Cycling Around Vietnam - August 2006

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If you have any preconceptions about Vietnam, make sure you leave them out when packing your bags.  Bustling with enthusiasm, green and very fertile lands, this is not the old 'command economy' brand of communism that we would recognize from the former Eastern European countries, but a hybrid; an active market economy operating on the streets, while 'The Party' presides over the big things.  The country is certainly poor and times are hard, with neither guaranteed employment nor state provided secondary schooling, but the country is determinedly set on a course of full industrialization within 15 years, there is activity everywhere, and you won't find anyone going hungry. 

Our group of 18 spent 11 days cycling around the southern part of the country, before taking a train up to Hanoi to finish off the fortnight.  My biggest frustration was not being able to communicate (I have never tackled a tonal language before, and didn't get on very well, although Vietnamese is apparently fairly straightforward to learn).   But a smile is universal, and people are always interested and pleased to meet you - especially the children, who would run out into the streets as we passed by, and anyone older than 6 would nearly take your hand off with a 'high five' as you cycled by.

There are 10 pages of photographs - click on the links below to get started.


Getting Started - Saigon and the Cu Chi Tunnels

 


Around Dalat


Coming Down from the Mountains

 


Nha Trang


Vietnam Lowlands

 


Hoi An


The Road To Hué

 


Around Hué


Hanoi

 


Halong Bay

 

 

 

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