Today I didn’t have time for any real sightseeing, instead I hit the road and headed for Son Trach,  a small village that works as a kind of hub for people visiting Phong Nha national park. By the main highway it’s fairly short and quick but I decided to take the scenic route i.e the Ho Chi Minh highway. 

Getting there took a bit of trouble because the road was crossed in  several places by the remains of mud slides and rock falls. 

I thought I was getting to know this country fairly well so I figured there would be plenty of restaurants and gas stations along the way, just like there have been along all other roads I’ve driven so far. This assumption was a great mistake because by the time I reached the Ho Chi Minh highway I was getting kind of hungry and the bike was running low on petrol (by my estimation, there is no petrol gauge). After a short while I found a road side eatery in a tiny little village and just before I reached the theoretical maximum for this kind of motorbike, I happened upon a portable, old style gas pump by the side of the road. I stopped and sure enough an old guy came out and hand cranked my tank full.

Location of the petrol pump

Both problems taken care of,  I rode on happily,  enjoying every moment. The Ho Chi Minh highway is one of the roads connecting Hanoi with Saigon, the particular part I rode has a smooth enough surface, the perfect amount of curviness and spectacular views all along the way, a dream for motorbikers. I would even say that it is better than the mountain roads in Taiwan, except maybe the one in Taroko Gorge.

By the time I reached Son Trach it was already too late for sightseeing. Just as well, because I was pretty exhausted  after the long ride, so I simply called it a night. 

A day on the road