Mototrip through Vietnam and Cambodia. The Motorcycle Diaries.

A couple of years ago I saw a wonderful movie «Diarios de motocicleta» two young doctor (or rather two Goonies), send the old motorcycle journey through Latin America. Travelers called Ernesto Guevara and Alberto Granada and its more roads they finished the most famous and well-known revolutionary doctor. But that was then, and then they just went over the threshold cozy home and discovered the big world and themselves. After watching me for a minute did not leave the idea to go to the same journey. I always easily went on the road, at work and for themselves, and have always tried (and each time it was very scary) turn on invisible Topinka to see a little more content of this world. And this fall, I suddenly found myself traveling with a friend on a motorcycle as well as those guys, and this idea caught me when we drove through the invisible path to some Vietnamese village. Then I thought to write: «So dream come true» , but it’s not quite true. So the dream became more …

Somewhere in the depths of Vietnam on the road” Hochiminh Road “

Frankly, I do not even know where it all began. Maybe with the fact that once in the «Facebook» I wrote a post envy Dime Ryazanov, who went from Moscow to Thailand by land, and he said: «It is not too late to join, Sash” . Whatever it was, a month later, with a small backpack filled I (my constant companion faithful) first got things and left the house. In my pocket was a ticket to Hanoi, and the next day I am turning 25 years old. The idea that we have to drive a couple of thousand miles through unknown flickers somewhere deep inside. It was a bit scary and so I was looking forward to a great trip.

Every time you go on the road, I find myself thinking: «Dude, you’re crazy, where the hell you are?» . Agree, we arranged very strange: all the time afraid to change the status quo. Afraid to go somewhere, say something, do something, plyuemsya over his shoulder. Instincts safeguard us from the unknown and it may well have a 1 out of 10 cases. And so every time have to decide for yourself: Is it worth the opportunity to avoid defeat once missed nine victories. Sorry for banality.

From the travel notes:

So, today, October 10, which means I have lived another year. But this is not the worst thing – the fact that I am in Hanoi and going to buy himself a birthday present two-wheeled wreck to cross on it the whole of Vietnam and Cambodia, if you’re lucky. The new year begins again on the road, and it is excellent. By the way, the past gave me a lot of new friends: great people with whom I have learned a lot – hello to all of you (hello to old friends, too, what could there-)). Anyway year was fruitful for travel, adventure, work. I wish yourself and learn everything from everyone in the future. My companion, Dima Ryazanov, just one of those new acquaintances. He’s already two months as part of its project #geoadventures (read it, there are cool stories, photos and video) travels from Moscow to Thailand by land and by this time across the whole of Russia and China (I envy joined him, yes). For the next couple of thousand kilometers of adventure I’ll make him company. Such cases.

“-You Going somewhere, or just going? – He asked. We did not understand the question, but it was a damn good question»

Bought motorcycles Honda Win 1987 release in Hanoi for 350 $

Hanoi is the devil knows what! For a start there must try not to be knocked down in the first 10 minutes, and do not go crazy with cod motorcycles. However, after a couple of hours in the seeming chaos begin to view some regularity, and the city is gradually becoming increasingly have to yourself. By the way, a little after watching what is happening in Hanoi, you can get a basic understanding of the nature of Brownian motion.

At the reception hostel I congratulated on his birthday and happily reported that in the evening there will be a grand party to celebrate the fact that the hostel is also my birthday. First luck and coincidence in the journey – a great sign. Half day we chose their motorcycles in Hanoi inundated backpackers, dissecting Vietnam on bikes, but the problem is that after a couple of thousand kilometers bike it represents a very sad sight. And generally difficult to relax and surrender into the hands of Providence, where every now and then you meet someone on crutches or with a pretty terrible burns from the muffler. In general, after a while we decided to take advice of the ancient Germans: to make a decision, and then have a beer and take it again. Beer on the occasion of the celebrations was free … Then there were free shots every half hour, they poured from the kettle … In between free shotami congratulated me and poured too … Still remember about thirty travelers sang to me «Happy birthday» … then the festivities on the evening crazy Hanoi (or is it just that we were crazy?) … Again shots, greetings, wishes good luck pat on the back … My phone is sealed with a little more detail, but let it remain between us.

From Dima`s travel notes :

Hello! Yesterday, the day of his 25-years anniversary, Sasha arrived. That’s such an unusual way, he decided to celebrate its quarter century. Respect! Now we travel together. I hope this birthday and Moto trip across Vietnam and Cambodia he remembered.

