This part of the trip could have been a lot more enjoyable than it was. A lot had to do with my state of mind, and the fact that I couldn't get out of the negative rut I had so easily fallen into. I guess I was expecting the beauty and friendliness and warmth and greatness of Thailand, but with a Vietnamese twist. Obviously that was not the case, and I was met with many challenges that I didn't know how to deal with. My previous travelling experiences were very different. I usually stayed in one place and took part in some sort of course or activity throughout my stay there. That is how I spend my time, socialized and relaxed.
Travelling through Vietnam actually required travel. Going from one place to another, from one hotel/hostel to another, finding good places to eat at, finding good trips and adventures to take part in, meeting new people and getting along or not.
I realize now that I didn't spend a lot of time preparing myself, and thinking about how to approach all the different experiences, good and bad.
It's so much easier the other way. So much more relaxing. Why go through all this hassle? But there's a value in this struggle. You learn and you grow and you find out things about yourself and your surrounding that you weren't aware of before. How else can you grow and learn if everything is easy, and no real effort has to be put into something?
It's not that I didn't do anything before, but before it was easy, and very natural. This was difficult and totally not the kind of activity I'm used to.
I'm glad I challenged myself and stepped out of my comfort zone. I need to do that more often!
Anyways, here are the beautiful pictures I have taken along the way.
This was the bus from Ho Chi Min (Saigon). It was actually really comfortable.
And here started my Easy Rider 5 day tour up to Hoi An. I bought this trip from my hotel, and unfortunately was ripped off quite a lot. It turned out that my guide and driver wasn't actually a guide at all, but just a driver. He didn't really know much, or tell me much about anything. But, anyways, it was still beautiful and a very different way of getting across the country. I'll be more careful next time.
These were traditional mountain people meeting halls. A foreigner came here and wanted to make a resort with huts only of this style, but the government somehow stopped him. So now all these are abandoned and half finished.
A little rest stop along the way. All the villages had a similar gate. The name, the communist star, and some flags.
Sugar cane is a very common crop in Vietnam, especially in the southern regions.
And this was a baby watermelon :)
Oh tasty, and sweet and juicy :)
There wasn't a lot of traffic.
This was another Easy Rider.
Since Vietnam is a communist country, there are propaganda posters pretty much everywhere. In every little village there's a government building, and outside that building there are lots of posters. Even around the schools there are posters. They were very interesting, so I too lots of pics. Here they are.
And this is one of the many many wedding tents we passed by. Loud music, many people, lots of food and lots of motorcycles were there.
We stopped by a shop that made these beautiful pieces of furniture out of tree stumps dug up from different farmers fields. Really something beautiful.
There were lots of these typical statues. The soldier with the grains.
Coffee drying out in the front of someones house.
Cocoa tree and cocoa fruit. I took one and later opened it up. Very strange.
I love my hair.
Rice paddies prepped for replanting.
This was the first nights accommodation in a mountain village traditional house.
This is what one looks like from the back.
This was the front, and the motorcycle in the front with my bags all wrapped up and water proof.
Cute piglets piled up and sleeping.
This is how big the cocoa fruit is.
Cute puppy that I couldn't help play with :).
And now for an interesting elephant ride through a pretty deep river.
Like I said, we went pretty deep in.
Bonsai were everywhere. They are really expensive, really old, and a sign of prosperity and social standing for the family.
Then we went to visit some snakes.
It was trying to wrap itself around me.
Mom and daughter.
This is what the coffee fruit looks like.
Inside there were two coffee beans.
They are fresh now, so they need to be dried and other things before it's ready to make coffee out of it.
It didn't taste like coffee.
And this is how pepper grows. It grows in a vine that climbs up a tree.
Coffee flower. The next generation of coffee plants.
Dinosaur following me.
I'm poking it's nose. It's very funny.
It had a big mouth. I wonder if it could have swallowed me whole.
Very cool root swing under a big rock covered with roots.
These students were at the waterfalls eating oranges. I sat with them for a while and tried to communicate. Very friendly.
This rock is really strange. I was told it keeps growing. Strange!
Love this van. One day, I'll have one like it and live in it and travel across some country :).
My breakfast. Can of beans, omelet, soy sauce, and an insanely thick and strong coffee.
Then we visited a rubber farm. Lots of rubber trees everywhere, tapped and being harvested. Very cool to see.
The lion got my hand!!
These were everywhere. So beautiful. They spread and grew really large. There were red, pink, and white too.
Exotic meat BBQ. We had Venison and Porcupine.
At one of the hotels, they had a cute dog with super super cute puppies. They were very very young.
Going through the mountains now. Most of the people here weren't ethnically Vietnamese, but were some sort of tribal people, who looked different and spoke a different language.
Up there, where the mist is, that's where we're gonna drive over.
Here we're at the top. Really beautiful and prehistoric plants were everywhere.
It was huge. A jungle everywhere.
The end of the motorcycle trip. Almost done :)