Northern Vietnam: big mistake or no?
Here I resume the story of our two ill-fated heroes as they have survived the “4 Day Guided Excursion” that turned into a 2 week, self-guided, adventure through the muddy, rainy mountains of northern Vietnam.
As you may know, our initial plan was to do the quick 4 day trip and then come back to Hanoi to pick up the rest of our belongings and service our bikes. After that we would head to Halong Bay, then take our time riding through the North.
That’s when we began talking to Jan (pronounced “Yawn”), a new German friend around my age, that planned to follow a pre-programmed GPS through all of Vietnam for 30 days. He shows us his itinerary and it covers everything we planned to do and more, with the added benefit of all accommodations and meals booked ahead of time for one low price!
We talk it through and decide: F@%k it, let’s go for it.
We have the rest of our luggage delivered to our next stop on the list, and we’re off. These next 2 weeks were a whirlwind of long hours spent on our bikes (and off our bikes when we wrecked, but this is a story for another day), trying to locate the next homestay, and chugging rice wine with our hosts.
Here’s the plan (or you can go check out our map page if you’re more of a visual person like me):
Hanoi - Lang Su
Lang Su - Mai Chau
Mai Chau - Son La
Son La - Than Uyen
Than Uyen - Sapa
Sapa - Bac Ha
Bac Ha - Hoang Su Phi
Hoang Su Phi - Ha Giang
Ha Giang - Dong Van
Dong Van - Bao Lac
Bao Lac - Quang Uyen
Quang Uyen - Lang Son
Lang Son - Halong
While it was anything but easy, we had the time of our life, and created memories that we will never forget.
TL;DR - We got hurt (but not too hurt). We got cold (probably too cold). What do we regret? Absolutely nothing.