It’s hard to believe, but yesterday, by coincidence, our hostel in Hanoi as well to celebrate his birthday. Plus October 10 hit and the City Day. Crazy party in the style of “The Hangover” and free alcohol did their job, and we had to take Sasha extra day of rest in Hanoi.

Yesterday afternoon I chose a bike. 8 motorcycles, which I arranged a test drive did not like either one. Considered only the options without intermediaries, from the hands of those who most of these bikes have just finished a journey that we have to Sasha.

As a result, decided to buy equipment in the store. So, meet – the legendary Honda Win (or its Chinese copy), 1987 model year, 100 kb / cm mechanics. At the time of purchase was our sad sight. Rumbles, stalls, where is constantly leaking gasoline, electricity does not work …

The old lady Betty

The old lady is Betty motorcycle «Honda Win» , where I come all the way, the length 2500km. Motorcycle I called in honor of the Queen of Great Britain, but why – remains a mystery even to me, and what’s the difference – excellent same name! Betty were a little greedy and several times on the road I ended up gasoline, but the other comments it was not. Even if the road Betty starts to act up, it still reaches the mechanics who hear her say «easy» and a few minutes old woman was again in the ranks. And as I told her gentle and tender words in the mountain passes far away from human habitation! I think no woman of me have not heard.

From the travel notes:

Hello everyone from the village, whose name is pronounced approximately as Kam Hui (sorry). The main attraction here is … we are: we are all happily welcome, waving their hands, and the old man, from whom we bought a drink, smiling as if a major event happened at least a month. English says exactly one person – a girl Hui (I do not specifically), which fortunately is the manager of the only hotel here, where we stayed (in the lobby parked car, for example). Signage in English either, as the menu. We chose the cafe where there were flies and randomly ordered a few dishes: in the end we brought something like sausages with palm leaves, two bowls of herbs, black scrambled eggs and boiled quail eggs with embryos inside. In general, we decided it was not too hungry and limit sausages.

The adventure happened before the start: I lost the keys to the old ladies Betty. After about an hour of searching and pushing the bike, I was able to find at one of the intersections of the master key, which knows all Hanoi. 5 minutes with a hammer and a file it made me 2 keys. After we broke out of an anthill of Hanoi and turned off the main road began mountainous terrain with stunning views. Police have (pah-pah) with the people and not paying attention to us, such as motorcycles go (again spat), and local quite friendly. We go further.

The roads that we choose

On the third day, when were behind the first few hundred kilometers, the road finally took us prisoner. Smooth asphalt, the familiar roar of the engine and stunning views of the North Vietnamese. The fact that we went not quite normal route. All travelers crossing Vietnam on the highway A1, which is really difficult to name Highway: broken road along the same villages, carried on the counter trucks and buses (Vietnam officially trucks and buses have the advantage, and they did not even think to roll with the counter at the sight of a motorcycle and if you do not give in – you run the risk of being marginalized and living god forbid). We, in turn, quite by chance to be away from the highway: look at a map with some delight know what is on the «Ho Chi Minh trail» – previously secret path for the delivery of troops and weapons, and now the beautiful roads of Vietnam. So, «Ho Chi Minh Trail» – a few hundred kilometers of flat road through the deaf Vietnamese villages and mountains – took us prisoner.

During those hours spent alone with him, I had a lot to change my mind, gather thoughts run away …

In the mountains, through the & quot; Heavenly Pass & quot ;. height of 1500 meters above sea level. Vietnam.

In the mountains through the “Heavenly Pass.” The height of 1500 meters above sea level. Vietnam.

Why are we all (well, almost all) love to travel, and stories about the brave traveler are the most popular? Why are these crazy backpackers and strange people who meet on the road, the most interesting interviewers? I think the answer is simple – experience. Impressions is what causes us to go. Impressions are all that remain with us until the end of life. In the end, you can lose a house, all the money, work, loved ones (and even can be something of it have never), but you can not lose the happy memories (as long as you do not lose sanity, but that’s another story). And again, when traveling with a backpack changing attitude to things. You can not take any more than it will get. Can not be on the road to dial more baggage without throwing something old. And it is impossible for life to carry with you the exact same thing in the backpack she istretsya, gets wet, lost. It reminds one of the Zen story.

“One professor asked the teacher to explain to him the essence of Zen. Teacher silently began to pour tea into a cup professors and continued to do so even when the liquid has become overflow, Professor, unable to stand, he asked – “What are you doing? The cup is already full!”. The teacher said this: “Like this cup, you are full of your own opinions and thoughts. How can I show you Zen until your cup is full?”.

