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Cyber SPOTTER
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Day 1 & 2

Left Sydney Airport on JetStar (budget) flight to Vietnam with a 2 hour stopover in Darwin. Total trip was 11 hours on an A320 with non reclinable seats.

This was my worst ever flight and raises the notion that " You get what you pay for".

Arrived at 9.30pm local time at Ho Chi Minh city airport - temperature is 28 deg & humidity 2Million%- arrrgh! Spot a guy holding up a card with my name on it. Loads us into a new Toyota van with Air conditioning on Artic setting - things are looking up :)

Arrive at the beautiful Majestic Hotel this confirms the notion " You DO get what you pay for".

The Protagonists

From L-R Mrs MVista , MVista & MVista's Sis in law, Ho Chi Minh keeping any eye on things at City Hall.



Checking out the traffic - learning the road rules- Rule 1. There are no rules. Rule 2. See Rule 1.




Checked our Vespas - Selected our rides - Pic Day three will reveal selections - Choices

& more Choices:


Tomorrow things start in ernest with some real road riding. Weather forecast is is 35 deg & 2million% humidity yet again. Will farewell Ho Chi Ninh - next time we are here is catch a flight home. It's filthy, smelly, overcrowded but I know I am going to miss it.
 

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How about some more pics of Mrs. MVista and your sister in law. I saw loads of Vespas when I lived in Rome.
 

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Ahh nice holiday there, well done!

re: flight, you have to experience the bad to appreciate the good :)
 

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Very interesting, please more photos and story. I was two Years in Vietnam. One Year in Vung Tau and the other time in HCMC District 1. At the time in Vung Tau I had a Honda CBR250 and every ride was causing, at least once, to stop my heart. Traffic id really highly dangerous and You see smashed scooters and riders regularly on the side of the road. Good luck an keep us posted.
 

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This is cool! ever since i saw that Top Gear episode, ive wanted todo something like this. Look forward to the updates :)
 

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Jason + Stanley Knife + D.I.Y = Casualty and
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nice one fella me love the scoots

plenty of pics please

and most of all have fun
 

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Cyber SPOTTER
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Discussion Starter #12
Good Itentions

Hi all,

Don't worry we weren't part of the 23,000 annual road toll in Vietnam.

I had intented to blog the trip on a daily basis - however, the flaw in that plan was that I was expected to have reliable internet service & computer services at the same place, at the same time. The magnificent Majestic Hotel in Ho Chi Minh city led me into a false expectation of reality in Vietnam. This was the the first & last place that I was able to get fast internet and a computer with a reasonable processor - my blogs were not possible beyond then.

Road Rules - I initailly said there weren't any I stand corrected:

1. While crossing the street, you must walk in a slow constant pace.

2. Motorbikes will pass you around… Be careful though… Cars, trucks and buses might use you as a “slowdown bump” (see also rule #10)

3. Giving way is in direct relation with the size of the vehicle. The bigger the vehicle the more “right of way” it has.

4. Red light in Vietnam is actually a special “shade of green”. It is known as a “late green”. It means you can still keep on driving unless you hit something… or something hits you…

5. When you turn right you should never look left.

6. If you don’t see it – it doesn’t exist. Hence, if you don’t see it you always have the “right of way”.

7. If you cross the road on a red light - that’s ok (see rule #3).

8. Trucks and buses should always turn right from the most left lane.

9. Motorbikes and bicycles should always turn left from the most right lane.

10. Driving against traffic is always acceptable and sometimes even preferred. In fact to make a left turn, you turn into coming traffic and progressively merge right until you are in the correct side of the road.

11. On a dark rainy night you should always cover your motorbike headlights with your raincoat to protect the electricals.

12. Crosswalk (“Zebra cross”) are not meant for crossing. They actually mark a high danger zone. They are “Pedestrian slowdown bump” zones.

13. When you make a turn you should signal after turning.

14. In a jammed crossroad, you should keep on going forward until you make sure no one else can pass and sit stationary, shoulder to shoulder with every other commuter.

15. Helmets are fashion accessories. You should protect your helmet from scratches, bad weather, dust and rain by not wearing it.

16. Traffic police officers job is not to control traffic. It’s to collect donations.

17. Limitation of number of passengers in a vehicle is as follows:

a/ Motorbike – up to 6 people, 8 pigs, 2 cows or 20 chickens.
b/ Car – up to 20 people, 16 pigs, 3 cows or 50 chickens.
c/ Bus – Limited only the the strength of the doors… and roof.........
d/ Trucks - Whatever fits to overflowing & then add 100% on top of that.

I'll post some pics & vids as soon as I get a chance.... :)
 

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King of Bling
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Goooooooood morning, Vietnam!

Hey Rob..

Sounds like your having a blast out there in Narm.. Please do post up some pics when you get the opportunity.

As far as the Vietnam weather is concerned, here is the latest weather report from the BBC meteorological dept :

“The weather out there today is hot and shitty with continued hot and shitty in the afternoon. Tomorrow a chance of continued crappy with a pissy weather front coming down from the north. Basically, it's hotter than a snake's ass in a wagon rut.”

