After 2,800km crisscrossing through Vietnam on our beloved motorbike we made it to the capital Hanoi. There were so many beautiful stops on the way… It will take some time to sink in (probably i need to read my own blogs ro recall it all). More lies ahead in the north of Vietnam and afterwards Laos.
Adios La Furiosa
We had decided to finish our motorbike trip here and sell La Furiosa 🏍 instead of taking it further to Laos. The market in Hanoi is just bigger and so we advertised it on facebook.
First up though i had to find someone who could remove a broken screw (i broke it) from the cylinder and fix my exhaust again. Right now, i had the loudest bike in town, no power and would find it hard to sell the bike like this.
It was surprisingly hard as none of the normal bike repair guys wanted the job. Eventually a found a welder who did it for USD8. Nice to have the baby back up and running.
Owing to Laura’s persistence, we soon got some interest (vs. none for my original post 🤔… Must be the fb foto). Sadly, the first prospective buyer from the US didn’t like how the bike revved. In hindsight, the clutch slipped a bit which i fixed by simply loosening the cable a tiny bit.
So we ended up selling to a local dealer losing U$220 vs. purchase. Together with the repair cost we had it still worked out cheaper than renting.
Still, for a 3-4w trip i would probably rent next time. Didn’t like the uncertainty of selling at the end. Am pretty sure that some people get really bad deals as they have to catch flights.
Bye, bye La Furiosa!
Hanging out in Hanoi
I like Hanoi, probably more than HCM even though both have crazy traffic. On our first night we headed to the night market, but there were just tourists so that you can hardly move… Dont go!
So we made it over to beer street with more locals about enjoying the extended opening hours (until 2am in w/e & no traffic). So spring rolls, pho soup and Saigon special it is!
There is a lake right in the center of hanoi with some mystery to it – the lake of the returned sword. Legend says that the sword given to the emperor to defeat the chinese ming now rests here. At night it is particularly nice to watch.
For our first full day, after a massage, we booked a walking tour with local students around old town and talked a lot about all sort of things – after all it is not easy to communicate here.
Highlight was the french style train bridge and the art street with dog roast vendors – something i saw for the first time and Laura is disgusted by being dog lover and born in the year of the dog.
The Chinese zodiac is a classification scheme that assigns to each animal and its reputed attributes every 12-year cycle. The 12-year cycle is approximating to the 11.85-year orbital period of Jupiter.
I am born in the year of the goat. Depending in which part of the 12y in 60y cycle the goat is born it is classified by element – Metal (gold), wood, fire, earth, water. I am an earth goat 🐐 – so i am ‘Righteous, honest, straightforward, and will never harm my friends.‘ Well,
Talking of Chinese zodiacs, the upcoming Tet festival or lunar new year was ever-present. Markets were loaded with all sorts of chinese decoration ahead of the big party on 3rd of February. Around that time Vietnam enjoys two weeks holiday. Sadly, we will miss it. At least we now know what the meaning of all trees is – kind of a xmas tree for lunar new year.
Having managed to sell the bike by day 3 in the morning, we had time to visit the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum and museum. Sadly the former is closed all Mondays while the latter monday afternoons. So just a peep from the outside.
Back in the center it was time for a little shopping, dinner and off we went to catch the night train north towards Sapa… The final big stop on our Vietnam itinerary.