The longer your backpack pulls the shoulders, the more you realize this truth, and gradually learn to empty his cup, leaving only the main thing.

In a place called” Kam Hui “. North Vietnam.

From the travel notes:

In fact, it is pointless to describe, I even sometimes do not want to stop to make a frame. Because the matter is not even in the stunning views (we now have moved through a mountain pass), not in traffic stories about how the bike repaired Mr. Son, rode through the rain, eating what the hell and slept God knows where, and in the inner feelings: once you have decided, gathered backpack and here you are, the Copts on a motorcycle through the pass or stand in the mountains and listen to the silence in the mountain village, you’re having fun and scary, difficult and incredibly cool. It’s not even about the history of this particular journey, most of which is in front, and on how to get out of the great stately homes and as kilometers of roads change your idea of comfort, the house itself. Such cases.

… The old lady Betty beginning to choke. I whispered to her some kind words, calling to the spirits of the road and prayed that no rain came. We stormed gornyeypereval within a radius of 50 kilometers there was no human habitation, and motorcycle carburetor clogged and barely climb. At the peak of the rest gave himself and boiling motorcycles. Just sat and watched the stunning green mountains, the sky with heavy clouds, glohli of peace and silence everything. A minute or two, eternity … Once again it’s time on the road, now descending, squeaking brakes and gently tickling feeling of fear mixed with adrenaline. Sensation of flight.

Heavenly Pass

One of the most memorable parts of the way throught Vietnam – Hi Van Pass (Heavenly Pass)

We made a stop in the town Fongnya. To our great joy, after three days of travel and overnight stays in the wilderness we found a European hostel. Fongnya outpost turned tourist Vietnam, here 4 years ago opened the National Park, through which we had the pleasure to ride. It was therefore decided to devote half a day to explore the grandiose caves. We pretty much have strayed from our schedule and left after noon. Dima likes to say that the adventure begins when something starts to go according to plan. And they do not have to wait. At first there was a tropical downpour and our speed was reduced to a crawl, and miles subsided painfully slow. Then again, we have decided not to go on the highway and traveled a circuitous route along country roads. On one of the smoke breaks we were surrounded by local and invited guests. I even prayed to the local divinities on a happy way, causing excitement among the natives. Another hour spent. The road, meanwhile, was getting worse and we have strongly deviated from the schedule. In the next town over and over smoke break a long chat with the locals. Dusk: make an attempt to catch up to the next town, but darkens too quickly, besides, we are lost. Back in the village in the darkness and the streets have no one …

Comrade Chow

… Until a clean bed, hot shower, English-speaking travelers, burgers and beer was still 70 kilometers, when it got dark. Dima sign language began to learn whether there is in this village if you do not “Hilton” , then at least some guesthouse, and after 5 minutes of playing in pantomime we carried out on the farm three kilometers. The owner peacefully sipping tea with two wives, when he was entered with a bang two soaking wet white. In general, for a while we drank tea with them and tried in English to find out whether it is possible to spend the night here. And suddenly Chau (the same host) said: “Well, understand!” . It turned out our Vietnamese friend in 1990, he worked in Dnepropetrovsk and since then remembers 10 Russian words. Things got fun, we covered a gorgeous meadow by local standards: rice, chicken offal, fish (something like our canned) and broth. Chau all trying to understand how we live without wives and offered his, and that one, in his view, sleep not comme il faut, but had to give up – we do not agree on the age categories. Over dinner we discussed the situation in Ukraine, scolded corrupt police and talked about women: in general, were small talk, as befits the three gentlemen (wife silent underlay and rice). Then Chau and did put a bottle of whiskey, took 5 bucks for it. And away! After the first, he remembered another 10 Russian words, after the second start singing “Katyusha” and “Millions of red roses” , waving third, danced, depicting Russian folk dance and kokoshnik (to be honest, more like a game of “Swan Lake”). After drinking another glass, Chow began to throw off a call on the phone, saying, “nahuyblyat” (I do not know how to translate a Vietnamese). Bottle coming to an end and we asked to see us at the apartment (even for $ 5 from the nose). What were apartments! Suite! 6 stars! Small room 2 by 2 meters with translucent ceiling and the only hard bed. As his best friend Chow gave us one blanket and left. Agree: on a bed under a roof in sleeping much better than in sleeping bags in the rain. Until 4 am barking dog, a 4-cock started to scream, and 6 words “Drinking tea!” Chow informed us that the term of the lease the apartment is over and we went on …

“If your pictures are not good enough, then you were not close enough”

in the wilds of Vietnam

In the jungle of Vietnam. We tried to avoid the highway and got from Hanoi to Hue city on small paths who knew absolutely no tourist destinations.