By the way, Mvista's Sister in Law looks Hot !:naughty:


Take care mate and have fun.:)
 

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To 1: You should cross the in a steady constant speed without watching at the traffic. In this case the Vitnamese think You didn't saw them and will avoid hitting You. If You look at the traffic peoples believe You saw them and will ultimately run You over if You step on the road.
It takes really big balls to do it but finally You get acustomized to it, because You learn it works.
Other than that Your report is brilliant.
 

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Good to hear from you Rob.
I though you had got yourself lost in the Golden Triangle, or found some lucrative import/export business contacts to lure you in to staying for while longer.
I love the scooter riding in places like that. its so intense and fun at the same time. every outing is a death defying trip, and a rush at the end of it just being able to survive.
Have fun and look after the girls..
Post some pics when you get the chance.
 

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Cyber SPOTTER
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Discussion Starter #16
Hey Rob..

Sounds like your having a blast out there in Narm.. Please do post up some pics when you get the opportunity.

As far as the Vietnam weather is concerned, here is the latest weather report from the BBC meteorological dept :

“The weather out there today is hot and shitty with continued hot and shitty in the afternoon. Tomorrow a chance of continued crappy with a pissy weather front coming down from the north. Basically, it's hotter than a snake's ass in a wagon rut.”

By the way, Mvista's Sister in Law looks Hot !:naughty:


Take care mate and have fun.:)
Thanks John, spot on weather report - the beauty of it is that you can use it all year round & never be wrong! :laughing:

Thanks for the SIL compliment also, she is recently divorced and going through the usual not so good stuff, she'll be quite chuffed :)

To 1: You should cross the in a steady constant speed without watching at the traffic. In this case the Vitnamese think You didn't saw them and will avoid hitting You. If You look at the traffic peoples believe You saw them and will ultimately run You over if You step on the road.
It takes really big balls to do it but finally You get acustomized to it, because You learn it works.
Other than that Your report is brilliant.
LOL Haupti - that is SO true, spoken like a guy that has (as you have) lived there! I met this guy (American lives in Germany/Australia go figure how you do that) in Halong bay who go run over in Hanoi because when crossing the road he commited the unforgiveable sin of "stepping back" - as you know once you've taken that step you CAN NEVER retrace it! Fortunately he wasn't badly injured, just a few scratches & a lesson learnt :laughing:

Good to hear from you Rob.
I though you had got yourself lost in the Golden Triangle, or found some lucrative import/export business contacts to lure you in to staying for while longer.
I love the scooter riding in places like that. its so intense and fun at the same time. every outing is a death defying trip, and a rush at the end of it just being able to survive.
Have fun and look after the girls..
Post some pics when you get the chance.
Nah Cashy, no way - they have the death penalty there, that kind import/export of business can only be set up in a country with a wrist slapping punishment system like Australia for instance :laughing:

Yes you do get an aderailine rush from a 9hp scooter in those places - riding peak hour (and surviving) in Ho Chi Minh city & Hanoi is something I'll cherish forever & rate highly on my driving/riding CV. The girls obviously didn't ride in those places although we did go 4 up on a Vespa at one stage but that another story................:laughing:
 

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To 1: You should cross the in a steady constant speed without watching at the traffic. In this case the Vitnamese think You didn't saw them and will avoid hitting You. If You look at the traffic peoples believe You saw them and will ultimately run You over if You step on the road.
It takes really big balls to do it but finally You get acustomized to it, because You learn it works.


This is so true. In any event, they're coming from all sides and you don't have 360 peripheral vision.

A great thread MVista, keep it coming. It brings back fond memories.

Enjoy!
 

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Cyber SPOTTER
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Discussion Starter #20
Full Metal Jacket

Finally working through some pics....damn it is a shame I was unable to blog it as I went along :(

Where else would you expect 3 Aussies to start at their tour of duty? You guessed "Ned Kelly's Pub 2"? Have a cigar!


Vespa's finally arrived - I couldn't resist the two tone restoration that SCREAMS Vietnam & called it right away. Also in pic support van & crew....more on that later...lol



Mrs Mvista getting familiar with a vintage manual Vespa - yes it has gears - 4 of them ...oh that pedal on the floor? no that's not a an accelarator it's a brake. Really? Would I lie to you baby? Lesson over let's ride. Mrs MVista in ATGATT :jsm:


First Stop in - about 30 miles in & no beakdown - I am impressed


Turning Vietnamese - Inspecting rice fields - One thing I noticed about the Vietnamese, they either don't wear a helemt or if they do they NEVER take it off....I think we are starting to blend in - quasi locals are have become on day 3 no less!



Complete Cast:

Riders: MVista, Mrs MVista & MVista's Sister in law.

Support Crew:

1. Phat - Vietnamese tour guide - excellent English.
2. Josh - American Tour manager - Piss poor English
3. Josh's G/F Linh - Vietnamese - some English
4. Linh's Mum - Vietnamese - NO English
5. Linh's Dad - Vietnamese - NO English
6. Linh's Bro - Vietnamese - NO English
7. Linh's Bro's mate - Vietnamese tour mechanic/Van driver - No English
8. Linh's Uncle - Vietnamese - about 15 words of English
9. Linh's Cousin - 8yo Vietnamese girl - No English

See if you can match the respective descriptions to faces :laughing:
 
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