We're on the road!
The Vietnamese Highway number one! Going all the way up from the South to the north!
Two days ago we arrived in Nha Trang, a touristy beach village at the south east coast of Vietnam. In general I think, Nha Trang is a pretty nice place, but there are too many tourists walking around. I felt like on a Russian Mallorca. Threre are so many Russian tourists, that even all the menues are translated in to Russian. Anyway, we wanted to stay for at least a day. What else could we do then go with the flow?
We booked a "Four islands tour" for 6 dollar each, which would entertain us a day long. It was a usual tourist tour, where they pick you up at the hotel, bring you to a central tourist gathering point, give you a guide who then brings you to your boat. He tells you jokes, sings or makes you sing, does whatever is necessary to not let get bored. We did some snorkeling but the weather as well as the snorkeling equiptment wasn't too good, so that was pretty much a fail. But hey, at least the last part was pretty cool. They put a big floating ring in the water, in which one guy gave out drinks to everyone around. Loud music, jumping off the boat in clear blue water, and then having cocktails in a floating ring in the water is something I haven't thought about. Anyway, I am going to save you the pictures, they're not that great! :D
Now to the real deal. After that day of random tourism, we decided to definitely get away from it all. On the way back from the trip a guy approached us on the street, as it turned out, offering his services as a tour guide. We were interested and let him explain it all to us.
Tom, a 52 year old, Vietnamese father who's putting his childs through University, is now our guide on a Roadtrip from Nha Trang to Hoi An.
Of course it's not as easy as it sounds. The sad thing about Vietnam is, that you cannot trust anyone. Anyone! Talking to people, by whom you've been approached, it will not let you take longer then two minutes to realize they only want one thing. Your money.
After a few days you get dull. You get unpolite. People make you acting unpolite because it's simply impossible to deal with it another way.
Even a look at someone offering you something, is rated as general interest and will make them talk to you more, and more and more.
Not to mention that mostly people give you a starting price of four times as much as I end up paying in the end. Or just try to take your money and give you nothing in exchange. Scams, all over the place. You'll be very poor if you don't watch out.
So well, this guy wants to be our guide for a few days... After a rough price negotiation there were many questions comming up. But at last he seemed like a pretty decent guy who also had a pretty decent book of recommendations to show us. People from all over the world wrote something in his book, left a picture. Looked pretty original. We gave him a deposit of 40 bucks out of 140, in exchange for his Vietnamese Id.
A little faith in people isn't too bad, but being careful is so important here.
Anyhow.. We already did 140 kilometers today. I can just repeat it once again. Vietnamese streets are crazy. Everything's on it. Motorbikes, cars, trucks, tractors, cows, children, or children on bikes. Dogding is one ability that you might want to bring here. 10-15 centimeter deep holes in the street can be your end if you don't watch out.
To make it simple, it's dangerous. I am freaking tired after 5 hours or driving.
Nevertheless, it's totally worth it. I am a good driver and feel save on the bike. People watch out for each other. The landscape is awesome and it feels like a dream driving on a cliff highway, looking out on the ocean every turn. Going through little villages in which people might have never seen a foreigner. We're staying in a hotel in which the last white person checked in a month ago. Tom is taking us to all those local restaurants, fishing villages and cool places to take pictures.
I am super happy about putting in a little faith, in hope that it might be as great as this untill we arrive. Tomorrow we're going to decide whether or not to leave our originally planned route and turn west into the mountains, where the traffic is calmer, slower, the roads are better and more fun to drive. Ho Chi Minh Trail, as Tom called it. I am not sure if it's really worth it, or just a bait to make us make use of his services for two days longer then we wanted. I guess, I should have a little faith again. What comes arround, goes arround, as Tom says :)
Enjoy the pictures, and don't worrie, I am good driver!
Ps. Guide 45 dollars a day, our bike 6, our accomodation 10. 30 dollars a head each day.
PPs. I will tell Emilie to make a few pictures when there actually is traffic! :D I am the driver, she's responsible for pictures.