I do not believe that all this is happening to me. A few days gave way to a dozen landscapes, each town does not look like each other. We have already put in some incredible stories. Luggage to this aching back and forgive, square butt. On a motorcycle we spend 6 to 10 hours driving per day on average 200km. But still very far from the goal. We are in the town of Hoi An, where to hit, driving along the «Heaven trail» . «Heavenly Path» – a road through the highest mountain pass in Vietnam, more than 1000m height – on the one side of the mountain, on the other the sea. Although after the North Vietnamese trail does not look so fantastic, as described by travelers. Mauger be because of her passing all our roads and walked a few desperate?

From the travel notes:

On the road, the last mountain pass in front of South Vietnam, met Edward. Ed goes about our route from Hanoi to Saigon (2000km), but one and a bike! Damn it! You go a couple of days on a motorbike through the rain and mud, or rather famously lays on a mountain streamer that along Emerald Bay, at ease reclining on a backpack, and for a moment you feel a sort of “Knight Rider.” And then you meet here this Ed and understand that the fight for the title of “Mr. Iron Egg” weight category “Vietnamese Ebony” you lost by TKO.

Russian Vietnamese Nha, Australia – OP, and New Zealand – Nyuziland

The Vietnamese people are very friendly. Without problems during a rainstorm or just for the break rolled into someone else’s yard and you immediately offered a chair, water, snack and talk in sign language.

Rain in Vietnam may begin suddenly and out of nowhere, and all of a sudden stop or change in intensity. Vietnamese like a rain: if something ask, they rushed to the previous case and will be engaged in the new. Then go back to the old or new start, if something came into our heads again.

One of the unplanned overnight stays in a small village in the central part of Vietnam. Visiting fellow Chow.

Completely exhausted, clothing and motorcycles have found the color of the road. 800 km in 3 days on the broken line, where it is necessary to dodge trucks and buses. Pits, getting into that jolt hands (print and understand that the hand still remember them). 2 days of heavy rain and the day of unbearable heat: dust, dirt, noise. To be honest, during this haul, I felt at least a soldier in the army of Darius, lost in the deserts of Scythia. Incidentally, I almost died heroically under massive carcass of a cow, barely razminuvshis with it being in the ditch. Before I could shout curses at all cows (which, however, did not pay any attention to me) as ran out of petrol … well you get the idea. Then Dima managed to double in 3 hours punch wheel, the second time, fortunately, right under the gate mechanics. Again, rain … well you get the idea …

In short, we finally entered the Mui Ne, Mui Ne in the damn that dream, which was raving on the road – because there was supposed to be a day of rest. Flew right turn and instead of «heavenly beaches» and «steep waves» , found a smelly fishing creek. Anyone else seeing this, immediately be drowned, but drown it for wimps and we continue the search. At some «back beach» , driving along the invisible path, found the old man with a white cream on thickly plastered face, a young vetnamochku with him and ventnamtsa similar to Chingachgook. I have already said that the road is born under the feet going? So it turned out to be an Australian starikanov named Jeffrey. Jeffrey knew everything, do everything, even the mangy dog next to the shop Fishmongers – and he knew everyone. We pulled chic ticket on which we relied excellent apartments on the beach, cheap seafood and night and day in kaytersky club where, as it turned out, most are held hells party. Now I was feeling at the same time as the person who won the lottery billion and as the only survivor of a plane crash, and in this regard immediately leaped into the sea (no, do not drown).

Finally got to the ocean. The village of Mui Ne has become for us a heavenly place. Then we took a break for a couple of days after 7 days on the road and 1,500 miles without stopping.

Further entertainment activities I probably will not describe. Let me just say that we are slightly poizuchat local criminal world, pootbivali heels on the dance floor in the society of Dutch and Australians, met a girl from Surgut (or somewhere near there), and the German writer taught us one bad habit. Two days later we went back to the road, which missed.

From the travel notes:

I sit on a half-empty on the occasion of the low season, the beach, the air 35, water – 30, sipping a cold beer. And do not even believe that 3 days driving through a tropical rain when all the clothes wet, there was mold in sneakers and bike and myself reached the state “It’s not dirt, it’s tan.”

