Vietnam – Motorcycle trip: crossing Vietnam in Honda Win – Episode 2: buying a motorcycle in Hanoi

Motorcycle tour: crossing Vietnam in Honda Win

Vietnam - Motorcycle trip: crossing Vietnam in Honda Win - Episode 2: buying a motorcycle in Hanoi

Enora, biker and yoga teacher in Paris, wanted a break. Deciding to live her dreams rather than dream her life, she sells her apartment to embark on a “ limitless ” journey and tells us about her crossing of Vietnam on a Honda Win 110 cc.

Episode 2: buy a motorbike in Hanoi

It is in Laos, in the far north, installed in a rudimentary bamboo bungalow, facing the river and the mountains, that I decide to join Vietnam..

I had some very nice experiences here, including a fantastic trek during which I discovered my reaction to wasp stings after three calf bites: painful but still alive (thanks to the local booze: a few bites to the end of the meal and you forget any notion of pain!)

But I get tired of my dependence on buses and the very touristy side, fashioned for young "backpakers", in certain cities..

I thought about joining Vietnam by the north and its mountains (famous for its rice fields and its small villages), but I have this pressing desire to live my roadtrip on a motorbike and go for the sea, which I miss terribly ! So where is the best place to buy a motorcycle? Hanoi, of course !

So I have to go back to Luang Prabang (Laos) to take a night bus and finally reach Hanoi. 24 hours of travel planned … more than 30 in the end (a long unexplained wait at the border post, chaotic roads, in short: the vagaries of bus trips …)

When the bus starts, honestly I don’t know where I’m going or what to expect there … Would I really have the courage to carry out this delirium on a motorcycle? The fear is there, very present. That of getting ripped off when buying a motorbike, of having an accident in this crazy city traffic or on the roads with the many trucks, of getting lost, etc., etc..

But I tell myself that I have time and time is a luxury! It will allow me in particular, perhaps, to meet someone with whom to ride.

But what I’m getting into !?

In this bus, I exchange a few words with an Englishman who himself is chatting with a French couple. This couple is on a world tour and their next stop is … Hanoi, to buy a motorbike and go down to Saigon! Lucky me! Chance would have it…

The feeling goes really well and it’s decided I join them. I therefore consider at least the first part of the trip more calmly. Simply delighted !

However, the bus trip on the Vietnamese part does not reassure me too much: I discover roads in total construction, dusty, intense traffic, almost non-existent driving rules, two-wheelers gently honked in the wrong way so that ‘they push each other to the side … But what I’m getting into !?

The next day, we start looking for our motorcycles … There are lots of them in the streets where the hotels for "backpakers" are located. Not easy to choose … So we go there by feeling! It will be $ 250 per motorcycle with helmet, rack, turnbuckles, padlock, map (unused because Google Map is much more practical) and … beer included !

I still very much admire my travel companion. She learned to ride a motorcycle just a few weeks earlier in Cambodia with her boyfriend and despite the redundant stalls in the middle of the crazy traffic of Hanoi (not easy to pass this famous first gear which requires tact and finesse), she persists and manages to bring the bike from the garage (for the pseudo revision) to our hotel !


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