We especially liked the deserted border regions in the north with China. The road conditions are generally not the worst, but you should be aware that this could change quickly. You cannot rely on the weather forecast, so we drove on despite the bad forecast and had bright sunshine; and vice versa…
A heavy rain shower or a thunderstorm can not only turn the roads into a mud battle, but also make them impassable, due to landslides or destroyed bridges. Even the cold fog can quickly take away your complete view, so that it is not only a real ride into the unknown. No, you are rapidly soaked and frozen and it is annoying not to be able to see anything of the breathtaking environment. Because that is what this landscape up there really is: gorgeous. High peaks, rice terraces, waterfalls, canyons, caves, caves and again caves, mountain villages, friendly people from different cultures. It is worth it; the north remains our favorite of what we have seen!
We had the one or other rainy and fogy days, which made us turn to the south earlier. The Ho Chi Minh Road is for sure another highlight. Outside the few villages, we hardly met any people on that road. What should not let you become unfocused, since there are all the cows, water buffalos, chickens, pigs, ducks and you never know whether a cuddle or a truck in the next bend is coming towards us on your side?
Speaking of traffic. Compared to Jakarta, Indonesia or the traffic of Lima, Peru we found the traffic quite humane. You must adapt, think for others and go with the flow. The traffic flow works; you shouldn’t be too impressed by the crowd. The main intercity roads are supply roads and full of trucks and intercity buses that afford to race. You should avoid these roads or drive with great care. It makes little sense to insist on your right, because here the law of the bigger, the stronger applies. You also always have to expect oncoming traffic on your own side and everywhere.
This is not taken too seriously here; according to the motto: ‘Nothing came yesterday, and then there will be certainly nothing today as well’. In a hairpin bend Kerstin could only avoid a truck in the ditch, which caused her a 2-day break, a lot of pain and still problems with her ankle joint. Even though complete motorcycle protection clothing, without the gear it would have been a total disaster!
Yes, we have been on the road with light luggage. Nevertheless, however, always in complete motorcycle protective clothing (boots, jacket, trousers, gloves and helmet).
One of our principles, fortunately as it turns out. Almost all tourists in Vietnam (or Southeast Asia) wear rarely any protective clothing. Although many of them do not even have driving experience.
From our point of view incomprehensible, especially since most accidents of this kind can be fatal. (And they sadly are from time to time, just two weeks after we came home there was a couple on their bike which didn’t make it home again)