hue to explore it more but as we already bought traintickets to Hanoi, we at the end didn’t.
This tour with the Hoi An Easyriders was definitely one of the highlights of my trip! I recommend it to everyone! If it’s not in Vietnam, than somewhere else. Just do it! Thanks also to Andy An his dad Mr Pham for biking us around!