On the one hand, Bob Marley, Bob Dylan and Ozzy Osbourne, on the other – the noise of the surf, the entire horizon in the lights of fishing boats and the swing of the universe carry off somewhere far away.

Remember the movie “The Beach” which DiCaprio also did not get “Oscar” , in the beginning there is a character who fled the island paradise could not stand beauty. He was there yelling at the hotel in Bangkok: “Insects!” and other nastiness. Frankly, when you travel with a backpack, I also feel a little bit. Russian general, very little traveling with backpacks, and after talking with the same backpackers and just otvyaznyh dudes, unwittingly avoiding concentrations of lovers “seal of rest.” Sorry.


Oh yeah, Jeffrey … I do not know what he did Jeffrey previous 40 years of his life, but he is now 6 years living in Vietnam, got himself a local wife, spends most of the year on a remote island, where there is not a damn thing except his beloved wind and low season visitor to Mui Ne. We sat down with him in a tavern on the beach and he told what, introduces us to all the visitors and every now and then ordered a beer. With him, except his wife, there were two old man: Bill and Peter. Bill, who was probably still in the Gallipoli operation, actively tried to buy JDC. I listened with half an ear, paying more attention to the surf, but still caught the most important phrase of the evening. One of these starikanov said: «Do you know why we hang out here? Because there is no old fart ». Because there is no old fart …

this is not dirt - a tan

This is not dirt – a tan …

The boundary of the castle

In Saigon, I decided that I finish the journey here and now it is for wimps and moved with Dima towards Cambodia. Data on the possibility of crossing the border on a motorcycle ranged from “easy” to “unreal” – something that is necessary for evil goals. From the documents I had a passport, a Russian license category B, a piece of paper with the number of motorcycle and $ 40. As you know, the dollar was the most important document. Vietnamese border on a couple of times throughs passport stamp slapped and released with God. Khmer valiant guards even less interested passport, asked for 35 bucks for some strange pretext and pasted visa. Profiles for a visa needed photos, which I was not, but even a photograph of Dima – after all, what difference-). Neither the Vietnamese, Khmer or not even noticed the bikes and luggage. As soon as we crossed the border as soon as it got dark and we waited for another unforgettable overnight in the village, this time of the Khmer. The village was exactly one light in the middle of the area (I would call it garbage), where the local put tables and treated each other with goodies such as dried fish from the Mekong, chicken feet and something else (the origin of these dishes I chose not to be interested). I chose the noodles with broth for a half-dollar. The hostess quickly dipped in a bowl some barrel, put his hands herbs and noodles and gave enjoy dinner. At the next table border guards covered gorgeous meadow and told me how to shake off those white out 70 bucks and that now takes a year off. The second border guard at a local karaoke bar. The bar is a canopy, which runs along the perimeter of the rat. Under the shelter collected by local elite: the very border guard, the local sheriff, another police officer, a man named Sabziro and women. They are actively drinking and heartfelt singing. We got another 10 dollars and throw a party, which was not here since the fall of the Pol Pot regime.

to train in Cambodia

Railroads in Cambodia remained from the time of Pol Pot. But the trains do not go on them. The local population trolley designs and has established its own railway system here.

Phnom Penh

We stopped at the Laughing Boomer. The fat man (he himself is called) – Khmer good-natured, great cooking pizza in a draw-heavy oven (we learned this magic under his direction) with a stunning success story, which can be summarized as «Never Back Down» . Phnom Penh itself is very similar to Delhi in the number of contrasts, dirt, madness. But I can already tell about it, because I was confident. Because this story came to an end and with it ended that I am. I quietly sad, sipping beer and glad that once took a backpack and set off on this journey … It’s time to say thank Dima Ryazanov, who once wrote “It is not too late to join, Sash”.

«This is not a story of impressive feats, but not just” stories “; at least I would not like to have my notes perceived that way. This piece of two lives, sealed at the time when they moved together along the chosen path with common aspirations and dreams of one luggage ”

Ernesto Guevara de la Serna

Vietnam in the mountains

The adventure begins when something went wrong!

Lyricist: Alexander Berezkin . Photo: Dmitry Ryazanov .

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2015-07-25 18:57:35
Спасибо! Очень интересно. Мне были очень важные детали о пересечении границы.
Dmitry Ryazanov
2016-01-27 22:23:00
Спасибо за обратную связь, Андрей!