Having travelled extensively throughout Vietnam, I would like to celebrate the kindness of the people that we have met along the way.
Our motorbike journey from North to South took us through many small villages and towns that many would normally bi-pass on a bus. I feel we got a taste of real Vietnamese life and the people. On countless occasions we were given free meals and told that our money was no good in their restaurant. Most people were intrigued at the long journey we had taken and wanted to know more about our background and us.
Riding through these villages we were always greeted with big smiles and waves of adults, with children running madly trying to keep up with us on our bike.
Right from the very beginning it was apparent that this journey was going to be relatively hassle free. On day one of first ride, we made our way from Hanoi to ha Long Bay-a fairly straight forward ride, with only really a lack of signs as you get closer to the bay area. We were riding on the freeway looking for the coming street signs, when we were motioned by another vehicle to pull over. This seemed strange as we were abiding by all the road rules and I didn’t see any authority signs on the external of this car. We proceeded to ride and ignore the man in his vehicle waving us to pull to the side of the road. It was apparent that he needed us to pull over immediately for some reason. After some thought and reasoning we decided to obey his commands and pulled the bike onto the shoulder of the road.
We dismounted our bike and walked up to the window of his car, unaware of the circumstances for being in this situation in the first place. I then came to realize that that the man spoke no English, but motioned towards the map that Elise was carrying in her hand. I couldn’t believe it! This man pulled us over on the freeway to help us with directions-and we hadn’t even asked him!
He spoke in charades and motioned for us to go back two streets, turn right and then left and we will be on our way to our destination. What a gentlemen! He asked for nothing in return and just smiled shook my hand, rolled up his window and went on his way.
This was only one of many kind occurrences during our time in Vietnam. We were also amazed at the knowledge of the employees at most of the hotels and guesthouses we stayed at. Most were a walking, talking tourist offices and could tell you the best places to go throughout Vietnam as well as the cheapest way to get there. Even to the pint where if they couldn’t speak English they would just write names down for us for future reference!
On many occasions when dining out at a local street eat, we would be curious to see what others nearby were eating. When we were caught glancing at their meals they would insist on us trying some of their food and even eat with them, often buying us a whole meal! They wouldn’t take no for an answer!
We loved Vietnam and plan on going back for manymore years to come.